The Devils You Know

The widespread knee-jerk reaction to recent events in Ukraine has been dismaying, to say the least.

It’s no surprise to see liberals and progressives parroting the Obama/Kerry party line on the Great Satan Russia, but the me-too response of many conservatives is another matter. Don’t they realize they are being led around by the nose with this “Putin is evil” meme the media have ginned up?

I’m not saying that we have to embrace Vladimir Putin like a big warm fuzzy Russian teddy bear. Mr. Putin is the ruler of Russia, after all. He rules in the time-hallowed Russian tradition. He is shrewd, ruthless, and autocratic. He is also very intelligent — more intelligent than any of the prep-school boys the West puts up against him — and is adept at playing a long-range game of geopolitical chess against opponents who can’t even manage to put up a checkerboard.

Just because some of us choose to see what is happening in Ukraine with a clear-eyed realism doesn’t mean that we have to think Mr. Putin is a wonderful, shining example of political heroism, flowing with the milk of human kindness. We can understand the current train of events and follow each move in the game without having to root for the Kremlin.

There seems to be a widespread tendency (especially in the USA) to be unable to reassess a grotesquely negative political view of someone without turning that person into a glorious saint. As if there were no other choice than a Manichaean Good/Evil pair.

Reality doesn’t generally fit into that schema. Understanding what Vladimir Putin is doing doesn’t require converting a media Beelzebub into a media St. Francis. It does, however, demand that we spit out the simple-minded gruel peddled by the MSM and the well-coiffed spokesbeings for the Washington-Brussels Axis of Putty.

Take, for example, the “seizure” of the Crimea by Russia. As I attempted to convey in a light-hearted way the other day, the Crimea has been fully Russian for well over two hundred years. If Nikita Khrushchev had realized in 1954 that Russia and Ukraine would come to a parting of the ways in less than four decades, he would never have assigned the Crimean oblast to the fictional oversight of Ukraine.

The treaty that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union was a formal acknowledgement that the Crimea was Russian, populated by Russians, garrisoned by the Russian military, and served the vital strategic interests of Russia. The document provided a polite fiction designed to keep the region under Russian control without having to redraw Khrushchev’s borders of Ukraine. To wave that piece of paper as “proof” that the Crimea is Ukrainian is either an example of stunning historical illiteracy or a deliberate act of cynical dishonesty.

The confrontation in Kiev was an obvious set-up, financed and orchestrated by Soros and the EU with the connivance of the Obama administration. We knew that even before we found out who hired the snipers to kill the protesters and police. Obviously, the major political factions in Ukraine studied their techniques under the tutelage of the KGB, and learned their lessons well.

The EU and the USA are attempting to leverage the conversion of Ukraine from a vassal state of Russia to a vassal state of the EU, and thus of the New World Order. Such vassalage is more comfortable and prosperous in the EU than under Russian suzerainty, but it is still vassalage. The fortunate citizens of the New Multicultural Ukraine will be allowed to have Xboxes, “Ukraine’s Got Talent”, gay pride parades, government-issued condoms, and total control by Brussels over the chemical makeup of their vodka and borscht. Plus they get to be enslaved to the banksters of the IMF and the ECB. Big improvement.

To a cold-eyed realist, this is a Thug 1 vs. Thug 2 situation. You can have the EU-picked thug oligarchy, or you can have the Russian-picked thug oligarchy. But you can’t not be ruled by thugs. “Democracy”, my fundament.

It’s clear that Vladimir Putin understood from the very beginning what was happening in Ukraine. Half the local leaders on both sides of the confrontation are probably FSB agents. He’s smarter than any of his counterparts in the West, and is playing them like a fiddle, despite having been dealt a bad hand.

His main goal was probably to annex the Crimea (or at least establish unshakeable control over it) and firm up Russian control of the pipelines. Let the rest of Ukraine enjoy being ruled by the ECB!

But the West has set Mr. Putin up as the big bogeyman. It’s amazing to see conservatives — people who should know better — swallow the Obama administration’s disinformation hook, line, and sinker. This perennially shallow view of the events and history of the region is appalling.

Poor, innocent, downtrodden Ukraine! Aggressive Russian imperialist invaders in the Crimea! Ukrainians long for democracy, but are kept down by the Russian boot!

What a load of codswollop.

I predict: sometime in the next couple of weeks, we will watch a replay of Syria, but with Ukraine as the pawn this time. Mr. Putin will hand Mr. Kerry an offer he can’t refuse, and it will get prominent play in the New York Times and on CNN. A third-party mediator will propose some face-saving measure that will allow Washington and Brussels to proclaim “we have achieved true democracy in Ukraine” while Russia gets everything it wanted in the first place. Then, for the next twenty or thirty years, ordinary Ukrainians will enjoy the “austerity” regime imposed on them à la Greece as the price for being handed all those billions and billions of dollars and euros.

Wait and see.

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Understanding what Russia is up to is not rocket science, but it does require removing the Cold War blinders to take in a wider view.

Despite his career as a loyal KGB officer, Vladimir Putin is not a Communist ideologue, and the Soviet Empire is no more. Mr. Putin is not trying to spread a totalitarian ideology by force over the entire globe. His goals are to consolidate his own power and secure the state interests of Russia.

And, yes, this means that he will engage in ugly and violent behavior in the “Near Abroad” in order to assert Russian control (or at least neutralize any threat to Russian dominance) on its borders. He will be — as Russian despots have been since time immemorial — underhanded, deceitful, duplicitous, and willing to do business with anyone in order to secure his goals.

But those goals include the protection and advancement of the Russian people, which is why Mr. Putin remains so popular in his country, despite his autocratic ways.

Can you think of any Western leader who unequivocally promotes the protection and advancement of his own nation and people?

Neither can I. That’s why I don’t rah-rah over the idea of a Potemkin democracy in Ukraine.

Becoming a full-fledged dues-paying feoff of the hegemonic European superstate is not an outcome that any of us should celebrate.

63 thoughts on “The Devils You Know

  1. This affair highlights the dangers of having within your borders a minority population that is prepared to take orders from abroad.

  2. Yes, one thing that hasn’t been discussed properly, in fact hasn’t been discussed at all, in the old media is where all this money’s going to come from, that the West says they’re going to throw at Ukraine. Austerity my left testicle!

    • 11 billion euros? They just take on some more debt.

      Yes, that is stealing from the next generation. But the ‘noble aim’ of the Union controlling Ukraine, rather than Russia, seems to justify that in the eyes of the Union leaders.

      Then, Russia does now a thing or three about doing things on the ground…

    • From the IMF and other international financial institutions. That means, at least through the IMF, Americans will be footing most of the bill. Then there’s new legislation being proposed by the EU to rob portions of Europe’s 500 million citizens of their pensions for some extra cash.

  3. I so totally agree with every word you have written here regarding “the devils you know” and thug1 vs thug 2. Ukraine will not have true freedom in either case. The EU offers a illusion and Russia delusion. Sadly, America too has both. The world’s people are being being herded and squeezed back into bondage with choices of less of two evils – both choices dictated by powerful elite. Neither choices are true free makets for prosperty or individual liberty.

  4. What’s good for the goose…

    I don’t think any of the EU fools want to remember the Velvet Revolution nor the US the Monroe doctrine apparently. Good analysis of the kremlin mindset. The other bit that is of interest is that of NATO, most Russians are perplexed by the fact that it still exists. Yet in the west we have been sent top sleep on the actual purpose and role of NATO. While the west sees things month by month, week by week, the kremlin is seeing this in years and decades. The Russians have already experienced the “joys” of neo liberalism and free market economics in the early 90s, it wasn’t pretty to watch and they suffered greatly. This is one of the reasons why Putin got elected in the first place, to sort out the mess.

    The other worrying thing is that some in the Ukraine right wing party have experience of fighting the Russians, even in Chechnya, alongside the Muslims. So there are devils within devils. The situation is extremely complicated on the ground, with no sight of real democracy anywhere.

    Putin has mentioned Kosovo as an example, yet the ship of fools, flagged in the EU and the US have stepped up their self righteous hypocrisy by stating it is not the same. International law has already been thrown out with the bath water a long time ago. This is adding another layer of two faced blatant hypocrisy. First came Serbia and the bloody partion of Kosovo, (also notice the fact that the whole of Kosovo has to be ceded in order to get the promise of an EU carrot), despite the fact that the northern part of Kosovo is predominantly Serb in ethnicity. No pragmatic divisions for the sake of avoid future troubles. The strife is ongoing with a number of Serbs being literally targeted by the Pristina authorities, arrested and facing charges. No doubt supported by the EU and the US, to get rid of the troublesome serb politicians.

    Then there is the false flag with Syria recently, not to mention Libya and then Iraq with the willful manipulation of intelligence dossiers to paint the Baathist regime in the blackest of lights. All counter to the UN resolutions of the time, ( the same applies to Kosovo too).

    The question is what is this all leading up to??

    • As for NATO, it’s worth noting that ‘defense’ seems stricken out from the word ‘alliance’. Note also that Turkey, arch-enemy of Russia, has a deciding role in all things NATO says and does. That shows, subtly.

      For Russia, control of Crimea is of the highest strategic importance. One needs only to look at a map in order to understand that.

    • Lena it could all be leading up to a nuclear showdown
      with the US perceived as holding a considerable advantage over Russia. The crimea is a red herring for the Ukraine shambles, and the Ukraine mess is a red herring
      for the true intentions of Washington, namely the hunting down of Russia.

  5. Yes, the possibility that Putin is reacting to a perceived threat to an important naval base seems to have been ignored by the MSM, unfortunately for the Ukrainians they will be ‘collateral damage’.
    I can remember the remarkably naive forecasts many ‘expert’ commentators made in the early 90s of Russia’s future as a liberal democracy, amazing.
    Putin is simply playing his version of the ‘Great Game’.

    • Heh. In a 1995 essay, I foresaw that Russia – then completely in the abyss – would certainly get back into the Great Game. And Putin certainly knows how to play this to his advantage, in contrast to the EU Useless Elite.

    • Putin doesn’t react, he responds.
      The Obama admin tends to react more.
      One requires thought, the other doesn’t.

  6. Living in a country that has a 1300 km long border with Russia Putin’s recent actions tends to make you a little nervous. They also make you to look at your own elected leaders and their ability to make the right decisions a bit more closely.

    Russia has few genuine friends. Putin probably thinks Russia is big enough and doesn’t really need friends. Thuggocrats like Lukashenka in Belarus and cleptocrats like the former Ukrainian president Yanukovitch are not friends but vassals who seem to be the kind of friends Putin is looking for in the “near abroad”.

    Too many EU countries are dependent on Russian energy to make any sanctions against Russia effective. The easiest way would be to freeze the assets of the oligarchs closest to Putin but Britain and the City of London would never allow that.

    If the Ukraine falls into the Western camp, Putin wants to make sure that the West pays the full price of it including the bailout of Ukrainian economy and possible territorial losses to Russia. Things may get ugly if the separation process turns violent.

    Weakness invites aggression and Putin sensed weakness in the way the US handled the Syrian crisis and Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. The resulting diplomatic victory of Russia emboldened Putin to challenge Western expansion into the former Soviet republics. The Ukraine is as close to Russia as it gets and it might be the best option for Soros & Co to acknowledge that and withdraw.

    • Putin doesn’t see himself as needing friends. He has a useful, careful alliance with China, but he knows better than to cross them.

      Obama doesn’t want friends. He is part of a circle-jerk of fellow “people users” so they serve as his cover. For leading your country, a rational person, faced with Putin vs. BHO, would have to hold her nose and pick Putin. Obama is worse than useless, he harms whatever he touches. And Putin knows that. All he has to do is make some move, any move, and then watch for Obama’s disastrous reaction.

      We might have avoided this juncture if we’d voted A.B.O. – Anybody But Obama – but sooner or later we’d be facing a similar crossroads since Putin is determined to gain control of all the energy and Brussels is determined to beat him at his own game. It would take a Machiavelli to outsmart Vladimir or Brussels and American culture doesn’t turn out competent Machiavellis, just spoiled wannabes.

      Those in charge gave us Obama so they could rub our faces in this dilemma. Repeatedly.

      • Putin is only interested in Russian energy such as the gas flowing through the inept Ukraine. He has shown NO interest in controling energy belonging
        to others.

  7. I changed your word to ‘herded’ since that is obviously what you meant.
    Putin is loathsome. What Russia has done since time immemorial is murderous and barbaric, though Stalin raised the bar. But the smooth EU is now Russia’s moral equal. It herded the citizens of many countries, including those who voted not to join, into its fold.

    “You like the name of your country? You can keep the name of your country…at least for the moment. But eventually, perhaps when you original nay-sayers are gone from the scene, and we have all of your descendants inside our borders, those useless names will be replaced with regional numbers.

    Don’t think so? Check the glorious constitution, the one that supersedes your ‘national’ laws, the one which shows England in Region 9. So much neater, don’t you think?

    Oh, and we ask you what you think because at the moment we have to pretend we give a rat’s patootie what you want while we proceed to do what we want. There isn’t a darn thing you can do about it, so hold your delusional demonstrations and we’ll agree you should have a democracy, that you already live in a democracy. You’ll even get to choose the color of your benzodiazepine lollipop.

    Fasten your special sheeple seat belts, the ones we designed in Belgium. The road is downhill from here and it’s a steep grade. You don’t want to be caught without your seatbelt, not in this democracy…”

    • This is a game of chess between ‘whoever controls the US’
      and Putin who you correctly identify as being an old-style
      Russian leader. But he is certainly not evil. Sadly he is slow to learn the nature and true objectives of his
      opponents. He has been caught napping 3or4 times in the last 10 months alone. The casual theft from Cypriot deposit accounts, many of them Russian accounts, the agitation leading to civil war in Syria, and the Ukraine
      provocation ALL came from the same source, and it seems Putin is unable to anticipate these ‘situations’. He also made a fool of himself ‘forgiving’ the crook
      Kordokovdky who is now on the attack against Russia. It all bodes bad news for the World.

  8. so we all sit idly by as Russia plays its game of “Putin Take”
    personally, I think I would rather have Russia as the Oligarch instead of Europe. I have seen what Brussels has done and that they have more than enough Eu-Rope to hang themselves and everyone else with.

  9. The third paragraph is gold, pure gold.

    How heartily Putin and his cronies must laugh at the strategic geopolitical incompetence of the USA/EU. The Budapest Agreement of 2008 (whereby the West supported the transfer of the Ukraine’s nukes to Russia) , the Syria deal ( whereby Putin got all he wanted for nothing).What intrigues me is why in a hyper-power of 300 million people there is nobody in a position to give Obama/Kerry advice “Russia 101”. Henry Kissinger, how I’m missin’ yer!

    When one of my sons raised the Ukraine matter with me I had to explain: Putin is like a professional poker player matched with people who have a vastly self-overrated sense of their own abilities, but are in fact naive rookies. And Putin knows that.
    Putin, yes devious, dishonest and brutal as he is, acts in Russia’s interests; which is rather enviable for us in the West insofar as it would be nice if our national leaders acted in our interests.

  10. It all reminds me of the way Stalin got the better of Roosevelt and Churchill during WWII. They tended to talk about what they would like the world to look like, but Stalin was only interested in facts. And the Red Army occupied Eastern Europe, there was no shifting them, and that was all there was about it.

  11. Who would have thought back then, that would be the place to look to as a source for more reliable information today?

  12. Baron, I really appreciate you writing this article. The Cold War-era hysteria is grating on me severely. Putin has simply done what any strong leader in his position would have: acted in his country’s interest. Crimea is the main Russian warm water port and without it, Russia is severely hampered in its naval operations. Would the United States let Hawaii go if Japanese Hawaiians gained the support to rejoin Japan? Well, maybe with Obama as President but in general, no. I know that isn’t a direct parallel but since Ukraine was essentially a Russian vassal until now, I think it’s workable. Powerful nations act in this way; it’s to be expected. I give Russia great credit for effectively annexing Ukraine without spilling any blood. This could have been much worse.

    There hasn’t been any indication that Putin wants more of the Ukraine, though obviously he is doing whatever is possible to help the accession of a new pro-Russia government. Putin is not a nice man, nor a man of good character. He’s a throwback in this highly liberalised world. In spite of that, he’s acting in his country’s direct interest and I can’t fault him for doing so. It would be good if America could elect a new President who would be as intelligent and decisive.

    • Sorry, I meant to say “effectively annexing Crimea”. All the Cold War nonsense is getting to me. 🙂

    • Putin has simply done what any strong leader in his position would have: acted in his country’s interest.

      Which is why our bunch of weak leaders gang up to demonize him:

      Acting in national self-interest is all but forgotten by our own ‘leaders’.

    • I’d take true democracy any day over what Putin resides over, but we no longer have any REAL democracies left, and none of our leaders have the character that Putin so readily displays. Putin may not be a nice man, but you don’t have to like your leader, only know that he does the right thing by the country you love.

    • OK. 1)”Crimea” isn’t a port. 2)Nothing there has been a Russian port since 1991. Russia has had unimpeded access there for goods to be sent out, but Odessa is a bigger port in terms of goods, and so far you guys haven’t given that one to Putin. 3)So, your position is that big countries get to annex 45-million-person neighbors, and we congratulate them for doing it bloodlessly? And you want a president that does that? Wow.

  13. if Putins actions prevent the resurgeance of the tatar muslim enclave of the crimea, then the boy done good.

  14. I’m surprised. I generally agree with you guys on everything, but I fail to understand where you get your love for a dictator who robs his own country and uses mafia-like structures and methods to rule, as Putin does. Come on … I understand your frustration with Brussels, political correctness, socialism in Europe etc, but let’s keep the proportions in sight!
    – Ruling via a caste of untouchable oligarchs who are totally above the law (they don’t even have to follow the driving laws)
    – Mocking democracy by a using the Miediediev puppet as interim ruler for an election term, just to come back again.
    – Controlling and censoring every remotely important media outlet in the country
    – Eliminating political opponents by arbitrary throwing them in jail or into labor camps
    – Forming the judicial system into effective tool for sentencing and eliminating anyone who is critical.
    – Constant pressuring and interfering in the internal affairs of neighboring countries by regulating the prices of exported gas and other resources in reaction to their internal political processes.
    – Using exactly the same arguments to invade a neighboring country as tsarist Russia did to conquer Central Europe (protection of Russsian-speaking population)

    Where does this great sympathy for the ex-KGB mafioso come from? Are you really serious about him being better then the EU? Better for the Russian people? For Ukrainians? Wouldd you like to live in a country bordered by the EU or Putin’s Russia? Somehow your stance is hard for me to grasp, knowing what intelligent and freedom- loving people you are.

    All the best,


    • Nick,

      If you think I feel “love for a dictator” or express “sympathy” for him, you have failed to read my essay closely.

      I don’t have to like Putin or Russia at all in order to see clearly what is really going on. The current crisis is a set-up, an attempted cold-eyed power-grab by the EU and the NWO designed to wrest control of Ukraine from Russia and attach it to the multicultural hegemony of the borderless West. This is true regardless of what kind of man Putin is.

      And no, I wouldn’t want to live in a small country bordering Russia. No one in his right mind would. For those unfortunate places, it’s always like Poland or Czechoslovakia in 1939.

      But I don’t want to live in the EU, either. And, God help me, I don’t like living in Obamerica. I hope we can shake off the demon before it is too late.

      • I remember the tension in Eastern Europe when the territory of Georgia was invaded during the Olympic games. But even in times of peace, Russia is constantly bullying its neighbors,making incendiary remarks or constantly flying over their borders and refusing contact with the military command or aircontrol of those countries while doing so.

        • You have an alternate title for the post there, a riff of some kind on Russia as The Bully Eternal. The US Eagle could never stand up to the Russian Bear…funny, now having seen a real one in operation on the front porch here, I see why it’s Russia’s totem animal.

          We, on the other hand, being a relatively new nation, could well be on the way toward an unfortunate transmogrification from the proud eagle into an earth-bound turkey. Not the Ottoman kind but Meleagris gallopavo…good for eating ticks out of our yard and as a centerpiece for dinner.

    • I fail to understand where you get your love for a dictator

      That’s a common misunderstanding – if we criticize our own governments and their actions, it must be out of love for Puting. That’s quite plain wrong.

    • Strange but your descriptions also fit 99% of the Gulf states. Who is cosying up to? The EU is well on is way to the Russian description, the west has its own ring of oligarchs too. Unelectable and unaccountable too. The EU doesn’t have an invidiual but a cabal and commissions.

  15. Let me remind the native population of Crimea is Crimean Tatars. Russia destroyed their country in late 18th century and ruled Crimea for two centuries. But it doesn’t make Crimea Russian land, e.g. Russians ruled Latvia longer than Crimea nonetheless Latvia is and will be land of Latvians. The only reason Tatars are a minority at present is a genocide and ethnic cleansing. In 1944, all Tatars to the last infant were rounded up and deported to the Central Asia. A half of the nation perished. Tatars were allowed to return to their colonised homeland only in late 80ties so they are still a minority in their native country. “Stunning historical illiteracy or a deliberate act of cynical dishonesty” is to claim Crimea is Russian land.
    As for Thug 1 vs. Thug 2, we must remember thugs are different. A thug who kills is worse than one who robs. Putin is the one who kills. But this is not Thug 1 vs. Thug 2 situation. To a cold-eyed realist, this is Russian imperialism vs. Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars exercising their self-determination rights. Fainthearted Obama and even more cowardly EU standing aside and making empty noises.
    “But those goals include the protection and advancement of the Russian people..”
    What a load of codswollop. What kind of useful idiot one must be to think so.

    • And the native peoples of the Americas were the ‘Red
      Indians’ . But it doesn’t seem like the Big O is in any hurry to give back the US to them. Where would the other 345 million people go back to ? The Crimea is 12 % Tatars, does that make it exclusively THEIR own private
      property ?

      • Hummm… Somehow you seens to forget that before the Crimean Tartars there were the Crimean Goths… And before them the Tauri…

  16. What concerns me is the totally one-sided cheerleading by the mudstream media — the same media which has ALWAYS supported communist uprisings and revolutions round the world. For this 180 degree about face, there must be many things being hidden by the press. And we are not likely to get anything near a reasonable or accurate report any time soon.
    While Putin controls the situation there, our Mullah Barry Sotero has a similar iron hand denying his opposition here their civil rights, access to the system, no energy, no negotiations — just ride “at the back of his bus” or get out.

    The US is never likely hinder Putin in any serious way — our opposition party best try to figure out hwo to deal with Mullah Barry, before it is too late!

    • Obama’s iron hand extends to the spineless press: they are not permitted to take photographs of him in the White House anymore but must be satisfied with the images produced by his photography staff. And look how few opportunities there are now to get photos of him otherwise. When he and Mrs. Obama came off the plane at Andrews the other day- walking very far apart – the only photos the news folks could get were by using a zoom lens, and the images had to be solos since the First Couple kept a good distance between them.

      …nor was the press permitted to ask him any questions about the many developments in the world during his umpteenth vacation.

      Yet the press continues to show up at these non-events, mendacious as ever.

  17. Perhaps we should apologise to Hitlers Third Reich ,his actions in the early years of WW2 were to protect the German minorities and in some cases majorities left behind in the final outcome of Versailles treaty.
    This is the argument Putin is using to occupy Crimea ,Georgia ect. is almost identical in the wake of the collapse of the U.S.S.R.
    Another factor is how valid are treaties signed by U.S. U.K Russia and Ukraine to defend the Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine surrendering it’s nuclear deterrent.

    • The Ukraine, like Nigeria, has been ill-used by
      every business trading there. The self-elected collection
      of airheads now in interim control of Ukraine are all
      bought and paid for by the US State Department and will ensure the worst possible outcome for the sad people of that country. They will soon be in the precise position that the banker elites desire, with a huge capital debt.
      They will then be paying off the interest on that capital sum in perpetuity. A banker’s dream.

      [Note: I’ll delete this whole thing if you prefer. However, when possible I redact sexual metaphors. To repeat: we have homeschoolers reading these comments and will continue to abide by our agreement with their parents.]

      • Ignorance is bliss. Ukraine already has a huge capital debt, made worse by Yanukovych. This comment is irrational.

      • Black Sea Region???
        Strategic importance???

        Indeed. Where else can the Alliance (NATO) find a place to install rockets aiming so directly at the Russian heartland?

        Obviously, Ukraine is of utmost strategic importance. To Russia.

        Some may argue that letting Russia be in control of Crimea constitutes a good defence against potential trouble from Turkey. I tend to subscribe to that view, for we have worse trouble with Turkey than we have with Russia.

        • Turkey don’t have nukes so they are not
          Major League. But they do have 3 or 4 US
          Army /Air force bases. Crimea has a lot of
          Russian bases in a fairly small area, quite easy to neutralize when the US decides to

          • Obviously, there is a real (though small) risk that the US would attack Russia. Conversely, there is absolutely NO risk that Russia would attack the US.

            Now, who’s looking like the aggressive part here?

            As for Turkey, don’t underestimate their imperial ambitions. I’ve seen pictures of Erdogan speaking in front of a huge map showing a Turkeyfied central asia, southern Russia and eastern Europe. The neo-Ottoman forces in Turkey are real, and Erdogan is playing their game slowly but surely.

            Russia would be able to counter such neo-Ottoman ambitions, NATO probably not.

        • That’s nuts. Obama goes from feckless to wanting to point missiles at Russia? Do you seriously believe that, when he even pulled the missile shield out??

  18. Crimean Tatars native to the Crimea? Don’t make me laugh. The Tatars in the Crimea are the remnants of an invasion force headed by old Genghis himself and two generals (Subutai and Jebe) which swept out of Central Asia in the 13th century and conquered as far as the Volga. It wasn’t until Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan in 1552 that the pattern of pillaging and war all the way up to Moscow by the Tatars was ended. By that time, many Tatars and ethnic Russians had intermarried and many stayed where they were when Tatar ruled ended. Don’t you know the old saying “Scratch a Russian, find a Tatar”?

    Why does this interest me? My husband is Russian and my brother-in-law is a Crimean Tatar. Yes, the Tatars were and are discriminated against. My own brother-in-law was denied advancement in the merchant navy, despite being the best student in his class. But Russians have long memories. They have not forgotten their history, the misery they suffered at the hands of the Tatars nor are they inclined to let bygones be bygones.

    Make of that what you will.

    • Russia never forgets any perceived slight done to it, but it wants to erase from world memory its own hideous crimes.

      Being worse than Hitler doesn’t make Hitler moral, however, as another commenter, above, implied. It’s simply that Hitler’s crimes were more available to dig thru, while the Russians stiff-arm (or worse) anyone who tries to do that digging thru the facts of Russia’s almost inconceivable brutality.

      We are so easy to lead around: their leaders permit us to dig thru some of the KGB archives for a limited time and we think we’re getting the whole truth and that the Russians are being ‘open’.

      • Dymphna, have you heard of a book entitled ‘the plot against the church’, by Maurice Pinay ( which is apparently a pseudonym for a number of authors. It can be read at:

        I’d suggest taking a look at the appendices first. If this book is legitimate it could explain a lot .

  19. First Ukranian patriots were neo-Nazis, then they were Soros minions, now they are Obamabots? Get your story straight. The Ukranian people are fighting for their national independence from Russia. If you don’t like that, just say so, don’t slander them. Those fighting in the streets want national independence not to be slaves of Russia or the EU.

    • Not so fast there Federale. ‘ Those fighting in the streets ‘
      suddenly appeared if we remember correctly, and it is totally clear now that such an energetic uprising and
      occupation of the Maidan can only have come about
      because the Ukrainian Nationalist side was paid to do exactly that , exactly then. Now it is also obviously crystal clear that the crude cave-dwellers who subsequently
      emerged as the ‘ New Government in Kiev ‘ were also
      fully paid or probably considerably overpaid by the dogs
      of war in the US State Department. The equally revolting
      Nuland clumsily told us that herself. This entire saga has been orchestrated from Washington whose eventual
      goal is the conquest of Russia. The Ukraine is a distraction.

      • You people [seem to have a diminished capacity for reasoning]. You’re saying that the same Obama sacrificing allies right and left and cutting defense to the bone wants to conquer Russia? And Ukraine is somehow a step to that?
        The reason people appeared suddenly is that Yanukovych suddenly made a U-turn on association with the EU.

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  21. Gotta say, as an occasional donor and avid reader, this is the most horrifying post I’ve ever read here. It reads like a transcript of Russian propaganda. You link to a conversation about rumors and decide that suddenly you know who funded the Maidan. You freak out about Waffen SS uniforms, but you don’t recall (or know) that the Waffen SS Division Galizien (cleared of all war crimes charges) was one effort to fight the Russian occupation.
    The treaty of 1994 allowed a time-limited Russian garrison only in Sevastopol, and it was only supposed to be naval in nature. There was no other Russian garrison, no limitation of Ukrainian sovereignty, and certainly no Russian right to change the rules whenever they want. And blithely ignoring capricious border-changing has not usually been your MO. See Kosovo.
    I can’t for the life of me fathom what your proposed alternative to austerity is, when you have almost zero hard currency. The Ukrainian currency, after all, floats, and it isn’t artificially high like the euro for Greece.
    It’s not clear that all Ukrainians want democracy, obviously, but it is clear that they want independence, because Russian rule = Ukrainian oppression with zero exceptions. Despite your conspiracy theories, those protests were huge and quite representative of the country. They united the country in a way that hadn’t happened before. Most of the pro-Russian agitation is by Russian provocateurs, often paid, and even in Crimea there’s little evidence that people wanted regime change. That’s why the Russians had to stage the coup there. The Kyiv regime, on the other hand, is entirely legally elected, and the impeachment of Yanukovych was legal, too.
    As for thugs vs. thugs, in general EU membership and association require anti-corruption measures that were one of the sticking points with Yanukovych, so membership would likely reduce corruption at least somewhat.
    To me, the idea that the EU even wants Ukraine is ludicrous, let alone that they would somehow conspire to get it. Under Yushchenko they ignored it, much to his discomfort. It’s big and poor and messy. Why would they want it?
    Exit question: do you actually know anyone in Ukraine?

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