Мітки russia

Ukraine: holding its ground

вівторок, 2 червня, 2015

Публікація на EUobserver

There’s a Ukrainian proverb which says “it’s not the one who strikes the blow who’s stronger, but the one who stands his ground after being hit”.
Ukraine, in defiance of Russia’s assault, is holding its ground on pro-EU reforms.

Donbas refugees in Ukraine: starting from scratch (Photo: Christopher Bobyn)
It’s doing so despite the defunct security promises of the Budapest Memorandum guarantors, the UK and the US, who pledged, in 1994, to uphold its territorial integrity in return for nuclear disarmament. It’s doing so despite meagre financial support from the West and the EU’s lack of strategic vision for eastern Europe.

Today, as in February last year, when Russian spetznaz seized the parliament in Crimea, Moscow remains in full control of escalation or de-escalation.

Russian soldiers play hide and seek with the international community. It’s “volunteers” come to Ukraine in tanks, its soldiers become “demobilised” the minute they cross the border.

Report after report confirms Russia’s undeclared war.

But the UN has not designated it as an aggressor. Instead, the UN secretary general went to Moscow’s 9 May military parade, which contained military units involved in anti-Ukraine operations.

Neither has Russia been designated as a “state sponsor of terrorism” despite its attacks on Ukrainian civilians, or in the aftermath of the MH17 shoot-down, which took the lives of nationals not involved in the conflict.

Instead, Western leaders make pretend Russian leader Vladimir Putin is a neutral observer to the “Minsk” ceasefire agreement.

This is what happens when your country – unlike its adversary – has no nuclear arms; no oil and gas; no UN Security Council veto; no massive propaganda machine.

Читати далі »»

Ukraine: The Empire strikes back

вівторок, 4 березня, 2014

Публікація на EUobserver

Two months ago the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, warned his EU colleagues that after the Olympic Games in Sochi are over Russia intends to actively intrude in Ukrainian affairs.

Did he have intelligence about Russia’s plan to invade Ukraine?

The operation of the scale unfolding in Crimea must have taken several weeks to prepare.

But as things quietened down in Ukraine over the past week and the transitional government slowly gained control over the country, few gave credibility to such warnings. A Russian incursion seemed unlikely due to the lack of turmoil in Ukraine which could have given it a pre-text.

There have been very few reports of protests against the new government since Ukraine’s former leader, Viktor Yanukovych, fell from power on 22 February. A small anti-EuroMaidan rally in Kharkiv on 23 February gathered less than 2,000 people.

Most of Ukraine was instead mourning the victims of Yanukovych’s brutal attempt to keep power. Videos of the vanity and decadence of his private mansions, and those of other key figures in his regime, also grabbed people’s attention.

And so, it begins

Читати далі »»