Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Some thoughts on the Ukraine situation

1) Never give up your nukes. After the USSR split up, Ukraine had the third largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world - more than Britain, France and China combined.  They gave them up in exchange for the "Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances" - a pledge by Russia, the UK and the USA to respect Ukraine territorial integrity.

2) In 1936, Hitler held the Olympic Games in Berlin to show off the new Germany.  In 1938, he invaded Austria, Czechoslovakia and Lithuania to "protect the rights" of the "oppressed" German minorities in those countries.  In, 2014, Putin mimics his plan...

3) Funny letters to Putin from a guy in the Vologda region of Russia asking for Russian troops to protect the oppressed Russians living there (also from Germany):
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich !!
We learned, that you are going to send troops
to protect Russian speaking people in Crimea.

Because of this we ask you,
please send troops to Vologoskaja oblast.
My here all are Russian speaking i we are very oppressed.
Our ill people do not have medication,
level of our education is going down,
kindergartens are getting closed,
agriculture is nearly destroyed.
We suffer very much!!

With respect and hope for liberation,
Russian speaking citizens of Vologda Oblast.
 4) Not so funny, the Czechs and other former Warsaw Pact countries are freaked out - they still remember the Prague Spring, I gather.

5) Saw a funny interview of the unidentified military in Crimea by Ukrainian journalists - oddly enough - the youtube video is now blocked "for copyright infringement"???  This interview is insane - the journalist asks - "Where are you from?" - the guy answers - "Can't you tell, we're Russian".  The journalist asks - "Well, what are you doing in the Ukraine?".  It's a surreal translation of the French taunter skit from Monty Python - except it's real life.  Also funny because the soldier being interviewed is Buryat or Nenets or something, obviously Mongol or something - so when he says he's Russian it's really funny to hear...

6) Unbelievable how the whole world let the Ukraine down...  Obviously there was no expectation of military aid, but even the economic sanctions are now turning out to be complete bullshit.  Europe can't afford to lose Russian natural gas.  Russia is the second largst market for Pepsi.  Shell, BP and others can't afford to lose the oil... So, bye bye Ukraine...

7) Russian media is outright lying about everything.  The other day they had pictures of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing into Russia.  Then someone blew up the photos and noticed it was the Polish-Ukrainian border crossing - I guess the easiest way to run to Russia is to first go the other way. 

8) The sad part is that even in this world of iPhone video and twitpics, it seems to make no difference.  Just repeat the lie and people eventually believe you.  Then you just accuse your opponents of photoshopping...


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