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Old 22.04.2014, 04:36
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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I think there is no question about it -- the cities on the Ukrainian side of the border wish to join Russia and get at least some protection. Ukraine is heading into the civil war and even more poverty than before the revolution. The real question is whether Russia wants to be joined with any of the areas in the East or South of Ukraine. And another big question -- what the US wants to achieve in Ukraine?
A) not so clear. It looks as if many ethnic Russians on the "wrong" side of the border prefer to be Ukrainian. Whatever, I think that Putin wants public votes there. And YES he wishes to get the area between the Don and the Krim to get the "glacis" required
B) the USA wants to have the Ukraine in NATO. And so might favour a change-over of the East Ukraine to Russia
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  #342  
Old 22.04.2014, 04:45
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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The biggest problem of Ukrainian government is that they have absolutely no money. And they are still extremely corrupt so nobody would even consider giving them any money to see their Swiss bank accounts grow. And Ukraine is highly dependent on Russia. If hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian migrant workers have to go from Russia back home then this would be another revolution.
Just as the Kremlin. No money, raging corruption, depending on other nations (Antonov is Ukrainian but producing in Russia), If all the Russians working in Ukraine had to return to Russia it would be another revolution. The interchangeable aspect was, in different ways, even mirrored in the Easter speaches of the Russian Pope and of the Ukrainian Pope
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  #343  
Old 22.04.2014, 08:50
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Just as the Kremlin. No money, raging corruption, depending on other nations (Antonov is Ukrainian but producing in Russia), If all the Russians working in Ukraine had to return to Russia it would be another revolution. The interchangeable aspect was, in different ways, even mirrored in the Easter speaches of the Russian Pope and of the Ukrainian Pope
This is a very important piece of information in understanding the whole Ukrainian mess -- Ukraine was (and of course still is) in such a bad economic situation that it depends on the money handouts or would go bankrupt. Russia is nowhere near this kind of situation.

Regarding "if all the Russians working in Ukraine had to return to Russia it would be another revolution" -- really? Oh please What is the number of Russians working in Ukraine in 2013?
In December 2013 Putin said: "According to official figures, about 1.5 million people from Ukraine are working in our country, whereas [their total number], according to various estimates, is up to five million people". This is a very large number of people and also a huge part of the Ukrainian population. A lot of Ukrainian people go to Russia to earn money and send it back home.
http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/182409.html

When you are talking about part of Ukraine joining Russia, this means higher pensions and salaries. Many people would support this.

Last edited by leonie; 22.04.2014 at 09:01.
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  #344  
Old 22.04.2014, 10:18
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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I think there is no question about it -- the cities on the Ukrainian side of the border wish to join Russia and get at least some protection.
Protection from who, exactly? Imaginary hordes of fascists from West Ukraine who are all on their way right now to East Ukraine to cut everyone's heads off and eat their babies? Russian propaganda sowed seeds of fear and hate among the people there, then supplied them with guns. They are creating the instability.


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Ukraine is heading into the civil war
Ukraine is not heading into any Civil War. I think we just saw last week it's not possible, when the Ukraine gov't sent it's "finest" troops down there on a highly publicized mission, just to have the soldiers wind up taking ice-cream from locals and letting 10 year old kids look around their APC's. That was the "Civil War".

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The real question is whether Russia wants to be joined with any of the areas in the East or South of Ukraine. And another big question -- what the US wants to achieve in Ukraine?
The real question is what Putin wants to do next: if he wants to take East Ukraine overtly and formally into Russia, or if he wants to have them be autonomous but controlled by Moscow.
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  #345  
Old 22.04.2014, 10:24
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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When you are talking about part of Ukraine joining Russia, this means higher pensions and salaries. Many people would support this.
If Ukraine integrated with the EU, like Poland, Hungary, etc. did, wouldn't pensions and salaries increase even more? Wouldn't more people in Ukraine support that rather than joining Russia?
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  #346  
Old 22.04.2014, 10:30
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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If Ukraine integrated with the EU, like Poland, Hungary, etc. did, wouldn't pensions and salaries increase even more? Wouldn't more people in Ukraine support that rather than joining Russia?
It does not seem to me that Putin's primary concern right now is to plan financial injections into that area (East - West Germany style 20 years ago).
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  #347  
Old 22.04.2014, 10:57
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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If Ukraine integrated with the EU, like Poland, Hungary, etc. did, wouldn't pensions and salaries increase even more? Wouldn't more people in Ukraine support that rather than joining Russia?
Would EU integration be great for the people? The problem is that at the moment nobody in EU is even considering to invite Ukraine to join EU. It will take years of very difficult reforms, and at the end of this road -- if the reforms go well -- they might live like Greeks...
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  #348  
Old 22.04.2014, 11:07
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Would EU integration be great for the people? The problem is that at the moment nobody in EU is even considering to invite Ukraine to join EU. It will take years of very difficult reforms, and at the end of this road -- if the reforms go well -- they might live like Greeks...
What's the alternative then? As it seems, Ukraine is in a very bad shape - financially. Is Russia offering a viable social and economical model? (money go fast)
I agree with you that people are better off in Russia - bigger salaries, pensions etc.- no wonder, it is a country with huge resources. But how that is helping or has helped Ukraine?
Please note that we're not "brainwashed" by the West, these are genuine questions.
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  #349  
Old 23.04.2014, 14:23
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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What's the alternative then? As it seems, Ukraine is in a very bad shape - financially. Is Russia offering a viable social and economical model? (money go fast)
I agree with you that people are better off in Russia - bigger salaries, pensions etc.- no wonder, it is a country with huge resources. But how that is helping or has helped Ukraine?
Please note that we're not "brainwashed" by the West, these are genuine questions.
I think what happened in Ukraine in February was criminal and brought the country to the brink of civil war. The eastern Ukraine has enormous ties with Russia, and the western part is different in many ways and has strong connections with their western neighbors. I think the best for Ukraine in this crisis would be to split into two parts with as little violence as possible. Each region should be given a possibility to say what they want -- a referendum should be allowed.

If you have time and interest, take a look at this National Geographic article about Crimea, from April 2011 -- long before any recent revolutions and "occupation" took place.
"Physically, politically, Crimea is Ukraine; mentally and emotionally, it identifies with Russia and provides, a journalist wrote, "a unique opportunity for Ukrainians to feel like strangers on their own territory." Crimea speaks to the persistence of memory—how the past lingers and subverts."
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20.../newman-text/1

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  #350  
Old 23.04.2014, 16:00
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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I think what happened in Ukraine in February was criminal and brought the country to the brink of civil war. The eastern Ukraine has enormous ties with Russia, and the western part is different in many ways and has strong connections with their western neighbors. I think the best for Ukraine in this crisis would be to split into two parts with as little violence as possible. Each region should be given a possibility to say what they want -- a referendum should be allowed.

If you have time and interest, take a look at this National Geographic article about Crimea, from April 2011 -- long before any recent revolutions and "occupation" took place.
"Physically, politically, Crimea is Ukraine; mentally and emotionally, it identifies with Russia and provides, a journalist wrote, "a unique opportunity for Ukrainians to feel like strangers on their own territory." Crimea speaks to the persistence of memory—how the past lingers and subverts."
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20.../newman-text/1
Interesting article; I quote from the same article
"It is our motherland, I kept hearing, but whose motherland?
For Galina Onischenko, the motherland was Russia.
For Rustem Skibin, Crimea was the Tatar homeland and had been for at least seven centuries.
For Sergey Kulik, 54, formerly an officer on a Russian submarine and now director of Nomos, a Sevastopol think tank, the motherland was Ukraine.
"

and

"In 1989 Mikhail Gorbachev allowed Tatars to return to Crimea.
About 260,000 have done so, and they now represent 13 percent of Crimea's population. Many live in squatters' shacks on the outskirts of Simferopol and Bakhchysaray, hoping to reclaim their ancestral lands, haunted by dispossession and neglect.
Even so, Tatars are largely pro-Ukrainian.
They fear Russia reflexively—because of its nationalism and because it is the successor to the Soviet state—but Ukraine has no such baggage.
"
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  #351  
Old 23.04.2014, 23:51
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

Russia Today: Norwegian MPs nominate Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize
Russia Today: Snowden asks Putin LIVE: Does Russia intercept millions of citizens’ data?

I think it's only right and proper to congratulate Edward Snowden on his efforts to promote global peace and understanding by revealing the full extent of Western surveillance against open and democratic peace-loving nations who would never dream of spying on their citizens like the one which he has made his home and rallying the outrage of the Western public in their cause.

Tee hee
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  #352  
Old 25.04.2014, 16:32
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

Russia's credit rating was cut today by S&P to BBB- which is pretty low for a country that has super power aspirations.


Also today Russia's central bank raised their key interest rate to 7.5% (compare to Switzerland less than 0.25%) and a Russian Finance ministry spokesman warned of a recession risk this quarter.


Could be the sanctions are having some effect?
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  #353  
Old 27.04.2014, 12:50
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Russia's credit rating was cut today by S&P to BBB- which is pretty low for a country that has super power aspirations.


Also today Russia's central bank raised their key interest rate to 7.5% (compare to Switzerland less than 0.25%) and a Russian Finance ministry spokesman warned of a recession risk this quarter.


Could be the sanctions are having some effect?
Hardly. I rather think that Putin's massive building program (roads and highways and buildings) in the Krasnodar region between Sochi and the Krimea lead to a kind of "overheating" which they try to outbalance by making access to finance more expensive
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  #354  
Old 27.04.2014, 20:31
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Hardly. I rather think that Putin's massive building program (roads and highways and buildings) in the Krasnodar region between Sochi and the Krimea lead to a kind of "overheating" which they try to outbalance by making access to finance more expensive

Only partially, Russia has an infrastructure problem made worse by the fact their access to Western funding has been hit by the sanctions and the threat of more sanctions.
Nobody wants to lend to Russia in case more sanctions will make that lending high risk.
Russia's credit rating is now the same as Morocco and Uruguay.
Inflation forecats for 2014 are now over 6%.


From the Wall Street Journal; "Russian capital outflows surged to the highest levels since 2008, starving the economy of much-needed investment, and the ruble plunged, fueling inflation. Many forecasts call for growth to fall to zero this year.
The central bank had raised interest rates to defend the ruble when the tensions first hit markets in early March 2014. It said then the rate increase by 1.5 percentage points would be only temporary, but the pressure on the currency eased only slightly.

But in an unexpected move the Bank of Russia on last Friday again raised its key lending rate by half a percentage point to 7.5%, citing higher inflation risks because the ruble's drop had driven up import prices. Underlining its concern, the central bank said it has no plans to lower rates in the coming months.

"The geopolitical impact is the driver" of the downgrade, said Viktor Szabo, portfolio manager at Aberdeen Asset Management.






Central bank figures show $51 billion in capital left Russia in the first quarter of this year, the biggest such outflow since the financial crisis in 2008.
"Russian assets sold off big time already and we don't expect a short term resolution to this Ukraine issue. They are preparing for a long fight," Mr. Szabo added.

The ruble, which already has dropped more than 10% against the dollar this year, rallied briefly after the rate increase Friday but then fell back after the central bank announced a new program of lending to commercial banks for investment projects that some economists warn could be inflationary.

Even before the Ukraine crisis, Russia's economy was slowing sharply. Investment had stalled in a difficult business environment, and consumer incomes had stagnated. Since the crisis began, officials have slashed growth forecasts for this year from the original official target of 2.5% to just 0.5%. Some top Russian officials suggest the actual figure could turn out to be even lower."
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Old 27.04.2014, 20:52
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...518644?tesla=y

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f Moscow escalates tensions further, EU officials say they will impose the broader economic sanctions. Officials are considering a menu of measures that includes bans on imports of such Russian goods such as diamonds, fertilizers, oil and gas.

The measures could also target key exports from the EU to Russia, such as sensitive equipment for Russia's energy sector.

But each member state is lobbying the EU to exclude sanctions that would hit its economy particularly hard. For Eastern European countries, that would be Russia's gas exports, which account for 100% of some nations' gas supplies. Belgium is lobbying against restrictions on Russian diamond imports, fearing it could hurt Antwerp, the world's leading diamond trading center.

I expect Putin's reactions will hurt too.
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  #356  
Old 27.04.2014, 21:26
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Only partially, Russia has an infrastructure problem made worse by the fact their access to Western funding has been hit by the sanctions and the threat of more sanctions.
Nobody wants to lend to Russia in case more sanctions will make that lending high risk.
Russia's credit rating is now the same as Morocco and Uruguay.
Inflation forecats for 2014 are now over 6%.


From the Wall Street Journal; "Russian capital outflows surged to the highest levels since 2008, starving the economy of much-needed investment, and the ruble plunged, fueling inflation. Many forecasts call for growth to fall to zero this year.
The central bank had raised interest rates to defend the ruble when the tensions first hit markets in early March 2014. It said then the rate increase by 1.5 percentage points would be only temporary, but the pressure on the currency eased only slightly.

But in an unexpected move the Bank of Russia on last Friday again raised its key lending rate by half a percentage point to 7.5%, citing higher inflation risks because the ruble's drop had driven up import prices. Underlining its concern, the central bank said it has no plans to lower rates in the coming months.

"The geopolitical impact is the driver" of the downgrade, said Viktor Szabo, portfolio manager at Aberdeen Asset Management.






Central bank figures show $51 billion in capital left Russia in the first quarter of this year, the biggest such outflow since the financial crisis in 2008.
"Russian assets sold off big time already and we don't expect a short term resolution to this Ukraine issue. They are preparing for a long fight," Mr. Szabo added.

The ruble, which already has dropped more than 10% against the dollar this year, rallied briefly after the rate increase Friday but then fell back after the central bank announced a new program of lending to commercial banks for investment projects that some economists warn could be inflationary.

Even before the Ukraine crisis, Russia's economy was slowing sharply. Investment had stalled in a difficult business environment, and consumer incomes had stagnated. Since the crisis began, officials have slashed growth forecasts for this year from the original official target of 2.5% to just 0.5%. Some top Russian officials suggest the actual figure could turn out to be even lower."

Your analysis shows how dangerous the situation is.

"even before the Ukraine crisis" means that Russia was in serious trouble for a while --- very much the same if not worse than the Ukrainian sister-republic (the bred-basket of the Soviet Union), in spite of the natural resources

*credit rating the same as Morocco" means that the credit rating of Russia was FAR TOO HIGH, as Morocco is governed solidly

All this shows that Russia is under time pressure. Russia needs to link up Rostov-on-the-Don and the Krasnodar region with the Crimea VERY SWIFTLY and to revive tourism to the region, which is difficult under the circumstances. In other words, Putin either can get down in regard to the Eastern Ukraine, or capture at least some important towns on the Ukrainian side within a few weeks.

Add to all this that both the Russian armed forces and its economy in spite of its natural resources are in a rather precarious shape

To quote General MacArthur

But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.

War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.

In war there is no substitute for victory.


you have what Mr Putin also may have in mind. And his idol, Empress Katharina II also would have opted against prolonged indecision

Last edited by Wollishofener; 27.04.2014 at 21:39.
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  #357  
Old 28.04.2014, 00:07
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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Your analysis shows how dangerous the situation is.

"even before the Ukraine crisis" means that Russia was in serious trouble for a while --- very much the same if not worse than the Ukrainian sister-republic (the bred-basket of the Soviet Union), in spite of the natural resources

*credit rating the same as Morocco" means that the credit rating of Russia was FAR TOO HIGH, as Morocco is governed solidly

All this shows that Russia is under time pressure. Russia needs to link up Rostov-on-the-Don and the Krasnodar region with the Crimea VERY SWIFTLY and to revive tourism to the region, which is difficult under the circumstances. In other words, Putin either can get down in regard to the Eastern Ukraine, or capture at least some important towns on the Ukrainian side within a few weeks.

Add to all this that both the Russian armed forces and its economy in spite of its natural resources are in a rather precarious shape

To quote General MacArthur

But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.

War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.

In war there is no substitute for victory.


you have what Mr Putin also may have in mind. And his idol, Empress Katharina II also would have opted against prolonged indecision
About "Russia needs to link up Rostov-on-the-Don and the Krasnodar region with the Crimea VERY SWIFTLY and to revive tourism to the region"

Getting more of the Ukraine will support Putin's strategic aims but will not help the economy. As you say reviving tourism will be a big challenge especially if the pro-Ukrainian people get their hands on the same kind of weaponry as the pro-Russian people and start making mischief.
Also the way the pro-Russian people in Ukraine are taking people and locking them up for little reason is not a good way to encourage tourists.
According to the State Statistics Agency of Ukraine around 6 million of the foreign tourists per year are from the West; many visiting Crimea/Black Sea. I do not see those returning any time soon?
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Old 28.04.2014, 00:36
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

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About "Russia needs to link up Rostov-on-the-Don and the Krasnodar region with the Crimea VERY SWIFTLY and to revive tourism to the region"

Getting more of the Ukraine will support Putin's strategic aims but will not help the economy. As you say reviving tourism will be a big challenge especially if the pro-Ukrainian people get their hands on the same kind of weaponry as the pro-Russian people and start making mischief.
Also the way the pro-Russian people in Ukraine are taking people and locking them up for little reason is not a good way to encourage tourists.
According to the State Statistics Agency of Ukraine around 6 million of the foreign tourists per year are from the West; many visiting Crimea/Black Sea. I do not see those returning any time soon?
Intourist, the Russian inbound-tourism agency is well organized in Western Europe, and well linked to the travel industry. If things go well, lots of tourists will get back to the re-Russified Crimea. The resorts there however may urgently need some updating. What Russia needs are the cities around Donetsk, Mariupol, Slavyansk, etc (NOT Kharkov or Dnepropetrovsk (irrelevant to Russia but vital to the Ukraine)
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Old 29.04.2014, 01:01
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?



the latest news of today make it clear what section of Eastern Ukraine Russia wants and WILL take over. It clearly is the areas east of the Kupyansk-Slavyansk-Donetsk Line
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Old 29.04.2014, 08:53
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Re: World War 3 or just a local spat in Ukraine?

...so Crimea was only a warm-up for Putin. I wonder what's next after Eastern Ukraine.....
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