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WikiLeaks Cables Foreshadow Russian Instigation of Ukrainian Military Action

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the if-only-anybody-had-bothered-to-read-them dept.

The Military 479

Now that Russia has sent troops to seize the Crimean Peninsula, international politics are tense and frantic. An anonymous reader notes an article from Joshua Keating at Slate, which points out that some of the diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks illustrate how this situation is not at all unexpected. Quoting a cable from October, 2009: "... pro-Russian forces in Crimea, acting with funding and direction from Moscow, have systematically attempted to increase communal tensions in Crimea in the two years since the Orange Revolution. They have done so by cynically fanning ethnic Russian chauvinism towards Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians, through manipulation of issues like the status of the Russian language, NATO, and an alleged Tatar threat to 'Slavs,' in a deliberate effort to destabilize Crimea, weaken Ukraine, and prevent Ukraine's movement west into institutions like NATO and the EU." The article points out another cable from a few days later, which was titled, "Ukraine-Russia: Is Military Conflict No Longer Unthinkable?"

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"pro-Russian forces in Crimea" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46379903)

and now let's talk about the leaked documents involving the "pro-western forces in the Ukraine""

Re:"pro-Russian forces in Crimea" (-1, Offtopic)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 9 months ago | (#46379909)

That might be the case, but it might also not be the case.

Re:"pro-Russian forces in Crimea" (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#46379937)

Just like the Cold War when half the world's nations were treated like nothing more than political footballs by both sides. It's partly why the Middle East is such a mess as both sides propped up dictators and fools and blowback fuel.

Re:"pro-Russian forces in Crimea" (-1, Flamebait)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#46380215)

More like the recent confrontation in Georgia. Some ethnocentric asshole took charge of the country, and attempted to reorganize the nation more to his liking, at the expense of ethnic Russians and Russian Nationals. The asshole unbelievably thought that he had the backing of the West. Asshole figured out to late that this supposed "backing" didn't go so far as committing money, troops, or hardware to the oppression of Russian people.

I see the same situation here, today, in the Ukraine. Who elected that chump president, again? More than a hundred thousand Ukes have already fled the Ukraine, seeking asylum in Russia.

It's an "uncontested arrival" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46379971)

Sarah Palin (3, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 9 months ago | (#46379941)

Predicted the same thing in 2008.

Re:Sarah Palin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46379981)

That's because she could see them russkies from her backyard.

Re:Sarah Palin (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#46380221)

Really? I thought she had to at least go to an upstairs window in her house to see Moscow clearly.

Re:Sarah Palin (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about 9 months ago | (#46379983)

Understandable, given that she can see Russia from her house.

Re:Sarah Palin (4, Funny)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#46380039)

Today Ukraine, tomorrow Alaska? They've been bitching about getting ripped off back in 1867 when they sold it to the US for 7.2 million dollars. After the discovery of Gold and Oil there it looks like they got fucked over. No wonder Palin is nervous.

Re:Sarah Palin (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#46380205)

lol, I have to read up on it.

They should send an official "U mad bro?"

Re:Sarah Palin (3, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46380063)

I think you have Tina Fey and Sarah Palin confused. [newsbusters.org]

Unless you are thinking about the short run hit "Who's Nailin' Paylin?".

Re:Sarah Palin (0, Flamebait)

Mashiki (184564) | about 9 months ago | (#46380259)

Sadly for democrats they don't seem to be able to tell the difference. Though how odd that Romney and Palin both figured this out before Barack "smartest man in the room" Obama(not my statement but the various flappy headed folks in the media), said that they were both wrong, oh so very wrong. Well, anyone who's paid even basic attention to geopolitics over the last decade could figure it out, I guess this is what happens when you have a president who was a community organizer, and the majority of the staff have have no clue.

Re:Sarah Palin (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 9 months ago | (#46380093)

Yeah, she totally loved going to the Russia House Restaurant just up the street from her home.

Still far from... (0)

hugetoon (766694) | about 9 months ago | (#46379945)

Forging evidence of and publicly lie about mass-destruction weapons in order to make a case to invade a country...

Re:Still far from... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46379959)

The Boston bomber is charged with making a weapon of mass destruction.

How low is the bar for such a weapon?

Re:Still far from... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380021)

Ha, jokes on him, You can't destroy mass.

Re:Still far from... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 9 months ago | (#46380101)

A minimum of two people must be able to be injured [and/or killed] by the device [including the attacker] for it to be a WMD. So, a large rock meets their definition. Or a stick.

Re:Still far from... (4, Informative)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46380275)

Not really, This law [cornell.edu] defines a WMD for the purpose of domestic law enforcement as basically needing to expel something or cause damage by a projectile being expelled. A BB gun for instance can be a WMD but a rock alone couldn't. However, a rock in a slingshot might be.

It's tricky narrowing down a definition because it relies on devices defined in section 921 [cornell.edu] also and that specifically mentioned a starter pistol as a firearm if it can_be modified to shoot a projectile propelled by an explosive device even though it hasn't_been.

Originally, the term entered popular vocabulary by the use in the Safwan cease fire agreement with Iraq with the first gulf war. How it has changed to include a pencil sharpener or some silly irrelevant objects I don't know.

Re:Still far from... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46379987)

Who did that?

Re:Still far from... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380133)

Lots of asshole politicians and warmongers in the US.

Not that it matters if Iraq did have WMDs; it's a sovereign country.

Re:Still far from... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46380181)

hmm.. when did this happen?

As for a sovereign country, Iraq was still in a cease fire with the US under the conditions it followed certain rules. They weren't following those rules. And yes, it did matter if Iraq had WMDs, their promise to dispose of them and allow verification was the heart of the cease fire that ended the first gulf war after Iraq invaded Kuwait and Kuwait asked the US to help them.

NATO expansion. It's all that simple (1)

CassidyJames (3558225) | about 9 months ago | (#46379969)

Kremlin had no other choices left with Ukraine. There can be only two reasons for not letting Ukraine into NATO: foreign military bases inside the country and insufficently demarkated (or conflicting) borders. So Putin made it both.

Re:NATO expansion. It's all that simple (5, Interesting)

WoOS (28173) | about 9 months ago | (#46380043)

> Kremlin had no other choices left with Ukraine.
Really? Like peaceful coexistance?

Putin is wagering it all. If he does not get at least Crimea from this (or even the whole SE of the Ukraine) he has a major defeat on his hands: Confidence in Russia fulfilling its contracts (they guaranteed Ukraine's teritorial integrity for getting back USSR nuclear weapons) will be severly damaged (also damaging their natural gas trade), the Ukraine will make life a hell for the Russian fleet in Sewastopol by subtle sabotage and the Ukraine now will definitely want to get into NATO as soon as possible.

With such high stakes he must be very sure, he can win this.

Re:NATO expansion. It's all that simple (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380113)

Oh, Russia can definitely win this. The question is whether Putin is willing to deal with the consequences.

Re:NATO expansion. It's all that simple (2)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380201)

>they guaranteed Ukraine's teritorial integrity for getting back USSR nuclear weapons
The treaty in question was signed but never ratified, neither by Russia, nor by US or UK.

Besides, US has guaranteed non-expansion of NATO to the Eastern Europe once. The Russians may be just learning from the world's leading democracy.

Re:NATO expansion. It's all that simple (2, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 9 months ago | (#46380229)

Really? How was that little fiasco in Georgia resolved, again? Oh yeah - Russia ensured the safety of ethnic and national Russians, and withdrew.

Re:NATO expansion. It's all that simple (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#46380271)

It depends how well Russia can play this with the worlds media.. let Ukraine be free to fail under a new far right gov.
Wait for the US to try a "Bay of Pigs" with local well funded freedom fighters :)
Russia just has to sit in its bases and wait, just like with Georgia :)

Re:NATO expansion. It's all that simple (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 9 months ago | (#46380285)

Really? How was that little fiasco in Georgia resolved, again? Oh yeah - Russia ensured the safety of ethnic and national Russians, and withdrew.

Did they [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:NATO expansion. It's all that simple (1)

temcat (873475) | about 9 months ago | (#46380283)

Go salmon up some tuna, you footcloth.

CassidyJames is Putin's propaganda sockpuppet, and this is his first comment.

Well ... what do you expect (5, Insightful)

giorgist (1208992) | about 9 months ago | (#46379979)

If the US could invade Iraq without UN support and under the pretense of the moral high ground as defined by the US, then so can Russia invade Crimea. If the Kosovo can leave Serbia and become it's own country under the support of the US even though it is historically Serbian but by population Albanian so can Crimea which has a Russian majority. The US has made their bed and now it is sleeping in it. Precedence is a bitch, the US set the precedent and now they are winging about what is happening in Crimea !! Russia supplies 60% of Europe's energy and it will increase to 80% ... the US has nothing to stand on. If they apply sanctions, the Russians will increase the price of gas and oil and have Europe pay for them just for giggles.

Re:Well ... what do you expect (1, Flamebait)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#46380051)

Actually the US had every right to invade Iraq. After the first Gulf War the cease fire conditions called for UN inspection of Iraq for chemical weapons. Saddam impeded the inspectors at every turn. He continuously sent fighters into the no flight zone also. Violations of the cease fire agreement were so numerous as to make it a joke. Look at it as simply a continuance of the original conflict.

What does this mean? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380097)

"If the US could invade Iraq without UN support and under the pretense of the moral high ground as defined by the US, then so can Russia invade Crimea."

are you trying to be funny or are you a paid russian propagandist? the UN hasn't "supported" any kind of military action save for relatively small police actions since the korean war and that was mostly because the soviet union at the time was boycotting the UN. as it were, the only reason that there would be no UN resolution here is because of russia's veto.

let's look at your words: the US invaded "under the pretense of the moral high ground." they were not irredentist land grabbers. after their 'mission' was done, they left. the russians here are simply imperialists.

"kosovo": serbia had achieved "world pariah" status after its recent aggressive wars, additionally, the "independence" movement of kosovo was a drawn out process involving internal discussion and grassroots movements, not tanks of a foreign power rolling in.

Re:What does this mean? (3)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#46380249)

Re 'not irredentist land grabbers"
Covert United States foreign regime change actions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]
The US basically swaps out a gov, installs a weak new gov, or supports a gov and then gets a "request" for a shared or join facility (base, covert listening station).
No need to used the term land grabbers, when a term like research facility, partnership, joint military facilities, radar base, camps, air station, facilities, installations sound so much more normal.

Re:Well ... what do you expect (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46380099)

Precedence is a bitch? So Russia was in a war with Crimea and ceased hostilities on the basis Crimea followed a few rules and then resumed hostilities when it was obvious they didn't follow the rules?

That is the precedence after all. the first gulf war was ended on the conditions of full disarmament of specific weapons and the halting of programs to create or develop them. That failed to happen time and time again and the means to verify it happened failed time and time again.

You are correct in your other assessments though. The US definitely has nothing to stand on- we have a president that leads from behind, trying to make every gaff a planned operation (red line anyone) as if he was some kid who fell down and tried to look cool when jumping back up exclaiming "I meant to do that". I'm just glad there are no red lines in the dirt this time for I fear China might broker a deal to disarm Ukraine or something to ensure peace and allow the pres to save face again.

Re:Well ... what do you expect (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#46380121)

The US has made their bed and now it is sleeping in it.

Wow, talk about ameri-centrism. This isn't about the US bro, this is about Ukraine and Russia. The US isn't suffering here, Ukrainians are. The US has nothing to do with it except the complaints of a whining president.

Re:Well ... what do you expect (4, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#46380169)

Re This isn't about the US bro
The US spent a lot on color revolution efforts over the years and really wants to see some payback
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O... [wikipedia.org]
US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev (26 November 2004)
http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]
The US really wants NATO up against Russia (encirclement, containment) - like the Soviet Union used Cuba.

Re:Well ... what do you expect (1)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 9 months ago | (#46380155)

US invaded Iraq, tried to reform the government, and eventually left.

Russia invaded Crimea, and may soon attempt to annex it [infowars.com] .

That's a big difference, legally and morally.

Re:Well ... what do you expect (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380183)

US invaded Iraq, tried to reform the government, and eventually left.

Russia invaded Crimea, and may soon attempt to annex it [infowars.com] .

That's a big difference, legally and morally.

Well, to be fair, Crimea was part of Russia until 1964 when Nikita Khrusjtsjov arbitrarily gave it away to Ukraine (according to some historians he did so while drunk). The majority of the people there identify with being Russian. Not saying Putin is right, but he is welcomed by many there.

US destroyed almost half of the wold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380199)

US is Apocalypse rider ... Is it better in Iraq? Libya? Syria? Egypt?

Re:US destroyed almost half of the wold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380237)

So you blame the US for invading Iraq... and for not invading Syria?
For interfering in Libya... and for not interfering in Egypt?

It's quite a warped worldview that blames the US for every evil in the world, whether or not the US was actually involved.

Re:US destroyed almost half of the wold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380273)

... inform your self and you will see who is standing behind. Only motive is oil (energy), nothing else ..

Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380179)

Exactly!

Re:Well ... what do you expect (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#46380191)

How is that the US problem really?

Also fine, do it, help give initiative to switch to better energy sources.

Re:Well ... what do you expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380225)

If someone blew up pipelines that go through Ukraine for whatever reason... Europe, Ukraine and Russia would be in deep shit.

Re:Well ... what do you expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380261)

Precedence is a bitch, the US set the precedent and now they are winging about what is happening in Crimea !!

Precedence only matters in law, in places that use common law [wikimedia.org] . In other legal systems, precedence doesn't matter at all.

News for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46379991)

I can understand it from the standpoint of the absolute love affair certain factions here have with Assange, but what his the nerd spin on this story (and fuck off with the "stuff that matters" as being a blanket excuse to justify anything put up here)? Yeah, I know, it is simply because it has a Assange tie-in (yes, around here Wikileaks == Assange).

The only thing I care about. (3, Insightful)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46379995)

I don't care who is right or wrong in the Ukraine, I don't care who is more manipulative: EU, USA or Russia. I don't care who has stolen more: Yanukovych or Tymoshenko. I pity those who died in this conflict, but I don't even care who has started the bloodshed.

There is one thing that I care about though. On one side of this conflict are Nazis. The "Right Wing", one of the main pushing forces in this uprising, are Nazis. They use Nazi symbols and slogans, they praise WWII Nazi collaborators as their heroes, their leader Yarosh (now the Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine) said that Russian people will never give up their ethnics and culture and therefore have to be eliminated.

So, if the Nazis are on one side, I'm on the other. No corruption can justify aligning with Nazis. I don't give a fuck how decent the majority of the protester might be. They. Fought. Side-by-side. With. Nazis.

Re:The only thing I care about. (4, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | about 9 months ago | (#46380001)

Well the Russians joined the Nazi invasion of Poland on September 17th, 1939, so there's that, too.

Re:The only thing I care about. (1, Informative)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380013)

They even had non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. A mistake that the Russians have ultimately paid for with 20 million of their lives.

Therefore the Russians in power don't praise the Nazis. The Ukrainians do.

Re:The only thing I care about. (3, Informative)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#46380061)

After Stalin caused the death of millions of Ukrainians I can see why they would prefer the Nazis. The lesser of two devils.

Re:The only thing I care about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380287)

But Stalin was not really Russian, he killed lots of Russians and he's dead.

Re:The only thing I care about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380027)

Well the Russians joined the Nazi invasion of Poland on September 17th, 1939, so there's that, too.

And later went on to liberate almost all of Europe. Do your point is ?

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#46380067)

I got the feeling that Czechoslovakia didn't feel all that liberated. Nor Hungary, Romania, Poland or Yugoslavia. Swapping one mad bastard for another isn't liberation.

Re:The only thing I care about. (2)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380265)

Czechoslovakia's strong production was providing a great deal of war supplies to the Germany (one in three panzers were produced there), both Hungarians and Romanians were part of the Axis as well not to mention Ustase in Croatia. You may consider marionette governments as a form of penance.

Re:The only thing I care about. (2)

mc6809e (214243) | about 9 months ago | (#46380211)

And later went on to liberate almost all of Europe. Do your point is ?

You exaggerate (probably because you're some sort of Soviet apologist).

The Soviets were doomed without the help of the rest of the Allies. The entire world would have been better off if the Soviets and Nazis had just been allowed to kill each other off. They were made for each other.

Communists, Nazis -- how anyone could pick one as better than the other is beyond reason.

Re:The only thing I care about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380045)

... and Poland joined the Nazi (and Hungary) invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938...

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380255)

They also took parts of Belarus and Ukraine in 1919-1920.

Re:The only thing I care about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380015)

nice to see a simple worldview. :(

Re:The only thing I care about. (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#46380029)

You say this as if the other side doesn't have its own Nazis. Here [citysites.ua] is what the synagogue in Simferopol looks like, a day after its takeover by the local pro-Russian "self-defense force". The text says "Death to Jews".

Also, Crimean Tatars are not happy about Russian takeover for a good reason stemming from their own recent history. You might want to look it up on Wikipedia.

Oh, and the guy they've put in charge of Crimea? He has statues of Stalin and Dzerzhinsky in his work cabinet.

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380065)

Except the synagogue was not taken over by "pro-Russian self-defence forces". According to the Jewish association director someone climbed over the fence and made this "graffiti". I saw no claim that pro-Russian forces are behind this.

A singular act of an unknown individual is a far stretch from openly praising Nazis and using their insignia.

Crimean Tatars were known Nazi collaborators during WWII. Nonetheless, they still live on the peninsula.

Re:The only thing I care about. (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#46380117)

Except the synagogue was not taken over by "pro-Russian self-defence forces". According to the Jewish association director someone climbed over the fence and made this "graffiti". I saw no claim that pro-Russian forces are behind this.

The point is that the graffiti was not there the day before (when, presumably, those "Nazis" were in charge), and now it is.

In any case, there's plenty of Nazi-like talk coming from Russia and easily seen in comments on YouTube and elsewhere on the Net. How about Sergei Lukyanenko: "There is no such country as Ukraine, and what's there is destined to be either a part of Russia or a Polish protectorate" [calvertjournal.com] . And there's plenty of far cruder stuff out there if one cares to look.

Don't kid yourself. The Russian tricolor and the orange-black striped ribbon are now as much Nazi symbols as swastika and SS runes.

Crimean Tatars were known Nazi collaborators during WWII.

What, every single one of them? You're trodding awfully close to nazism yourself.

Nonetheless, they still live on the peninsula.

Well yes, they were allowed to return there in 1989, shortly before Ukraine gained independence, which is the only reason why they're there now. To remind, Stalin - you know, the guy whom the new prime minister of Crimea is apparently a huge fan of - resettled all Crimean Tatars from Uzbekistan in 1944, with almost half perishing in the process.

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380167)

> The point is that the graffiti was not there the day before (when, presumably, those "Nazis" were in charge), and now it is.

2009, for example, a German synagogue was defaced with swastikas. Does that make Merkel a Nazi? She was in charge of the country, after all.

>In any case, there's plenty of Nazi-like talk coming from Russia and easily seen in comments on YouTube and elsewhere on the Net. How about Sergei Lukyanenko: "There is no such country as Ukraine, and what's there is destined to be either a part of Russia or a Polish protectorate".

You're comparing a writer to a Deputy Secretary of the National Security. Do you really fail to spot a difference?

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#46380207)

The writer was an example, and with as many examples as can be seen right now, it's clearly the attitude of the nation as a whole (which stands very much in contrast to Ukrainians, of which "Right Sector" and other fringe right-wing groups are a minority - which is also clear from their comments online and videos from Kiev).

Anyway, do you really want me to give more examples of people in power in Russia who hold similar views? Rogozin, perhaps? He is a deputy prime minister, after all. Also the guy who was made famous in Moscow by the "let's clear our city of trash" political ad which featured Central Asian migrants.

Re:The only thing I care about. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380281)

In this way you show total lack of understanding of history.

1. Many more Ukrainians were killed by communist than by Nazis
2. Because of 1 Ukrainian nationalists sided with Nazis as the lesser of the two evils
3. Communists won and started labelling all their oponents by Nazis

Because of this labelling you are agains all communist oponents?

Remember which side killed close to 100 civilians on Maidan - you are siding with them.

Re:The only thing I care about. (3, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 9 months ago | (#46380033)

I see. So it's fair to say that whenever some right-wing shit happens to come out in favour of something you also favour, you'll instantly disavow it?

Oh, yes, that is very sensible.

Re:The only thing I care about. (2)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380177)

The protest leaders did nothing to banish Nazis from their midst, they relied on them heavily and made their leader Deputy Secretary of the National Security. So yes, in this case I don't care how noble their goals were. I sympathise with the Ukrainian's struggle for a fair government, but I will not support this uprising.

Re:The only thing I care about. (4, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 9 months ago | (#46380049)

They. Fought. Side-by-side. With. Nazis.

You need to go back a little further and read a little history. In 1932-1933 there was a famine [wikipedia.org] caused by Russia which killed over 2 million Ukrainians. When the Germans invaded they were seen as liberators by many as they were kicking out the hated Russians. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I also wonder if Russia is spinning WW2 ties with the German army to make their case look better.

Re:The only thing I care about. (2)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380185)

The famine was not in Ukraine only, parts of Russia and Belarus have suffered as well. The matter is highly disputed, it didn't help that the Ukrainians ones used the photos from US Great Depression to illustrate the atrocities of the Russians.

Re:The only thing I care about. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380085)

They. Fought. Side-by-side. With. Nazis.

Yarosh and his ilk are bad news. They are not representative of the majority of Ukrainians in the western half of the country. Given what Stalin did [wikipedia.org] to the Ukrainian population, it's understandable that there are present-day extremists who have adopted their positions from those who welcomed the Nazis as liberators. (That was a really bad decision, by the way. After Stalin had starved millions of them to death, they got stomped on by the Nazis, and then got stomped on again by Stalin towards the end of the war. They were fucked either way, but the way things worked out, they got fucked three times.)

There are lots of "they" in the movement to depose Yanukovych. There are hard-right elements within the Maidan, but they are not representative of the Maidan. (The closest American political analogies would be that the KKK is not representative of conservatism, let alone the GOP, and that Occupy Wall Street is not representative of the progressive movement, let alone the DNC.)

For what little it's worth, I think the most reasonable solution is to divide the country. Most of the land mass of Ukraine leans towards Europe, but some of that land mass, specifically Crimea, leans towards Russia. (This is in large part due to Stalin-era resettlements, but WW2 is long over, and so is the Holodomor, so it ought to be a moot point.) If Putin wants is a port for his fleet (he does), and if the Crimean region wants to ally itself with Russia (it does, by as large a margin as Western Ukraine wants to ally with Europe), then they should probably be free to leave.

The interesting question is how much more Ukranian territory Putin wants as a buffer zone between Europe and Russia. (Having a buffer zone is kind of a Russian thing. I can't say I blame them, given the history of invasions from Europe...) A partitioned Ukraine shrinks that buffer zone considerably. Taking all of Ukraine by force back into the Russian fold would, at the moment, imply a war whose costs could well exceed the worth of the natural gas reserves and the fleet. The question is -- how much territory is enough for Putin, and will the rest of Ukraine cede it?

I think this all ends diplomatically. Neither Ukraine, nor Russia, nor the rest of Europe, has much to gain from a civil war. Maybe all that needs to happen is Ukraine extends the lease on the port for a decade or two on the cheap. Or something to do with gas royalties. This is the sort of problem that is best solved by bankers and ballots, not bullets.

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 9 months ago | (#46380197)

I think this all ends diplomatically. Neither Ukraine, nor Russia, nor the rest of Europe, has much to gain from a civil war. Maybe all that needs to happen is Ukraine extends the lease on the port for a decade or two on the cheap. Or something to do with gas royalties. This is the sort of problem that is best solved by bankers and ballots, not bullets.

Don't underestimate the power of someone making sparks in this powder keg, for example some of the 40% non-Russians in Crimea. When you've got soldiers from two different countries standing toe to toe a few armed hardliners could set off a firefight that makes both sides think the others are attacking. For that matter, one of them might want to stage such an "incident" as an excuse to either take over or throw them out, except it spirals out of control and once they start shooting back, well then nobody's going to care much how it started. World War I had one assassination to spark the whole war, even if it's not directly a shooting escalation imagine an incident, an ultimatum to leave, refusal, boom. P.S. You can hardly call it a civil war when it's Russia invading Ukraine, that is war plain and simple.

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380295)

The famine took part in Belarus and Russia as well, the Ukrainians claiming it a genocide against them is not justified. At least they stopped using Great Depression photos from the US to illustrate their point (not joking, they've been trying to after the orange revolution).

Keep in mind, the protester's leaders made a Nazi Deputy Secretary of the National Security. That's representative enough for me. The protesters themselves were fucked, of course. Many thought they were fighting against corruption, but they still didn't do anything to banish the Right Wing from their midsts. That's what led to Hitler's takeover in Germany: people either doing nothing or considering the Nazis to be useful idiots against the Communists.

As far as buffers go, I couldn't agree more.

Re:The only thing I care about. (2)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | about 9 months ago | (#46380091)

So what you're saying is that if Russia occupies South Carolina then you'll support russia because the US has a bunch of nationalistic patriots who view their territory as "historically american", and don't want foreigners occupying them for the reason of it being none of their damn business.

Their reason for opposing russian rule may be flawed, that doesn't mean that russian rule is a flawless idea, nor that opposing it is the wrong idea.

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380299)

Hell, if the US makes a known Nazi Deputy Secretary of the National Security I'd be leaving Germany and joining Russia's army.

Re:The only thing I care about. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#46380123)

The "Right Wing", one of the main pushing forces in this uprising, are Nazis. They use Nazi symbols and slogans, they praise WWII Nazi collaborators as their heroes,

If that is true, it's the most bizarre cross-cultural meme I've ever heard of. Someone didn't get the memo that Nazis are evil incarnate.

Re:The only thing I care about. (4, Informative)

hydrofix (1253498) | about 9 months ago | (#46380135)

They. Fought. Side-by-side. With. Nazis.

You would be surprised to hear that many democratic countries in present-day Europe apart from the Nazi-Germany itself fought alongside the Nazis in WWII, including Italians, Finns, Romanians, Bulgarians and Norwegians. And these were the real-deal WWII genociding, totalitarian, Führer-hailing Nazis – not some modern-day, nostalgic Neo-Nazis, who don't even know how to genocide. And apart from those countries that fought alongside them, in the 1930s Nazis had large amounts of supporters in every Western country, and their policies were widely regarded as progressive, modern and necessary. Nowadays we know that the Nazi policies led to ruin, but the masses of the 1930s did not and thought they were behaving rationally. Do you think human thinking has changed much in mere 80 years?

Croats for example (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380171)

... who killed more then 1.5 million people.

Re:The only thing I care about. (0)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380241)

I know the history, all the countries that aligned with Hitler or supplied him with war production. I know that more Frenchmen fought on the Eastern Front than in the Resistance. But the point is, all these countries have denounced Nazis or were forced to. Some of them have got marionette governments an additional penance and had to serve as a military buffer to the Soviet Union. Finns managed to turn around and fight the Nazis just in time, so they were left alone.

The point is, there are no Nazis in power in those countries nowadays (some Baltic countries may be considered an exception though). In the Ukraine, there are some now.

Re:The only thing I care about. (2)

guacamole (24270) | about 9 months ago | (#46380289)

There were also Russians fighting on the side of Nazis. Many of those collaborators did not view themselves as Hitler's subordinates. Their goal was to liberate their countries from Communists. Vlasov's Russian army wanted to create a free and independent Russia, while Ukraine's Stepan Bandera wanted to create a free and independent Ukrainian state. For this reason, Hitler had a quite uneasy relationship with them since he had other plans for conquered territories.

Why not just give up? (3, Interesting)

hydrofix (1253498) | about 9 months ago | (#46380023)

Why shouldn't Ukraine just give up Crimea for the sake of national unity? Ukraine as a whole seems to be flying from one crisis to another, and it is seems to be torn between the pro-Russia and pro-West factions. Maybe Ukraine should just focus building its future as a Western country, and give up those territories where the population wants to live under Russian rule. Maybe later those areas can then join Ukraine if they so wish, like happened with the unification of West and East Germany.

Re:Why not just give up? (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#46380075)

Why do you think that would satisfy Putin?

Re:Why not just give up? (1)

hydrofix (1253498) | about 9 months ago | (#46380103)

Russia has at least a superficially "legitimate" claim for Crimea, since some 60% of the population are ethnic Russians. Making claims for any other parts of Ukraine is a whole other deal, since every other region of Ukraine is ethnically mostly Ukrainian.

Re:Why not just give up? (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about 9 months ago | (#46380303)

Russia has at least a superficially "legitimate" claim for Crimea, since some 60% of the population are ethnic Russians.

Only because Stalin deported 100% of the Tatars in 1944 (killing half of them)

Re:Why not just give up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380305)

No, some eastern parts also have Russian majorities.

The question - should it be allowed?

You had Chechen majority in some parts of Russia and they would love to create their own country.

If we allow to do it on Crimea - should it be allowed in Chechenya?

I assure you - the very thoughts of it will be crushed by Putin immediately.

The bigger problem is that you can not even trust elections there - fraud and propaganda is common in this part of Europe.

Re:Why not just give up? (2)

Meditato (1613545) | about 9 months ago | (#46380107)

It wouldn't satisfy Putin. He took South Ossetia from Georgia and is likely still engineering a wider pro-Russia coup in Georgia. He engineered this situation in the Crimean Peninsula, and he's probably engineering other such incidents in other former soviet republics.

a rocket powered shark with laser beams for him to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380165)

a rocket powered shark with laser beams for him to ride around the black sea on...?

Re:Why not just give up? (5, Interesting)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | about 9 months ago | (#46380145)

Actually not a bad idea.

If Ukraine ceded control of Crimea it would gain more unity, and have less trouble separating itself from Russia and foster its ties with the EU. Crimea is an autonomous region with its own government, so Ukraine stand to lose very little from there other than having a national minority there (they still have access to the Black Sea from the mainland). Russia OTOH gains very little: They already have a fleetbase there, and a national majority that'll follow their whim, that wont change with annexation. They will, however, have to contend with a large ukrainian minority that will be none too happy of their new overlords, and who can get reinforced from their homeland easily. Also, they'll obliterate any chance of moving at Ukraine as a whole, because this action will fan anti-russian sentiment.

All in all, the move on Crimea is a provocation from Russia trying to destabilise Ukraine. They may end up getting Crimea, but if they fail to throw Ukraine into chaos, then they come out of this the loser.

Re:Why not just give up? (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#46380223)

A split would work well. The pro Western faction can be happy under US protection. The EU can rush in with loans (banker bail in) and generations in the region return to having laws passed from EU vs Soviet Union.
New pipeline deals with a new, split, weak Ukraine start to look amazing to the EU :)
The US gets NATO very near Russia under the cover of a new, split, weak Ukraine "invite".
Other parts go to Russia, Russians in the area feel safe, Russia keeps its mil happy with vital areas still been in Russian hands.
Win win win win for bankers with new 'loan' energy contracts, the USA, Russia, EU .... Ukraine escapes the horror of the Soviet Union only to be occupied in parts by the USA, EU and Russia.
Fun and years of extra funding for CIA, FSB and MI6 too.

Re:Why not just give up? (4, Interesting)

guacamole (24270) | about 9 months ago | (#46380227)

I wonder the same. Crimea is historically neither Russian nor Ukrainian. It was populated by Tatars who constantly launched attacks against everyone north of them. Once they burned Moscow to ground. It was conquered by Russian Empire in 18th century culminating a rivalry that lasted for centuries. Crimea was defended by Russian Empire in the Crimean War of the 19th century. A lot of Russian blood was spilled there, and nationalist politicians in both Russia and Ukraine constantly manipulate the popular sentiment. It's a big problem for Ukraine.

However, I can see one reason why Ukraine may be reluctant to part with Crimea. It could only be a beginning of further partition of Ukraine. For example, once in control of Crimea Russia and its brethren in Ukraine could start a new campaign now to transfer the cities of Kharkiv and Donentsk to Russia, again both heavily dominated by Russians, and so on. The nationalist Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky has said many times that he sees a division of Ukrain where the west Ukraine has capital in Lviv, surrounded by 4-5 west Ukrainian provinces. No matter what happens, this conflict will go on for a LONG time...

Invasion of Grenada..Anyone..Anyone (3, Interesting)

msmonroe (2511262) | about 9 months ago | (#46380057)

Isn't this what the U.S. did in Grenada?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org]
Thatcher sent a message to Reagan: This action will be seen as intervention by a Western country in the internal affairs of a small independent nation, however unattractive its regime. I ask you to consider this in the context of our wider East/West relations and of the fact that we will be having in the next few days to present to our Parliament and people the siting of Cruise missiles in this country. I must ask you to think most carefully about these points. I cannot conceal that I am deeply disturbed by your latest communication. You asked for my advice. I have set it out and hope that even at this late stage you will take it into account before events are irrevocable. (The full text remains classified.)

beta is annoying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380069)

stop sending me there

politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380105)

politics.. hoammm http://gitarpoker.com/ [gitarpoker.com]

Soviet Union (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 9 months ago | (#46380127)

Russia gave the Crimia to Ukraine as a bribe to get them to join the Soviet Union. Of course they now want to take it back.

Re:Soviet Union (0)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 9 months ago | (#46380141)

Crimea's transfer to Ukraine was a socialist experiment by Khrushchev. Ukraine was firm in the Soviet Union at that time, didn't actually need a bribe. But, as many socialist experiments this one has failed too.

Re:Soviet Union (3, Informative)

guacamole (24270) | about 9 months ago | (#46380267)

There was no need to bribe Ukraine. Ukraine was 100% under Soviet control. No one knows why exactly the transfer happened. I believe it was meant to represent a display of friendship between Ukraine and the Soviet leadership. Back then no one would have imagined that the republics could split some day. For example, Russian nationalists are crying crocodile tears because of some territories lost to Kazakhstan during the partition of USSR, though Crimea is the most hurtful thing for them.

Russian invasion will start nuclear proliferation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380161)

From Wikipedia: "When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the newly independent Ukraine had on its territory what was the third largest strategic nuclear weapons arsenal in the world."

and

"In a joint statement on December 4, 2009 the presidents of the United States and Russia, Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, confirmed the assurances of security to Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus given on the heels of these countries' consent in 1994 to give up their nuclear weapons."

Neighbouring sovereign states (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380173)

The US has invaded sovereign states before in order to protect its interests many times. Ukraine is at least as important to Russia as Cuba and Grenada are (were?) to the United States. "At least as" because Grenada didn't have a large expatriate US population nor did it have US commercial interests.

Go to bed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46380231)

Soulskill, get to sleep. We're tired of your crap posts all day.

Ukraine defense relationship with NATO .. (1)

DTentilhao (3484023) | about 9 months ago | (#46380251)

"ASD Vershbow reaffirmed the Administration's message of support for Ukraine, underscored Ukraine's importance as a strategic partner, and commended the defense relationship, highlighting Ukraine's contributions to NATO and coalition operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. ASD Vershbow stressed the need for Ukraine to stay on track with defense reform efforts"

The reality is, and that goes for the other former Soviet republics, that NATO (USA) is not going to go to war to defend the Ukraine. Your prime function is as a forward missile platform used to threaten the Russian Federation. In the event that either the US or Russia launch an attack on each others territory, you'll give the Americans prior warning. As such you'll have to be taken out first by the Russian military.

The primitive division of both sides is appalling (1)

guacamole (24270) | about 9 months ago | (#46380257)

Why couldn't Ukraine become a model of a bi-ethnic state? Russians and Ukrainians are so similar. They have almost the same food, religion is majority Orthodox in both cases, language is similar, both proud of vodka, etc. Why do the West Ukrainian nationalists need to stomp all over the right of the Russians, when in power, and why do Russian-speaking Ukrainian politicians always fall under the influence of Russia trying to partition the country? There has always been "us vs them" attitude in Ukrainian politics, always divided along ethnic lines. However, both sides do not realize that there is one great thing that sets Ukraine apart from Russia, and this is why its worth saving: Democracy. Don't laugh, human rights and the "democratic process" in Ukraine may seem primitive at times, but at least they're trying. They had four different presidents representing different factions in the last 15 years and that's something remarkable considering Putin's one-party state right next to them in Russia.

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