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Has Putin shot himself in the foot?

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 29th October 2014, 02:21
CleanSweep CleanSweep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Szary View Post
As well, Putin might be an evil bully but he’s no fool. He’s playing a complicated game and unfortunately he still has the upper hand for one reason: Economics.
Performance over the last three months: Russia Ruble: -25.75% Ukraine Hryvnia: -9.53%
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 29th October 2014, 03:38
Hannia Hannia is offline
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Originally Posted by Szary View Post
So the Commie Party and the Party of Regions were both effectively banned from the elections. So on one hand this allowed big pro West wins in the short term but one the other hand in the long-term it further divides Ukraine by disenfranchising over 5 million or more Ukrainians from voting.
Excerpt: Ukraine Wins
A successful parliamentary election opens a window of hope for an embattled country. by Jamie Kirchick OCTOBER 28, 2014

The most basic question hanging over the election is that of legitimacy. Some 5 million Ukrainians -- nearly 10 percent of the electorate -- are estimated to have been unable to vote due either to the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula or continued fighting in the eastern provinces of Donbas and Lugansk. Despite these hurdles, Ukrainians should be applauded for organizing a free and fair election and conducting a campaign in which incidents of violence and intimidation were scarce. As part of an election monitoring delegation organized by the International Republican Institute, I visited over a dozen polling stations in the central Ukrainian city of Cherkasy. Speaking with well-trained and professional electoral officials and watching everyone from bundled-up babushkas and toddler-toting mothers exercise their democratic rights, I found myself unexpectedly inspired by the humdrum workings of democracy. Most Ukrainians understood the importance of this election's role in removing the old order, and, at least in the central and western parts of the country, showed up in droves.

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for large swathes in the East of the country, where ongoing violence between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces prevented many locals from voting. Although the Ukrainian government tried to ensure that citizens of Crimea and the internally displaced were be able to vote, millions of Ukrainians were ultimately prevented from doing so by the conflict, which has thus far resulted in some 3,500 casualties.

The world should not forget these facts as Moscow and its Western apologists prepare to launch a flurry of attacks to distort and discredit Ukraine's democratic triumph. Kremlin spinmeisters will be tempted to argue, given that so few managed to vote in the areas under separatist or Russian control, that the new Ukrainian parliament is unrepresentative and therefore illegitimate. While it is indeed true that enthusiasm for the post-Yanukovych political order is substantially lower in the East, and that this dissatisfaction may partly explain lower turnout there, it cannot annul the results of a democratic election. Moreover, the only reason why so many people didn't vote in the East is because of a war started by Russia; Moscow disenfranchised those voters, not Kiev. The vast majority of Ukrainians, including those in the East, have repeatedly expressed support for a united Ukraine.
Ukraine Wins
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Szary, oh - me , oh - my, it must be a coincidence that you follow Putin's propaganda program to the letter.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 13th December 2014, 18:52
Gotno Gizmo Gotno Gizmo is offline
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Video about Putin (Russian language)

Resulting from my becoming a member of the anti-Putin (not necessarily anti-Russian) Twitterati, my contact base has expanded and I'm being directed to various media clips in either Russian or Ukraine language that are above my limited language ability to fully comprehend. However this video clip appears to be full of scandal that seems to put the beloved Russian leader in less than glowing terms surrounded by scandal. I'm told that this video is a "must see" and that it's allegedly banned in Russia.

The video is 1 hour 40 minutes and I would appreciate if anyone seeing it would give me some feedback with a brief synopsis of main points. Happy viewing:-

Одноклассники

Last edited by Gotno Gizmo; 13th December 2014 at 18:53. Reason: URL adjustment
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 26th December 2014, 04:08
Hannia Hannia is offline
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Timothy Garton Ash: Merkel has faced down the Russian bear in the battle for Europe
Dec. 25, 2014, 2:37 p.m. | Op-ed — by Timothy Garton Ash THE GUARDIAN

In dealing with Putin, the German chancellor has united Europe. She is the stateswoman of the year

In 2014, the battle for Europe’s future has been fought between two leaders: Russian president Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel. The contrast between them could not be sharper. There the Russian man: macho, militarist, practitioner of the Soviet-style big lie (Russian soldiers in Crimea? What soldiers?), a resentful post-imperial nationalist who in a recent press conference compared Russia to an embattled bear. Here the German woman: gradualist, quietly plain-speaking, consensus-building, strongest on economic power, patiently steering a slow-moving, sovereignty-sharing, multinational European tortoise. 19th-century methods confront 21st-century ones; Mars, the god of war, against Mercury, the god of trade; guns versus butter. For the first half of 2014, the bear was making the running, but now, with the Russian economy close to meltdown, it seems the tortoise may be winning after all.

Merkel has long been recognised as Europe’s leading politician, but this year, during the crisis over Ukraine, she became its leading stateswoman. I remain critical of her handling of the eurozone crisis, but I have only admiration for how she has addressed the return of war to European soil on the hundredth anniversary of 1914.

At the beginning of this year, German president Joachim Gauck, an east German Protestant, took up the appeal that other Europeans had already made for Germany to assume more leadership responsibility in Europe. In the course of the year, Merkel, an east German Protestant, has answered that appeal. The eastern half of Europe is her world. She has it in her bones. She understands it.

One of the early influences on her was a teacher of Russian. As a schoolgirl, she won East Germany’s Russian-language Olympiad. On her office wall, she has a portrait of Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst, the Pomeranian princess who became Empress Catherine the Great of Russia. She can speak to Putin in Russian, as he can to her in German.

Both were in east Germany in 1989 – he as a KGB officer, she as a young scientist – and the lessons they drew were diametrically opposed. In domestic politics she can appear the perfect tactician, tacking this way and that, ruthless as Catherine the Great in seeing off challenges to her power. But in this European crisis, two profound, personal commitments of a Protestant east German of her generation have come to the fore: to peace and to freedom.

In a powerful speech delivered in Sydney last month, she excoriated what Putin has done in Ukraine, referring back to the shared experience from which the two leaders drew such different conclusions: “Who would have thought it possible that 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall … something like this could happen in the middle of Europe? Old thinking in terms of spheres of influence, whereby international law is trampled underfoot, must not be allowed to prevail.”

Earlier in the same speech, she reflected on the lessons of 1914. She has thought hard about the argument made by the historian Christopher Clark in The Sleepwalkers, his masterly account of how Europe stumbled into the first world war. If European leaders went sleepwalking 100 years ago, they must learn the lessons of history and wake up to the danger today. That is why she has talked to Putin more than any other world leader has: 35 phone calls in the first eight months of this year, according to figures released by the Kremlin. (Tellingly, she is also the world leader to whom the American president has spoken most often.)

As she never tires of repeating, her strategy has three prongs: support for Ukraine, diplomacy with Russia and sanctions to bring Putin to the negotiating table. To see Germany leading the way in economic sanctions against Russia is extraordinary. In the early 1990s, I wrote a history of West Germany’s Ostpolitik, culminating in German unification, and the first commandment of that Ostpolitik was that eastern trade should always go on. Sanctions were called for by the US and resisted by Germany. Today, Germany has more trade with Russia than any other European power. Its energy, machine-tool and other eastward–oriented businesses form a powerful lobby, not least within Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union. Yet she has taken them down the path of sanctions.

Of course Putin and the Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine helped, especially with the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in July. But, unlike in the eurozone crisis, she has led rather than followed German public opinion. She has faced down the so-called Putinversteher – those who show such “understanding” for Putin’s actions that they come close to excusing them. She has made the larger arguments, from history, about Europe, and they have resonated. I was particularly impressed by an interview I read with the boss of a German machine-tool company whose exports to Russia have been roughly halved following the imposition of sanctions. Yet this German industrialist said he fully supported them: “If [Neville] Chamberlain had imposed some sort of sanctions on Hitler, things would have been different. Both Hitler and Putin held their Olympics, and after his Olympics, Hitler went to war.”

What is more, she has made the case for sanctions powerfully to more reluctant members of the EU, notably Italy, but also smaller east European countries where Russia wields much influence. To be sure, the formal chair of last week’s European Council was the former Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk. It is a notable day in European history when a Pole speaks to Russia not just in Europe’s name but with the whole economic and political weight of a European Union behind him. But Tusk is Merkel’s trusted ally. Everyone knows she is Europe’s real chair. In her Sydney speech, she again emphasised the vital importance of European states “speaking with one voice”.

And then she has been lucky – an essential attribute for any successful stateswoman or statesman. (I can’t bring myself to write statesperson.) Without a spectacular fall in the price of oil, the sanctions, which are still patchy, and not supported by China and other important economic partners of Russia, would not have had this dramatic impact.

The battle of Europe is far from over. In Russia itself, deepening economic crisis will not necessarily translate into more accommodating policy. There is no route map to a post-Putin regime. The cornered bear may lash out. In the bloodied fields of eastern Ukraine, there is still the risk of a series of 1914-style miscalculations leading to an escalation. Russian military planes have flown into the air space of Baltic Nato members.

Nato’s article 5 says an attack on one is an attack on all, but what, in the 21st-century, is an attack? As the apparent North Korean hacking of Sony’s computers has reminded us, cyberattacks are not like uniformed infantry divisions marching across a well-marked frontier. What if Putin sends some more unacknowledged “little green men” to stir up trouble among ethnic Russian minorities in the Baltic states?

So these are still perilous times, and 2015 may bring even larger challenges. But as 2014 draws to a close, I have no hesitation in concluding that Angela Merkel has been the stateswoman of the year.Angela Merkel has faced down the Russian bear in the battle for Europe | Timothy Garton Ash | Comment is free | The Guardian
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 28th February 2015, 18:08
Gotno Gizmo Gotno Gizmo is offline
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Boris Nemtsov was shot dead yesterday, this article includes Boris in the list of the expanding number of political killings in Putin's Russia:-
Russia's Milestones Are Gravestones
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 25th January 2018, 18:20
Gotno Gizmo Gotno Gizmo is offline
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The Power of Putin - Documentary 2018, BBC Documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ-Kwr0VFUE
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