The Russian-speaking population of the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine is upset by the popular movement in the west of the country that has overthrown president Viktor Yanukovych and is said to be forming militias.
What Crimea is best remembered for in the West is the Crimean War of the 1850s. Is there a parallel to today’s tensions? The conflict was initially between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire. In some ways some roots of the conflict lay in Ottoman Jerusalem in the 1840s and early 1850s, where Russia perceived that its claim on dominance of the holy places there through its Eastern Orthodox clients were being set aside by the Sultan in favor of those of the French and their Roman Catholic clients. Russia also coveted the Balkans and Istanbul (the Byzantium of the Eastern Roman Empire). When a conflict broke out between the princes of the Principalities (now Romania), who were nominally Ottoman vassals, and the sultan, the Russian backed the princes and sent in troops. Then it seemed Russia might fight all the way down to Istanbul and take it.
(RT) – On May 25, Crimeans will vote “yes” or “no” on whether the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea has state sovereignty and is a part of Ukraine, in accordance with treaties and agreements.”
Earlier the presidium of the Crimean parliament have announced that they are confident “that only by holding an All-Crimean referendum on the issue of improving the status of the Autonomy and expanding its powers Crimeans will be able to determine the future of the Autonomy on their own and without any external pressure.”
As a result of “the unconstitutional seizure of power in Ukraine by radical nationalists supported by armed gangs,” Crimea’s peace and order is “under threat,” said Oksana Korniychuk, the press secretary of the head of the parliament.
- ○ Statement William Burns and Q&A at U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Ukraine
○ US, NATO warn Russia to avoid ‘miscalculation’ over Crimea
Below the fold, a summary of relevant posts …
Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong by Mark Ames
(Pando Daily) Feb. 24, 2014 – Although I’m deep into the reporting of my next story about the Silicon Valley Techtopus, it’s hard for me not to get distracted by events in Ukraine and Russia.
I haven’t lived in that part of the world since the Kremlin ran me out of town, so I’m not going to pretend that I know as much as those on the ground there. Still, I’ve been driven nuts by the avalanche of overconfident ignorance that stands for analysis or commentary on the wild events there. A lethal ignorance, a virtuous ignorance.
Virtuous ignorance about world affairs used to be the exclusive domain of neo-con pundits, but now it’s everywhere, especially rampant on the counter-consensus side — nominally my own side, but an increasingly shitty side to be on.
Nearly everyone here in the US tries to frame and reify Ukraine’s dynamic to fit America-centric spats. As such, Ukraine’s problems are little more than a propaganda proxy war where our own political fights are transferred to Ukraine’s and Russia’s context, warping the truth to score domestic spat points. That’s nothing new, of course, but it’s still jarring to watch how the “new media” counter-consensus is warping and misrepresenting reality in Ukraine about as crudely as the neocons and neoliberals used to warp and Americanize the political realities there back when I first started my Moscow newspaper, The eXile. So, yes, I wanted to comment on a few simplifications/misconceptions about Ukraine today.
On January 22, 2010 Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko honored Stepan Bandera by posthumously bestowing on him the state honor, “Hero of Ukraine.” The Soviet KGB assassinated Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist-in-exile, in 1959. Many Ukrainians, including Ukrainian émigré groups in Canada, pressed Yushchenko to grant the honor, which, according to one statement, “would restore justice and truth about the Bandera and the…struggle for liberation that he headed.” To this day, many Ukrainians view Bandera as a martyred freedom fighter.
As an uncompromising leader of the militant, terrorist branch of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), Bandera became a Nazi collaborator who lived with his deputies under German protection after World War II began. In preparation for the attack on the USSR, the Nazis recruited Bandera’s followers to act as Ukrainian-speaking policemen and to serve in two Ukrainian volunteer army battalions. By working with the Nazis, Bandera hoped to free Ukraine from Soviet rule and establish his own government there. An independent Ukraine, Bandera promised, would remain friendly to Germany.
Historian Karel Berkhoff, among others, has shown that Bandera, his deputies, and the Nazis shared a key obsession, namely the notion that the Jews in Ukraine were behind Communism and Stalinist imperialism and must be destroyed. “The Jews of the Soviet Union,” read a Banderist statement, “are the most loyal supporters of the Bolshevik Regime and the vanguard of Muscovite imperialism in the Ukraine.”
Read my complete post here: Nazi Collaboration by Banderists in East Galicia
“There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes.” — Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls.
(EurAsiaReview) Feb. 25, 2014 – After signing a void agreement on “crisis settlement” on Friday, the situation in the Ukraine has rapidly got out of control of its signatories and “witnesses”. No provisions of this document were fulfilled. The legitimate authorities fled (or tried to flee) the country, the governmental buildings in Kiev are taken by the revolutionary mob. The radicals are dictating the new rules to façade opposition “leaders” who desperately try to bridle the Maidan.
What happened to the Ukraine on February 21, 2014 is essentially a criminal coup committed by the radical armed anarchists and Ukrainian Nazis who have been enjoying a comprehensive financial, military, diplomatic and even religious support and instigation from the Western power groups for the last two decades. Many of the Ukraine’s cities are now falling into the chaos of lootings, unprovoked violence, lynch law and political repressions.
The first signs of upcoming chaos were clearly seen as the Ukrainian authorities wavered at the three-month siege of the centre of Kiev by the radical guerrilla elements from Galicia and local criminal gangs. They watched silently when furious fanatics were burning unarmed riot police Berkut officers alive, lynching them and pulling out their eyes. They did nothing to stop frantic “freedom fighters” from storming regional administrations, humiliating the officials and looting police and military arsenals in the West Ukraine. The authorities were paralyzed when unidentified snipers were killing militia personnel, protesters and casual passers-by in cold-blood from the roofs of Kiev’s buildings. They even declared amnesty (twice!) to those guilty of the brutal crimes against policemen and public order. Thus Yanukovych’s regime itself paved the way for a sinister ghost of the war-torn Libya to come to Ukraine.
Is the guerrilla side a self-organized and self-indoctrinated popular movement tired of a corrupt and inefficient state? That is hardly the case.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union the international power groups have invested billions of the Federal Reserve notes (aka US$) into Ukrainian “pro-democratic” NGOs and politicians. While preaching “Ukrainian commitment to the European choice and democratic values” in the meantime they clearly saw that there was no short-term historical perspective for making Ukraine a state hostile to Russia, which is evidently the final goal of the globalist Eastern policy.