Guest Post: Andrew of Randwick – Ukrainian reading list

If you prod a bear enough, it bites back

As Peter Hitchens details – the Russian invasion of Crimea is not the beginning, but the end of a period of bullying by the West.
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2014/03/further-thoughts-on-russia-.html

As I sometimes point out, Russia has good reason to be nervous. It has many possible threats to face… might understand why Russians are ‘paranoid’. The country has no natural defensible borders… From every direction, the heart of Russia lies open to invaders. Moscow has been invaded or occupied by Swedes, Poles, Lithuanians, The Golden Horde, Crimean Tatars, French, Germans

… Khrushchev’s transfer of the area to Ukraine in 1954 was a gesture, utterly unimportant in the days of the USSR. It made no real difference. But actual Ukrainian independence meant that it was always bound to lead to trouble…

What continues to strike me about this whole row is the inability of most people to view Russia as a country, or Russians as people. Russia is portrayed as a bogeyman, and its people as either oppressed or as tools of a new Hitler…

Russia still contains a large, educated, cultured middle class, who of necessity care more about history, literature and patriotism than their complacent, spoiled, semi-conscious western equivalents.  They, their parents and their grandparents have seen with their own eyes what can go wrong with a happy life, how suddenly it can happen, how little you can do about it, if invaders come, or if fools are in charge of your country, or both.

For years now, trivial-minded, historically ignorant, efficient, glinting people have tried to turn Ukrainian independence into an attack on Russia. They did it in the ‘Orange Revolution’ and failed because the victors turned out to be as corrupt and divided as those they replaced. And now they have done it again…And they feign surprise, and outrage, when Russia eventually takes the opportunity to stand up for its interest, certainly no more aggressively than the pious ‘West’ has acted in Kosovo, Iraq and Libya

I ask again, what Washington would do if, in a moment of national weakness, the lands the USA seized from Mexico by force in 1848 seceded, and Russian politicians came to Albuquerque to give their open support for rallies supporting an alliance between the new state and Moscow?…

Or what we would think and do, if Russian politicians turned up in Belfast, Cardiff or Edinburgh, openly supporting those who wanted those parts of the country to break away from London’s control?…

What exactly do these people see as the concrete reason for their hostility to Russia? What is it actually about? …

Or does it flow from the USA’s new role (often conducted against that country’s own best interest) as the pioneer of the new global border-free world?… This is about globalism versus national sovereignty, and the curious anomaly of Russia, an old-fashioned European country that is too big to be sucked into the EU,… too patriotic to be persuaded to dissolve itself.

The articles below provide useful background and differing opinions to mainstream media characterisation of the dispute

When is the mob overthrow of an elected President supported by the West? When the President does deals with Russia

http://www.infoplease.com/country/ukraine.html?pageno=8

Ukraine was close to signing a trade agreement with the European Union in November 2013, but President Yanukovich backed out at the last minute…. Tens of thousands of people who favour integrating with Europe… took to the streets of Kiev….Yanukovich said he would consider re-opening talks with the EU.
Instead of re-engaging with the EU, Yanukovich reached a deal with Putin in which Russia loaned Ukraine $15 billion and sharply cut oil prices. The Ukrainian government said the aid prevented the country from falling into bankruptcy and will provide economic stability.

Paul Craig Roberts writes on Washington’s Arrogance, Hubris, and Evil Have Set the Stage for War

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/03/03/washingtons-arrogance-hubris-evil-set-stage-war/

In some quarters public awareness is catching up with Stephen Lendman, Michel Chossudovsky, Rick Rozoff, myself and a few others in realizing the grave danger in the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine.

The puppet politicians who Washington intended to put in charge of Ukraine have lost control to organized and armed neo-nazis, who are attacking Jews, Russians, and intimidating Ukrainian politicians. The government of Crimea, a Russian province that Khrushchev transferred to the Ukraine Soviet Republic in the 1950s, has disavowed the illegitimate government that illegally seized power in Kiev and requested Russian protection. The Ukrainian military forces in Crimea have gone over to Russia. The Russian government has announced that it will also protect the former Russian provinces in eastern Ukraine as well.

How will the Crimea vote on the secession question?  A good article and graphic helps explain Ukrainian voting patterns

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/01/24/this-is-the-one-map-you-need-to-understand-ukraines-crisis/

This map drives two things home: First is that the protests are practically endemic in the half of the country that voted against Yanukovych, which includes Kiev. Second, the protests are not really a factor in the half who voted for Yanukovych. That doesn’t mean that people in the blue areas adore Yanukovych, but they’re certainly not pouring out into the streets to oppose him. It also doesn’t mean that the protesters lack legitimate gripes or that it’s just about their candidate losing. The economy is in terrible shape, and the government recently imposed severe restrictions against free speech, media and assembly rights, which is part of why the protests kicked back up again.

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66 Responses to Guest Post: Andrew of Randwick – Ukrainian reading list

  1. adrian

    Grown up nations don’t over throw an elected government because of a trade and finance deal, or even because of corruption. Either legal processes are followed to have the suspects charged or people should wait till the next election.

  2. Bill

    Great article by Hitchens. I thoroughly agree. No way Putin would ever give up effective control of Sebastopol and the naval base.

    Ukraine (and Belarus) were never countries.

  3. Spiro

    Obama is showing his lame duckedness on this. Contrary to international law? Just like bombing Libya and having Gaddafi chased down like a dog and killed by crazed militants? Legitimate government? Voted for by a group of armed neo-nazis that are probably not even from The Ukraine?

  4. The idea that we should determine our position by viewing things from a Russian perspective is just as silly as a Russian saying to other Russians that the their policy should be governed by what the West thinks.People and states act in their own interest-Putin understands this better than his opposite number in the west which is why he is having the better of the dispute,not because there is any real sense of grievance on his part.
    Its also unwise to go on about who is sympathetic in Ukraine to Russia given forced immigration/expulsion in Soviet times.

  5. Token

    Ukraine (and Belarus) were never countries.

    According to that logic neither is Russia. It is time that the Kremlin’s borders were returned to the historical limtes of the Principality of Moscovy.

  6. The idea of defining current borders by the Soviet empire is ludicrous. There’s a few Ruskies here too but there’s no justification for Ruusia invading Australia. The sins of the west do not negate the sins of others, and certainly not Putin and his oligarchs.

  7. Token

    The sins of the west do not negate the sins of others, and certainly not Putin and his oligarchs.

    Who is stupid enough to believe that Putin & the oligarchs would allow any part of the Russian federation which by majority vote decided to secede to join another nation or create their own?

  8. MT Isa Miner

    Should have know that the Cat is the only Australian media to see the realities of this situation. FM why are the rest of the media such dumb liars?

  9. Ant

    Fair enough.

    But, let’s face it, while Russians might be a fine bunch by and large, just like any other nationality, they also have a history of serfdom one way or another, which never appears to waver over history.

    From Tsars to Bolsheviks to Communists to the current autocrats lording over them they have always appeared to be rather comfortable with being treated like either insects or just a cog in the gears of a subservient society.

    They had a golden opportunity with the fall of communism to get their shit together but, no. Same old same old.

    So I have little sympathy and only limited respect for a people who seem all too willing to let the fire of liberty be extinguished time and time again.

  10. Robbo

    I believe that there is a lot we are not being told about involvement by the US in the affairs of Ukraine. Whenever the US sticks its nose into other countries it inevitably leads to chaos. This is because they are normally incompetent and their efforts to extend their influence often sees loss of life. Russia is wary of the US and with good reason, so they will not stand by and do nothing while the US does its dirty work in the Ukraine or any other close neighbour. We all need to understand that this is not necessarily a scenario of big bad Russia bullying poor little Ukraine and that nice friendly USA is just giving them helpful assistance. This all smacks of more Obama incompetence that could easily lead to a major conflict. Not a nice thing to contemplate.

  11. Token

    From Tsars to Bolsheviks to Communists to the current autocrats lording over them they have always appeared to be rather comfortable with being treated like either insects or just a cog in the gears of a subservient society.

    The only time I have said anything about “Russians” instead of the government through this process is to ask why they continue to put up with bad government that distracts from their incompetence & corruption with jingoism about the Motherland?

    Why don’t they see that the lives of ordinary Russians would be better if the current pseudo-Tsar spent more time trying to make the lives of the people in Vladimir, Suzdal or Smolensk better, rather than expanding the borders of the way too large nation?

  12. Scott

    “Ukraine (and Belarus) were never countries.”

    Except for history, language and culture.

  13. Riverina Matt

    What a load of cobblers that whole post is.

    The Russians invade another sovereign nation and the only people who aren’t at fault are the Russians?

    Russia is quite simply the last Imperial state and as an imperial state, its neighbours must either be vassals or enemies. Why should Ukraine submit to vassal status at worst and Finlandisation at best?

    Again, just because Russia may have a rational basis for its actions doesn’t make its actions right. Russia is scared that Ukraine may join NATO – too bad for Russia – doesn’t mean that the rest of the world should accept its massively preemptive invasion.

    The idea that Russia has the interests of a linguistic minority (Ukrainian speakers of Russian, not Russian citizens, mind you – until the Russians started handing out passports) in mind is laughable propaganda and only morons would take it seriously. The invasion, like the invasion of Georgia before it, is designed to bring Ukraine to heel. The Russians will not accept an independent Ukraine, with or without the Ukraine. The comment by Bill above “Ukraine (and Belarus) were never countries.” is the view from the Kremlin and from most Russians. Why anyone else should accept this as fact, I do not know.

    The use of the bogus claim to be protecting fellow ethnic groups in neighbouring countries is an old trick from the 1930s and should be transparent to most people by now – seemingly not. It seems this website supports irrenditism. How far should this go? – a lot of Russians in Central Asia too … A lot of Russians in Brookly for that matter.

    The puppet politicians who Washington intended to put in charge of Ukraine have lost control to organized and armed neo-nazis, who are attacking Jews, Russians, and intimidating Ukrainian politicians

    The above is pure, unalloyed Russian propaganda without an ounce of truth. It is right up there with 9/11 trutherism on the nutty scale.

    It is quite clear why the Ukrainians want to look west rather than east – it is the Russians that threaten and bully them, it is the Russians that have committed economic warfare against them, it is the Russians that have interfered in their internal political processes and it is the Russians that have now invaded them. For all its faults, the EU has done none of these things.

    The moral equivalency being drawn between the west and Russia by some here is disgraceful and would be condemned by many of the same people if the same equivalence was being drawn between the west and Islam. For all the faults of the EU and the west, they are free nations by free people (who often make poor decisions). That a site dedicated to personal liberty allows posts supporting the crushing of people struggling for western liberties by a semi-fascist, quasi-democratic kleptocratic militaristic regime is quite bizarre

  14. Paul

    Riverina Matt, you have so little idea about any of this it’s almost comical.

  15. Andrew of Randwick

    The point of the post was to educate about Russia’s motives, not apologise for its actions.
    Obviously it failed miserably with Riverina Matt, or he could not still state, with such absolute certainty :
    “The idea that Russia has the interests of a linguistic minority in mind is laughable propaganda and only morons would take it seriously”, and
    “It is quite clear why the Ukrainians want to look west rather than east”
    .
    I am not ignorant of the suffering inflicted by Germany on the Ukraine, nor of the mass killings done by the USSR (and Imperial Russia) in the Ukraine.
    For example, November 2013 was the 80th anniversary of the “Holodomor”

    Adjournment debate – Mr PHILIP RUDDOCK (Berowra—Chief Government Whip) (21 Nov 2013, 16:35):


    .
    Madam Speaker, this is the first occasion in which I have had the opportunity to formally congratulate you on your appointment. I do take that opportunity and I am delighted to see you in the chair.
    .
    Today I rise to acknowledge on behalf of the government the 80th anniversary of the Ukrainian Holodomor, which will be commemorated by the Ukrainian communities this Saturday. The Prime Minister has sent a message to mark this tragic anniversary and has asked that I convey his sentiments when I speak today on this matter.
    .
    Between 1932 and 1933 there was an appalling famine which gripped Ukraine. It resulted in the deaths of 3.5 million people and probably many more. The aggressive implementation of forced collectivisation and five-year plans across the USSR immediately prior to this period had a profoundly significant impact on the productivity of Ukrainian farms and the availability of food. The Prime Minister described this man-made famine as one of the ‘cruellest acts in history’. By 1932 annual harvest yields had halved. The significant drop in the availability of the particular grains had a swift consequence in rural areas and by mid 1932 mass starvation was occurring.
    .
    USSR authorities initially promoted a propaganda campaign that targeted the way in which their policies were operating. These campaigns presented that rural workers, against to their urban counterparts, were inefficient counterrevolutionaries responsible for disruptions to food supplies.
    .
    By late 1932, however, the famine had spread to urban areas of the Ukraine and by the 1932-33 winter and the spring of 1933 at least several million more people had starved. According to some estimates, by 1933 25,000 were dying every day from hunger. Many resorted to desperate acts in attempts to survive and to preserve the lives of their children. Contemporaneous photographs document the scale of these losses and the significance across the Ukraine. Fully clothed bodies can be clearly identified, lying across footpaths and roads where they fell. Whilst hunger killed most, disease as a result of decaying remains and the general disintegration of the public system of health took many more. It is important to note that the loss of life during the Holodomor was not simply confined to those who perished but also extends to those who were never born. Indeed, the relative population increase in the Ukraine in the decades after Holodomor was significantly below that in neighbouring states.
    .
    Throughout this terrible period international reporting of what occurred was extremely limited. Broader public awareness of the Holodomor outside Ukraine did not emerge until the 20th century. Unfortunately, in the former Soviet Union itself, active official denial of famine and disinformation campaigns supported these assertions, and it dominated the official memory of this dark period of Ukrainian history. Official acknowledgement of the Holodomor did not occur until the 1980s and then it did so in a very limited way. Only in the recent, modern post-USSR that we have seen, thanks to a significant degree campaigning by the Ukrainian diaspora, that a more complete discussion has occurred and been acknowledged.
    .
    Today, on behalf of the Australian government, I want to honour the memories of those who perished during the Ukrainian Holodomor and in similar events across the former Soviet Union that were the result of what we know to be inhumane Stalinist policies. This tragedy is still deeply felt by the Ukrainian community, many of whom I know very closely. Continued commemoration of Holodomor and the reflection upon the significant loss of life that occurred is occurring, and it will occur this Saturday. I join with the Prime Minister in extending to all of those participating our empathy with the suffering that they suffered.

  16. John of Perth

    The only time I have said anything about “Russians” Americans instead of the government through this process is to ask why they continue to put up with bad government that distracts from their incompetence & corruption with jingoism about the Motherland?

    In seriousness Token, the way Russia had its heart ripped out after communism with the collapse of the 1990′s and the economic and social strife it created has a deep impression on the Russian mindset, which hasn’t helped with an America that has continuing the cold war rhetoric to this day. From a grand Soviet worker paradise they went to begging for scraps from the floor of western nations for money with the social disintegration that has followed in its footsteps. This ensured the corruption that was institutionalised become epidemic and the country turned into a literal Mafia/failed south American state, where factions killed each other to claim the loot (I have been told amazing stores about this period from Russian business friends and family).

    All the soviet nations with exception of the Baltic states that has a history of independence I would argue are more corrupt and incompetent and corrupt than Russia. The amount of corruption is still there but it lessens each time I visit Russia and this is partly from Putin, whom many people in the main cities may not like, but grudgingly respect in turning around or reducing alot of these social ills triggered by the the collapse of the USSR and restoring Russian power and prestige. The reforms of the police force, dismissing numerous people, agencies and regions for corruption has had a massive effect in making outright corruption less commonplace (except very high up). They now have an military that has evolved strategically, materialistically and structurally into a more competent force that resembles little of its soviet past and more a Western European power (compare this to the Ukraine). I could go on but the point is they have achieved alot from a remarkable short space in time that the view of strong leadership is important for the Russian people, who are receptive to this motherland/tsar relationship that goes deep in history that we in Australia don’t possess, which I would argue is the near opposite. I would suggest you need to understand the mindset of a Russian is close to an Asian in its family values with a deeper spiritual undertone that I believe clouds peoples judgements when they look at this from their western presuppositions.

    Many of the Western European democracies have taken along time and required strong statesman’s to get where they are (only to now become reverse in a sea of EU corruption and incompetence).

    People laughed when Putin talked about people having their own democracy and that they had “Russian democracy”, but he was serious. The fact is we are just as guilty as a nation (Cats largely excluded) in tolerating union corruption, Julia Gillard, welfarism as a political force and a whole heap of social engineering that creates corruption, elitism, exclusion of various stakeholders in equality.

    Sorry Token I you feel I am gunning for you as I always like reading your comments and respect your input.

  17. LABCR-TV

    Thank you Guest Post of Randwick, a fellow contrarian who has not swallowed the bullshit emanating from the western drone (main stream) media and their two-faced masters. May I suggest that you also look at RT.com for further information that the drone media refuse to touch.

    Reports are that the US/UK sent (or hired) hitmen into the Ukraine to stir up trouble, shooting at both sides, after Yanukovych backed out of the EU deal, thus installing the fascists in Kiev. Can you believe it when the US/UK are openly supporting these fascists? Yet this alliance says they support democracy! The world has changed, and the US?UK are no longer the policemen of the free world. They are now the leaders of the manipulated world, ie. fascists.
    And see how the western drone media have launched attack after attack on Putin and Russia, using emotive language like ‘invasion, crisis, attack on sovereignty, unconstitutional’, etc. Putin’s speech the other night was honest and refreshing, in stark contrast to the western drones. Let’s face it, governing Russia with its cultural and geographic breadth is one almighty job and requires the strength of Hercules. Compare this to how the Gillarudd governments stuffed up relatively easy to govern Australia.

    I saw that idiot reporter (Soppell?) on BBC Impact earlier this morning, interviewing Sergei Molotov?(unsure of name), a prominent member of the Duma. With his preloaded questions, Soppell? didn’t have a clue about what was going on in Ukraine. At the end of the interview, the Russian was loudly asking ‘don’t you believe in democracy, don’t you believe in elections, do you support fascism?’ or words to that effect. Clearly, the BBC guy made himself look like a fool. Clearly more drone media at work.

    As for Riverina Matt, how ignorant you are mate. Your comments above are embarrassing, to say the least. It is obvious that you get your news info from Channel 7, 9, 10 or the ABC. Your comment: ‘For all the faults of the EU and the west, they are free nations by free people’, is a joke. Sure, we have freedom to vote, but irrespective of whoever wins the election, we are still governed by the same Globalists, and they are tightening their grip. Matt, don’t you realise everything in the west is manipulated? Elections, interest rates, exchange rates, ratings agencies, share markets, precious metals, US unemployment figures, GDP figures, the media, etc. Why do you think that irrespective of who wins the US (or UK) elections, the people get more or less the same thing. Even the Tea Party is powerless against the Globalists, despite their good intent. As for 9/11, you need to do some homework there too.

    And do you seriously believe John Kerry when he says; “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests,” John Kerry said during an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century.”

    And did you hear this statement on your beloved western media? “An estimated 675,000 Ukrainians left for Russia in January and February, fearing the “revolutionary chaos” brewing in Ukraine, Russia’s Federal Border Guard Service said. Officials fear a growing humanitarian crisis. On Sunday, the border guard service said Russian authorities have identified definite signs that a “humanitarian catastrophe” is brewing in Ukraine”. Sensibly, Putin did the right thing when others (UN) did nothing.

    Matt, this is not mean’t to be a personal attack on you, just your ‘views’. Can I suggest that you look into the alternative media a bit more. You could start with Alex Jones, Drudge Report, WND, RT.com, or Max Keiser, Marc Faber (finance).
    My point here is that the western drone media cannot be trusted, for some reason they seem to leave out all of the important stuff, or don’t cover it at all. I don’t take seriously the drone media any longer, if I want to find out the truth about something I will go to alternative sites, including this one.

  18. Matt

    Ok – this site is hitting peak trutherism – what’s next – the Jews caused 9/11,? fluoride in the water causes autism? chemtrails ? Black helicopters? I await the defence of Hamas next …

    Again, this is a notionally libertarian site where commenters laud a man who kills dissenters , jails non violent protesters and jails and/or kills journalists and has squashed any sense of a free press. It seems tweaking the EUs nose and humiliating Obama means even an imperialist fascist (and I don’t use these words lightly) gets love here.

    Sinc, your site is beginning to stink.

  19. Token

    Disappointed to see John of Perth the same intellectually lazy its all everyone else’s fault rhetoric is regurgitated.

    If that is the attitude of people who live in a Anglo sphere democracy, what hope is there for those who live emersed in a society polluted with the old lies?

  20. Token

    The fact is we are just as guilty as a nation (Cats largely excluded) in tolerating union corruption, Julia Gillard, welfarism as a political force and a whole heap of social engineering that creates corruption, elitism, exclusion of various stakeholders in equality.

    I agree. At least this society fights back.

    Sorry Token I you feel I am gunning for you as I always like reading your comments and respect your input.

    I too am gunning at your arguments, not you who are polite enough to engage in an honest & confronting dialogue.

  21. Token

    I have been told amazing stores about this period from Russian business friends and family

    I do not challenge the brutality and suffering faced by the Russian people. The alcoholism & other socially destructive behaviours which are endemic are symbolic of a people under deep stress.

  22. M Ryutin

    As critical (as I am) of a weak Europe/GB and pathetically woeful Obama (who knows how much damage to the free world will be caused by his actions by the time he is out of office) in egging on this crisis without having any plan or even a real stake in it, I cannot get too het up about what is happening in the Crimea. I see as unrealistic at best, totally naïve at worst, anyone who saw the artificial “transfer” of the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, also containing the centuries old Russian city of Sevastopol, as somehow Ukrainian rather than Russian and an unnatural area for a return to Russia. With the weakness of Europe coupled to the total paper tiger which is American power, influence (and example) under Obama, it would be natural for an autocrat such as Putin to seize his opportunity. Those who think I am wrong about the present-day Russian “connection” to the Crimea probably wondered why on earth Croatia or Slovenia wanted to be gone from Yugoslavia.

    The problem for the Ukraine – unlike Poland and others – is that no matter that they wish to emulate the good results achieved by Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia etc, is that they have been tethered to Russia for so long. (As an aside, I am trying to find a piece by Václav Klaus, former president of the Czech Republic which excoriates the American people for electing someone such as Obama, but in trying to find it online I came across this article by him on the influence Hayek had on him and other young economists under the old “communist dictatorship” – as all Czechs I met there always referred to the Soviet period of control: http://www.cato.org/policy-report/septemberoctober-2013/hayek-end-communism-me ). Having a series of Polish visitors to show around in the period between the fall of the USSR and their entry into the EC there was a period where the people with skills transferable to the western societies and economies they have now joined so profitably, had a period of years where the lack of a communist social safety net to maintain their supposed status as computer science academics or fairly senior medical people was stuck in the relative poverty of newly high prices and Soviet-style wage levels. However the ones I met knew this was a temporary stage they had to struggle through to obtain the real freedoms and economic recognition (renumeration) they would have once the transition was complete. The Ukraine has none of these advantages and has, in fact, a bankrupt society riddled with corruption at the highest levels, but with a timid Europe, weak Britain and totally absent USA.

    What did/does Putin have to lose?

  23. Token

    And do you seriously believe John Kerry when he says; “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests,”

    Are you serious? Militants seized the parliament & offices of the Crimea at gunpoint. This is an overt aggressive distraction from severe & critical social issues which leads to the populace of the Russian Federation not getting a government which addresses its concerns & needs.

  24. Token

    I see as unrealistic at best, totally naïve at worst, anyone who saw the artificial “transfer” of the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, also containing the centuries old Russian city of Sevastopol, as somehow Ukrainian rather than Russian and an unnatural area for a return to Russia.

    So you believe that the historic territory of East Prussia must be returned as well?

    Thought not. We can see BS & will call it out.

  25. J.H.

    It wasn’t that long ago Putin was having journalists assassinated. Putin is a rogue and manipulates the political system of Russia in a very cynical manner…. Mr Vladimir “President/Prime Minister/President” Putin and his new and improved six year terms…. just for starters. Not to mention the great personal wealth that he has accumulated, 40 billion by some estimates.

    Peter Hitchens writes very eloquently and his points are hard to ignore…. God knows I hate the EU’s rampant and damaging neo-Socialism myself, it is not much different than the Soviet Union minus the police state but with a bigger bank balance to begin the greasy slide into economic ruin with…. So on that point I agree entirely with Hitchens when he elucidates Putin’s stand on Sovereignty coupled with the complexities of the Russ and Slavic peoples and their varied histories.

    However, all that said, Russia may be an academic wonderland. A thoughtful tragic country of poets, writers and thinkers…… But they can’t be too damn smart, because they always end up installing the worst of people to lead them, or allow the Tyrants to overthrow them and oppress all around them, time and again.

    All I can say is that Putin really needs to stop after attaining the Crimean peninsular and consider himself lucky… and the Russian people need to get rid of Putin as fast as they possibly can.

    ….. I see neither of these two things happening. Sigh.

  26. Oh come on

    Ukraine (behind closed doors) needs to start demanding Russia compensate it exorbitantly for its seizure of Crimea, demanding punitive damages for Russia’s violation of the 1994 treaty made between the two countries whereby Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons capacity in return for Russia guaranteeing its territorial integrity. Make it clear to Putin what the consequences of failing to comply will be – Ukraine will immediately enter into discussions to join NATO, invite the US to station troops and ABM batteries on their territory, and start work on an indigenous Ukrainian nuclear weapons programme so that Russia will never again dare to threaten Ukrainian territory in fear of mushroom clouds over Moscow and St Petersburg.

  27. J.H.

    A good and thoughtful piece Andrew of Randwick. I always like getting as much information as I can on any problem. Hitchens article is a good one. Plenty of thoughtful commentary and information in it.

    However the lead in comment by you I think, using the term “bullying by the West” could have been left out. It invited a preposition that was not expressed in those terms by Hitchens himself. Not that I could see anyway….

    Hitches is not calling the West a bully…. he was more interested in the issue of National Sovereignty, the hypocrisies inherent when “The West” tries to defend sovereignty in the borderless EU…. and the fact that Russia, its people and its history is not fully understood by many in much of its territorial complexities and cultural evolutions.

    …. However, the term was said and to be quite honest, if anyone was in need of “Bullying” it is Putin.

    If “Bullying” is criticism of Putin and pre-emption of his more aggressive traits…. then it is worthy “bullying”. The distinction must be drawn between Russia and Putin…. They are not the one and the same.

    The Russian people need to get rid of Putin….. he has led them as far as he is capable of leading them….. From here he will only invite destruction.

    Unfortunately for Russia, Putin’s political system will not allow constructive change, it is geared to the powerfully corrupt and their machinations and not to any ideology of a free society… it is anti freedom in a Mafia/KGB kind of way.

  28. M Ryutin

    Token, please don’t try to look so obtuse. You know there is no comparison between the two, even discounting the fact that one was totally emptied of its once-native population by expulsion or emigration to relatively-soon thriving capitalist countries (as against the old East Prussia being condemned to communist stagnation) whereas the other was an imaginary line-shift and name change for the majority of its time before “independence”, all that time treated, as you know, virtually as part of the USSR.

    With the post by “LABCR-TV ” as a guide and the experience of anyone who has watched anything of Russian TV in recent years as a well-recognized propaganda machine, the 60% Russian population of Crimea remaining there since “partition” gives most of an answer to your classification of equivalency.

    Add to that a Putin who, through international opponents weaknesses alone, has redrawn the power relationships of the middle east, reconnected to Egypt as major (and welcomed) supporter after a 50 year absence, cemented Iran as a soon-to-be-nuclear strong influence over the whole of the middle east, throwing the sunni states into turmoil in the processes. He has saved Assad and, according to one recent foreign affairs think tank, granted Assad actual victory (not to mention the huge risks now facing Israel thanks to the Russian client’s friends aligning with the ‘winning side in Syria. On top of that, Putin can virtually do what he likes anywhere amongst the states of the old USSR, only “opposed” – in words -as he is by today’s Europe and the USA ( I liked the idea of the $1B promised by the USA to go against the Ukranian gas bill of $15B a month)..

    At the very least, it needed the west to cut him of financially, to promise unequivocally to supply an independent Ukraine with their needs and tide them over the inevitable time between final break with Russia and proper economic cooperation with Europe. Even then, places like the Crimea would be the most uncomfortable with this process and the temptation to resist would be strong. Give it a present-day Putin/Europe/USA power relationship there is nothing to stop him at all.

  29. Trent

    “That a site dedicated to personal liberty allows posts …”

    Ha, stop right there. Lack of self-awareness much.

    As for Ukraine/Crimea/Russia — the problem of societal fragmentation in general (whether ethnic/religious/ideological) and ethno-national minority self-determination in particular (which seems to be the issue here, abstracting from Russian imperialist and strategic military motivations) is best resolved via non-territorial mechanisms (e.g. national cultural/personal autonomy). Or at least, it is a much overlook possibility. Ideally, create two self-governing consociations (Russian-Crimea and Ukrainian-Crimea), operating in parallel over the same territory, and forming a non-territorial multinational federation. A lot of hard realities stand in the way of such a resolution, but it’s an interesting thought experiment nonetheless.

  30. Rex Munday

    You cannot be serious. Putin is a thug and the Ukraine is a real country with a separate history, culture and language to that of Russia. Peter Hitchens is completely wrong.

  31. Vasily

    Thank you Andrew of Randwick for at least shedding some light in the darkness of most Cats understanding of present Ukrainian “crisis” (mostly of US making). I will have more to add tomorrow, God willing.

  32. Andrew of Randwick

    Besides “The point of the post was to educate about Russia’s motives, not apologise for its actions”, the other reason for posting was to get some information out there and prevent a repeat of the Iraq War 2003 and the Arab Spring 2011.
    .
    I remember the rhetoric that Saddam Hussein was the “devil incarnate” and the Ba’ath Party his henchmen. All we have to do is go in there and remove them with “surgical strikes” and everything would be sweet. There was no public discussion that the Sunnis and the Shiites hate each other with such vengeance that they would rather wade through blood than talk to each other. There was no mention that the Kurds in the north would break off and be semi-autonomous – thus creating a problem for the Turks with their large Kurd minority. The USA had no viable plan for the post war reconstruction. That the French and Germans had not been convinced on the plan should have been a warning signal.
    .
    The Arab Spring 2011 was another rhetoric driven disaster – pushed by the West – “freedom”, “democracy”. Twitter and Social Media driven revolutions might be so oh so modern and trendy. But at the end of the day, hard headed political factions manipulate situations and gain power. Egypt is not doing too good and I am sure the Coptic Christians would like the clock turned back, as would every tourist dependent business.
    .
    I wrote to W. Lewis Amselem and asked how the USA with so much ethnic diversity, treasure and brain power (in its universities and think tanks) can get these foreign incursions so wrong. Unfortunately, due to his recent illness he has not be able to publish, as yet.
    .
    The world is a complex place. And people are not rational when it comes to politics, cultures and countries. Let’s tread carefully, and not be led like sheep, by our politicians with simplistic notions of “goodies” and “baddies”. Except if a shooting war starts, and then we will have to be 100% on one side and stick to it.

  33. Combine_Dave

    Or at least, it is a much overlook possibility. Ideally, create two self-governing consociations (Russian-Crimea and Ukrainian-Crimea), operating in parallel over the same territory, and forming a non-territorial multinational federation. A lot of hard realities stand in the way of such a resolution, but it’s an interesting thought experiment nonetheless.

    Not a bad idea, although it’s hard to see an end game where these self governing entities don’t get puppet mastered by Putin.

    I see as unrealistic at best, totally naïve at worst, anyone who saw the artificial “transfer” of the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, also containing the centuries old Russian city of Sevastopol, as somehow Ukrainian rather than Russian and an unnatural area for a return to Russia.

    So you believe that the historic territory of East Prussia must be returned as well?

    Token,

    I guess you understand the implications of such a precedent for other parts of the world. ie; China’s desire to reclaim the majority ethnic Chinese territory of Taiwan. Especially now that you can see how unwillingly the powers of the West are to act, and on this blog, how the defenders of freedom are often not.

  34. Ed

    The only reason Crimea is part of Ukraine is that the Soviets did an administrative reshuffle in the 1950′s, as part of an opaque party deal.
    It wouldn’t have mattered if their empire went on forever.

    Historically it has never been part of Ukraine, and culturally it is not a part of Ukraine. Check out a map; it’s basically a separate land mass, so geographically it’s not a part of Ukraine either.

  35. Tel

    There was no mention that the Kurds in the north would break off and be semi-autonomous – thus creating a problem for the Turks with their large Kurd minority.

    Only if your definition of “problem” is equivalent to “How do we keep these people subjugated?”

    The Kurds did well out of the Iraq war, one of the few who did, oh and Al Quada also did pretty well, but that’s another story.

    Very interesting that Kurdistan was occupied by the South Koreans who were by all reports highly disciplined, well accepted by the locals, and an all round tough, professional military force. Note: don’t pick a fight with South Korea.

  36. Tel

    It wasn’t that long ago Putin was having journalists assassinated.

    Edward Snowden helped explain to him the right way to do it, just accidentally leak their phonecalls onto youtube. It’s so much less hurtful and Polonium ain’t cheap you know, once you embrace Capitalism you keep coming back to cost cutting.

  37. John

    Militants seized the parliament & offices of the Crimea at gunpoint. This is an overt aggressive distraction

    So you think that doing the same with a democratically elected government of a country using foreign assistance (and may be even planning and execution of the plan) is OK? I know, the government wasn’t any good, but that’s not the point. We had Labor for six years, which was not much better.
    I don’t think I have a strong view either way, but what I know due to my background (I’m an immigrant from a former USSR republic) is that the mentality of the people who lived 70 years under oppressive regime is very different to yours. You can argue that it was even more than 70 years. People’s values and desires and expectations get skewed by many decades of brainwashing and propaganda. They don’t value liberty like you do. And unfortunately, people in the West value it less and less.
    It takes time to change what’s been hammered into you. Sometimes even time doesn’t help. Jews had to spend 40 years in a desert before almost all who’s been in slavery died.
    I think it is very unlikely that people in Russia can get rid of their desire for a good Tzar. You can even argue that a leader with the Western mentality will be detrimental to Russia. As Mark Steyn says culture trumps everything else. And culture in Russia is different to the Western one. Not as different as the Middle-Eastern one, but still is.
    Another thing that is worth mentioning is that Tatars, who were promised special privileges by the current Ukrainian government are Muslims. That’s who Russians living in Crimea are afraid of, not of the Ukrainians.

  38. Ed

    We have two non-democratic governments who both want to control Crimea. Russia has more of a claim over it than Ukraine.

  39. Vasily

    @ Token

    “It is time that the Kremlin’s borders were returned to the historical limtes (sic – V.) of the Principality of Moscovy.”

    And Australia’s to pre-1788? After all, even your High Court rejects Terra Nullius. You will say occupancy for 200 years practically over rides international law. I agree. Now, Russia has been in Crimea longer than the British in Australia.

  40. Vasily

    @ o come on

    “Russian seizure of Crimea”

    What?

    When?

    Crimea is a historically, linguistically and ethnically majority Russian autonomous republic within Ukraine which has a right to self-determination which it is exercising. There has been no “seizure”. Crimean militia have barred Ukrainian forces there from interfering in current crisis. Crimea seeking independence from Ukraine equivalent to East Timor seeking independence from Indonesia. May we have Australian troops to keep peace please?

  41. Vasily

    As for the supposedly threatening European economic sanctions against Russia, remember Russian gas supplies heating for Western Europe and if Russian money were withdrawn from City of London institutions it would precipitate a banking collapse there. Both sides have cards they can play.

  42. Vasily

    @ John

    A commenter with a historical perspective – thank you.

    But why am I not surprised that you have eastern European background?

    I have a sense they don’t teach European history, not to mention Russian history, in Australian schools. But then, Australia has little history to speak of, so perhaps the naivety about eastern Europe is understandable. Australia looks forward, not backwards; that can be a strength but also a weakness when you seek to deal with peoples shaped by their history. Lack of empathy makes for poor diplomacy.

  43. Combine_Dave

    If territories are to be held and lost by force of arms then the West (and Australia in particular) are going to be in a lot of trouble over the next few decades.

    [Not to mention Taiwan or the South Koreans]

  44. Bethjl

    If the Lithuanians invaded Russia way back in history they were certainly repaid in full and more when Stalin invaded them during WWII – smashed the country, slaughtered and displaced most of the population to gulags … the Russians are still communists, still with the anti land owner anti private enterprise ideals, still a danger to Western tradition. Mind you, so is the EU!

  45. .

    Riverina Matt
    #1215713, posted on March 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm
    What a load of cobblers that whole post is.

    The Russians invade another sovereign nation and the only people who aren’t at fault are the Russians?

    Correct. The chances of Russia giving up land in their own territory where Russians are an ethnic minority are slim to zero, but they demand the inverse of their satellites.

  46. Tel

    … if Russian money were withdrawn from City of London institutions it would precipitate a banking collapse there.

    They would just invent new money, you clearly don’t know how it works. They have an inflationist central banker now.

  47. Andrew of Randwick

    This is getting very messy very quickly.
    .
    Reports of banditry and persecution in the south and east countryside against ethnic Russians by “new” Ukrainian gangs. Some ethnic Russians fleeing from their homes to Crimean capital Simferopol to avoid danger.
    This woman speaks of being forced out of her apartment in Odessa and having all her cash and credit cards taken by thugs threatening her children.
    – Whether it is true or not does not really matter. If enough Russians are told this, then Putin may move west, and north to “protect” Russians.
    .
    Der Spiegel reports on line that the Medien demonstrators were not that peaceful (see 3:30, 4:30 mins) and that they were paid by the Americans. Demonstrators were paid $25 per day, Organisers were paid $250 per day, with a bonus of $500 if they brought ten or more to the demonstrations, and coordinators were paid $2000 if their groups were actively attacking Yanukovych’s police. The payments were running at $2m per week (from 5:35 mins).
    Also Der Spiegel reports that leading European media organisations initially all pushed the line that Yanukovych troops were “crushing” the demonstrators, as the USA said – but that theses stories are changing now.
    .
    As mentioned by Paul Craig Roberts link above, some very unsavoury hardline types have been able to move into positions of power in the new Ukraine. Forget the kids on the streets of Lviv and Kiev with Twitter and Facebook, this bloke does not worry about that stuff. I am told that Sasha Belyi was a general in the Chechen War, fighting against the Russians. Here he is telling the Rovnu prosecutors how to do their job. He publishes these videos so that people know he is in charge. Obviously such a character would not be acceptable to ethnic Russians, whether they be 20, 50 or 70% of the local population.
    .
    And ominously, if the shooting starts, remember all the young men have done 2 years compulsory military service.

  48. CR

    Andrew. Your last link is not working.
    What are the people saying in these clips?

  49. Andrew of Randwick

    TRY AGAIN
    ….Here he is telling the Rovnu prosecutors how to do their job. He publishes these videos so that people know he is in charge. ….
    …. actions speak louder than words….

  50. Paridell

    Comparisons with East Prussia are not very relevant, since Germany lost East Prussia and much other territory as a result of invading Russia and losing. By contrast, the Crimea, with its Russian institutions, history and people, is only in Ukraine as a result of a bureaucratic stroke of the pen at a time when both Ukraine and Russia were one country.

    Nor are comparisons with the Sudetenland of very relevant. The Sudetenland was inhabited by ethnic Germans but it was never part of Germany. Hitler’s use of the ethnic German issue was simply an early step in his campaign of conquest which culminated in the invasion of Russia. There is no prospect of Russia using the Crimea as a stepping stone for invading Western Europe.

    Likewise, there are plenty of reasons for not liking Vladimir Putin, but any Russian leader would have felt compelled to intervene in circumstances like those in Ukraine. The scenario there potentially involved the loss, not only of Russian bases, but also of an actual Russian population and (in Russian eyes) Rusian territory. It would be unrealistic to expect the Russians, and particularly the Russian inhabitants of the Crimea, not to object to this. These last are in a similar position to the Rhodesians in the lead-up to UDI or the Ulster Protestants in 1914, in that they faced being ruled by a majority population not their own in a country that would in all probability be hostile to them. The difference is that in their case, the metropolitan power has backed them, rather than imposing Home Rule.

    Russians are aware that fellow Russians in Estonia are in effect second class citizens, required to learn Estonian for citizenship and in any case liable to be sacked from their jobs if the ‘language police’ find them not up to scratch. There are historical reasons for this, as there are for everything in the former Soviet Union, but Russians would find such a situation intolerable in a territory like Crimea which they regard as their own land.

    I think the West will just have to accept the fait accompli with which it will soon be presented.

  51. CR

    Thanks Andrew. Yes actions do speak louder then words.

  52. Andrew of Randwick

    Paridell, I was not making comparisons to East Prussia (now part of Poland), nor the Sudetenland.
    .
    I was just saying that if the Russian people are shown too many videos of Russians being attacked then Putin will move – and move fast. As the map from the previous link shows he could take the bottom half of the Ukraine and his troops not find much resistance. Lviv and Kiev and the north west could then join the EU as “West Ukraine”.

  53. Andrew of Randwick

    Aggression in Crimea is a sign of Russian weakness
    HENRY ERGAS, The Australian, March 10, 2014 12:00AM

    FAR from being an emerging superpower, Russia is a weak state, wracked by cronyism and corruption, and overly reliant on exports of oil and gas. That hardly means Russian aggression in Ukraine can be ignored or condoned. But detestable as he may be, Vladimir Putin is no Hitler and the Crimean peninsula is not the Sudetenland…..

    The Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, for example, allegedly embezzled some $8 billion a year, both for his immediate family and as a war chest to pay off allies and accomplices. The consequence is a barren treasury and shockingly poor economic performance, with Ukrainian per capita incomes growing by less than 2 per cent a year over the last two decades…..

    Putin has papered over the problems by running down foreign exchange reserves and by allowing a deterioration in Russia’s fiscal position. But investors are not easily fooled, with the market capitalisation of the Moscow stock exchange, expressed as a proportion of GDP, halved from its 2007 level….

    None of that means Putin will be easy to control. Indeed, Russia’s difficulties may encourage further adventures, as will the fact that the fragments from the fall of the USSR are still far from being fully resolved. And as the turmoil they cause continues, so will the calls for a strong response…..

  54. Andrew of Randwick

    Paridell, I am not comparing with East Prussia (now part of Poland), or The Sudetenland.
    .
    I am just saying that if the Russian people are shown lots of videos of ethnic Russians in trouble (Ukrainian TV has been blocked in Moscow), then Putin will move and he will move fast. As the map from one of the original articles shows, Putin could take the bottom half of Ukraine and his troops would probably run into very little resistance and form “East Ukraine”.
    .
    The north west including Lviv and Kiev would then be left as “West Ukraine”. The new country would be free to join the EU, as Putin and Lavrov will have achieved their aim – no EU or NATO countries on his borders. And remember when the kids were on the streets, they just wanted jobs – good jobs like the ones they had seen their cousins from Poland get in Germany, France and the UK. So West Ukraine, more controversially, could become “East Poland”, because they were mostly Poles until 1946, when the borders of the country Poland moved 200km westwards.
    .
    The Ukranian and Russian diaspora are fighting it out on Facebook and Youtube. Friendships are being torn. I do hope that Obama and Kerry where not so stupid as to pay they demonstrators (Der Spiegel report) – because as the German MSM gets reporters on the ground in Lviv and Kiev, rather than just regurgitating press releases, it will come out. After Benghazi, Syria, IRS and Mexico imbroglios it is not beyond contemplation that someone in the White House thought it was a good idea at the time.

  55. Combine_Dave

    Der Spiegel reports on line that the Medien demonstrators were not that peaceful (see 3:30, 4:30 mins) and that they were paid by the Americans.

    Where are your links to the Spiegel? Links to conspiracy videos on youtube doesn’t cut it.

  56. Combine_Dave

    Looks like the editorial line from Der Spiegel opposes this Russian aggression.

  57. Andrew of Randwick

    I believe the Youtube clip is a Der Spiegel Online broadcast, as shown by the ghostscripting throughout the segment. I did note the English language version of Der Spiegel is not pushing the same line.
    Its a mystery, or the clip is a fake. Who knows?

  58. Paridell

    No, Andrew of Randwick, you didn’t mention East Prussia. It was Token who mentioned it (at 8.33). I mentioned the Sudetenland only because it has become another common comparison with the Crimea.

    I was just pointing out, as Henry Ergas also does this morning, that Vladimir Putin is no Hitler and the Crimean peninsula is not the Sudetenland.

    Basically, I agree with your analysis.

  59. Andrew of Randwick

    My God don’t these ABC Reporters think before they open their mouths – Barbara Miller European Correspondent (ABC News Radio 11:50am) gives a good example.
    .
    1) The UK Foreign Secretary is ramping up his comments – saying Putin has miscalculated the long term economic damage that could be done to Russia
    2) Some countries are seriously looking at freezing Russian assets and imposing travel bans
    3) And in a show of very strong support, Obama has invited the new interim Ukrainian President to visit the White House on Wednesday

    4) But there is one thing that everyone agrees on is that attempts should be made to de-escalate the situation, but so far there have been no signs from Putin.
    .
    I am no fan of Putin, but slack reporting does not help people to understand the situation.

  60. Token

    I am no fan of Putin, but slack reporting does not help people to understand the situation.

    Who is surprised the taming of the media over the past 10 years have left them unable to comprehend the complex issues and avoid the mistakes you note?

  61. Token

    Comparisons with East Prussia are not very relevant, since Germany lost East Prussia and much other territory as a result of invading Russia and losing. By contrast, the Crimea, with its Russian institutions, history and people, is only in Ukraine as a result of a bureaucratic stroke of the pen at a time when both Ukraine and Russia were one country.

    Why should the occupation in 1945 & refusal to return land which had been German/Prussian/HRE for 800 not relevant?

    The critical action which enabled this takeover by Putin now also happened during WWII. The Russians only gained a majority in the Crimea through ethnically cleansing 2 million Tatars in WWII.

    Why is are so many people covering up this shameful history?

  62. james

    Token I don’t think anyone is.

    Although soviet ethnic cleansing of dozens of minorities and the wiping out of the eastern European German diaspora are underlooked by history I find it difficult to sympathize with with the Crimean Tartars.

    After all they did spend the better part of a few hundred years kidnapping a half million odd Russians to sell to the Turks and Arabs, most of them young girls for use as sex slaves.

  63. Paridell

    Token asks, “Why should the occupation in 1945 & refusal to return land which had been German/Prussian/HRE for 800 not relevant?”

    I gave the answer in my original comment. Token even quotes it: “since Germany lost East Prussia and much other territory as a result of invading Russia and losing.”

    Another reason that the fate of East Prussia and similar territories is not very relevant to the current situation is that the map of Eastern Europe, with the attendant population transfers, was redrawn almost seventy years ago. That means that very few of the refugees from East Prussia or anywhere else in Eastern Europe are still living. New populations have grown up in their place and it would only cause further conflict to try to evict them, deprive them of their property, etc.

    In short, East Prussia is a red herring.

  64. Andrew of Randwick

    Token: The Russians only gained a majority in the Crimea through ethnically cleansing 2 million Tatars in WWII.

    Stalin was not too happy that:
    …. a) they fought with the Germans, or,
    …. b) they thought they could rise-up independently whilst he was busy with the Germans.
    Either way, in that part of the world, mass carnage is the normal payback.
    .
    Also noted that the “new” Ukraine had been promoting Tartars to come back to the Crimea and thus dilute down the per cent of Russian speakers. Sounded like a brilliant idea until they started talking to their cousins, the Chechans. Oh dear.
    .
    And let’s not talk of ‘ethnic’ cleansing between the Ukrainians and the Russians – they all come from the same Slav stock. They are having a simple political and perhaps an inter-generational fight.
    .
    P.S. Saw the bloke on ABC Midday show. What a shocker, confused moving eastwards and westwards and names and events. Had abig graphis and could not use his hands to show anything meaningful. The best “their ABC” can do?

  65. Theodore Dalrymple, “The wisdom of a Ukrainian”:

    Just before the current troubles in Ukraine began, we called a plumber to our rented flat in Paris, which smelled of mould at the time. He was Ukrainian. He told us why he had left his native country a few years before: Everyone there was corrupt, nothing was possible without bribery, the opposition was as bad as the government, and all political demonstrations, which were frequent even then, were entirely bogus. Indeed, political demonstrations had become a form of social security, the political system’s corrupt and vastly rich oligarchs paying a small daily subvention to the otherwise unemployed who agreed to demonstrate in their favor. There was nothing to choose between the government and opposition except the size of the daily payments that they offered, which varied from day to day like the stock market. Principle didn’t come into it; demonstrators changed from pro-government to pro-opposition and vice versa, according to the amount on offer.
    This was only one person’s opinion, but when it comes to understanding a country, one native plumber is worth a thousand foreign correspondents. And things may have changed in the meantime: by the Ukrainian opposition having become honest, for example. Moreover, demonstrators have died, though it must always be remembered that if history proves one thing rather than another, it is that the willingness of people to die for a cause is not in itself a proof of its worthiness. People are as willing to die for evil as for good.

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