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Thread: Situation in the Ukraine

  1. #1
    Head Moderator MVP glunn's Avatar
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    Situation in the Ukraine

    I don't like the Russian incursion into Crimea, but can see the logic behind it.

    The elected president of Ukraine was sympathetic to Russia and was run out of the country by dissidents. Access to the Black Sea is strategically important to Russia. Most people in Crimea appear to prefer being part of Russia. It seems to me that these are logical reasons for the Russians to feel that they need to do something substantial.

    What I would like to know at this point is what role, if any, the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies played in the overthrow of the elected president of Ukraine. I am also hoping that this can be worked out peacefully, and that ultimately the people of Crimea get to decide which group of corrupt politicians will rule them.

    Is Putin really being a monster here, or are his actions at least somewhat understandable in light of Russia's aspirations to remain a major power?

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    What I would like to know at this point is what role, if any, the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies played in the overthrow of the elected president of Ukraine. I am also hoping that this can be worked out peacefully, and that ultimately the people of Crimea get to decide which group of corrupt politicians will rule them.

    Is Putin really being a monster here, or are his actions at least somewhat understandable in light of Russia's aspirations to remain a major power?
    Ding ding ding... Of course you and I will never know what the CIA role is. The alternative media will speculate and the mainstream will ignore it. Then you have the US going out and saying that executing diplomacy at the barrel of a gun is a bad thing... like we don't do that or anything. I'm so tired of this.

    I wouldn't leave out the fact that the Ukraine recently decided NOT to join the EU. The didn't want any part of bailing out all of Europe and I think this is largely being driven by the EU looking to retain some sort of relevancy. This whole situation makes little sense without the US being involved, as I really think that some powers that be are itching for a war to take everyone's mind off of the "recovery" that really isn't happening. That's speculation, I know. But this is front and center while Venezuela is being ignored, and what is going on there is just as bad, if not worse.

  3. #3
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    There is also the ultimatum the EU/USA gave Ukraine to join that may have forced some of these events. I get the feeling we have slowly and subtely been working to further reduce Russian power and influence and this one backfired. PUtin said enough, decided to flex some muscle, and our government looks weak as a result.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Ukraine's refusal of the EU was heavily influenced by Russia, I don't think it had as much to do with a reluctance to bail out all of Europe as it did with economic threats from Russia, as well as promises of greater fortunes by joining Putin's Eurasian Union. Also, Yanukovych is decidedly pro Moscow, so the ultimate decision to join the Eu was always pretty nebulous, despite whatever majority within the country or any Western powers wanted.

    What's curious is the decision to crackdown so violently on the pro EU protesters by Yanukovych, what forces influenced that? Clearly it provided the catalyst for a reprisal against the government and shifted the focus from a economic political one to a social political one, the fight is no longer about the EU.

    The big risk to Putin in the uprising is the uncertainty of what the next govt may bring and what it's attitude towards Russia's existing presence in Crimea might be, obviously influenced by the US and the EU. With the region being essentially Russian (outside of the Tatars) it provides an easy position of strength for him and a source of unity for the pro Russian people in the East and the South. Of course much of this also has to do with his vision of the rebuilt former glory of the past, one which many Russians share.

    I don't see what his end goal is politically though, there is no way he takes the Ukraine by force , he may just ride out the current wave and try to exert some further political will within the country to influence who forms the next government and to ensure it is not one chosen by the West.
    Last edited by twinsnorth49; 03-10-2014 at 11:00 PM.

  5. This user likes twinsnorth49's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:

    PseudoSABR (03-11-2014)

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    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    PUtin said enough, decided to flex some muscle, and our government looks weak as a result.
    If this is what strength looks like, I want no part of it. Eerily similar to the kind of rationals of decade ago.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    If this is what strength looks like, I want no part of it. Eerily similar to the kind of rationals of decade ago.
    I'm not saying it makes it right, but if you don't think Putin's actions ring louder to Poland, Khazakstan, Bulgaria, etc. than the EU/USA diplomacy....you're fooling yourself.

    I'm not suggesting that they do anything to counteract that, but merely to suggest that sometimes if you back a bear into a corner....don't be surprised when they come back out with the claws.

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    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Ringing loud as in wanting to have no diplomatic relationship with Russia, sure; this just moves such countries further West. I just don't see how this show of strength works in Russia's long term viability of as a world power. It seems comical, early-twentieth century tactics.

  9. #8
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    Ringing loud as in wanting to have no diplomatic relationship with Russia, sure; this just moves such countries further West. I just don't see how this show of strength works in Russia's long term viability of as a world power. It seems comical, early-twentieth century tactics.
    You must not be trying very hard then. If Russia is going to stir up revolution, separate states, use military intervention, and stage coups for considering alternatives.....you should see very quickly how that could have a tremendously powerful influence on decision making in that region. Especially if all the West can do is lob meaningless sanctions and rhetoric.
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 03-11-2014 at 03:18 PM.

  10. #9
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    You must not be trying very hard then. If Russia is going to stir up revolution, separate states, military intervention, and coups for considering alternatives.....you should see very quickly how that could have a tremendously powerful influence on decision making in that region. Especially if all the West can do is lob meaningless sanctions and rhetoric.
    Actually what is happening in Ukraine is quite the opposite, the West is responsible for stirring up the revolution to set the stage for a coup. The rejection of the EU by Yanukovych was a direct result of sanctions and economic pressure from Putin towards Ukraine. Military intervention is not a viable alternative for Russia, Western sanctions against such a move would hurt them greatly and are far from meaningless , the overtures in Crimea could still have that same effect however Obama and the EU don't seem to have the will to enforce any . In other words, if he doesn't go any farther they pretty much don't care if he takes Crimea back.

    Further, Romania and Bulgaria may not be as resistant to Russian influence as you may think, their association with the EU has been anything but beneficial to them so far and they legitimately may have more interest in Putin's Eurasian Union. Kazakhstan is already in the Eurasian economic union with Russia, as well as many other former Soviet states. In other words, they already have tremendous influence on decision making in the region, including Ukraine.

  11. #10
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    Actually what is happening in Ukraine is quite the opposite, the West is responsible for stirring up the revolution to set the stage for a coup.
    Sorry, my post gave a false sense of this. I was referring to precisely this when I used the analogy of the bear in the corner.

    For me, Russia's incursion just goes to illuminate how far (and really, it's not far at all) the West is willing to go to hold back Russian influence. Russia isn't going to lose their seat at any major table over this and they will continue to be a super power. What this goes to show countries in the region is that you can do things Russia's way (which many of them are inclined to do anyway as you point out) or....you can still do it Russia's way eventually. And don't expect that being part of NATO or tied to the EU is going to change that.

    You can call Russia a lot of things for doing this, but stupid isn't one of them. They knew the West was trying to squeeze their turf with some covert stuff and they called their bluff.

  12. #11
    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    You can call Russia a lot of things for doing this, but stupid isn't one of them. They knew the West was trying to squeeze their turf with some covert stuff and they called their bluff.
    That the West won't go to war over Crimea? Gutsy call Russia! Again, Russia might retain Crimea as part of their territory, but democratically empowered border states will just move further towards the EU to retain their sovereignty. I just don't see how that's a smart play. Brute force ain't what it used to be on the stage of world politics. I just don't see the smart play here.

    What the heck was the Winter Games about if not establishing diplomatic goodwill; whatever gains the games made, Putin undid with Crimea.

  13. #12
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    That the West won't go to war over Crimea? Gutsy call Russia! Again, Russia might retain Crimea as part of their territory, but democratically empowered border states will just move further towards the EU to retain their sovereignty. I just don't see how that's a smart play. Brute force ain't what it used to be on the stage of world politics. I just don't see the smart play here.
    Of course it was an obvious bluff to call - that's why it was so stupid to start a revolt in a country that was leaning towards accepting the EU's invitation! The West/US looks weak because they started a problem that they quite obviously had no resolve to see through, but weren't careful enough to avoid being caught with their hand in the cookie jar. It was a failure of global foreign policy by whomever decided bullying Ukraine into the EU was the way to go.

    I agree with you about the Winter Games, but the truth is that in many regions brute force/underhanded politics is still the name of the game. Or, at least, damn effective at persuasion. We can both agree to not liking it morally and probably not liking it as a long-term strategy, but it can be effective in the short term. The distinction that north has posted a few times is important though - we didn't engage in brute force, but we did try to bully Ukraine around to minimize Russia's influence. We played our own dirty game, the Russians just called our obvious bluff.

    Plenty of blame to go around.

  14. #13
    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Ukraine, without Crimea, will be part of the EU before long; not good for Russia. I'm not sure that Ukraine was bullied into the EU; that's your take, I haven't seen that legitimated anywhere. Sure, EU and the US have stakes in the Ukraine being part of the EU, but if there's a bully it's the Russia's with, you know, the tanks and stuff.

    I guess the Crimea referendum doesn't offer a No vote on it's ballots, hilarious. Both options lead to Russian control.

  15. #14
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
    That the West won't go to war over Crimea? Gutsy call Russia! Again, Russia might retain Crimea as part of their territory, but democratically empowered border states will just move further towards the EU to retain their sovereignty. I just don't see how that's a smart play. Brute force ain't what it used to be on the stage of world politics. I just don't see the smart play here.

    What the heck was the Winter Games about if not establishing diplomatic goodwill; whatever gains the games made, Putin undid with Crimea.
    It wasn't a matter of being gutsy Pseudo, it was a matter of shrewd political timing. Which democratically empowered border states are going to move further to the EU? Latvia, Estonia, Poland? They're already members of the EU and the first two arguably would not take much persuasion to join the Eurasian Union if Ukraine goes that way. They don't have to give up sovereignty, Crimea is not a sovereign nation, that's not the issue. This isn't about territory, it's about economic and political influence.

    Ukraine is the big fish here, Levi is right, there is no way Putin is going to allow the West to walk in and bully or backroom deal it's way into Ukraine joining the EU. The EU and the US decided it was in it's best interests to remove Yanukovych to further it's interests, Putin decided he needed to react and give people something to think about.

    What the US and the EU is missing is that there is significant support in Ukraine for Russia, the East and South of the country are predominantly Russian, he's pandering to that and trying to create enough civil unrest to ensure that their (and his) political voice is heard when the next government may be decided.

    I'll agree that Putin has lost any goodwill the Olympics may have brought Russia, though I'll argue most of that was mostly for the press, he doesn't much care.

  16. #15
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post

    I guess the Crimea referendum doesn't offer a No vote on it's ballots, hilarious. Both options lead to Russian control.
    It's pretty funny. Option A. Join the Russian Federation or Option B. Vote to reinstate a constitution that lasted all of 15 days and hardly any of you know what it means.

  17. #16
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
    Ukraine is the big fish here, Levi is right, there is no way Putin is going to allow the West to walk in and bully or backroom deal it's way into Ukraine joining the EU. The EU and the US decided it was in it's best interests to remove Yanukovych to further it's interests, Putin decided he needed to react and give people something to think about.
    Right, we tried to oust the pro-Russian guy after he rejected an ultimatum we knew he wouldn't accept. Russia just played the same game, only called our bluff on it.

    It's not like we should expect to play dirty politics to weaken the Russian state and Putin is going to sit back and watch it happen. Again, we got caught playing a dirty game of poker and our bluff got called.

  18. #17
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    I think this pushes Poland and others closer to the EU. I think it pushes the remainder of Ukraine closer to the EU.

    Not sure what the right wing wants Obama to do....go to war? What kind of "strength" do you want them to show, if you think they are weak?
    Lighten up Francis....

  19. #18
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I think this pushes Poland and others closer to the EU. I think it pushes the remainder of Ukraine closer to the EU.

    Not sure what the right wing wants Obama to do....go to war? What kind of "strength" do you want them to show, if you think they are weak?
    Please, don't throw that stuff in here. If you're playing poker and you bluff, you are shown to be "weak". No one wants war, but if you don't bluff so obviously and so transparently you probably aren't going to get called out. The problem here isn't the response, the problem is the utter stupidity that put the onus on Russia in the first place.

    Most of the nations in that region play both sides to their advantage and know full well what the EU/USA was up to and what the Russians are up to now. The biggest difference is that now they know how far both sides are willing to go when crossed.

  20. #19
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I think this pushes Poland and others closer to the EU. I think it pushes the remainder of Ukraine closer to the EU.

    Not sure what the right wing wants Obama to do....go to war? What kind of "strength" do you want them to show, if you think they are weak?
    Poland is already a member of the EU. Why does this push Ukraine closer? It may turn out that way but it's far from a certainty, Russia holds considerable sway over Ukraine. The two countries are inextricably linked and as much as the country desires it's independence it has had a difficult time releasing it's dependence on Russia, which is a main part of the problem and one which Putin is very aware of.

    The next government is going to have to have a steel resolve if it is to join the EU, it will come at a heavy price from Russia, I think many people are aware of that. Sadly, if that does indeed happen, I don't envision the West stepping up to fill the void.

    Putin holds all the cards here and there isn't much the US or the EU can do about it, he's not afraid of any of them and knows quite well they have no response that will have any teeth.

  21. #20
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    I guess it's fair to ask....if you think the President is being weak, what do you want him to do differently? Not sure how that isn't fair.

    While Ukraine and Russia are linked like few countries, there are enough non-Russians there that I believe (naively?) that even if they "take" Ukraine in the short term, they'll pay a long term price in violence and rebellion. But then, looking at much of the non-West......democracy seems to only kind of happen/work....

    the only thing I know with certainty is that this is complex
    Lighten up Francis....

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