2014 Ukrainian Maidan Revolt: News, Views, Photos & Videos


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Jeff Head

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Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

I will post a link to the photos and news items in the Ukraine.

The violence perpetrated by both sides of this situation is horrible.

WARNING!! Extreme photos & videos!! The links in the article are NSFW!!!!!!! You have been warned!!!

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They're saying another 70 dead today.

Much more and it will be hard to stop it...to many people will be looking to avenge their own. If it does, the government will have to try and put it down, and maybe call out their armed forces...which could cause it to get much worse if they to start taking sides.

From there it goes to very bad places.
 

bd popeye

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Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

This is one of those situations where you wonder what are they not telling us. With repeated problems with bandaid measures why haven't someone else stepped in already?
I'm very sure anyone would need the Japanese government permission to "step in". The Japanese government is not going to let any one step in and check the situation. If they were they would have done so by now.

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday announced early presidential elections and promised to bring opposition members into the government in a bid to defuse a deep crisis in which scores have been killed and hundreds injured.

He gave no time frame, however, and it's unclear whether his belated concessions will be enough to hold off protesters who have occupied a piece of Kiev and government buildings around the country in a nationwide battle over the identity of their country.

There was no immediate comment from opposition leaders, who were meeting among themselves after a marathon night of meetings with European diplomats.

The U.S., Russia and European Union are deeply concerned about the future of Ukraine, a nation of 46 million that has divided loyalties between Russia and the West. Shots rang out again Friday near the protesters' camp in Kiev, a day after the deadliest violence in Ukraine's post-Soviet history. It is unclear whether anyone was hurt or injured in Friday's incident.

"As the president of Ukraine and the guarantor of the Constitution, today I am fulfilling my duty before the people, before Ukraine and before God in the name of saving the nation, in the name of preserving people's lives, in the name of peace and calm of our land," the president said in a statement on his website.

Yanukovych also promised constitutional reforms trimming presidential powers, a key demand of protesters.

The opposition has rejected similar invitations to join the government in the past, saying that constitutional reform giving parliament greater powers has to be passed first.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who is involved in the negotiations in Kiev, called for calm. He tweeted that it's a "delicate moment for the settlement and all must remember you don't get 100 percent in a compromise."

All this was not enough for some protesters, who accused the president of trying to buy time and want him out immediately.

Yanukovych, who triggered the protests in November by aborting a pact with the European Union in favor of close ties with Russia, has refused to step down.

"We haven't achieved anything yet, neither Europe, nor freedom, nor new leadership. We will stop our fight only after Yanukovych resigns. He has blood on his hands," said protester Stepan Rodich, speaking at the Independence Square known as Maidan on Friday.

Several regions in the west of the country are in open revolt against the central government, while many in eastern Ukraine back the president and favor strong ties with Russia, their former Soviet ruler.
 
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delft

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Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

A more reasonable description of the positions of the players in the Ukrainian farce/drama:
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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014

The geopolitics of the Ukrainian conflict: back to basics


Looking at the amazing footage coming out of not only Kiev, but also from many other cities in the Ukraine, one can get the idea that what is taking place is absolute total chaos and that nobody controls it. This is a very mistaken impression and I think that this is a good time to look at who the actors of this conflict are and what they really want. Only then will we be able to make sense of what is going on, who is pulling the strings behind the curtain, and what could happen next. So let us look at the various actors one by one.

The dissatisfied Ukrainian people

There can be absolutely no doubt that a large segment of the Ukrainian population is deeply unhappy with the regime in power, Yanukovich himself, and what has been going on in the Ukraine for many years. As I have written many times before, the Ukraine is essentially in the hands of various oligarchs, just like Russia in the 1990s, but only worse. The vast majority the Ukrainian politicians are for sale to the highest bidder, this is true for the members of Parliament, the Presidential Administration, the regional governors, the government and, of course, of Yanukovich himself. Collectively, these oligarchs also own the media, the courts, the police, banks and everything else. As a direct result of that, the Ukrainian economy has been going down the tubes for years and currently is pretty much in ruins.

It should therefore surprise nobody that most Ukrainians are unhappy and what they want is prosperity, safety, the rule of law, business opportunities, the means for personal, social, professional and spiritual development. Basically, they want what every human being wants: decent living condition. Some of them see the EU as the best hope of achieving this goal, others see a participation in an economic union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan as a much better option. The exact ratio really does not matter for a simple and mostly overlooked reason: the people of the Ukraine don't matter at all in this conflict, they are just pawns used by all sides.

The main Ukrainian politicians:


Well, in theory, Yanukovich, Timoshenko, Klitchko and Iatseniuk all want different things, but in reality they all have exactly the same agenda: to please their puppet-masters while making a career in politics. The case of Tiagnibok might be a little different. He has some very real chances of becoming a really powerful figure in the western Ukraine. He is smart enough to realize that neither the USA nor the EU really want him around, but that he commands a much more powerful force (both politically and in terms of violent power) than any other Ukrainian politician. Regardless, the leaders of the opposition or the pro-regime politicians are all puppets in the hands of much more powerful forces and if Tiagnibok is an exception to this rule, then he does not matter much either since his true ambitions are really local, limited to the western Ukraine.

Having rapidly looked at the locals, let us now turn to the folks that do matter:

The Ukrainian oligarchs:

Most of them believe that as long as the Ukraine maintains an anti-Russian stance the EU will let them do whatever the hell they want inside the Ukraine. They are correct. For them, signing an otherwise meaningless agreement with the EU is basically accepting the following deal: they become the faithful servants of their EU overlords in exchange for what the EU overlords will let them continue to pillage the Ukraine in pretty much any way they want.

There is a smaller group of oligarchs who still stands to lose more than win if the Russian-Ukrainian relations sour and if Russia introduces barriers to trade with the Ukraine (which Russia would have to do if the Ukraine signs an free trade agreement with the EU). These oligarchs believe that more money can be made from Russia than form the EU and they are the folks who convinced Yanukovich to make his infamous "zag" from the EU towards Russia. Thus, there is a split inside the Ukrainian oligarchy whose representatives can be found on both sides of the current struggle.

The EU:

The EU is in a deep, systemic, economic, social and political crisis and it is absolutely desperate for new opportunities to rescue itself from its slow-motion collapse. For the EU, the Ukraine is first and foremost a market to sells is goods and services. The Ukraine is also a way to make the EU look bigger, more powerful, more relevant. Some believe that the Ukraine can also provide cheap labor for the EU, but I don't believe that this is a major consideration for the following reasons: the EU already has way too many immigrants, and the there has already been a steady stream of Ukrainians (and Balts) leaving their country for a better life in the West. Thus, what the EU really wants is a way to benefit from the Ukraine but without suffering too many negative consequences from any agreement. Hence the 1500 pages of the proposed agreement with the EU.

The USA:

The goals of the USA in the Ukraine are completely different from the goals of the EU, hence the very real tensions between their diplomats so well expressed by the "fuck the EU!" of Madam Nuland. Furthermore, and unlike the bankrupt EU, the US has spent over 5'000'000'000 dollars to achieve its goals in the Ukraine. But so what are these goals really?

This is were it gets *really* interesting.

First, we have to go back to the crucial statement made by Hillary Clinton in early December of 2012:
“There is a move to re-Sovietise the region,” (...) “It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that,” (...) “But let's make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.”
Now, it is absolutely irrelevant to argue about whether Hillary was right or wrong in her interpretation of what the Eurasian Union is supposed to become, what matters is that she, and her political masters, believe, and they really believe is that Putin wants to re-create the Soviet Union. No matter how stupid this notion is, we have to always keep in mind that this is what the likes of Hillary sincerely believe.

Next, we need to recall another crucial statement, made this time by Zbigniew Brzezinski who wrote:

Without Ukraine Russia ceases to be empire, while with Ukraine - bought off first and subdued afterwards, it automatically turns into empire…According to him, the new world order under the hegemony of the United States is created against Russia and on the fragments of Russia. Ukraine is the Western outpost to prevent the recreation of the Soviet Union.
Again, it does not matter at all whether evil Zbig is right or wrong. What matters is that Zbig and Hillary jointly provide us with the key to the current US policy in the Ukraine: to prevent Russia from becoming a superpower. For them, and unlike the Europeans, its not about "getting the Ukraine", its about "not letting the Russians get the Ukraine". And this is absolutely crucial: from the US point of view, chaos, mayhem and even a full-scale civil war in the Ukraine is much, much, preferable to any, and I mean any, form of economic or political union between Russia and the Ukraine. For the Americans, this is a zero-sum game: the bigger the loss for Russia, the bigger the win for the AngloZionist Empire.

Russia:


Here we have to completely switch our point of view and realize the following, no matter how counter-intuitive this might seem to be, regardless of the extreme closeness between Russian and Ukrainian languages and cultures, regardless of a long common history, regardless of the fact that both Russians and Ukrainians jointly defeated Nazi Germany, regardless of the fact that the Ukraine is a big neighbor of Russia and regardless of the fact that the two countries have close economic ties, Russia does not need the Ukraine. Hillary and Zbig are simply plain wrong. Furthermore, Russia has absolutely no intention of re-creating the Soviet Union or, even less so, becoming an Empire. This is all absolute nonsense, stupid propaganda to feed to the western masses, Cold War cliches which are absolutely inapplicable to the current realities. Furthermore, Russia is already a superpower, quite capable of challenging the EU and the USA together (as the example of the war in Syria has so dramatically illustrated). In fact, Russia has had its most spectacular growth precisely at a time when the Ukraine was occupied by Poland (14th-17th century):

Here we have to completely switch our point of view and realize the following, no matter how counter-intuitive this might seem to be, regardless of the extreme closeness between Russian and Ukrainian languages and cultures, regardless of a long common history, regardless of the fact that both Russians and Ukrainians jointly defeated Nazi Germany, regardless of the fact that the Ukraine is a big neighbor of Russia and regardless of the fact that the two countries have close economic ties, Russia does not need the Ukraine. Hillary and Zbig are simply plain wrong. Furthermore, Russia has absolutely no intention of re-creating the Soviet Union or, even less so, becoming an Empire. This is all absolute nonsense, stupid propaganda to feed to the western masses, Cold War cliches which are absolutely inapplicable to the current realities. Furthermore, Russia is already a superpower, quite capable of challenging the EU and the USA together (as the example of the war in Syria has so dramatically illustrated). In fact, Russia has had its most spectacular growth precisely at a time when the Ukraine was occupied by Poland (14th-17th century):

[ Map of the growth of Russia from the 14th century ]

Why would modern Russia need the Ukraine? The Ukrainian economy is in ruins, the country is plagued by immense social and political tensions, and there are no natural resources in the Ukraine which Russia would want. As for the "being a superpower", the Ukraine's military is a farce, and the Russian military would have little need to the so-called "strategic depth" offered by the Ukraine: this is 19-20th century military logic, modern wars are though throughout the depth of the enemy's territory, with long-range strike weapons and Russia is quite capable of closing the Ukrainian airspace without any form of economic or political union with it.

No, what Russia needs first and foremost has stability and prosperity in the Ukraine. Not only does a non trivial-part of the Russian economy have ties with the Ukraine, but a total collapse of such a big neighbor is bound to affect the Russian economy too (which, by the way, is pretty close to getting into a recession for the first time in a long while). Furthermore, millions of Russians live in the Ukraine and millions of Ukrainians live in Russia. Most Russian families have ties with the Ukraine. So the last thing Russia wants is a civil war in which it would almost inevitably be drawn in.

Even in Crimea all Russia really needs is a status quo: peace, prosperity, a good tourism infrastructure to host Russian tourists, and stable basing right for the Black Sea Fleet. For that Russia does not need to occupy or annex Crimea. However, should the Crimean Peninsula be attacked by the Ukrainian neo-Nazis there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the Black Sea Fleet will intervene to protect the local population with which it has many family ties. It is important to remember that the Black Sea Fleet is infinitely better trained and equipped that the Ukrainian military and that it includes a very powerful Naval Infantry force (one Brigade and one Battalion, the latter specialized in counter-terrorism operations). It is one thing to beat up and burn riot cops and quite another to deal with battle hardened (Chechnia, Georgia) and highly trained elite forces armed to the teeth with the latest and best military equipment.

As for the big scheme of things, Russia sees its future in the North and the East, not at all in its southwest. The Arctic, Siberia, the Far East, China and the Pacific, these are the direction towards which Russian strategists are looking for the future of Russia, not the dying and decaying EU or the ruined and unstable lands of the Ukraine!

So what is likely to happen next?

I think that the EU is most unlikely to achieve its objectives in the Ukraine for a very simple reason: the Ukrainian nationalists and the so-called "opposition" (i.e. the armed insurgency) are all bought and paid for by the US. The EU bureaucrats can continue visiting the Ukraine and make loud statements, they really don't matter. So its really the US vs Russia and here I have to say that the US goals is far easier to achieve that the Russian one: all the USA needs chaos, something easy to achieve and relatively cheap to finance, while Russia needs stability and prosperity and that, at the very least, means to provide is cardiac resuscitation to the basically ruined Ukrainian economy and to jump-start some kind of much needed reforms. The latter probably cannot be done without breaking the backs of the Ukrainian oligarchs. Does Russia have the means to achieve this? I very much doubt it. Not with its current signs of upcoming economic problems and not with a spineless and corrupt clown like Yanukovich in power. So then what?

Well, if rescuing the Ukraine is not an option, then protecting Russia from the inevitable chaos and mayhem is the only option left. That, and making darn sure that Crimea is safe. Russia could, for instance, provide direct assistance to the eastern Ukraine, especially to region like Kharkov which are governed by competent and determined people. Beyond that, the only option left for Russia is to hunker down and wait for either a viable force to take power in Kiev or for the Ukraine to break-up in pieces.

So what about the Ukrainian people?

I think that where I stand on this issue is clear from the above. The EU needs them as slaves, the US needs them as pawns, and the only party which needs them prosperous is Russia. That is simply a fact of geo-strategy. If the Ukrainians are too stupid and too blinded by their rabid nationalism to understand that, then let them pay the price for their folly. If they are smart enough to realize it, then let them find the courage to act on it and make it possible for Russia to help them. If not, then at the very least I would advise them to stop hallucinating about some kind of invasion of "Moskal Spetsnaz forces" to invade and occupy the "independent Ukraine". Moscow has better things to do and is already busy elsewhere.

The Saker
The Saker is an interesting writer with a very different political position from my own. But his description of the EU position and its difference from the position of the US is very good.
 

Jeff Head

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Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

A more reasonable description of the positions of the players in the Ukrainian farce/drama:
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The Saker is an interesting writer with a very different political position from my own. But his description of the EU position and its difference from the position of the US is very good.
Well, there are a lot of things that he says that IMHO are applicable, however his terminology and the caustic nature of some of it made it clear to me that he was basing a lot of his analysis on some pretty definitive position that was driving it all. He made that clear at the end with his conclusion:

Saker said:
The EU needs them as slaves, the US needs them as pawns, and the only party which needs them prosperous is Russia. That is simply a fact of geo-strategy. If the Ukrainians are too stupid and too blinded by their rabid nationalism to understand that, then let them pay the price for their folly. If they are smart enough to realize it, then let them find the courage to act on it and make it possible for Russia to help them.
This person had his position staked out on this long before the article was written and the article was written to align with that position. Calling a whole people "stupid," because they do not see things his way is what is the height of folly.

The EU does not want to enslave these people. And the US does not want to pawn them off. There is no doubt that geopolitics is in play from all sides...including Russia, and it is up to the Ukrainian people to decide what they feel is best for them...and then seek to achieve it if they can.

IMHO, that is really what this is all about.
 

solarz

Brigadier
Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

Well, there are a lot of things that he says that IMHO are applicable, however his terminology and the caustic nature of some of it made it clear to me that he was basing a lot of his analysis on some pretty definitive position that was driving it all. He made that clear at the end with his conclusion:

This person had his position staked out on this long before the article was written and the article was written to align with that position. Calling a whole people "stupid," because they do not see things his way is what is the height of folly.

The EU does not want to enslave these people. And the US does not want to pawn them off. There is no doubt that geopolitics is in play from all sides...including Russia, and it is up to the Ukrainian people to decide what they feel is best for them...and then seek to achieve it if they can.

IMHO, that is really what this is all about.
I would tend to agree. Whenever a hypothesis assigns too much malice to a faction, it always makes me skeptical.

I don't know enough about the EU/Ukraine relationship to comment about it, but I do not believe the US, as a whole, is intentionally trying to drive Ukraine into chaos.

I'm sure there are certain people within the US government that would support such a notion, but the US is ruled by committee (which in turn is driven by corporate interests), and I simply don't see how mass chaos in Ukraine would benefit it.

Instead, I think the US is simply doing again what it does best: fanning the flames and not being prepared for the resulting inferno. We've seen that already in Libya, Egypt, and Syria, and now we're seeing it in Ukraine.

The sad fact is, the US is very much blinded by its own ideology and rarely takes the time to consider the consequences of its actions.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

I think to much is being pointed at the US involvement, if you listen to the leaked cellphone call it's not state planing events so much as state trying to figure out what is happening on the ground. The current American foreign policy is Such a mess its not really capable of actively supporting actions on the ground. Although there has been encouragement I think its mostly in the press.
more rhetoric then action.
had the US wanted the Ukraine in the EU. The best way to do that would have been a foreign aid package attached to the trade deal.
actual action on the ground has been Ukrainian at least for the rebels. The division being based on the nature of the state. The westernmost parts being European in mindset well the eastern are Deeply Russian.
The EU is another matter but typically the EU lacks a unified Foreign policy. If support is on the ground then its from nations who have a interest in Ukraine siding with Europe.
Russia is obviously deeply involved, as evidence by the phone leak the FSB is on the ground. There is a saying "Russia alone is a county, Russia with Ukrainian is a Empire."
 

SampanViking

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Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

Sooner or later the EU citizenry are going to realise the size of the bill being handed to them, if Ukraine in part or in whole is brought into the Union.

I have no doubt that the "bit" of Ukraine that matters is the South East, with the the large Back Sea Seaboard. It will clearly matter to Russia if this is lost. The trouble though is that it is the area least likely to be lost. The area most pro EU is of course Western Ukraine and this is the region most likely to break away. This region is poor, landlocked and is composed mainly of about 20 million very inefficient farmers. For these people the EU is very attractive as it means tapping into the very generous subsidies of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). For the rest of us EU taxpayers, this is probably as big a nightmare as we could possible imagine.

BBC is trying to suggest this morning that Yanokovich has fled the country, but Russian media stated yesterday he was due for a conference in Kharkov.

There is now a deal on the table, signed, sealed and delivered by the opposing parties and brokered/supported by the great powers. They cannot now simply ignore it and try and steam roller events. The emphasis will now be to ensure that the opposition honour the agreement and abide by it. Given the fractious and raucous nature of large parts of it, this could prove interesting.

If of course the EU/US do break faith on the agreement, they will give Putin all the excuse he needs to act more decisively as he will be able to cite concrete evidence of foreign interference and bad faith.

The key to the forthcoming Presidential elections will be unity and the ability of each side to coalesce around a credible leader. The advantage still lies with the Pro Russian faction, but they would be well served I think with a new candidate. The final factor is the timing; to go sooner or later, that is a fine judgement based on whether the opposition is more likely to solidify or fracture over time.
 

Jeff Head

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USA Today said:
KIEV — Ukraine's parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday, even as the embattled leader remained defiant, calling the country's political crisis a "coup" and saying he has no intention of resigning or leaving the country.

"What we see today is a coup — I did everything to prevent the bloodshed," he said in a televised statement, denying rumors of his resignation. "We adopted two amnesty laws. We did everything to stabilize the political situation. But it happened the way it happened."

"I'm doing everything to prevent bloodshed now of the people who are close to me," he added.

In the vote, parliament also moved to have early elections held May 25. In the deal brokered Friday, early elections were set for December.

Lawmakers said the move to impeach was necessary. "Yanukovych is not capable of fulfilling his presidential duties," said opposition lawmaker, Oleh Lyashko. Lawmakers will also consider banning the president from running in upcoming elections.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the opposition took control of the presidential palace on the outskirts of Ukraine's capital as the president flew to his base in the east and scores of his top party leaders resigned Saturday, a day after a deal intending to stop the violence was reached.

Units from the western city of Lvov, a stronghold of the opposition, took over the palace after making their way to the capital in spite of halted train service. At the same time, protesters took over key sections of Kiev, including the entire government district of the capital. Some protesters have been reportedly stopping cars in search of government officials.

The head of the president's Party of Regions, Volodymyt Rybak — an ally of the president — announced his resignation. Yanukovych said that decision followed an attack on Rybak. The deputy head of parliament, Igor Kaletnik, also resigned.

Meanwhile, parliament moved to take over government power and held a session to appoint new ministers while lawmakers from the Party of Regions continued to resign. Parliament also began debating whether to create legislation forcing out the president and appointed opposition leader Oleksander Turchynov as speaker.

Analysts said the situation is one of confusion.

"I think there is panic and they are not sure how to proceed next," said Vitaly Chernetsky, president of the American Association for Ukrainian Studies in Cambridge, Mass. "There have been a number of members of the ruling party's coalition in the parliament who have left factions of the ruling party. There is now fractions and tensions, and it is still hard to predict which ways things are going unfortunately because of the severity of the crisis and the bloodshed.

"But Yanuchovych has horrified people strongly enough that even the more hard-line representatives of the ruling regime are now reconsidering their actions."

The Party of Regions initiated a meeting Saturday of deputies of all levels (city councils, regional councils) of the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine in the eastern city of Kharkiv, where Yanukovych flew to.

Protesters say they believe the party intends to initiate a split of Ukraine. In spite of a deal reached Friday that granted a number of concessions to the opposition including early elections, many protesters vowed to press on until Yanukovych steps down.

"People absolutely will stand till Yanukovych leaves his position," said 18-year-old protester Anna Sydor. "He is the one responsible for what happened. After all the deaths, I can't see how people could bear him sitting in the president's chair. It's not possible."

"They thought that people would flee the square after they shot at us," she added. "And — surprise — we didn't. Instead, even more people are coming, and they are angry."

Opposition leaders, who were booed and heckled Friday at Independence Square after agreeing to the deal brokered by France, Germany and Poland, seem to realize the street is in no mood for compromise.

"Millions of Ukrainians see only one choice — early presidential and parliamentary elections," announced opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko in a tweet.

The hard-won deal had moved elections up by one year, granted parliament greater powers over the president and agreed to a coalition government including the opposition. Lawmakers Friday also decriminalized sections of the penal code paving the way for the release of imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko and granting amnesty to all protesters.

The protests broke out in November following Yanukovych's unwillingness to sign a trade deal with the European Union and instead accept financial help from Russia. The protests remained largely peaceful until January when up to five were killed. But the violence escalated earlier this week after the president's forces attacked following a broken truce that led to as many as 100 deaths.

The streets were calm Friday, but more reinforcements from opposition strongholds continued to arrive to assist protesters who say they still have work to do and remain determined that the President should leave office.

A group of 40 police officers who rebelled against the command and arrived from the west of the country stood in the square in full uniform, unarmed. They were greeted with chants "You will be heroes!" and "The police is with people!"

"We are here because we gave the oath to protect the people of Ukraine and we want to really follow the oath," said Major Oleh Kormyliuk, 35. "More officers are coming soon. Here we will be doing what we usually do — maintaining order."
 
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chuck731

Banned Idiot
Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

I suspect Russia will now push for the partitioning of Ukraine into a primarily Russian eastern Ukraine, and anti-Russian western Ukraine.

If whole of Ukraine becomes part of EU, not only would all of Russian pretenses under Putin to being still something of a superpower be shown to be completely hollow, but Russia's ability to remain an largely independent actor on the world stage would effectively come to an end. Given a setback like this, I think putin's own days are numbered. In the long run European Russia will also be gradually drawn into the orbit of the EU in an effort sponsored, if behind the scene, by Germany.

Many people since 2000 have foreseen a coincidence between the long term interests of Germany within EU and those of Russia at periphery of EU. Russia really could not hold her own as an independent pole in world politics in the long run, and Germany needs an outside ally to strengthen her own hand in the EU and bind Eastern Europe closer to Germany and away from America.
 
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SampanViking

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Re: World News Thread & Breaking News!!

I think it is a brave man that writes Vladimar Putin's obituary ahead of time!

I suspect that very little has caught the Kremlin by surprise. The fact that they released the transcript of one embarrassing conversation between Nuland and Pyatt, does ask the question as to what other conversations were they party too?

The fact remains that the events of today are contrary to an agreement signed by all the parties yesterday and endorsed by the outside powers. Yanukovych has denounced the moves today as a coup and seems to have known in advance that it was coming and so moved himself and his administration to the East of the Country.

I suspect that the plan was to impeach and arrest a la Morsi and to make the coup and fait accompli. Clearly this is not how it has turned out and now the Eastern Regions, although stressing their commitment to national integrity, are not going to listen to the dictates from the opposition in Kiev.

Finally as Sochi comes to a close, Mr Putin will back to business as usual. The Strongest part of the nation is still Pro Russian, the legitimate President of the Ukraine is still at large and the backers of the Opposition are going to have to do a lot of explaining as to why they have torn up their own agreement.

I think this is far from over and the next phase is going to be very interesting indeed!
 
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