August 6, 2014 E.R.
An educated and informed electorate ensuring the democracy?
In an act of state terrorism of such monumental shortsightedness that ones mind reels from the impact, russia again becomes the pariah of the entire world. The repercussions are so wide and damning that it may well threaten the existence of the federation. Ones mind goes back to the collapse of the Soviet system, which was like a controlled crashlanding and caused by different factors than what are apparent today. Back then the different national movements demanding recognition, coupled with a world that had developed politically and economically. Russia and Soviet were finished.
Russia today faces a collapse, but for different reasons. While the west was not looking, russia turned inward. This is a political crisis, brought on by a deceitful and conceited leadership and their utterly corrupt and light-footed class of oligarcs. Russia never had any substance, and is as much a hollow shell as the Soviet state was prior to the implosion.
Putin is not a statesman. A statesman serves the state and the people that elected him or her. Putin is not in touch with reality. He only has dreams. But how to dream dreams of empires with a sagging and decrepid economy that is less than the state of California, but never invents og produces anything but its own myths?
I think the dreams were there all the time. Russia is not a state able to act flexibly to new constellations. It is a die-hard conservative, rigid system, unable to re-thinking strategies. Thus the "drive to glory" was leviathan in scope and speed, and with a Duma more or less locked in Rigor Mortis Putin has never had the guts, nor the need to adapt.
Putin had the bad luck to be overrun by real life events. For once. And there were no contingency plans including a people that said "NO", as it happened in Kiev.
And where does russia stand now, after 6 months of stately flops and hair-rising miscalculations by a russian people caught "pants-down"?
An interesting point is that if Putin slams the west with a general ban on exports, he is in breach of the WTO regulations forbidding that.
Russia may end up in court, and finally be kicked out of the one organization they cling to. Nearly the only one left.
A new world leader? (german: Führer)
FOTO: DMITRY LOVETSKY / AP
There are Russian separatists in Ukraine, fighting with the government in Kiev for control both Donetsk and Lugansk areas in the eastern Ukraine. Also Odessa was seized by extensive ethnic clashes May 2. There was the official death toll around 40 However, on May 6, reported Russian TV channels, the same number is unidentified in the morgue in Odessa.
In town, the police chief and governor fired by the authorities in Kiev this week since they allowed so violent bloodshed in Odessa. The turmoil has not just spread to Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine , cities which are also divided between Russians and Ukrainians.
This year marks here in Russia by the peace of 1945 greatly affected by war signs in southeastern Ukraine, a civil war -like state as the U.S., the EU and the majority of all the states of Europe believes Kremlin is behind, something that would fall head-first into a pattern of established behavious by Kremin during the last decades .
This was evident when thirty foreign ministers from the Council of Europe met in Vienna on May 6. The Russian television coverage gave the impression however that it was Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who read Europe the lesson in morale and non-interference.
Forgotten is the fact that Russia was kicked out for one year from the Council of Europe because of Putin's first year and his vicious way to wage war in Chechnya.
In light of the 9 May celebration , President Putin also issued a decree that gave the award "For merits to the fatherland " to 300 journalists for their coverage of the conflict with Ukraine, among them the worst warmongers the very same Arkady Mamentov who just over a year ago claimed that...
I see no obvious gay connection in this photo?
...the Chelyabinsk Oblast meteor strike on febr 13th 2013 was due to gays and lesbians. Earlier Putin gave this order to Dmitry Kiseljov his primary anti west showman and now banned by the U.S. and EU.
When supposedly thinking people start mixing gays and meteorites, one starts worrying on an entirely different level.
Mr Putin recently signed into law the prohibition against foul language in media. Probably that helps a lot?
The former member of the russian parliament represents the backbone and archetypical supporter of the status quo in Moscow. Hard hitting rhetoric, evidently deaf to counterarguments. Trained to conduct debates as monologues, and never deviating from the partys line. Together with John Laughland, director of the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation they and the institute as a whole make up a typical tool for the Kremlin.
Treason re-defined: Mr Ponomarlov, the self-appointed leader of the Donbas region. A man even the likes of Putin will find hard to swallow: Easier to swallow Crimea?
13.th May 2014 E.R.
22.th May 2014 E.R.
Where do you go now Mister Putin, when the only people in europe supporting you are right wing extremists? Did you not talk about fascists?
Shame on legs? Or just Kremlins "useful idiots"? Some have short memories. Havent we seen this before...in the 1930s? (Photo AFP/BBC)
The débacle played out before the befuddeled west has changed much in the geopolitical landscape. First a corrupt
Viktor Fedorovytj Janukovytj causes a nation-wide uproar in Ukraina by reversing a deal to align his country with EU and instead head to Moscow. Until then Ukraina had managed to stagger along, with one head looking for the holy Graal of EU affiliation, dinners in Luxembourg and someting more than observer-status in Brüssels. While the other head turned with missile-like precision to a seldom seen mix of carrots and sticks coming from the Kremlin.
Kremlinologists will have their work cut out for the coming 10 years. The rest of us are best adviced to either stop listening to them or bring in an entirely new brand of critical observers. We have been goaded and led to forget the true nature of a russian. That he is russian first, and ...everything else AFTER. In the belief that Russia shared the values of the west even the membership of EU and even NATO might one shining day be the topic.
Behind a veil of words and conflicting statements that always kept the political strategists in the west busy (which ear do we listen to?) Putin and the spin-doctors stuck to the old strategy of power-play.
The west has been demonised. Europe has its share of problems with economy, immigration or rather migration of unemployed and rag-tag poor who understandably seek better lives. The response is right-wing parties: Gábor Vonas Jobbik in Hungary, Jean-Maries le Pen's Front National in France or Giannis Giannopoulos' Golden Dawn in Greece.
But there is a huge difference between a right wing party operating democratically, and the real extremists who despise democracy ("the weak") the "communists" and "fascists" who are really the same: mindless terrorists.
The story from russia is that Kiev ruled by fascist, whatever that words means these days.
In fact, the only fascism in Ukraina today ... comes from Moscow.
And now, mr. Putin went to Beijing, chapeau-bas to all who might care to watch the spectacle.
20.th May 2014 E.R.
Russia has not a single friend left, except North Korea
Russia tried to sweet talk China, but they are merely an irritant to Beijing who easily forced a gas deal down to 350 USD/1000 cu.m, barely covering russias production costs.
China has ample choices and is currently building a pipeline to Kazakstan, just to illustrate where russia belongs in the queue.
China will treat russia as a minor vassal state, and sharpen its teeth for parts of Siberia where the borders have been under dispute since the war.
Russia hoped to use energy as a tool to bring the EU and USA to heel. But it has backfired miserably, with EU loaded with 84% gas capacity (poland over 90%) enabling the west to manage well over the coming winter with only some possible rationing if the weather was to turn colder than usual.
And still worse for Putin, LNG is readily available to EU from a variety of sources and at cut-throat prices. China turns to exporting gas while Japan does not cut out nuclear power in spite of events there, and takes the load off supplies to the west with falling prices as a result with US LNG to Britain for just $6,50/mmBtu, considerably lower than the russian gas, and also lower than earlier 2014, then $40/mmBtu. Lithuania has its gas landing facilities close to ready, and Poland builds a huge LNG port and dusting off plans for state-of-the-art nuclear powerplants.
And now? Putin sanctions EU and USA.
Under different circumstances it would be laughable, as the world has long since got tired of Ladas. The Telegraph received a comment from a russian reader saying that "the sanctions were actually good, because now the russian farmers can develop their skills"
One canot help wondering why they wanted to sell to us at all?
Honestly I dont know if to laugh or cry, at times. But one good thing has come out of the melée: All now can see the true face of Russia and not just a Putin who is "up there", flying with the birds.
The russian people can brace for a rather hard landing.
20.th May 2014 E.R.
"Instant Concentration Camp: Just add water"
On April 27th the russian media starring Russian TV host Arkady Mamontov claimed that Ukraina built (apparently at break-neck speed) new camps á la Nazi Germany, intended for political opponents.
The voice-over, complete with sinister-sounding background music stated that the intended victims would be people "who speak out against Right Sector and the people who the powers in Kyiv call separatists."
"The camera will show everything," he says. Indeed it did.
Construction of the facility shown in the documentary, however, was begun in 2012 under then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled head-over-heels to Russia in late February following mass protests in Kyiv and other major Ukrainian cities.
"In accordance with Ukrainian legislation, the places are entirely for the placement of foreigners and stateless people to be placed until orders for their expulsion are completed," Serhiy Hunko, press spokesman for Ukraine's state migration service, told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service. "Under no circumstances can Ukrainians be placed there."
Moscow has relentlessly invoked the threat of 1940s-era Nazism to both invoke fears of the new authorities in Kyiv, which it refuses to recognize as legitimate, and to reach into the well of Russian patriotism that springs from the Soviet Union's World War II victory.
The building is part of an EU-funded project to temporarily house illegal migrants.
The story fails to mention how EU feels on the allegations.
"We are not amused"
Since it became apparent that Russia flexed its military, shook the dust off its deployment-plans dating back to Budapest 1956 and Praha 1968, and left the rest of us guessing, speculations ran rife in western capitols: What if...
The option of a invasion of the eastern Ukraina by russian troops may be less likely than what might appear.
The Kreml would vehemently oppose NATO directly on their border, and analysts suggest this to be a driving force behind Putins lively moves. And anything less than a totally controlled puppet regime in Kiew is probably off the options list. Russias dream would be a ukrainian pillow between Russia and what is perceived as an aggressive NATO. If Putin were to overrun the eastern Ukraina, the remaining pro-EU western parts would very likely seek full integration into EU and NATO, bringing NATOs rocket shield to within a 5 hrs drive to Moscow.
FOTO: BAZ RATNER / REUTERS
Links to relevant articles:
Though some deride Russia for backward thinking, Putin's strategy in Ukraine betrays a nuanced understanding of 21st century geopolitics.
Trojan horses (the original version...) gangster and mob-like methods, extortion, infiltrations, vote-rigging, territorial threat diplays, all is used un-ashamedly to unravel the unity that Europe has fought for during the last 60 years.
The one thing the PR-sensitive west has to learn is that Moscow does not need our respect. Only in countries with a free press can politicians be hung out to dry: The concept of the big Shame is still alive.
The journalists are muzzled in many parts of the world by various vested interests.
But seldom, if ever has a state declared a more ferocious war on its own best and brightest: the journalists who uphold their true mission: to be the guardians against corruption, abuse of people and power alike, to expose red-faced power-politicians caught pants-down.
Take the curious case of mr. Alexander Rahr.
A gentleman of some renown in his native germany, seemingly a PR-addict and frequent guest in panel debates and breakfast TV sessions. He is research director for the Russian-German Forum and active in the Petersburg Dialogue, an established think-tank promoting russian-german cooperation. Mr Rahr is fluent in both russian and german, seamlessly fitting in both in german talkshows as well as russia. And with a direct line to Putin, a unique quality. He speaks in very guarded terms in all things concerning Ukraina and Crimea on ZDF interviews, only stating that "there are many in the eastern Ukraine feeling let down by Kiew", only to save his rhetoric for the russian papers.In interviews with the pro-Kremlin "Parlamentskaja Gazeta" the same man warns willing russian ears that EU's aim is not just to "free" Ukraina, but also Georgia, Armenia and even Belarus from Russian influence, thus making EU the aggressor.
But he is also on the paylist of the Gasconcern Wintershall (a BASF company) based in Kassel, Germany... with close ties to the russian gigant Gazprom since 1990.
Gazprom itself partly the result of Putins forced merger with the confiscated Yukos Oil from Michael Khodorkowsky on his arrest on 25 October 2003.
Mr Rahr is hardly unique. Rather an example illustrating how russia has used the wests immense and naïve goodwill since the fall of the Wall: a trojan horse. Putin has found a way to attack the west and the increasingly divided EU, from the inside.
may 7. 2014 E.R.
In the Steven Spielberg film "War of the Worlds" starring Tom Cruise (2005) there is a sound-bite in the first minutes: "Noone would have believed in the early years of the 21th century that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own, that when man busied themselved with their various concerns, they observed... and studied.... With infinite complacency...while we were confident of our empire of this world...Yet across the infinite space ..intellects vast and cool..and unsympathetic...redarded our planet with envious eyes. And slowly...and surely drew their plans."
Indeed a chilling prospect. But all the more so, if you scale things down a bit. We in the so called West have indeed busied ourselves with our various concerns since the big illusion started: The fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union. And the subsequent invitation to the wests hallmarks: a place by the dinner table, rubbing shoulders with the civilized world. This event took place in the joyful celebration of the East adopting, even embracing the values of the free west,- apparently abondoning their near-byzantine ways of government and the power-structures.
In short, we fell to our own weakness: Democracy always rewarded short term gains, seeing the national (and by inference the international) time-line in terms of "4-year leaps": the usual term between elections.
Remember Anatoly Dobrynin? This Soviet ambassador to the UN served during 4 (!) US presidents, running circles around West Point 30-year olds, Princeton Law graduates with or without the "cum laudae" together with Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister from 1957 to 1985 (!). These men, and others like them represented a wealth of knowledge and expertise that noone in the West could match.
Folly is not a new invention. The french king Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774) is noted for the infamous words
"Après moi la déluge" ("After me comes the Flood")...apparently the ultimate in short term planning:
Who cares a rats ass what happens later as long as I get what I want.
Which pretty much sums up the wests attitude and our greatest weakness.
In Putins world, little is left to chance. All is Long Term.
Mourning the dead in the
early days of the Maidan.
Ukraina. Europe. February.
Shame has low market value, these days.
may 7. 2014 E.R.
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