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“European leaders scrambled Thursday to try and forge a diplomatic deal to end fighting in eastern Ukraine, in an apparent bid to head off U.S. consideration of lethal military aid for the Ukrainian government in its war against Russian-backed separatists,” reports. “At the same time, a bipartisan call in Congress for the U.S. to arm Ukraine was only growing, with lawmakers saying the military aid ‘is past due.'” Here’s a part of that article that caught TTAG reader RK’s eye . . .

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., top Democrat on the armed services committee, said the “key here is to give the Ukrainians the ability to defend itself and to get back to a political solution.”

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said the non-lethal aid the U.S. already is sending “is not enough when you are facing the Russian bear.”

RK notes that “the two Democratic Senators offering support for arming Ukrainians voted for 10-round limits on magazines for US citizens.” Yes, that is odd. Surely American citizens should have the same right – and ability – to own and defend themselves with non-restricted weapons as the Ukrainian people. Am I missing something?

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  1. … ah, kind of, but I’m sure it’s a rhetorical question. The reason those two a*ses voted against Americans having the ability to defend themselves is because they well understand that they (the Rulers) may act like Putin one day… or at least keep that option open for themselves…

  2. “RK notes that “the two Democratic Senators offering support for arming Ukrainians voted for 10-round limits on magazines for US citizens.””

    That’s because democrats don’t consider violent criminals to be ‘the enemy’. They’re the unfortunate result of ‘social injustice’ and oppression.

    Russians, on the other hand, are easily identified as ‘the enemy’, so it’s “open season” on them.

    • Violent criminals ARE the Dims base of course they don’t want their base culled. I’m surprised these idiots aren’t demanding non-detachable magazines and a 1 round limit. Because we all know that you only need one round.

      • You’re joking of course! 🙂

        1/2 the scofflaws I know are card carrying conservative Reps.
        The sense of entitlement is present in spoiled people whether they are rich or poor, Rep or Dem. Anyone who thinks they deserve something without working for it is spoiled. Spoiled by the trust fund, the welfare state or the biggest cause, parents who bail their kids out.

    • Well, these are the same people who would agree that the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence”, as was the recent thing in France.

      Newspeak permeates the political landscape, I tell you.

  3. “Am I missing something?”

    What you are missing is that the political class in this country absolutely despises it’s citizens.

    • While your comment is true, that isn’t the explanation.

      Our betters see no hypocrisy at all because any firearm shipments will go the agents of the state of Ukraine. They always vote for arming agents of the state and disarming the peons.

  4. Ignoring the idiocy of the 10 round limit for Americans, heavily arming the Ukrainians against the Russians next to the Russian border, where the Russians could stage massive troop and equipment support is lunacy, in my opinion. A political solution seems to be the only way to resolve this, through sanctions and some form of increased autonomy for the eastern Ukraine Russian population.

    • “some form of increased autonomy for the eastern Ukraine Russian population.” – Would you likewise agree to an increased autonomy for Mexican population, say, in Texas?
      And the “sanctions” have been shown to be very effective against Iraq (pre-2003), Iran, North Korea, Cuba and all others that were forced to buy what they wanted through intermediaries and pay a bit more…

      • Except that eastern Ukraine was a part of Russia far more recently than Texas was a part of Mexico. (Like within living memory of most of the readers of this article.) Quite frankly, the modern borders of “Ukraine” are an artificial construct that has zero legitimacy. Kiev got away with a flat out land grab in the 90s and the people living on said land were, rightfully, more than a bit pissed when the corrupt plutocracy in Kiev ran the region into the ground. They tried to redress this by electing a leader who supported their position, but said leader was run out of town by a mob of Nazis and anarchists. (Strange bed fellows, yes, but still the case.)

        What possible obligations do those regions have to the central government when that government clearly does not represent them?

        • “… by a mob of Nazis and anarchists.” – seems like you’ve been affected by the Russian media. They have been very active inventing “Nazis”. Funny how the old KGB apparatus came back to life…
          As to who’s land this is, it’s a very complicated issue that is not for us to resolve. But resolving it with Russian tanks speaks volumes in itself. Of course, had the Ukrainians not pissed away their country through disarmament, giving away their nukes, keeping the civilians disarmed and selling anything and everything that could be lifted, they would not have had this problem. Likewise, if we had a president who was more concerned with leadership than a Muslim [brother] outreach, they may not have had this problem, either.

        • Moscow was founded long after Kyiv…

          The “land grab” of 1990, was merely what the Russians abandoned and left. There has never been a definitive border agreement between the Russkies and Ukraine, but the de facto border has always been accepted – until Putin’s puppets were dislodged anyway. Ukraine has always been the breadbasket of mother Russia, not to mention it has tons of oil and gas – just out of reach of Russian tech which is one of the main reasons Putin is so keen to keep his fingers in. He knows that with Western investment, Ukraine can out-produce Russia, supplying the EU, stripping him of leverage, and leaving his only nearby hard-currency customers being the Chinese. Russia is in deep feces because of the sanctions, but even more so because of the price of oil – which is how we collapsed them last time.

          Eastern Ukraine is kinda like DET – rustbelt industries, not a lot of economic future, not exactly a braintrust. Nothing would be happening there were it not for direct Russian running, supplying, and troops. Not to mention the propaganda of offering to pay bigger pensions. Just like Crimea, the only reason anyone indigenous supported the Russians is that they promised bigger handouts than Russian-looted Kyiv was able to pay. Which is truly funny, because Ukrainians always found Crimea to be like American find Miami – it’s sorta Ukraine, but everybody speaks Russian not Ukrainian, and has a Russian mentality. Even with that in mind, most Crimeans would love to go back to being a semi-autonomous Ukrainian zone.

          I have some ex-pat Ukrainian friends, so I get to see vid from the front lines almost daily. Just like A-stan, what hurts Putin with the public is growing numbers of Cargo 200. Sure he controls all media, sure he silences protestors. But eventually the wrong oligarch will get “bothered” that he has been devalued by a billion or two, and there will be silent public support for whatever “accident” befalls VVP.

        • I AM an expat Ukrainian and I think that the Ukrainian government is committing far worse atrocities than the president who they ran out of office. I also happen to be a Don Cossack who has family in the region and knows damn well that in 1990 that place was an industrial power house. An industrial power house that the government in Kiev spend more than two decades systematically looting.

        • But it is true, is it not, that the Kiev government that was doing the looting was a different government than is now in power, and was indeed strongly aligned with Russia? And that the Pro-Russian president who was run out and now lives in Moscow has a lengthy history of corruption?

        • An industrial powerhouse? So was Pittsburgh, rustbelt is the rustbelt regardless of nationality.

          The people that ‘spent 2 decades looting it’ were Russian puppets and their friends. The Ukrainians finally took it back despite the fact it’s Cleveland…

        • @Mark N.

          The last president was hardly an angel, but he was not in power anywhere near long enough. The Ukrainian government in Kiev has been raping the Don basin since the early 90s.


          The power play in Kiev have gone back and forth more often in the last two decades than a pingpong ball. The reality is that the Russian regions of “Ukraine” should have split off decades ago.

        • Not all people who voted for Yanukovich are necessarily pro-Russian. He had broad support in those regions because he himself is from there, and so is his oligarchic clan (while the opposition had power base in other regions like Dnepropetrovsk). Having “your guy” in power means that he can redirect the money towards your region. A lot like pork in US federal politics, actually.

          But even if you assume that every single person who voted for Yanuk also supports LNR & DNR, that still leaves something along the lines of 25%-30% in those regions which didn’t vote for him. And those people, today, when they voice their opinion – end up on the rack in a basement.

        • When both Kiev and Moscow were founded, they were part of a single Eastern Slavic state that stretched from Novgorod to Kiev. There were no Russians or Ukrainians back then, just freshly unified Slavic tribes intermingling under the leadership of, and with, their recent conquerors and new rulers (of Norse extraction). The whole division into Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians came much later, when Kievan Rus fell apart in feudal inter-struggles, and some parts of it were swept by the Mongol invasion from the east (those would later become Russia), while others were taken over by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania the west (those would later become Ukraine and Belarus). It was only after that conquest that the heretofore single cultural and linguistic space began to slowly diverge, giving rise to separate languages and cultures.

          The border between these two, and later three parts, was never firm, and never really corresponded to any particularly strong separation on the ground. The languages, for example, were not sharply divided, but formed a dialect continuum from the Ukrainian extreme in Galich-Volynia, to northern Russian dialects of Novgorod, with a slow, gradual transition in between.

          GDL would later merge with Poland into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which would later crumble itself and be dismantled piece by piece over centuries by the neighboring countries, Russia among them. That was how the entirety of Ukraine eventually ended up in the Russian state, but the territories which are now Donetsk and Lugansk were not part of those acquisitions.

          At the time of Kievan Rus, this entire territory was settled by Polovtsy, a nomadic Turkic people that regularly raided Slavic lands around Kiev to the west. Because of that, it was referred to as “The Wild Fields”. Polovtsy were swept out by the Mongol invasion and were largely assimilated by the Horde, adopting its customs, and then they themselves were pushed out by Cossacks from the east and Russian settlers (mostly runaway serfs) from the north (today, Crimean Tatars are basically the remaining descendants of Polovtsy). It didn’t really have any particular national identity at that point, being more of a frontier where people went from all the adjacent lands running away from trouble or in a search of a better life, with the resulting mix of Russian, Ukrainian and Turkic (esp. Crimean Tatar) culture and language.

          So, really, in terms of ethnicity and culture, neither country has a solid claim on the territory.

    • The problem is that there’s no “peaceful solution”. The separatists are supported by Russia, but they’re not beholden to it, and their leaders realize that continued war is the only way they can be in power (and possibly also the only way they can be truly safe, inasmuch as they can be). So they aren’t particularly interested in a peace process. To remind, it was their advance that broke the last truce.

  5. It’s pretty EZ to support Ukraine over the big bad Russian bear. The dumbocrats got no skin in the game…and it’s not like they can’t run up the national debt to do it. I’m sure they see no hypocrisy either. BTW I see Russia getting much worse as the Asperger Syndrome Putin laughs at our joke-in -chief. Next step Armageddon…

    • You mean the “big Russian bear” that clearly has not provided these rebels with any significant support? For crying out loud, they are using Soviet era small arms and WWII era anti-tank rifles. You’d think Putin would cough up some better gear.

        • BUKs which are also standard issue to Ukrainian air defense forces. Russia shooting down an airliner makes no sense, a Ukrainian false flag operation is far more logical.

          None of the gear shown in possession of the separatists is unique to Russia. Don’t forget that numerous Ukrainian troops defected from the coup in Kiev and entire bases in the region were taken, equipment and all. If you look at the video in this post, you will clearly see them using a PTRD-41 which even Russia melted down for scrap decades ago. Do you really think that separatists “equipped” by Russia would be running around with obsolete museum relics? Do you honestly think that a government that overthrew a democratically elected president has any legitimacy?

        • As to the use of the BUK, US intelligence claimed that the missile was fired from the separatist-controlled territory. I wasn’t there, did not see it myself, but given all the conflicting reports, in this case, I tend to trust the Pentagon information more than Kremlin’s.

        • @alexander

          Because the Obama White House would never distort intelligence to take the heat off of one of his puppets?

        • “Because the Obama White House would never distort intelligence to take the heat off of one of his puppets?” — What makes you think that Ukraine is one of Osama’s puppets? He doesn’t give a crap about Ukraine (his “donation” to it was less than he spends on his Muslim brothers in a day!). Would they distort intelligence? Of course, but in this case the Pentagon is still more believable than the Kremlin.

        • @alexander

          I don’t believe either side. I just find it awfully convenient that the “rebels” would destroy any international support for their cause by targeting a group of third party civilians. The idea that an airliner at cruising altitude was mistaken for anything else is equally absurd. Thus, we are left with the most logical conclusion. If the rebels shooting down an airliner did not serve their cause, then they logically did not do it. That leaves only one other group in the region who could have done it.

        • “I don’t believe either side.” — I’m with you on that one. Of course, for the Ukrainian government forces to shoot down an airliner makes even less sense. So, as stupid as it may be, but the most likely explanation, in my mind, is that the rebels simply misidentified the aircraft, or didn’t bother to identify it at all.

      • Exactly, The BUK is definitely not WWII tech. Nor are the APCs, or any of the other materiel in-theatre provided by the Russkies. Eastern Ukrainians on their own would have done what they did before more Russian troops arrived in the early days – commandeer the local liquor store, then get hammered and pass out. Which was what actually happened until they brought in enough Russian troops who ‘ were on leave’. Of course, that does make the Russian military the coolest in the world, as you can go on leave anytime, and take a tank or a rocket launcher platform with you.

        pwrserge, look up video. It’s all over youtube. I see realtime feeds from skype and viber, I swear there are no Mosins to be found.

        • Bullshit. All that gear could have just as easily been captured from Ukrainian Army stockpiles when their local forces defected en-masse. Again, the lack of uniformity and presence of obsolete equipment completely disproves the “Russian supply” propaganda being pushed by Obama and his Nazi loving lickspittles in Kiev. Russia has more than sufficient heavy weapons in inventory to make sure that anybody they supported didn’t have to break out museum relics. Are individual Russians fighting there? Almost certainly. I would be too if my neighbors voted for a president who was illegally removed from office and then had armed troops sent after them when they objected. I am a Don Cossack who was born in Kiev in the very early 80s, I think the Ukrainian government has more or less pillaged the region and has surrendered any right to the territory when they overthrew a democratic election by force.

        • Holy crap. We have an honest-to-goodness KGB payroller here.

          NONE of those weapons could have come from Ukrainian Army stockpiles – there was no en masse desertion, let alone had Yanukovych not helped sell it all away. Christ, this is like watching Pravda TV.

          Yanukovych was removed illegally for his even more illegal looting of Kyiv and Ukraine. Us Americans kicked the Brits out the same way for the same thing. I think perhaps you need to return to Mother Russia. You don’t quite grasp the whole concept of overthrowing evil using whatever means necessary.

          Soooo, all those obvious Russian soldiers, in current Russian uniforms, with current Russian-issue equipment don’t actually exist, huh?

        • @16V

          Did you even watch the video? The current “president” of Ukraine was complaining about over 15,000 desertions.

      • And Putin can deny he has a hand in anything too. What’s your point? I also believe Putin has a grand design on the middle east behind his beady little eyes…as the last days play out. RIGHT NOW muslims are a much bigger threat…especially if Iran gets the bomb and wants to usher in their Mahdi.

        • My point is that we should demand that Ukraine withdraw combat troops from the region and allow the locals to determine what they want to do in free elections. (None of this “the entirety of Ukraine needs to vote to let them go” bullshit.)

        • “My point is that we should demand that Ukraine withdraw combat troops from the region and allow the locals to determine what they want to do in free elections.” — Should “we” have also demanded that Russia withdraw from Chechnya and the Army of the Potomac get the hell out of Virginia? Careful here, or Osama may not be able to travel anywhere outside of DC, NY, San Francisco and Chicago.

        • That’s right. When part of Texas or Utah wants to break away we should respect some retard-driven referendum.

          pwrserge is a Russian troll, watch his idiocy unfold in the threads below. A total commie…

        • Well, I just love the comment suggesting the US “demand” anything at all from anyone in the area. Osama has made this country a laughingstock, that would just be another giggle.

      • Russia itself is using “Soviet era small arms”. On the other hand, separatists have been spotted using e.g. AK-74M, which was adopted by Russia (but not Ukraine) in 1991. Ukraine still primarily uses AKS-74. The two are easily distinguishable by their stock (steel wireframe on AKS-74, black polymer with a groove on AK-74M).

        As for tanks, there are numerous videos from separatists themselves showcasing them using modern armor in numbers, including some tanks that are not used by Ukrainian army.

        The fact that “voentorg” is responsible for a large part of their supply is not even vigorously denied these days. I hang out in quite a few blogs that are written by people fighting on separatist side there themselves, or those directly supporting them, and they pretty much admit that they’re getting supplied by Russia.

        • Actually the AKS-74 is only issued to vehicle crews and paratroopers. Most of the Ukrainian military still uses the AK-74 which looks identical to the AK-74M when dolled up with modern polymer furniture, which the Ukrainian military is known to do. I personally saw Ukrainian border guards at Borispol international airport with polymer AK-74s back when I last visited my extended family in 2013.

  6. I love how American Christians support people who shell churches, but the whole justification seems to be they aren’t in favor of American exceptionalism and pro-Israel therefore they aren’t real Christians and deserve to be murdered.

  7. Ah yes… The “Russian supported” separatist who are fighting with Ukrainian small arms and WWII anti-tank rifles. (Check out the shot of the PTRD in the video, that thing is more than 70 years old.) You’d think that if Putin was footing the bill, he would cough up gear that does not belong in a museum.

    • I saw a photo of a Ukrainian infantry unit that was armed with old SKS rifles. They’re definitely scraping the bottom of the bucket for arms.

      • Possibly, but you would think that if the “rebels” had actual Russian support, they would not need to break out museum piece anti-tank rifles. The only vaguely modern weapon I saw in that video was an AGS-30 which was developed in 1995 and exported to the entire former Soviet Block.

        • “… you would think that if the “rebels” had actual Russian support,” – And thousands of well armed and supported “volunteers” without identifying insignia on their uniforms is not actual Russian support? Well, now that the Crimea has been annexed, Putin did acknowledged that they were in fact Russian troops. But it’s done deal, so “what difference does it make at this point”?

        • @alexander

          Oh please… The Crimea has had well established paramilitary separatist groups since the 90s. In any case, Kiev has no legitimate claims on any territory as their government was put in place by a coup. In that situation, the individual regions have every right to decide not to ben their knees to a government.

          Oh… BTW… I’m FROM KIEV. I moved to the US in 91, I am well aware of just what kind of bullshit the Ukrainian “government” has been up to over the past 25 years.

        • pwrserge, I do agree with you that the Ukrainian government (and everyone there) pissed away their country – corruption, stupidity, the list is long… No argument there. But regardless of the historical questions to whom whichever part belongs to (from Warsaw to well east of the Dniepr), one should expect that these issues should not be solved with tanks in the 21st Century (at least in the civilized part of the world). As to the “legitimacy” of any of those “democratically” elected governments, one only needs to consider not the voting process, but the vote counting process… Something that we are quickly learning in the USSA… As to the “right” of people to rule themselves, please explain this concept to the Confederate States or, more recently, to the Chechens.

        • pwrsege, They have everything from BUKs, T72s, 259 NONAs, Grads (which are WWII, just like the Ma Deuce is WWII – it works).

          Seriously man, just dig around on YT for a few minutes and you can find every current Russian weapon being deployed against the sovereign state of Ukraine by subversive agents of it’s former masters.

        • @V16

          Watch the video above smart one. There is a PTRD in center frame for several seconds clearly being used by the rebels. All of the equipment you mentioned could just as easily have come from local Ukrainian bases and defectors from the Nazis in Kiev.

        • So pwrserge, as an ex-pat you really believe that Maidan was just some CIA operation? Sure he should have been run out Constitutionally, but when you’re a traitor like that…

          That somehow Yanukovych was something other than a Putin puppet and someone who looted billions while defunding Ukraine’s military?

          I take it your family is connected to the Soviets, not actual citizens of Kyiv and Ukraine.

        • @V16

          I don’t care who started the maidan bullshit. The entire protest was a bunch of anarchists and nazis who lost an election and decided that they would rather riot than concede defeat. The Don basin and the Crimea had been Russian since the 1700s until they were handed over to Ukraine for administrative purposes in the 50s. Calling either region “Ukrainian” is a sick joke. As I said elsewhere, my family are Don Cossacks, we were hardly huge fans of the Soviets. (My Grandpa spent his entire life under suspicion as the son of an “enemy of the people”.)

          Right now, the Ukrainian government is committing far worse atrocities than Yanukovych ever did.

        • Yeah, Don Cossacks. Many of whom have fought in support of the Soviet since day one.

          Sure the Supreme Soviet killed about half of them, but that didn’t stop them from being deployed as Soviet units in WWII.

          Living in Kyiv since the 1700s makes your family interlopers, at most generous. Cossacks of any stripe aren’t considered Ukrainians, and by your viewpoints, rightly so.

      • I am well aware how the Russian propaganda machine works. Obama is doing a great job copying it.

        The reality is that the Don basin and Crimean secessions have been brewing long before Putin came to power. The regions were never Ukrainian to begin with and the fact that the Junta in Kiev threw out a president the overwhelming majority of both regions voted for was the last straw.

        Russia has a natural interest in helping their fellow russians (small r for racial group) exercise their human right to self-determination. Similar to the interest the US had in supporting the Texan war of Independence.

        • “Russia has a natural interest in helping their fellow russians (small r for racial group) exercise their human right to self-determination.” — Seriously??? Human rights? Pray tell us you’re joking!

        • @ Alexander
          (Note: Russian = nationality, russian=race)
          Not really. Russian and russian politics are complicated. What most people don’t realize is that modern post-soviet boundaries are based on the borders of Soviet Republics that had no real practical meaning. (Crimea, for example, was not part of “Ukraine” until the late Soviet period. Think 70s) In fact a very large portion of the population of “Ukraine” in 1990 didn’t even speak Ukrainian. I understand it, and can make myself understood, but even being raised in Kiev almost into my teens, it’s still a second language for me. In terms of proficiency, it’s actually my fourth language behind English, Russian, and Japanese. (In order of proficiency.)

          The Chechen wars were complicated by the fact that Chechnya was a majority russian region with a tiny non-russian muslim minority that demanded secession. That same minority wanted to establish an islamic state (under which most of the locals would have been, at best, second class citizens) and then proceeded to use terrorist tactics to attack civilian targets in Russia. The parallels between the Donbas war and Chechnya would hold more water if the Don separatists started bombing apartment building and shooting up schools in Kiev, but we both know that’s not the case.

          I’m not stupid enough to assign altruistic motives to any national government, but the local russians are far more so. In fact, Russian troops going AWOL with small arms is, sadly, not a new phenomenon. If Russia really wanted the regions, they could have easily rolled in one of the over a dozen armored divisions they have sitting on the border. Right now, Putin is in a complicated position. He’s not averse to claiming the territory (though he wanted Crimea far more than Donbas) and he can’t be seen as “abandoning” fellow russians. He also doesn’t want to start a major European war.

          The best solution would be for Ukraine to withdraw all troops and for international observers to oversee a local secession vote. However, Ukraine is sticking to the position that any such vote must include the full population of Ukraine. Even the most rabid anti-Russian has to admit that such a requirement is absurd.

  8. Maybe the air to Ukraine will be include magazines with 10 round limits?

    The parallels to 1939 are disturbingly clear. The real question is whether western democracies will allow Putin to turn Ukraine into the new Czechoslovakia.

    From Wikipedia:

    “The German occupation of Czechoslovakia (1938–1945) began with the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia’s northern and western border regions, known collectively as the Sudetenland, under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. German leader Adolf Hitler’s pretext for this effort was the alleged privations suffered by the ethnic German population living in those regions. . . ”

    The eastern European nations have all but given up on American and western European support and have begun looking to their own defenses. There is serious doubt that, if push comes to shove, Americans or western Europeans will fight to defend small countries like Latvia or Lithuania. After seeing Obama backtrack on a US promise to put install missile defenses, Poland, too, has realized that it has to look to it’s own defenses. The result is that Poland and the Baltic states are creating their own military alliances. That they have to do this is shameful. As the world becomes a decidedly more dangerous place, we’re being led by a president who thinks like Neville Chamberlain. And to make matters worse, we’re moving toward a pre-WWII sized military.

    • Except for the part where Czechoslovakia did not recently run a democratically elected president out of power who was extremely popular in the “annexed” regions. The reality is that Ukraine is better off getting the hell out of regions where they are clearly not wanted. Prior to 1990 Donbas was one of the most productive industrial areas in the Soviet Union. That industrial area has been more or less pillaged and run into the ground by two and a half decades of corruption, mismanagement, and outright indifference from Kiev. The population there is, and always has been, majority Russian and once their representatives in the government were run out of town by an angry mob of ACTUAL NAZIS, they have zero legal or moral obligations to obey the puppet government set up in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution.

      • This is too easy. Been there, done that:

        Again, from Wikipedia:

        “Lebensraum . . . was an ideology proposing an aggressive expansion of Germany and the German people. Developed under German Empire, it became part of German goals during the First World War and was later adopted as an important component of Nazi ideology in Germany. The Nazis supported territorial expansionism to gain Lebensraum as being a law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races to displace people of inferior races; especially if the people of a superior race were facing overpopulation in their given territories.”

        • Please explain what the hell that has to do with a people’s legitimate grievance again an illegal coup in Kiev.

        • Yup, Running out the criminal who was looting the county’s coffers was done ‘illegally’. Whoop-dee-effen-do.

          Nobody cares about the backwater Cossacks who thought the corruption was okey-dokey. The civilized folks of Kyiv thought better.

        • You mean the same “civilized” folks in Kiev who are now using heavy ordinance against civilian population centers in response to a valid secession referendum? I’m sorry, could you refresh my memory as to when Yanukovych shelled the mob in Independence Square?

        • “A valid succession referendum”? Please share some of the drugs you Pravda trolls are issued, they are obviously amazing.

          Do tell how well that would go here in say, the USA? Seriously, you are in the wrong effen country. Go back to Russia.

        • When was the last time a lawfully elected president was run out of town without due process in the US? I’ll let you know how well your scenario goes when that happens.

        • The minute one of our Presidents lives like Yanukovych. I can guarantee it’ll be far more extreme.

          Besides, which President served 3 years for assault and robbery like Yanukovych?

        • “The minute one of our Presidents lives like Yanukovych. I can guarantee it’ll be far more extreme.” — Osama’s personal excesses, in actual dollars, far exceed even Yanukovych’s.

      • “…an angry mob of ACTUAL NAZIS.” – Please quote legitimate sources (not Wikipedia, please) for your statements. I’m getting a feeling that you’re playing Russian TV for us…

        • pwrserge, the NBC News report that you’ve referenced has a picture of a young man wearing a helmet with a swastika on it. Did you noticed that the helmet is not standard issue Ukrainian or Russian armed forces. In fact, this is a current German army helmet (also available at Sportman’s Guide). How did the swastika get on it? A good question, but a question, nevertheless. Making an assumption that it belongs to a real Ukrainian soldier is something that Brian Williams may do, but I’m not quite ready to. When faced with professional propaganda, be very careful in making assumptions. At the Maidan, the Russians had snipers there that were shooting at both sides. Alinsky also teaches the same methods in “Rules for Radicals.” Be very careful.

        • Except that the affiliation and political leanings of the Azov Battalion are well documented. Their party has several seats in the new Rada and they have been committing atrocities against ethnic Russians in the region ever since the maidan coup.

        • Yes, and the Russians have Zhirinovsky, and we have Obama and his Muslim Brotherhood brothers. That, however, does not make the Ukrainian government a Nazi organization. As for the Ukrainians expressing their undying love for the Russians, they only need to remind themselves of the brotherly love that Russians expressed toward them in the 1930’s…
          As to the atrocities, there have been several documented cases of unbelievable atrocities that were actually exposed as paid hoaxes.

        • You confuse “Russian” with “Soviet” the two are far from the same… Need I remind you that the scumbag who was running the Soviet Union at the time was about as Russian as Obama and killed just as many Russians and Cossacks as he did Ukrainians? Or do we need to continue with the racist drivel about how all Soviets were Russian and the Soviet Union was a secret plot by Russia to take over the Slavic world?

        • Except unlike Cossacks, Ukrainians were actively (violently) resisting the Soviets since the Russian Revolution until the mid-50s.

        • @V16
          By voluntarily providing auxiliary troops for the Third Reich. I would not have brought up that little detail were I you. The simple fact is that blaming Russians or Cossacks for what was done by Stalin’s Soviet Union is just plain racist.

        • You’re the one using the words “soviet” and “russian” as if they were interchangeable. How is that NOT racist?

          Do I need to remind you what country “Stalin” actually came from?

        • “You’re the one using the words “soviet” and “russian” as if they were interchangeable. How is that NOT racist?” — What the hell does race and racist have to do with any of this? Besides, serge, you’re the wrong color to get away with this crap. As to interchanging “Russian” and “Soviet” – the current Russian government is rebuilding the Soviet Empire and most of Russians seem to be at the high pitch of nationalist euphoria. Putin does not have Hitler’s oratory faculties, but, then, it is Stalin that he holds in high esteem (and currently restoring his personality cult).

        • The current behavior of VVP and his Russian minions is 100% Soviet. There’s nothing about that which ‘be raciss’. It’s merely a fact provable by actions.

          Stalin was from Georgia. And?

        • The point is that everything you are blaming on the “russians” was actually Soviet policy as set and executed by a Georgian (and not the peach kind). It has no more to do with modern Russia than the 6th century Kievan Russ has to do with modern Ukraine.

          Modern Russia may have expansionist leanings, but if they were as evil as you claim them to be, there would be a Russian Federation flag waving over Kiev and there would not be a damn thing the rest of the planet could do about it.

          The bottom line is that when you overthrow a lawfully elected government by force, you can’t expect everybody to agree with you. (Especially not the areas that supported said government.) When that happens, dictating to those people because “you’re the legitimate government of Ukraine” is more than a bit hypocritical. Sending in combat troops against civilians when you ran the last president out of town for doing the same thing on a much smaller scale is hypocrisy of the highest order.

        • “The bottom line is that when you overthrow a lawfully elected government…” — please stop calling it a “lawfully elected government.” That degrades even the Third World concept of “elections.”

        • He’s actually correct in that Yanukovich has been elected fair and square, and those elections were pretty fair (they had enough outside observers to prove that). Thing is, a lot has happened since then. A real big item is that Yanuk got the Supreme Court to reverse the country’s constitution, restoring the pre-2004 (i.e. pre- first Maidan) one, in 2011. There is a fairly big difference between pre-2004 and post-2004 constitutions in that the former grants a lot more power to the president, and the latter to the parliament. So when people voted Yanuk in, it was a totally different role from what he assumed in 2011.

          Then there was a slew of “emergency” laws in January 2014, as Euromaidan was ongoing, that basically criminalized freedom of political speech and assembly and gave the state “emergency powers” to crush dissent. And then, of course, there was the last drop, which was the murder of several dozen protesters, mostly unarmed, on the streets of Kiev in February. I don’t think that any regime, no matter how fairly elected, can claim any legitimacy or consent of the governed when it starts shooting at its own citizens without any trial or due process.

        • “He’s actually correct in that Yanukovich has been elected fair and square, — I’m sorry, but I have a great difficulty in believing that the elections, including the counting, were honest. That’s just not in the DNA of that culture. We can’t even have honest elections here, and one would expect them where they have never happened before?

        • There were a bunch of opinion polls before and during the elections, and they gave results consistent with the actual vote, so there’s no particular reason to suspect any fraud (at least, anything massive enough to actually alter the outcome). There are also results posted by foreign election observers (e.g. OSCE), which couldn’t be suspected of harboring any sympathy for Yanuk, but agreed that he had fairly won the vote nevertheless.

        • “There were a bunch of opinion polls before and during the elections, and they gave results consistent with the actual vote…” — Yanukovich was a favorite of Putin. Putin has had much experience in making sure that his elections turn out his way. Are we to believe that he didn’t help his friend? In Russia, people voted for Putin for a payment of what amounted to $20 ea; I would think that in the Ukraine the prices were even cheaper.

        • Yanuk was elected in 2010, in the post-Maidan (the first one in 2004) era. Ukraine at that point was more free and fair in terms of its political system than Russia has been at any point in its history, except perhaps a brief stint in 1990s.

          The main way that Putin helped Yanuk is by making it clear that he was the preferred candidate for Russia to negotiate on gas etc (the perennial problem of Ukraine is how to pay for Russian gas). That solidified the support of the pro-Russian part of the electorate, and swayed enough people who were on the fence. It also didn’t help that the main opponent, Timoshenko, was bogged down in a corruption scandal at the time.

        • Perhaps you’re correct as to the elections. If that’s the case, that would be the only time in their careers that a ray of honesty has shone through… With wholesale theft being the highlight of all Ukrainian officials, I’m surprised that they haven’t been all shot in the first place. Perhaps that’s the reason for keeping arms away from the citizens… (in all countries).

        • GTFO my country. Please, before someone less merciful than me finds you (like the 50 ex-pat Ukrainians I know). You have no reason to be here as a supporter of a totalitarian state.

          The Russians are performing exactly as Soviets, because that’s what VVP is banking on.

    • Garrison Hall wrote, “And to make matters worse, we’re moving toward a pre-WWII sized military.”

      Nah. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin deer hunters alone dwarf the next largest army anywhere in the world. And the overwhelming majority of those hunters know how to shoot and operate in the woods.

      No nation in their right mind — nor even in a fit of insanity — would ever try a land invasion of the U.S. We would have something like 20 million armed defenders on hand to immediately repel any such invasion. In other words we would outnumber the invaders at least 50 to 1. This is just one of many reasons for our Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

      • “No nation in their right mind — nor even in a fit of insanity — would ever try a land invasion of the U.S.” — Ever heard of the 5th Column? Obama is leading it.

        • While I tend to believe that, we must remember that Obama’s troops would almost universally be unarmed.

        • They may get a bit of help from the DHS, FBI, BATF, IRS, and plenty of other federal agencies whose allegiance is to the Ruler, not the Constitution.

  9. The desire to disarm people at home while fighting wars abroad is an old one. Way before the democrat party in the US.

    It constitutes the essence of tyranny.

  10. You are missing one simple thing: when they talk about “The Ukrainians”, they mean “Kiev Junta”. It’s the government they want to arm, not citizens.

    • Don’t worry, the citizens of Kyiv are quite well armed. Take your Russian propaganda about a “junta” and stick it far up your Russian anus.

      • Oh really? So when the Junta in Kiev throws out a “corrupt” president it’s “liberation”. When the regions who played a major part in that president getting elected in the first place tell the Junta to shove off, it’s an “insurgency”… I’m sorry, the Junta in Kiev lost an and all legitimacy when they allowed open Nazis from the Azov Battalion to take seats in the Rada.

        As for your claim of “interlopers” who was occupying Kiev in the 1600s? Oh, yes, the Mongols. Who “owned” Crimea before The Russian Emprie took it in the 1700s? I do believe it was the Crimean Khanate. Note the lack of a “Ukranian” state on that list.

        As for Cossaks not being “Ukrainian”… That’s ok, the Don basin is not and never was “Ukraine”. They have exactly as much right to secede from Ukraine as the Junta in Kiev had to throw out a democratically elected seated president without due process.

        • Yanukovich was overthrown by his parliament when he was voted out of power, he was not chased out of the country in a coup.
          And repeat the Russian Montra that the Ukranians are Nazi’s but the new Ukranian government is not anti semetic, as evidenced by the fact that the new president of the Ukranian parliament is a Jew and a close political ally of Poroshenko.
          There were also several Jews killed by government snipers at the Maidan.
          Compare that to the separatist political leaders claiming that the Ukranian government is run secretly by Jews.
          And if you’ll look at the results of the last election, the far right in Ukraine has lost seats since Yanukovich fled.

      • The actual people of Kyiv threw out the corrupt president with his solid gold toilets and diamond studded door knobs in his obscene palace of corruption.

        Whambling on about Azov is the clearest indicator that you have sweet FA idea about Ukraine, and what actually happens there. If you wanted to factually get all squishy about ultranationalists, you’d be talking about Right Sector, you know, the guys who actually get the job done against the people of your Russia-loving ilk. But not a single mention. Just some BS about a group less important than the Nazi party in the US.

        Does Izvestia pay you well?

        • That’s adorable. Please tell me more about how Ukraine has not had government power change hands almost a half dozen times since the 1990s and which of those was actually good for the Don or Crimea. The simple fact is that those areas were rightly fed up with the incompetence you hicks in Kiev have been displaying for the past two and a half decades. Yanukovych was no worse than any other corrupt dictator that was rammed into power in Kiev, you’re just pissed that he didn’t suck Obama’s crotch hard enough for your liking and piss off he superpower Ukraine actually shares a land border with.

        • What’s adorable is that my family was in (what became) the US over 200 years before The Declaration. Yet, still, I know your county better than you.

          You whine on about what the Russian tools have done to Ukraine, as if it was done by Ukrainians. I’m not sorry you’re no longer getting your part of your family’s cut for robbing Ukraine, however incompetent they may be.

          Were your viewpoint actually valid, with actual non-Russian support, Maidan would not have happened as it did. Or another one would have come to pass with your statists winning.

    • It’s really hilarious how the Russian propaganda insists on using this word, junta, against the new government in Kiev, when it doesn’t satisfy literally a single criteria that the word implies (it’s neither military nor a dictatorship).

      On the other hand, the leaders of DNR and LNR are dictators (the “elections” having been exposed as a sham they were based simply on looking the official numbers and noticing that the vote count exactly matches the percentage of the vote, to an error margin of a single vote), and they maintain their power by bands of armed goons threatening and/or using violence against any dissent. In other words, the junta is in Novorossiya.

      • Putin’s propaganda machine would make Dr. Goebbels flush. It is designed for morons, with extravagant claims that are easily proven wrong, yet Russia today seems to consist mostly of morons who swallow the crap without even chewing it. Of course, anyone who questions it is chewed apart pretty fast there.

  11. It’s not about arming the Ukrainians, heaven forbid, it’s about arming the Ukrainian GOVERNMENT, and of course the Dems are OK with that. We all know how governments are just better than the mere plebs /sarc

  12. Jeez 16v, do you have a bottomless bag of ad hominems? Take it down a notch would you; I’d like to think we’re (mostly) on the same side here. (Hunkers down behind his big ol’ ad hominem shield and waits for some to get slung his way).

    • I doubt the bag is bottomless, I just respond to make the point, however uncivilized that may become.

      I really wish it wasn’t like that, but it is…

    • Actually, we sort of are. I don’t support Puttin’s government. (Though I can understand how the humiliation of the russian people post the colapse of the Soviet Union can lead to it.) I do support the people of Crimea and Donbas having the right to decide if they want to be part of Ukraine or not. I’m not thrilled by the methods they use, but I can understand them. I have family in Donetsk, Sevastopol, and Kiev. I’m under no illusions that either side is entirely in the “right” here. The fact the the current Ukrainian government is running the country into the ground is just more evidence for me. The Grivna lost has undergone almost 400% inflation in about a year and pensioners who rely on a fixed income are literally starving and freezing to death right now. Ironically, only the part of my family that lives in Kiev actually relies on the help of those of us who live in the US.

  13. We can go in and look for “weapons of mass destruction”, can’t we?
    Let’s go to war with Russia, and China, and dump billions of $ to save East Africa and the Middle East while we’re at it, and act as the world police force, and go into another 500billion in Iraq war-debt in the process (to the benefit the families of Halliburton-Blackwater-types) – “mission accomplished”. We have to learn to pull back and let some of these people work out their own problems. If Russia takes back Ukraine, then it will, but not worth our guys dying there or going into more debt trying to stop it (because we won’t/can’t – see Vietnam and Iraq)
    There is good reasons there are millions of Middle East, Ukrainian, African, Mexican immigrants seeking citizenship here, and not the other way around – let’s keep it that way.
    Now, if we we’re talking Russia invading Canada, that’s another matter 🙂

    • If Russia takes back Ukraine, then it will, The big question is where do the Russian tanks stop and for how long? Will the events in the Ukraine and Georgia mirror the events in 1938, 1939, and 1940?

      • “The big question is where do the Russian tanks stop …” — realistically, who could stop them and with what? A decadent and disarmed Western Europe? Impotent Eastern Europe? The US military after Osama is done with it? Let’s just hope that Comrade Putin is a gentleman…

        • I think the fact that he has refrained from rolling into Kiev with an armored division or twelve for almost a year has quite a few points in his favor. He’s not a saint, but he is a rational actor.

        • “I think the fact that he has refrained from rolling into Kiev with an armored division or twelve for almost a year has quite a few points in his favor.” — Yes, Herr, I meant, Comrade Putin is a gentleman!

    • Jj, I agree completely. The only positive effect from the US entering a war like this is that the people of the region begin getting along much better, as they unite to kill Americans. We need to stay out unless we have national interests, and I mean REAL ones, not feel-good crap.

  14. Surely American citizens should have the same right – and ability – to own and defend themselves with non-restricted weapons as the Ukrainian people. Am I missing something? But, is for glory of State of Motherland Comrade! Private peasants to turn in weapons to glorious State. Soviet State is master, not peons.

  15. Am I the only one here that thinks the debate above is the best, and most interesting, discussion of the Ukrainian conflict anywhere?
    I’m nerding out here, aren’t I?

    • Good point. Jackwads or not, these guys could open up discussions on TV and be FAR more informative than the talking heads who are there now.

      • +1. I am trying to follow along, but am barely keeping up, as both raise good points, from their own perspective.

        I certainly dont know enough about the politics or the actual truth on the ground, but I am sure its real for people on both sides, with a completely different slant.

        For sure we aren’t getting info from the US news. I wonder what is the most unbiased- that pwrserge and int19h can agree upon, if thats even possible.


        • I like independent reporting from journalists on the ground (like SKY news.) The reality is that the first casualty in any war is always the truth. In civil war, much more so.

  16. Unless it was stated somewhere else the call to are Ukranians is not to give weapons to the general population but to give better weapons to the army.
    Not sure why you would equate magazine restrictions for private citizens with supplying arms to an established governments army.

  17. it doesn’t seem to be hypocrisy at all. rather, a consistant “liberal” worldview that weapons are defending states, not individuals.

  18. The US ships billions of dollars worth of arms all over the world like it was still fighting a cold war — to what end? These are weapons that for the most part cannot be owned by US citizens, yet our government doesn’t have a second thought to where the arms go after deliver, hoping in the back of their minds that they don’t end up being used against Americans or innocents abroad. Fat chance. Every military support program has ended up blowing up in our faces, usually because of CIA plots to usurp leaders because of trumped-up information and zero ethics in the decision process in committing to escalate wars and other conflicts because we can’t mind our own business and place every other country ahead of our internal interests. You’d think someone would want to change our government to be simpler, but I don’t know any politician running for president who is smart enough to do anything about it.

  19. I know Jack Reed and I like him personally, but he’s a dyed-in-the-wool statist. West Point, Army Ranger and Paratrooper, Harvard Law — you get the picture. Nobody should have guns except agents of the state. Yeah, he’s that guy.

  20. I think the point about having guns, for civilians, that are capable of being used in defense of a raiding external power, or insurgent internal militia that might be dangerous to your neighborhood- is having magazines that are capable of more storing more, not less rounds.

    That fits the 2A justification of carrying arms in self -defense from a tyrranical state, which both pwrserge and in19 can agree upon, in theory, if not the opinion of which is the tyrant…

  21. pwrserge- int19h –

    this is a very interesting conversation- and with respect for your intense passion and belief, I would posit is not going to be well hosted here, if only because of the nature of the blog platform-

    where could an interested watcher go for good on the ground info- from both sides. I know there are plenty of places spreading allegations- I can find those- I am looking for ground truth- video, pictures by journalists or citizen bloggers, any outside analysts that arent obviously beholden to one side or the other.

    One last question- what would it take for both sides to stop shooting and call a truce? If eastern Ukraine is majority russian speakers or neutral Tatars, all with ties to Russia, and distrustful of Kiev, then where is the border between that general group, and “real” ukrainians?

    Seems to me this is going to end up like Bosnia-Serbia if both sides arent careful, with atrocities on top of collateral damage. And that will just perpetuate the hatred and distrust for generations.

    Does Putin need more than he has so far- the Crimea to secure access to warm water, and Donetsk for mines- how tapped out are those? Where are the wheat growing areas? What else is of strategic interest, that wont require a generation of guerilla war- which seems to be the tactic that Moscow is happy to use to tie everyone up, including Europeans who need the gas lines.

    Seems to me Putin needs the gas line from Iraq/Syria more than this territory, and the oil fields there, if its a resource grab.

    • These spin up sporadically wherever there is a discussion of the topic. There really isn’t any single place that you could go to “hear the truth”, and honestly it’ll be hard to even track up-to-date facts without knowledge of Russian.

      A few points. First of all, Crimean Tatars aren’t particularly neutral, they’re mostly pro-Ukraine (they didn’t fare well in the USSR). But generally speaking, understand that this conflict is cultural in nature, not ethnic. The majority of people, including soldiers, on Ukrainian side, speaks Russian, and quite a few consider themselves ethnically Russian – they just associate themselves with the new independent Ukraine. Similarly, on the other side, there are many ethnic Ukrainians, some of whom having Ukrainian as their mother tongue even, but who strongly believe in having a single cultural and political space with Russia (the so-called “Russian World”); this is usually underscored either by communist leanings (USSR and all), or, and more often, by Eastern Orthodox beliefs and the associated political concepts such as “Third Rome” – look the latter up on Wikipedia, you’ll find it quite relevant to what’s going on (not just in Ukraine, but the general anti-Western outlook of Russia today).

      The importance of both Crimea and Donbass to Russia as strategic regions is overstated, particularly for Donbass. Crimea is useful primarily because it has a fairly good strategic position, and also because it has the Soviet-era naval facilities which are costly to rebuild from scratch, but Russia doesn’t require it to have Black Sea presence – if you look at the map, it has a long stretch of the coast to the east. It is fairly important for symbolic reasons, because it’s a place of many Russian victories that are part of the national mythology, as well as some important defeats (like the Crimean War), and has long been the seat of Russian naval power in the south.

      OTOH, Donbass is mostly useless . The coal mines in it are not important, because they’re mostly depleted and very outdated in terms of technological process used, so extracting coal from them is simply not cost efficient. Ukraine kept them running partly to have a domestic coal supply, and partly just because the economy of the region depends of them, and closing them would result in hundreds of thousands of people out of their jobs overnight (so effectively it’s indirect welfare). But Russia has enough cheaper coal elsewhere for its needs.

      As a beachhead in further invasion, Donbass doesn’t offer anything that isn’t already there were Russian forces to attack directly from the border to the north. Look at where Kiev is relative to the border on Google Maps, and then at where Donetsk is …

      The only direct advantage that Donbass gives in the large scheme of things is having a land corridor to Crimea. This is actually kinda big, because Crimea depends on the Ukrainian mainland for electricity and water, and there’s no road connecting Russia and Crimea that doesn’t go thru Ukraine (they’re planning to build a bridge across the straight to alleviate it, but it’ll take years and be very costly, and in a war would be taken out immediately by a single bomber). But for that they need to control the Kherson oblast (which is adjacent to the Donetsk oblast on the west), and in particular capture Mariupol and then advance further south of it.

      Donbass also makes sense if the long term goal is to cut Ukraine off the sea entirely, and establish a land bridge all the way to Transnistria (which is also pro-Russian). For that they’ll need to take Kherson, Nikolaev and Odessa.

      What Putin wants exactly, no-one knows. Until we do know, it’s hard to say what it’d take to make this conflict end. I think that Ukraine is just about ready to give up in Donbass, but if separatists keep pushing further south and east they’ll make a stand for sure… and it doesn’t help that separatists paint their tanks with slogans such as “Onwards to Kiev” and “Onwards to Lvov”.

      But yes, I’d say that the possibility of it all turning into Bosnia-kind ugly for the foreseeable future is pretty high, if Russia keeps denying involvement and being low key about it. If they go all-in, I think we’ll have a major war in Europe.

      • I’ll agree that the Donetsk people have no right to Kiev. While their recent victories and offensives are disturbing, I think the average man on the ground would be happy in Kiev just left them the hell alone. The slogans you refer to are primarily a callback to “Great Patriotic War” slogans of “On to Berlin”…

        The Balkanization of the region is a very major worry. If this garbage goes on for much longer you will start to see major atrocities on both sides and that’s not good for anybody. I think the best solution would a cease fire and monitored local secession votes backed by the EU and US on one side and Russia on the other. However, that would require the West to get off the “Evil Russia” bandwagon and realize that the situation if far less clear cut than either side claims.

        Yes Yankovich was a scumbag.
        Yes the current government in Kiev is not a whole lot better.

        The reality is that in a few months it won’t matter. Sadly, unless cooler heads prevail soon, we are heading for a full blown regional, if not European, war.

        • Pwrserge, Donetsk and Donbass are part of Ukraine. Period. They have been allowed to function semi-autonomously as backwaters, but the final word is that they reside within the borders of Ukraine.

          You and your ilk would have us giving Boston back to the Irish, and the Southern US back to the Mexicans following your 8th grade ‘logic’. Ukraine has only been free of Russian looting since Maidan and the flight of your Russian puppet-boy Yanukovych.

          Your proposition that his election was ‘democratic’ is nothing short of brain-dead propaganda, like the rest of your dog feces posts.

        • Not at the moment they’re not. The point is that we can have this discussion now when the Kiev Nazis got their balls kicked up into their throats or we can have this discussion once separatist tanks roll into Lvov. Simple fact is that the secession is a done deal. It’s just a matter of how much blood and death the Kiev government will demand before they accept it. The separatists are not backing down and the Ukrainian “government” has utterly failed to put them down. This is what happens when you rely on mob violence to establish a government. (BTW: Take a look at the people on the verhovniy sovet and tell me again how this is not a Junta.)

    • So when the Mexican-Spanish speakers/”cultural ancestors” of Mexico decide to be obnoxious for a minute, and then are supported by the Mexican government with arms and trained troops, we should cede SoCal and Texas?

      Do the Irish get to invade Boston? Does VVP get to pull this crap in Brighton Beach? There’s lotsa ethnic Russians there…

      Do you have any concept of territorial integrity at all? Or is it just whoever establishes ‘facts on the ground’?

      • Territorial integrity has to be balanced against the right to autonomy and self-determination. If the former alone would be sacred, why, Russia would then be able to claim Ukraine as its territory that has seceded illegally (in fact, some of the rebels say just that – that they are not separatists, but Ukrainians are).

        So the question at hand is, to what extent was said right denied in Eastern Ukraine, what is the proportion of the affected population, and whether it was sufficiently severe to prompt a full-on secession. And also, assuming they do actually secede, what to do with the same rights of the pro-Ukrainian part of the population in that territory.

        It’s not entirely clear what the new proposed peace plan entails, but there are persistent rumors that it includes a new free and fair referendum on Crimea, and another Ukrainian-wide referendum on the issues of federalization (Ukraine is a unitary country right now, so there’s no equivalent of “states rights”) and official languages. Then perhaps we’ll get some answers. Rebels claim to have them already, but their sham referendums were even more ridiculous than the Crimea one.

        • It doesn’t help things that Stalin “resettled” millions of Russians and others into the Ukraine, as he did into the Baltic countries. Now whose rights are supposed to be protected?

        • The issue of resettlement is acute for Baltic states, where it accounts for their 15-20% Russian minorities, but it’s not really particularly relevant for Ukraine.

          The truth of the matter is that Crimea was always solidly Russian in pretty much all senses (it was settled primarily by Russians since they conquered it from Ottomans in 18th century) – ethnic, cultural, linguistic etc. And Donbass was always the transitional region between more solidly Ukrainian areas to the west, and more solidly Russian ones to the north, with no clear concept of ethnicity or national identity for most residents.

          As far as resettlement goes, though, that was several generations ago. I can see how the people who lived back then could raise it as an issue against those initial waves of settlers, but here and now, when we’re talking about great-grandchildren of those who settled and those who were kicked out of their homes to put the settlers in? It’d be like Indians demanding that Americans respect and follow their tribal laws, on account of being newcomers. It certainly doesn’t justify the tiered citizen/non-citizen system that Baltics have instituted, and it’s really sad that EU basically ignores the setup despite it obviously going directly against a bunch of EU laws on the matter (minority rights etc).

  22. Ps Putin is playing a much bigger chess game here, that the ethnic Ukies and ethnic Russkies are being used, as a distraction, on. Capturing the Crimea for protecting his warm water access is tactically useful, but the strategic distraction and leverage over Europe, while he pursues a bigger resource and buffer with alllies down south, with Shia Syria, and Shia Iran, vs his competitors in oil, the Sunni Saudi’s and their proxies – the Taliban, the Chechen, on his borders, is more important. Think of Tartarus and the pipeline north from those currently ISIL held oil fields in Iraq.

    The Saudi’s and US have his and Irans nuts in a vise, with sanctions and low oil prices, and he cant last for long with that. Russian techs building nuke facilities in Iran is not an accident, either … think of the foreign trade opportunities in missile tech, heavy machinery and aircraft…

    Read up on Putins Euroasian visions, for a revival of a Czarist Russia glory period…

  23. I say arm the crap out of the Ukrainians so they can fight off the Russian-supported forces. The Europeans are saying doing so will “escalate” the conflict. So basically, because European bureaucrats don’t want the conflict “escalated,” they want to thus leave people defenseless while they work on some “diplomatic” solution.

    Had the Ukrainians been armed from the start, this whole fiasco might never have gotten out of hand. And there is precedent for such policy, just look at the Truman Doctrine.


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