We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Minsk ‘worse than Munich’?

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

21 comments to Minsk ‘worse than Munich’?

  • If you want to hear blunt, accurate, and often embarrassing (for pathetic western “leaders”) commentary on Ukraine, I’ve found the Lithuanians are worth listening to. They know what’s at stake, know the Russian and neo-Soviet mentality, and have more skin in the game than any German.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – I hope the German Chancellor does not really mean what she says, for if she does the lady is radically deluded.

    Putin’s people in the Ukraine (as with his people in Georgia and Greece) do what he tells them – they do not have an independent existence.

    As for the cease fire – well we see how things go tomorrow when it supposedly comes into force.

    If Putin thinks it is in his interests – or not.

  • the Literate Platypus

    Yes this is a bit like holding peace talks with Hitler in which he promises to “use his influence to pressure the panzer divisions attacking France to sign an agreement”.

  • Paul,
    I am deeply disappointed with Merkel. She is, after all, originally from the DDR. She ought to know. She grew-up under Soviet domination. Anyway, if we really want to put the “House Elf” under the cosh we ban all exports of botox to Russia.

  • I am deeply disappointed with Merkel. She is, after all, originally from the DDR. She ought to know. She grew-up under Soviet domination.

    I wondered that, but then it did occur to me that her and her family might have done quite well out of it. I watched the superb The Lives of Others again the other night, and I wondered what happened to the thousands of Germans who worked for the regime and the Stasi, or were paid and willing informers. Unless I missed some mass executions a la Nuremburg in the early 1990s, I’m guessing most of them went into nice cushy positions in the unified Germany and their treachery was politely never mentioned again. I know nothing about Merkel, but are we sure she wasn’t part of the problem? Would certainly explain a lot now.

  • bob sykes

    The real point is that both the US and UK were excluded from the talks. This hasn’t happened to the UK since the Napoleonic wars. It hasn’t happened to the US since 1945.

    What this means is that NATO is a dead letter. The EU remains a German colony, from which it extracts wealth. German rules western Europe, and Russia rules eastern Europe. Like 1914 but without the messiness of Austro-Hungaria. Bismarck’s long-term project has come to fruition.

    It remains to be seen where the Germano-Russian axis will lead Europe. Putin’s dream of a Eurasian community stretching from Lisbon to Vladisvostok seems doable.

    On the other hand, the UK has no future in Europe and should seek some sort of commonwealth with her children, especially the US.

  • This hasn’t happened to the UK since the Napoleonic wars.

    Brest-Litovsk and Molotov-Ribbentrop were German-Russian/Soviet negotiations from which the UK was excluded. The only off part about this latest farce is France was involved, but then they were similarly “involved” in WWII.

  • Putin’s dream of a Eurasian community stretching from Lisbon to Vladisvostok seems doable.

    Seriously, you should consider a career in stand up comedy 😉

    Russia has nuclear weapons, some of which probably work. It also has an economy about the same size as Italy, and unlike Italy, it has to pump its wealth out of holes in the ground because Russia does not produce much else that anyone else wants.

  • Russia has nuclear weapons, some of which probably work.
    Russia also seems to have an endless supply if governments to the west who are happy to take her word for it and give her whatever she wants. When the “Russian seperatists” in Lisbon which has “historically always been part of the Russian Empire” are kicking up a stink… what then?

  • Laird

    Tim Newman asks a very interesting question about Merkel’s past. Does anyone know the answer?

    Bob Sykes is correct that NATO is a dead letter. It serves no useful purpose and should be disbanded. If the pseudo-nations of western Europe want to form a successor military alliance have at it, but leave the US out of it.

  • Jan Hards

    “NATO is a dead letter”

    Would the Germans really only spend just over 1% of GDP on defence if that were the case? I expect that German foreign policy is grounded on the expectation that if a serious military threat arises against Germany (or Central and Western Europe) then NATO (read the US military) will be available to bail them out. Ukraine is far from Central Europe and this being the case, and the Obama administration’s weak foreign policy also being a factor, the Germans and the French are taking the lead with dealing with Moscow. But it does not follow from this that NATO is a dead letter – wait to see the Germans rearming in a serious fashion before you make that claim.

  • Bogdan from Aussie

    Unfortunately, not much courage or integrity can be expected from the nation that has murdered millions upon millions and sacrificed millions of their own in aggressive, barbaric wars and yet, hasn’t sacrificed even a single life for the freedom of others.
    Speaking about KRAUTFRESSERS of course.
    Having said that, I remember reading the statistics concocted during the second Iraq war when the anti-USA hysteria was at its peak which said that some 37% of Germans were firmly on the side of America.
    That 37% represents the most politically knowledgeable sector of Germany and could probably counted on in the case of some greater disturbances.
    Unfortunately, those 37% are being constantly outvoted by the ignorant, moronic 63%.
    The article that I read those statistics in said also that the ratio between the US supporters and US haters is roughly similar in other European countries.
    For me it is a personal tragedy to be so harsh towards my former neighbours as I’ve always held them in the highest esteem, speak their language, love their culture, architecture, punctuality, trustworthiness and generally have regarded myself as a great supporter and a fan of Germany.
    Big disappointment…

  • A Swiss

    a) Minsk is worse than Munich because the West was at least re- and not dearming at the time.


    b) I do doubt very much that a lot of psychopaths is better than (a single) sociopath(s) (EU, USA, DE, Iraq and Australia among others).

    c) The Germans were conditioned to be so. Remember the beautiful suneshine talk about Germany becoming a powerful military force again during the reunification. Though they became dangerous in a different way: Am deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen.

    d) Unfortunately, the Germans tend to always give it all: 100 % romantic, 100 % Kaiser, 100 % Hitler, 100 % engineering, 100 % EU, 100% green, 100 % anti nuclear etc.

    e) Australia luckily has it much better. No commie leaning press, no supression of free speak, no regular (re-) election of psycho / socio PMs, right?

    f) Je suis 75 % KRAUTFRESSER by lineage.

  • Alisa, thanks but I’m not sure how much that tells us. Even allowing for the fact that Wikipedia is notoriously unreliable when dealing with public figures, I could never be satisfied there has not been an awful lot of airbrushing. Not necessarily on behalf of Merkel – she might be as clean as a whistle, for all I know – only with the fall of the DDR and Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, I am quite certain that there was an awful lot of document shredding going on amongst the elites and those who held authority and a whitewashing of their complicity in past abuses, or support of authoritarian regimes and practices. I am equally sure that a lot of this whitewashing has been very successful, and were we to benefit from a proper press we would find that several high-ranking individuals in European countries and/or the various EU bodies have extremely questionable backgrounds and should, were there any justice, have been driven off by lorry in the early 90s and dumped over the Russian border with a price on their heads should they ever take a single step westwards.

    But instead, everyone buried the past in order to “move on”. But old habits die hard, and I wonder if a lot of what we’re seeing now, and about to see, in Europe is simply the same set of people being given power and influence once again. This phenomenon is happening without a doubt, the only question is to what degree.

  • Mr Ed

    The most worrying aspect of Merkel is that having been born in West Germany in 1954, her father moved to take up a pastor’s job in East Germany, shortly after the Workers’ Uprising in East Berlin.

    What sort of person moved voluntarily to East Germany (and was allowed to?) along with the young Merkel (née Kasner) being permitted to attend University despite her father being a Churchman? (My cousin had an East German pen pal in the 1980s who was told in his early teens that University was out due to his father being a pastor, which was the regime’s default position). Far too cosy a background from my point of view. What might the KGB have collated on her and her family prior to the fall of the Wall (and even after)?

  • Tim, I obviously didn’t take it as something that could tell us much, but it can give one a direction in which to look further, if one is so sufficiently inclined.

  • Of course I agree with everything you say, at least on the face of it. Also, what Ed said – that bit did strike me as odd as well.

  • Very interesting stuff Mr Ed, and exactly what I hoped to provoke by my earlier posts. God forbid the German or European press would actually investigate this stuff, but then the American press didn’t even bother looking into what Obama wrote for his college thesis. What a useless bunch.

  • Mr Ed

    When I first saw this post, I thought that Mr Jennings was providing some rather superfluous travel advice.

  • Mr Ed

    Here’s a German politician who might just be a bit more sound that the current Chancellor.

    McAllister has said that “my upbringing in West Berlin may have had an impact on my resentment towards communists. I became a member of the CDU when I was 17 – it was a birthday present. My parents said, ‘What do you want for your birthday?’ I said I wanted to become a member of the CDU”, explaining that his father was a Conservative, although neither of his parents was involved in party politics.[8]