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Thread: Ukraine: After the May 25 Election

  1. #3541
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    Tantalus: "Does anyone have a run-down on the extent of domestic Russian opposition to Putin and the scope for real change growing from such a source?"

    Here's a list of Russian political parties. I was surprised to see Vladimir (Mad Vlad) Zhirinovsky is still kicking around:

    Political parties in Russia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If the flat oil prices cause an economic crash, Putin could be vulnerable but I'm not sure there are many palatable alternatives. Some are even more radical and downright anti-Semitic.
    Last edited by Sitting Bull; 25 Jan 15, at 23:44.

  2. #3542
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    JAD,

    ...Correct me where wrong, please. Putin cannot afford to allow the Ukraine an unfettered hand over it's entirety for fear that western assistance towards issues of economics, governance, ethics, corruption and crime might lead to an emerging, vibrant and (potentially) economically powerful engine of genuine social progress...

    ...right next door to his kleptocracy. All accomplished by kin-folk of his constituency.
    S2

    That's pretty much it. It's good to keep in mind that Putin's strategy to gain greater international influence drives his strategy in Ukraine, which is to bring Ukraine back into the fold. To succeed he has to thwart Ukraine's ability to develop economic ties with the west. For it is clear that if Ukraine succeeds in breaking free of Russian influence and begins to build economic ties with the west, the road ahead will lead to NATO membership and, worse for Putin, a growing restlessness among Russians to enjoy a better life 'like the Ukrainians'.

    Putin has seen the evident improvement in life across eastern Europe and the trending. All a result of improvements to market economics and sound governance-in the midst, btw, of a global recession. It's apparent what can be rapidly accomplished once these yokes are tossed aside. Would his cronies and he be any less rich and powerful were they to empower the Russian people with means for self-improvement?

    Wouldn't they be genuine heros to the Russian people and worthy of global applause?

    Indeed. The problem for Putin is how to go that route while still growing Russia's international influence.


    What's up with these dudes that they're BENT on being such unmitigated assholes?

    I'll call for whatever sanction measures we've left before breaking all trade and diplomatic relations altogether. I'd hope we'd immediately consider any U.A. requests for conventional weapons and munitions on a bi-lateral basis having nothing to do with N.A.T.O. I'd welcome U.S. Army and Air Force advisors to their central command.

    If my tax-dollar must be spent rebuilding somebody's army then let it be the Ukraine. Not Iraq. Let the Persians foot that bill if they can. It's not a N.A.T.O. decision nor an E.U. issue but before the Ukraine can "be all they can be" that army must be able to recapture it's lands and keep them secure. Putin wants this fight. You've rightly called it the fight of his kleptocratic political life. For that, alone, it's in the decided interest of America to weigh in supporting Putin's immediate enemy.

    In truth, this is a battle for Russia. Right now.

    I know exactly what kind of Russia I'll welcome and that can happen. If Putin and his cronies, however, cannot/will not see the most fundamentally obvious handwriting on the wall of progress and, worse, are bent upon keeping others from that progress then this is very much our fight too.

    Steve, I'm not in accord with you on this, at least, not yet. For now, I see it as Ukraine's fight. If Ukraine is determined to see it through come what may, Russia will have a long, acrimonious and costly fight on its hands if it invades. If we get involved militarily, Putin's support at home will skyrocket. It may be better to let international pressure, sanctions and a sinking economy work on Putin's political support. Anyway, once again Russia is pushing for a renewed ceasefire. Russia's Lavrov says Moscow ready to push for peaceful solution in east Ukraine | Reuters The DPR leader said last week, they are through with ceasefires. Wonder how next weeks talks will pan out.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  3. #3543
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Clearly I know a little more than you about weapons. An anti personnel mine is not designed to be triggered by a bus passing by 8 metres away nor is an mine specifically designed for anti personnel use in existence that can kill 13 people inside a bus from 8 metres. This is a little like insisting that a Ukrainian su-25 aircraft shot down MH-17 10,000ft above it's ceiling. You are either not expressing yourself correctly or you are mistaken or you're just spouting BS for the sake of it. I apologise if that sounds offensive but as you will be aware there is a lot of Kremlin sponsored BS merchants at present.
    Snapper, I have my own oppinion onf MH17. Having read and watched a lot of material on that tragedy in the web, I come to conclusion that probability that it was shot down by an air-to-air missille is very small (that is writen in my previous post). To come to this conclusion I spent almost an hour browsing and reading about the potential dammage of different air-to-air missiles and discussed this issue on the russian language forum where people are modeling online air battles. There are some air-to-air missiles which can make dammage to the fuselage of the airliner comparable to what broke MH17 into pieces in the air... however such a missile cannot be employed by Su-25.... and unlikelly that UAF had it.

    as for the Volnovaha accident. do you own homework. Browse and spend your own time to understand results of BM-21 application. Then come back and tell if you still believe that BM-21 shell exploded 8 meters away from this bus....
    Attachment 39023
    same bus and from other side please note that shrapnel did not go though it.... Attachment 39024
    and even the front glass of the bus is intact.... after BM-21 explostion 8meters away!?!?!?! Attachment 39025
    now note that there was a tree next to the bus.... it was just next to explosion... try to find how it was dammaged by BM-21? Attachment 39026

    it will be your own educated oppinion.... I have mine which I shared to whoever wants this to read (NO WAY BM-21 SHELL!!! And yes it is untipresonnle mine either MON or OZM types) it was later confirmed by the driver of the bus.

    there are indicated that area around the bus was mined. If you browse you may find many information on that.... but again - it is too little to point and claim this as evidence of something... one thing for sure - BM-21 did not hit 8meters away from the bus.

    as for triggering an of the mine.... watch the video with a person running towards roadside.... it might give you a hint
    Last edited by Garry; 26 Jan 15, at 14:18.

  4. #3544
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    I thought Putin had firm control in Russia, and within reason may be immune to consequences stemming from domestic criticism. To what extent could we plausibly see Putin weakened internally?
    The pot which the thieves share is becoming smaller so people are being cut out - the case against Vladimir Evtushenkov in September, the owner of the oil company Bashneft (considered to be orchestrated by Igor Sechin, an old KGB buddy of Putins since St. Petersburg days and coincidently chairman of Rosneft, is regarded as a form of Yukos #2; you will recall that Rosneft asked for a $42bn state bail out) is indicative of this. See The Chilly Fallout Between Putin and His Oligarch Pals - Bloomberg

    If you want to understand the current Russian 'state' it is important to know something of the Leningrad/St. Petersburg days so at the risk of boring you I will give a partial account of Putin's history in St Petersburg, it's all public domain information which you can check and many of the faces are still present; Igor Sechin for example was Putin's chief of Staff in 1994 when Putin was Deputy Mayor of St. Petersburg. Alexey Miller, now the Chairman of Gazprom, was on the External Relations Committee of St. Petersburg Mayor’s Office - chaired by Putin - from 1991 to 1996... You get the idea. To quote Masha Gessen's summary Putin “claimed his place as the godfather of a mafia clan ruling the country. Like all mafia bosses, Putin barely distinguished between his personal property, the property of his clan, and the property of those beholden to his clan…he amassed wealth…by placing his cronies wherever there was money or assets to be siphoned off.”

    So in 1991 when Putin 'quit' the KGB (although he would later return to run the FSB in 1998) his former teacher at the Leningrad State University, Anatoly Sobchak was Mayor of St Petersburg (or Leningrad as it was in 1991) so Putin became an adviser and head of the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg Mayor's Office. In 1992 occured what was known locally as the 'Second Siege of Leningrad'; food was scarce so cities were given raw materials to barter abroad for food; this was the job of the Committee for External Relations. The materials vanished and the food never arrived leading to a semi famine - the 'Second Siege of Leningrad'. Marina Salye who was then head of a food commission on St Petersburg Council estimated at the time $100m went into various pockets, much into the Committee's and Putin's. Salye was one of the few to die a natural death in 2012 having cleared out to the middle of nowhere after allegedly receiving a New Years telegram from Putin in 2001 wishing her "good health and the opportunity to use it." She confronted Putin over the food issue in 1992 later saying "His reaction to everything was absolutely calm. He said, 'All your efforts will be in vain.'" Another version of her self imposed exile was that she met Sergei Yushenkov in late 1999 when he was busy investing the appartment bombings (the 'Ryazan exercise' etc) in conjunction with Mikhail Trepashkin and was confronted by a senior former KGB and current FSB officer. She realised Yushenkov was in danger and cleared out; Yushenkov was assassinated in Moscow in 2003, shortly after receiving the 'Terkibaev file' from Alexander Litvinenko (murdered 2006 in London) relating to the Moscow theatre business, so she was right in that. (The 'Terkibaev file' recounts Khanpash Terkibaev's (aka 'Abu Bakar') involvement with the FSB both before and after the theatre hostage crisis, which he took part in and survived to walk free from only to meet a fatal car accident in Chechnya in December 2003). Trepashkin, himself a former FSB officer, was arrested a week before giving his report on the appartment bombings to a court in October 2003, he still lives. Another person who looked into the 1992 'Second Siege of Leningrad' was Yuri Gladkov who back in 1992 had co authored the St Petersburg Assembly's food commission report with Marina Salye; by 2003 he was Deputy Chairman of the St Petersburg Legislative Assembly when he died of suspected mercury poisoning - no autopsy was held, strangely on October 6th, the same day that Anna Politkovskaya died three years later and quite coincidentally Putin's birthday. In 1999 the St Petersburg prosecutor launched an investion into what by then was $4.5m of funds that had gone missing. The investigation was closed in August 2000 when Putin became President.

    Another early deal they did in St Petersburg involved the cities casinos which were notoriously run at the time by organised crime. To 'clear up' the gambling business in the city it was decided that the city should have a controling stake (51%) in all casinos - this was in 1991 I think. The proclaimed aim was use the proceeds for municipal regeneration, very noble. Various state agencies were given a cut; the tax police, the KGB and the tax office were all given stakes - the remaining 49% stake in the casinos remained in mob hands, in this case particularly those of the Tambov gang and it's chief mobster Vladimir Kumarin/Barsukov. Meanwhile on a trip back to Germany to attract investment in May 1992 Putin met Vladimir Smirnov who advocated investment in property. Smirnov was one of the founders of the St Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company/Saint Petersburg Immobilien und Beteiligungs AG (aka SPAG) registered in Germany in 1992 and Putin became a non executive Director. Questions and prosecutions regarding SPAG didn't arise until 2000 in the west - alleged money laundering via Liechtenstein and connections to the Columbian Cali cartel - all sorts leading to the German side of the operation Rudolf Ritter's prosecution by that time Putin was already untouchable in Russia. An interesting note on the SPAG business is once Putin became President it was all 'cleaned up' (erased) naturally and the following conversation was taped (in 2000) between Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and his security chief Leonid Derkach;

    Leonid Derkach: Leonid Danilovich. We've got some interesting material here from the Germans. One of them has been arrested.
    Leonid Kuchma (reading aloud): Ritter, Rudolf Ritter.
    Leonid Derkach: Yes, and about that affair, the drug smuggling. Here are the documents. They gave them all out. Here's Vova Putin, too.
    Leonid Kuchma: There's something about Putin there?
    Leonid Derkach: The Russians have already been buying everything up. Here are all the documents. We're the only ones that still have them now. I think that [FSB chief] Nikolai Patrushev is coming from the 15th to the 17th. This will give him something to work with. This is what we'll keep. They want to shove the whole affair under the carpet.

    However back in the 1990s all was still under wraps and in 1996 after Putin's dacha burnt down Smirnov and Putin (with others including Yury Kovalchuk, now the the Chairman of the Board of Directors and biggest shareholder of the Russia bank, media magnate and said to be 'Putin's banker' and Forbes Golden 100 listed) started the Dacha Consumer cooperative 'Ozero'. This is a gated community for strictly VIP old school chums on the shore of a lake outside St Petersburg. Nobody get's in; I know some who have tried and suffered for it. From SPAG came Ozero - literally and quite likely financially.

    Attachment 39028

    To return again to the past by 1994 Putin was by the Deputy Mayor of St Petersburg and one of the first things he did was to award the Petersburg Fuel Company (PTK) a monopoly on oil supply to St. Petersburg. This became a vehicle to reward friends; Smirnov became Director General and Kumarin became Vice President - Kumarin survived an assassination attempt in which he lost an arm shortly after. Smirnov later went on to run Tenex, which handles the export side of Russian nuclear business while Kumarin reportedly refused to pay for some deal that would favour another Putin friend over a bank deal and was arrested for money laundering, banditry, murder etc; 15yrs hard labour.

    The careers of Sechin, an old buddy of Viktor Bout's when he was gun running for the KGB in Africa in the late 1980s, and Alexey Miller who is best pals now with Gerhard Schroder after North Stream and who miraculously has risen from a representative on the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg Mayor's Office in 1991 to become Chairman of Gazprom - and of Smirnov and Kovalchuk, who in 1992 was a Kumarin deputy in the Tambov gang justify Masha Gessen's mafia summary. Nothing has changed in the system - it's just become national. The question is what happens when some of the gang have to be cut out? Simple; you get a license rob more innocents - thus Vladimir Evtushenkov and Bashneft must pay more to Sechin who's a 'made man' in the American mafia film vocabulary. And you think you can 'do a deal' with these people?
    Last edited by snapper; 26 Jan 15, at 19:13.

  5. #3545
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    That's strictly for Putin's modern gang.But the system has been going on since the rise of the USSR.
    As for deals with mafiosi you can always make some.But you better negociate from a position of strength.Also we should not try to be too moralistic about it.The Russians only have a rougher version than the rest.
    We should have no illusion.Russians will not accept any attempt to change their leadership from outside.They will choose the worst Russian instead of the best foreigner.And they are right to act this way.
    Russians aren't stupid.They all have internet.If they don't speak English,they have translation software.Anyway,information gets through.So the power of example,as S2 suggested can be used to its full extent.But that also should be mixed with a message of clear,defensive strength.''We'll beat you if you attack us,we don't wat to attack you,look at us how nice&cool we are,we don't want to change your ways,it's up to you if you're interested.'' Also '' we don't want/need to rob your resources''.
    We also need to be perceived as honest.And to be seen as honest,we'd better become honest.

    The chances for the above scenario happening are between zero and nil.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  6. #3546
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    And you think you can 'do a deal' with these people?
    Its not a matter of wanting to do a deal. I want to see them defeated. I want to see The Ukraine victorious. The question is how best to achieve this, how best to prevent Russian objectives, with realities as they are...hence considering the dangers of a military escalation from the west.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    The pot which the thieves share is becoming smaller so people are being cut out - the case against Vladimir Evtushenkov in September, the owner of the oil company Bashneft (considered to be orchestrated by Igor Sechin, an old KGB buddy of Putins since St. Petersburg days and coincidently chairman of Rosneft, is regarded as a form of Yukos #2; you will recall that Rosneft asked for a $42bn state bail out) is indicative of this. See The Chilly Fallout Between Putin and His Oligarch Pals - Bloomberg

    If you want to understand the current Russian 'state' it is important to know something of the Leningrad/St. Petersburg days so at the risk of boring you I will give a partial account of Putin's history in St Petersburg...
    BTW, that was an informative post, thank you.

    The article was interesting, perhaps the sanctions are having some effect on Russian resolve.

    I now have a better feel for Putin's Russia.

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    Jan 23'rd -Krasnyi Partyzan under control of rebels. With english Subs. The commander at the end of interview says that it is a strategic town that straddles a logistic line

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    Post from a UA mouthpiece

    Ukraine hides devastating losses as Russia-backed fighters surge forward

    “There are many, many more. At least 280 were injured in just one day last week and 30 or 40 killed. There were many more killed this week, Debaltseve and Konstantinovka are the worst cities now. I take 18 wounded to Kharkiv myself every day.”

    The man, who didn’t want to be named, is a medic in Ukraine’s overstretched, under-resourced army. Clearly traumatized, he speaks quietly and hesitantly, barely audible over the low rumble of artillery fire from the outskirts of town.
    But the soldiers themselves remain defiant.
    “I don’t know when it will finish. But in Debaltseve, our soldiers will stay until the end,” he says firmly as he sits in a crowded, crumbling hospital ward with his wounded comrades. “Reinforcements are coming, everything is fine,” he adds.
    Bondar is not as optimistic about the battle for Debaltseve as his patient Marian and his comrades, having seen too many young men just like them leave his care in boxes.

    “The situation is bad in Debaltseve, it’s bad everywhere. Yes, the soldiers are still standing at their positions ready to fight. But we don’t see any help coming for them.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry View Post
    it will be your own educated oppinion.... I have mine
    Well I am pleased you are satisfied that Russia was in fact lying regarding MH-17 and the phantom Ukrainian Su-25. The whole Russian 'propaganda' attempt suffers from the 'little boy who cried wolf too many times' syndrome; they have lied so much and so consistently - claiming that Yarosh would win the Ukrainian Presidential election, because naturally all Ukrainians are 'fascists'; the Yakuvoych left Kyiv because of CIA 'coup' when he said himself at the time that he was going to a Party of Regions meeting in Kharkiv having backed out of his part of the February 21st agreement which required him to sign back into law the former Constitution, that the 'little green men' in were local militia - and then later admitting they were Russian troops... all the fake images and declarations of sincerely wishing peace while they continue train, arm, support and lead their own troops in Donbass who are now commanded by Major Gen Sergei Kuzovlev, the serving Chief of Staff of the 58th Army of Russia's Southern Military District. Hell even Girkin/Strelkov has recently said that Crimean MPs had been rounded up and forced to vote for a referendum on the separation of Crimea from Ukraine.

    On Sunday Russia blocked a UK statement at the UNSC condemning the attack on Mariupol. The Security Council met on Monday. I urge you to read Ambassador Samantha Power's statement here; Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Emergency Briefing on Ukraine, January 26, 2015 This is NOT a 'Ukrainian civil war'; if it had be purely that it would have ended around mid to late September last year had Russia not overtly invaded Ukraine in late August. It is now a war with far higher stakes; whether the post WW1 'self determination of nations' consensus (which ironically was the constitutional point of the Serbian nationalists who started WW1), whether the post 1991 non violation of borders by force agreement still stands and, most importantly to Russia, whether the Putin gang stays in power. That is why they are willing to lie so brazenly and to resort to such extreme measures; their kleptocracy is at stake in the long run.

    Regarding the Krasnyi Partyzan situation which is really just another part of the Debaltseve situation. There has been a 'Horlivka debate' going back to last July. There has been quite heavy fighting around Debaltseve recently (see; Interactive map of war in Ukraine, Russian invasion #UkraineUnderAttack and the latest Vice news report; https://news.vice.com/video/trapped-...te-dispatch-88). A solution to the Debaltseve situation would be to liberate Horlivka; this much is obvious to all. The question is though whether and when the 'land bridge' push will come via Telmanove - Volnovkha to the south of Donetsk. In this area a Ukrainian pre-emptive infiltration was made at the weekend toward Telmanove and 16 vehicles destroyed leading the Russian grad units that attacked Mariupol to withdraw back to Russia on Monday night.

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    US edging closer to providing lethal military supplies to Ukraine:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/02/wo...ev-forces.html

  13. #3553
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    US edging closer to providing lethal military supplies to Ukraine:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/02/wo...ev-forces.html

    At the glacial pace the US moves, lethal assistance may arrive too late to turn the tide. Then there is the training curve. It all depends on how well the Ukraine military can hold out against the Russian-backed separatists until help arrives and even then there is no guarantee it will turn the tide.

    The record of US assistance is a mixed bag. The Ebola camps the US set up in Liberia took so long to build, they were no longer needed by the time they were ready.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    "At the glacial pace the US moves, lethal assistance may arrive too late to turn the tide. Then there is the training curve. It all depends on how well the Ukraine military can hold out against the Russian-backed separatists until help arrives and even then there is no guarantee it will turn the tide."

    Gotta love the "can-do" spirit on display here.

    Best to stand aside awaiting the return of Putin's good sense.

    Couldn't believe a comment read recently that providing lethal assistance would be confirming and validating Putin's claims that NATO lies behind all this.

    Of course, we COULD accommodate Putin by a glacially-implemented new round of sanctions (instead of nasty horrible weapons) and, you know...lose.

    Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results seems, well...insane, don't you agree? By this point in time? Seems you peaceniks have had your run to what end, actually?

    What, exactly, should we fear of Russia? Nuclear war? Ya think? Red Storm Rising-high intensity conventional combat across the length and breadth of Europe? Nah.

    Has to be something I'm not getting here unless our civilian commanders are profiling our military targets into a remarkably solid front of muslim/arab/Persian types.

    Something sacrosanct about killing other white guys? Especially those holding high neo-fascist kleptocratism. A mouthful to describe unmitigated assholes.

    Help me here, somebody, because I'm really trying to understand why my nation's civilian leadership is sooo chickensh!t in the face of all that we purportedly stand against and despite all for which we purportedly stand?
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
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    If I may be a contrarian for a moment.
    The conflict in Ukraine has been going on for two good years now. If there was going to be a victory it would have happened by now. This is the grinding of gears at the edge of empires.

    Forgive my intrusion.

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