Video: Ukraine signs pact to reform gov’t, Russia snubs ceremony; Update: Vote to free Tymoshenko?

posted at 12:41 pm on February 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The question will be whether the Euromaidan protesters will accept it … and whether Vladimir Putin will tolerate it. This ABC News report suggests both questions are hanging over Ukraine:


ABC Entertainment News|ABC Business News

It remains to be seen whether the pact will defuse violence in the capital of Kiev where protesters have battled security forces, leaving about 100 people dead. One of their main demands was Yanukovich’s resignation. The terms of the deal, as reported by a Ukrainian newspaper, were quickly and loudly rejected by the masses occupying Kiev’s Independence Square. A radical wing of the opposition, the Right Sector, which sparked Thursday’s violence by attacking police, said they did not trust Yanukovich and planned to continue the fight until the government steps down, according to Interfax.

The deal, as announced on Yanukovich’s website, would “initiate” early elections, return to the 2004 version of Ukraine’s constitution, and form a government of “national trust.” The announcement did not say when elections would be, but sources told Ukrainska Pravda newspaper the deal would revert to the 2004 constitution within 48 hours, form a coalition government within 10 days, and hold elections in December, just a couple months before they were originally scheduled. Interfax reports that under the agreement, some of Yanukovich’s authority would be curbed and the current interior minister and prosecutor general would not be allowed to take part in a new government.

What was the Russian reaction? Er …

The arrangement appears to have been a disappointment for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has backed Yanukovich and opposed Ukraine’s embrace of Europe. The Kremlin’s appointed mediator, Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin, reportedly planned to return to Moscow. According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Lukin declined to sign on to a peace deal.

The Euromaidan protesters aren’t happy with the deal, either. The chant of “No deal!” went up from Independence Square even as the Ukrainian parliament voted to reinstate the 2004 constitution that limits President Viktor Yanukovich’s powers, a constitution which Yanukovich superseded with a 2010 replacement making the presidency the center of Ukrainian power. Failing Yanukovich’s immediate ouster, Euromaidan protesters want him prosecuted:

The chant of “death to the criminal” — a reference to two later-pardoned convictions for petty crime Yanukovych received in the Soviet era — rose over Kiev’s iconic Independence Square overnight Thursday.

“I think that Yanukovych must leave now, and never come back,” said a middle-aged protester named Lyudmila.

“We do not need any elections. He should not be allowed to run.”

The massacre yesterday may make it difficult to convince the demonstrators that anything will change while Yanukovich holds office in any form, and may still put the kibosh on this agreement. And Russia’s pointed snub may mean that Vladimir Putin has a far different idea of how to resolve this crisis than any of the negotiators involved, too. If Yanukovich remains president and suddenly declares a crisis and Russian assistance, Putin wouldn’t need much more convincing to intervene on behalf of his client. If Yanukovich sees this ending with him in the dock for murder charges, he’s going to make that cry for help — and if the new coalition offers him amnesty, expect the streets to erupt again.

This isn’t over. It may be just beginning.

Update: Speaking of beginnings, the newly-empowered parliament voted to remove criminal penalties for the law that allowed Yanukovich to imprison his chief political opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko. Yanukovich still has to sign it for Tymoshenko to be freed, so this will be an interesting early test of reform.

Update: Max Fisher at the Washington Post sees the parliament acting immediately to sideline Yanukovich — including dozens of members from his own party:

Over the past 24 hours, Ukraine’s parliament has passed a series of resolutions that aggressively undermine Yanukovych, curbing both his actual power and his legitimacy as national leader. This may actually be Ukraine’s best shot at ending its three-month crisis and averting disaster. But it’s an even bigger deal than that, because of what it means not just for Ukraine’s present crisis but for its future as a fledgeling democracy.

Here are some other resolutions that parliament has passed in the last 24 hours: ordering security forces to pull back, amnesty for jailed protesters and firing the interior minister who led the crackdowns. These don’t just call for an end to the crackdown, but take much of that authority away from the president entirely.

This could be an attempt to head off a Russian intervention by making it clear that Yanukovich has lost the confidence of the Russophiles as well as the Europhiles. It’s a smart move, especially for Yanukovich’s party, which will take the brunt of voter anger in the December elections.


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The crisis is not over yet.

myiq2xu on February 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Putin is buying time to get this off TV news screens until the Olympics are over.

Soon as the cameras are gone Putin will roll the tanks.

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 12:46 PM

100 people ghosted, man what a mess.

I hope the Ukranians are serious here and this isn’t some version of an east European Syria. Why anyone would want to partner with the 3rd world shathole of Russia is beyond me.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

00 people ghosted, man what a mess.

I hope the Ukranians are serious here and this isn’t some version of an east European Syria. Why anyone would want to partner with the 3rd world shathole of Russia is beyond me.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Simple, Yanukovich is a Putin puppet, and his first act in office was put the pro-nationalist leader Yulia Tymoshenko in prison.

It would be like Obama winning election as a proxy of Turd World anti-American interests and his first act being putting Juan McCain in prison.

Wait, the former ACTUALLY IS TRUE, and the latter wouldn’t have been that bad of a thing…

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM

This isn’t over. It may be just beginning.

Pretty much the prevailing view. A good start, but most of the work still to come. People should remain on the Maidan and not yield anything.

Glad Tymoshenko will be freed, but I hope she yields to Klitschko and Yatsenyuk. She’s a little too much to the left and she’s shown she is susceptible to being rolled by Moscow.

Gingotts on February 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM

If Yanukovich had any sense he would flee now, while he still can.

Who agreed to this deal for the protesters? After all the deaths, it seemed very unlikely. Why would the protestors stop until they have their way with Yanu and company?

Too many have died.

dogsoldier on February 21, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Why anyone would want to partner with the 3rd world shathole of Russia is beyond me.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Because they offered a bigger bribe than the EU. The EU promised billions but could barely scratch together $800 million. The Russians offered $15 billion, reduced gas/oil prices and $2 billion immediately.

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/02/ukraine-its-not-about-europe-vs-russia/

Thanks to decades of corrupt politics, the Ukrainian state is bankrupt. So is the EU. In spite of stringing Kiev along with pretty words about a European future, the EU could offer only $800 million , via the IMF, and that came at the price of exceptionally painfully economic reforms.

Russia, by contrast, has been able to offer nearly 20 times this sum in loans to prevent Ukraine from becoming insolvent, and it is the biggest market for Ukrainian exports – bigger than the whole of the EU put together. Moreover, Europe’s coffers are empty for good reason: her member states are drowning in their own debt, while the economic vice turned on its own member states – Greece, Spain and others – has plunged those countries into misery. Russia, by contrast, has tended to run balanced budgets while her growth ticks along at 4% or so, against Europe’s anaemic 1%. Trade in the Customs Union has grown by 40% in 5 years.

It was a cash on the barrel deal and the Russians had the cash.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM

The Rumor Mill had it that some of the main players in the protest mob were neo-Nazi types and they were providing the main muscle, true or not I don’t know.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Ukraine’s president, opposition leaders sign peace deal
15m
Photo: Protesters in Kirovohrad, Ukraine, blocking local administration building – @akymenko_o
=======================

https://twitter.com/akymenko_o/status/436917497066168320

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:00 PM

100 people ghosted, man what a mess.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Here. It’s in Ukrainian but includes photos of these patriots.

Gingotts on February 21, 2014 at 1:00 PM

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I suppose that’s it, maybe why the people themselves are so pissed off. A short term bribe for long term pain isn’t the best idea, Russia is dying and they apparently want company on their way to hell.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Why anyone would want to partner with the 3rd world shathole of Russia is beyond me.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Putin is waving several billions worth of fiscal bailout for them, if they will return to the mothership. If they move westward towards the EU, he can cut off fossil fuel flows. It doesn’t appear that western Ukraine will go gently into the night if Yanukovich manages to make the Rooskie hookup.

butch on February 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Euromaidan PR ‏@EuromaidanPR 1h

Attention Western Media:

it’s never been an East versus West fight. It’s East AND West against a corrupt Regime |PR pic.twitter.com/7ryaq6Fk5m

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPR/status/436897945783255040/photo/1/large

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Glad Tymoshenko will be freed, but I hope she yields to Klitschko and Yatsenyuk. She’s a little too much to the left and she’s shown she is susceptible to being rolled by Moscow.
Gingotts on February 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM

One can only imagine that having been sent to prison on trumped up charges by Moscow’s Proxy would tend to wise her up a bit.

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The Rumor Mill had it that some of the main players in the protest mob were neo-Nazi types and they were providing the main muscle, true or not I don’t know.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Unfortunately when we have our own Revolution to restore our Republic not all the players on “our” side will be angels either.

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Results for #Ukraine

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Ukraine&src=hash

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Unfortunately when we have our own Revolution to restore our Republic not all the players on “our” side will be angels either.

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Why are pointing at me? Motherfu…

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Two points:

The parliament – is doing God’s work, the biggest problem right now is the lawless actions of Yanukovych. If his own party’s members are preferring the rule of law…things are looking up.

Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko – jailed former prime minister is corrupt as it is possible to be, she is really and truly guilty of all the crimes she was charged with, and hundreds more. Being Yanukovych’s enemy doesn’t make her innocent…and she isn’t.

ShadrachSmith on February 21, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Russia is dying and they apparently want company on their way to hell.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

http://blogs-images.forbes.com/markadomanis/files/2012/07/Birth-Rate-Per-1000-United-States-and-Russia-1997-2011.png

Their economy is doing better than the EU so I don’t think they will get there any sooner than the rest of them.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Putin is waving several billions worth of fiscal bailout for them, if they will return to the mothership. If they move westward towards the EU, he can cut off fossil fuel flows. butch on February 21, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Too bad there’s no explosion of the oil and gas industries in North America to use to lure them further westward…

Akzed on February 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

The Rumor Mill had it that some of the main players in the protest mob were neo-Nazi types and they were providing the main muscle, true or not I don’t know.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Bishop:)
==========

Ukraine: the opposition aren’t all angels. Some are neo-Nazis
Feb 21ST 2014
**************

The bloodshed in Kiev is disturbing, and Moscow deserves a fair portion of blame.

It was Putin’s putsch that forced the government of President Yanukovych to spurn the EU and turn East – and since then there has been authoritarianism, chaos and the slaughter of innocents. But the situation is complex and the West needs to acknowledge that the opposition isn’t 100 per cent morally pure.

Most of it is composed of liberals

and reasonable pro-Western nationalists.

Some of it, however, is made up of alleged neo-Nazis.

Take Oleh Tyahnybok, the rather rugged leader of Svboda, which dominates the Western-most provinces of Ukraine. Western media has described him as one of the

three most important opposition leaders

and he’s met foreign dignitaries like John McCain.

He is also a potentially dangerous man.

In one infamous speech in 2004, Tyahinybok lashed out at the “Moscow-Jewish mafia” and the “k**es”. In 2005, he wrote an open letter to the President asking him to halt the “criminal activities” of “organised Jewry”. It should be noted that he insists he is not anti-Semitic, simply “pro-Ukrainian” and that he has won prosecutions against him for ethnic hatred.

(More….)
============

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100260665/ukraine-the-opposition-arent-all-angels-some-are-neo-nazis/

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Has anyone offered any solutions to Ukraine’s fiscal problems – or is this just a “throw the bums out” so we can install our own, situation?

OldEnglish on February 21, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Ukraine’s president, opposition leaders sign peace deal
4m
====
President Obama to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘in the coming hours’ to discuss Ukraine – @PeterAlexander
end of alert
==============

https://twitter.com/PeterAlexander

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Their economy is doing better than the EU so I don’t think they will get there any sooner than the rest of them.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

A hunter-gatherer economy run by an ongoing oligarchy and a nation with severe demographic problems, they can only buy-off their future for so long.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 1:18 PM

A hunter-gatherer economy run by an ongoing oligarchy and a nation with severe demographic problems, they can only buy-off their future for so long.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 1:18 PM

I know about the domestic problems in the US but what does that have to do with Russia? /

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 1:20 PM

All hail Barak the Mighty!!! He speaks and the situation resolves itself soon after!!!

/democrats

ScottG on February 21, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Touche.

Which is Japanese for “you got that right, sister.”

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Some of it, however, is made up of alleged neo-Nazis.

Take Oleh Tyahnybok, the rather rugged leader of Svboda, which dominates the Western-most provinces of Ukraine.

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I suspect its more than alleged.

Svoboda First party logo (1991–2003)

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM

UDAR leader Vitali Klitschko and the two other main opposition leaders, Yatsenyuk of the Fatherland party and Oleh Tiahnybok of the nationalist Svoboda party, are the opposition leaders who signed the agreement.

Vitali Klitschko is the WBA ex-heavyweight champion of the world. I would love to see some background on the opposition leaders. They are doing the Founding Fathers sort of heavy lifting for the Ukrainian people. I’m interested.

ShadrachSmith on February 21, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Has anyone offered any solutions to Ukraine’s fiscal problems – or is this just a “throw the bums out” so we can install our own, situation?

OldEnglish on February 21, 2014 at 1:16 PM

I’ve also wondered about this. Apparently, that region is rich in fossil fuel deposits which are not being exploited to the Ukraine’s benefit. If the West doesn’t get involved in developing the systems necessary, and Putin is held at bay, what stops China from waltzing in to fill the vacuum and gain the leverage? I dunno, maybe it is just the corruption that keeps them from moving ahead.

butch on February 21, 2014 at 1:25 PM

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I suspect its more than alleged.

Svoboda First party logo (1991–2003)

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM

sharrukin:Ugh,…. And McCain is dealing with them,..alleged:)

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:29 PM

butch on February 21, 2014 at 1:25 PM

China in the Ukraine would be very interesting – to say the least!

OldEnglish on February 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM

sharrukin:Ugh,…. And McCain is dealing with them,..alleged:)

canopfor on February 21, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Yeah, but then McCain is also cool with Al-Qaeda in Syria as well.

These guys are centered around the western Lvov region which I heard had declared independence.

I think the ground situation is a lot like Syria.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM

100 people ghosted, man what a mess.

I hope the Ukranians are serious here and this isn’t some version of an east European Syria. Why anyone would want to partner with the 3rd world shathole of Russia is beyond me.

Bishop on February 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

OK, you seem to be pretty up to date on this. So, tell us, the unwashed, What is it that Ukraine gains by joining EU?

And then list what it loses. Please feel free to cite Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and pretty much any other country in EU as your examples.

Shame that so many so misinformed post away without an iota of comprehension of issues surrounding this debacle.

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM

From Financial Times via ZeroHedge:


Russia Prepared To Fight War Over Ukraine, Senior Government Official Admits

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” warns a senior Russian government official. The FT reports Russia is prepared to fight a war over the Ukrainian territory of Crimea (where the largest ethnic Russian population lives and they have a military base)…”

The Olympics end on Sunday.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Shame that so many so misinformed post away without an iota of comprehension of issues surrounding this debacle.

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Many of us missed the entrance exam. I have an idea,…why not develop a Fairness Act for threads? We’ll need ajudge of course. I suppose that should be you.

butch on February 21, 2014 at 1:52 PM

These guys are centered around the western Lvov region which I heard had declared independence.

I think the ground situation is a lot like Syria.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM

That’s where I was born. The military base, that has now joined the radicals supposedly, was roughly 150 yards from my house and directly across the street of school I went to. And where I first learned how to fire a rifle as part of Soviet education system.

Now, look up Bendera and his “accomplishments”, then look up “Right Sector” (“Правый Сектор”), the main leading force in Kiev and who they really are.

All paid for by our tax dollars via McCain’s visit last month. We now openly support NAZI parties. In addition to radical islam. How low have we gone?

From what I read, MOST of Ukraine is about to get serious about the radicals and what may happen is, like you said, Lvov and surrounding region may become its own state. With no economy, no ability to pay for oil and gas and Nazi radicals being the leading government force. So, back to middle ages for them, living with no electricity, no way to sustain the infrastructure. But they will now have EU Constitution and ability to freely travel through EU and, like penniless Romanians and Bolgars, move to London and live for free off of public assistance. Such a deal…

Seems a win/win for REAL Ukraine to get rid of this scourge.
.
.
.
.
Anyone still clueless on so called “independent” Ukraine, please feel free to look up “Kievan Rus’” (“Киевская Русь”), it should be a clear indication to you all, and hopefully all the idiots in WH, WHO UKRAINE REALLY BELONGS TO and who founded it. And then look up the famous battle in Poltava (now listed as Ukrainian city) and tell me which army was battling Swedes there with nary a Ukrainian soldier seen. Don’t be shy, you can do it. Then look up who was holding Baltic states way, way when, and who was battling same Swedes there.

Lvov, or rather, LEMBERG as it is really known in Europe, was NEVER a Ukrainian city. Mostly Austrian-Hungarian Empire. And so German to its old roots that when Germans rolled in in 1941 they made its their headquarters on the Eastern Front and upon leaving did not scratch a stone. THE ONLY city that was left intact during WWII.

80% of Ukraine still speaks RUSSIAN with Ukrainian language forced onto them. Their Duma conducts business in Russian.

I dislike Russia and Russians to same degree many of you do, main reason my family escaped a while back, but posting ridiculous comments that Russia somehow does not have a say in what’s going on in Ukraine is indicative of how misinformed and poorly educated one is.

Reading some comments today from Medvedev, as well as seeing the second tranche of financial help to Ukraine cancelled/delayed today as well, and then reading how regions outside of Lvov now ready and MORE THAN WILLING to crack down and defend their lands, I think radicals there are in for a very rude awakening. Up until now they have been dealing with UNARMED cops and military, this will now be corrected.

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Senator Ted Cruz ‏@SenTedCruz 1h

We should make it clear that the US stands with those who are fighting for a brighter future in Venezuela http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=954

davidk on February 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Many of us missed the entrance exam. I have an idea,…why not develop a Fairness Act for threads? We’ll need ajudge of course. I suppose that should be you.

butch on February 21, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Thanks for confirming what I stated above. You are obviously unaware that Lvov is where I was born and your stupidity is showing rather clearly.

Must be one of the newfangled newbies we just got.

Learn a bit before you open your mouth and confirm your idiocy. You HAVE missed the exams, clearly. I am sure it will come as surprise to you, but the world does not stop at USA borders, some of us actually DID LEARN history in school, shame that your kind haven’t. And still showing remarkable propensity for WILLFUL ignorance.

Have a nice day.

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 2:09 PM

From Kiev Post:

Feb. 21, 6:12 p.m. — In a bid to tamp down pro-Russian separatist sentiment in Crimea and eastern Ukarine, the Security Service of Ukraine — the security services known as SBU — said on Feb. 21 that “it will use severe measures to prevent any action taken against diminishing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.”

[...]

“This could lead to an escalation of conflict between different sectors of society, inciting ethnic or religious hatred and military conflict.”

Russia will protect the Crimea for both ethnic and strategic reasons.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM

With no economy, no ability to pay for oil and gas and Nazi radicals being the leading government force. So, back to middle ages for them, living with no electricity, no way to sustain the infrastructure. But they will now have EU Constitution and ability to freely travel through EU and, like penniless Romanians and Bolgars, move to London and live for free off of public assistance. Such a deal…

Merkel is talking about re-export natural gas through Slovakia to the Ukraine but the problem is that it isn’t economical to do so. That means it will have to be subsidized by the EU who are very short on cash or the Ukrainians pay full market prices which many will simply not be able to afford. The Russian offer of cheap oil and gas was a good one.

I doubt that it will actually happen but it makes for a great talking point.

Anyone still clueless on so called “independent” Ukraine

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM

I recall reading about the Russian Civil War in the Ukraine and it quickly became apparent that the Ukraine is far from being a single nation.

I don’t think that Russia owns the Ukraine but they clearly have interests there. I just don’t see it ending well.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Sorry I didn’t know your birthplace. I should have known. Now then, about that entrance exam question for all threads…should we make it your birthplace?

butch on February 21, 2014 at 2:23 PM

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM

It’s hard to tell whether you are a leftist or you are just susceptible to the propaganda.

You’re point seems to be which side is going to give Ukraine the most rather than which side is going to allow the Ukraine the most freedom.

Typical leftist in that you see government as the solution, rather than allowing the people to be free. You’re comments indicate that you have zero faith in the Ukrainian people.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

rather than which side is going to allow the Ukraine the most freedom.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

And you think that is going to be the neo-nazi’s who are already targeting jews in the Ukraine?

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Don’t presume to tell me what I think. I’ll speak for myself.

If you have an argument, make it.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

The poster obviously has a lot of knowledge he can share, which is always appreciated. He/she appears a tad eager to label other posters as uneducated or stupid, when it isn’t necessary. I’ve been a member here for many years as a capella and had to rejoin after my hard drive crashed and I lost membership. I’ve always been irritated by posters who call other posters stupid in order to enhance their own creds.

butch on February 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM

If you have an argument, make it.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

The argument isn’t really the EU and freedom versus Russia and no freedom. It is a choice between the Ukrainian system of corruption versus the Russian system of corruption. Neither is a good choice. And joining the EU simply adds another level of corruption.

Many feel that if they are going to have to live with corruption they might as well be able to speak the language and share the culture of the people taking advantage of them.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 2:48 PM

If you have an argument, make it.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

The argument should be obvious. They aren’t about freedom. Neo-Nazi’s tend not to be the sort who embrace freedom.

You want a simple morality play between the ‘Good Guys’ and the ‘Bad Guys’ and that isn’t what is going on.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Many feel that if they are going to have to live with corruption they might as well be able to speak the language and share the culture of the people taking advantage of them.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Wasn’t Ukraine overrun and occupied by the Golden Horde at one point. If we use your logic, Ukraine would be a satellite of Mongolia right now.

It’s interesting that you have a problem with Ukrainian independence. Once Ukraine becomes a vassal to Russia against the will of the people that relationship will be enforced with Russian tanks.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Lord, that’s depressing.

butch on February 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

You want a simple morality play between the ‘Good Guys’ and the ‘Bad Guys’ and that isn’t what is going on.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Don’t tell me what I want or who’s “side” I’m on. Like I said, make your argument for Ukraine becoming sharecropper to Russia against the will of the people.

And your little scare tactic about “it’s either Russia or Nazis” shows how much disdain you have for the people of Ukraine. If you can show reliable, verified opinion numbers to support that argument, link them here. Otherwise, find something other than bullshit we can talk about.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Once Ukraine becomes a vassal to Russia against the will of the people…

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I can only speak for Crimea where I have antidotal information from relatives on the ground in Sevastopol. But Russia coming into Crimea would not be “against the will of the people” for a large percentage of the ethnic Russian speaking people in Crimea.

Crimea was part of Russia until Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine in Soviet times. These people consider themselves to be Russian. They don’t even speak Ukrainian.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

He was voted into office in an EU monitored election.

Your fascist thugs are the ones trying to overthrow a democratically elected government by violent street action. That isn’t freedom.

The Russian economic offer was more enticing to the Ukrainian government because it had more cash and made more economic sense.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 3:09 PM

I don’t think that Russia owns the Ukraine but they clearly have interests there. I just don’t see it ending well.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Look up history of the place, ALL OF SOUTHERN Ukraine, including Crimea, was nothing but RUSSIA for centuries. Odessa was founded by Russian Tsar. ALL OF EASTERN Ukraine as well. Look up all the famous military battles and tell me which nation was fighting them. Ukraine was a small part of Tsarist Russia until it “expanded” its holdings during Soviet days. Khruschiov “gifted” Crimea to Ukraine, but no one there speaks Ukrainian nor wants to be part of it. They are already organizing there as we speak to keep it RUSSIAN. As are Odessa region, and most of Ukraine as well, all save for the Lvov region. And something tells me they are about to grossly piss Russia off and face serious crack down in the near future.

Attacking unarmed cops in Kiev is one thing, dealing with serious military force will be a whole new ball game. McCain’s money or not.

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

But Russia coming into Crimea would not be “against the will of the people” for a large percentage of the ethnic Russian speaking people in Crimea.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Wasn’t Ukraine overrun and occupied by the Golden Horde at one point. If we use your logic, Ukraine would be a satellite of Mongolia right now.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I agree with you that the people in Ukraine who want to be Russian should be free to leave Ukraine for Russia any time they like.

By the way, should the United States give over control of it’s government to Mexico because there are a majority of ethnic Mexicans along our southern border, an area larger than the Crimea?

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Your fascist thugs

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 3:09 PM

My fascist thugs?

You fu*king communist butt plug.

Unlike you, I’m not a leftist of any sort, communist nor fascist.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Attacking unarmed cops in Kiev is one thing, dealing with serious military force will be a whole new ball game. McCain’s money or not.

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I agree that the protesters haven’t faced any serious push-back but if Russia intervenes some units of the Ukrainian military will join the western rebel groups. It will get ugly fast.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

For anyone who is interested I found this to be an excellent documentary which explains a number of the current divisions in Ukraine:

World War Two: Battle of the Crimea 1942 – 1944

Crimea was virtually destroyed by the Nazis who burned down everything they could as they retreated from the Russian liberators. Thus the continuing animosity of the ethnic Russian South against the Nazi collaborators of the North.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Unlike you, I’m not a leftist of any sort, communist nor fascist.

jaime on February 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Then you are being played.

We have seen this same garbage with the media wringing their hands at the sad Al-Qaeda ‘Freedom Fighters’ in Syria.

The sad Muslim Brotherhood ‘Freedom Fighters’ in Egypt.

The sad Kosovar ‘Freedom Fighters’ in Kosovo.

The sad Bosnian ‘Freedom Fighters’ in Bosnia.

The sad Jihadist ‘Freedom Fighters’ in Libya.

And John McCain is always there glad handing the thugs and telling the world how we need to champion their cause and just ignore who they are and what they want.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM

…but if Russia intervenes some units of the Ukrainian military will join the western rebel groups. It will get ugly fast.

sharrukin on February 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Yes, and many will join with the Russian forces. I am not an expert on the current state of the Ukrainian military, but I know that the Russian Navy is in Sevastopol and that there are 30-40,000 Russian troops station in Sochi for the Olympics. Sochi is about 300 miles from Crimea straight up the coast road to Kerch. From there it is the same route that Russia used to displace the Nazis in WWII.

IMHO Russia will not give up Crimea to an unfriendly government. The Olympics end on Sunday.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

The regional parliament of the heavily pro-Russian Crimea is to vote on secession from Ukraine, reports Damien McElroy, Telegraph Foreign Affairs Correspondent:
Vladimir Konstantinov, the speaker of the predominantly Russian region that is home to Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet, warned that Ukraine is falling apart and the region must protect its interests.
“It may happen if the country splits. Anyway, the entire situation is heading towards it,” Mr Konstantinov was reported as saying on Voice of Russia radio.
A day earlier a Russian official told the Financial Times that Russia would protect the Crimea just as it embraced breakaway Georgian regions in 2008. “If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the official said. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.”

Here it comes. Just as Clancey portrayed in his last book.

rlwo2008 on February 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

The regional parliament of the heavily pro-Russian Crimea is to vote on secession from Ukraine, reports Damien McElroy, Telegraph Foreign Affairs Correspondent:
Vladimir Konstantinov, the speaker of the predominantly Russian region that is home to Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet, warned that Ukraine is falling apart and the region must protect its interests.
“It may happen if the country splits. Anyway, the entire situation is heading towards it,” Mr Konstantinov was reported as saying on Voice of Russia radio.
A day earlier a Russian official told the Financial Times that Russia would protect the Crimea just as it embraced breakaway Georgian regions in 2008. “If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the official said. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.”

Here it comes, just as Clancey portrayed in his last book.

rlwo2008 on February 21, 2014 at 4:31 PM

So, tell us, the unwashed, What is it that Ukraine gains by joining EU?

They’re not joining the EU. A trade deal with that organization, however, would help strengthen their economy, reduce corruption, and reduce dependence to the whims of Russian leadership. There’s a reason even Yanukovich called his backtracking a delay rather than a refutation of the deal. In the near term, a Russian bail-out looks more attractive. But in the long term, independence beats reincorporation into a Moscow-led union.

Putin is buying time to get this off TV news screens until the Olympics are over.

In that case, he’s already failed. It’s leading every broadcast, pushing the Olympics to the second tier, and framing them in a poor light.

Soon as the cameras are gone Putin will roll the tanks.

Are the people saying this the same ones who were saying that hyperinflation was going to occur in the U.S. by the end of 2009?

Incidentally, that idea did make its way to Ukraine prior to the protests. Ukrainians were excited that their currency was going to be able to buy more dollars because of our policies. Since then, it’s had a double-digit percentage decline with respect to the dollar, with restrictions on foreign exchange.

calbear on February 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Sorry for the double post.

rlwo2008 on February 21, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Come on HotAir! A Thread mentioning Tymoshenko and no photos?

I call BS!

(“hey, Tymoshenko is that cute blond lady…right?)

KirknBurker on February 21, 2014 at 5:01 PM

But in the long term, independence beats reincorporation into a Moscow-led union.
calbear on February 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

I believe that part of the problem is that not everyone feels this statement to be true. In the South – Crimea, Odessa, et al – they would prefer closer association with Russia because they are ethnic Russians and speak Russian not Ukrainian. In the North where most of the rioters come from they may prefer the EU solution.

Which group is the majority? I don’t know, but President Viktor Yanukovych was elected so one would logically conclude that it is the majority that favors closer ties with Russia and that it is a loud minority who are rioting for the EU solution.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Which group is the majority? I don’t know, but President Viktor Yanukovych was elected so one would logically conclude that it is the majority that favors closer ties with Russia and that it is a loud minority who are rioting for the EU solution.

Elections are snapshots in time and candidates don’t correspond perfectly to opinions. I suspect that now the anti-Yanukovych crowd would be a decisive majority. That doesn’t mean his opponents are all opposed to the Russian deal. It just means that they’re tired of corrupt, duplicitous, incompetent, murderous, anti-democratic leadership. (Jailing your opponent is anti-democratic, no matter how big your majority.)

calbear on February 21, 2014 at 5:38 PM

It just means that they’re tired of corrupt, duplicitous, incompetent, murderous, anti-democratic leadership.

calbear on February 21, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Unfortunately, I do not believe that situation will change whomever is elected President. It will not change if they join the EU. It will not change if they move closer to Russia. The only thing that will change is which group will gain the spoils of corruption. It has always been so and IMHO it will not change in my life time.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Here it comes. Just as Clancey portrayed in his last book.

rlwo2008 on February 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

I have news for you. Guess where Sochi is located? In ABKHAZIA, and was part of the conflict when Georgia wanted to take it over, locals preferred to stay in Russian Federation.

80% of Ukraine, at least, will side with Russia. Bet on it. Heavily.

Crimea, Odessa, Lugansk, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozh’e, Khar’kov, and KIEV AS WELL. All already stated they will HAPPILY deal with radicals to defend their lands and align with Russia. All large industrial cities heavily populated with RUSSIAN speaking populace. MAIN REASON the radicals DO NOT WANT ELECTIONS, they know up front how will turn out for them. Same as last time.

And anyone claiming that Putin “has lost” the media wars, can you guys tell me if Putin gives a crap about it? And when was the last time Putin has actually lost anything to the West? He’s been playing the West like a fine tuned violin since Day 1. EU is lucky winter is almost over, all Putin had to do was turn the gas spigot to off position, same as he did a couple of years ago. Please remind me how that played out for EU.

Lvov has one army base, I lived right near it. That’s about it for any “Ukrainian troops” joining the radicals. And knowing their mentality I can tell you that they will NOT be firing on Russian and Ukrainians troops, they know well in advance they will be exterminated with prejudice in no time at all. You still have no idea about what that part of the world is.

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Unfortunately, I do not believe that situation will change whomever is elected President. It will not change if they join the EU. It will not change if they move closer to Russia. The only thing that will change is which group will gain the spoils of corruption. It has always been so and IMHO it will not change in my life time.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Hate to point it out, since we are on the subject of corruption. Can you guys remind me just corruption there is different than one here?

They are kids when compared to what has been stolen here in just last 5 years under Hussein. 2 TARPs with NO ACCOUNTING for them. AT ALL. STILL. What’s that, $1.5 TRILLION? By itself and not counting a good number of other “deals” with money transfers in HUNDREDS of MILLIONS with factories closing right after reception of funds. We’re talking what, roughly $3 TRILLION vanishing into unknown bank accounts, all in. So far. And you guys are discussing corruption elsewhere? Not counting over $7 TRILLION in new debt paying for who knows what.

So, $10 TRILLION and COUNTING, in just 5 short years.

Makes Russian/Ukrainian graft look like child’s play. Even they did not steal that much in so short a time.

riddick on February 21, 2014 at 8:26 PM