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Kiev burns; 14 dead
Old 02-18-2014, 05:57 PM   #1
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Default Kiev burns; 14 dead

So far at least

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Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) -- A violent showdown appeared likely Tuesday night in Ukraine after new clashes left 14 people dead and the capital's square afire amid monthslong turmoil over whether the country should ally itself economically with Russia or Europe, officials said.

With 47 police officers injured in clashes with protesters favoring a European Union pact, ominous warnings were issued by Kiev officials and the U.S. Embassy for Tuesday night. At least 14 people died in protests, including six police officers, authorities said.

City Hall officials warned residents to stay away from the city center "to avoid casualties," and the U.S. Embassy said Ukrainian security services "may take extraordinary measures" following the fiery violence.

The U.S. Embassy "advises all citizens to maintain a low profile and to remain indoors tonight," the mission said Tuesday.

Protesters set parts of the city center afire Tuesday night by burning tires, sending black smoke through Kiev.

Explosions ruptured the night air, but it was unclear whether they emanated from protesters' firework or a police action. Protesters fed several fires by tossing wood upon the bonfires in Independence Square, which was under the demonstrators' control. They also built barricades against a potential police offensive.

Meanwhile, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, one of the opposition leaders, made a public appeal to President Viktor Yanukovych: "Do not let Ukraine become a country covered with blood. Pull back the police and announce a cease-fire. Then we will negotiate."

Stefan Fule, the European Union's commissioner for enlargement and European neighborhood policy, expressed alarm at the violence.

"To learn that there have been deaths and hundreds if injured people makes me shake. I deplore deaths of those people and my thoughts are with their families," Fule said.

"I was just on the phone with the acting Prime Minister (Serhiy) Arbuzov telling him that seeing in the streets Berkut, the special police, with Kalashnikov(s) is source of great concern," Fule added. "He assured me that he and the government would do what they can to make sure that those weapons stay silent. For the sake of Ukraine and its future I will pray that he is right."

U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said he hoped the government and opposition will take steps to reduce the escalation of violence "and the return to political dialogue."

"We want to see a Ukraine that is stable and democratic," Pyatt said.
The live video from ABC shows Independence Square packed with protesters who have set up and continue to feed large barricades of fire, I guess to keep police forces away.

This violence is kinda the climax. General protesting started a few months back when a popular movement by the country to create a trade pact with the European Union was very suddenly torpedoed by President Yanukovych, who announced that the country would be building stronger trade ties with Russia instead. The people seem to believe that Yanukovych was heavily pressured by Vladimir Putin and caved, and they have been angry and restless ever since.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:33 PM   #2
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:53 PM   #3
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Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) -- Long-simmering tensions exploded anew in Ukraine as clashes between police and anti-government protesters left at least 19 people dead and the capital's central square afire into early Wednesday.

President Viktor Yanukovych will address the nation after meeting with the opposition, Yanukovych's advisers told local media. The exact time for the address has not been announced.

Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko went to Yanukovych's office for talks after hours of clashes Tuesday continued early Wednesday.

The fresh violence in Kiev comes amid monthslong turmoil in what is essentially a fight over whether the country's future is alongside Russia or Europe, the latter favored by protesters.

Police confirmed the unrest has spread outside the capital of Kiev to western Ukraine, with protesters attacking police and local government offices in a number of regions.
CNN

I think if Yanukovych tries to pull a Hosni Mubarak with his address and say something like "okay, I promise in a couple of months I'll do something to appease you, now go home", he may be met with a similar response.

ETA: Opposition leaders are reporting that the meeting with President Yanukovych was essentially a farce; basically he just asked them to tell the protesters to leave and that was the substance of the 1-hour meeting.

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Old 02-18-2014, 09:32 PM   #4
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From a Ukrainian news website:

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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has tried ringing Vladimir Putin several times. However he refused to speak to the head of state, claiming that he was busy.
(snicker)
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:28 PM   #5
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The sound and frequency of explosions and gunfire is steadily increasing. Local religious leaders are shouting prayers from a PA on a stage in the square; and the rhythmic sound of banging on police riot shields swells and fades. The live stream I'm watching is pretty surreal.

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Old 02-18-2014, 11:23 PM   #6
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The news agencies are widely reporting that the fires are barricades created by the protesters to keep police out. Twitterers on the scene, however, are saying that the fires were initially parts of the camp set on fire by the police as they first moved against the square, but that fires obviously began to hinder police progress, so the protesters have been feeding them ever since. Unfortunately for the police, the wind is blowing all the smoke back toward them, and away from the protesters.

A large building adjacent to the square which served as the opposition HQ is also on fire. Protesters assert it was set by police along with the camp tent fires. Apparently several people were inside the building when the fire began and were trapped on upper floors. Many were rescued by fire trucks and by crawling down external building structures; unknown if any died.

Police are actively moving on the square again, and are attacking the fires with water cannon while they move riot police into place.

ETA: Here is a new working live stream:

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Old 02-18-2014, 11:24 PM   #7
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:15 AM   #8
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While everyone is watching Kiev, unconfirmed reports by protesters are that the opposition group has surrounded a military post in the city of Lviv to prevent the troops from being sent to Kiev; additionally, the opposition says that they have captured a riot police HQ building in the city of Rivne in western Ukraine, and large numbers of people from that city are on their way to Kiev.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:37 AM   #9
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The sun is starting to rise in the capital, and the fire line is still burning very strongly. The riot police, called "Berkut" in Ukrainian (apparently), were unable to clear Independence Square overnight.

That's the proper name of the square by the way, not the protesters' name for it.


ETA: Garry Kasparov (yes, that one), who is a strong anti-Putin voice in Russia, opines thus:

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Garry Kasparov @Kasparov63
Yanukovych is too pathetic to order such brutality without direction from Moscow. They waited for Sochi distraction while West dithered.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:13 AM   #10
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What appears to be the official Berkut - Ukraine's Facebook page has posted the following:

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The inhabitants of Ukraine has one demand to President Yanukovych: he must disperse and arrest the Nazis.
Also, he is obliged to expel the diplomats from the EU and U.S., who organized the fascist coup.
A good example of action for Yanukovych would be the action of regime of Obama in Boston, USA. When to the city were introduced armed forces in order to capture 2 persons declared as terrorists

Criminal regime of USA demanded to stop assault on Euromaidan. ["Euromaidan" is the pro-EU opposition's name for itself - Cody]
That is, the U.S. demanded not touch their thugs.
U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine yearns to be raped by thugs whom he created?
His thugs attacked the Canadian embassy in Kiev:
"...also, a group of young men armed with batons, broke into the Canadian Embassy, where they smashed property and attempted to cause injury to the staff of a foreign mission..." from statement of Ministry of Interior, 18.02.2014.

In the picture you see US ambassador in Libya, who was raped and killed by pro-USA Al-Qaeda thugs, in Benghazy, 11.09.2011.

[Picture of dead/nearly dead ambassador being dragged through the street by Libyans removed by me because, Jesus people - Cody]
Again, this was ostensibly posted by a government agency.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
ETA: Garry Kasparov (yes, that one), who is a strong anti-Putin voice in Russia, opines thus:
I believe he ran for President. Or at least had a campaign for a while. He's been very political since his chess days. I believe his status as a national hero (chess is VERY big in Russia) is all that's saved him from Putin's wrath.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JohnnyVann View Post
I believe he ran for President. Or at least had a campaign for a while. He's been very political since his chess days. I believe his status as a national hero (chess is VERY big in Russia) is all that's saved him from Putin's wrath.
And it'll continue to save him, and he knows it, which is why he takes like every opportunity he can to trash-talk Putin in ways that would probably get other people arrested (i.e., Pussy Riot).
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:15 PM   #13
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Eventful day in Ukraine - all kinds of stuff happened, and not just in Kiev.

Earlier in the day, Yanukovych had announced a large-scale "anti-terrorist operation" against the protesters involving the military, and then a few hours later there was news that he had fired and replaced his Army commander, ostensibly for refusing to participate in that operation. Several parliamentary members have also announced that they are quitting the "Party of Regions" (Yanukovych's political party) to distance themselves from the executive.

Anyway, despite all that, the most important development right now is that there appears to be a just-announced truce, at least for the moment, after President Yanukovych met once again with opposition leaders. He is still ignoring demands for his resignation or dialogue with the EU, and he is still pushing to include a Russian representative in the negotiations with the opposition (which the opposition continues to reject), but for now he has promised not to order any more attacks on the protest camp in Independence Square.

ETA: The US has announced the beginning of sanctions, starting with visa bans against some senior Ukraine government officials. The US ambassador is reportedly pessimistic about the truce.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:33 AM   #14
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:41 PM   #15
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Okay so sorry guys that I didn't keep up with this - I was sick.

Needless to say, stuff happened in the past week. The Rada, which is Ukraine's parliament, had this thing where a whole lot of members of the president's party defected, and the Rada impeached President Yanukovych and named an interim president, with formal elections to be held in May. The Rada also dissolved the Berkut, which was the government's anti-riot security force, and also declared amnesty for all the Euromaidan protesters. In the meantime, Yanukovych fled Kiev and is rumored to be somewhere in Crimea, a Ukrainian state where the population has very close ties with Russia. He insists that he's still the president; however, the government of Ukraine has moved past him. Several of his appointees have been fired and replaced with others; his personal mansions have been seized by investigators who are looking through some interesting documents.

There's been more, but those have been the highlights.

Today, however, marks a curious and possibly disturbing set of developments. The country's main telecommunications company says that for some reason it cannot provide phone or cable service to the entirety of the Crimea region because unknown persons have suddenly seized nodes and destroyed lines connecting the state to the rest of the network.

And then, there's the thing that's been going down at a Crimean airport at the moment:

Quote:
A spokesman for the Ukrainian border service says eight Russian transport planes have landed in Crimea with unknown cargo.

Serhiy Astakhov tells The Associated Press that the Il-76 planes arrived unexpectedly Friday and were given permission to land, one after the other, at Gvardeiskoye air base, north of the regional capital, Simferopol.

Astakhov says the people in the planes refused to identify themselves and waved off customs officials, saying they didn't require their services.

Earlier Friday, Ukraine's U.N. ambassador said he had told the U.N. Security Council that Russian military helicopters and transport planes are entering his country and that Russian armed forces seized Crimea's main airport.

Russia's Interfax agency cited Serhyi Kunitsyn, a Ukraine presidential envoy to Crimea, telling ATR television that 13 Russian planes carrying 150 Russian troops each landed at Gvardeiskoye air base. That report could not be confirmed.
These reports have prompted the following remarks from President Obama:

Quote:
(CNN) - The United States is "deeply concerned" by reports of Russian military movements inside Ukraine, President Barack Obama said Friday, saying any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty would be "deeply destabilizing."

Obama said that the situation in Ukraine was "very fluid" and that the United States would continue to coordinate closely with European allies and communicate directly with the Russian government.

"The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," he said.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:34 PM   #16
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I thought this gave a good perspective on this:

Russian moves in Ukraine's Crimea a familiar pattern
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #17
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Suddenly, a new-today pro-Russian governor of Crimea directly asked Russia for "assistance in peace keeping", which the Russian parliament quickly approved, giving Putin the authority to deploy Russian troops in Crimea, a Ukrainian territory, against a direct statement from the Ukrainian national government that such an armed invasion would be considered an act of war. Putin says Russia has a right and duty to protect the interest of ethnic Russians who live in the Ukraine, although the idea that those folks were under some kind of threat is new to everyone.

The US is suspending its participation in preparatory meetings for the upcoming G-8 in conference in Sochi, in protest of the Russian mobilization. The US will instead be spending the next few days consulting the UNSC, its NATO allies, and OSCE members. The opinion of the United States at this point is that Russia's recent actions are a violation of the Budapest Memorandum.

As this is kinda-sorta an active situation, there's a live blog at CNN you can follow here specifically about the Ukraine crisis.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:48 PM   #18
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No one is going to stop Putin, that is obvious. The main issue is whether Russia will stay true to pattern, as the article I linked above described, or go further and take all of the Ukraine beyond Crimea. Which would be a real war with real resistance. And everyone would watch the carnage and bloodshed and eventual fall of the Ukraine and do nothing, of course.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:57 PM   #19
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My great-grandfather was Ukrainian, btw. Odd to think, sometimes, when shit like this happens that you have unknown relatives somewhere "over there", wherever the latest war is happening. As most of us do, eventually, even if we don't know it. The Human Family. It's really dysfunctional.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:09 PM   #20
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Putin's involvement here is Crimea.

It's where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based, and he wants it directly under Russian control.

The Ukraine wants to join the EU, but can't if there's an active border dispute.

Putin will be able to push for the Crimea, and the Ukraine will accede so it can join the EU.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:25 PM   #21
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If you read the article I posted, that is what it said, basically, that is their pattern. Which is why I said the only unknown here is if he will do that or go further, which would be far more damaging as well as unexpected, really. I think everyone knows what is going on here.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:27 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Io Zeno View Post
If you read the article I posted, that is what it said, basically, that is their pattern. Which is why I said the only unknown here is if he will do that or go further, which would be far more damaging as well as unexpected, really. I think everyone knows what is going on here.
I HAVE TOOTHACHE AND YOU EXPECT ME TO READ MORE THAN 3 LINES OF TEXT???
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:27 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Lucifer Baphomet View Post
I HAVE TOOTHACHE AND YOU EXPECT ME TO READ MORE THAN 3 LINES OF TEXT???
It didn't stop you from posting.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:02 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by JohnnyVann View Post
I believe he ran for President. Or at least had a campaign for a while. He's been very political since his chess days. I believe his status as a national hero (chess is VERY big in Russia) is all that's saved him from Putin's wrath.
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And it'll continue to save him, and he knows it, which is why he takes like every opportunity he can to trash-talk Putin in ways that would probably get other people arrested (i.e., Pussy Riot).
Actually, I was wrong about this. It turns out Kasparov has been arrested twice for participating in anti-Putin rallies; most recently in 2012, an incident in which he also claims he was beaten by police.

Apparently Kasparov has finally had enough of Putin, because a week ago he applied for Croatian citizenship. What I've heard is that it was granted today.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:40 AM   #25
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I HAVE TOOTHACHE AND YOU EXPECT ME TO READ MORE THAN 3 LINES OF TEXT???
Especially without pictures?!?!?
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:44 PM   #26
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The Ukraine wants to join the EU, but can't if there's an active border dispute.
All my freinds were under the impression that Ukraine was in accession talks with the EU. They were not. It was never on the table.

This whole thing kicked off because Russia made a bail out deal with the ex government worth 35bn. Now we in Europe are expected now to pony up the cash for them.

It's almost like those living in Ukraine that are more pro Russian than western don't matter.

I suppose the important result here is that talks of budget cuts to the US military might go away and that they can now push for more missiles in the Czech republic.

I like most people look forward to a new cold war. They might even have a mandate to crush opposing opinions on-line and arrest "dissidents"..
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:14 PM   #27
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Kasparov granted Croatian citizenship

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Former world chess champion turned human rights activist Garry Kasparov has been granted Croatian citizenship after finding it increasingly difficult to live in Russia as a pro-democracy campaigner.

Kasparov, 50, has spent many summer holidays at a house he owns in the southern Croatian town of Makarska and he speaks the language. He is also a member of the chess club in the eastern town of Vukovar, which he has played for in the past.

Kasparov achieved international fame in 1985 when he became the world's youngest world chess champion at 22, beating Anatoly Karpov in Moscow. He went on to hold the No 1 spot as the world's best chess player until he retired in 2005.

Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1963 when the country was still part of the USSR, the chess grandmaster is known for his outspoken political opposition to the Russian president.

A Croatian chess player close to Kasparov has revealed he applied for Croatian citizenship earlier in February "because of problems he experiences in Russia due to opposing the policy of Vladimir Putin".

Founder and chairman of pro-democracy organisation United Civil Front, Kasparov has been a figurehead in opposition to Putin's government. When standing outside the court in Moscow where members of the protest band Pussy Riot were being sentenced in 2012, Kasparov was arrested and beaten by police. He also spent five days in a Russian jail after he co-led an opposition march against Putin in Moscow in 2007.

His application for citizenship received support from politicians and organisations within Croatia. After they met in January, the Croatian president, Ivo Josipović, praised Kasparov for providing "great moral support to Croatia" during the country's war of independence between 1991-95. Kasparov is widely perceived in the country as having been a vocal supporter of Croatian independence. The Croatian war veterans' association has encouraged issuing him a passport.

Kasparov and Josipović also played a game of chess together, after which the president boasted on social media that he held the grandmaster off for 33 moves.

This week in the Croatian holiday town of Opatija, Kasparov discussed the idea of launching a local chess club with the minister of education and sports, leading to speculation in local media that he might settle in the town now that he has citizenship.

In a letter published in Croatian media, Kasparov also spoke of his desire to represent Croatia if he decides to run for presidency of the World Chess Federation (Fide) in 2014, as is widely expected.

The news of his Croatian passport follows an earlier request for citizenship in Latvia last year, which he said at the time would help him to feel more secure as he pursued political activities in Russia. The Latvian government announced in November it would not grant him citizenship owing to "procedural issues".
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:44 PM   #28
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John Kerry: Russia behaving "in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text"
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:55 PM   #29
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Kerry voted for the Iraq invasion, so he'd know, wouldn't he?
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:00 PM   #30
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But then he was against it.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:42 PM   #31
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Plus a change, plus c'est la mme chose.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #32
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John Kerry: Russia behaving "in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text"
I guffawed derisively when read that line just a few minutes ago
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:23 PM   #33
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For those of you just joining, basically this happened in Ukraine last month:


This month, however, in the region of Crimea which has a large ethnic Russian population, it is becoming clear that not everyone is in favor of moving out from under Russia's shadow. Large demonstrations there, full of literal Russian-flag-waving, have chanted that "Crimea is Russia" and today that state's legislature - the region has always been semi-autonomous - voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia. The new government in Kiev does not recognize this act, calling it "illegitimate", and it has to be said there is a little irony to be had there. At any rate, in order to prove that this is srs bsns, pro-Russian militia have sunk a ship at the entrance to an important harbor in Crimea in order to prevent Ukrainian naval vessels there from leaving.
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:41 PM   #34
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Also, a Russia Today anchor quit on the air:


Russia Today is a news network funded by the Russian state but targeted toward the people of other countries. In America particularly, it tries to present itself as anti-establishment and so appeals to a lot of people on those grounds - but the truth is, it is mostly a mouthpiece of Putin's "anti-American-imperialism" standpoint and has never met an America Is Evil story it wouldn't run. It's gone as far as hiring Alex Jones, if you know who he is, as a commentator. Somewhat more relevantly, it has been reporting that Ukraine was taken over by nazis and particularly that ethnic Russians in Crimea were being violently assaulted subsequent to Yanukovych's ouster, which there's absolutely no evidence to support. It also ran a picture of three swastika-laden neo-nazis calling them "Ukrainian protesters" even though one of them is wearing a shirt which says "I am Russian", in Russian, so there's that.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:50 AM   #35
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She only deals in the truth, she'll do well at MSNBC or CNN disseminating The Truth™
I wonder what "good" war her father was a veteren from.. Iraq? lol
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:36 PM   #36
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http://www.salon.com/2014/03/06/prop...mes_hypocrisy/

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“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.” Thus spoke Secretary of State John Kerry on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Sunday, just as Russia took control of Crimea in the latest escalation of the Ukraine crisis.

This extraordinary remark appears to have gone briefly viral. And surely I am not alone in requiring time to recover from the sheer ignorance and presumption of it. Ignorant because even by the standards at State, where the past must evaporate on an almost daily basis, it is hypocrisy unlimited on the very face of it. Presumptuous because it implies a degree of stupidity among us that not even P.T. Barnum would dare take for granted.

We have before us a full-dress campaign to persuade the world that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military advances into Ukraine this week come as an unwarranted intrusion into the affairs of a nation struggling to find its way to a remade polity on the model of the liberal Western democracies. This is the explicit part. Implicit are the clean hands of American and European policy cliques and the broad approval enjoyed by the provisional government that appointed itself after President Viktor Yanukovych was hounded across the border with Russia two weeks ago.

This is the Good Housekeeping perspective on Ukraine. Kerry’s silly remark last weekend is one among countless in the service of this wholesale rewrite of events.

The unapproved perspective is far more interesting and should be recognized for what it is. For the second time in less than a year we witness an American intervention that, in the age of social media and all the rest, is transparent such that we can actually study it in real time. This is new. In the old days — when Washington undermined Mossadegh in Iran, say, or Arbenz in Guatemala, or even Allende much later in Chile — we had to wait years before the truth was unearthed beneath the macadam road of propaganda and lies laid quickly atop it at the time of events.
Ukrainians are going to be pissed when the IMF demands for austerity and privatisation hit home. Of course, the world's media will no longer care then. The US has not poured over 5bn dollars into "pro democracy" groups in that country without expecting returns.

This is a step too far from Washington and the EU, bald faced, not a care, they install a fucking banker as the head of their government.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:43 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
For those of you just joining, basically this happened in Ukraine last month:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMYNfQlf1H8

This month, however, in the region of Crimea which has a large ethnic Russian population, it is becoming clear that not everyone is in favor of moving out from under Russia's shadow. Large demonstrations there, full of literal Russian-flag-waving, have chanted that "Crimea is Russia" and today that state's legislature - the region has always been semi-autonomous - voted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia. The new government in Kiev does not recognize this act, calling it "illegitimate", and it has to be said there is a little irony to be had there. At any rate, in order to prove that this is srs bsns, pro-Russian militia have sunk a ship at the entrance to an important harbor in Crimea in order to prevent Ukrainian naval vessels there from leaving.
Crimea is fucking Russia. It was added to the Ukraine during the Soviet union purely as an Administrative short cut. It has been part of Russia since the 1500s.

yanks are after their contrived cold war 2 simply because the plebs have dared to demand cuts in defence spending and the fear of Terror has gone stale. No doubt Russia will be delighted with that too.

Ugabooga! Russia Scary!! You are like Pavlov's dog. dingaling!
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:42 PM   #38
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What the devil is going on with you, Richie? What fabulists are you subscribing to, to give you such a tunnel vision of America? The idea of calling this an "American intervention" smacks of such ignorance that I am left nearly wordless. Have the hops you drink been contaminated with ergot?
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:44 PM   #39
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Quote:
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Crimea is fucking Russia. It was added to the Ukraine during the Soviet union purely as an Administrative short cut. It has been part of Russia since the 1500s.

yanks are after their contrived cold war 2 simply because the plebs have dared to demand cuts in defence spending and the fear of Terror has gone stale. No doubt Russia will be delighted with that too.

Ugabooga! Russia Scary!! You are like Pavlov's dog. dingaling!
Wow, looks like you're presumptively assigning a position to me that I haven't actually taken. I haven't offered my opinion of Crimea yet; I even called new-Kiev's statements about it ironic. Go back and try again!
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:41 PM   #40
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It gives him an excuse to call you a name. And to be snotty, puerile, and condescending.
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