Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ukraine, an apology

In my recent post about the Ukraine I suggested the following in regard to the Kiev killings:.

"the president finally lets the cops off the leash and the inevitable happens.  The inevitable which was the plan all along, the desired outcome."

Now we have the leaked telephone conversation between Commissioner Ashton and the Estonian foreign minister which casts a great deal of doubt on the matter.  What we need is an outside investigation and clearly the US, EU, UN and Russia should not take part, too many axes to grind.  Who can be trusted to carry out such an investigation is a difficult question, perhaps India, Brazil or some other law-based, non-aligned country.

It's a disgrace that the Western media is so far attempting to bury all of this, perhaps they are waiting for the CIA to concoct a plausible denial story.

In the meantime I apologize for jumping to the conclusion that the Ukranian police were involved, albeit under extreme provocation.


Jac o' the North, said...

A man goes to a strange city with a bigger population than his whole country, a city in a state of chaos, and there he speaks with a doctor, who tells him that those who were killed - police and protestors - were all killed by the same people.

Who was this doctor? Did the visiting dignatory knew her? Is she an expert on ballistics or bullet wounds? Does she have an agenda? Is there any independent verification for what she is alleged to have alleged?

All we have here is an intercepted telephone conversation in which someone repeats a bit of tittle-tattle he picked up in a flying visit to Kiev.

I can understand the Russians making hay with it, but equally, I can understand others ignoring it. Because the kindest thing one can say is that this is anecdotal. Nothing more.

radnorian said...

Jac - the doctor was Olga Bogomolets who organised the field hospital on Maidan. She was announced as Health Minister by the new regime but turned the job down.

It's now reported - a story originating in the Telegraph - that she is backtracking on her comments to the Estonian Foreign Minister. Personally I believe the Estonian minister's account of their conversation. Given the security situation I wouldn't like to go on record with such a controversial opinion either.

It's interesting that so many in Wales are standing shoulder to shoulder with Hague and Kerry on this dangerous confrontation. I doubt they would find it so difficult to believe US involvement in Venezuela for example.

I guess this is because they see Ukraine and the Tatars as small nations standing up to the Russian bully. I usually take a similar view of such situations, but not in this case. I'll try to keep an open mind though.

Jac o' the North, said...

I don't doubt the Estonian minister's account of their conversation; what I question is the doctor's knowledge in various disciplines and fields that allows her to state so categorically that those killed, on both sides, were killed by the same weapons.

I'm certainly not standing shoulder to shoulder with Hague and Kerry (God forbid!), nor have I fallen into the trap of unthinkingly supporting the perceived underdog. I'm still evaluating developments.

Further, remember that in the Balkan wars I saw through the propaganda against the Serbs and eventually, perhaps grudgingly, came out in support of the Serbs. Or at least, I rejected the bullshit that made heroes out of Croat fascists and Kosovo Albanian gangsters.

All exposed perfectly at the end. Terrified of having to face the Jugoslavian army, chetniks and assorted paramiltary groups on the ground the Allies decided to bomb the Serbs out of Kosovo.

General Wesley Clark (future presidential candidate) assured us that the Serbs were defeated and demoralised; their tanks and transport destroyed - why! the survivors would probably have to walk home.

Then the Serbs pulled out . . . in trucks, sitting on tanks and artillery pieces, laughing and singing, giving their three-fingered salute to the clearly cowed Albanians watching. That was no defeated army.

We had been lied to. As we had been throughout the Balkan conflict. Which is why, when it comes to the Ukraine, I still have an open mind.

Anonymous said...

Whilst the mainstream media reporting has undoubtedly been very one-sided, you seem convinced that the whole revolution was some CIA scripted plot. I suspect you give them far too much credit. On the other hand, I think it's clear that the re-absorbtion of Crimea into the Russia represents the perfect implementation of a well thought-out, Kremlin concocted plan. One which I have no doubt long pre-dates the recent revolution. Who knows, perhaps the snipers in Kiev were Russian? Or hired by the former gangster who is now passing himself off as the Crimean Prime Minister? The events in Kiev certainly provided a very convenient pretext. If I were Crimean Tatar or ethnic Ukrainian, I'd start looking for a new home.

radnorian said...

Well as they say the Russians play chess and the Americans play poker. Although I would point out that the CIA have an excellent record of creating chaos out of order.

It was fairly predictable that the "it was putin wot done it" meme would be raised. The Estonian Foreign Minister says that the current regime in Kiev are refusing to investigate. Perhaps the Met could be invited over to take a look - on second thoughts maybe not the Met.

I wonder if the interests of the Crimean Tatars might be better served by facing the realities of demographics. Certainly we know that all those outsiders who encourage them into a hopeless fight will leave them in the lurch soon enough.

Meanwhile the regime in Kiev takes partcipatory democracy to new heights - passing a law to release two murderers without reference to the courts when the parliamentary chamber was stormed by soccer ultras. This was witnessed by James Mates of ITV.

Anonymous said...

Radnorian - I not sure why you use the term 'meme' to describe someone else's view. My views are my own. They are not learnt or copied from others any more than your view has been copied from the large number of 'it was the CIA/EU/Martians wot done it' theorists you can find all over the internet.

I think you are being more than a little naive in relation to view in what the reaction of the Crimean Tartars should be. You seem to think that if you smile at your neighbours, they'll always smile back. Smile the wrong way at some of the new Crimean leadership and you'll probably find yourself on the wrong end of a gun muzzle. Not that I'm advocating armed revolt mind - that would probably result in annihilation.

I do wonder though, how you would respond if some blogger told you to accept the demographic reality that Radnorshire is part of England (I don't think it would be hard to make that argument) and it's time to stop clinging to your foolish belief that it was ever anything else (perhaps a but harder to justify, but I'm sure there are plenty who could be persuaded). I think I know what the answer would be.

radnorian said...

Old codgers in Wales, such as myself, grew up at a time when the language rights of the Welsh in Wales were far LESS than the language rights of minorities within the Soviet Union. Perhaps that gives me a biased view of the likely position of the Crimean Tatars in the Russian Federation.

As I understand it Tatar is an official language in Tatarstan. If Crimea does become part of the Russian Fed why should they have less rights than any of the other national minorities? After all this isn't France.

I don't know enough to debate your opinions about Crimean gangsters. Certainly the new Kiev regime contains oligarchs and many representatives of the Svoboda party - an out and out fascist party. The neo-Nazi's have also not been disarmed and remain a major power on the streets. None of the supporters of the new regime ever mention any of this. They pretend everything is just fine and ignore the unpleasant aspects.

Let's remember that almost the first act of the new regime was to ban the language rights of national minorities, not just Russian but Greek, Hungarian and Rumanian as well.

You make a fair point about Radnorshire. Although in reality it would be harder than you might think to make that demographic argument.

There is a major difference though in that Radnorshire is contiguous with the rest of Wales. And obviously Radnorshire was not transferred to Wales as recently as 1954.

Should the Cherokee or Creek nations have a veto over and above the wishes of the majority populations who now inhabit their traditional lands? The Crimean Tatars have been a minority there for more than a 100 years, even before Stalin and the Bolsheviks.

Since you rule out arming the Crimean Tatars - clearly you're not Sion Jobbins - then what alternative remains? To live in peace with their neighbours, to campaign for the same language rights as is usually accorded national minorities within the Russian Federation.

Would they fair much better in Ukraine? There are strong elements there who want to create a wholly Ukranian speaking state, indeed a Western-Ukranian speaking state. These people might support Tatar as a short-term tactic but longer-term they want one language, one people, one state

Anonymous said...

The 'Tatar is an official language in Tatarstan' line is a bit of red herring. Tatarstan is a self governing entity with a Tatar majority, albeit a small one. Tatars, to a significant extent, call the shots.

By contrast,Crimean Tatar - which, despite the name, is only very distantly related to Tatar as spoken in Tatarstan - is a minority language in what has become an ultra Russian nationalist dominated Crimea. The extent of minority language rights in Russia - and before that, in the Soviet Union - depend on which language you are talking about and which part of Russia. Some language groups have been treated abysmally.

You are right to point to the ultra-right Ukrainian elements in Kiev. But I do not understand why you choose to ignore the ultra-right Russian elements elsewhere. You can't cancel out unbalanced media reporting by adopting a polar opposite, but equally unbalanced view.

And no, I am definitely not Sion Jobbins!

radnorian said...

I wasn't suggesting that Crimean Tatar was the same language as that spoken in Tatarstan. I was giving an example of how a minority language could enjoy linguistc rights within the Russian Federation.

You make a good point by saying that the Crimean Tatars are a minority in the autonomous republic. It is clear they have also suffered from Russian chauvinism in recent years - for example only a minority of their children being educated in schools where the language of instruction is Tatar.

We also seem to agree that the Kiev government contains ultra-right elements and that much of the western media output has been biased.

I expect we will continue disagree about Western culpability in creating this dangerous situation. Perhaps we could agree that Russian and other minorities within Ukraine also have rights?

Anonymous said...

'Perhaps we could agree that Russian and other minorities within Ukraine also have rights?'

Yes, of course.

Fferllys said...

The Estonian diplomat has clarified his comments and has pointed out that he was discussing what Olga Bogomolets shared with him - see:

What is not known for certain is:
- whether the claim is correct (that the same snipers killed people from both sides).
- which side (if any) the snipers were working for.

Fog of war continues...

radnorian said...

Indeed and no-one seems very interested in finding out the facts.