A letter from a Crimean native

Little Crimea is sleeping… Dear people of Earth, Crimeans are just like the rest of us. They have kids, jobs, businesses, they do not want any abrupt changes, esp. in currency, bank system, regulations, business.

Why on Earth did they VOTE for the OTHER COUNTRY?! Why would YOU do that? May be you would do that because you are Jewish, and otherwise you would have to flee… Or may be because the neo-nazis force you to speak their language… Or may be because your history and culture are being destroyed, and you are being humiliated on daily basis. May be because of the poverty – remember, some of them had to go to Kiev to participate in crazy demonstrations for the pay which is worth several months of regular paychecks…

Or may be you feel that your life’s worth nothing in this country, where cops are being killed, banks are robbed, and nobody is charged for the crime. THAT is a good reason, don’t you think? Little Crimea is sleeping, and Russia is guarding her now. Let her live. Stop the media war. Please.

-Crimean woman

Letter was accompanied by a photo:



Letter From Ukrainian Patriot

Letter from a Ukrainian patriot, translation:

“I’m jelous of Russians, I’m jelous of these ‘katsaps’ and ‘moscovites’. I’m jelous of their olympics, their army, I have many Russian friends, I even have relatives in Russia. I’m seeing how they are changing and they are growing. They trust their president. They believe in their army. When abroad they proudly say that they are from Russia, and noone is smirking in return, everyone looks at them with interest and awe.

They are proud of their great history, their achievements and victories.

But it was ‘our history’…, and our victories, our achievements. Remember USSR?! It wasn’t that long ago.

You know, I see it now, – they… are comfortable with themselves. They don’t care about west whom we put on pedestal. They keep on going, without stopping, whatever we hear on TV, and on forums. I understand now, it’s us who is losing something, not them. We beome weaker, they become stronger.

However loud we yell: “glory to Ukraine!”, we can’t stop this process. It wasn’t too long ago when we mocked them, when they spilled their blood in Chechnya. Now, Chechens are not any less Russian, than anyone else within Russian borders. They are ready to defend their great country. Part of which they are. And now they are scaring us with Chechen batalions.

How did it happen??? They were just killing each other yesterday?! Answer is simple, Chechens remembered that they are Russians and they are part of a great country and great nation. We are angrily happy when there are terrorist acts or catastrophies in Russia. They conquer them all one by one and become stronger!

Despite the fact that right now whole world is against them! They fall and get up again. Calmly standing and smiling. Spiting blood after another victory, they keep standing and smiling. We yell, that they are slaves. We yell, that they are going to break up soon, oil prices will go down, ruble will become worthless, NATO will attack them, they will get more sanctions etc. But they won’t even budge.

But them… is us! We spit in our own image. At ourselves. We hav to remember that we are one and the same. When we’ll understand that, we’ll get that same feeling that our ancestors had. Feeling of inner strength, hope, and a feeling of a being proud that we are Russian too.

It doesn’t matter who our ancestors are – Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, Booriats or Uzbeki. Doesn’t matter what religion we are – catholics, orthodox, muslims, or judaism. That’s not important. What is important is that we are Russians! And we are a part of a great nation and great country.”

What’s inside – a letter from eastern Ukraine


Fascist coup took everything from me. Everyday rythm of life. Being able to do what I like. Be with my family. Jog, go to the gym. Being able to plan at least a month in advance. To realize my dreams.

I could, of course, sit this situation out at home, wait it out. But how will I be able to look into my 87 year old grandfather’s eyes who stormed Berlin in WW2.

That is why i’m in Kharkov, shoulder to shoulder, and tomorrow I will be in the very front. Yes, they threaten us, yes they persecute us, yes I’m scared.

I miss my family and friends, words from a popular song sound in my head: “there beyond the fog”: “and we’ll return, we’ll come back… and we’ll smile, and hug our kids”…

Most important thing is hope. In dark times you can see people through and through. New heroes are being born in the light of new developments.

One thing is for sure:

Russians never give up. Russians win.

– Konstantin Dolgoff



Фашистская хунта отняла у меня всё. Обычный ритм жизни. Возможность заниматься любимым делом. Быть с семьёй. Бегать, ходить в тренажёрку, купаться в проруби. Планировать хотя бы на месяц вперёд. Мечтать, в конце концов.

Можно, конечно, было отсидеться дома, отморозиться, выжидать. Но как деду 87-летнему своему, который Берлин брал, живому деду как в глаза смотреть??

Поэтому в Харькове, поэтому с вами плечом к плечу, и завтра тоже буду в первых рядах. Да, поступают угрозы. Да, прессуют. Да, страшно. Да, могут.

Тяжело без родных и близких, в ушах группа “Любэ” – “Там за туманами”: “… и мы вернёмся, мы, конечно, доплывём…. И улыбнёмся, и детей к груди прижмём”…

Самое главное – есть Надежда, и есть Вера. В смутные времена видно людей – кто каков. Новые события рождают новых героев. Мининых и Пожарских новых.

И твёрдо, назубок, хоть во сне меня разбуди:

“Русские не сдаются! Русские побеждают!”



Pavel Gubarev kidnapped by nazi self-proclaimed government in Kiev

This just in: Pavel Gubarev, has been kidnapped by nazis in Kiev. He has been very vocal against nazis. His wife, literately 15 mins ago has said following:

If in Kiev they think that by isolating my husband from people of Donbas they will prevent people from following him, they are wrong! right before he got arrested Pavel told me to be strong and that we will win. I’ve always trusted my husband, the father of my children. This righteous and strong man. Therefore, i’m ready to take this burden upon myself, responsibility in front of my people that he had carried and I want for the self-proclaimed government to hear us. I’m ready for the time being to be a leader until my husband is released, and he’ll be back in our lines of people.
Don’t look at me as a woman. I’m a mother of Pavel’s three kids. But most importantly i’m Russian. RUSSIAN WOMEN IN TOUGH TIMES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN RIGHT BESIDE THEIR HUSBANDS.
I’m telling you, me and my kids are in Russia now. We are safe. Our friends took us and gave us everything we need. I always new that Russians help each other in tough times. Right now my husband who is a governor of Donetsk is in all news channels. alongside of news of support of our Russian speaking people and thier repressions, and nazi government.


Therefore, as a temporary leader of Donbas, in this difficult moment, I call for everyone to be united, don’t be pessimistic, believe in the words that Pavel told me before he got kidnapped: “VICTORY WILL BE OURS”.

Further plan of actions of Ukrainian Donbas will be anounced soon”

-Cathrine Gubareva



update: Pavel has been found.

The Ukraine crisis through the whimsy of international law

Money and hard power count, and that’s that

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Mar 05, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 05, 2014 2:56 PM ET

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with reporters on the possibility of U.S. sanctions against Russia for intervening in Ukraine before meeting with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The order of things

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

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

UKRAINE-CRISIS/Armed men, believed to be Russian soldiers, stand outside the civilian port in the Crimean town of Kerch on Monday. (Thomas Peter ?Reuters)

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

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

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

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

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

More angry flailings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HUNGARYRepublican Senator John McCain says it is Barack Obama’s “feckless foreign policy” that is to blame for Russia’s invasion of Crimea. However, he added, a military response is not on the table. (Reuters)

Other media analysts agree with the angry flailings of U.S. foreign policy hawks, who seem to think Obama should be much more aggressive with Putin, although they have few concrete suggestions. (A frustrated Senator John McCain demanded that rich Russians be barred from Las Vegas.)

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

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

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

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


Photo of Neil Macdonald

Neil Macdonald
Senior Washington Correspondent