Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ukraine – We Trade Yanukovych for Crimea

The Russians still refuse to acknowledge that they have troops all across Crimea.  The leader of the so-called self-defense groups has been recognized as a Russian military commander.  The Russian military have taken over the local TV cable company and pulled all channels off except Russian-approved channels.  The newly installed government of Crimea has moved the referendum date to March 16th.  There are only two questions on it.  How do you wish to die; by shooting or hanging.  Join Russia or independence. 

The latter comes with Russian troops to “maintain the peace”.  Crimea will join the illustrious ranks of Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “independent countries” occupied by Russian troops. They do not dare put a third option on it which is to stay as part of Ukraine because they could not guarantee even 50% in a fair ballot.  I am surprised Andy Borowitz hasn’t reported that Putin has announced today the results of the referendum with 98% turnout and 99% in favour of independence.

There will be no invasion of Ukraine.  The heavily Russified South East is not stupid.  Even with bussed-in Russians to stir the pot, those demonstrating for Ukraine heavily out number those chanting “Russia, Russia”.  Since there is no unrest and no one seems to want to be rescued, Putin will be satisfied with Crimea…until next time.

This article covers it all.

In the meantime, a new poll released by Democratic Initiatives Foundation on March 3, showed that only a third of Donetsk region residents believe that they should be part of Russia.  In Luhansk and Odesa this number was lower still, at 24 percent.  Other supposedly pro-Russian regions -- Zaporyhzhia, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk -- have 16, 15 and 13 percent of supporters of this idea, respectively.
The following article is written by a Brit who has been here for the past 23 years trying to get the government to reform the legal system.  Reading it will give you an idea of what we have been faced with for the past two decades where corruption ruled.  The oligarchs controlled the Rada so for sure nothing was going to change that was going to prevent them from continuing top rape and pillage.  Yanukovych was just the worst of the worst.

Pay Officials in the Government Administration and Judges Properly. In the past, Ukrainian officials have been paid minor salaries, that equaled a tiny fraction of the salaries in the private sector, on the understanding that they could steal enough to make their position worthwhile for themselves, and also pass a percentage up to higher officials. It has been conservatively estimated that senior officials in the previous tax administration stole over USD 2 billion per year.

I was told that Peter the Great began this practice three centuries ago.  Pay the bureaucrats next to nothing and let them make up their income through bribes and extortion.  Kept the cost down to the Court so the tax money could be used for other things.

What I can only hope is that the need for money to keep the country afloat will force the government to make the needed reforms.  Otherwise we have simply reverted to the criminals who were in charge under Yushchenko and Timoshenko.  No one trusts any of the current deputies or even the current Cabinet of Ministers because they are all old jackets as the saying is.  We can only hope for a clean sweep in the next election at the end of May.  There are a few honest guys still; Klitchko being one of them, though how good a president he would make I don’t know.  Yulia, thank the good Lord, has kept her mouth shut, other than the usual, seemingly necessary, platitudes.

The Looney Left is making me crazy.  These are the anti-everything folks who see America as the ONLY evil on earth.  The Right call every one they dislike communist or socialist, without the slightest clue what they are talking about and the Left call everyone fascist or Nazi, with the same complete ignorance.  My friends used to call me the barefoot boy because if clues were shoes…   Well, these folks are more than barefoot.  Just saw another headline appear on FB that the Nazi’s had taken over the government of Ukraine.  That particular site just got itself unfriended.

Yes, we have some extreme right parties in Ukraine.  Big deal.  If you take a run down the list of identifying characteristics Here or Here, you will see that they apply to the two main empires involved in the current kerfuffle far more than to some black and red flag-carrying party in Western Ukraine.

Here is something to make you laugh.  Putin is making a big deal of the masked thugs with baseball bats, who are still strolling the streets of Kyiv.  Even the BBC referred to them as “Extreme Right”.  These guys are “Law and Order” since the revolution.  There has been little or no looting; traffic is moving, laws are being obeyed.  Those police who are not still in hiding for fear of the public taking revenge, will not go out without protection from the Euromaidan defense group.  The traffic cops are afraid they will be lynched by the taxi drivers from whom they have been extorting money for years, just as an example.

The vigilantes need to work with the police as they are not allowed to carry firearms and cannot arrest anyone.  But no one crosses them, either.

These are reposted from last night:
This is an excellent essay about what it takes to have a real democracy.  You can read it and see how your own country measures up. There is no easy path to democracy

Your key to all the recent headlines around the world :


  1. Thanks for the inside poop. I find myself watching Al Jazeera for the most unbiased, reality based news instead of the usual talking heads. To me the political spectrum has always been shaped more like a horseshoe with the extreme ends being very close to each other in many ways. I really hope Putin doesn't feel like he can reassemble the USSR by just walking in and saying he is in charge. Eventually that will backfire. I hope nobody gets hurt. Stay safe.

    1. Al Jazeera is very good. A friend of mine said during the Vietnam war he listened to Cuban shortwave radio to find out what was going on. Said they were pretty unbiased too. This business of "protecting Russian nationals" should make every former Iron Curtain country VERY nervous as they all have large numbers of Russians living there, thanks to Stalin's penchant for depopulation/repopulation.

  2. I was referred to your blog after forwarding on an article about the "nazis." I am embarrassed that I fell for that crap. Your articles are super informative and well written. You should be a journalist.

  3. Hello, JJoy. Thank you but I am no journalist. Glen Greenwald is a journalist. Journalists work hard and take risks. My biggest risk is that Russia will not give me a visa next time I want to go and visit my wife's relatives with her. My hardest work is to read as many history books as possible and news articles from several sources to compare lies and try not to read so many comments my head explodes.
    If all it takes to be a Nazi is Antisemitism then much of eastern Europe, including Russia is mildly Nazi. Yanukovych was telling his police that the protests were all organized by Jews so they should beat everyone. If you read between the lines on some of Putin's statements about the problems in Ukraine being caused by a global financial cabal, you get the same message.

  4. There is so much in your politics that parallels the attitudes here in the US. We don't have the violence; but there are those who live in some bubble universe that longs for 'Second Amendment Remedies'.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  5. NO easy path to democracy! Though it in't hard to make democracy crumble.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  6. P.S.: Seems Putin wants both Crimea and Yanukovych, too. He's not too greedy, is he? He and Gordon Gekko would make a fine pair.

  7. Great post! I found myself rereading the history of Peter The Great...the Troyat biography. I am fascinated, attracted and repelled by Peter, but he was a product of his times. So far the conversations between Putin and Obama have been pretty much along the line of: Obama: Hello Vlad? Vlad: Knock, knock....Obama: Okay, I'll bite. Who's There? Vlad: Crimea! Obama: uhhh Crimea who? Vlad: Crimea River.....


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