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Old 02-19-2014, 09:14 PM  
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Anyone Following The Protests In The Ukraine?

I've been seeing some impressive pics of protests in Kiev.


Protests against new anti-democratic laws in Ukraine are increasing in intensity, with four citizens reported dead. As you can see in these extraordinary images by Ilya Varlamov, the demonstrators are using rockets made with fireworks. They look like scenes from some science-fiction movie about urban warfare.

The latest reports talk about at least four people killed and hundreds injured by the police. After the massive protests against the government's rejection against the European Union in favor of an alliance with the former Russian oppressors, Kiev officials announced new repressive laws limiting the people's right to protest. These urban battles are the people's reaction to those laws.

Ukraine was a former Soviet Republic, created after a civil war between pro-communist and the Ukrainian People's Republic armies at the beginning of the 20th century, right after the fall of the Russian Empire. The communists won, and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was established. In theory, it was an independent state, but in fact—like all republics in the USSR and satellite countries—it was under a tight control by the Kremlin.

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/spectacula...rai-1507432049

Pics to follow...
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:35 PM   #1576
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
They could have imposed something meaningful, and if you want to head off a crisis before it escalates then the time is now, while Putin's tanks are already sitting in the region he plans to take.

It's a surprisingly weak move, I think it actually is just a way to try to save face.
germany is the key...

if they go with sanctions it could really hurt putin, but he could cut off their supply of natural gas, or at least make them pay through the nose for it...

merkel has become much more outspoken against the russian action and putin personally, so austin might yet turn out to be right...
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:36 PM   #1577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
They could have imposed something meaningful, and if you want to head off a crisis before it escalates then the time is now, while Putin's tanks are already sitting in the region he plans to take.

It's a surprisingly weak move, I think it actually is just a way to try to save face.
I can definitely see this point but I can also recognize the limitations we have because we need the EU to cooperate. There are EU members like Poland who wanted MUCH stronger sanctions but the UK and Germany are going to be tough sells. This is at least a start. Now we wait a bit and start a public shaming campaign if necessary, to get the EU to join us in harsher sanctions.

BUT it needs to STAY on the individual level. General sanctions only hurt the people of Russia and have far less effect on Putin. It's much better to attack his close allies. Surgical strikes instead of carpet bombing.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:38 PM   #1578
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
I can definitely see this point but I can also recognize the limitations we have because we need the EU to cooperate. There are EU members like Poland who wanted MUCH stronger sanctions but the UK and Germany are going to be tough sells. This is at least a start. Now we wait a bit and start a public shaming campaign if necessary, to get the EU to join us in harsher sanctions.

BUT it needs to STAY on the individual level. General sanctions only hurt the people of Russia and have far less effect on Putin. It's much better to attack his close allies. Surgical strikes instead of carpet bombing.
surgical strikes don't cure the disease when all the liquid assets are being transferred out of europe while we dither and blather about what if anything substantial can we do...
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:38 PM   #1579
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
germany is the key...

if they go with sanctions it could really hurt putin, but he could cut off their supply of natural gas, or at least make them pay through the nose for it...

merkel has become much more outspoken against the russian action and putin personally, so austin might yet turn out to be right...
Hey! You beat me to the German mention... yeah them and the UK are the keys to effective EU action.

I wouldn't worry about the natural gas/oil/coal aspect of things. The EU is in a MUCH better position there in the last few years. Russia would suffer FAR worse than they would. It's not ideal for either party but the EU is in the catbird seat on that issue.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #1580
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
Hey! You beat me to the German mention... yeah them and the UK are the keys to effective EU action.

I wouldn't worry about the natural gas/oil/coal aspect of things. The EU is in a MUCH better position there in the last few years. Russia would suffer FAR worse than they would. It's not ideal for either party but the EU is in the catbird seat on that issue.
recognizing that european demand for natural gas will substantially decline in warmer months ahead, i still don't see how europe could successfully deal with an energy cutoff or huge price increases...

why do you see it more optimistically?
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:44 PM   #1581
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
surgical strikes don't cure the disease when all the liquid assets are being transferred out of europe while we dither and blather about what if anything substantial can we do...
I disagree. The point of freezing assets and travel is not really to take the money away as much as it is to make it impossible for them to enjoy the benefits of it. As I stated from the onset, Putin's friends have long enjoyed Western luxuries while bleeding their own country dry. Make that difficult or impossible and they will take notice.

Pretty sure the oligarchs don't want to return to a time when their main vacation choice was Cuba.

Last edited by AustinChief; 03-17-2014 at 08:56 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:46 PM   #1582
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i dunno...

cuba has some nice beaches...
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:48 PM   #1583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
recognizing that european demand for natural gas will substantially decline in warmer months ahead, i still don't see how europe could successfully deal with an energy cutoff or huge price increases...

why do you see it more optimistically?
Because Europe has moved away from Russian gas in the last few years. Yes it still is around 30% of the supply but with a ton of new suppliers a price increase by Russia will simply drive Europe to slightly higher priced options that they'd love to move to anyway but right now are a small percentage because Russian supply is cheaper. This wasn't an option 5 or 10 years ago but Europe's energy situation is VERY different today.

EDIT: I don't claim to be an expert on this but a good friend of mine is (he writes for Forbes on Euro Energy) and I am just parroting much of what he says. By no means would a price increase be ideal but Russia can't increase prices very much without Europe simply filling that 30% elsewhere (the supply exists). Which is why Russia stands to lose far worse in any natural gas pissing contest.

EDIT2: Also, Europe has recently increased reserves as well, so they have plenty of room to deal with any short term issues.

Last edited by AustinChief; 03-17-2014 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:11 PM   #1584
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
Because Europe has moved away from Russian gas in the last few years. Yes it still is around 30% of the supply but with a ton of new suppliers a price increase by Russia will simply drive Europe to slightly higher priced options that they'd love to move to anyway but right now are a small percentage because Russian supply is cheaper. This wasn't an option 5 or 10 years ago but Europe's energy situation is VERY different today.

EDIT: I don't claim to be an expert on this but a good friend of mine is (he writes for Forbes on Euro Energy) and I am just parroting much of what he says. By no means would a price increase be ideal but Russia can't increase prices very much without Europe simply filling that 30% elsewhere (the supply exists). Which is why Russia stands to lose far worse in any natural gas pissing contest.

EDIT2: Also, Europe has recently increased reserves as well, so they have plenty of room to deal with any short term issues.
thanks, msnbc doesn't explain things like that very well...
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:16 PM   #1585
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Expand the asset freeze sanctions greatly, tear up the arms control agreement Obama gave to the Russians at the beginning of his administration, deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic (if they're still interested), expand NATO to those countries, arm Ukraine, and target Assad's regime in Syria. That would probably be enough to demonstrate to Putin that Obama has awakened from his naive slumber.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:27 PM   #1586
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Expand the asset freeze sanctions greatly, tear up the arms control agreement Obama gave to the Russians at the beginning of his administration, deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic (if they're still interested), expand NATO to those countries, arm Ukraine, and target Assad's regime in Syria. That would probably be enough to demonstrate to Putin that Obama has awakened from his naive slumber.
Damn son. Let's start with expanding sanctions...

I agree on missile defense in Poland though.. they are VERY willing. No clue on the Czechs but Poland wants to deploy their own in concert with our which should be in place in 2018 (unless I missed a new change of plans there).
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:30 PM   #1587
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Quote:
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deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic
Yep. If Obama's ego will let him do this, he should.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:45 PM   #1588
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Damn son. Let's start with expanding sanctions...

I agree on missile defense in Poland though.. they are VERY willing. No clue on the Czechs but Poland wants to deploy their own in concert with our which should be in place in 2018 (unless I missed a new change of plans there).


I think putting an end to the arms control treaty is a no-brainer too.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:54 PM   #1589
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Like Medvedchuk? Dumbass.

And I claimed we SHOULD go after them and we COULD. I never claimed we WOULD. That's not a prediction I was willing to make. We obviously are going after a few now which proves my point that we CAN. Period. You were wrong to claim otherwise.

(by "we" I meant the US with pressure on the EU to follow suit)

So quit trying to change what I said asshole.
One guy who is active in Ukrainian politics is not a few. Nice try there.

Keep shifting those goal posts. We're not going after the major oligarchs and neither is the EU.

Also, let me know when some assets actually get seized as opposed to a bunch of rhetoric coming from politicians.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:55 PM   #1590
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I keep forgetting this. And it's huge. This clip should be played on loop every day on every channel until Obama addresses this as well. Russia found it's patsy and they're taking due advantage thereof.


Pants doesn't want to admit Obama shoulders any blame because he probably fell for Ol Hope & Change.
Nah, I thought they were both complete pieces of shit so I abstained.
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