inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #76 of 133: Sean Kay (seankay11) Mon 14 Apr 14 05:32
    
On the Ukrainian military mobilization - either they will go in and
try and remove the occupyers - or they are rather using this to signal
deterrence capacity should the Russians themselves make a move into
these cities - the later would make good sense, as there is a risk of
force feeding into Putin's narrative...

On the capital flight, I don't know about those rules, i.e. state
controls on access to accounts and such - but many of those oligharchs
already had a lot of their money oversees, and it might depend on what
was being counted and how.  As to their potential support - Putin has
certainly handed out a lot of crony goodies to wealthy allies - up and
down the system - but at the end of the day, in the long-haul it is
them who stand the most to lose, and do - I think - serve as an
internal constraint on how far Putin can or will push this.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #77 of 133: Scott Mauvais (smauvais) Mon 14 Apr 14 10:31
    
Regardless of regulations, there are always ways of getting money out. 
Look at all the creative ways of minimizing corp taxes.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #78 of 133: descend into a fractal hell of meta-truthiness (jmcarlin) Mon 14 Apr 14 10:32
    

True, especially true where corruption is rampant. 
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #79 of 133: Igor Karpov (karpov) Mon 14 Apr 14 11:49
    
So, the accusations made by the Russian government, were true. CIA
director was in Kiev on the day of the "anti-terrorist operation.":
<http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/14/us-ukraine-crisis-obama-idUSBREA3D1D
H20140414>
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #80 of 133: searchlight casting (jstrahl) Mon 14 Apr 14 12:46
    
The Ukrainian government's deadline came and went, more government
offices are being seized in more towns. One gets the impression that
the Ukrainian government may be having a hard time getting its armed
forces to do anything, filled as they are with officers who started out
with the Red Army, i.e. back when the Soviet Union was still in
existence.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #81 of 133: Sean Kay (seankay11) Mon 14 Apr 14 12:58
    
True - both on corruption, capital flight (a lot of the Russian money
was already in safe-havens abroad and little being taxed at home) and
the limits on the Ukrainian army - the same is the case with the police
- many who are pro-Ukrainian but also with Russian sympathies.  Many
also are afraid as to who might in the end actually rule, and so are
staying on the sidelines.  I guess its not really politically correct,
but I wonder if it wouldn't make best sense for the Ukrainian gov't to
just ignore those protestors - move the operations elsewhere, let them
have their buildings - they have very low public support, and in a
vacuum would probably just fade away.  I'm not sure a direct
confrontation helps anything other than, potentially Putin in an odd
way.  
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #82 of 133: those Andropovian bongs (rik) Mon 14 Apr 14 18:41
    
Those are tactics that make sense at this point.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #83 of 133: Angie Coiro (coiro) Mon 14 Apr 14 19:41
    
I don't suppose there's any likelihood of that actually happening,
Sean? The simplicity of it is almost amusing - "Okay, guys, here's your
building. Later!"

Meanwhile - so much for the “spontaneous demonstrations by local
self-defense groups” -

<http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/internet-evidence-contradicts-russ
ian-claims-on-ukraine-western-diplomats-say/>

I wonder if there's any actual benefit to pointing out the obvious.
Did anyone genuinely believe otherwise?
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #84 of 133: searchlight casting (jstrahl) Mon 14 Apr 14 21:12
    
In the meantime, they are taking more buildings and other facilities,
including an airport in the Donetsk region. Reports tonight of
Ukrainian military units moving in that region, including armor. 

And a Russian jet fighter buzzed a US destroyer in the Black Sea about
a dozen times yesterday. To me it doesn't seem like Putin is too
worried about any consequences. Just saying.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #85 of 133: descend into a fractal hell of meta-truthiness (jmcarlin) Mon 14 Apr 14 21:22
    

Something I just read is that Russia has a different economic weapon -
palladium:

Russia has a secret weapon against the West, and it’s not oil, gas or nukes

...
  Russia is the world’s largest producer of the metal, a crucial
  ingredient for catalytic converters in cars, capacitors in electronics,
  dental crowns, jewelry, and much else besides. As the West threatens
  tougher sanctions against Russia for its perceived provocations
  in eastern Ukraine, Russia may try to do equal damage with trade
  restrictions of its own. Limiting palladium exports may be a useful
  weapon—harsher than the travel bans imposed on key Western officials,
  but not as provocative as oil or gas embargoes.

  What gives Russia a strong hand in a potential game of “palladium
  politics” is that miners are on strike in South Africa, which happens to
  be the world’s second-largest palladium producer. Some 80,000 miners
  walked out in January over a pay dispute, and have yet to return
  to work. Between them, Russia and South Africa control more than
  three-quarters of the world’s palladium supply, according to Johnson
  tonnes (25.4 tons), so stocks were already running low.
...

<http://qz.com/198942/russia-has-a-secret-weapon-against-the-west-and-its-not-o
il-gas-or-nukes/>
http://tinyurl.com/m39xhkl
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #86 of 133: searchlight casting (jstrahl) Mon 14 Apr 14 21:34
    
And now this new factor.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-14/blowback-protesters-kiev-demand-resig
nation-ukraine-president

Demonstrators in Kyiv are calling for the government to resign unless
it takes action against the occupations in the east within 24 hours.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #87 of 133: Darrell Jonsson (jonsson) Mon 14 Apr 14 23:59
    

I don't understand why they did not surround the vulnerable buildings
with tanks, or otherwise fortify public buildings earlier.

 
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #88 of 133: Igor Karpov (karpov) Tue 15 Apr 14 00:17
    
The main question's here is _who_ would want to do this in Donetsk.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #89 of 133: Sean Kay (seankay11) Tue 15 Apr 14 06:36
    
All super comments - thanks.  Yes, Angie, that is true - and also
there is clear evidence of professional Russian soldiers intermixed. 
Still - so far - the evidence is that Putin is trying to shape the
outcome of some kind of final settlement on Ukraine's future political
status - and that if he can do this with local forces and some covert
operations, and avoid doing it with an invasion proper, he likely will
do that - I think they are actually very concerned about the effects of
escalating sanctions and know they would come if they used overt
force.  Milosevic, for a year in the Kosovo war used to say "a village
a day, keeps NATO away" - it was pretty offensive but it worked for a
time, when the credibility of the west finally proved too important to
let him continue to get away with it.  In this case that applies to
escalating sanctions that Russia can ill-afford.  Merkel's comment
yesterday that Germany's ties to the western alliance are more
important than its business interests in Russia was an important
signal.

Putin is shrewd, and consequently dangerous, but so far he hasn't done
much that isn't expected or predictable.  The major worry is that slow
moving events get a spark that causes out and out conflict and war -
then it becomes a very dangerous situation - and thus the urgency to
get to a deal that de-escalates it - there will be diplomacy this week,
I continue to see this as posturing heading into that.  Note that
Ukrainian forces have commenced their operations, but only a tiny bit. 
They are playing a smart move so far themselves by signaling presence
but avoiding conflict, as shooting only likely feeds into Putin's game
plan.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #90 of 133: Igor Karpov (karpov) Tue 15 Apr 14 07:59
    
The more I read western sources and statements, made by western
politicians, the more it seems to me that no one there can not
understand or want to understand Mr.Putin, the situation at whole and
its likely consequences.

All the pressure on Russia will lead to very different results than
expected. The main result will be that Russians will lose the remaining
illusions and come to the conclusion that the U.S. (and to a lesser
extent Europe) are their enemy. I have already quoted some anonymous
employee of the Russian defense industry who said: "we thought they
hate us because we are red, but now we know they hate us because we are
Russians".

There's no need for authorities to suppress NGOs anymore - ordinary
citizens will do the job.

Russia (I say Russia, not Putin, because Putin now _is_ the Russia for
the most of population, thanks to the West attempts to indicate
Russia's new place in the world) neither leave the Crimea nor leave the
East of Ukraine alone.

By the way, the idea of &#8203;&#8203;some oligarchs who allegedly
begin pressuring Putin because of measures taken by the West, seems
just ridiculous to me. Ask Khodorkovsky, if you don't believe me.

The European economy will receive a hit from which it can not recover
for a long time.

Russia will probably look for the new allies all around the globe. I
don't know whether it manage to find the good ones but some countries
will be just happy to this new reality.

Ukraine will stay the poorest country in Europe, suffering from
internal conflicts, for decades - at least. And yes, the Eastern
regions will use any possibility to quit - if Russia won't tear them
away right now.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #91 of 133: searchlight casting (jstrahl) Tue 15 Apr 14 09:30
    
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-15/unidentified-fighter-jets-open-fire-k
ramatorsk-airfield-casualties-reported

Reports of jet fighters, and of 11 dead in the Ukrainian operation to
retake Kramatorsk. Hard to get hard news.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #92 of 133: descend into a fractal hell of meta-truthiness (jmcarlin) Tue 15 Apr 14 10:04
    

Good points, <karpov>. Russia's xenophobia and paranoia are being fed
the effects of their own actions. They act in such a way that demands
a response and then use that response to deepen their own fear and hatred.
In math it's called a positive feedback loop.

But I think the West understand Putin very well - he longs for the
old days of the USSR and is trying to take steps to recreate what is
dead and gone along with encouraging and presumably getting support
from oligarchs.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #93 of 133: Igor Karpov (karpov) Tue 15 Apr 14 11:13
    
If so, then it was a deliberate provocation, inciting the coup in
Ukraine. Russia won't tolerate NATO near its borders. I bet they
consider this a matter of life and death. Ukraine is just a chessboard
for USA and Russia. And no matter who win, Ukraine is a loser.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #94 of 133: Jef Poskanzer (jef) Tue 15 Apr 14 13:31
    
Yes. Although some of Ukraine's wounds are self-inflicted.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #95 of 133: Jeffrey G. Strahl (jstrahl) Tue 15 Apr 14 17:43
    
http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/turchynov-anti-terrorist-operation-has
-begun-in-northern-donetsk-343563.html

Four dead in today's fighting, Ukrainian PM claims several hundred
Russian soldiers are in eastern Ukraine.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #96 of 133: Darrell Jonsson (jonsson) Wed 16 Apr 14 08:03
    

"Two oblasts in particular, Luhansk and Donetsk, saw an estimated 50
percent of police personnel switch allegiance to Russian occupying
forces and local pro-Russian separatists that have occupied government
and police buildings."

It sounds like it is just getting to be more of a mess.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #97 of 133: Igor Karpov (karpov) Wed 16 Apr 14 08:21
    
I'd like to see at least one evidence of existence of these mythical
occupying forces and/or diversionists...
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #98 of 133: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Wed 16 Apr 14 09:20
    
Ukraine Powerless to Act as East Slips Under Russian Control

With military assistance from NATO unlikely to be forthcoming and
little faith in its own military or police, Ukraine has no choice but
to watch as its eastern regions gradually cede control to Russia

On Monday afternoon, a line of defecting officers officers from the
Ukrainian police lined up outside their ransacked headquarters in the
town of Gorlovka, in eastern Ukraine, to receive orders from their
puckish new commander. Their station had been seized hours earlier by a
mob of pro-Russian demonstrators, and instead of resisting many of its
officers capitulated or, as they put it, “went over to the side of the
people.” Greeting them outside the building with a military salute,
the apparent leader of the siege, a man in fatigues who identified
himself as Alexander Shulzhenko, stated his rank as lieutenant colonel.
“Of what?” one of the Ukrainian policemen asked him. “Of the Russian
army,” Shulzhenko said.

That brief exchange, which was captured on video and posted to YouTube
within hours, was among the clearest pieces of evidence that Russian
troops have already begun their takeover of the region of Donetsk, much
as they did last month in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. But instead of
sending tanks across the border, Russia seems to have chosen a more
subtle form of invasion – coordinating the mobs of local men who have
been seizing government buildings in a handful of cities and towns and
declaring independence from Kiev.

More:
<http://time.com/61971/ukraine-powerless-to-act-as-east-slips-under-russian-con
trol/>
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #99 of 133: Igor Karpov (karpov) Wed 16 Apr 14 10:44
    
I can't believe the lieutenant colonel of the Russian army would
disclose his affiliation to it. This sounds stupid. Also, why
lieutenant colonel does the job of a lieutenant? Maybe he's an
Ukrainian agent-provocateur but most likely it's just not a very normal
person.
  
inkwell.vue.476 : Sean Kay, The United States Confronts New Challenges in Ukraine and Russia
permalink #100 of 133: Angie Coiro (coiro) Wed 16 Apr 14 12:46
    
That is ... odd, to say the least. 

Today CNN posted this analysis of Ukraine's potential to walk away
from the non-proliferation treaty.

<www.cnn.com/2014/04/16/opinion/hall-ukraine-russia-putin-nuclear/index.html&g
t;

Sean, your thoughts on how likely this is, and how it would change the
picture? 
  

More...



Members: Enter the conference to participate

Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

 
   Join Us
 
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook