Managing Putin and building Ukraine

Putin

 

2015/02/24 • Analysis & Opinion, Featured

Ukrainian journalist Vitaliy Portnikov in an interview with Maciej Stasiński, journalist at the Polish newspaper  Gazeta Wyborcza,  spoke of Russia’s collapse, Western arms for Ukraine, and reforms in Ukraine during wartime.

Debaltseve has fallen. What does it mean for the war?

Until yesterday I thought that Vladimir Putin was playing chess and had discovered a serious combination. If he wanted to reassure the West and at the same time to destabilize Ukraine, then it would have been logical to sign the peace treaty in Minsk on the ceasefire along the entire frontline and to continue to wage war in Debaltseve indefinitely. And in that way he succeeds in destabilizing Ukraine — he proposes peace along the entire front line, the West weakens sanctions, and battles continue in Debaltseve until Ukraine agrees  that it belongs to the self-proclaimed republics.

However, I overestimated Putin. He is not a chess player; he is engaged in bowling. What will he do when he finally attaches Debaltseve to his “republics” and straightens out the entire frontline? Either he immediately declares peace for the entire front or he must advance. Either he gives up Donbas or he controls it. This way is bad and that was is bad.

Leaving Donbas under (Russian) control is really a gift for Ukraine and a nail in the coffin of the Russian economy. Because Russia does not have money for Donbas. And in the opposite case, as was planned in Minsk, if Donetsk and Luhansk return to Ukraine as autonomous regions, their leaders will immediately go to Kyiv for money and soon will start crying “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to her Heroes!” And then this would become a problem for us because we do not have money to rebuild Donbas either.

The Minsk agreement does not matter. It was a ploy by Putin, who knew that the West had already had enough and that he only had to hint at peace for Merkel and Hollande to come rushing over. After all, they want to calm him down at any price, and, as psychiatrists,  will offer him yet another dose of medicine.

But now these rebellious regions are receiving money from Moscow!

And Russia cannot afford to support them. Putin has  driven himself into a corner. I knew many Soviet KGB agents — (Viktor) Chebrikov, (head of the KGB 1982-1988 — Ed.), (Vladimir)  Kryuchkov (head of KGB, 1988-1991).  They had all kinds of people, analysts, intellectuals and martinets. Putin is more like a martinet.

But perhaps this martinet is effective?

Well if your companion in a bar suddenly throws the entire table with dishes and food at you, you don’t know what to do either. And the one who is doing the throwing, what is he to do now? He must destroy the entire bar. In order to do it in time before the police arrive. And they will arrive sooner or later.

What represents police for Putin?

There are many components. First, the international community. Sanctions have already caused enormous damage to Russia and they are hurting the oligarchs. The West will not remove sanctions, especially not now after Debaltseve. Russia is moving from an oligarchic state to one that is militarized and criminal. Second, the drop in oil and gas prices is killing Russia. Third, there is the Ukrainian nation, as pathetic as it may appear.

Putin was successful when he was advancing where he could count on support. Now he has reached the end. Yesterday a friend was telling me about the mood in Mariupol, the key city for the land bridge to Crimea. The population there  is visibly pro-Ukrainian. People adore the Azov ultra-nationalist battalion that is fighting the Russians. They want to protect themselves from thugs. And this is a Russian speaking population in Mariupol!

But perhaps Putin is gaining time and counting on the idea that Ukrainians will tire of war and crisis, reject their government and elect another pro-Russian one? Is revolution possible in Ukraine?

Without Putin the demoralization in Ukraine would be much worse. Viktor Yanukovych destroyed the economy and maintained stability with the help of credits and cheap Russian gas.

The new command is not all that knowledgeable about reforms and is carrying them out very slowly. After Maidan, and without the war, they would have carried out the reforms even more cautiously and matters would be even worse. Then the east and south of Ukraine — Luhansk, Donetsk, Mykolaiiv, Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Crimea, Zaporizhzhia — would have assumed that the crisis and lowered standard of living was the fault of Maidan and they would have sent the old command back to Kyiv, only with some cosmetic updates. And Putin would have received a controlling stake in Ukraine’s actions without any war.

It is true that Ukrainians may turn away from the current government. But they will never again elect a pro-Russian one. Reforms in Bulgaria and Romania – even though both countries are in the EU — are not proceeding smoothly either. Bulgarians and Romanians can turn away from their government, but they do not stop being Bulgarians and Romanians. The same thing is now true in Ukraine.

But they may agree to a government that will listen to Moscow.

As Finland did to the USSR? For Russia, Finland was a separate nation. And the compliant government  still ruled the country independently and made money on trade with Russia. When it comes to Ukraine, Russia views it as part of Russia, as Malorossiya (Little Russia). And most Ukrainians view Russia as the invader and thief. It is a “brother” who turns out to be an enemy. Russia will no longer be able to occupy Donbas with Ukrainian money. If Ukraine submits to Russia, there will be no credits from the West; but there will also be no cheap oil and gas from Russia. And there will be no market economy at all.

Additionally, there will never be a pro-Russian government in Ukraine because it will not exist in Russia itself, at least the kind of Russia that we have known for the last 300-400 years. Putin has done everything to destroy Russia.

It was not Maidan that did it. The entire cycle of historical decline in Russia began approximately 100 years ago. The ghost of Pilsudski (Polish statesman responsible for resurrecting the Polish state in 1918) rises from the grave. Remember that 100 years ago Pyotr Stolypin (Russian prime minister in early 1900s) said in the Russian State Duma that “you need great upheavals, and we need a great Russia,” The “you” was referring to the Poles. Because this was his response to the deputy of the Polish circle in the Duma who wanted to restore the Polish language in schools.

Russia is dying before our eyes. It first became ill in 1905, it died in 1917, and then it was resurrected in 1922 in order to rot until 1991. Now is the final collapse.

If such a huge state fails, this is a disaster for all who are nearby.

Of course. This is why the whole world needs to prepare for it. And not to take revenge on Russia for everything it has done in history, but to help Russians — and other oppressed people — to become a modern, free and democratic country, to the extent that this is possible.

Today we have been backed into a corner. Putin has reached the end of expansion and is standing on the brink of the abyss. He wants to return to being the superpower of the past, but there is no possibility or understanding on how to do it. He will thrash about. And you have to be careful with him.

Ukraine cannot be broken by Russia? In Poland in 1980 there were 10 million people in Solidarity, but a year later, as a result of poverty and discouragement, the support decreased and martial law was declared.

On Maidan a new Ukrainian political nation was born. First of all, in central and western Ukraine. During Maidan, half of Ukrainians were able to become this political nation and the other half were not. Now because of the war all of Ukraine has become one nation. Thus the Ukrainian political nation was founded by two people: Viktor Yanukovych in western and central Ukraine,  and Vladimir Putin in the east and south.

Once a political nations emerges it does not cease to exist if it is not destroyed. In December 1981, the Poles who stopped supporting Solidarity did not say they would become Germans if they had no money.  Ukrainians have decided they are Ukrainians and they will never be something else. Even if their living standards worsen.

We have almost 50 million Ukrainians in the process of building a state. We will not be a Russian province. Ukraine cannot return to a past under Russia’s wing. What is happening in Ukraine happened earlier in Poland. After crossing the Red Sea there is no return. When Maidan began I said it was a historical process. It is independent of our opinions or of some stupid agreements.

But this process can be reversed. Russian occupation in southern Ukraine, in Crimea, in other regions can stop it.

Yes, but at the cost of countless graves of Russian soldiers and eventually the collapse of the Putin regime. After all, average Russians do not think they are fighting in Ukraine. I keep getting hundreds of messages from Russian who ask me “What do you want from us? Why don’t you like us? There is no Russian army in Ukraine. There are only our volunteers who are defending the population from fascists!”

Russia is not Ukraine. It is a scattered society that is united only through the payments received from the central government. When they end, everything will end.

In Dnipropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine the political nation arose only after Russia’s occupation of Crimea. Odesa is a bustling city. The sea, the sun, the parks. People there love life. When they saw what is happening in Donetsk, they became Ukrainians, since nobody wants the situation to resemble Donetsk.. Perhaps it is not a political nation according to Jürgen Habermas (German sociologist who wrote on the nation state — Ed.), but in the usual sense of the need for survival. We are Ukrainians, because all of us — in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa and so on — want to live together in peace.

In 2012 I spoke with a highly placed Russian official. He said the next president of Ukraine would be Viktor Medvedchuk.

I answered: “You must be crazy. In our country the people choose. And Medvedchuk has 1% support.”

He answered me: “You don’t understand anything. This is what Vladimir Putin has decided.”

I remembered that in 1994 Islam Kamirov (president of Uzbekistan — Ed.) told me the same thing in Uzbekistan: “We decided that the next president of Ukraine is Leonid Kuchma.”

I also told him that “in our country people choose.” He answered “You’re a child! This is what Boris Yeltsin has decided.

At that time I thought that Kamirov did not understand, but he did understand and I did not. I was wrong because, in fact, I was a child. Because at that time there was no nation and the others could decide. But today, 20 years later, there is a Ukrainian people. The others hold on to their old ideas and think they can still decide.

President Poroshenko is friends with the Russian ambassador in Kyiv. He and Putin use the familiar “you” with each other. But our leaders have not grown sufficiently to speak on equal terms to the Russians and in their native language at a time when the society is now entirely different.

And who are the separatists?

There are no separatists. There is only the Russian secret service, their agents, and vulgar thugs. In the former Soviet Union there were no separatists. There was only the KGB, which prepared conflicts as required. Some of them were ethnic, others political. Such as in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Or Transnistria and Crimea.

Twenty years ago the situation in Crimea was the same as today. Only then post-Soviet leaders such as Leonid Kuchma and Yevhen Marchuk ruled in Kyiv — people who had good relations with Moscow and kept everything under control. In Crimea and in the east of Ukraine there was some support for Russia, but mostly it was support for the local feudal power, whatever it happened to be. In Crimea during the last free elections, Aksenov’s pro-Russian party emerged, which wanted to unite Crimea to Russia. It received 3 % of the votes. As soon as Russia stops paying, Crimeans will become Ukrainian patriots. The consciousness there is not political but local.

Crimea was and will be, one it is liberated, a complicated region in Ukraine. Like South Tyrol in Italy, the Basque Country in Spain, and upper Silesia in Poland. Ukraine should determine the status of these regions, but this does not mean it should refuse them just because they are difficult. The Ukrainian political elite has not accepted the loss of Crimea. Only now we have something urgent: stopping the war and freeing the Donbas. Then we can discuss Crimea. It wouldn’t survive even 10 days without Ukraine.

Russia cannot control eastern Ukraine as it does Ossetia and Abkhazia?

No, because there is no money. Transnistria, for example, has not received $100 million for pensions and benefits. The president was told he had to solve the problem by himself. The sum of $100 million is small change for the Donbas.

The people who live there simply want to live peacefully and they don’t care who makes it happen, and they don’t care who provides financial support. These are Soviet people. We need to remember that when Soviet Ukraine was formed, the Donetsk-Kryviy Rih Republic was located on these lands. It was supposed to become part of Russia and not Ukraine. The head of the People’s Commissars of this republic, Artyom Sergeyev, was a Russian nationalist.  And Lenin and Stalin had to explain to him why including this republic in Ukraine was the only way to defeat the Ukrainian peasant spirit and nationalism. Because it was an exclusively industrial region. Only 3% of people there live from agriculture. The Bolshevik Russia wanted to destroy this country, the land-owning Ukraine, where there were wealthy peasants and the Russian ones were poor.

We have to admit that it would be impossible to build a Ukrainian state with this population. But this does not mean that Ukraine must give up the Donbas. Our people are dying in this war. The economy is becoming marginalized. For us this means losses. This is a complicated region that needs money, but this does not mean that we should get rid of it.

I’m simply arguing that Putin loses when he seizes Donbas as well as when he refuses it.

But he is cutting off parts of Ukraine piece by piece and moving on and on.

Russia expected pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, but this did not happen. Putin can go only as far as the population supports him. His influence does not extend beyond the industrial regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. He is counting on the destabilization of all of Ukraine. He cannot give up Donetsk and Luhansk and he cannot leave them.

Ukraine must entrench itself along the line where it can stop Russia. Russia actually has nowhere to go. It will not be able to take Odesa. It will not establish a land link to Crimea.

What errors has the West made in the Ukrainian situation?

I don’t think the West has made serious errors. Merkel, Hollande and Obama are acting on the assumption that they are dealing with a dangerous lunatic who must be treated. If you are fighting bacteria or a virus, the treatment needs to continue for an extended time. They are acting slowly and carefully so the patient doesn’t do anything too terrible.

My Russian colleagues tell me: “Just think what Putin would do if he found out he has been cornered?”

I don’t even want to think about it. So it is very important for Putin not to realize that he has been cornered like a rat. Because, if he realizes it in time, I wouldn’t bet on our safety or even yours. A rat in that situation turns around and attacks the pursuer. Then it is all the same for him whether the country is in NATO or not.

Putin is not stupid, but right now he believes that history is on his side. And that’s the way it should be for as long as possible. He needs to sit in a corner not knowing that he is waiting for the rat catcher. Or the collapse of Russia.

Should the West arm Ukraine?

Yes. We do not have weapons. For almost nine months we have been protecting ourselves empty-handed. I understand that Western countries are afraid that we will not be able to handle modern equipment and that it will fall into Russian hands. But at least give money for the manufacture of weapons in our factories, because we have a defense industry, but we have no money. Ukraine needs to create an army that is no smaller than the armies in the NATO countries. Because then Ukraine could defend Poland and the eastern flank of NATO from Putin. Ukraine should be armed openly but carefully. Without American weapons and American instructors. They could be of any origin, and the instructors could be Georgians, for example.

We have a problem that many Ukrainians don’t want to fight for Donbas specifically. It is difficult to convince them that if they hesitate too much Russia could soon be in Uzhhorod in Zakarpattia.

Isn’t it a problem that at the forefront in Ukraine’s defense, in the Azov battalion, there are people Putin has called Nazis and who could actually be them?

No it is not a problem. In Azov there are people with different viewpoints. Many hold certain views for reasons of fame and career. It is true that there are fascists as well. But when it comes to the defense of the country, it is impossible to choose only people with admirable ideas. The liberally inclined scientists and lecturers are not likely to want to fight in great numbers. The fact that Russia’s main enemies in the war are people with nationalistic, rightwing views is not surprising either. Because the ruling elite in Russia is building a national-socialist state. They want a Greater Russia and their opponents want a Great Ukraine.

But in general there are very few people like that in Ukraine. Support for them is close to zero. The Right Sector and Svoboda parties together drew 3% of the vote during the last election.

 Is Ukraine capable of reform right now, during the war?

I’m afraid not. The process of creating new institutions and adopting new legislation is slow and long. Until now Ukrainians were a nation of revolutions. Only now is there a chance to become a political people with institutions. As the Poles did in 1918.

A year ago the main task of Ukrainian Maidan was to return to an oligarchic state. Because during the Yanukovych era Ukraine became a criminal country. After Maidan we returned to the situation of the 2009-2010 years and began to develop on a higher level. But this is a complicated process to reform the country. You need the participation of citizens. You have to convince them to accept material losses as a result of the reforms. It is necessary for the government to be competent, to become decentralized so that self-government can develop, and to avoid the return of the oligarchic system. All this is institutionally very difficult. And the war continues.

If you ask the average Ukrainian today if his life is better, he will tell you it is much worse. And this is true. He will also say that Russia is guilty but his government is also guilty. And this is good. Ukrainians like the Poles never like their governments. In contrast to the Russians.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
Source: Espreso TV

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  • Sytnyk Andrij

    Thank you. Very nice read. Slava Ukraini! And there are more then 50 Millions Ukrainans fighting for their Country. Don’t forget the Diaspora.. +20 Million people..

  • W8post

    “McCain on Ukraine: ‘I’m Ashamed’ of My Country, My President, Myself.”
    It’s a pity that the load of reactions on the above mentioned saying of McCain, caused reactions on the person of McCain and his view of INTERNAL politics of the USA. 99% Of them don’t even know the existence of a country called Ukraine…it’s far away of their turf, so who cares. It should be obligatory for those ignorant readers of the New York Times [et al] to read this article about Putin and [re]building Ukraine. It MIGHT open their eyes and PERHAPS [Americans are not the brightest population on this planet] understand what McCain was referring to.

    • Charles J. Kollman

      Well here is one American that does not have his head up his ass. About Senator McCain he was a POW. and a Hero, but this has come and gone. McCain needs to do the right thing and resign. McCain is an embarrassment to The US. He went to Kiev and openly supported the demonstrators this is not the position of a Senator he and others like those ass-holes in The American Embassy do not represent The US. Hello we have a law here that goes back to President John Adams call The Logan Act. Obama and his Muslim head nerve herd of The Ukraine or where it was this ass-hole at one time did not know how many States were in The Union, so i guess when you talk about Americans not being the sharpest tools in a shed you are meaning Obama McCain and all the other progressive liberals socialists in my Government. Well i know where The Ukraine is and lived there from 10March2010 to 10 June2010. McCain and those like him that look to take Liberty from American Citizens support Civil disobedience in other Countries while in America they look to fuck We The People. The US. should be arming and training The Ukraine Military now instead of supporting Muslim Savage animals around the world.
      Long Live A Free Ukraine.

      • W8post

        If you ‘lived’ a while in Ukraine, you should know it’s ‘UKRAINE’, without ‘THE’…And, as a NON-American, I don’t know what’s ‘the Logan’ act. YOU mentioned it, so YOU explain it. спасибі

        • Charles J. Kollman

          The is used in English not using a. I live in The USA. not a USA.
          Google The Logan Act don’t Google a Logan Act. I am sorry for getting involved with you. If you pick on the word The then i guess we have a problem. Good Luck.

          • W8post

            Of course I Googled the Logan Act; but if you mention ‘whatever’, you should explain what’s it about; it a) makes it clearer what you want to state and b) prevents people running to Google to find out what it is you want to say. And because most people are too lazy to do that, it makes no sense either for you to mention. And YES, it is THE United States of America and YES it is UKRAINE! You’re welcome…

          • Charles J. Kollman

            The Logan Act. is old and it covers Citizens or those in Government Representing or speaking for The US. The only one that can represent or bargain for The US.with other Governments or other Countries is The Siting President. The President can give orders and authority for others to speak for The US. like President Reagan siting gave X President Carter to free the hostages in Iran.
            Being an American and in most cases now looked at as a Fascist i was in The Ukraine in a City call Illichivs’k. Name comes from Lenin.
            You have to understand what the word The means. In writing English it would not be Ukraine, it is The Ukraine.
            Yes you are welcome and have a good safe day.

          • Milton Devonair

            Not true. You don’t know anything about America.
            Get a new set of talking points or notes from whoever you’re getting them from because you are wrong about the American form of government. Repeatedly.

          • Charles J. Kollman

            You don’t know what you are talking about. The Logan Act became Law when it was signed into Law by President John Adams. Next The American Government loves to use the word Democracy. They talk and give others the idea That The USA. is a Democracy. They tell others meaning Countries to be a Democracy. Well Milton this is not true and they blow smoke up your ass! The word Democracy is not use nor found in The USA. Constitution. The framers that wrote this Constitution knew Democracy’s don’t work or last.The Declaration of Independence that was signed on July4,1776 does not use the word Democracy. This document today is not Law the Constitution is the Law of the land. We The People formed this Republic. The form of government of The USA. is ” Representative Constitutional Republic. The President and Vice President are elected indirectly by The People. The Electoral Collage elects the President. The President does not represent We The People nor does the president write legislation nor does the president have power over money. The Senate now gets elected by the people but they don’t represent We The People they repersent the State they come from Congress people in the House of Representatives are elected every two years by We The People. This is the only representation the We The People have. After you vote you are done democracy is over and that quick. Oh yes the House has the power over money not The Senate or the President.

          • Milton Devonair

            It prevents congress from entering into treaties with other governments. The president only has the power to sign such treaties…..but only with the ‘advice and consent’ of the US senate (branch of congress).

            Some liberal/progressives in the US are whining about the PM of Israel coming to the US to address Congress. They have the right to do that as they need to be informed about things because….one of their constitutional jobs is to give/deny “advice and consent” to the president.
            The president can’t sign a treaty without congressional approval.
            How (conman and sexual predator) bill clinton got around the requirement for congressional approval with shipping our jobs to mexico was to call that treaty an “agreement”, not a treaty.
            NAFTA, North America Free Trade Agreement…with a foreign country.

            With liberal/progressives now running 1/3 of government in the US (executive branch), there has been a HUGE debate about the POS obama acting like a king, like putin, rather than like an american president. He’s little more than a chicago style mobster with a smile.

            Props to you. The US isn’t a democracy. A democracy is two wolves and a chicken deciding what is for supper. We are–or used to be–a Constitutional Republic. And liberal/progressives HATE our Constitution and Bill of Rights. They want a strong, centralized government–like european countries.

            Conservatives want the US to be what it was supposed to be–by default individual freedom and liberty first. Our documents state what the government CAN NOT do to a person. They view that as “negative rights” as it doesn’t say what the government CAN DO to people.

            And as people should know, if you want something given to you, you have to give something up to get it. You or someone else.

          • Charles J. Kollman

            Your are correct in what you say 100% Oh yes Bubba just another piece of shit as is his gay wife. Clinton the draft dodger was at his best getting a blow job in the oval office of We The People’s White House. I am a Constitutionalists and a Libertarian i think Thomas Jefferson was great and today Ran Paul. I don’t agree with abortion same sex marriage gays in my Military Obamacare The Fed IRS. NSA. The Patriot Act FEMA. to name some, because it is all against and in violation of The Constitution. Another and i have written the government on is the use of Mercenary’s and company’s like Black Water that are on American soil. They my give all the lies and propaganda Company’s like this and their use is a direct violation of my Constitution. I am a member of The NRA. and Oathkeepers i belong to no secret organization. I am against The New World Order Illuminati Bildderberers and Free Masons. Fucking progressive social liberals are one of my enemy’s. They have taken over the school system and news media. But know with them and the Tyrannical government there are many ways for mind bending washing and programing. Freedom is not free you must work at it every day or lose it. When people fear their government it’s Tyranny when the government fears the people that;s Liberty. A fish rots from the head down and when you want to kill a snake you don’t cut off it’s tail.

          • Milton Devonair

            You and I agree on a lot of things, but I have no problem with private contractors. I’m a vet myself as are most of my friends and some of them have gone to other countries for ‘contract work’. Conservatives have nothing to fear from these folks. A lot of them say there was no expiration date on their oath of enlistment in the military…
            ‘to protect the constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic’.

            There are far more of us than there are any of ‘them’.

          • Charles J. Kollman

            I am a Veteran US. Army 18Sept59 to 1June63 Hon. Dis. Aug65. Spent 3 years Germany. If you read The Constitution in the Articles is says Congress may call for an Army if they believe it is needed it is not mandatory. It is also a violation to have a police force within a police force. There is no need for the Fed. Home Land Security. Also in Articles is spelled out of Sovereign States having a State Home Land Security of We The People not The National Guard or State Guard We The People baring arms and the States are suppose to train The People it’s called a Militia. This is all very clear and spelled out in Articles of the Constitution and i believe three times about people baring arms. This is another violation of States with no Militia and no training. The reason for the second amendment is only to take effect when the government try’s to take this Liberty from us. What other Countries do in regards of payed organizations payed to kill is their problem. As Americans we are suppose to be better them then in things like that. Sorry it is wrong not right and it is against the American way. I have no respect for people like that and you know they are not covered under international law as being a Soldier. To be a Soldier you must represent a Nation and show on your uniform that what Nation you are from. Plus you must show your weapon you can not hide it. I do not support them and if they become a prisoner i would not lift a finger to help or to support them. I say fuck people like this and i do not hide this fact. My Tyrannical government know me and how i stand on this. End of story case closed.

          • Milton Devonair

            That’s your viewpoint.
            Mine is, ‘If we have to fight them, I’d just as soon fight them in their country than ours. And if cities must be destroyed, I’d just as soon their cities be destroyed than ours. And if civilians must die, I’d just as soon it be their civilians than ours….etc.”

            I think that was General Sherman.
            I don’t want to be fighting islamofascists in my neighborhood. And I don’t want to be fighting any terrorists/criminals that russia has financed/trained/supplied here either.

            I’d just as soon Ukrainians fight them in Ukraine.
            Israelis fight them in Israel.
            etc.

          • puttypants

            Charles Kollman…no big deal if you said the Ukraine, many reporters do it too. W*post is being a little too picky. Thanks for supporting Ukraine.

          • Charles J. Kollman

            Tell me, because some i guess in The Ukraine or Ukraine state Americans are not the sharpest people in a world in the world or world. I do not speak Ukrainian and know just a few words in Russian, so why just Ukraine. I know some history of The Ukraine and Kiev Russ. This City Kiev and the Country Ukraine are older then Moscow and Russia. I know how The people in The Ukraine were treated by The Kremlin over time and what Stalin did to The Ukraine and it’s people. I also know that a big part of The west Ukraine at one time was Galica and it was ruled by a few places. Put yourself in the shoes of an American that in WW11 Galica sided with Nazi Germany and this meant they were against America. They had to pick between Germany and The Soviet Union. America and the Soviet’s were together out of chance and it did not take long after WW11 ended that a wall went up between them. In the hearts of many the wall is still there. I use to live on Long Island in New York. In the City of NY. is Brooklyn and in Brooklyn is a territory know as Brighten Beach. Brighten Beach is also know as Little Odessa or Little Russia. I believe most of the people are Ukrainian, but all the signs in a street are in Russian. To be there you would think you were in Odessa. Many shops and many many food stores. It is a great place to visit. Hey if you don’t like it then visit Little Italy or China Town. There use to be a German and Irish area know as Yorkville, but the Spanish ran them out and took over. End of History.

          • Brent

            Charles, this can explain it better than I can and I’m Ukrainian!!!

            http://mentalfloss.com/article/32098/why-did-ukraine-become-just-ukraine

            I used to call it ‘The’ Ukraine too, but now understand why it is term viewed as belittling because Ukraine’s historical presence predates those that now consider it their ‘borderland’.

            Hope that helps.

          • Charles J. Kollman

            Yes Ukraine was there as a Country before Russia and Kiev is older then Moscow.Kiev Russ was not even Slavic he came what is today Norway.

          • W8post

            Thank you for the link, Brent. I have to say I knew most of it, but the comment of “RAM” was refreshing, an eye-opener and educative (including the column of Williams); at the end: I learned something!

      • Milton Devonair

        The two things that mccain has done right since he came back from vietnam were pick Gov. Palin for his VP candidate and state the US should support Ukraine with military weapon.

        In the US we have what’s called “co-equal branches of government” and he’s on the US Senate’s intel committee. Democrats like senator menendez go to dominican republic, a known haven for child prostitutes and mccain goes to Ukraine and calls for US to support them.

        • Charles J. Kollman

          Palin should have been the candidate for President. McCain is one of 50 Senators in The US. Senate. He Represents The State of Arizona with another Senator. He was a POW. and i give him respect for that, but time has run out for John. He needs to retire now, because many things from his moth show his mentality meaning he has become brain dead.

          • Milton Devonair

            The only reason that most of the republicans voted republicans in 08 was because of Gov. Palin, not mccain.
            The liberal/progressive dominated mainstream media helped mccain ‘win’ the republican party’s presidential nomination, calling him a “moderate”, portraying him very well.
            Then as soon as he got the nomination, the media turned on him.
            Then they realized the potential popularity–and threat–of Gov Palin, so they savaged her at every opportunity they could.

            After all, they were all for the democrat candidate, especially a liberal/progressive one, super especially a half black one.

            He’s been an embarassment since he came back from Vietnam and entered into politics. He’s pretty out of touch with normal people in the US.

  • Michel Cloarec

    This article confirms that Ukraine of today will never go back to the old Ukraine.
    Whatever Putin does , does´nt matter, He has lost and now he can only act with violences and terrorism to protect his positions at home in Russia. With Minsk 2 Europe has wakened and now nobody believes in Putin´s words. Of course Europe and Ukraine will have to compromise for the people´s sake.
    Hold on Ukraine !

  • Jan Sasha DeLa Gaardi-Ricman

    Do not let ’em to the Mykolaiiv! I’ve been there and too many nice people there to be killed by Russian demonic machine! God give all the power to Ukrainian protects country and Mariupol and other cities..

  • LavrovRocks

    What? Don’t care about Putin or Ossetia, the people of Ossetia are – unlike you guys – hard working and disciplined. they don’t depend on handouts from their Western handlers. By mid-2015 the “Ukraine” will fall apart all by itself. And this site will cease to exist, as did all the sites promoting the “Libyan revolution”…i wonder who runs them all. LOL!

    • Milton Devonair

      Hey commrade, your mom is coming back fro the st. petersberg apparatchiks dachas after a long night of ‘serving’ them, so she may want her computer back, trying to figure out how she can be like all the others and leave the cesspool called ‘russia’.
      but she’ll leave you there…which is a good thing for humans in the west.
      We don’t need shoe shine boys of the apparatchiks.

      • Michel Cloarec

        Seems that they are recruiting in St P´s Trolls Office .
        How long that LavrovRocks last ?

        • Milton Devonair

          Yup, young and ignorant–just what the apparatchiks get to use up. At least the neo-soviet russians aren’t using these kids to stand in front of them and take bullets for them like their fathers, the soviet russians did.

          times change….russians don’t.

      • LavrovRocks

        thats all you got to say, cheap mother insults? I’m Austrian and have never been to St. Petersburg. Try again, troll.

        • Milton Devonair

          I didn’t know your mother was cheap also, but what the heck, communists never fully appreciate the value of money as they just steal whatever they need from other people….

          I guess I could ask around to see if anyone else has ever ran any other specie that is as clueless as russians are. So far only liberal/progressives seem to be.
          Basement dwellers are too lunatic to be considered talking to. Plus they wrap their heads in tin foil to prevent mind rays from the government and their handlers from telling them what to think…..

          • LavrovRocks

            I don’t get the point of what you are saying, maybe its my bad English or rather, your royal dumbness :). Try again.

    • Charles J. Kollman

      Free people will always be here. You must understand that the cream always floats to the top while people that think like you sink to the bottom like shit. Putin is living in a idea that collapsed crumbled deflated, because it’s idea was Tyrannical and it was run by gangsters thugs fucking hoodlums The Soviet Union was a cast system with a very few elite on the top and the rest workers and slaves. He you may try to blow smoke up the ass of all your socialists friends but guess the fuck what. The USA. and it’s Capitalism system still stands still the number one power in a world. Please tell me friend just where in the fuck is The Big Bad Red Soviet Union. Soon this is where Putin will be. The West has time on it’s side and in the long run will crush Putin. It will be a shame that good Russian people will also get hurt. But they have a choice now to get rid of this beast this savage. He now talks and acts like the animal Stalin and we all know what happened to him don’t we!! LOL now! Hey Hitler was not German he came and was born in Austria a fucking wall paper man.

  • Czech Friend

    Repeat after me: Putin is a war criminal and he will hang. But before that he should suffer as his Russia will just like Nazi Germany.

    What goes around comes around and this cowardly thug has it long time coming!

  • Czech Friend

    Repeat after me: Putin is a war criminal and he will hang. But before that he should suffer as his Russia will just like Nazi Germany.

    What goes around comes around and this cowardly thug has it long time coming!

  • Czech Friend

    Repeat after me: Putin is a war criminal and he will hang. But before that he should suffer as his Russia will just like Nazi Germany.

    What goes around comes around and this cowardly thug has it long time coming!