Saturday, March 01, 2014

Le Grand Guignol de l'Ukraine

One week after Ukrainian strongman Viktor Yanukovuych fled Kiev and the government snipers who'd murdered dozens of protesters ran for the hills, Vladimir Putin has received approval from the Russian Parliament to invade the country. In Crimea, an area where armed gangs loyal to Yanukovuych have taken control, protesters have been beaten and been made to kneel. The Ukrainian navy has taken to sea. The Russian ambassador to the USA is said to be withdrawing. Russian tanks are in Crimea. The UN Security Council is meeting to discuss intervention. Yesterday, Yanukovuych broadcast a message from Russia where he has been given refuge by his master, Putin, who has effectively declared war on the Ukraine.
When you go to any site reporting the events, the threads seem to be high jacked by pro Russian anti Ukrainian trolls who are non stop pushing conspiracy theories that this is an American CIA/EU plot to empower fascists neo nazis and then they smear Glenn Greenwald in the bargain. What is going on in the Ukraine is very complicated. The pro Russian population of the Crimea has had an incredibly complicated history after almost being totally decimated first by Stalin and then again by the Germans. The conservative trolls are pushing the meme that the Ukrainian revolt that made Yanukovuych flee is the negation of a legitimate democratic election. Go back and read your recent history. Yanukovuych's ascension to power was the result of the abuse of the democratic process and his rule was totally despotic and corrupt, but he was a Russian puppet. He was put into power after Russia played hardball with the Ukrainian energy system. He persecuted and imprisoned his opposition. Billions of dollars have disappeared into the corrupt pockets of Yanukovuych and his cronies. Now it is Putin trying to re establish a new Russian colonial empire. Sure, Americans and Europeans have given support to the Ukrainian rebel government. Yes, they are a very diverse coalition of factions. The fodder is there for any number of conspiracy theories and the Russians and their allies are all too happy to throw fuel into the fire.I try to keep abreast of the situation and I hope you are too before jumping to any hasty conclusions. The Ukrainian deserve your best wishes and support. Here are two threads of current info that might help:
#russiainvadesukraine is a good place to stay abreast of affairs.
On the Guardian, Conal Urquhart is
maintaining a running feed of new developments.
Also, DaBlogFodda posted on Thursday with some great inside the Ukraine insights as to understanding the background of the events unfolding in Crimea.

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