I assume Obama Beer makes you fart a lot and tell an endless stream of porkies.
There are a few decent folk out there who really are wasted on that dismal collection of pond scum, the Tory Party (I refuse to call people who do not believe in the rule of law ‘conservatives’). And Daniel Hannan is certainly one of those glorious gleaming will-o-wisps of cogency floating above the festering miasma of Cameron’s Tory Blairism…
Nice work by Bellingcat showing what anyone not wilfully blind or on the Kremlin’s payroll already figured out, that Russian forces have been firing across the border into Ukraine.
If Russia now presumes to dictate what should be the constitutional order in Ukraine and if he has gained the assent of the German chancellor and the French president, Landsbergis continues, then the world has the right, even the obligation to ask, “when will you begin to observe the [Russian] Constitution, Mr. Putin?”
The Lithuanian leader said that he was disappointed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel apparently accepted Putin’s “puppet theater” when she suggested that the Kremlin leader had put pressure on the separatists to sign the agreement. To say that is also to give them a status independent of Moscow which they do not deserve.
– Paul Goble discussing the views of Vytautas Landsbergis
Oh good, a peace deal has been hammered out for the Ukraine.
… and in other news that is no doubt unrelated…
Thank goodness we have Putin’s word for it that Russia is not sending troops and large quantities of equipment into the Ukraine as part of a barely disguised invasion, for a moment then I thought there might be vastly less to this ‘deal’ than met the eye.
Odious figures of the totalitarian regimes are not objects of the cultural heritage of either national or local significance
Via a mailing from Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, I was directed to this interesting development:
The report above is by Michael Schaus and links in turn to this report by Tom Porter in the International Business Times.
Hannah Thoburn has an interesting article on World Affairs called Putin the Unifier:
This pretty much squares with what I have heard from people I know or correspond with in the Ukraine. They tend to be deeply cynical about domestic corruption and local politicians generally, but all have told me hostility to the Kremlin and pro-western sentiments now largely transcends narrower political groupings, making for some eye widening collaboration amongst very unlikely allies. A guy I know also said much the same thing about many Russians becoming very vocally Ukrainian, with some going ‘deep nationalist’ as only Russians can these days, just not in the way the charming Mr. Putin might have expected.
Does anyone have noticed that when a Kremlin supporter talks about Eastern Europe the first thing he/she does is to erase the Eastern Europe countries from discussion, presenting the case as US/EU vs Russia?
This is a typical debate framing.
For [the Kremlin apologists] of this world Ukraine, Poland, the Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia don’t have any right to an opinion. Erased with it is a history of occupation under Soviets. For them only Russia has a right to be paranoid. The others once occupied by them for 50 years don’t.
– Samizdata commenter LuckLucky
I am giving a talk at a Libertarian Home meeting at the Rose and Crown pub in Southwark this Thursday evening the 2nd of October. (All welcome. Please come). The initial motivation for this talk was to attempt to shed some light on the causes of the current war in Ukraine. When I thought about is some more, I realised that while the Ukrainian situation is interesting (in an extraordinarily depressing way) the subject is more interesting in the broader context of Russian relations with the countries of the former USSR in general.
As it happens, I have spent a lot of time travelling in the countries of the former USSR. In the last year I have been to Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Lithuania, as well as the two most significant countries that are now in NATO and the EU, but which were formerly communist and Warsaw pact (Poland and Romania). With the exception of Belarus and Russia itself, these countries were not new to me – I have visited all of the others multiple times in the last five years, as well as every other formerly communist country in Europe. I have also visited the breakaway / Russian occupied territories of Transnistria in Moldova and Abkhazia in Georgia. I have seen a lot, and learned a lot, and this helps greatly in trying to understand what is going on. (To my great regret, I do not speak Russian. I would no doubt have learned a lot more if I did).
I have been told to talk for 20 to 30 minutes. I have chosen a gigantic subject for this length. I only have time to give a quick impression of each country, I fear, and a brief attempt to tie things together. For these impressions to make any sense at all, some historical and cultural background is necessary. Therefore, I am writing this article as a brief primer, and hopefully something that people will find interesting in its own right. People who wish to add things, disagree with things, tell me I am completely wrong etc in the comments are most welcome. I a not going to talk about communism at all. I am going to talk about everything in terms of ethnic nationalism and territorial changes.
Now there is a sight I will never get tired of seeing. Better late than never!
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