How do you solve a problem like Ukraine?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs & Debate' started by Ag, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. ameraal

    ameraal la loi de murphy

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    they don't really have much else leeway do they?

    at this point the democratic community's best way to counteract is to cut economic ties with russia (and the countries that support it). it would be the right thing to do and the best way to put pressure on them. however this would mean inflicting financial woes for the whole russian nation and it would also mean risk losing russian capital (i.e. all sides will likely feel it economically to some extent).

    i'm really unsure where i stand on this conflict (we are reaping complex problems that have been sown by the great powers historically) but i know one thing for sure, foreign military have no business being in a sovereign nation's land (unless it is to protect citizens from a regime gone crazy and even then it gets a bit blurry) and this oblivious bully attitude that russia has adopted is extremely dangerous and must not be tolerated.
     
  2. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    :manson: THINK MORE
     
  3. ameraal

    ameraal la loi de murphy

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    i had lunch with an acquaintance from the us the other day and if i had a penny for every time he said he had a "weak dick president" over ukraine (or wouldn't shut up about his own brilliance for that matter) i'd be rolling in it.
    instead i just rolled my eyes quietly and made a mental note that that would be the last i'm seeing of him.
     
  4. KindaCool

    KindaCool Kick Rocks. Eat dirt.

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    Oh yeah because there's never another option. With the amount of money and influence the US has today they could place sanctions, manipulate the markets or do the negotiations themselves. There are millions of things they could do without resorting to force.
     
  5. KindaCool

    KindaCool Kick Rocks. Eat dirt.

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    What's happened to the Ukrainian president btw? Was he ever arrested?
     
  6. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    The former president is in Russia, enjoying Russian hospitality.
     
  7. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    There is really nothing that can be done militarily to Russia over Ukraine - and even if this was an option it would be a last option - it would not be a good idea to drag neighbouring countries into military action.

    Even economic sanctions may prove ineffective thanks to how much leverage Russia has in terms of its natural resources - if Europe and US impose sanctions Russia may turn off the gas supply causing massive price rises and cause massive consequence to the rest of the world.

    I've been reading a little about this and 1 line of thought is for Ukraine to allow Russia to annex Crimea (it is not actually a Ukrainian province but a semi-autonomous Ukrainian state, and it has a population which is 56% Russian; 24% Ukrainian and 12% Tatar). It is so strategic because of Sevasterpol (?) - the port city where Russia's Black Sea fleet stays.

    This is unlikely to happen of course, but it could cause Putin trouble in his plans for Russian Lebensraum in other neighbouring countries. Crimea is the MOST Russian part of Ukraine; historically it was part of Russia (Kruschev 'gifted' it to Ukraine in the 1950's) and allowing Russian to annex it would allow Ukraine to shore up control of the rest of the country - particularly the Eastern part which Putin also has his eye on. Allowing Russian to annex Crimea would also cause massive problems for Putin as it would give legitimacy to the demands of other parts of Russia which want to secede from Russian,
     
  8. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    Oh and as for those moron Republicans in the US who say that Obama should send the army in?

    AS IF they would do any different to Obama. Russia is a majorly armed, military superpower.
     
  9. big ron

    big ron Nude inspector

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    You are the worst thing to happen to this website in a long time.
     
  10. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    Agree.
     
  11. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    Agree.
     
  12. KindaCool

    KindaCool Kick Rocks. Eat dirt.

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    Pipe down. It's an observation, not a fucking revelation. Stop reading into it. I hope this gets sorted out peacefully just as much as anyone else.
     
  13. big ron

    big ron Nude inspector

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    Awful, just awful.
     
  14. KindaCool

    KindaCool Kick Rocks. Eat dirt.

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    Not just that, but Putin is almost TAUNTING the Americans. He's just waiting for them to make the wrong move and send in troops. Although theoretically the US supposedly has the largest military in the world.
     
  15. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    It doesn't matter whose armies are bigger. They are both so powerful militarily that open conflict between must never happen (and thankfully the Cold War shows us that even during 40 years of extreme tension, no one was ever stupid enough to let it).
     
  16. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    And frankly Putin should taunt away. The Americans would be much smarter to take covert measures against him, or at least non-combative ones (ie. invest heavily in alternative energy sources in Europe).
     
  17. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    I don't think using modern day population figures is valid justification given Russia's role in actively removing minorities from Crimea in the 20th Century. Is the moral of the story that if you want to take over a region, kill minorities, wait a while and then go for it?
     
  18. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    Of course modern day population figures are valid. We have to accept the realities of history. When do you suggest we arbitrarily use figures from? 1803?
     
  19. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    No but in practical terms and in the interest of safety and the lives of millions of people it may be the best plan. Notwithstanding the ethnic cleansing of the Tatars in Crimea in the 20th centuru; historically Crimea has been part of Russia; today the majority of Crimea is Russian; and unless Ukraine is prepared to defend Crimea militarily (which is the WORST option available as it would mean that Russia would simply move in and seize the coalmines and fertile land in East Ukraine which is the real goal) then giving up Crimea seems like one of the least worst options available to Ukraine.

    It's not ideal in any way but considering that Russia cannot and must not be taken on militarily then strategically giving up Crimea could avoid far more disastrous consequences.

    UNless of course Russia can be persuaded to leave Crimea of its own free will. That seems very unlikely though.
     
  20. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    Interesting piece by Canada's CBC:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/the-uk...himsy-of-international-law-1.2559980?cmp=fbtl

    The Ukraine crisis through the whimsy of international law

    Listening to U.S. President Barack Obama bang on this week about the importance of world opinion and obeying international law and respecting sovereignty and being on the right side of history, you had to wonder whether he didn't have a little voice in his head whispering: "Really? Seriously? I'm actually saying this stuff?"

    This is the commander-in-chief of a military that operates a prison camp on Cuban soil, against the explicit wishes of the Cuban government, and which regularly fires drone missiles into other countries, often killing innocent bystanders.

    He is a president who ordered that CIA torturers would go unprosecuted, and leads a nation that has invaded other countries whenever it wished, regardless of what the rest of the world might think.

    Disclaimer here: Vladimir Putin's proclaimed justification for invading Ukraine — protecting Russian-speaking "compatriots" in that country from some imagined violence — stinks of tribalism.

    His rationale is essentially ethnic nationalism, something responsible for so much of the evil done throughout human history.

    Stated motivation aside, though, what Putin is doing is really no different from what other world powers do: protecting what they regard as national self-interest.

    And so far, he's done it without bloodletting.

    Imagine, for a moment, what Washington would do if, say, Bahrain's Shia population, covertly supported by Tehran, staged a successful uprising and began to push itself into Iran's orbit.

    The U.S. Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, just as Russia's Black Sea Fleet is parked at its huge naval bases in the Crimea.

    To pose the scenario is to answer the question of how America would react.

    The same goes for all the other countries in America's political realm. The Philippines, South Korea, certain Persian Gulf nations. Imagine if Russia's military tried to return to Cuba.

    There is an order of things; it is disturbed at the world's peril.

    And Ukraine, for better or worse — decidedly worse, those in the western portion of the country will tell you — has for centuries been in Russia's sphere.

    Crimea, the region of Ukraine now occupied by Russia, was part of the Soviet Union and was deeded to Ukraine in 1954 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of a treaty that bonded much of Ukraine to Tsarist Russia.

    To suggest, as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso did this week, that Ukrainians "have shown that they belong culturally, emotionally but also politically to Europe," is just wishful thinking, even if some Ukrainians wish it were true.

    Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was right when he pointed out that many of the countries denouncing Putin's intervention were actively involved in encouraging anti-Russia Ukrainians to overthrow an elected, if distasteful, president and government.

    Victoria Nuland, a senior American diplomat, was caught in flagrante delicto a few weeks back, chatting with another American official about which Ukrainian opposition figures should and shouldn't be installed.

    Washington's reply: It was unconscionable of Russia to intercept and leak that discussion.

    Incidentally, some of the Ukrainian opposition groups that have now ended up in power are thuggish, anti-Semitic, anti-Russian, extreme right-wingers.

    Putin's description of them — ultranationalists — was mild. You just wouldn't know it listening to Western politicians.

    In Obama's case, sitting beside him on Monday as he gave his lecture on international law from the Oval Office was close ally Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The Israeli prime minister, having just engaged in a protracted, robust handshake for the cameras, presides over country that operates a military occupation in the West Bank, violating the "international law" Obama was demanding Putin obey.

    The U.S. insists that Israel's occupation can only be solved by respectful negotiation between the parties themselves, and it vehemently opposes punishing Israel with the sort of moves currently being contemplated against Russia.

    It's easy to go on and on in this vein — Britain's prime minister, who leads a nation that helped invade Iraq on a false pretext, denouncing Putin's pretext for going into Crimea. The NATO powers that helped bring about the independence of Albanian Kosovars complaining about the separatist aspirations of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, etc.

    But that's diplomacy. Hypocritical declarations and acts are woven into its essence.

    What's remarkable is the unspoken pact among the Western news media to report it all so uncritically.

    When Obama spoke, the gaggle of reporters in attendance rushed to report his statements, mostly at face value.

    Likewise, Western news reports seriously reported Russia's ridiculous threat to end the role of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency, as though Russia's creditors will begin to accept rubles at whatever exchange rate Putin decrees.

    On TV and in print, we hear serious talk about the possibility of economic sanctions against Russia — which would only trigger a devastating trade back-blast against European economies.

    Republican Senator John McCain says it is Barack Obama's "feckless foreign policy" that is to blame for Russia's invasion of Crimea. However, he added, a military response is not on the table.
    Other media analysts agree with the angry flailings of U.S. foreign policy hawks, who seem to think Obama should be much more aggressive with Putin, although they have few concrete suggestions. (A frustrated Senator John McCain demanded that rich Russians be barred from Las Vegas.)

    The unspoken media-government arrangement is understandable, I suppose.

    We must at least pretend there's international law and fairness and basic rules, because it reassures us that we live in a world where raw power doesn't ultimately rule.

    But it's all just gibberish; through the looking glass. We might as well be reporting that slithy toves gyre and gimble in the wabe.

    Money and hard power count, and that's that. The big players have it, and the smaller players play along. If we need the anaesthetic liquor of self-delusion to deal with it, well, drink up.
     
  21. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    The phrase "notwithstanding [...] ethnic cleansing" makes me shudder.
     
  22. Daniel

    Daniel User

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    [video=youtube;Xh_YkdGbWqk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh_YkdGbWqk[/video]

    Russia Today have just reported on a leaked a phone call between EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Estionian foreign affairs minister Urmas Paet, that took place on roughly the 26th February, shortly after Yanukovich fled (now being reported about conveniently on the same day that western leaders were meeting in Paris with the new Ukrainian coalition government). It is believed that officers of the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) loyal to former President Viktor Yanukovich are the ones responsible for the phone hacking.

    In the phone conversation (now confirmed to be real by the Estonian Foreign Ministry), Paet claims that the Ukrainian people don’t trust the Maidan leaders, and there is growing suspicion about the use of force used during the revolution. According to new medical evidence, the same snipers were shooting at both Ukrainian protesters and riot police alike, and according to Paet, there is a growing belief they were shot on the orders of Maidan leaders, not on the orders of the former President.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/ukraine-catherine-ashton-phone-shoot-maidan-bugged-leaked
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  23. Commotion

    Commotion User

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    OK.

    I'm not trying to trivialise what happened. But like it or not, it happened and it's over. And in the history of the 20th century it was not an isolated occurrence by any stretch of the imagination. Provoking Russia militarily has the potential to cause even worse carnage.
     
  24. J-Snow

    J-Snow I'm ms. EXTRA, EXTRA.

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    #10 on this list
     
  25. Ag

    Ag BRING BACK TAGS

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  26. ameraal

    ameraal la loi de murphy

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    i don't think anyone calling the shots has the same concept of embarrassing as us
     
  27. big ron

    big ron Nude inspector

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    HA.

    ‘What we are seeing here is the return of geography.’
     
  28. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    I think the story's moved on already.

    The Crimean parliament has voted to join Russia, and joining Russia will be a question on a referendum in 10 days time.
     
  29. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    I assume this is good news for Edward.
     
  30. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    Why? Is Kylie performing there?
     
  31. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    Apologies - wrote the wrong name down.

    I wonder how Kylie is affects by this news.
     
  32. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    So US sanctions seem to be happening.
     
  33. Shirley

    Shirley BIG-HEARTED BUNNY

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    PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC of KYLIESTAN secedes from the LONDON BOROUGH OF MERTON
     
  34. Cécile

    Cécile Shep's Classic 12"

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    Into The Blue blocked on US iTunes? :(
     
  35. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    As expected, Crimea has declared independence, and applied to join the Russian Federation.
     
  36. VoR

    VoR #Justice4JLo

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    96.8% vote in favour. Not dodgy at all....
     
  37. Kalabaliken

    Kalabaliken Pop Precision Since 1978

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    Well most of the non Russians refused to vote. So it IS possible.
     
  38. Madison

    Madison Everything goes up by six

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    I saw a report showing they may have also let Russian citizens vote as well.
     
  39. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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    Lots of people in the CIS have Russisn passports, including residents of Crimea. It's not like people from the Russian Federation proper were voting.
     
  40. Loufoque

    Loufoque BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE

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