Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nemtsov is Murdered; Who is Next? (Ukraine invaded; Who is Next?)

My Facebook news feed this morning is full of stories of Nemtsov's murder yesterday evening.  Two days before an anti-Putin march scheduled for March 1st and within sight of the Kremlin.  There have been more than 100 murders of activists, journalists and other "enemies of the people" in the past 15 years.  Whether the Kremlin ordered the hits or whether targets were simply painted on peoples' backs and fate allowed to run its course is irrelevant.

Russian media is claiming it was a CIA sponsored provocation carried out by Ukraine and the trolls are all over any MSM comments section.  Like it took more than two brain cells to figure out that would be the story.

If you want a list, here is one of journalists only murdered since 1991:

What keeps Putin looking young and fit: Work outs, a face lift, botox AND this person.  Amazing what between $40 and $200 billion will do for a man.

More non-surprises:

  • In Ukraine both sides are pulling back their heavy artillery.  The Russian side has pulled back about 10% to 15% of what they claim they have and can have them back in place in under 30 minutes.
  • Russia has massed 63500 troops along the Ukrainian border, about half in Crimea.  Invasion of Mariupol expected in spring (I say sooner but what do I know and I am always a pessimist).
  • Organizers of the Kharkiv terrorist attack were trained supplied and funded by the GRU.
  • More HERE, including links to other articles.

The list of Putin's tactical objectives are well known and discussed to death at great length over the past year. His strategic objective is this: a return to the world of the Yalta agreement of 1945, (keeping in mind that Stalin agreed to everything but lied through his teeth) which de facto divided up Europe

Speaking about the foreign policy doctrine of Russian President, Khodorkovsky assures that Putin"s ultimate goals extend much farther than it seems. "Putin does not need Donbas. He wants to determine the fate of the world at talks with a U.S. President," he explained. Russian president would like to negotiate with the United States to return to the old system, when the world was divided into zones of influence of the superpowers. "When you cannot interfere in someone else's zone. Not even to mention internal politics," Khodorkovsky said.

That calls to mind these words of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill: "We seem to be very near the bleak choice between War and Shame. My feeling is that we shall choose Shame, and then have War thrown in a little later, on even more adverse terms than at present."
It is unlikely those world leaders will agree to that sort of humiliation again. The failure of the peace process means that, among other things, Russia is fundamentally incapable of keeping its agreements. It is impossible to make agreements with someone who violates that agreement the very next day.
In fact, the Ukrainian crisis marks the collapse of the existing world order. Putin is not fighting for control over a few economically depressed areas of the Donbass. He is fighting for the right to sit at the same table with the "great powers" where they redraw national borders.
But even if the West was willing to indulge Putin's desire, the time has long passed for individual leaders to determine the fate of other countries. The resulting impasse has put the West at a total loss as to how to proceed: Sanctions clearly have not forced Putin to change his policy, it is pointless to try to reach an agreement with him and it is impossible to go to war against a nuclear power. The Moscow Times
More good reading from Paul Goble: 
See also, for Paul Goble's series of articles based on comments in Russian, Ukrainian and other FSU media:

Window on Eurasia -- New Series

1 comment:

  1. I think our right wing politicians here have gone mad. One minute they praise Putin for his leadership then the next they blame and condemn him for this latest murder. And I'm sure you saw what they think about our national security. The budget bill that keeps getting kicked down the road all because they can't get their way. Got to make Obama look bad even if the rest of us suffer.

    I still don't see the benefit for Putin to take over Ukraine political or otherwise except that the gas and oil lines run right through the country to Europe. Is he trying to put the old Soviet Union back together?


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