Crisis in the Ukraine


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Jeff Head

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Of course the notion is offensive, but not nearly as offensive as the reality of the groups being supported in the Ukraine. That is the point.

If that is offensive to you then so be it; as with regret, I will need to offend you. I would also bid you remember that no persons or nations hold a monopoly on being offended.

This situation definitely should offend you, hopefully enough to demand of your elected representatives to explain themselves of this policy.
The issue and point of my post, Sampan, and with your post, is not the offenses in Ukraine. Of course the situation in combat during a bloody civil war is offensive, and we all pray it ends and that a cease fore and peace hold.

The issue is your comparing what is happening there in Eastern Ukraine...where there is a bloody civil war, with heavy handiness, atrocities and offense on both sides...with a civil issue and looting in Ferguson Missouri.

What has gone on in Ukraine is not comparable at all...in the least...to what happened in Ferguson.

It is that comparison which I am speaking of as being offensive and wholly disproportionate.

I hope you can see that, and step back from the rhetoric and disproportionate comparison.

Using that as a pretext to demand or seek support for a certain side in the Ukraine is not something we should be doing here on SD, particularly from one, as a Super Moderator, who will be seen as speaking for SD. Please do not use such a comparison as a pulpit to preach one side of this issue.

That does not negate the offensive nature of what has occurred in the Ukraine in the least...but it is a wholly inappropriate comparison and is causing inflammation beyond the Ukraine issue.

...which is, once again, something, IMHO, we should not do here on SD.
 
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SampanViking

The Capitalist
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The issue and point of my post, Sampan, and with your post, is not the offenses in Ukraine. Of course the situation in combat during a bloody civil war is offensive, and we all pray it ends and that a cease fore and peace hold.

The issue is your comparing what is happening there in Eastern Ukraine...where there is a bloody civil war, with heavy handiness, atrocities and offense on both sides...with a civil issue and looting in Ferguson Missouri.

What has gone on in Ukraine is not comparable at all...in the least...to what happened in Ferguson.

It is that comparison which I am speaking of as being offensive and wholly disproportionate.

I hope you can see that, and step back from the rhetoric and disproportionate comparison.

Using that as a pretext to demand or seek support for a certain side in the Ukraine is not something we should be doing here on SD, particularly from one, as a Super Moderator, who will be seen as speaking for SD. Please do not use such a comparison as a pulpit to preach one side of this issue.

That does not negate the offensive nature of what has occurred in the Ukraine in the least...but it is a wholly inappropriate comparison and is causing inflammation beyond the Ukraine issue.

...which is, once again, something, IMHO, we should not do here on SD.
Jeff you are indignant about an illustrative allusion in which I have highlighted both parties and a political mindset that would countenance using them, to your country and found the closest possible situation to which to apply it. You are angry and offended.
This illustration however, pales into insignificance when compared to the reality of these parties and this political mindset, as exercised in the Ukraine. Maybe Jeff, through the indignation you feel at an analogy, you will finally have a sense of how furious, we on this side of the argument, are at the reality.

Why does it matter?
Because the Ukraine is of course not simply a civil war. This is not a contest between local rival political groups, a tribal conflict or a religious schism. This is an engineered situation designed to bring these very people, into our Political Union and our Defence Alliance. These vile groups are being armed, aided and abetted in our name.

Well to quote the old Movie "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more"

If your not, frankly, you should be.
 
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Jeff Head

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Jeff you are indignant about an illustrative allusion in which I have highlighted both parties and a political mindset that would countenance using them, to your country and found the closest possible situation to which to apply it. You are angry and offended.
Because that comparison is not even remotely related...and to try and do so is simply using rhetoric to try and influence others thoughts on the matter.

This illustration however, pales into insignificance when compared to the reality of these parties and this political mindset, as exercised in the Ukraine.
Not only does it pale in comparison, it is wholly unrelated.

Maybe Jeff, through the indignation you feel at an analogy, you will finally have a sense of how furious, we on this side of the argument, are at the reality.
And THIS is the crux of the matter and why your analogy is offensive, Sampan. You are using it to try and manipulate the thinking of others. That sort of thing will simply not work.

Well to quote the old Movie "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more"

If your not, frankly, you should be.
I am mad about the entire situation, Sampan, but I recognize that there are two sides to the coin and that in a bloody civil war like this there always will be and you and I squabbling or voicing rhetoric over it are not going to change anything.

In addition to that, SD is not the place to even try.

It is tragic, it is a shame...but you and I picking sides and harping about it, trying to either bully or shame one side or another to "see it our way," is simply not going to work.

That's the truth.

In the mean time, as Super Moderators on SD, a forum that is principally about Military Technology and weapons systems, particularly Chinese ones, to delve into the deep ideological differences in such a discussion is not only not going to solve anything, IMHO, it is inappropriate and will only going to set SD members against one another.

IMHO, that's not what we want.

Well, I have had my say. I believe this type of talk is wrong on SD and hope you will reconsider...not your own personal feelings and views of the situation because you are completely entitled to those...but the propriety of airing them and getting into arguments here on SD about it.

I believe it is not what the vast majority of our posters come here to discuss.

I am VERY opinionated on my political and ideological views...but I find other place to share, debate, and discuss those. I do not believe we want SD to become such a place.

I'll leave it at that.
 

SampanViking

The Capitalist
Super Moderator
VIP Professional
I am happy to argue the facts Jeff, but not argue the argument.

Just remember that this war and the sanctions associated with them are biting people in the real world and raising the temperature in all sorts of surprising ways.

The Ukraine is a world issue, critical to Europe and critical to China in both economic and security aspects.

You will note that much of this previous thread has been the process where many of us have researched and presented a narrative on the course of this conflict which has been:

a) Fully at odds with the establishment narrative of our countries

b) Proved to be far more accurate that the aforementioned establishment narrative.

SDF is the only forum where we are able to come together and do this and so to stop would simply now be to acquiesce to a narrative that has shown itself highly subjective and deeply inaccurate.
 

delft

Brigadier
From LATimes:
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Ukraine troops struggle with nation's longtime neglect of militar

By Sergei L. Loiko, Carol J. Williams

Militia commander Yuri Bereza and his 150 Ukrainian irregulars were closing in on pro-Moscow separatists in their last stronghold in this eastern city when Russian troops and armor thundered in out of nowhere to cut them off in the suburb of Ilovaisk.

No satellite or drone surveillance detected the sudden movement of the Russian columns. No word of the impending attack had been radioed from the border guard base the invaders had to have passed. Neither did any of the allied soldiers who were supposed to be bringing up the rear inform Bereza's fighters that they had been cut off. In fact, the 700-strong contingent of government recruits had deserted en masse.

The unit's calls to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, to say it was surrounded brought promises of a reinforcements, food and ammunition, none of which came to the rescue of the men, who survived on grass and rainwater as they braved five days of incessant sniper fire, "like game at a hunting range," Bereza said bitterly of the battle two months ago.

It was at Ilovaisk, where 107 irregulars died and at least 700 recruits and volunteers were taken captive, that the Ukrainian military's post-independence disintegration was most painfully on display.

A standing army of 1 million inherited by Ukraine after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union has dwindled to barely 100,000. Analysts say even that figure is inflated. At the time the Russia-backed separatists began grabbing territory in March, then-Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh told the parliament that Ukraine had no more than 6,000 combat-ready troops to repel the aggression.

The Ukraine contingent of the once-fearsome Soviet Red Army rotted from the top after independence, when senior posts became cushy rewards for political supporters of the ruling party. Since the overthrow of Kremlin-allied President Viktor Yanukovich in February, the military leadership has been a revolving door. The fourth defense minister in eight months, Stepan Poltorak, was appointed by President Petro Poroshenko this week and confirmed Tuesday.

Defense funding has declined to a fraction of its Soviet-era support. Ukraine last year allocated $1.9 billion for the armed forces, Defense Ministry figures show, only 10% of it earmarked for modernizing training and weapons. Russia, by contrast, spent $4.47 billion and has a standing force and conscription-age population three times larger than Ukraine's, the CIA World Factbook estimates.

Ukraine's last significant military exercises took place nine years ago, said Ihor Smeshko, former security services chief and now head of Poroshenko's intelligence committee.

Not a single new combat aircraft has been commissioned since independence, and the country's air power has shrunk to about three dozen fighter jets and a diminishing fleet of antiquated helicopters from the 1,500 acquired with the Soviet breakup, said Yuri Biryukov, a presidential aide in charge of fund-raising for militias.

But perhaps the most serious blunder, analysts say, was the failure of successive Ukrainian leaders to see their Russian neighbors as a potential threat.

"As the army shrank rapidly over the years, everybody thought it was such a good thing," Biryukov recalled. "They thought, 'Who could threaten us if our friends and allies are Russia, the United States and Europe?'"

Some of the erosion of defenses has been by design. Ukraine's share of the Soviet nuclear stockpile, nearly 1,300 intercontinental ballistic missiles, was handed over to Russia for dismantling in 1994 when Kiev signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In exchange, Russia, the United States and Britain pledged to respect Ukraine's borders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin violated that agreement when he launched his campaign of territorial plunder in February by first seizing Ukraine's Crimea region. But more than two decades of corruption, misguided strategy and squandered resources had left Ukraine woefully unable to respond when Russian brothers turned hostile.

"We should have fought this war from Day 1 in Crimea," said Maxim Dubovsky, deputy commander of the Dnipro-1 regiment humiliated in Ilovaisk. Russia's seizure of the peninsula, home to its Black Sea fleet, robbed Ukraine of its own naval bases.

Ukraine's abysmal economy has led to deep cuts in weapons production, which was the lifeblood of the eastern regions, feeding the unemployment and discontent there that led to the current conflict. What is still produced is usually sold to other countries, including Russia.

Even if Kiev's Western allies were to provide more sophisticated weaponry to Ukraine, which isn't a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and thus not entitled to the bloc's protection, the armaments couldn't be integrated into Ukraine's obsolete, Soviet-designed arsenals and fleets without massive and costly retrofitting, said Vladimir Grek, a former Defense Ministry weapons designer.

Ukraine needs to invest at least $5 billion a year to upgrade its defenses, Grek said. "We need to put our military industrial complex in war mode, with 24-hour-a-day production so that we can get new weapons to the army as soon as possible."

The regular army's deterioration has given rise to an array of volunteer units. Some, like Bereza's regiment, coordinate with commanders in Kiev, gaining access to the army's tanks and artillery. Others, like the rogue nationalist Right Sector militia, are fighting for their own agenda, often with brutality that gives credence to Moscow's claims that Ukraine is awash with "neo-fascists."

Underarmed and underfed, Ukrainian troops have fled some battles before shots were fired, as in the Sector D retreat at Ilovaisk. Another army unit camped near the remote border with Russia along the Sea of Azov fled in late August when two armored columns burst through a checkpoint and overran the town of Novoazovsk.

"We don't have hot food. We eat dry rations, and when they run out we start looking for something in the fields," said Ondriy, a 21-year-old soldier on leave in Kiev who didn't want to give his last name for fear of retribution for complaining. He said his commander had advised him when he left on furlough not to come back, that there was "no point in dying for a country that doesn't care for you."

Ukrainians far from the war zones acknowledge that the conflict doesn't seem real to them. In Kiev, there is little evidence of a war an hour's flight east. Political ads for the Oct. 26 parliamentary elections dominate billboards and television talk shows, and few without family members at the front seem willing to let the war intrude on their worries.

"Our best and bravest young men die every day in eastern Ukraine and I am already wondering whether they should really stay there and fight," said Anzhella Polovinko, 43, a Kiev clothing designer.

Though the sorry state of the military is dispiriting for many, Ukrainian officials say they have the advantage of soldiers and volunteers more committed than their adversaries to a fight for the country's very existence.

Hundreds of Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine on missions the Kremlin denies any role in, and their returning coffins have been "an icy shower for their mothers and many of those who used to support Putin's policy toward Ukraine," said Andriy Parubiy, former secretary of the National Security and Defense Council and now head of a Kiev agency coordinating support for volunteer militias.

Putin was able to score successes against troops loyal to the Kiev government when he had 40,000 Russian soldiers on Ukraine's border, Parubiy said. "The deeper Putin pushes into Ukraine, the harder it will be for him to count on his supremacy in arms, technology and manpower, while the Ukrainian people will all rise like one to defend their motherland."

But the brave and patriotic are finite in number. Fighters like Volodymyr Tugai, a 38-year-old former paratrooper who battled alongside Bereza at Ilovaisk, said he feels betrayed but he doesn't know by whom.

Tugai, who was bleeding from a shrapnel wound to his neck during the mid-August battle, later recalled a young soldier with one of his legs blown off reaching for him in the bed of a pickup truck serving as a first-aid station.

"He was screaming, 'Mama! Mama! Mama! Help please! Take me home!' " said Tugai, still emotionally numbed by the desperate soldier's cries. "I wished I could be his mother there and then. But he was gone in a minute."

Loiko reported from Donetsk and Williams from Kiev.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
A good example of main stream media reporting. Look at the opening:
Militia commander Yuri Bereza and his 150 Ukrainian irregulars were closing in on pro-Moscow separatists in their last stronghold in this eastern city when Russian troops and armor thundered in out of nowhere to cut them off in the suburb of Ilovaisk.

No satellite or drone surveillance detected the sudden movement of the Russian columns. No word of the impending attack had been radioed from the border guard base the invaders had to have passed. Neither did any of the allied soldiers who were supposed to be bringing up the rear inform Bereza's fighters that they had been cut off. In fact, the 700-strong contingent of government recruits had deserted en masse.

The unit's calls to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, to say it was surrounded brought promises of a reinforcements, food and ammunition, none of which came to the rescue of the men, who survived on grass and rainwater as they braved five days of incessant sniper fire, "like game at a hunting range," Bereza said bitterly of the battle two months ago.

It was at Ilovaisk, where 107 irregulars died and at least 700 recruits and volunteers were taken captive, that the Ukrainian military's post-independence disintegration was most painfully on display.
So the Russian colomns were invisible to satellites and drones and the border guard base and after Bereza had been cut off they disappeared into thin air to leave the encirclement to snipers during five days.
More likely is that the soldiers sent to support him didn't like to fight their countrymen.

And look at this:
Defense funding has declined to a fraction of its Soviet-era support. Ukraine last year allocated $1.9 billion for the armed forces, Defense Ministry figures show, only 10% of it earmarked for modernizing training and weapons. Russia, by contrast, spent $4.47 billion and has a standing force and conscription-age population three times larger than Ukraine's, the CIA World Factbook estimates.
Russia with a population about three times that of Ukraine and with a much larger border and many more neighors is spending less than three time what Ukraine is spending. The explanation must be that Ukraine has been and continues to be much more corrupt than Russia. And what do you expects from a country run by oligarchs for oligarchs. Even if they organize elections as they do today the power will not get into more responsible hands.

The whole article is worth close reading.
 

SampanViking

The Capitalist
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The election results are coming in now from the Rada General Election

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We still haver to wait and see how exactly has made it in and who has not, but the two biggest shares of the vote go to parties and blocs of Yatsenyuk and Poroschenko respectively.

The turn out is given at 52% which is low even by the less then stella records of the Ukraine.
The devil however could well be in the detail, which the BBC is glossing over through the phrase

Turnout on Sunday was more than 52%. However, it varied widely between the east and west of the country, with some three million people in separatist-controlled areas in Donetsk and Luhansk unable to vote.
The implication being given is that the effects of rebel held territory is responsible for the low vote in the East. Well obviously it would a lot of voters from Donetsk and Lugansk, but this is apparently only a part of the story.
I am still waiting to find formal confirmation on this, but several sources are citing that turnout in all the main Russian regions from Kharkov to Odessa was only in the mid teens.

If this is so, then it would be very interesting news. In very general terms, if your turnout is in the thirties or forties, then you have substantial apathy. If however the turnout is either very high or incredibly low, then you have very real determination to achieve such figures.

If indeed over 80% of voters in the Russian speaking areas; generally associated with the territory dubbed "Novorossiya" did not participate but determinedly boycotted the poll, it does raise questions as to whether this is a temporary signal of serious dissatisfaction with the current political process or a more permanent rejection of Kiev and of the Ukraine being a country to which they belong. If so it is a major swing away from six months ago and could easily change the calculus in the Kremlin as to which solution to the Ukraine problem is now the most practical.
 

Dannhill

Junior Member
The chief Dutch prosecutor investigating the MH17 had stated that they are open to the possibility that the airliner was brought down by another plane.
They will work with Russia which was all the time excluded from the investigation. (Very strange in the first place, imo).

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delft

Brigadier
Yesterday I spoke a Dutch Senator who has been on Maidan early this year and he said that fascists were prominently present. And they remained until driven out by the police a few weeks ago. So Biden, Ashton and Timmermans, to name just a few, must have seen them and so must have the journalists of the main stream media.
The elections gave the expected results. The parties of the oligarchs got most votes, the fascist parties many of the others and the turn out was "modest".
 
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