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Is Ukraine a Failed State?

by ManfromMiddletown Wed Apr 30th, 2014 at 01:15:25 PM EST

Weber defined the State as:

human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. Note that 'territory' is one of the characteristics of the state. Specifically, at the present time, the right to use physical force is ascribed to other institutions or to individuals only to the extent to which the state permits it. The state is considered the sole source of the 'right' to use violence.

More detailed definitions exist, but all, at their core, fall back upon this basic definition.  For better or worse, only states have a "license to kill."  The moment that other groups attempt to take up this power for their own, the state is failing.  The moment that they have, it seems far to say that the state has failed.


Is Ukraine a Failed State?

Yesterday, something of a melee appears to have broken out on the Maidan. The various factions that figured in the overthrow of the former government, now appear to be at each others throats. In Kyiv, the State is failing to prevent the rise of challengers like those from Right Sector. At the same time, the Ukrainian President announced that state security forces were helpless to protect citizens in the East. In the east, the State has simply failed.

Arms For The Poor Bastards?

If Ukraine is on the path to becoming a failed state, the question becomes what to do next. We can argue about assigning blame, but in the end you can't uncrack this egg.  

Given the context of threatened invasion from Russia a vocal minority in the US Congress is calling for the supply of lethal aid to Ukraine.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been hammering the administration for weeks for failure to provide assistance to Ukraine. He was flabbergasted at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last week when a Democrat on the panel suggested this would be "provocative." When Secretary of State John Kerry served up some double talk about working out an agreed list of defensive assistance for Ukraine, McCain called foul, telling him it would take "10 minutes" to come up with a list of items that would help Ukraine to protect itself.

And on Sunday, McCain declared on "Face the Nation" that "unless we act with firmness and strength, including beginning in my view with giving Ukrainians some weapons to defend themselves and some very, very severe sanctions," Ukraine would be a sitting duck for continued Russia aggression. He warned that if Putin "starts moving in further encroachment in this way into eastern Ukraine, they will fight. We ought to at least, for God's sake, give them some light weapons with which to defend themselves. So far, this administration's not only not done that, but they won't even share some intelligence with the Ukrainian government." He summed up: "I can tell you from my conversations with people in the government, they feel abandoned by us. And rightfully so. This is shameful."

 

Russian intervention appears a strong possibility. So we have call for the West to dump small arms in the country.  In the best of circumstances, the pervasive corruption in Ukraine would ensure that at least some of this aid would spill out into the civilian population.  And to Ukraine's neighbors? Yet, if we accept the the Ukrainian state is failing, it's likely that the vast majority of these small arms will leak out.

If we want to rule out lethal aid, then what options are available?  Do we accept the idea that the Ukrainian State is essentially failing?  If so, how do we in the West confront this?

Poll
Do you think Ukraine is becoming a Failed State?
. It already is. 56%
. It's well on the way there. 37%
. It's a remote possibility. 6%
. It will never happen. 0%

Votes: 16
Results | Other Polls
Display:
If we want to rule out lethal aid, then what options are available? Do we accept the idea that the Ukrainian State is essentially failing? If so, how do we in the West confront this?

That depends on whether one views a(nother) failed state on the Russian border as an acceptable, or even desirable, outcome.

If one does not view creating failed states in Russia's sphere of interest (and I'm not counting out the possibility that the US has precisely that motive), then the only solution is to give Russia carte blanche to massive troop deployments (and the accompanying atrocities that always and everywhere follow massive troop deployments). Ukraine is incapable of maintaining effective and credible state power, and Russia will never - to the point of calling down atomic fire from the skies - accept that any other power takes it upon itself to police Ukraine.

So, Russian "peacekeepers" or no peacekeepers whatever.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Apr 30th, 2014 at 06:41:01 PM EST
I vacillate between the view that Ukraine is hopeless, and that there is some possibility for redemption. The tendency of Ukrainian offensive to melt away as they move east suggests that all hope should be abandoned, but I wonder if looking deeper at the causes of this a possible solution doesn't emerge.

One of the reasons that the ability to keep order is failing is because the police are passive. To some extent this is because they are incompetent, but at another level I wonder if a lack of motivation is at work here. These Ukrainian copes are getting paid something like $200 a month. Russian cops get ten times that.  Maybe before the West dumps small arms, we ought to consider fronting the cash to immediately bring police pay into line with that in Russia. This could generate a lot of "motivation," but alas austerity.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Apr 30th, 2014 at 07:20:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with that is that even if the coup regime in Kiev wins, they lose.

Russia wants Ukraine to remain in their sphere of influence, and are prepared to go clear up to "tanks in the streets" levels of escalation to get their way.

The Americans are not politically prepared to go there, and the European countries which are politically prepared to go there lack the military wherewithal to follow through, while the ones who could go to war from a military perspective lack the political inclination to do so.

So Ukraine is going to end up in the Russian camp. The only question is how many people are going to get shot first.

In that context, the best thing that can happen to Ukraine is losing quickly and decisively, because the alternative is to lose slowly and painfully.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Apr 30th, 2014 at 08:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Besides having been a hastily put together a patchwork of various anti-Yanukovich factions, the interim Ukrainian government has a lot of fires to put out right away, to even try to come up with a coherent and comprehensive program of reforms, which are long overdue. The recent price hikes on natural gas by Gazprom, accompanied by hints that Russia may look elsewhere to replace imports from Ukraine, don't help either. At the end of the day, this hurts the industrialized East much more than the rest of Ukraine. So it shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody that those regions are far less willing to go along with the European vector in nation's policy. On top of this, mixed signals coming out of Kiev, don't encourage decisiveness and accountability by local administrations, which explains why pro-Russian protesters were able to relatively easy take control of multiple cities in the East. I have little doubt that Russia's footprints are all over there, but so far, Russians have managed to keep a low profile.

Use of military force to quell protests shows how desperate the authorities in Kiev are. Army is too blunt of a tool to resolve political discourses, and very inefficient in urban areas, unless the government is prepared to kill scores of civilians and can expect the military to carry out orders without questioning. Russia learnt this lesson the hard way in Chechnya.

Where will the crisis go from here? I'm afraid making any forecast in this situation is virtually impossible. There are too many moving parts in it. But without dialogue between the government and leaders of the protesters, and the West keeping the pressure of further sanctions on Russia, the likelihood of Eastern provinces peeling off looks pretty high to me.

by aquilon (albaruthenia at gmail dot com) on Sun May 4th, 2014 at 01:42:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe before the West dumps small arms, we ought to consider fronting the cash to immediately bring police pay into line with that in Russia. This could generate a lot of "motivation," but alas austerity.
Austerity: the self-defeating Washington-Brussels consensus.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 07:20:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austerity: the self-defeating population-defeating Washington-Brussels consensus.

FTFY

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 07:33:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian: Ukraine crisis: Kiev powerless as east slips out of its control (30 April 2014)
The unwillingness of security structures to defend public buildings from separatist occupation has been a theme in eastern Ukraine since early April. Supporters of the "Donetsk People's Republic" have taken over a string of city halls and police stations. An armed unit from Crimea - led by an alleged Russian colonel - has also established a de facto military capital in the town of Slavyansk.

But in recent days Kiev's tentative grip on local law enforcement in the east appears to have slipped completely. In Luhansk riot police stood passively in a courtyard, kettled in by separatists armed with bats and hammers. "The regional leadership does not control its police force," Stanislav Rechynsky, an aide to the interior minister in Kiev, told Reuters. "The local police did nothing."

In a statement on Tuesday, Ukraine's interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said: "The vast majority of law enforcement officials in the east are not able to fulfil their obligation to protect our citizens."



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 30th, 2014 at 08:31:44 PM EST
The unwillingness of security structures to defend public buildings from Maidan Rebellion occupation has been a theme in western Ukraine since early November 2013. Supporters of the "European People's Republic" have taken over a string of public buildings, security and police stations. An armed unit from the Rights Sector - led by an alleged Chechen rebel - has also established a de facto military capital in the heart of Kiev.

All of the EU nations and the US-AID funded NGOs support a violent overthrow of a democratically elected President in the Ukraine.

Policy set out by the Atlantic Council is containment of Putin's Russia and make it a pariah state. The last is a quote by former US Ambassador to NATO in Brussels, Ivo Daalder.

See my latest diary - Kerry Preaching Policy Contra Russia @Atlantic Council.

by Oui on Wed Apr 30th, 2014 at 11:11:55 PM EST
Yes, Ukraine is a failed state, but there is not yet a civil war. There is also still a central government, not empty, bullet-ridden halls of government and different warlords trying to install themselves as president. I say there is till time to pull back from the abyss and call a peace conference.

It would need representation from all factions with power on the ground and credible outside negotiators (since the European countries are a bit to close to the conflict, perhaps India or South Africa could provide some). A compromise might be reached along the lines of keeping Ukraine together, but with a lot of power decentralised to the regions, ensuring that neither the coupists in Kiev nor in Donbass are rounded up and shot. This should be acceptable to Russia, considering it is what they are pushing for.

The problem is that I doubt the Kiev government could survive the result, Maidan is still mobilised and might do another coup. Also if the western backers don't consider a compromise acceptable, but still prefer conflict, they would probably back nationalist radicals in such a scenario.

So while not likely to succeed, I think calls for a pre-emptive peace conference is the best any outside force can to for the people in Ukraine.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu May 1st, 2014 at 04:11:10 AM EST
Yes, Ukraine is a failed state, but there is not yet a civil war. There is also still a central government, not empty, bullet-ridden halls of government and different warlords trying to install themselves as president. I say there is till time to pull back from the abyss and call a peace conference.
There have been two internationally brokered accords between Ukrainian factions which have not lasted the time it took the ink to dry on them. Why should we expect a "peace conference" to work?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 07:22:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did note that it is not likely to succeed. But for differences, the first one was while the Maidan crowd still had reason to believe they could win an all-out victory. And the second one in Geneva did afaik not include the eastern rebels, only the Ukrainian government, the west, and Russia.

Other then that, if the surrounding states wants to do something constructive, preparing Red Cross assistance and getting ready to accept refugees would be it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 04:52:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My feeling is that the reason the previous regime crumbled, and that the current one is crumbling, is the reluctance or refusal of the "forces of order" (police and army) to fire on their fellow-citizens.

In a sense, this is encouraging. The problem is that a point will be reached when the former nation will be sufficiently clearly divided into "us" and "them", to overcome that reluctance.

So not a failed state yet. A breakdown in authority, sure. Irreparable? Probably, given the apparent incompetence and lack of realism of the Kiev junta. But it wouldn't be that hard, probably, to stick the pieces together by calling a constituent assembly to determine a new federal structure.

Without knowing what's going on in the heads of the Kiev government, I imagine that the backing of the US and the EU enable them to harbour the delusion that their friends will help them to restore control on the rebellious territories. Somehow. So a bit more realism on the part of the "allies" would go a long way towards a solution.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu May 1st, 2014 at 06:41:14 AM EST
Some kind of de-facto partition would seem to be a possible step forward. There are clearly areas where enough of the population support Russian influence that there's no way to change it. Best to let those areas go and try and create a remainder Ukraine out of areas that are not dominated by Russia-sympathisers.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu May 1st, 2014 at 03:15:15 PM EST
Signs seen in Swedish media (so news probably copied from english language media, with a layer of chinese telephone added):

  • Members of central government admits having lost control over the east
  • Members of central government proposes referendum on unity
  • Members of central government proposes decentralisation
  • Members of central government proposes national conscription

I don't know if it is the same members for different audiences, or different members. If these all have some substance, there are different wills at work in Kiev.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 04:16:53 AM EST
The deal is doomed, Moscow says, as Ukraine starts an assault in the East. FP Situation Report vi email

   The NYT's Neil MacFarquhar and Alan Cowell this morning from Moscow: "The Kremlin said Friday that 'all hope' for an internationally negotiated settlement in Ukraine had been destroyed, hours after two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down as government forces launched an assault to dislodge pro-Russian separatists from the eastern city of Slovyansk.

    "A spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Dmitri S. Peskov, told news agencies that the 'punitive operation' against the separatists' eastern stronghold effectively had destroyed 'all hope for the viability of the Geneva agreements' negotiated in the Swiss city on April 17 by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, which were intended to defuse the crisis. The agreements, which never taken deep root, had become increasingly frayed in recent days. Much of eastern Ukraine slipped beyond the control of the authorities in Kiev as militants took control of a string of official buildings and captured a German-led team of military observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe."

    "...The clashes on Friday seemed to sharpen the East-West confrontation. While the European Commission in Brussels said it was watching the situation in Ukraine with growing concern, the Russian Foreign Ministry urged Western powers to abandon what it said was a 'destructive' policy of support for the interim government in Kiev. 'This will allow a real process of de-escalation to begin,' the ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters. Russia's response to the clashes were in keeping with earlier efforts by the Kremlin to steer events in Ukraine while casting the authorities in Kiev, along with their supporters, as obstacles.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 09:54:39 AM EST
I strongly suspect that the aggressive actions by Kiev have been urged by US 'advisers' who, at a minimum, want to provoke Putin into sending in troops so as to cement their 'created reality that this is all due to Russian aggression. The very minimum these folks want is to drive a long term wedge between the USA and Russia.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 09:58:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite high-ranking, these advisers.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 05:24:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy May Day.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 07:18:45 PM EST
Saw this.  I've been sort of out of it, and that came through in this diary.  (Missing words, etc.)

Nonetheless, I think that we are pretty much at the point that we can say there is: 1) a Ukrainian Civil War, 2) this is a gift of "colored" revolution crowd.

Yanukovich was a cad, and the old government deeply corrupt.  But, in the end this revolution is going to produce a worse outcome than if things had simply been left as they were.  The vague hope for an Egyptian outcome is rapidly fleeting, unless the Russians intervene to kill this thing in its cradle.  And our leaders in the West would rather that millions die than concede the warmongers among them pushing regime change fucked up.

Oops apocalypse!  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 11:56:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is disgusting, by the way.Apparently people died in "clashes" and the building "caught fire"...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 05:21:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is bad, but I think that the news that the local authorities were apparently congratulating these Right Sector fools for burning people alive. Worse, there were some reports of people shouting in English among the attackers.  Which is leading Russian media to suggest that American mercenaries are in the ground.  I'm not sure if that's the case, or if there are "volunteers" from the diaspora who've come to fight. Or, could be total bullshit.  

"Humanitarian" intervention by Russia is really starting to look like the least bad solution to this hot mess. I can't find the comment now, but at the start of this thing I said that I thought in the end this would be the outcome, and we'd all be thankful that it halted mass killing.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 07:46:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia will intervene when refugees start fleeing across the border.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 5th, 2014 at 01:01:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
probably not best.  

The east seems to be already out the door, and well on the way to becoming a new state or a part of the Russian Federation.  But certainly the authority of Kiev  (soon to officially be Kyiv) does not hold there.  

The west seems actually more problematic.  It is not just the Russians and the easterners who think the Kyiv government is illegitimate, the western Ukrainians, judging by their (lack of) support, obviously think the same thing.  

Which means there is a real problem of how authority in the west might be reconstituted.  

The American neo-cons have once again done what they do best.  They obviously believed they were going to attach the entire Ukraine to NATO by funding a Nazi putsch.  That having failed, they are now just looking for ways to make money off the chaos.  They will.  

--Gaianne  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 10:16:21 PM EST
Just like the Iraq war paid for itself?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 2nd, 2014 at 11:31:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]


The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 11:10:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...Kiev (soon to officially be Kyiv)...

"Kyiv" has been official since 1995.
by Gag Halfrunt on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 05:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 11:11:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in fairness, a lot of people did make money off the Iraq war, starting with Cheney, though it was an economic disaster for the nation. Possibly the same thing will happen in Ukraine. Less likely if they get a federal system or if Russia incorporates the region.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 11:43:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The doors of the US Treasury were burst open, and Halliburton, among others, shoveled out the cash.  That is when the mercenary corporation Blackwater made it into the big time.  

Dead loss for the USA of course.  

--Gaianne  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 04:31:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Official where? How do the Ukrainians, Indians and Chinese get to decide what we should call their cities in English but the Italians can't force us to use Milano in English (or the Israelis to use Yerushalayim. You see where this can lead....)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 12:27:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to Mumbai.  

It's true if you hear them pronounce it, it turns out there is no difference.  

--Gaianne  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 04:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it hard to take that one seriously until they start talking about Mollywood movies...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat May 3rd, 2014 at 05:12:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but the Portuguese who founded it spelled it differently.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 08:12:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neo-Nazi terror in Odessa: more than 40 killed, hundreds injured  (H/T Panayotis Economopoulos)

On May 2, under the pretext of the so-called march `For unity of Ukraine' (that was dated to football match `Chernomorets' - `Metallist') - the paramilitary squads of Ukrainian nationalist were brought together to Odessa from all over the country. They arrived by buses and by trains. From the very beginning - when they just started to gather on `Sobornaya' square - among ordinary ultra-right fans too many well-equipped paramilitaries could be seen. They had shields, helmets, bats, traumatic and service weapons. Mostly - men about 30-40 years old who were evidently not football fans. Some of them had shields where it was written: '14-th hundred of Maidan self-guard'. And these nationalist paramilitaries became the main striking force of bloody massacre of Odessa residents on `Kulikovo pole' square.

In total there were more than thousand of nationalists that participated in the march and the slaughter that followed it. Local residents of Odessa were the minority among them, while the majority - far-right paramilitaries that were brought together there. They could be identified in particular by dialect (not typical for Odessa region), however many of them openly acknowledged and told where they came from. Local Odessa fans of `Chernomorets' team have left the march at the moment when clashes started - they came just for traditional march to the stadium and when they realized that `visitors' and provocateurs led them to beat local people - the majority of `Chernomorets' fans (identified by black-blue scarves of Odessa club) - immediately left the so-called `peaceful' march.

At the same time `guest-militants' were not going to the stadium. Their aim was to terrorize the city-residents and to unleash violence against the activists of the movements opposed to Kiev junta. The action of nationalists from the very beginning had not a peaceful nature, since they were preparing to start a massacre.


A view by a leftist Ukrainian blogger.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 5th, 2014 at 05:43:38 PM EST
The blogger later claims that the Odessa police were sent to guard a government building, leaving the rest of the city very lightly policed.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 5th, 2014 at 05:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Mon May 5th, 2014 at 05:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those with red bands appear to be pro-autonomy supporters (plus some policemen?!. I saw commentaries in Russian that they are the murky provocateurs, instigating a fight with more numerous football fans probably on purpose.

Here is a translated text with graphic photographs, arguing that the fire was a staged decoy, and the real action inside the building was more gruesome actually.

by das monde on Tue May 6th, 2014 at 10:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not just a blogger:

Borotba - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The organization was established in May of 2011 based on the union of the Marxist Organization, Youth against Capitalism, former members of the Komsomol, and other organizations.[3]

Borotba has condemned the 2014 Ukrainian revolution as a Western-backed fascist coup and called for a socialist revolution in Ukraine.[4]



Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue May 6th, 2014 at 04:51:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.
Ukraine: Coup regime raids home of Odessa anti-fascist leader

April 1 -- On the morning of April 1, Ukrainian Security Forces (SBU) agents raided the apartment of Odessa, Ukraine, anti-fascist leader Alexei Albu with a warrant authorizing them to search for lists of activists and for weapons.

Albu, an elected member of the Odessa Regional Council and local coordinator of the leftist Union Borotba (Struggle), was called in for questioning by the SBU on March 11 after he presented a proposal for a referendum on regional autonomy at the council.

Another local resistance leader, Anton Davidchenko, was seized by special forces on March 17 and kidnapped to Kiev, Ukraine's capital city.

 « click for more info VK
Alexei Albu, center, at anti-fascist march in Odessa, March 30. (Photo: Borotba)

On the eve of the raid, the local "Euromaidan" movement -- supporters of the pro-Western, fascist-dominated junta in Kiev -- held a rally outside police headquarters demanding the arrest of Albu and other prominent anti-fascists.

Borotba Union: Tribute to the victims of the racist murders (Jan. 2013)

by Oui on Tue May 6th, 2014 at 05:54:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 6th, 2014 at 07:23:18 PM EST
That's pretty exciting for Poles. They have nostalgia for their hohols.
by das monde on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 12:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The irony of Poland prtitioning ukraine between themselves and the Russians is supreme.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 01:33:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know to what extent Ukraine was ever really a state.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 02:35:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In what sense?

Post-soviet pre euromaidan I think there clearly was an entity acting with state powers from the government buildings in Kiev.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 03:11:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A state-like entity that was quasi-bankrupt, corrupt to the gills, and totally dependent on Russia. More, modern Ukraine was constructed, industrially and economically, as a part of Russia. Hence the gas pipeline tension, that Russia handled with transfusions of slush and low gas prices.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 03:17:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is undeniable.

everywhere you walk, there is a gas pipe, and you know where is the source.

i think they are nuts in Lvov to think Berlin and Brussels will actually help them more than Moscow has done, but hey, what do I know?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 08:03:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine was a state in the same sense as a 2007 house flipper was a flattered real estate investor. Ukraine did not realize what it takes to be a state, and both Russia and the West were happy to keep it credulous. Ukraine was nominally the second most important USSR republic, but already perestroika (not to mention Chernobyl) showed that Ukraine is kept for a joke.
by das monde on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 03:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I also think Putin is rejoicing that the western part wants "independence". I don't think Moscow cares about Lvov.

I hope Brussels and Berlin are ready for the new entry to the EU. It will be a quite expensive acquisition.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 07:58:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Um....  

Look at the date of the article.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 11:33:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, February...

Oops :P

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 7th, 2014 at 11:35:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I assumed this was you being clever.  Pointing out the irony that in February it was the the Western Ukrainians who were talking secession

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu May 8th, 2014 at 04:04:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, there have been some rumours of developements in Lviv (no other confirmation by the way, nor stories in ENglish... and I thought the other story was related. It appears in Billmon's twitter feed with the proper date in the text so no confusion there.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 8th, 2014 at 04:09:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It really seems that the crazies are running the show now.

Putin's latest move, asking for the referendum date to be pushed back, is apparently being met with anger in the East.  

And, if you have Right Sector, or affiliated groups, acting up in the West....  Remember that Avakov had been the subject of death threats... then this is an even graver mess than it was.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu May 8th, 2014 at 05:44:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But wait, I thought the crazies were operating on Putin's orders?

It's as if the media has been lying to me.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu May 8th, 2014 at 05:55:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Putin knows the crazies are in charge, so all he has to do is say that Ukraine should hold elections as planned and let Kiev botch it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 8th, 2014 at 06:17:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It really seems that the crazies are running the show now.
When the state fails and you have excitable people running aroung with Kalashnikovs, the non-crazies keep a low profile.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 8th, 2014 at 06:18:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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