Why Is The Ukraine Government Disarming Its Citizens?

“Gun owners who do not have permits for their weapons can now surrender them without penalty,” Ukraine Today reports. How great is that? We’re talking about a former member of the Soviet Union that had its southern region (Crimea) annexed by their Russian comrades. Why would the government want to disarm the populace in the face of the threat of constant Russian intervention? “According to the Internal Affairs Ministry of Ukraine . . .

gun violence increased in recent months. Authorities claim about 80% of illegally-owned weapons were smuggled in from the area of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in eastern Ukraine.

Anyone in Ukraine who owns a gun without a license or a permit has until the end of March to either hand them in or register them with the officials.

And then what? I’m thinking not good things. You?

comments

  1. avatar pwrserge says:

    Gotta love how a government that came into power through a public uprising is now fighting “terrorists” who used the exact same tactics.

    1. avatar Joshua says:

      My guess is the problem isn’t actually terrorists its the theory that a good deal of their population wishes it still belonged to Russia.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Well, given that a large chunk of the population (a majority in the eastern part of the country) are ethnically Russian and feel discriminated against on a daily basis…

        It’s funny how whenever i go to Kiev, everyone looks at me funny. Not because I am a 250lb American with a USMC t-shirt or because I speak with an American sentence structure, but because I only speak Russian and my modern Ukrainian is catch as catch can, at best. (I can understand it and grasp the meaning from context but a lot of the vocabulary was created long after I switched to English as my primary language.)

        What’s even more hilarious is that Ukrainian, as a modern language, did not exist until the 1990s when it was brought back from the dustbin of history and “modernized” as a point of vain nationalistic pride,,, It’s sort of like trying to have a 21st century conversation using Chaucer’s English vocabulary. The modern language simply does not match what people spoke and learned during the late Soviet era.

        I can only imagine what people who lived their entire lives in the country and are native Russian speakers go through.

        1. avatar Caveman says:

          Your aids test came back, its alladeen.

        2. avatar 16V says:

          I have never developed the ear for the Slavic languages, or maybe I’m just lazy. I’ve tried, but I just can’t do it – even motivated by attractive women who are working on their American English.

          Oh well, I’m kind of amused by the “crackdown”. The guerrilla war against the Soviets didn’t finally lose all traction until the 1960s. The kids around Kyiv still go into the woods and dig up old Nazi bunkers – that mud is a great preservative. Maybe, just maybe a few folks will make a show of it, and throw the ‘authorities’ a broken Mauser or something. But emptying out the flower bed at home, let alone the dacha? Yeah, that’ll be the day.

          I have an expat friend and his expat community. I’ve seen pics of some of the ‘private collections’ buried in underground storerooms. Getting Ukraine disarmed is about like getting the US unarmed – ain’t gonna happen.

        3. avatar int19h says:

          >> What’s even more hilarious is that Ukrainian, as a modern language, did not exist until the 1990s when it was brought back from the dustbin of history and “modernized” as a point of vain nationalistic pride

          This is a plain lie (which is popular with Russian nationalists, because it allows them to contest the existence of Ukrainians as a distinct ethnicity). Ukrainian never ceased to be a literary language in the western parts of the country (that weren’t occupied by Russia and hence Russified), and in the rest of it, it was always a spoken language. The revival of it as a nation-wide literary language began in 19th century, and extended considerably early under Bolsheviks (their policy known as “korenizatsiya”, look it up in Wikipedia for more).

        4. avatar Rooster says:

          “What’s even more hilarious is that Ukrainian, as a modern language, did not exist until the 1990s”

          That’s one way to look at it, another is that the soviet government suppressed the language (and Ukrainian culture in general) when it took power by refusing to acknowledge it in any official capacity.

          I wonder what language my grandfather spoke with his friends and family all his life, must have been just gibberish eh ?

        5. avatar Pwrserge says:

          Sorry guys, but it’s not a myth. The literary Ukranian that existed in the 80s has little resemblance to modern Ukrainian. The problem is that the modern vernacular borrows almost all post-19th century terms from a selection of other languages.

          I learned Ukrainian in school in the late 80s. My favorite example is simple:

          Translate helicopter into modern Ukrainian.

        6. avatar neiowa says:

          Oh oracle of commie history – tell us how the Russians came to arrive in the Ukraine and where oh where did the Ukrainians go? (without using the words stalin, genocide, starvation, Siberia)

        7. avatar Pwrserge says:

          Right… Because clearly the borders of modern Ukraine were 100% ethnic Ukrainian prior to 1900… I have to break this to you, but the Golodomor killed regardless of ethnicity… It was about social structure, not ethnicity… And was carried out by a Georgian, not a Russian.

          Oh, and I will point out that Ukraine is the only former soviet republic whose economy was better off under the USSR. I find it ironic that the only thing that an independent Ukraine managed to accomplish in the past two decades is elect a more or less unbroken string of corrupt oligarchs… But I’m sure that some ukrop is going to find a way to blame Russia for that one as well…

        8. avatar Kaban says:

          >>Well, given that a large chunk of the population (a majority in the eastern part of the country) are ethnically >>Russian and feel discriminated against on a daily basis…

          Oh, I love smell of propaganda bullshit. Same anger-emote, keyword level stuff that was pushed from every Russian TV during annexacition of Crimea.

          I wonder if you have ever been to Ukraine, let alone Kiev. The country has it problems, like western portion (no exactly friendly to people of jewish exterior), and Donbass region (with its trademark breed of young thugs), but being Russian speaker in Kiev is not one of them.

          (hint: “ukrop” gives you away like blaze orange ghillie, too ;-))

        9. avatar pwrserge says:

          I was born in Kiev. I still own property there and have extended family live there. When was the last time YOU were in Kiev?

          BTW. Ukrop is a great term to use for rabid Ukrainian nationalists and historical revisionists who make Nazis look moderate.

        10. avatar int19h says:

          >> That’s one way to look at it, another is that the soviet government suppressed the language (and Ukrainian culture in general) when it took power by refusing to acknowledge it in any official capacity.

          In the interests of fairness, it wasn’t just the Soviets, and the Soviets actually did some positive things.

          In Imperial Russia, Ukrainian was, at best, ignored and derided as “peasant speech”, and at worst, actively suppressed. At no point was it treated as a serious language.

          Soviets, on the other hand, early on (1920s) had a strong policy of encouraging cultural nationalism – this was part of Lenin’s platform, and the one that he seemed to have taken very seriously. One big part of it was encouraging the use of languages other than Russian in parts of the country that had non-Russian ethnic majorities or significant minorities. This was done by switching school education to those other languages, publishing books in them, encouraging their use in everyday life. In some places, they actually had to design writing systems for some more obscure languages (mostly in Siberia) and borrow words to fill their vocabularies to the level necessary for a modern society. For Ukrainian, that wasn’t needed, but even just making it the official language in Ukrainian SSR, switching schools to it, and massively increasing book publishing in it, was a big help.

          When Stalin took over, he saw any sort of nationalism as a threat to his consolidation of power, and shut the program down, reversing many of its achievements.

          After Stalin, it was partially reversed again, but never got to the level it was under Lenin. All the constituent national republics would still have their native language designated as co-official alongside Russian, and local schools would teach it as a second language; but it was more of a formality at that point, and most people still used Russian as their first and primary language everywhere.

        11. avatar pwrserge says:

          @int19h I’m not sure where you got the idea that a modernization of Ukrainian was not needed who it was brought in as the other official language of the Ukraine SSR. I learned the language that was used then, and it was rather easy because it borrowed almost all 20th century terms from Russian. This was not the language of Bohdan Khemlnytsky. That language, while perfectly adequate for everyday use, lacked the modern vocabulary to be used as an official language in a modern Soviet Republic.

          What pisses me off, as a native Russian speaker who was born in the Ukrainian SSR, is how the Ukrainian government went through and stripped Russian words out of the official language and replaced them with ridiculous substitutes pulled out of Western European languages.

          Example…

          Helicopter -> Pre 1991 Ukrainian -> Vertolyot
          Helicopter -> Post 1991 Ukrainian -> Ghelycoptyor

          It mildly annoys me, as it basically means that I can’t speak the language anymore without descending into a weird amalgam of Russian and Ukrainian. (Fun fact, my Russian has some Ukrainian bleedover as well with using expressions like “sho”.) I can see how native Russian speakers who actually have to live there and deal with the government on a regular basis might be pissed about needing to use a language they never learned to live in a country where they were born for no real logical reason.

          To put it into into a parallel that American natives can better understand… Imagine if New Mexico, Arizona and Utah adopted Navajo as the official language after it have been “modernized” by filling in missing terms with Chinese.

        12. avatar int19h says:

          Has it occurred to you that the process that you describe has happened in the past in reverse (in the USSR, under Stalin’s policies of making everything uniform and closer to Russian – the history of Belarusian alphabet and Taraškievica is another similar story); and this was not inventing new things, but rather restoring Ukrainian to its pre-russified state?

          Obviously, as a native Russian speaker, it would feel to you like more familiar words are replaced by less familiar ones. But it’s the native Ukrainian speakers (i.e. people who learned it as a first language from their parents, essentially) who meaningfully “own” the language, and have the most say in what it should and shouldn’t be like.

        13. avatar int19h says:

          >> To put it into into a parallel that American natives can better understand… Imagine if New Mexico, Arizona and Utah adopted Navajo as the official language after it have been “modernized” by filling in missing terms with Chinese.

          Not quite. It’s as they had Navajo as official language before (one of the two), but with numerous English borrowings from the period of US control. And then they decided that they wanted to make Navajo the only official language, and remove all those English borrowings, and go back to the older version of the language that had Spanish borrowings instead (because pure Navajo just doesn’t have words for many modern concepts, so you have to borrow from somewhere else).

          In case of Ukrainian, the two other languages that heavily affect it are Russian and Polish, largely because pretty much the entirety of today’s Ukraine was at some point a part of either Russia or Poland (or successor states that preferred Polish in that area, such as Austria-Hungary). Consequently, for a very long time, there simply wasn’t a single well-defined language, but rather what the linguists call a “dialect continuum”, ranging from the most polonized dialects in the West, to the most russified dialects in the East.

          And when they got to actually establishing the literary standard for the language in the 19th century, most of the work was happening in the West – because Austrians were much less concerned about it than Russians, and didn’t persecute those doing it as heavily. Consequently, the literary standard was derived from the speech in the western regions that had very little Russian influence on them for the past 700 years, but a lot of Lithuanian and Polish influence.

        14. avatar pwrserge says:

          That’s all well and good, but a large number, possibly a majority, of Ukrainians born prior to 1990 are native Russian speakers, not Ukrainian speakers. (I am a perfect example as while both my mother and maternal grandparents spoke Ukrainian, as a family we spoke almost exclusively Russian due to my father’s Kuban cossack roots.) Don’t you think that they might feel a slight bit alienated if they can’t even speak the new language of their own country?

          The reality is that the Kiev government has abused Donbas for decades. They turned it from a prosperous industrial region into a third world shithole. Is it any surprise that they took the opportunity to secede when they had it? Is the government in Kiev (that didn’t represent them in any way) then morally justified in using military force to prevent them from seceding?

          Crimea is an even better example as that region had been a Russian enclave since the 1700s and was only transferred to Ukrainian control in the past 50 years. The overwhelming majority of the residents are both ethnically Russian and native Russian speakers. Why shouldn’t THEY get to decide which country THEY want to belong to?

        15. avatar int19h says:

          They can speak the language that they want – no-one has banned speaking or writing in Russian. What they can’t do is communicate with the government using that language.

          Now, for the record, I do believe that language policy of Ukraine is wrong, and they should have taken some clues from Canada and especially Ireland instead, and either make Russian co-official, or at least let separate regions declare it as official.

          The latter is actually where things currently are, since the corresponding “regional languages” law from Yanukovich era is still in effect – they have briefly repealed it after Maidan, but almost immediately reinstated it because of the outcry.

          It may well be that Russian will yet become co-official. While the official Russian narrative is that the conflict is “Russians vs Ukrainians”, the truth is that most people who fight on Ukrainian side actually speak Russian as the first language (and are not ashamed of that in the slightest), and quite a few consider themselves ethnically Russian. In other words, they consider Ukraine to be a civic nation-state, not an ethnic nation-state, and so don’t see a problem with being Russian-speaking Russians while also being patriotic Ukrainian citizens.

          As far as the rest – Kiev government has not specifically abused Donbass. To remind, Yanukovich – that guy who was president for 4 years – was from Donbass. Did it make things better? No. It’s because every region in Ukraine is basically governed by local oligarchic elites, the struggle between which manifests as struggle over the control of the central government in Kiev. So whoever is currently in charge, they don’t abuse other regions, but they do favor their own region for pork allocation.

          Donbass is economically in the shitter because it only makes sense as a part of a much larger industrial network, and one that hasn’t existed for many decades now. What does it do? The first thing that most people who are familiar it will think of is coal. But it’s crappy coal quality-wise, it’s not cheap – so in many cases it’s not competitive even at-cost – and overall reliance on coal has been going down and will keep doing so. Then there’s metallurgy, but there’s also nothing there that doesn’t exist elsewhere – in particular, Russia has its own metal mines – and, again, it’s not very cost-effective, using old processes and technologies while everyone else had moved on. The whole region needs massive infrastructure investment and government job programs to stop being the “vodka rust belt”.

          It’s also why Russia didn’t annex Donbass. It simply doesn’t have any economic value that is anywhere even close to recouping the costs of taking it and holding it, and the risks in foreign relations that would result from it.

        16. avatar 16V says:

          C’mon man. Donbass is a shithole, for the same reason downtown Pittsburgh is – it’s a rustbelt town, that has had the industries that supported it disappear.

          Being from Kyiv, you of all people should know that the Russians brought tons of their manual-laborer-class into those regions to do that work. When that work was no longer necessary, they were all going to get retrained for rocket science, no? Oh yeah, they stayed in that bottle of vodka, same as when they actually were distracted by work on occasion.

          The expats I know are about your age, many had parents that were apparatchiks or ranking military, they were still Ukranians at heart, and as such, looked down on the Russian imports as foreigners.

        17. avatar BrooklynInDaHouse says:

          @int19h My parents were born and raised in Odessa (not Texas) came here in the mid 70s. Between them my aunts, uncles and pretty much anyone in Brooklyn who came here at that time does not speak a word of Ukrainian. On the other hand my wifes cousins who came here in the 90s speak fluently. Hope this info helps your convo.

  2. avatar BrooklynInDaHouse says:

    Watch “Winter on Fire” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4908644/
    it will explain it all.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Watched it a few months back.

      Great documentary – definitely worth the time to watch it.

      1. avatar Scott in IA says:

        Agreed; this should be shown in schools.

      2. avatar BrooklynInDaHouse says:

        This Doc shows why the 2nd Amendment is so important. The whole time im thinking, if these people had AKs on the other side, how different would it be. There is a lot to learn from this movie.

  3. avatar Southern Cross says:

    For the usual reason. They don’t trust their own people.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Yep. Fear their own people more than the Russian bear. Time for some tragic boating accidents.

  4. avatar BLoving says:

    Im reminded of an old Russian joke: why did the peasant pour oil on his flower bed?
    To keep his guns from rusting.
    Guess it loses something in the translation.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      Actually, your version makes it more clear than the first version I read… then again, I might “get it” now because someone ‘splained it to me the first time. Still, pretty funny.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      That’s some funny stuff right there!

  5. avatar clickboom says:

    Before Crimea/etc Obama gave Ukraine 30m to destroy a bunch of random civilian small arms.

    1. avatar NJguns1 says:

      Source?

  6. avatar Anon says:

    Actually this isn’t anything dystopian. Unwanted firearms, the only kind that will be surrendered, are a potential hazard if they are lost. There is a lot of incentive to not report stolen illegal firearms, thus increasing the supply for criminals without the police even knowing.

  7. avatar Smoke Jensen says:

    After the grace period expires comrades we will begin a door to door safety check of all citizens with:
    -FOID cards
    -Firearms Purchase Permits
    -Pistol Purchase Permits
    -Concealed Carry Permits
    -Registered hunters

    1. avatar JR Pollock says:

      We all know that registration NEVER leads to confiscation, right?

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    Why Is The Ukraine Government Disarming Its Citizens? Because that’s what government does.

  9. avatar pg2 says:

    Nice piece of agitprop here RF.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Please explain how the Ukrainian government doing the EXACT SAME THING as the soviets did in the 20s is “agit prop”…

      http://static.prisonplanet.com/p/images/february2013/220213poster.jpg

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Don’t sell your old country short – they fought the Soviet for quite a while.

      2. avatar Pg2 says:

        Did you really just use prison planet as a citation? At least you’re consistent, your scripted pro pharmaceutical sound-bites were just as transparent.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          I actually pulled a well known propaganda poster from Google images. Who hosts it is irrelevant.

        2. avatar pg2 says:

          swrge, after reading your posts, I think i misunderstood you.

  10. avatar Dean Carpenter says:

    I don’t know why but it makes me grateful that I live under the protection of the US Constitution and I can defend myself against any scumbag or group of scumbags who try to infringe on my rights.

  11. avatar Stuki Moi says:

    “gun violence increased in recent months..”

    No shit, Sherlock! What did they think would happen when an invading army crossed the border and started a war?

  12. avatar Wrightl3 says:

    But but the government always has its citizens best interests at heart. sarc/

  13. avatar Caveman says:

    If we had a war here in the U.S. our gov wuld want the civi’s weapons too.

  14. avatar Watts' Twat says:

    Despite what Republicans and Democrats claim Ukraine is a dictatorial “Leftist” regime. The USA (Obama) and it’s allies, Germany under Angela Merkel, France with Hollande etc. with approval of the spineless RINOs like McCain and sponsored by the UN funded and provided arms for the overthrow of the duly elected government and president/prime minister all because they refused to accept African and Moslem “refugees” and pass Gay “marriage”. Once the new government was installed Gay “marriage” became law and the country’scitizens watched as the planes, trains, and buses full of primitive savages arrived within their cities/towns and dumped their “loads” (of fecal matter).

    When it comes to brutality of the new regime they have NO reservations about killing their own. The so-called “Democracy” activists who put the current regime in power even ordered their forces to kill their own supporters at a march in order to vilify the opposition. This was ALL caught on video and the audio is clear, you can hear the snipers receive orders to shoot their own “protesters” and question the command, a huge “False Flag” if there ever was one.

    There is a “civil war” a-brewin’ in Ukraine and I wouldn’t want to be an “elected official” or caught wearing the uniform associated with the current government when the bullets start a-flyin’

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Don’t worry. Pravyi Sektor will handle the immigrant problems.

      1. avatar Pwrserge says:

        You do realize that Ukraine has a flood of its own internal refugees from Donbas and Crimea? Right? The Islamic migrants they were forced to take in are also required by the European Commission to be kept in Western Europe level accommodations, something that most people who live full time in Ukraine can’t afford, much less refugees. Where do you think money to pay for those migrants comes from and at whose expense? I don’t see Western Europe falling all over themselves to help Ukrainian refugees.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          Yes, I’m well aware of some ‘internally displaced’ from the eastern regions – though most are going to Russia since Vlad is promising them the world. Delivering nothing, but still… Why would they ever go west? They’re certainly not wanted by Kyiv residents, and these are cretins want to reanimate Stalin.

          I have no idea about Crimean refugees leaving for anywhere but Russia. It was a Russian warm-water port, they have always been mostly Russian imports (dregs mind you) and have always behaved as such. Expat Ukrainians I know hated going there since it was basically like visiting Russia – signage in Russian, lousy food, lousy service, dirty beaches. hostile people.

          Western Ukraine wants to move beyond golden loaves of bread. They really don’t care what Russians in the east want.

    2. avatar jjimmyjonga says:

      So you don’t like gay savages?

  15. avatar Aerindel says:

    Makes perfect sense to me. Most of Ukraine wishes that it was part of Russia. The government is probably afraid more of their country will rebel and join the Russians.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      The Easterners are lazy and not able to foment anything (save a liquor store looting) without Russian troops to ‘guide’ them. They aren’t of course “Russian military” you see, they’re on vacation. You know, where you take your tank, APC, radio, that kind of thing. Just like all other armies of the world.

      It’s the vodka-soaked rust belt, and they really believe that somehow Mother Russia will help their plight. They won’t of course, any more than they did in Crimea, but if you can get the useful idiots on your side, incursions are much easier.

      1. avatar Pwrserge says:

        Wow… racist much? That “vodka soaked rust belt” was one of the most productive industrial areas in the Soviet Union. The only reason it’s having problem is because the corrupt government in Kiev has been leeching the region of resources for more than two decades. But if the “easterners” are so much of a problem, why is the Ukrainian government conquering their homes at gunpoint?

        1. avatar 16V says:

          Same ‘racism’ for those who cling to UK coal mining. The business is gone, it was great while it lasted, but it’s been replaced. It isn’t coming back.

          You have seen the videos from Donetsk, Slovyansk, Druzhkova, yes? The Russians came, they local denizens had their ‘revolt’ and that culminated with knocking over a liquor store and them all getting drunk. Were it not for the Russkies, they would have been content as long as they could get a bottle of vodka.

  16. avatar int19h says:

    There’s a very simple reason for it. The government is afraid.

    See, the new government turned out to be just as corrupt and clueless as the old one, except now, because they have an active war, that corruption and negligence also translates into people dying (see also: Ilovaysk, Donetsk airport, Debaltsevo), and that is seen as betrayal and treason by those same people who were on Maidan. But what’s different this time is that many of those people have fought in Donbass in volunteer batallions, and came back as veterans, with all the corresponding skills, and personally mad that their own government sent them to die. Some of them came back with their weapons even.

    And so what the new government is most afraid of is another Maidan, which would very quickly turn into an armed uprising.

    1. avatar Caveman says:

      Corect me if Im wrong. Doesnt the Ukraine produce 1/4 of the worlds wheat? Would Russia’s control of that hurt our farm subsidy santions in europe and elswhere? And why is the U.S. so involed with it if its not the wheat. The mideast is oil. And why isnt any mention ever made of Burma”s holocast? Guess they aint got nothing we need.

  17. avatar Dirt Dog says:

    Ukraine is virtually a failed state. The currency is worth less than half what it was two years ago. The country is unable to protect its own borders. Prices are skyrocketing. The government is paralyzed. And this is what they’re worried about.

  18. avatar Bob R says:

    Paving the road to tyranny.

  19. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Why Is The Ukraine Government Disarming Its Citizens? Because it is such a wonderful gun free zone! Every country should be gun free!

  20. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    THIS is why I didn’t bother to view this article. Endless debate. They take guns because they suck. I hope we never go to war to “rescue” Ukraine…reminds me of the Serbian/Bosnian/Kosovo mess too.

  21. avatar Royal Tony says:

    I read the words “Illegal gun surrender” a little differently then what the news intended.

  22. avatar Phil says:

    As far as firearm laws, Ukraine has a leg up on Russia, as well as most post USSR “republics”. AFAIK it is a lot easier to legally aquire and own a firearm there, than anywhere else in the former USSR, barring, perhaps, the baltic states.

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