Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ukraine - Geneva Agreement

The Geneva Agreement signed last weekend by Russia, EU, USA and Ukraine to "defuse" the situation in South and Eastern Ukraine is either bad or very bad, depending on the commentator.  The fact that Russia signed it at all means they got virtually everything they wanted and gave away nothing.

Andrey Illarionov, as quoted by Paul Gobel in Window on Eurasia, says it was worse than Munich as Ukraine was at the table.  Illarionov list 17 reasons why Putin got everything he wanted and more.

Alexsey Shiropayev, again from Window on Eurasia, says that Russia will simply ignore the agreement and at some point send troops across all of southern Ukraine linking to Transdnistria.

Statements by Putin, even as the Geneva Agreement was being negotiated, certainly seemed to indicate he considered it of no importance.   He referred to southern Ukraine as Novorossiya "as it was known in Tsarist times".  If one looks at maps of Ukraine over the past 1000 years, one can find any configuration that suits them.  (Every border in Europe has been fluid over the past 1000 years, which is why the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 was so difficult as every country in central and eastern Europe showed up to defend its "historic claim" to the largest area it ever occupied).

Russian commentator Oleg Noskov (from Window on Eurasia) describes the justification used over the years by Moscow "ingathering of Russian lands".

Supporters of Russian autocracy have justified any action, no matter how many victims foreign or domestic it might entail, Noskov says, as something required to defend the state from “numerous foreign enemies” and as the recovery of what was rightfully Russia’s rather than its expansion into areas that were not.

Such arguments, he continues, not only inform the views of ordinary Russians because they represent the core of the teaching of Russian history textbooks but also have continued to operate by inertia if nothing else as the basis of the modus operandi of the Russian state in its multifarious forms. 

Thus, according to the official Russian accounts, (in conquering Novgorod in the 15th century) Muscovy was doing no more than defending itself by recovering that which was in fact its own from the expansion of foreign influence, an argument, Noskov implies, which has lost none of its power in the intervening centuries and informs the Kremlin’s approach to Ukraine now.

But behind such words, he says, what the Muscovite rulers were about was the extension of their own power and property, not the welfare of the Russian people, as some like to claim. The Russian state was not created “in the interests of the Russian people but exclusively in those of the AUTOCRATS THEMSELVES AND THOSE CLOSE TO THEM.

 At any rate no one expects anything good to come of  the agreement.  The "little green men" running the show in SE Ukraine, not being under Moscow's direction, of course, already have refused to recognize the agreement.  Kyiv has refused to dismantle and disarm the Euromaidan movement.

A truce has been declared by Kyiv for Easter and all will continue Monday.

Stay tuned.

Of course, other countries have their armed standoffs too.  Isn't it fun?


  1. I don't understand that b.s. in Nevada. I know why the feds would want to avoid an armed confrontation when the right wing asshats were saying they'd put their women and children out in front to serve as human shields, but I'm hoping that the DOJ is working on indictments for everyone involved. And for that jerk that kicked the K9 dog should be in jail -- that's the equivalent of assaulting a police officer. Instead of just tasing him, they should have hauled him away immediately.

    My personal opinion when it comes to weasels like Bundy who want to suck off the government teat and abuse public lands is that he needs to learn what a real dictatorship would look like. Anyone who wants to ranch where he does is an idiot anyway -- the carrying capacity is about 40 acres per animal unit. That's ridiculous. The cattle have to spend so much time walking just to find enough forage to survive that they must produce the toughest beef on the planet.

    1. The small print said the BLM was not exactly acting professionally all the time either but after a while they must have grown very frustrated. Agree Bundy should be in jail. Actually 40 acres per AU is quite manageable provided the animals are kept in large groups on small areas for VERY short time periods eg one day, with as much time between grazings as the plants need for recovery. I saw pictures as far back as 1976 of desert returned to luch bunch grass simply by managing the grazing. The old timers still want to just turn 'em loose and let 'em go. They destroyed the grazing lands of the western plains that way, resulting in the big die of '86

  2. It is so much fun, you can probably hear me laughing all the way from Saskatoon.

    Aside from that, the whole thing is a mess, and unless Europe and the US are prepared for significant military action, the Ukraine (or at least a major part of it) will fall to Russia. What does not fall to Russia will be in danger of a gas embargo at any moment.

    Easter blessings and Bear hugs (no, the the Russian Bear)!

    1. Thanks Rob. Would like ot give you a bear hug back, old friend. Maybe this summer?

  3. You can't make sense of it... you can't change human nature - and you can't fix stupid.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. But it is supposed to happen to other countries, far far away.

  4. Nothing I can do but sit back with a beer and watch.

  5. It's days like this that make me glad I am old and don't have any kids to inherit this mess.


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