Monday, May 26, 2014

Ukraine - Election

With 80% of the votes counted, Proroshenko maintains 54% of the vote, enough that a second round need not be held June 15.  This is a relief to everyone.  Turnout was reported at 60% which when adjusted for Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk worked out to 70% of those registered and able to vote. The election was given a clean bill of health by the international observers who said that the only real problems were the ones everyone knew about ie the terrorists in the east.

An attempt at hacking the Election Commission computer system and inserting a virus which would declare Right Sector(1) Candidate Yarosh to have won with 37% of the votes (requiring a run off ) was foiled only 40 minutes before Russian television went on the air and announced it.

Proroshenko is the best of a not a lot of choice.  Hopefully the desperate situation the country is in will force him to continue on the road to reform, though it will not be easy.  Here is what has been accomplished in the past three months.

Cleaning up the terrorists in the east will not be easy.  There are a lot of experienced fighters from Chechnya coming across the border and a great deal of heavy armaments and equipment.  Those of us who are arm-chair generals need to heed the following articles, Here and here, one of which starts Ukraine has the army it has. Which is to say Ukraine can only work with what it has.  Yesterday the SBU seized a few crates of arms headed for Mariupol which will come in handy for the army.

I have not seen a statement yet from Putin whether or not Russia will recognize the new president/government.  Putin was quoted yesterday as saying Ukraine could have votes on anything they wished but Yanukovych was still the legal president of Ukraine.  Of course Putin is also quoted as saying that Russia is practicality giving their gas to Ukraine and that the use of force to seize Crimea was justified as Ukraine's actions threatened them. Them who?  Crimeans or Russians?  Putin does seem to live in alternate universes.

Some links to other interesting stuff:
The video below was milked to death by Russian propagandists to prove how terrible the Nazi's were that took over the government.  The tall guy is the Oblast prosecutor in Zhytomyr and the heavy guy is a thug with Right Sector.  When I was sent this link as "proof" I was a bit skeptical as under Yanukovych the prosecutors were the most venal of all civil servants as they decide who gets investigated for everything including tax evasion and were all appointed from Yanukovych Party of not all from Donetsk.

That the heavyset guy is a thug was not in question as he was involved in criminal activity and since died in a hail of bullets in a legit police raid BUT there is always more to a story.

In an interview with the 2IC of Right Sector the interviewer asks about the story and here is the response:
In fact, Muzychko saved the life of this prosecutor. The latter released the man and put a brake on the case of the murdered woman. Armed people who gathered wanted to burn this prosecutor’s office together with him. Muzychko volunteered to stop the conflict and went to the prosecutor. If he had brought flowers to the prosecutor, people would have torn both of them. Thus, he settled the conflict. People were satisfied and the prosecutor re-opened the case.

Besides the fascist, Nazi stuff the Russians also wore out the record that Kyiv was prohibiting the speaking of Russian.  This link describes the law that was repealed though the repeal was vetoed. Since nobody ever read it everyone was quite prepared to believe that the law gave Russian special status.  Since it was about 18 minority languages and even under Yanukovych it was never implemented, there was a great deal of anxiety about nothing.  (sounds like the ACA).

Anyone interested in a little history of Crimea might find this of value - it is an article describing the construction of the canal from the Dnipro River that brings water to almost all of Crimea. The construction of this canal was one of the reasons Crimea was transferred to Ukraine in 1954.

(1) Note: The Right Sector is a Ukrainian nationalist organization that is repeatedly cited by Russian media as typical of the supposed “fascist” nature of Ukraine’s pro-Western forces.

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