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Old 02.01.2015, 00:33
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25 years of freedom

25 years ago (give or take a few weeks) many countries in central and eastern Europe were freed from communism - Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Baltic countries and many more.

It was amazing to watch and wonder how the soviet union, the Empire with it's fearsome armed forces and dreaded security apparatus collapsed like a bad dream almost without bloodshed.
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Old 02.01.2015, 00:44
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Re: 25 years of freedom

We visited a family near Dresden in April 1988, and saw the situation just before the wall was torn down, which was a very sad situation. Then 18 months later we watched with amazement as the "iron curtain" folded and collapsed, leaving amazing opportunities, pitfalls, and often hardships. After 25 years, many people are still trying to live with the new regimes.
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Old 02.01.2015, 00:44
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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25 years ago (give or take a few weeks) many countries in central and eastern Europe were freed from communism - Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the Baltic countries and many more.

It was amazing to watch and wonder how the soviet union, the Empire with it's fearsome armed forces and dreaded security apparatus collapsed like a bad dream almost without bloodshed.
Until early Spring 2014 when Ivan wanted to expand his garden again and moved back to Sevastopol.
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Old 02.01.2015, 07:29
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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Until early Spring 2014 when Ivan wanted to expand his garden again and moved back to Sevastopol.
Which is one side of the coin as Ivan did not do anything for years while we continuously stepped on his foot by
- expanding the EU to the East
- expanding Nato to the East
- unilaterally cancelling the anti ballistic missile treaty which was a cornerstone in ending the cold war
- setting up rockets in Poland and Romania in order to turn the balance in a nuclear war once and for all...

and then we claim that the Russians are acting aggressively.

I for one can understand that Putin had enough when Ukraine, a country with just under 50% of it's population being ethnic Russian, was next...
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Old 02.01.2015, 08:19
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Re: 25 years of freedom

For the price of the Crimea Putin even gave up Ukraine, if the buggers in Kiew hadn't been such nationalstic dickheads after the orange revolution I rather doubt that the current fighting would have started.
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Old 02.01.2015, 09:37
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Re: 25 years of freedom

I grew up with the Iron Curtain and was at University when it started to come down. It was awe-inspiring to witness; at the time we were aware we were watching history being made.
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Old 02.01.2015, 09:58
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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Which is one side of the coin as Ivan did not do anything for years while we continuously stepped on his foot by
- expanding the EU to the East
- expanding Nato to the East
So independent nations shouldn't have the freedom to join any international organisation they like?
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Old 02.01.2015, 10:35
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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So independent nations shouldn't have the freedom to join any international organisation they like?
Sure, they also have the freedom to point rockets at whoever they want. But the person you point them at might see it as aggression.

NATO is not some average international organization - it is a pact to fight Russia together in case of a war. It might be democratically ok if a slight majority of Ukrainians decide to side with the west - but if the other half happens to be Russian and does not want to fight Russia is this simply the most idiotic thing to do and had to lead to a civil war. Blaming Putin for it as consistently as the European media does is nothing but absurd to me.
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Old 02.01.2015, 10:37
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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So independent nations shouldn't have the freedom to join any international organisation they like?
Interesting point. No right is absolute. If an 'independent' nation abandons its independence, using its 'freedom' to subjugate itself to a power block which threatens another one, then the threatened power block will oppose that 'right' (somehow).
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Old 02.01.2015, 10:43
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Re: 25 years of freedom

In this case, no, or yes, or maybe! The treaty of the time and especially the soviets simply did not anticipate the countries wanting to "go west" perhaps pretty naive of them in 20/20 fact is that the west promised not to expand east as for soverign contries deciding for themselves, well the Russians dont see it this way.
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Old 02.01.2015, 10:52
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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I grew up with the Iron Curtain and was at University when it started to come down. It was awe-inspiring to witness; at the time we were aware we were watching history being made.
Exactly! It colored our generation.
I was studying at the University of Geneva when the Berlin wall collapsed. We were mesmerized.. every event was an opportunity for a debate. Absolutely fascinating historical moment.
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Old 02.01.2015, 11:41
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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Which is one side of the coin as Ivan did not do anything for years while we continuously stepped on his foot by
- expanding the EU to the East
- expanding Nato to the East
- unilaterally cancelling the anti ballistic missile treaty which was a cornerstone in ending the cold war
- setting up rockets in Poland and Romania in order to turn the balance in a nuclear war once and for all...

and then we claim that the Russians are acting aggressively.

I for one can understand that Putin had enough when Ukraine, a country with just under 50% of it's population being ethnic Russian, was next...
Where did you find 50%? Census reports show between 17% and 20%, anyway almost all the "ethnic " Russians were born in the Ukraine; there are only 15% aged over 65.

NATO is a defence organisation; it does not have the resources to be a credible attacker .
Also NATO does not control countries foreign policies, take Turkey as an example; ISIS support, strong cooperation with Russia, etc.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:26
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Re: 25 years of freedom

On a side note, I remember a televised interview with high ranking (sowiet) general, who when asked where the red army's first stopping point would have been, answered without hesitation: "Antwerpen"
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:28
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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Which is one side of the coin as Ivan did not do anything for years while we continuously stepped on his foot by
- expanding the EU to the East
- expanding Nato to the East
Could you detail a bit about this connection between Ivan's foot and the eastern countries of Europe? Other than the fact that the former got stuck into the later for over half a century without any justification?

I am sick and tired of these arguments that Russia somewhat has a claim over the faith of the eastern european nations west of its border. Just because they occupied by force those nations for decades doesn't give them any right to determine their future anymore.

And yes, those countries are well justified to install whatever defences they want as long as russia still maintains thousands of nuclear missiles and continues to subsidise a huge military industrial complex.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:29
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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Which is one side of the coin as Ivan did not do anything for years while we continuously stepped on his foot by

- expanding the EU to the East
For some reasons they left the SU and joined on their own EU.
Poor, but still, an analogy: DDR dissolved and joined BRD.
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- expanding Nato to the East
From former SU republics pov and Eastern European countries they've JOINED an indispensable alliance, and then watched how it looses its "raison d'être", and its teeth, until Russia made it back relevant.
Quote:


- unilaterally cancelling the anti ballistic missile treaty which was a cornerstone in ending the cold war

- setting up rockets in Poland and Romania in order to turn the balance in a nuclear war once and for all...



and then we claim that the Russians are acting aggressively.

I know now thing about ABM but as to the missile shield in Eastern Europe, well, it hasn't materialized, to the chagrin of many.
Russia's right to act aggressively is the same as US, UK or China - because they can. They need no real reason for that, they will make up one.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:41
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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Interesting point. No right is absolute. If an 'independent' nation abandons its independence, using its 'freedom' to subjugate itself to a power block which threatens another one, then the threatened power block will oppose that 'right' (somehow).
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:51
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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Could you detail a bit about this connection between Ivan's foot and the eastern countries of Europe? Other than the fact that the former got stuck into the later for over half a century without any justification?

I am sick and tired of these arguments that Russia somewhat has a claim over the faith of the eastern european nations west of its border. Just because they occupied by force those nations for decades doesn't give them any right to determine their future anymore.

And yes, those countries are well justified to install whatever defences they want as long as russia still maintains thousands of nuclear missiles and continues to subsidise a huge military industrial complex.
A claim over the fate of eastern Europe, you may not think so, the entire west not may think so, and not even the Kremlin seems to think that way any longer, however the way the west hobnailed allover former Soviet territories with a smug smile and a "we won the cold war" attitude is bound to play right into Russian nationalistic tendencies, the west did not seen to care much for Russian sensitivities and the situation now is pushback, perhaps a little more of a diplomatic approach together with a post sowiet cooling off period would have been better.
The economic west simply saw new markets and all the better if they joined the EU, the military EU (read NATO, read USA) saw a chance to expand eastwards on the cheap, the cold war may have been over but the doctrines and thinking weren't.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:59
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Re: 25 years of freedom

Back to the original topic...

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It was amazing to watch and wonder how the soviet union, the Empire with it's fearsome armed forces and dreaded security apparatus collapsed like a bad dream almost without bloodshed.
Well, it didn't really "collapsed" but it morphed into something else. My view of the eastern europe revolutions is a more cynical one - the change was in fact initiated and supported from the inside, with the middle ranks getting rid off the rotten top and allowing themselves more liberal means to power and wealth.

You'll notice very few old guard apparatus have actually ended up in prison or in any way harmed (other than a few showcases). In fact, most of the old guard or their descendands are now in priviledged and influential positions weilding control over economics and business

At least some of the larger population are enjoying slightly better standards of life and freedom than 25 years ago. But there's still plenty of room for improvement....
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Old 02.01.2015, 13:11
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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A claim over the fate of eastern Europe, you may not think so, the entire west not may think so, and not even the Kremlin seems to think that way any longer, however the way the west hobnailed allover former Soviet territories with a smug smile and a "we won the cold war" attitude is bound to play right into Russian nationalistic tendencies, the west did not seen to care much for Russian sensitivities and the situation now is pushback, perhaps a little more of a diplomatic approach together with a post sowiet cooling off period would have been better.
The economic west simply saw new markets and all the better if they joined the EU, the military EU (read NATO, read USA) saw a chance to expand eastwards on the cheap, the cold war may have been over but the doctrines and thinking weren't.
About "the west did not seen to care much for Russian sensitivities"

Whereas Russia cared very much for the sensitivities of the Eastern European countries that they took over by force and controlled with excessive force; jailed and executed many people who simply opposed the takeover.
They had no right to those countries, they left without any apology and even now claim to have some sort of right to control them

If I was controlling an EE country I would jump at any opportunity to prevent another Soviet style takeover.
You would have to be nuts to turn down such opportunities.
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Old 02.01.2015, 15:00
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Re: 25 years of freedom

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Which is one side of the coin as Ivan did not do anything for years while we continuously stepped on his foot by
- expanding the EU to the East
- expanding Nato to the East
- unilaterally cancelling the anti ballistic missile treaty which was a cornerstone in ending the cold war
- setting up rockets in Poland and Romania in order to turn the balance in a nuclear war once and for all...

and then we claim that the Russians are acting aggressively.

I for one can understand that Putin had enough when Ukraine, a country with just under 50% of it's population being ethnic Russian, was next...

This compilation is WRONG. Czaress Katharina II (Iwan) expanded the Russian Empire to the Black Sea and the Pacific. Josip Dshugasvhili expanded to the Elbe and the Danube. When the Communist Russian Empire collapsed the former colonies wanted to join the EU as swiftly as possible, and NATO as a kind of umbrella


Poland and Romania were not FORCED to accept missiles but ASKED for the Missiles


Everybody between the Brest-Litovsk line and the Elbe-Danube line felt threatened by the Russians, but NATO also secured them against the potentially dangerous and over-dominant Germans at the same time
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