Why Pinchuk’s plan would be a disaster for Ukraine and the West

video screenshot / European Union in Ukraine

video screenshot / European Union in Ukraine 

2017/01/14 - 21:38 • Analysis & Opinion

Article by: Volodymyr Yermolenko and Alya Shandra

Late 2016 and early 2017 saw the emergence of a what looks like a new information campaign aimed to prepare ground for Ukraine’s future geopolitical U-turn. The campaign’s actors argue that Ukraine should seek reconciliation with Russia, abandoning its pro-EU and pro-NATO choice and considering the annexation of Crimea as a fait accompli.

Signs of this new discourse are numerous. One of Ukraine’s wealthiest oligarchs, Viktor Pinchuk, published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, calling for “painful compromises” for peace with Russia, mainly renouncing its NATO and EU hopes, and putting the Crimean issue on hold for decades.

Inside Ukraine, Vasyl Filipchuk, a former diplomat and now head of a Ukrainian think-tank, proposed a similar vision in his long-read piece on Apostroph. Similar arguments on Ukraine’s “neutrality” were expressed by Yuriy Romanenko, a widely read blogger, on his website Hvylya.

This comes on top of an increased number of media resources calling – or even demanding – reconciliation with Russia. Ukrainian media watchdog Detektor Media analyzed this new narrative with fake petitions, sites, and appeals in the name of Ukraine’s working class to restore economic ties with Russia.

All this makes one think about a new way of a concerted media campaign, designed to shift public opinion in Ukraine and in the West and calling to bring Ukraine back to a pre-Maidan epoch, as a neutral Russian satellite – but this time without Crimea and Donbas.

We believe that the implementation of this scenario might bring painful consequences to Ukraine and the West alike. And here is why:

1.   Neutrality would not deter, but would likely encourage further aggression.

The above-mentioned proponents of Ukraine’s U-turn call Ukraine to reestablish its neutral (non-aligned) status, saying this will restore the broken geopolitical balance. However, neutrality has never been a guarantee against aggression if the neutral state is an object of a powerful neighbor’s geopolitical interest. Ukraine was a non-aligned country in 2014, when it became the victim of Russian aggression both in Crimea and in Donbas. Moldova’s neutrality (secured by the constitution in 1994) demanded by Russia to settle the Transnistrian conflict did nothing to bring Transnistria back. Georgia’s “red light” to NATO membership in April 2008 (Bucharest NATO summit) did not save it from Russian aggression in August 2008 – but rather instigated it. Historically, neutrality did not save Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway from Nazi aggression during the World War II. It does not help if the aggressor is willing to achieve its goals – but only leaves a possible victim without protection.

2.   Accepting the Crimean annexation can provoke further acts of aggression worldwide.

Accepting the Crimean annexation, i.e. the brutal violation of international law under fake democratic procedures, can open up something of a Pandora’s box. It can provoke a spillover effect of illegal annexations and interventions in many other parts of the world. This can turn international order into a house of cards. The Munich “deal” and annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938 can be a good example of what comes next if the aggressor is appeased.

3.   “Painful concessions” can provoke tensions and further regional instability.

If the scenario of “painful concessions” is played out in Ukraine, it will provoke serious waves of protest inside Ukraine. Public opinion polls suggest that the majority of Ukraine’s population back NATO integration (44% say it is the “basic option” for Ukraine’s security, compared to 26% that support a non-aligned status), and only 22,5% of citizens are ready to accept peace at any price. It is highly probable that many citizens will perceive “painful concessions” as a “soft capitulation”. This will substantially weaken the position of current Ukrainian authorities and enhance the position of the far-right and nationalist forces, which can lead to serious statewide tensions and growing internal instability. If the neighboring countries react to growing instability by intervening militarily, this can be the beginning of a large-scale war on the European continent.

4. NATO cooperation makes Ukraine more capable of repelling Russian aggression on its own.

Regardless of NATO membership, mere cooperation with NATO is already bringing Ukraine ostensible benefits. Its army is being modernized and is better prepared to repel Russian aggression in Donbas. This makes Ukraine capable of fighting aggression with its own forces, without external military help.

5. Without the incentive of EU membership, Ukraine’s reforms would roll back.

Proponents of Ukraine’s “painful concessions” argue that Ukraine needs to renounce its EU integration aspirations. However, by far, an EU integration prospect has been the key driver for reforms in Ukraine. Removal of this dream for Europe will stop reforms, as it will destroy its key orientation. Without the pressure to correspond to European standards and practices, Ukraine will go on being a feudal, oligarch-ruled state in Russia’s influence. Whereas the alternative, a democratic and successful Ukraine, would help democratize Russia and curb authoritarian power.

6. Appeasement had previously emboldened Russia to further aggression.

Calls for trade-off with Russia ignore the rules of the Kremlin’s games today. They are rules of “zoopolitics“: the Kremlin considers states as quasi-animals fighting for survival, in which only force can rule. The West’s blindness to Russia’s blatant violation of international law in Georgia encouraged Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. If, today, Ukraine is given up, it is likely to encourage Russia’s military adventurism further, quite possibly with Putin deciding to test NATO’s Article 5 commitment through actions in one of the Baltic States.

7. Previous deals with Russia didn’t hold.

Advocates of Ukraine’s concessions argue that Ukraine needs a new deal with Russia, which will also guarantee its security. However, there exists no evidence that Russia, a country that has violated the Budapest memorandum (the guarantee of Ukraine’s security after it gave up nuclear weapons), the Helsinki Accords and the UN Charter, will keep its word in the future. Simply put, their record is very poor. As well as the international agreements and treaties Russia is in breach of, as mentioned Russia has consistently broken the terms of three peace deals agreed to regarding the conflict in eastern Ukraine, one struck in Geneva and the two deals struck in Minsk.

8.  “Concessions” reject both Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The West’s mantra following Russian aggression in 2014 consisted in its full respect for Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity”. However, the advocates for “painful concessions” want to reject both Ukraine’s territorial integrity (and accept Crimea as Russian) and Ukraine’s sovereignty (leave Kyiv fully to Russian influence).

9.  The victim should not be forced to change; the aggressor should.

The advocates of a “U-turn” use excessive energy to argue why Ukraine has to change. However, they are silent about the changes and concessions that Russia has to make – as the country responsible for Ukraine’s destabilization. Russia, in turn, says it is not a side of the conflict in Ukraine, but a “third party”. Paradoxically, it is this “third party” who demands concessions as if it was a fully engaged party.

10. Any peace plan should include retributions.

Russia is internationally recognized as the country that illegally annexed Crimea and is behind the Donbas separatists. In this case, it should be held accountable for initiating the war, and therefore should be made financially responsible for damages of the war. The advocates of a U-turn are silent about this.

This text is a part of the UkraineWorld group initiative, which unites a number of Ukrainian foreign policy experts and journalists. The authors thank Daria Gaidai, Kostiantyn Kvurt, Paul Niland, Nataliya Popovych, Serhiy Sydorenko, Kateryna Zarembo, and Nataliya Kononenko for their help and advice in preparing the material.

Authors: Volodymyr Yermolenko, Director of European projects at Internews Ukraine and journalist at Hromadske and Alya Shandra, Editor-in-Chief of Euromaidan Press.

Read also:

Source: This article was first published on Hromadske under the title “Why asking for ‘painful concessions’ from Ukraine is wrong”

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  • W8post

    there is a word for this kind of people: Q U I S L I N G S

    • туфтуф

      Quislings or not, they are winners.

      • Quartermaster

        Quislings are never winners.

        • W8post

          History has proven you’re RIGHT!

        • туфтуф

          I beg to disagree. I hear LDPR are being annexed slowly by Russia. How can Ukraine win back a territory owned by a nuclear super power, and supported by Trump? I think we should expect more quislings to appear soon. Odessa, Harkov, Mariupol….all are badly pro Russian.

          • Quartermaster

            You can hold your fantasies all you like. Russia can’t afford to hold either the Donbas or Crimea indefinitely because they are economic sinkholes costing him millions a month. He’s burning through his cash reserves and will have very serious decisions to make before the middle of the year.

            Quislings in those areas have already been dealt with. None of them are Pro-Russian after they have seen what Putin has done to Crimea and the Donbas.

            But, as I said earlier, you can hold your fantasies all you like. Just realize that Krokodil has very serious repercussions.

          • туфтуф

            Let us wait then until Russia cant subsidise them any more. It will give maybe even its own territories. The war makes no sense then. Just forbid French cheeses and wait for Crimea to return. Or has it returned already? Crimea was taken from the Turks by Katherine the great. It has no connecion with Ukraine at all.

          • Quartermaster

            neither the seizure of Crimea, or the instigation of a war in the Donbas make any sense. Add into the mix Putin’s meddling in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Moldova, and you have a mix that is costing Russia horribly. Putin’s actions are utterly senseless and counterproductive for Russia.

            You need to learna bit of history. Ctimea has been part of Ukraine as long as I’ve been alive, and Putin’s own regime recognized that with several agreements he’s signed with Ukraine. Add in the fact that Crimea voted to go with Ukraine when it seceded from the Soviet Union, participated in Ukrainian national elections, and was represented in parliament, and you have picture painted from the facts that simply says you’re a liar.

          • туфтуф

            He is simply enlarging the territory. No big philosophy there. And he knows no one can stop him.

          • Alex George

            “How can Ukraine win back a territory owned by a nuclear super power, and supported by Trump? ”

            Quite easily. The Ukrainian plan has not changed. It was always based on letting Russia implode economically – which it is doing.

            “Odessa, Harkov, Mariupol….all are badly pro Russian.”

            That is what Putin assumed when his special forces tried to foment insurrection in those places in 2014. He failed badly.

            Many people in those places speak Russian as their first language, but they have no interest in being ruled by the Kremlin .

          • туфтуф

            Thank you. Makes sense, although very little. But am grateful that you didnt go down the route of signing agreements, cangaroo courts etc.

          • Quartermaster

            Putin signed agreements, and there has been no Kangaroo court involved. You simply can’t past your fantasies.

            It makes a lot of sense that Russian speaking Ukrainians want nothing to do With Putin. If you weren’t a Putinist shill, it would be an easy thing for you to understand.

          • туфтуф

            Russia takes what it wants. Like China. Itrespective of intl law. Get over it.

          • Quartermaster

            And such actions, historically, have serious consequences for the country doing it. Get ready.

          • Alex George

            Until people stand up to it, when it stops. Which is what happened in Ukraine – Russian aggression stopped there. Get over it.

          • туфтуф

            People have been laid down. To rest. Eternal rest.

          • Alex George

            No, you are just trying to dodge. My point is that people have stood up to Kremlin bullying, and its attempts at expansionism have stopped.

            Of course people died, and when it came to the crunch, Ukrainians were more prepared to die for their beliefs than Russians were. That’s the fundamental reason why Putin has failed in the Ukraine – his army lacked courage.

          • туфтуф

            They are dead and dying. The Republics have excellent weapons, are protected by one of the most powerful countries in the world. P. forbade them to take more territories and my friends are very frustrated by him.

          • Alex George

            The DNR and LNR have excellent weapons handled by Russian soldiers. The problem is that those soldiers largely lack the motivation for real fighting. their training is poor, and drug-us and other forms of criminality are rife.

            The Russian army last mounted an offensive in Donbas in January 2015 and went nowhere. They aren’t capable of taking more territory. At present they look like having difficulty holding on to what they have.

          • туфтуф

            I know many of them personally. Ukroprop doesnt work with me.

          • Alex George

            Then its good to see that you don’t disagree with my points: There is nothing wrong with the equipment of the Russian soldiers in DNR and LNR. The problem is rather that they lack the motivation for real fighting. their training is poor, and drug-use and other forms of criminality are rife.

            The Russian army in Donbas last mounted an offensive in January 2015 and it went nowhere. They aren’t capable of taking more territory.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            And the Dwarfstanian “volunteers” are so welcome in the Donbas that 20 of them were knifed recently, with 18 killed and 2 critical:

            http://zik.ua/en/news/2017/01/15/20_russian_regulars_stabbed_to_death_in_luhansk_1025679

          • туфтуф

            DNR has the most modern equipment Russia has. Thats why Ukroarmy and NATO mercenaries cnt win the war for 2 yrs now.

          • Alex George

            They certainly do have the most modern equipment Russia has. But they cant win or even mount an offensive because they don’t have the courage.

          • туфтуф

            Ludicrous statement. Ukros dnt have the courage to attack cus they know they wld lose Kiev, which they will lose anyway. Surkovs plan. Russia wants the whole of Ukraine (except Galicia), but wants Germany to pay for rebuilding of Ukraine. Poles are the only chance to try and destabilise Russia. But in order to unleash the Poles, the West must receive hard assurances that London and NY will be spared, otherwise the whole West goes medieval.

          • Alex George

            Yes, your statement is ludicrous. The Ukrainians don’t have to attack – they are winning without it.

            You clearly have no idea what has actually been happening in Donbas over the past few weeks. No problem, you will.

          • туфтуф

            The best idea is just to sit tight and wait till Russia withdraws, how ever many yrs it takes. Thats what they re doing in Tibet. Patience. No war.

          • Alex George

            And since the Ukrainains don’t listen to you, that is not their plan,

            Russia is already pulling back from the Donbas and it will have no choice but to do the same from Crimea. It will be lucky if it lasts to the end of the year.

          • туфтуф

            Wow! And u really believe in the pulling out cr*p? Warm milk and soft bed is the answer.

          • Alex George

            LOL Unlike you, I do have sources, and I can also read.

          • туфтуф

            Oh l got u wrong. I tot they are pulling out of Crimea. Good, the aggression has stopped.

          • туфтуф

            I know many DPR fighters personally. They are very good fighters controlled by GRU and angry cus Surkov wouldnt let them liberate Kiev, the old Russian capital. But Crimea ppl are safe.

          • Alex George

            The DPR fightters are losers, who do not dare attack. Their only talent is plundering the people of Donbas.

            The Crimean people are arrested, tortured and threatened by the Russian fascist government. They will be safe when the Russians leave.

          • туфтуф

            Today l saw a documentary about DPR army. A force to be reckoned with. Poland is in the process of arming itself to the teeth. Without Polish help, the rump Ukraine stands no chance. And that will be a real war. Romania and Bulgaria chickened out for fear of Russian long range nukes. But Poland is brave to meet Russia head on.

          • Alex George

            If the DPR army was “force to be reckoned with” thne it might have actually succeeded in something over the past 2 years. Instead they sit in the same positions, while their leaders plunder and deal drugs.

            Polish help? Are you really so ignorant as to think that Polish fought troops fought in the Donbas? Poland certainly has helped Ukraine in re-equipping its army.

            And no, so far Bulgaria and Romania haven’t chickened out of anything – they are strongly opposed to Russian expansionism

          • туфтуф

            Dnt worry, GRU is with them. The little green men.

          • Alex George

            I don’t worry at all about the GRU . Neither does Ukraine.

            The “little green men” have never actually accomplished anything.

          • туфтуф

            Stood up by joining the Russian fleet.

          • Alex George

            Yes, many Ukrainian military officers were traitors and handed Crimea over to the Russians – that is the only reason Russia was able to take Crimea. Russia would never have been able to capture Crimea by fighting – its army is not good enough. Treachery was the only way.

            But those Ukrainian traitors backed the wrong side . They will never be allowed to return to Ukraine.

            In Donbas, the Ukrainian people had warning. And they fought the Russians. And they defeated the Russians because they were more determined to win than the Russians were.

          • туфтуф

            Got over it ok. The result being a rump Ukraine. Not bad.

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          Obviously the troll has never heard of Vidkun Quisling, Pierre Laval, Anton Mussert and all the other traitors who got the chop after WW2.

  • WisconsinUSA

    i call out to my country to bring forth a new “marshall” plan for the good people of ukraine.we have done it before,we can do it again. don’t make them crawl back on their hands and knees to beg from putin again. it will be an investment with great upside and return on investment. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a102badef5390518cd69df1e9d8c9857349988f115e9a67b89e9208a5c92c804.jpg hey putin , ride this mf er.

    • туфтуф

      We need to wait till the war is over. How can we rebuild their country when every other Ukrainian is armed? Someone has to dosarm them in order to bring back a semblance of a civilised country. And Russia doesnt want to do it. It wants them to self destruct. Good that it saved Crimea from such chaos.

      • Thom Kinoshta

        The current Ukraine is not sustainable. The US has no concern for Ukraine except to use Ukrainian soldiers to kill Russians. Most likely Ukraine will collapse and be split up since DJ has no interest in Ukraine. Nobody wants Ukraine and Ukrainian debt. Poland and Russia are interested in the gas fields in Ukraine. Poland will get the Lviv reserves. Russia will get the Donetsk reserves.

        • туфтуф

          U r right. They have too many regions who want to take the Crimea route.

          • Alex George

            They actually have zero regions who want to take the Crimea route . Congratulations though – you Russians managed to unite Ukraine like nobody before .

            The Russian generals told themselves that the Russian-speaking people of eastern and southern Ukraine would rise up to help them. In fact, those people rose up against the Russians to fight them.

            It is the Russian-speaking people of Ukraine who do not want to be ruled by the Kremlin .

          • туфтуф

            Me no Russian. Ukraine has to bleed slowly and l am very sad about it. And angry that Russia didnt clear this mess in 2014.

          • Quartermaster

            You act and post like a Russian. You’re a Russian and a Putin fan, your lies to the contrary.

          • Alex George

            Your expression “bleed slowly” is a good description of what is happening to Russia, but not Ukraine.

            Russia failed in 2014 because the people of eastern Ukraine turned against it, and because the Russian army wasn’t good enough.

            Sure, the Russian army and its hybrid forces had plenty of number and equipment, but their soldiers lacked the courage, especially when fighting Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers with poor equipment but high motivation.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            And the poor equipment is slowly but surely being replaced, not least because of fund raising by organisations such as Phoenix Wings and People’s Project.

          • Alex George

            True. The government has done many equipment upgrades, but still supplemented by volunteer donations. The people of Ukraine support their army.

            It was the same in 2014 – after 10+ years of neglect by pro-Moscow oligarchs, the logistics of the Ukrainian army were in a shambles. But ordinary Ukrainian citizens cooked meals and bought food, and volunteers brought them to the front line for the soldiers. This war against Putin’s aggression was truly a people’s war.

        • Alex George

          Sure Ukraine is not sustainable, but it is!

          Despite all of its legacy of Soviet corruption, it is growing economically, while Russia shrinks.

          Don’t worry about the USA – it is not fighting to stop the Kremlin takeover in Ukraine – the Ukrainain people are doing that .

      • Alex George

        Russia didn’t save Crimea from chaos – it created chaos there.

        And yes, every other Ukrainian is armed, and they are determined to resist the Kremlin to the death. That is why Russian aggression against Ukraine failed.

        • туфтуф

          If the aggression failed, then we re peachy. But l hear the war is still going on…???

          • Quartermaster

            Russia’s invaders didn’t get nearly as far as Putin thought they would, which is fortunate for Putin. He’d have a real morass on his hands and he would already be bankrupt. With the money he’s wasting in Crimea, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Donbas, and Moldova, he’s being rapidly drained.

          • Alex George

            Yes – exactly where the forces where two years ago.

            Putin tried to raise insurrection across the whole of eastern Ukraine. His hybrid forces appeared in Kharkiv, Odesa and everywhere in between. But the people rejected them, and they were pushed out.

            Putin then comittted the Russian army, which managed to carve out a small slice of eastern Ukraine – about 40% of Donetsk Oblast and about 15% of Luhansk oblast. And that is where they stopped. Their last offensive was in January 2015, and it went nowhere.

            Since then, the Russian have been constantly shooting, causing Ukrainain casualties, and taking even more in return. But no offensives, because Russia wouldn’t be able to accept the casualties.

          • туфтуф

            Strelkov tried but was stopped by Surkov.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            No, Girkin and his Kolorad scum were stopped by the Ukrainian army and volunteer batallions.

          • туфтуф

            Stupid cnn

          • Alex George

            He is telling you the truth. The last offensive by Russian forces in the Donbas was in January 2015. It petered out in February 2015. Since then, they have not dared to mount any offensives.

          • туфтуф

            I know that. Got ppl on the ground. Today they celebrated the Debaltsevo cauldron anyversary. Jan 22 2015.

          • Alex George

            Yes, they have to celebrate something, even though they lost the campaign.

          • туфтуф

            Debaltsevo cauldron was the second massacre of Ukro army. I saw fields covered with dead bodies, a Cossack was walking the journalists through them. Ilovaysk was the first couldron. Both battles were epic victories of the miners and truck drivers, who had previously destroyed the entire Ukro airforce. Talented chappies. Lol.

          • Alex George

            Debaltseve involved only a small number of casualties.

            Yes its true that the Russian army gave safe conduct to the Ukrainian defenders, because they could not shift them. Then the Russian treacherously attacked them while they were under safe conduct. Taht was the onloy way they were going to kill so many.

            Typical Russian army – – no honour whatsoever.

            But its just one battle – the Russians and their puppet separatists lost the campaign.

          • туфтуф

            Lolz

  • туфтуф

    Breaking news: Sinhua Chinese news agency announced today that Russia and China will prepare a joint answer to the anti missile US systems in the Korean peninsula. The two countries proclaimed the US a threat to their national security and will hold joint military and naval exercises in Oct this year. Has America finally decided to attack the whole world, or is it empty sabre rattling? Russia and China, together, are invincible.

    • zorbatheturk

      Alien species alert.

      • Mykola Banderachuk

        duly noted

      • Quartermaster

        Yep! Toto, the anglicized Burmese Python is back.

    • Thom Kinoshta

      That is why DJ wants to be Russia’s ally. He wants to separate China from Russia. DJ wants to hammer China. I think DJ is a White supremacist and rather be Russia’s friend than enemy.

      • туфтуф

        Russian leadership is fully aware of this. On one hand it will try to outsmart Trump by taking lands Trump offers, only to turn its back on US and proceed with Eurasia project with China. Earlier, Eurasia was conceived as a non military trade structure. Some days ago, a dangerous military component was added- an official military alliance of China and Russia, with manouvers to take place in Oct this year. Both countries proclaimed the US threat to their national security. Secretly, China wants to bring NK on board which is not difficult at all. And both Russia, but especially China, are making NK into a dangerous country and their ally.

        • Alex George

          North Korea has always been an ally of China, and no, China is not allying with Russia, as Putin well knows. China is slowly encircling Russia, as well as taking over Siberia and the Far East.

          • туфтуф

            Well, l am only transmitting messages. Your wishful thinking l appreciate. Of course it makes you frightened: two most powerful countries in the world forming a military alliance. But dnt worry, our milkmen wont be late. If we behave.

          • Quartermaster

            You are transmitting fantasies. Neither country is all that powerful.

          • Alex George

            I am not afraid at all. I am quite confident that China is going to take what it wants from Russia. At the same time it is setting up to greatly increase its trade links with the west over land, particularly via Ukraine.

      • Alex George

        DJ has been blackmailed by Russia and will help it wherever he can . But there is a limit to what he can do – US Presidential powers are constrained .

        The Kremlin narrative has always been to turn USA against China, but its just not powerful enough to hurt either of them.

      • туфтуф

        True. But Russian leaders are aware of it. Knowing your enemy is half of victory. The other half-saw FEAR Zinto enemies’ ranks.

    • Alex George

      Russia and China are not together. China is very good at smiling at Russia and the Russians don’t understand the difference .

      However the Chinese will happily steal your military technology. they have already done it for several items, including fighter aircraft. The Kremlin knows this, but it has no choice but to hand these things over to china – Russia is too poor not to.

      • туфтуф

        Dnt shoot the messenger. I know its scary, but if we behave, our milkmen wont be indisposed.

        • Quartermaster

          Your a fantasist, not a messenger.

        • Alex George

          I am not scared at all. I am just amused that Russians are unable to see what is coming at them from China, but hey, why should I care?

          • туфтуф

            China is good. Alliance. Strong. Fearless.

          • Alex George

            China is not in an alliance with Russia. That is just a Sputnik fantasy.

            The Chinese have far better relations with Ukraine and Belarus than they do with Russia.

          • туфтуф

            Dream on…..

          • Alex George

            There is no alliance and you know it. And as for relations between China, Belarus and Ukraine, I suggest you do some research instead of just mouthing off all the time. You clearly know nothing about the topic

          • туфтуф

            China trades with Ukraine, Russia etc. I am talking abt a military alliance which was forged at a ministerial level and the news was published in Xinhua. Ignoramus.

          • Alex George

            Yes you are an ignoramus, because nothing of the sort was ever published in Xinhua.

          • туфтуф

            I read it personally.

          • Alex George

            Sure you did, and can’t provide any link to it. Bye bye .

          • туфтуф

            No bye byes. SBU reads my posts. Today l bought Dejan Berich’s book When the dead talk. I will be peddling raw intel here. Dejan’s head is worth $1 million.

          • Alex George

            And you are dodging yet again. You can’t provide any link to it because it doesn’t exist. .

            And the SBU read your posts? In thousands of posts you are yet to post a single item of real information. You are just a windbag

          • туфтуф

            Yes. Thats why they dnt ban me.

          • Alex George

            Exactly – you have finally got it . You are completely harmless old man

          • туфтуф

            Ukraine is under occuption. And will be liberated soon. The Republics have exactly the same level of legitimacy as the rump Ukraine. They just refused to accept the violent putsch.

      • Quartermaster

        Fortunately, the Chinks haven’t been able to duplicate Russian jet engines, which are some of the poorest in the world. other than Chinese jet engines.

  • Robert Drake

    I pick #5 with #7 as a universal basis for future dealings with Putin.

    • Thom Kinoshta

      parts of #5 is a good idea, but the conclusion is debatable. The West has an artificial higher lifestyle based on credit. as for #7. The US did nothing and will not support Ukraine as per Budapest memorandum.

      • Thom Kinoshta

        Bulgaria and Greece are part of the West and doing poorly. Ukraine becoming part of a West is only a dream. Ukraine will still be poor.

        • Alex George

          Ukraine is already doing better the Russia, because it is turning to the west.

          Life even in Bulgaria and Greece is better than in Russia.

  • albertphd

    Ten good points to reflect upon a subject that keeps re-occurring: what to do with the Armed Invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s Russia?! Some excellent comments so far: in particular, a revised “Marshall Plan” between Ukraine and the USA– a great place to start! (Is anyone listening?!)

    As well, so many thousands of good honest caring Ukrainian boys, and men and women have already died since Maidan to keep Ukraine free. We cannot betray their ultimate sacrifices; it would be worse than sacrilege: it would be the end of Ukraine as a country, as a culture, as a distinct people, as a known entity. Too long Ukraine has been living under the wing of it’s Eastern neighbor and now it faces identity extinction, to say the least!

    The problems facing Ukraine are both internal and external: from corruption in the political, military, business, and economical spheres. The Russian habit of dealing under the table, bending (even breaking) all the rules, living for oneself (and not for one’s own community or for the best interests of one’s own country) is prevalent still (alas!) throughout Ukraine, particularly East Ukraine. It is akin to separating the wheat from the tares: both grow together but the ‘fake wheat’ (or tares) imitates the appearance of the wheat, and so is not easy to be extracted (to borrow an analogy from the Christian Bible).

    So, what is the solution?! Well first of all, let’s say what is NOT the solution: It is not possible to capitulate to any Russian demands. If Ukraine is forced to play it’s hand (as it were) because neither the West, Nato, or the USA would in any military way come to it’s rescue, then there are only a few choice options left (as I see it!): the lesser of the greater evil (of capitulation).

    Option #1: As Ukraine listened to the USA (under Obama) to do nothing while Russia took over Crimea, then now Ukraine must concede that it is nigh impossible for Crimea to be returned to Ukraine without outside assistance military and continued economic sanctions.

    But there is this alternative to work out ‘a deal with the Devil’ which is: to agree to let Russia keep the Ukrainian Crimea and ORDLO (Russian-occupied Ukrainian Donbas) on these conditions:

    (a) that Russia officially acknowledge in a signed International Agreement that Crimea belongs to Ukraine as a Protectorate State but that Russia may lease Crimea until, say, 2050 AD after which time Crimea becomes part of Ukraine, as Hong Kong was returned by the British to China, and Macau by the Portuguese to China a few years ago;

    (b) That in addition to seceding Crimea to Russia (as a Leased Agreement), the ORDLO (parts of the Ukrainian Donbas under Russian control currently) would be leased to Russia under the same conditions: that Russia would re-build the damaged infrastructure of the ORDLO under a Leased Agreement while acknowledging in the International Agreement with Ukraine that the ORDLO is a Ukrainian Protectorate that must be returned to Ukraine, say, in 2050 as well. This way, Putin saves face before his people and these lands are acknowledged as part of Ukraine and are to be returned to Ukraine as per the conditions and terms of the proposed (and mutually acceptable) Lease Agreement. [I understand that Putin’s word is worthless in many if not most written Agreements but this Agreement with be between Ukraine and Russia; and in 2050 AD Putin likely will not even be around to argue about it, right?!]

    (c) The incentive to Russia is great: all sanctions imposed upon Russia because of this (currently) illegal action against Ukraine are to be lifted, and International trade may proceed with the Crimea and with the ORDLO area, based on the conditions described above. It should be pointed out that to acknowledge that Ukraine is the actual and official landlord or owner of both the Crimea and ORDLO entails that Russia allow the following; that the Ukrainian flag, culture, language, schools, and government be allowed back into the Crimea, as well as in the occupied Donbas with official offices and it’s own military and Police to protect these institutions as separate entities (as Vatican City is within Italy but survives as it’s own country). Until the time of the Lease is expired, Ukraine has the duty to ensure that these Ukrainian institutions are protected interests of Ukraine. After the Lease has expired, Russia must withdraw all it’s military, Police, government and judiciary system from Ukraine, as Britain did for China when it surrendered Hong Kong back to China. So, you see, this Lease Agreement is no cake walk for Russia. (And as stated above, by the year 2050, it is safe to say that Putin will no longer be in power, so his successor will likely be the party that fulfills these International Treaty obligations).

    Option #2: The USA (under President Trump) may see it economically advantageous to supply Ukraine with a completely revised American Marshall Plan which benefits both countries. To protect it’s economic interests in Ukraine, there will be on Open Skies and Open Military Agreement between both countries, to allow the US to build permanent Air Force and Military Bases in the Ukraine (as Russia has done last year in Syria). Ukraine can build cars (thousands per month, as they have in the past!) in Zaporizhzhia, in Dnipro, and other East Ukraine factory cities, as well as military and Space Aeronautical parts from up-to-date tanks, and F-35s and F18s to Space Craft and Space Missiles, etc. Ukraine has a very strong steel industry which under American investment can flourish to the profit of both countries–to mention only a few possibilities between both countries. Trade incentives can be offered to the USA that even an astute Trump can see would be foolish to refuse or ignore! [With a strong and flourishing American military presence in Ukraine, Russia would not dare to attack!]

    Option #3: Ukraine can attempt to defend itself through the aid of US built lethal military weapons, such as the S-300 and S-400 missiles, wart-hog tank busters, smart technology weaponry (to include big guns ranging to 150 mm cannons and beyond!). How is this possible, you ask? simple: President Trump on 23 January 2017, as his first Executive Order has already announced that he will reverse, rescind, annul, and cancel virtually all of President Obama’s Executive Orders for the past 8 years! One of Obama’s Executive Orders was in March 2015 when Obama blocked the US House of Representatives 7 to 1 vote to give Ukraine Lethal military weapons (to defend itself from the Russian Invader). Now, that Order will be terminated and Lethal Weapons can be released to Ukraine totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars! Ukraine as well has been re-building it’s own military defense factories and re-arming and re-building it’s military to meet the Russian Aggressor. By the end of this year, Ukraine would have a fighting chance to deter (if not to stop!) Russia from taking over the country.

    Option #4: Ukraine can continue to build it’s wall against Russia and to complete it replete with hundreds of outposts and thousands of security cameras, to include the border with Belarus and with Crimea. Ukraine can reach an International Agreement with the UN, USA in particular and with Russia, to allow the ORDLO (occupied parts of the Donbas) to consist of a No Man’s Land (ten miles in width) completely encircling the ORDLO (and part of the current ORDLO) in which UN Peace Keeping troops can monitor the area night and day, ensuring that no more white Russian Cargo trucks keep filtering in the war zone bringing new military weaponry and military supplies. All hostilities are to cease and the area is to be freed of all terrorists. [Coal is no longer to be shipped out of Ukraine at 3,000 tons per day via the 3 Russian trains crossing into the ORDLO, as it is now!]
    The USA, England, and EU nations, and Russia are to participate in the rebuilding of the infrastructure of this war-ravaged region.
    Sanctions against Russia are to continue as the Crimea and ORDLO are not recognized as part of Russia.

    Option #5: Ukraine is to become completely independent of all influences from both the West (EU) and from the East (RF) in that it declares martial law, rebuilds it’s own lethal weapons (including nuclear weaponry, as does Israel!), and simply becomes too prickly (like a porcupine) for the Russian Bear to comfortably meddle with!
    Of course, this option will be one of last resort, in order to avoid total capitulation to Putin’s RF.

    In short, I find it hopeful (if not wholly ironic!) that The New President of the UN for 2017 declared this year, the year of PEACE.

    In keeping with this New Year’s resolution and as today is Ukrainian New Year’s Eve, I thought it best to provide a moment of reflection in the following anti-war New Year’s theme by John Lennon–created by his children!

    WARNING: there is graphic depiction of war victims!

    John Lennon-“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”-Official video-HQ

    • туфтуф

      We have to wait till the war is over in order to rebuild their country. Now that LDPR will most likely be incorporated into Russia, other pro Russian parts can decide to take the same route, which means more war. Its like financing a building on a mine field.

      • Thom Kinoshta

        you do not seem to consider cost. cheaper to make Donbas a country. Then Russia can control Donbas. Annexing Donbas into Russia, could bankrupt Russia. Crimea already cost Russia over $2 billion a year.

        • туфтуф

          Presupositions. Serious people are working on the project. They would def know if it would bankrupt Russia. No Ukro or Western army will destroy Donbass coz it has been decided time is right to make it Russian. And it will be so. Shame that the human cost has been so high, but unfortunately it will be much more higher by the time of defining what Ukraine is and what it is not. Years will take.

          • Alex George

            You have had these plans for the past two years. 6,000 dead Russian boys (and rising each week) says you can’t do any of them

          • туфтуф

            Russians are not afraid of death. Or starvation. Or anything. My wife tells me that during WWII they had men who would throw themselves on German bunkers and be killed by machine gun fire, thereby preventing German soldiers from killing their comrades. Dangerous nation.

          • Quartermaster

            You’re simply making things up again.

          • Alex George

            That was another generation – and it was Ukrainians as well as Russians. Remember, Russia didn’t defeat Germany. The USSR did – that is Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia etc etc.

            There are plenty of accounts from people who have fought on both sides in the Donbas . It is obvious that the Russians and separatists failed there in 2014-15 because they had lots of good equipment but poor motivation. As opposed to the Ukrainians who had poor equipment but high motivation.

          • туфтуф

            I agree that Ukrainians are Russians. There is only 1 thing l cannot understand. The cauldrons. I put it down to Russian spies in Ukrainian General chief of staff. It looks as if 2 different races are fighting. Ukrainian army cannot take Doneck for over 2 yrs now. Useless. Traitots (or unknown heroes) must be the reason why. Sending their soldiers to death deliberately.

          • Alex George

            Ukrainians are not Russians. You might argue that Russians are Ukrainians originally, but Russians are really more Tatar than Ukrainian, to the extent that is important.

            The simple truth is as I stated it: Russia tried to take over eastern Ukraine, all the way to Kharkiv and Odesa. It failed. It holds only a small part of two oblasts and it hasn’t dared to mount an offensive since January 2015.

            Ukraine’s strategy is clear it is holding the current lines and letting th Russian economy implode. Russia will hand back everything it has taken.

          • туфтуф

            How can a bigger part of anything be a part of a smaller part? Take off the frying pan and think like an intelligent human being.

          • Alex George

            No-one said anything about “parts”. Go back and read the posts (including your own, since you have obviously forgotten what was in it) and then try again.

          • туфтуф

            Ok. But l need an answer. Still dsnt make sense that a bigger part can be part of a smaller part. Then again, with a frying pan on the head everything becomes pos.

          • Alex George

            You’ve obviously forgotten what we were discussing. Try this to refresh your memory:

            Ukrainians are not Russians, contrary to your assertion. You might argue that Russians are Ukrainians originally, but Russians are really more Tatar than Ukrainian, to the extent that is important.

            The simple truth is as I stated it: Russia tried to take over eastern Ukraine, all the way to Kharkiv and Odesa. It failed. It holds only a small part of two oblasts and it hasn’t dared to mount an offensive since January 2015.

            Ukraine’s strategy is clear it is holding the current lines and letting th Russian economy implode. Russia will hand back everything it has taken.

          • туфтуф

            There is a Russian saying: Russian is not a nationality, but a condition of the soul.

          • Alex George

            Exactly – because the Russians know perfectly well they are a mix of Tatar, Finns and Slavs. Which is fine, so long as they don’t try any silly racial superiority arguments.

          • туфтуф

            Theres very few racists in Russia, held on a tight leash by security services. Their organizations are thoroughly penetrated.

          • Alex George

            LOL Very few Russians are not racist, and far beyond what we encounter in the West.

          • туфтуф

            Trust me. Racists organizations have been thoroughly penetrated. Am in posession of video mayerial where talks between liberals and racists have been recorded by spy equipment. Total control. Some racist organizationslike Right sector have been banned entirely. Those found to belong to them go to Siberia, and not like tourists.

          • Alex George

            Ha ha, you aren’t in possession of anything. You are just an old windbag.

            Russia is full of fascist organisations and the FSB has no idea what to do about them.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            More. The 6,000 is a low-end estimate for the Dwarfstanian army regulars killed, to which must be added the killed Dwarfstanian mercenaries and local scum whose totals are unknown. As they were used as cannon fodder, bearing the brunt of the fighting, their losses won’t be lower than those of the army, but a lot higher. I wouldn’t be surprised if the total Dwarfstanian losses in killed is over 15,000- the same as 10 years Afghanistan.
            No wonder the dwarf has 7 mobile crematoria in Rostov oblast, to dispose of the dead in secret.

          • Quartermaster

            No presuppositions (another English word you don’t know the meaning of). The Human cost has been high. Putin is a killer, just like every other KGB thug.
            No one wants to destroy the Donbas, just run out the Russians making a mess and return the land to the Ukrainian owners. Same with Crimea.

        • Alex George

          But anything will bankrupt Russia, including doing nothing. It is happening now.

        • туфтуф

          Donbass is to small.

      • Alex George

        You won’t rebuild anything. Your only course is to abandon Donbass and abandon Crimea, so that Ukrainians will rebuild it.

        And no, no other regions have any interest in being ruled by the Kremlin.

        You had your chance to conquer eastern Ukraine in 2014, and you failed, because your army wasn’t good enough. Russian boys lack heart.

        • туфтуф

          I ve never been to Donbass. But l hear Russia has plans to annex it soon. Dnt know how true the info is…

          • Quartermaster

            Russia can’t afford it or Crimea.

    • Thom Kinoshta

      you do not seem to understand. DJ does not want to spend a dime on Ukraine. Ukraine is worthless. nobody wants Ukraine and Ukrainian debt. Even Crimea is worthless. Crimea is a parasitic republic. It cost Russia over $2 billion a year to maintain Crimea. The American neocons want a war in Europe and the best location is Ukraine. That is why the neocons are fomenting war in Ukraine. folks like McCain and Clinton

      • Alex George

        “Ukraine is worthless. nobody wants Ukraine and Ukrainian debt. Even Crimea is worthless. Crimea is a parasitic republic. ”

        And this is exactly why Ukraine has turned its back on Russia – the attitude of people like you! You despise Ukraine – well guess what? The Ukrainians despise you.

        “It cost Russia over $2 billion a year to maintain Crimea. ”

        Correct – due to Russian incompetence .

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          Probably a LOT more than $2 billion……….

  • IdeaMaidan

    Although most of the other endeavors mentioned here do seem designed for internal Ukrainian consumption, it’s important to consider the specific audiences that Pinchuk’s piece is calibrated for. Pinchuk’s primary audience I believe is Trump and his people: He is essentially trying to seed ideas within the incoming Trump team regarding how they might deal with “the Ukrainian issue”. And of course the main idea being promoted is to effectively strong arm Ukraine into accepting Russian-style, “managed-democracy” elections on territories that are occupied by the Russian military, leading essentially to the institutionalization of a perpetual corrosive Russian presence within the Ukrainian body politic

    A secondary audience I think is European leadership: In seeming to
    advise Ukrainians to set aside the “European Dream” pro tem, what he’s really doing instead represents an attempt to suggestively nudge Europe that maybe they should start dialing back even the limited (though important) engagement with Ukraine they have pursued thus far, and just sort of “forget about Ukraine” for the time being.

    Unfortunately, I believe that Pinchuk’s dubious counsel is likely to hold some sway within Team Trump. Ukraine needs therefore to remain engaged as closely and strongly as possible in lobbying for its true interests with its proven friends in the U.S. Congress, which thankfully remain more than a few, on both sides of the aisle.

    And on the European front, it needs to do all it can to maintain engagement with EU structures via political, diplomatic means, etc. There is another forum it can act within too, and that is the cultural, or more broadly, sociocultural realm. What Ukraine needs to begin doing is to assert itself as not only ineradicably European—whether the rest of Europe is currently willing to accept that fact or not—but in terms of its civil society, as well in terms of its wondrous expressive culture, presenting itself as a model that can serve as a basis by which a badly deteriorated Europe can begin to reconstruct itself.

    • Quartermaster

      That Mattis has been nominated as Secretary of Defense is a good thing for Ukraine. He has said that Russia is the number 1 threat for the US, and he is correct. Between his own SecDef Congress, Trump is not going to be able to simply ignore the Ukrainian problem Russia is causing.

      • туфтуф

        And what can he really do? Forbid exxon to deal with Russia? Ridiculous.

        • Quartermaster

          That can be done, doofus. It isn’t ridiculous to anyone other than a Russian troll.

          • туфтуф

            Exxon is the master, and Trump is a servant. No servant bosses his master around.

          • Quartermaster

            You can think that if you like. It simply shows that you don’t know much about the US system.

          • туфтуф

            Deep state.

          • Quartermaster

            You can wish it. US corporations have been prevented from dealing with certain countries in the past.

      • Thom Kinoshta

        Mattis is wrong, only the neocons think Russia is the number 1 enemy of the USA. Our #1 enemy are muslims. DJ has no concern of Ukraine. Ukraine is worthless and has always been part of Russian influence. DJ knows Ukraine is not worth the risk of a regional nuclear war for Ukraine.

        • Quartermaster

          You’re entitled to your fantasies. Most of the people I know whose major concern is Russia are not Necons. Russia is easily dealt with through sanctions and simply giving aid to the Ukrainians who are quite willing, and able, to fight for their own country. Islamists aren’t that difficult to deal with either. All it takes is the will to admit the problem to begin solving it.

    • туфтуф

      We have not seen a real occupation yet. But maidan press writes elsewhere that the leadership of the republics is preparing the youth of the areas to become part of Russia. On the other hand, if a territory belongs to a country, can it really be occupied, or it simply switched owners?

      • Thom Kinoshta

        remember the USA overthrew a pro-Moscow Ukrainian government. Putin countered by annexing Crimea and created a low level war in Donbas. Crimea is gone forever from Ukraine. The question is the fate of Donbas? Ukraine abandoned Donbas. Russia has to support Donbas now. I cannot believe that Ukraine would ever gain control of Donbas again. Ukrainian sovereignty of Donbas is possible, but Donbas will have to gain special status.

        • туфтуф

          It will not. Russian media and Donbass politicians say Russia will annex Donbass and not only Donbass. Most of the annexation processes will be done by pro Russian Ukrainian regions. Some days ago, P. officially said that Galicia is not Russian, implying that Malorossiya is. Bad times for anti Russia Ukrainians are coming. I fail to grasp why they didnt save Ukraine like they saved Crimea.

          • Alex George

            This is nothing new. Russian fascists have been saying this for two years .

            But without a better Russian army, it will never happen

          • туфтуф

            We thought Crimea would never happen. I remember Vicky and McCain dealing drug laced cookies at maidan, and US getting ready to build a naval base. Everything is possible when it comes to Russia. That is why it is THE most dangerous country in the world alongside China, which, no matter that is the most civilised country in the world, fails to recohnise the Hague tribunal.

          • Quartermaster

            Such things are simply fantasies propagandists dream about when they are high on drugs. The US has no need for a Naval base in the Crimea as it will give the US nothing.
            The drug laced cookie thing is a real lulu of a lie. If you “remember” such things, then you really need to get off the Krokodil.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Don’t forget the drug-laced oranges that Lyudmila Yanukovich claimed Yushchenko and Yulia were handing out on the Maidan in 2004/2005…………… :)

          • Alex George

            Russia wishes it was the most dangerous country in the world, but its just a former superpower which now has difficulty being even a strong regional power .

            Those who really are dangerous do not need to bluster about it.

          • туфтуф

            Regional or not, its irrelevant. It projects power throut the world. We can call it whatever we want. It takes what it wants. Enough said.

          • Alex George

            Russia doesn’t project power anywhere. Even its efforts in Syria have done very little – the real work has been done by the Iranians, who project power far better than Russia.

            And Russia is at its limit . With its air forces in Syria and its armies clustered around Ukraine (but not daring to attack) it has nothing left.

            Russia goes around shouting “look, I am strong, I am strong” and the rest of the world looks on unimpressed.

            “It takes what it wants.”

            Sure it does. And what might that be – a little piece of Georgia? Less than half of the Donbass? That is as much as Russia can manage with its entire military forces, and it soon will lose that also.

          • туфтуф

            Every member of the Russian led coalition has its duties. Iranians are pure blooded Persians, a brave nation and it is true they did a lot of fighting. However, they ve been fighting ” moderate heart eating terrorists for over four years and got nowhere till Russia unleashed its undtoppable power. We must bear in mind that the West wanted to destroy Assad but were unable because of FEAR. That is an advantage Russia is pressing home.

          • Alex George

            Complete rubbish. All the gains that have ben made, both before and after Russian involvement were by the Iranians . The Russians do not have “unstoppable power”. they are good at killing civilians, blowing up hospitals and schools, but not at actually killing enemy insurgents.

            Hence why Putin is wasting so much money in Syria, to no effect.

          • туфтуф

            And the bombing? I saw rockets fired from subs. The problem was no one dared to stop them. I saw MIGs. Holiwood screen play like the moon landing? If so, Russia not only elects US presidents ( in Britain similar things happen), but is also in cohorts with US movie industry…..lol

          • Alex George

            “I saw rockets fired from subs.”

            Wow, you saw a cruise missile fired! Are you excited? Next time think about whether it hits anything.

            “I saw MIGS”

            Wow!!!!! How exciting!!! I have news for you, excited little boy – MIGs are irrelevant to insurgents.

            etc.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            I saw MiGs crashing after trying to land on the “Admiral Kuznetsov”, ending up in the drink. Your point being?

          • туфтуф

            I saw hits. On youtube. And a friend of mine is a GRU officer. She was there.

          • Alex George

            Sure you did, all the hits on terrorists that the Russian air force has been quite hopeless at scoring.

            If you watch the news you will see a great many schools and hospitals destroyed by the primitive Russian air force, but that’s about it.

            Your friend should try to get a real job.

          • туфтуф

            My friends are in the field. I have no need for cnn. Cnn is for dummies. Good that the Drumpf will revoke their licence.

          • Alex George

            Yes, yes, every place Russia has been you have friends. But its all fantasy.

            The primitive Russian air force is good at smashing up homes, schools and hospitals. But it has no idea how to hit insurgents .

          • туфтуф

            Smashing homes causes fear amongst the terrorists. There is a video on u tube where a sushka overflies a terrorist camp, and the islamists shout in Arabic: ya allah, Russians! And run for cover. Ya Allah mussies shout when extreme danger appears. Means God help us.

          • Alex George

            NO it causes no fear among the insurgents because it goes nowhere near them.

            The primitive Russian air force is good at smashing up homes, schools and hospitals. But it has no idea how to hit insurgents .

          • туфтуф

            I saw it explode. Lots of peaceful terrorists died. But that has created a new problem. Terrorists feel the West should have done more to protect them from Russians. And now they bee angry. Nigh dangerous.

          • Alex George

            No you didn’t see it explode and you didn’t see “lots” of terrorists die.

            The Russian TV propaganda is all the same – missiles taking off, but nothing more. Unguided bombs being dropped from high altitude. The Russian air forces have been incompetent at killing terrorists. Their real talent lies in killing innocent civilians, and destroying homes, schools and hospitals.

          • туфтуф

            But it did explode. I saw it.

          • Alex George

            No you didn’t. You are just an old windbag – you can’t even keep track of the footage Russia has released.

          • туфтуф

            Ok. If u say so. Lol

        • Alex George

          No, the Ukrainian people overthrew a pro-Moscow government, because it committed treason against Ukraine.

          Putin sent in the Russian army and tried to raise insurrection throughout eastern Ukraine, yet he failed. That is why Russia now only holds a tiny sliver of eastern Ukraine .

          The reason Putin failed is because the Ukrainain people were strongly against him.

        • туфтуф

          It will not. Russia is ready for annexation. The worst thing for uktoland is that other regions will follow suit.

          • zorbatheturk

            Your brain has been annexed by a seagull.

        • Quartermaster

          The Ukrainians removed Yanukovich from office after he ran rather than face the music for ordering the murders of 100 people on the Maidan. The removal was in accordance with the Ukrainian Constitution, regardless what a Russian kangaroo Court, or our resident Russian troll wishes to think.

          Ukraine was already moving toward a Federal Structure. But the Donbas will have to wait a long time for such a status. The quislings and Russian invaders will have to be brought to justice first.

      • Alex George

        They can do what they like. The Donbas remains part of Ukraine and always will.

        • туфтуф

          In theory, yes. In practice, it is Russian land.

          • Quartermaster

            Occupied Ukrainian land. Period. The occupation is temporary.

          • туфтуф

            Like Tibet? Lol

          • Alex George

            I have news for you my friend – Tibet is neither in Russia nor in Ukraine.

          • туфтуф

            I know. It was occupied by China and is part of the sovereign internationally recognised Peoples republic of China. Taken by brute force. Taken for good. Like Crimea. No matter where it is.

          • Alex George

            Sorry to disappoint you, but Tibet is recognised as part of China. Crimea isn’t.

            Crimea is a territory of Ukraine and the whole world recognises that. Russia can keep its troops there and spend billions trying to prop up the place, but all that means is that it will spend a lot and then leave. But regardless, it will leave

          • туфтуф

            I know. Occupation come first, recognition is nothing but a confirmation of the status quo and it always takes place post factum. China has signed trade agreements with Crimea. The ball is rolling.

          • Alex George

            Of course recognition is confirmation of the status quo, which is that Crimea is Ukrainian. That is why the only countries that recognise Russia’s attempted theft of Ukraine are a handful of other pariah states such as North Korea.

            And no, China has signed no trade agreements with Crimea.

            Far from the ball rolling, those ships that have gone to Crimea by many nations are all being sanctioned and that source of trade is being closed off. Russia cannot afford to pay for Crimea, and the longer it stays there the poorer it gets – no problem.

          • туфтуф

            Like Tibet is not part of China? Lol
            You people should take of the frying pans from ur heads cus you know what their proper usage is (if not alreaddy 2 late. U r insulting my intelligence. I teach here voluntarily what l know. Never taughr fried brains, though.

          • Alex George

            No, nothing to do with Tibet. Crimea is Ukrainian. That is why the only countries that recognise Russia’s attempted theft of Ukraine are a handful of other pariah states such as North Korea.

            And no, China has signed no trade agreements with Crimea.

            Far from the ball rolling, those ships that have gone to Crimea by many nations are all being sanctioned and that source of trade is being closed off. Russia cannot afford to pay for Crimea, and the longer it stays there the poorer it gets – which is fine by me.

            Russia is a long-term problem for the world, and its necessary to destroy her economy long term in order to make the world a safer place. So the longer Putin stays in Crimea the better as far as I am concerned. But it is clear that won’t happen.

          • туфтуф

            Tibet was occupied by force and no one could do anything about it eventhough China at the time was an impoverished country. Russia has a formidable nucllear arsenal that everyone is afraid of. Draw your own conclusions. Or do u wanna be spoon fed?

          • Alex George

            Nobody cares about Russia’s nukes, nor its weak army.

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            It is just as legal as the occupation of Tibet.

          • Alex George

            Even if that were true, so what?

            The Russians have no right to be anywhere in Ukraine and they will leave .

          • туфтуф

            Tell that to comrade Xi. Ask him politely to leave Tibet, maybe he will oblige. If he doesnt, up the pressure by writing an online petition. If that doesnt help, sit and cry like a baby. Lol

          • Alex George

            You are just trying to change the subject.

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            But Tibet is China like Crimea is Russia. The only difference being that many died during the occupation of Tibet, while in Crimea only 1 ultra was annihilated after opening sniper fire from a roof top. Some lunatic, obviously, with a strong suicide urges.

          • Alex George

            And here you are trying to change the subject again.

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            Legality matters little when powerful countries are concerned.

          • Alex George

            Sorry but it does, and whether Russia is a “powerful country” any more is questionable.

            But regardless, the whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            And what can be done abt Tibet but cry? Copycat Crimea situation. Life is hard.

          • Alex George

            Not in the least copycat.

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            Nazi germny was dead at Stalingrad. China and Russia are alive and kicking. Painfully.

          • Alex George

            You are just trying to change the subject .

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            I realise that. My q is: what can “the world” DO abt it? I suggest we write an online petition. Lol

          • Alex George

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            Attempted theaft? Successful theaft honoring the wishes of the ppl.

          • Alex George

            Attempted theft. The Russian army is already starting to fall apart, and without that, no Crimea.

            And no, not honouring the wishes of the people. The “vote” was a mere propaganda exercise. The last thing Putin will ever do is allow a real vote by Crimeans.

          • туфтуф

            Wow! I am in close contact with Russian army ppl and l have to warn them of something they are completely unaware. Thanx 4 tellin me. Lol

          • Alex George

            They are already aware of it. Frequent desertions, alcohol and drug use, disobedience to orders and fragging of officers are commonplace.

          • туфтуф

            Oh thats good then. Purges of the useless ones. That is why Russian army is so disciplined. They had strict orders not to fire a bullet in Crimea and they didnt. Although the toughest of the toughest were deployed there: spetsnaz GRU. They earned an unofficial title of Kind Men (vezhlivie chelovechki) which is in use up to the present day by Crimean locals.

          • Alex George

            “They had strict orders not to fire a bullet in Crimea and they didnt.”

            Nice try. They didn’t fire a shot because there was zero fighting. Crimea was handed to them by Ukrainian generals.

            And the tough GRU Spetznaz? Several have cried when captured.

          • туфтуф

            And there was zero fighting cus anyone who had a desire to fight would be wasted no questions asked. Ukros know pefectly well what spetsnaz GRU is. Serious bunch. Nigh deadly.

          • Alex George

            GRU Spetznaz are pussies. They frequently cry when captured by Ukrainians.

            There was zero fighting in Crimea because it was handed over to Russia

            There was fighting in Donbas, which is where the Russians lost, because they lacked the courage to fight .

          • туфтуф

            Wow! Falling apart? Thanx for enlightening me. Lolz.

          • Alex George

            If you had bothered to do any real research, you would have already known this.

          • туфтуф

            You are reading comments of someone who knows influential Russians personally. Someone who knows classified info. Am not saying its me.

          • Alex George

            No, I am reading the comments of an old windbag.

          • туфтуф

            Status quo in Crimea: ppl who want to travel there can do it only if they have Russian visa. Crimea was briefly ukrainian and now its back with its rightful owner.

          • Alex George

            The status quo is that Crimea is Ukrainian. It has very rarely in its history been governed by Moscow. Rather, it has always been part of what is now Ukraine.

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            So Ukrainian army has gained control over Crimea? But what will happen to the largest concentration of nuclear weapons in the world? And how will Russia control the Med now? U think the 2 permanent bases in Syria are enough? Can ukros nuke Russia now with Russias own nukes? Wortying development for the worlds security…..

          • Alex George

            If Russia wants its nukes it should remove them.

          • туфтуф

            But who will protect the ppl? They are mostly ethnic Russians deemed by ukros enemies. Blood wld flood the streets. And how does Russia control the Medwithout Crimea? Removing the nukes wld mean shortening their destructive range. Giving up Crimea is simply not a viable option cus it wld pose serious security risks not only for Russia, but for the world too.

          • Alex George

            Ethnic Russians do not want to be ruled by Putin, The Ukrainian army protects them from Russian fascists who are now torturing and killing people in Crimea.

            Crimea is Ukrainian . Russia has no rights there .

          • туфтуф

            But why do travellers to Crimea need RF visas? My ftiends say foreign tourists are not let into Crimea if they fail to produce a valid Russian visa. Russian authorities have a final say who enters and who doesnt. I dnt know if you know that the border guards are FSB….

          • Alex George

            LOL And now the silly windbag has forgotten that there are Russian troops in Crimea! Too funny

          • туфтуф

            I know. Where can a country’s troops be than protecting its illegally stolen territory? Can a territory be half legally stolen? Cus ukroarmy was nowhere to be seen during the takeover. Maybe it was secretly given away, with the contract to be ratified later, on the pretext of “oh, what can we do, the whole world is against us, even the US, our trusted ally”?

          • Alex George

            Yes, its terrible isn’t it -nobody respects Russia or its troops.

            Crimea is Ukrainian. It has very rarely in its history been governed by Moscow. Rather, it has always been part of what is now Ukraine.

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            Redpected or not, they are efficient. When did any other country take over a chunk of another country without a shot being fired? They are FEARED. In todays world of fear culture, that is a crucial factor of winning a war.

          • Alex George

            They aren’t feared, that’s the whole point. Crimea was handed to them by the Ukrainian military. They didn’t fight for it, and as the example of eastern Ukraine shows, if they did have to fight for it they would have lost.

          • туфтуф

            Not only troops. Immigration too. InRussia, immigration services are part of FSB.

          • Alex George

            Yes and sanitary inspectors. We already know all this.

          • туфтуф

            De facto it is Russian. No Western person can go to Crimea without the Russian visa. Russia exerts total control over it. Ukri are crying on the other side of the border. Tibet sorings to mind. A copy cat situation.

          • Alex George

            There is no de facto, just illegal occupation.

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            De facto means factual state of affairs. Not to be confused with legality. Like Tibet.

          • Alex George

            There is no de facto, just illegal occupation.

            The whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941.

            The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            Tibet was occupied by China when she was much weaker than Russia of today. A copycat situation.

          • Alex George

            Its not at all a copycat situation.

            The difference is that the whole world recognises that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Nazzi Germany’s occupation of most of Europe in 1941. The Russians have no right to be in Ukraine and they will leave.

          • туфтуф

            I hope u r right. I read today that Drumpf wants to recognise Crimea as Russian in return of Russia recognising Kosovo which was illegally stolen from Serbia despite the 1244 UN resolution. So far, Russia has refused the trade off, saying that Crimea anyway belongs to it. My gut feeling is that Russia said it cus it doesnt want to ompromise the military alliance with Xi.

          • Alex George

            There is no alliance between Russia and China and you know it.

          • туфтуф

            The Firm thinks there is.

          • Alex George

            Nobody thinks there is. You made up a lie that there was an article in in Xinhua, and there never was. You are just an old windbag.

          • Alex George

            No, in theory and in practice it is Ukrainian. Putin can hold it as long as he keeps his army there, keeps taking casualties, and keeps bleeding money. The longer he does it, the more Russia itself suffers. His choice. But whether this year or next year or after, the Russians will leave.

          • туфтуф

            In practise it is not controlled by Ukraine, therefore NOT Ukrainian.

          • Alex George

            Of course it is Ukrainian – putting soldiers in there does nothing to make Crimea Russian. It just means that Russia controls it only for so long as its soldiers stay there. they have only ben there a shor ttime, and soon they will be leaving .

            And that is why the whole world (apart from a few of Russia’s fellow pariah states, like North Korea) recognise Crimea as part of Ukraine.

          • туфтуф

            And who will throw a nuclear power out of its land? John J? Lol

          • Alex George

            The West and Ukraine will. Russia will simply leave because it can’t hold these territories. Nukes are irrelevant.

          • туфтуф

            They particularly become irrelevant when the milkman becones indisposed.

          • туфтуф

            Ur bosses in Fashington tend to disagree. Otherwise they would have fought for Crimea. Ukrainian army shot 3 rockets IN THE VICINITY of Crimea lately. My Crimean friend said that Russians prepared such weapons that these promptly ran with their tails between their legs. Crimea like Tibet, is a lost cause. I suggest we move on and start supporting red Indians. Just dont offer them small pox infested blankets.

          • Alex George

            Thank you for a lot of words which say nothing relevant. My points still stand: Russia will simply leave because it can’t hold these territories. Nukes are irrelevant.

          • туфтуф

            I rejoice if it is true. Maybe they will have to leave Siberia and Yakutia too. Moscow as well. Coz they cnt afford it. A rent in oscow is twice that in London. But ukri can afford it being the richest country in EU. Or NATO. Oh wait, they are in neither. My main worry is where russians will go when they cnt afford Moscow. Maybe spread to other countries? Legal or illegal invasion? Lolz

          • Alex George

            Now you are just babbling, because you have no arguments.

          • туфтуф

            I do not support the illegal annexation of Crimea. I think that Ukraine should voluntarily renounce its sovereignty faced with a superior enemy in order to avoid more bloodshed and concentrate on economy.

          • Alex George

            You will have to find the superior enemy first.

            And where is the bloodshed? Ukraine isn’t attacking, just holding the line while the Russian economy implodes

          • туфтуф

            Every day civilians are dying in rebel held towns and villages. Last dec. my friend’s father was klled in Gorlovka. An old, non fighting man.

          • Alex George

            Except they aren’t, are they? It is Russian aggressors killing Ukrainian civilians wherever they can.

            That is why Russia will never succeed. Its only course is to leave Donbas.

          • туфтуф

            Its good that it will leave peacefully. I bee against wars. Am just worried abt Crimea ppl. Protoukri will kill them all. And no cangaroo court will help them. Better that Russians stay. They have nuclear weapons there. Ukri can be dangerousin handling them and controlling the whole Med from there.

          • Alex George

            “Protoukri will kill them all.”

            That is a measure of your insanity.

            If russia has nukes in Crimea then it had better remove them. Otherwise they will belong to Ukraine. Putin’s choice.

          • туфтуф

            Ok, remove the nukes, not bad. But how to remove the bridge which is being built between Russia and Crimea? Who will protect the ppl of Crimea andDonbass? How can it control the Med without the base in Crimea? Or you think that the 2 permanent based in Syria are enough? Furthermore, ukroultras want part of inernationall recognised territory of Russia as well. I think your proposition to give Crimea to Ukraine is not viable.

          • Alex George

            *LMAO* The Bridge?????

            You have a lot to learn my friend.

            The people of Crimea need protecting from Russia. That is why they want to be part of Ukraine again.

          • туфтуф

            Lolz.

          • Alex George

            Lolz. The great non-existent bridge. …

          • Alex George

            No they don’t disagree at all. Russia took over Crimea because it was handed to it by traitors. It didn’t fight for it, and couldn’t.

            The whole world recognizes that Russia’s occupation of Crimea is no more legal than Germany’s occupation of Greece in 1941. Russia will leave.

          • туфтуф

            Traitors and patriots couldnt/wouldnt defend Crimea. Their only chance is a sacrifice of Poland in order to cause war with Russia. There are signs that might happen, but the West must receive hard assurances that London and Fashington will be spared. I think they will get them, after which a new Yalta conference will happen, this time with comrade Xi instead of Brits.

          • Alex George

            “Their only chance is a sacrifice of Poland in order to cause war with Russia.”

            Now you are just babbling old man.

          • туфтуф

            You are obviously unaware of the pact against Russia, signed between Poland, Baltic countries and Ukroland. Yanks tried to get Romania on board, but the latter chickened out.

          • Alex George

            And you obviously don’t know what you are talking about.

          • туфтуф

            Oh. Ok. I read too many direct source materials. My friends say l should talk less. But am trying ever so hard not to give away classified stuff. Thats why l am writing from Tailand although am not physically there.

          • Alex George

            LOL No, you don’t read direct source materials. You are just a silly old man wishing he was important .

          • туфтуф

            I am a nobody. Totally unimportant. I have a privilege of knowing ppl and things based on personal contacts. I take no part in harming anyone.

          • Alex George

            No, you don’t have personal contacts – you are just an old windbag who claims to know lots of people to seem important

          • туфтуф

            Seems Russia cnt hold anything. Thats what Hitler thought. They are the most resilient ppl on earth.

          • zorbatheturk

            RuSSians are the biggest scum on earth.

          • Alex George

            No, Hitler thought the USSR couldn’t hold. It was the USSR that beat Hitler in the East, not Russia.

            The USSR was Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and many other nations

          • туфтуф

            Ukrainian front folded in the first days of the war. Stalingrad, which was internationally recognised as part of RSFSR was the end of Hitler.

          • Alex George

            Now you are jsut desperate. What I wrote was the truth: It was the USSR that beat Hitler in the East, not Russia.

            The USSR was Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia and many other nations.

            Interestingly, per capita, Ukraine and Belarus contributed more to the defeat of Germany than Russia did.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            And the Dwarfstanians will have a choice of leaving alive and in one piece, or as Gruz 200 or 300.

          • туфтуф

            But they have no intention of leaving in order to protect the citizens of Crimea from ukro ultras. All citizens of Crimea, like Donbass, have Russian passports.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            That is just as idiotic as saying the Netherlands, Belgium or France were part of Germany because they were under German occupation in 1940-45.

          • туфтуф

            Belgium was created by the British. Recognised fully.