Russia annexes Crimea

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Zontar:

srm79:

BiscuitTrouser:

The USA and the UK are allies.

Are we? Seem to recall that the US were nowhere to be seen during the unpleasant business around the Suez canal. Apart from after we'd basically sorted it all out and they applied huge political pressure on us to pull out. That's why they were politely told to fuck off when they were keen for us to join them in their less than successful jaunt into Indo-China. The Aussies went in our place instead. And where were they during the Falklands? The French were more helpful than they were, and yet we always love to poke fun at, if not outright insult our continental neighbours!

It's always been an arrangement of convenience, weighed heavily in favour of the US, due to our strategic location. We were basically their "unsinkable aircraft carrier" through the bad old days of the Cold War. Now we tag along on their unsavoury overseas trips to lend a bit of credibility to the things. If they went into all these 3rd world countries alone, some might suggest they were wars of conquest, instead of "International Community Interventions" or whatever they dress them up as now.

I think my brain was physically harmed by reading that comment. There's so much wrong with it I don't even know where to start and I don't want to bother.

Which part of it is wrong then? I didn't even start with the decidedly one-way exchange of intelligence and information, the fact we were pumped for every penny and burdened with debts that took 60 years to pay off in exchange for second rate tanks, ships and aircraft during the first 2 years of World War 2, or the fact that we've gone along for the last decade with the "War on Terror" despite the US showing no interest whatsoever when their "ally" was being targeted by terrorist for several decades beforehand.

It's always been a marriage of convenience. Rather than say "so full of wrong", tell me why, exactly? The two major wars fought by the UK between 1955 and the present were Suez (about as moral and legal as Gulf War 2, but we went along with that one), and the Falklands - an invasion of our sovereign territory by a hostile force. The US did fuck all in '82 because it might have upset their southern neighbours. But when the US goes to war, we're expected to pitch in. It's not, and never has been, an equal "alliance".

srm79:

Which part of it is wrong then? I didn't even start with the decidedly one-way exchange of intelligence and information, the fact we were pumped for every penny and burdened with debts that took 60 years to pay off in exchange for second rate tanks, ships and aircraft during the first 2 years of World War 2, or the fact that we've gone along for the last decade with the "War on Terror" despite the US showing no interest whatsoever when their "ally" was being targeted by terrorist for several decades beforehand.

It's always been a marriage of convenience. Rather than say "so full of wrong", tell me why, exactly? The two major wars fought by the UK between 1955 and the present were Suez (about as moral and legal as Gulf War 2, but we went along with that one), and the Falklands - an invasion of our sovereign territory by a hostile force. The US did fuck all in '82 because it might have upset their southern neighbours. But when the US goes to war, we're expected to pitch in. It's not, and never has been, an equal "alliance".

Here's the thing, the Suez was an imperialistic war to keep territory, which is why the US not taking part shocks no one. Given how it was years after the decolonization agreement was made, one has to wonder why the UK and France even bothered. The only help they really got was a country that came in to you two retreat in defeat in a means which would at least try to keep face, and THAT country was an actual ally, and not just one of convenience.

For the war on terror vs the old terrorists in Europe, you really think it's a good idea to have a country from another continent deal with extremist separatists? The idea of the UK even wanting US assistance during the troubles is laughable at best, same goes for the Basque in Spain and communists in West Germany. Those are internal problems, you don't get foreign allies to help you with them.

As for the deals during ww2, I'm not sure if you listened to it during history class, but the US was neutral during that period due to the fact that there was a large isolationist movement in the country. The supplies you mention at all where ones that where lucky to be sold at all. Hell, the US wasn't even the only one selling weapons to the UK, it was just the largest supplier.

srm79:

Which part of it is wrong then? I didn't even start with the decidedly one-way exchange of intelligence and information, the fact we were pumped for every penny and burdened with debts that took 60 years to pay off in exchange for second rate tanks, ships and aircraft during the first 2 years of World War 2, or the fact that we've gone along for the last decade with the "War on Terror" despite the US showing no interest whatsoever when their "ally" was being targeted by terrorist for several decades beforehand.

It's always been a marriage of convenience. Rather than say "so full of wrong", tell me why, exactly? The two major wars fought by the UK between 1955 and the present were Suez (about as moral and legal as Gulf War 2, but we went along with that one), and the Falklands - an invasion of our sovereign territory by a hostile force. The US did fuck all in '82 because it might have upset their southern neighbors. But when the US goes to war, we're expected to pitch in. It's not, and never has been, an equal "alliance".

As a Canadian I feel like a natural mediator in this situation, so I'll have a crack at it:

- WW2: Beggars can't be choosers, it was either the "second rate" equipment or nothing at all. There was nothing second rate about American ships, or even planes after 1942, and the tanks were the same they used themselves, not to mention it's not like the British were making anything good themselves. I also don't see anything wrong with compensation, as I find it hard to believe you know the U.K. wouldn't have done the same were the roles reversed. Oh, and hey, wasn't there some country GB was supposed to be looking out for? Geckoshnovakia or something?

- Falklands/Iraq: One war lasted a month and cost a 1 000 casualties for the U.K. (regrettable). The other lasted almost a decade and saw the deaths of tens of thousands. Seems to me like one was bigger than the other.

Those are the mistakes. Anyway, it's hardly like what's going on doesn't affect the U.S. If the EU was going to go to war with Russia I don't think the U.S. is suddenly going to revise it's policy of sticking their noses into literally everything. This isn't 1940's isolationist America we're talking about.

Zontar:

Here's the thing, the Suez was an imperialistic war to keep territory, which is why the US not taking part shocks no one. Given how it was years after the decolonization agreement was made, one has to wonder why the UK and France even bothered. The only help they really got was a country that came in to you two retreat in defeat in a means which would at least try to keep face, and THAT country was an actual ally, and not just one of convenience.

I never said it was some just or noble crusade. I acknowledged the opposite in fact. An imperialistic war to keep territory isn't that different from an imperialistic war to kick out a regime you don't like, and line all your rich friends pockets even further while you're at it. The point is, the US historically only honours alliances when it suits them. If anyone else goes all "19th century colonial", the US throws its arms up in shock. That's not even a bad thing. But to then expect the same people you berate for doing it to help you do it yourself is a bit rich. And the fact is, that the US military could quite probably have smashed Saddam's army in short order alone. Taking some "allies" along was purely a political move, designed to make it look more credible.

Zontar:
For the war on terror vs the old terrorists in Europe, you really think it's a good idea to have a country from another continent deal with extremist separatists? The idea of the UK even wanting US assistance during the troubles is laughable at best, same goes for the Basque in Spain and communists in West Germany. Those are internal problems, you don't get foreign allies to help you with them.

B52's over Belfast wouldn't have solved anything. However, how many British citizens have been turned over to the US, to be imprisoned indefinitely, and without charge, simply because they might have been involved with groups the US regards as "terror organisations"? How about the US seizing the assets and property of those they suspect are involved in financing terrorism? Well, muslim terrorism anyway. Because they did sweet fuck all for decades when British civilians were being blown up by explosives bought with money raised in the US and sent to "the Old Country". Again, not a single fuck is given until someone steps on the Americans toes, and then we're all expected to bend over backwards to accommodate.

Zontar:
As for the deals during ww2, I'm not sure if you listened to it during history class, but the US was neutral during that period due to the fact that there was a large isolationist movement in the country. The supplies you mention at all where ones that where lucky to be sold at all. Hell, the US wasn't even the only one selling weapons to the UK, it was just the largest supplier.

Isolationist and opportunist. As well as the vast sums of money which changed hands, many of your strategic outposts (Ascension Island, Diego Garcia etc) are rented for sweeties on very long term leases which are hugely favourable to the US. Guess who the landlords are? The US became the economic powerhouse it was in the second half of the 20th century by profiteering for as long as it could before the Japanese, and thereafter Hitler, finally forced their entry into the war. Again, I don't argue that nobody else would have done the same thing, but let's not pretend this has ever been an equal partnership.

Clowndoe:

- WW2: Beggars can't be choosers, it was either the "second rate" equipment or nothing at all. There was nothing second rate about American ships, or even planes after 1942, and the tanks were the same they used themselves, not to mention it's not like the British were making anything good themselves. I also don't see anything wrong with compensation, as I find it hard to believe you know the U.K. wouldn't have done the same were the roles reversed. Oh, and hey, wasn't there some country GB was supposed to be looking out for? Geckoshnovakia or something?

Most of it was sent straight to the desert to fight the third rate italian army in the early days. As for British not "making anything good", the Matilda and Crusader tanks were generally regarded by both their crews and those they fought to be superior to the M3 and M5 tanks we got from the US. We didn't have the industrial capacity to turn them out in the numbers needed though. In later years, we used US tanks to beef up the numbers, but the Cromwell, Churchill and Firefly (admittedly a heavily modified Sherman) were the only tanks considered to be capable of going toe to toe with the German "Big Cats" on anything approaching even terms. The Sherman units on the other hand, were given one simple piece of advice when confronting Panthers and Tigers - "If you don't outnumber them 5 to 1, don't even try it.". The Sherman also got the nickname of "The Ronson" from allied crews, after the brand of cigarette lighter as it had a habit of going up in flames when hit. The Germans, rather more darkly, called it the "Tommy Cooker" (British soldiers were known to the Germans as "Tommies"). Turned out a petrol engine in a tank was a pretty crap idea, hence everyone else used diesel.

Then there was the "not very good" Hurricane, the now-legendary Spitfire, the Halifax, the Lancaster (which was dropping 10 ton bombs 60 years before the US were chucking MOABs out the back of C-130's), the Mosquito, the Tempest, the Meteor...the list goes on. Shored up with large numbers of American P-51's...that had Rolls Royce Merlin engines (as did the US ones, because the original Allison engine was, well, shit). And we knew a thing or two about building ships too.

As for Czechoslovakia? Yeah, that was a monumental fuck up by our government. So was sitting by while the Wehrmacht marched into the Rhineland.

Clowndoe:
- Falklands/Iraq: One war lasted a month and cost a 1 000 casualties for the U.K. (regrettable). The other lasted almost a decade and saw the deaths of tens of thousands. Seems to me like one was bigger than the other.

One was an invasion of the sovereign territory of an "ally", the other was a war of conquest. The size of the conflict is irrelevant in the context of this discussion though. The point is that the US sat back and let an "ally" repel a hostile occupation force alone, practically on it's doorstep to boot. 20 years later, we were expected to go along as part of the occupation force when it suited the US's foreign policy requirements.

Clowndoe:
Those are the mistakes. Anyway, it's hardly like what's going on doesn't affect the U.S. If the EU was going to go to war with Russia I don't think the U.S. is suddenly going to revise it's policy of sticking their noses into literally everything. This isn't 1940's isolationist America we're talking about.

It won't come to that, I suspect. Nobody wants to see nuclear armed powers at war with each other, least of all the nuclear powers themselves. They both know they barely have enough war stocks to last a month in a full out conventional mechanised war, and what happens when one side runs out of conventional weapons doesn't bear thinking about. Western politicians exist only to serve themselves these days. Cameron, Obama, Merkel, Hollande - not a single statesman/stateswoman among them. They won't impose economic sanctions because those will hurt their rich pals as much as they will hurt the Russians, and the Russians can always shut off the gas to central Europe. Putin is president for life, effectively, and knows that he can ride out whatever pithy sanctions are imposed. In a few years, a new bunch of leaders will be elected in the west, who will all be keen to be seen as peacemakers and will turn to Moscow with the olive branches in hand.

srm79:

Snip

You are aware the US offered the assistance of one of its carrier groups, or something along those lines? The UK turned the offer of help down.

Helmholtz Watson:

Nielas:

Russia lost the fight for control of Ukraine so they decided to grab the territory they cared about and did not wait for the Crimean people to decide to leave on their own.

(sarcasm)Right, because it couldn't possibly be that there are Russians in Crimea that want to be part of Russia.

Haven't you heard? the Russians are all big red fire breathing demons with no souls that only live to crush and oppress and kill! Now they are even crushing and oppressing ethnic Russians in Crimea!

*the above was sarcasm as well

I find it odd that few people consider the fact that the Russian invasion happened without any blood shed, usually when people are confronted with enemies they at the very least throw stones, protest or riot and fight back. You know like they do against the American military when they try to "liberate" other nations.

xDarc:

And besides, we just got done watching this very thing play out in Eypt. First they protest to get rid of the government, then the US puppet government comes in, then they protest because the puppet government sucks, then the military takes over. All in less than 2 years. This is what it looks like when an entire country gets played for suckers.

That does not make any sense, Mubarak was the US puppet, then anti-western Mursi was elected from a party called the muslim brotherhood, which deeply bothered the Americans. Next thing you know he was ousted illegally and now pro-west El Sisi is in charge. If anything Mursi's overthrow seems more likely to have happened with US aid. Remember how hesitant Hilary was to denounce Mubarak their old ally, and how everyone especially Israel was freaking out when the muslim brotherhood was elected and finally how no one seems to care that El Sisi is in power.

I understand your mistrust, it would not be the first time that the US has planted dictators to control their interests.

I think euromaidan caught everyone by surprise, I am however greatly dismayed at how the west and the US in particular are fawning over the current Ukrainian government, not even batting an eye as to the potential risk of having Nazis inside a government cabinet.

I still don't like what Putin has done, however there would have been a civil war without some kind of deterrent.
We forget that euromaidan was not about anti Russian sentiment, it was about anti corruption. Many Russians from the east participated in the protests some even died. How were they rewarded? Their language was banned as a minority language, there is not a single ethnic Russian in government, instead they have Svobodva a racist right extremeist party, new oligarchs installed as governors in the east, so no different than the corrupt leader they protested against in the first place.

Knight Templar:

srm79:

Snip

You are aware the US offered the assistance of one of its carrier groups, or something along those lines? The UK turned the offer of help down.

Nope, I'm not aware of that offer. Nor is it recorded anywhere in the history of the conflict. What was later claimed by US officials was that Reagan had secretly decided to offer the use of a CVG in the event that the Royal Navy lost one of their own carriers in action.

The Royal Navy lost no carrier though, so this never came to fruition.

The official US policy was one of neutrality over who had sovereignty over the islands, and to formally oppose a military resolution to the crisis. The then US Secretary of State Alexander Haig was in favour of handing over the islands to Buenos Aries with utter disregard to the Islanders themselves (whose self-determination he didn't consider relevant).

The only "assistance" we got was the use of Wideawake AFB on Ascension Island, mainly on account of the fact that the UK are the landlords. Some aircraft fuel was given to the RAF, and the local commander handed over stocks of AIM-9L air-to-air missiles as our own stocks ran low. There were some arse kickings headed off in the Pentagon around the time when photographs appeared in the British press of Sea Harriers equipped with the -9L. Nobody except the USAF and Israelis was supposed to have the brand new -L model at that time.

All of this is now in the public domain, certainly as far as UK records go. Not sure how long the US government classifies this sort of stuff for.

Here's the problem:

Crimea has never really been it's own 'state' so much as a largely autonomous part of someone else culture and state.

From wikipedia:

"The Cimmerians, Bulgars, Greeks, Scythians, Goths, Huns, Khazars, the state of Kievan Rus', Byzantine Greeks, Kipchaks, Ottoman Turks, Golden Horde Tatars and the Mongols each controlled Crimea in its earlier history. In the 13th century, it was partly controlled by the Venetians and by the Genoese; they were followed by the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire in the 15th to 18th centuries, the Russian Empire in the 18th to 20th centuries, Germany during World War II and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and later the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Soviet Union during the rest of the 20th century until Crimea became part of independent Ukraine with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991."

So historically speaking, at least for the last 200 years or so, Crimea has been nominally under the control of the Russians, whether it was the old empire, or the USSR. They came under the banner of the Ukrainian SSR when that institution was formed (1922), but that was also heavily influenced by the Russians. So is it really surprising that the current generation may feel they are more aligned with Russia then they do with the former USSR satelite? I don't think so.

But it's probably not as cut and dried as all that as either. The problem is I can't tell what the majority want because of the Russian intervention. That being said, I think it's perfectly reasonable for them to feel more Russian-oriented then Ukraine oriented, and as a people the Crimean have no real identity for the past 200 years that hasn't been Russian.

I also feel there IS legality in secession of a state from an entity it no longer feels represents its interest or its peoples interest, but i'm not sure if that's whats going on here.

Right, because it couldn't possibly be that there are Russians in Crimea that want to be part of Russia.

Having Russian as your first language does not automatically turns you into an enthusiastic supporter of Putins wet-dream of resurrecting the Soviet Empire. As a matter of fact only about a fourth of the Crimean population -less than 40% of the russian speakers- wanted Crimea to be annexed by Russia.
http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2013%20October%207%20Survey%20of%20Crimean%20Public%20Opinion,%20May%2016-30,%202013.pdf

The russian troops present in Crimea are here first and foremost to intimidate the locals, to make sure that once the obviously rigged referendum gives 90% of the vote in favor of turning Crimea into Muscow's eighty-third province, Crimeans are too afraid of being gunned down to fill the streets.

srm79:
The two major wars fought by the UK between 1955 and the present were Suez (about as moral and legal as Gulf War 2, but we went along with that one), and the Falklands - an invasion of our sovereign territory by a hostile force. The US did fuck all in '82 because it might have upset their southern neighbours.

There was actually some behind the scenes aid from the US during the Falklands conflict, the US passed on useful, up to date and actionable intelligence from satellites and SIGINT. They also helped with some slightly dodgy and treaty breaking weapons transfers.

The NATO treaty has conditions where the nations involved have supplies of NATO ordinance and equipment and their own national stockpiles of materiel, the NATO materiel is only for use in the joint NATO operations. Some of the equipment Britain was using was slightly older and had been supplanted by newer equipment because defence cuts meant they couldn't update the national stocks, the problem was the Task Force couldn't use the NATO stockpiles they carried even though they where newer and more effective.

Britain used them anyway, the US sneakily helped resupply the missing NATO ordinance and never told the other NATO members. The US didn't help us with guns and ships but they intelligence and weapons supplies definitely helped the war effort, there was also the fact that we didn't really need any direct military aid.

Nixou:

Having Russian as your first language does not automatically turns you into an enthusiastic supporter of Putins wet-dream of resurrecting the Soviet Empire.

It's funny how you talk about one of the most cunning and ruthless men on the planet so dismissively as if he was a teenage boy who hasn't a clue what he wants in life.

As a matter of fact only about a fourth of the Crimean population -less than 40% of the russian speakers- wanted Crimea to be annexed by Russia.
http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2013%20October%207%20Survey%20of%20Crimean%20Public%20Opinion,%20May%2016-30,%202013.pdf

Things have changed in Ukraine since October...those results are simply obsolete. We'd need some new ones. I mean, there's been a revolution and stuff in case that went unnoticed. That's sure to change opinions.

The russian troops present in Crimea are here first and foremost to intimidate the locals, to make sure that once the obviously rigged referendum gives 90% of the vote in favor of turning Crimea into Muscow's eighty-third province, Crimeans are too afraid of being gunned down to fill the streets.

Mhmm, and your source for this is...? Or are you saying "obviously rigged" just because Russians are cartoon supervillans?

It's funny how you talk about one of the most cunning and ruthless men on the planet so dismissively as if he was a teenage boy who hasn't a clue what he wants in life.

Putin is not a cunning man: he's an immature bully treated by a political genius by sycophantic pundits who not-so-secretly fetichize authoritarian regimes and their readership.
Of course, having nukes, or oil, or in Russia's case both, can allow immature bullies (or inbred parasitic dynasties) to preserve their incompetent, nepotistic regimes for a while, but a violent simpleton with a large heritage, a gun and a court of bootlickers who call him a genius is still a violent simpleton.

Mhmm, and your source for this is...?

Families leaving the peninsula after being threatened by "self-defense" pro-russia militias: Check
UN emissary forced to leave the region by the very same "self-defense" pro-russia militias: Check
Journalists abducted, their equipment destroyed: Check
International observers being denied entry, Russian independent news networks censored: Check

With that much intimidation against locals, foreign observers and journalists, it's a foregone conclusion that the referendum is going to be even more rigged than Russia's last presidential election

Vegosiux:

Nixou:

Having Russian as your first language does not automatically turns you into an enthusiastic supporter of Putins wet-dream of resurrecting the Soviet Empire.

It's funny how you talk about one of the most cunning and ruthless men on the planet so dismissively as if he was a teenage boy who hasn't a clue what he wants in life.

As a matter of fact only about a fourth of the Crimean population -less than 40% of the russian speakers- wanted Crimea to be annexed by Russia.
http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2013%20October%207%20Survey%20of%20Crimean%20Public%20Opinion,%20May%2016-30,%202013.pdf

Things have changed in Ukraine since October...those results are simply obsolete. We'd need some new ones. I mean, there's been a revolution and stuff in case that went unnoticed. That's sure to change opinions.

The russian troops present in Crimea are here first and foremost to intimidate the locals, to make sure that once the obviously rigged referendum gives 90% of the vote in favor of turning Crimea into Muscow's eighty-third province, Crimeans are too afraid of being gunned down to fill the streets.

Mhmm, and your source for this is...? Or are you saying "obviously rigged" just because Russians are cartoon supervillans?

Nixou forgot to mention the Russians firing at Ukranian patrols trying to aid western journalists get inside Crimea that they might actually get to see for themselves if the votes were gonna be rigged. But as said, the Russians aren't letting news that's not been paid for by Putin (See RT) in to report without first being shot at.

The fact that the Russian Military are trying to restrict other than their own propaganda machine from actually reporting the news in Crimea seem rather suspicious.

There is a video on various newssites, yet to see one on youtube. We do have this though-

Crimean authorities are allowing illegal and unidentified armed units to run the show in the peninsula, and to commit crimes that go uninvestigated and unpunished, as if there is a legal vacuum. Far from it. The local authorities have clear legal obligations to provide protection and security to those in their jurisdiction.

Reuters 2014 - deputy Europe and Central Asia director march 12.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/05/us-ukraine-crisis-lavrov-spain-idUSBREA240NF20140305

Russia ofcourse states that they cannot order the -Self Defense Units that totally aren't Russian soldiers- back to base as they aren't Russian soldiers (Even though many of those asked openly admit that they are)

The whole -Self Defense- thing was thrown out the window when they started killing protestors, harrasing journalists, and shooting at Ukraine Military Patrols without a single threat of violence being present from anyone opposing them.

They turn a blind eye to people imported from outside Crimea (And paid) to cause trouble injure and kill anti-Russian protestors. Then use the injured and killed Anti-Russian protestors as an excuse to send more troops into Crimea. It's no wonder people against it are becoming afraid of going on to the streets and protest, when they have no protection from the authorities.

Sanctions are the least the West can do to stop Putins power hunger. And it's unlikely to work.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10699751/Ukraine-crisis-how-Kiev-protests-triggered-a-new-Cold-War.html

The only ones allowed in, are the invited 30 observers from the U.N (Which I'll be quick to remind have also been harrased and shot at by these allegedly uncontrollable volunteer units)

Hopefully we will know more when their reports come in.

Human Rights W article - http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/14/crimea-attacks-disappearances-illegal-forces

Source: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/724032

Moscow to demand return of USD 20 billion debt if Kiev revives 'zero debt' debate
Russia March 17, 22:09 UTC+4

"After that we would be prepared to consider the possibility of conducting talks with Ukraine on other aspects of the 'zero option'," the Foreign Ministry said.

MOSCOW, March 17, /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow will reserve the right to demand the immediate payment by Kiev of the 20 billion U.S. dollar Soviet debt if Ukraine decides to bring back the "zero option" issue, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, March 17.
"After that we would be prepared to consider the possibility of conducting talks with Ukraine on other aspects of the 'zero option'," it said.
Russia was "surprised by the so-called instructions" issued by parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk to acting Foreign Minister Andrei Deshchitsa with regard to the allegedly unsettled issue of Soviet foreign debts and assets, the ministry said.
"The Russian Foreign Ministry's note to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry of March 31, 2005 said that under the agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the settlement of the matters of legal succession with regard to the foreign state debt and assets of the former Soviet Union of December 9, 1994 (the so-called 'zero option' agreement), Ukraine pledged to transfer and the Russian Federation pledged to assume obligations to pay Ukraine's share in the foreign state debt of the former Soviet Union as of December 1, 1994. At that time, this share was 6.8 billion U.S. dollars. Now it is coming close to 20 billion U.S. dollars," the ministry said.

Now I don't know how reliable this source is so I'll let it speak for itself.

Halyah:
Source: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/724032

Moscow to demand return of USD 20 billion debt if Kiev revives 'zero debt' debate
Russia March 17, 22:09 UTC+4

"After that we would be prepared to consider the possibility of conducting talks with Ukraine on other aspects of the 'zero option'," the Foreign Ministry said.

MOSCOW, March 17, /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow will reserve the right to demand the immediate payment by Kiev of the 20 billion U.S. dollar Soviet debt if Ukraine decides to bring back the "zero option" issue, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, March 17.
"After that we would be prepared to consider the possibility of conducting talks with Ukraine on other aspects of the 'zero option'," it said.
Russia was "surprised by the so-called instructions" issued by parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk to acting Foreign Minister Andrei Deshchitsa with regard to the allegedly unsettled issue of Soviet foreign debts and assets, the ministry said.
"The Russian Foreign Ministry's note to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry of March 31, 2005 said that under the agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the settlement of the matters of legal succession with regard to the foreign state debt and assets of the former Soviet Union of December 9, 1994 (the so-called 'zero option' agreement), Ukraine pledged to transfer and the Russian Federation pledged to assume obligations to pay Ukraine's share in the foreign state debt of the former Soviet Union as of December 1, 1994. At that time, this share was 6.8 billion U.S. dollars. Now it is coming close to 20 billion U.S. dollars," the ministry said.

Now I don't know how reliable this source is so I'll let it speak for itself.

Is this Russia saying "Alright, how about you give us the money you agreed to give us so that we can pay the debt we agreed to pay on your behalf?"

I'm not too well versed in how these treaties work (or just how this particular agreement was written)...but it sure looks a bit like a "Kick them while they're down, then wave a paper saying that we were entitled to that kick whenever we felt like it" moment.

"The Ukraine Crisis - What You're Not Being Told" (text and video)

The European and American public are being systematically lied to about the Ukraine crisis.

http://scgnews.com/the-ukraine-crisis-what-youre-not-being-told

Ralfy:
"The Ukraine Crisis - What You're Not Being Told" (text and video)

The European and American public are being systematically lied to about the Ukraine crisis.

http://scgnews.com/the-ukraine-crisis-what-youre-not-being-told

See, the problem here is...they have an agenda too. That's how it works.

Everyone has an agenda, the US, the Russians, the Crimeans, the Ukrainians, and all the news organizations have an agenda. You cannot point at one news agency and say 'They are telling the truth!" because they aren't. They have an agenda or narrative they are going to push.

We know we're being lied to. That's the secret. The key is to gather all the lies you can and sieve the truth out of them.

And at the end of the day, I'm not there. None of us are there, statistically speaking. We don't know unless we know first hand.

Ralfy:
"The Ukraine Crisis - What You're Not Being Told" (text and video)

The European and American public are being systematically lied to about the Ukraine crisis.

http://scgnews.com/the-ukraine-crisis-what-youre-not-being-told

SCG News is not remotely a credible source. Their news feeds are filled with detailed explanations about how the American government is attacking the peace-loving nation of Syria, Barack Obama should be impeached, and Iran is a good guy backed into a corner by those mean Americans and Israelis.

I would not trust their summary of the Ukranian situation, personally speaking.

I would not trust their summary of the Ukranian situation, personally speaking.

And neither does Ralfy: chances are, he's playing the same game than those who'll repeat every Fox News fake outrage without believing one word from it.

So appearantly some ukrainian soldiers in crimea has gotten killed and they've all been given the go ahead to fire if they need to defend themselves. Wonder where this will lead to.

Halyah:
So appearantly some ukrainian soldiers in crimea has gotten killed and they've all been given the go ahead to fire if they need to defend themselves. Wonder where this will lead to.

Well, given that it's a de facto declaration of war by Russia, this won't end well. In the short term it's impossible to tell which way this will go, but in the long term Russia has shot themselves in the foot by guaranteeing Ukraine getting fast-tracked into NATO. Would have taken at least a decade without this. Now? I could be in place by years end.

Zontar:

Well, given that it's a de facto declaration of war by Russia, this won't end well. In the short term it's impossible to tell which way this will go, but in the long term Russia has shot themselves in the foot by guaranteeing Ukraine getting fast-tracked into NATO. Would have taken at least a decade without this. Now? I could be in place by years end.

Interesting. Ukrainian and Russian troops had a truce in effect until Friday. If one side broke that, it's gonna get ugly. Of course we all know it's Russia who broke it because Russia is the evil invader (that has less troops in Crimea than their agreement in Ukraine actually allowed them to have, but hey, evil invader).

But, Ukraine in NATO by the end of the year? Not bloody likely. Ukraine simply isn't stable enough, and it's just about bankrupt. And I'm sure most US and European taxpayers wouldn't like the idea of funneling billions of euros into Kiev just to stick it to Russia. Actually, last I heard, the PM noted that NATO membership isn't on the agenda, and actually offered autonomy to other Russian-ethnic regions of the country. Which is quite funny since the first thing he did after assuming power was abolish the Russian language as an official language of Ukraine.

I mean, really, I get it, many want this to end in the worst possible way for Russia (because Russia is evil and bad guys always lose), but realistically? Russia's going to grab Crimea, and for a few years, everyone will be glaring at it very angrily while not even able to settle just what should be done about it. Sure, sanctions, but whoever thinks that's going to make Russia collapse onto itself is delusional. A considerable setback, sure, but not a crippling blow.

I blame the press for writing about this as if the Doomsday Clock suddenly got advanced to 23:59:59 by this situation, and ignorant people with a war fetish hoping this situation escalates into a military conflict.

Vegosiux:

Zontar:

Well, given that it's a de facto declaration of war by Russia, this won't end well. In the short term it's impossible to tell which way this will go, but in the long term Russia has shot themselves in the foot by guaranteeing Ukraine getting fast-tracked into NATO. Would have taken at least a decade without this. Now? I could be in place by years end.

Interesting. Ukrainian and Russian troops had a truce in effect until Friday. If one side broke that, it's gonna get ugly. Of course we all know it's Russia who broke it because Russia is the evil invader (that has less troops in Crimea than their agreement in Ukraine actually allowed them to have, but hey, evil invader).

But, Ukraine in NATO by the end of the year? Not bloody likely. Ukraine simply isn't stable enough, and it's just about bankrupt. And I'm sure most US and European taxpayers wouldn't like the idea of funneling billions of euros into Kiev just to stick it to Russia. Actually, last I heard, the PM noted that NATO membership isn't on the agenda, and actually offered autonomy to other Russian-ethnic regions of the country. Which is quite funny since the first thing he did after assuming power was abolish the Russian language as an official language of Ukraine.

I mean, really, I get it, many want this to end in the worst possible way for Russia (because Russia is evil and bad guys always lose), but realistically? Russia's going to grab Crimea, and for a few years, everyone will be glaring at it very angrily while not even able to settle just what should be done about it. Sure, sanctions, but whoever thinks that's going to make Russia collapse onto itself is delusional. A considerable setback, sure, but not a crippling blow.

I blame the press for writing about this as if the Doomsday Clock suddenly got advanced to 23:59:59 by this situation, and ignorant people with a war fetish hoping this situation escalates into a military conflict.

Well I didn't say it WOULD happen, only that it's a possibility (and if they ever do want it, it would almost certainly be fast tracked due to invasion being a real threat).

But how would sanctions not cripple Russia? Even without them their economy is in heavy recession. Again. And given how 50% of their federal budget and 70% of their economy is directly or indirectly dependent on exports to the EU, well, it might not cause a collapse, but it sure would cause a depression.

And we can't let them get away with this, we let them get away with this we give them a blank check to do it again, and again, and again. You really think that madman will stop if we don't crush the fingers he's trying to put in other's pots? Dictators don't work like that, you can't appease them. Weather it be economic sanctions or military action, something will happen sooner or later no matter which course we chose, and sooner would be better then later.

Vegosiux:

Zontar:

Well, given that it's a de facto declaration of war by Russia, this won't end well. In the short term it's impossible to tell which way this will go, but in the long term Russia has shot themselves in the foot by guaranteeing Ukraine getting fast-tracked into NATO. Would have taken at least a decade without this. Now? I could be in place by years end.

Interesting. Ukrainian and Russian troops had a truce in effect until Friday. If one side broke that, it's gonna get ugly. Of course we all know it's Russia who broke it because Russia is the evil invader (that has less troops in Crimea than their agreement in Ukraine actually allowed them to have, but hey, evil invader).

But, Ukraine in NATO by the end of the year? Not bloody likely. Ukraine simply isn't stable enough, and it's just about bankrupt. And I'm sure most US and European taxpayers wouldn't like the idea of funneling billions of euros into Kiev just to stick it to Russia. Actually, last I heard, the PM noted that NATO membership isn't on the agenda, and actually offered autonomy to other Russian-ethnic regions of the country. Which is quite funny since the first thing he did after assuming power was abolish the Russian language as an official language of Ukraine.

I mean, really, I get it, many want this to end in the worst possible way for Russia (because Russia is evil and bad guys always lose), but realistically? Russia's going to grab Crimea, and for a few years, everyone will be glaring at it very angrily while not even able to settle just what should be done about it. Sure, sanctions, but whoever thinks that's going to make Russia collapse onto itself is delusional. A considerable setback, sure, but not a crippling blow.

I blame the press for writing about this as if the Doomsday Clock suddenly got advanced to 23:59:59 by this situation, and ignorant people with a war fetish hoping this situation escalates into a military conflict.

I don't have anything against a referendum being held, but the circumstances under which it was held where frankly bullshit.

If Russia was taking things seriously, they'd have let Ukraine settle down again, let the situation in Kiev resolve itself (the arguments that the Kiev government isn't legitimate can't be dismissed- but the answer to that is not to capitalize and stir shit up), and then hold a referendum with a set date, and proper time for both sides to campaign and state their case.

Oh, and for the referendum to have two sides, as opposed to yes and slightly yes.

You can accuse me of seeing Russia as a cartoon villain if you like. I find it slightly tiresome, but whatever. The fact is, every time Putin faces off with the west or engages in action like this he gets a surge of support (see South Ossetia). I believe this situation could have been resolved with far fewer problems, but Moscow had a vested interest in stirring shit up.

I'm not going to pretend the EU countries and America don't also have their own agendas, which may have contributed to the situation, but I still think Moscow is motivated less by concern for ethnic russians, and more by courting russian nationalists at home.

Qvar:

LAST UPDATE:
Crimea declares it's independence toward Ukrained, without conducting the referendum they promissed.
http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/11/crimea-mps-vote-in-favour-of-independence-from-ukraine/

They did a referendum that came back 97% in support of secession and joining Russia. I don't know if they were supposed to do another, but they did prove that Crimeans overwhelmingly wanted to be part of Russia.

And I think Russia will stop at Crimea in the Ukraine at least. However, I did see on the news today a region of Moldova is now requesting to join Russia, so it might not be their only territorial gain in general in the near future.

They did a referendum that came back 97% in support of secession and joining Russia. I don't know if they were supposed to do another, but they did prove that Crimeans overwhelmingly wanted to be part of Russia.

The only thing it proved is that the cartel of parasites who lord over Russia don't ever bother anymore to hide the fact that they rig elections.

2012 Wont Happen:

And I think Russia will stop at Crimea in the Ukraine at least. However, I did see on the news today a region of Moldova is now requesting to join Russia, so it might not be their only territorial gain in general in the near future.

Transnistria would probably not get its wish, to even reach then the Russians would need to invade the whole of Ukraine, and Moldova would invade the breakaway long before they reached them.

Nixou:

They did a referendum that came back 97% in support of secession and joining Russia. I don't know if they were supposed to do another, but they did prove that Crimeans overwhelmingly wanted to be part of Russia.

The only thing it proved is that the cartel of parasites who lord over Russia don't ever bother anymore to hide the fact that they rig elections.

Not even the Western leaders argue that, only that the referendum was not in accordance with the international law, and therefore the results won't be recognized. The official stance of the West on this one is "We don't care what the results were." Rigging that referendum would literally be counterproductive for Russia.

Well, except if they went "Oh everyone's going to assume we rigged it even if we don't, so might as well."

ClockworkPenguin:
I believe this situation could have been resolved with far fewer problems, but Moscow had a vested interest in stirring shit up.

The opposition got Yanukovych to call an early election after which he'd step down. They had that deal. But then they went "Lolnope, we're just going to pull a complete coup here."

So yes, some restraint on their side might have had this issue resolved with less trouble.

Vegosiux:
[

ClockworkPenguin:
I believe this situation could have been resolved with far fewer problems, but Moscow had a vested interest in stirring shit up.

The opposition got Yanukovych to call an early election after which he'd step down. They had that deal. But then they went "Lolnope, we're just going to pull a complete coup here."

So yes, some restraint on their side might have had this issue resolved with less trouble.

I know, which is why I recognize that the claim that their government is illegitimate is strong to the point of being correct. I think the coup was a terrible thing to do, and it is of paramount importance that steps are taken to undo that wrong and ensure correct democratic procedure is followed...

Which is never going to bloody happen now. Because now everyone is looking at the soldiers on the border and the farce in Crimea. Putin accelerated and escalated the situation, and now those in Kiev default to government because of the emergency and NATO is getting antsy about Russian expansion.

I am convinced that Russia could have worked with the EU to help the Ukraine get itself sorted, this issue could have been raised, and a year from now we could have the same result, minus the massive tension and damage to the parties involved.

I don't think Putin did it because "trololol more land :D" but because unsubtle 'muscular' foreign policy is a vote winner for him, and I can sort of understand that. It's basically why Bush went to Iraq. It just pisses me off because a large part of me feels that it didn't have to go this way.

I accept looking at what I've written on a few topics now that I may have undue faith in diplomatic and democratic processes.

ClockworkPenguin:
I am convinced that Russia could have worked with the EU to help the Ukraine get itself sorted, this issue could have been raised, and a year from now we could have the same result, minus the massive tension and damage to the parties involved.

I don't think Putin did it because "trololol more land :D" but because unsubtle 'muscular' foreign policy is a vote winner for him, and I can sort of understand that. It's basically why Bush went to Iraq. It just pisses me off because a large part of me feels that it didn't have to go this way.

It's also pushing Russia into a corner. Sure, Russia may well end up with Crimea. But everyone sharing a border with them is going to be looking for allies. Ukraine and Finland - and maybe even the Caucasian states - are going to be looking at joining NATO. The 'stans will be pulling in Chinese influence. The Western powers will be eyeing sanctions. If those start to bite or if things heat up, China will be pushing it's claim on Siberian territory. They weren't scared to push and threaten Moscow even at the Soviet Union's height and they've only gotten stronger.

Veylon:

ClockworkPenguin:
I am convinced that Russia could have worked with the EU to help the Ukraine get itself sorted, this issue could have been raised, and a year from now we could have the same result, minus the massive tension and damage to the parties involved.

I don't think Putin did it because "trololol more land :D" but because unsubtle 'muscular' foreign policy is a vote winner for him, and I can sort of understand that. It's basically why Bush went to Iraq. It just pisses me off because a large part of me feels that it didn't have to go this way.

It's also pushing Russia into a corner. Sure, Russia may well end up with Crimea. But everyone sharing a border with them is going to be looking for allies. Ukraine and Finland - and maybe even the Caucasian states - are going to be looking at joining NATO. The 'stans will be pulling in Chinese influence. The Western powers will be eyeing sanctions. If those start to bite or if things heat up, China will be pushing it's claim on Siberian territory. They weren't scared to push and threaten Moscow even at the Soviet Union's height and they've only gotten stronger.

Even before the Russian invasion of 2008 Georgia had entry into NATO and the EU as official state policy. Though it's impossible to tell since we don't know the future, this may be just another part of Russia's decline in relevance in the world as a power. Once the nation depended on for its economy and military for half of Europe, now only one former UUR has a positive relationship with it, with all others being between trying to distance themselves to actively opposing them. Couple that with the decline in their population, their economic downturn, and the fact that Europe is seriously considering reverting to coal power now to get rid of their dependents on Russian oil and natural gas (a proses which would take 6 months and cost Russia half its federal budget and 40% of their GDP), the 90s may not be the low point of Russian history after all. I mean think about it, they are risking almost half their economy to annex a piece of territory that is the size of a dame small state. Their leadership isn't one I would place my bets on for good decision making.

Halyah:

EDIT: Also maybe this one too: http://maidantranslations.com/2014/03/17/turkey-under-ottoman-empire-treaty-with-catherine-the-great-if-crimea-declares-independence-it-returns-to-turkey/

=)))

If treaties 230-years old are valid (though there are not already Russian Empire and Ottoman Empire), modern Georgia must be a part of modern Russian because there was an analogical old treaty between Russian Empire and Georgian Kingdom in 1800 about incorporation of Georgia within the Russian Empire.

=)))

Maybe we should remember every old treaty between countries that are already gone from present to history?

Rigging that referendum would literally be counterproductive for Russia.

Without massive rigging, three fourth of Crimeans would have voted for staying in Ukraine: rigging the vote was indispensable for the russian regime.
More importantly, local officials already confessed rigging the vote, making pretend-skepticism in favor of Moscow a pointless waste of time.

***

I don't think Putin did it because "trololol more land :D" but because unsubtle 'muscular' foreign policy is a vote winner for him

Since general elections are also rigged in Russia proper, Putin doesn't need to use the demagogue's bag of tricks so often used by western politicians to win them.
On the other hand, he may need to pander to the corrupt warrior-caste of his crumbling empire by allowing them to play conqueror: after all, if not for their guns, he would have been overthrown by his own people long before Yanukovych fled Kiev... Which probably also explains his reaction to the Ukrainian uprising: kicking the fledging new ukrainian government before it can fight back so his own opponents back home don't get any idea.

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