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.”

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What’s inside – a letter from eastern Ukraine

Translation:

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

Original:

ЧТО ВНУТРИ

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!”

 

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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

Andrei Purgin has been kidnapped by armed men thought to be oligarch Rinat Akhmetov’s men who’s loyalty is with Kiev’s self-proclaimed regime

Andrei Purgin, a pro Russian protester has been kidnapped by armed men thought to be oligarch Rinat Akhmetov’s men and maidan extremists. One of the sympathizers posted on social networks:

“Urgent! Andrei Purgin, the leader of the movement “Republic of Donetsk” has just been kidnapped by a group of armed men. The oligarch Rinat Akhmetov got down to physical elimination of activists in Donetsk! We need emergency mobilization of our forces, otherwise the situation will get worse, private armies of the oligarchs in the struggle over local assets will destroy us all one by one. Local activists are unarmed, we are a peaceful group of people. However, it looks like it’s time get armed. There is war against Russia and Russian people in the Ukraine and all able bodied men should be here to help us fight the injustice.”

apn.ru reports that unknown people have approached Purgin and said that if he “will come out to protest today his woman will become a widow.” But he did come out and Akhmentov’s men kidnapped him.

Rinat Leonidovych Akhmetov is a Ukrainian businessman and oligarch. He is the founder and President of System Capital Management, and is ranked among the wealthiest men in the nation. In the 1980s, Akhmetov acted as an assistant to Akhat Bragin, whom law enforcement agencies regarded as a powerful crime boss. He has now been appointed as a mayor of Donetsk by government in Kiev.

Today’s Chronology:

11:29pm          Prugin has been kidnapped by Akhmetov’s militia

10:59pm         Akhmetov’s militia has failed to seize government building in Donetsk

04:55pm          Rinat Akhmetov’s militia is storming Donetsk government building and is trying to establish new Kiev self-proclaimed government rule in the city

10:39am          Russia is considering freeze on foreign assets as a response to Washington’s sanctions.

mar. 4 11:11pm          Habarovsk’s court has blocked following websites: wikipedia, konopoisk.ru and yandex.ru

mar. 4 06:35pm          Ukrainian new government wants to start talks about Crimea’s autonomy

mar. 4 06:07pm          Russian FDA has declined to resume import of pork from United States.

mar. 4 12:08pm          Yanukovych has asked Russia to bring military to Ukraine.

Brief description of Ukrainian events and Russian role in them

Crimea has been a part of Russian federation until 1954 when Nikita Khrushchev “gave” it to Ukrainian socialistic republic. During USSR it didn’t really matter where Crimea belong because everyone and every place were or was suppose to be “equal”.
Russian troops have been stationed in Crimea for the past few centuries. Russian troops are more native to Crimea than anyone on Ukrainian mainland. In 1991-1992 Russia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has agreed to keep Crimea as part of Ukraine but kept its troops there as it has for centuries (I believe they can have up to 25,000 troops there).
Crimea is an autonomous republic in Ukraine. Autonomous meaning that it has its own laws and is somewhat independent from Ukraine. After unrests have started in Kiev (I will talk about them in a bit) in fear of its own security Crimea has reevaluated its autonomous status within Ukraine. At the moment Crimea is seeking higher autonomy from Ukraine to protect its interests. Crimea will have a referendum (a vote) on Crimea’s autonomy on March 30.
What Obama calls an invasion are Russian troops that have been there for centuries and haven’t really moved anywhere or done anything for a long time. Now, for the unrests in Kiev. Let me take a step back and give a few useful facts.
West of Ukraine has never really identified themselves with their Slav brothers in the east. One can argue that they have their reasons, I don’t want to get into it but Stalin is to blame. Even during WW2 they have fought on the side of Germans and Hitler. They had death squads that were hunting and killing Jews and allied forces. Their sole purpose was to kill. Recently I have read a letter called “confession of a Bandera follower” where a woman from western Ukraine told a story of how they would go out everyday during WW2 and look for Jews in neighboring villages. She went on to say that they didn’t want to waste bullets so they would choke Jews. She said that young children were easier to kill because you can just pick them up by the legs and smash their head against a wall or a stone. Today these same people, their children, and followers call themselves “Right Sector”.
While EuroMaidan protest started by few students standing in front of a government buildings, it was picked up by Right Sector in the western Ukraine. After several days of protests Right Sector has sent its people to join EuroMaidan. Right Sector activists started pouring into Kiev from the western Ukraine. Most of them have been trained in guerrilla warfare. Some have fought in Chechnya by joining Chechen terrorists against Russia in the 1990s such as Sasha Biliy aka Olexander Muzychko (I don’t feel like expanding on it, it would take too long, google it for yourself).
From the very beginning Right Sector did not come to Kiev to have a peaceful demonstration. After clashes have started in Kiev riot police did not have firearms, they were ordered to do nothing, just stand there. Meanwhile Right Sector grew more and more brazen as more violence they committed and no one resisted them the more confident they got. To the point where they started attacking local police.
As the situation escalated Right Sector started using molotov cocktails and firearms in addition to clubs and bats, riot police still didn’t have firearms and were ordered to just stand there. Meantime Yanukovych (whom I don’t really like) refused to meet protestor’s demands. Eventually one thing led to another, situation got out of hands and Yanukovych decided to meet protestor’s demands and on Feb 21, 2014 signed an agreement with three opposition leaders and three EU foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland. Agreement called for elections of new president and parliament. At this point Yanukovych had no real political power. Riot police Berkut was ordered to leave Kiev. EuroMaidan has won. They were gonna get new government, Yanukovych had no power and things looked good.
Not to Right Sector. Right Sector not only didn’t release government buildings, but they stormed the city hall where president and parliament convened their business and took control of it. Installed opposition leaders as new heads of state and established new government. Technically there was no need for it because Yanukovych has already given up.
When they took control of the city hall they called Yanukovych a war criminal and started creating new laws. Most new laws were of nationalist and even of neo-Nazi nature. One of those laws was to prohibit Russian as a second language which angered many Russians in the east and south of the country.
Right Sector has tried to repeat same success they have achieved in Kiev in other cities. However, regular people that live in those cities have come out to the streets in fear of new regime. Russian flag was raised above city halls in most of the large southeastern cities in Ukraine. Southeast has never supported EuroMaidan.
One thing that makes me smile is that everyone knows that eastern Ukraine which is populated by Russian speaking people is the industrial part of the country where people work and produce money for the whole country by working in the factories, mining coal, farming in the fields etc. While thousands of people from western Ukraine could spend months to go to Kiev and basically do nothing but fight the riot police, sleep in tents and captured government buildings and eat some good food that magically appeared on the Maidan square.
Despite the fact that Untied States spent 5 billion dollars on financing Ukrainian opposition and consequently Right Sector I will not get into blame game. Whether it was Russia or United States or United Nations who fueled it is up to you to decide.
Well, this is where we are now. People of southeast rising up while western governments are trying to blame Russia for invading Crimean peninsula and self proclaimed governments attempts to be in charge.
My personal prediction: US and UE will keep on blaming Russia for “invading” Crimea (despite the fact that Russian troops have been there for years). Crimea will get its autonomy on March 30. Southeastern regions on Ukraine will beg Crimea to let them join autonomy. Central and western Ukraine will see decline in the standard of living because of IMF and later EU contracts… Damn it, now I want to tell you more about IMF and EU contracts. First, you can google it yourselves. In short IMF contract will eliminate pension (equivalent of social security) to many elders. It will call for privatization of coal mines and farm land, it will raise gas prices (if I remember correctly by 40%), and bunch of other things, just google it. EU deal will destroy most of the machine building because of the upgrades Ukraine would have to do to their manufacturing and it will affect agricultural industry, again just google it or read the EU contract itself.

 

UPDATE: they’ve changed referendum from March 30 to March 16.

 

Photos of Russian forces near Crimea in the years past:

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