Russian President Vladimir Putin: Thug or an Angel?

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Russian President Vladimir Putin: Thug or an Angel?
WikiImages / Pixabay

For some, he’s a tyrant, a dictator, a thug, a narcissist, a thief, a murderer. For others, he’s a savior, a friend, a king, and simply an angel. He’s without any doubt, the most controversial and most discussed man in today’s world. This man is… Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.

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Nowadays, Putin manages to put up with being a widely admired and a widely hated person at the same time. He’s definitely a very fascinating figure to study and analyze. Which is why so many people around the world are building their theories about the weird, aggressive, delusional or insane behavior of “Pootie-Poot”.

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Just a month ago, Pentagon released a 2008 study that concluded the Russian President’s  “neurological development was significantly interrupted in infancy” and that Putin probably had Asperger’s syndrome. Before that, he was ‘diagnosed’ with “pleonexia”, which is “the insatiable desire to have what rightfully belongs to others”.

Some mainstream media outlets conducted their own studies in which they compared Putin to Napoleon. The reason for that kind of comparison is that the French general was known for his small stature, and the study argues that males tend to overcompensate for their lack of height by an aggressive behavior.

Let’s face it: the events in the Eastern Europe, particularly in Ukraine, over the past year have forced us all, an entire world, to rack our brains over Putin’s intentions, motivations and desires. And while former President of the United States George W Bush managed to have a ‘bromance’ with Vladimir Putin, the subsequent leaders haven’t been that enthusiastic about even thinking of doing something like that. So what to do with a person if you can’t understand him at all, no matter how hard you try?

Is Putin a Thief?

The legend goes that one day in June 2005 Vladimir Putin saw a diamond-studded Super Bowl ring worth $25,000 on the finger of the owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft, who was in Russia for a meeting of business leaders. Putin asked if he could see it, tried it on, and said: “I could kill someone with this”. And then, allegedly, he put it in his pocket, drew his security guards around him, and walked away.

Three months after that, in September 2005, Putin was shown a glass replica of a Kalashnikov rifle filled with vodka during his visit of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. According to the journalist and author Masha Gessen, Putin nodded to one of his guards, who without any hesitation, placed it into his pocket.

With his today’s 86% approval rating, Vladimir Putin was viewed by the majority of Russians as a ‘miracle’ when he became the President, especially when compared to his predecessors from the times of the chaotic 1990s.

It was reported in 2014 that German chancellor Angela Merkel told the President of the United States Barack Obama that Putin was living “in an another world”. That phrase was commonly interpreted as “Putin is weird, ridiculous, insane”, but why not take those words literally? Putin lives in a different world, and his worldview is totally different compared to the rest of the world. And for many Russians, Putin’s worldview – whatever that is – is their worldview, too.

Furthermore, not only Russian people support “Pootie-Poot”, but they also take every bit of criticism addressed toward him too personally. Their personalities are basically crushed by the ego of their idealized and narcissistic leader, and any affront of his majesty is perceived as an attack on the entire Russian population and all of its members. The common Western opinion is that too much power over these 14 years has changed his brain to a point where his ego and country are one.

“Who would be fooled by this guy’s bullshit?”

Let’s look at the things that infuriate Mr. Putin the most. First of all, the mere sight of NATO troops near the Russian borders, which doesn’t just infuriate him, it actually scares him. Second of all, seeing Ukraine, Georgia, or any other post-Soviet state flirt with NATO. And, of course, there is homosexuality. That definitely infuriates him and drives him nuts.

We all remember those pictures of Putin ‘having fun’ with tigers and riding horses shirtless in Tuva that caught public eye’s attention in Russia as well as the entire world. However, Putin then admitted that the tiger stunt was staged. “Sure, the leopard had been sedated,” he said. “But what’s important is that I was the one who came up with the whole leopards project! And the tigers,” Putin told the journalist Masha Gessen.

TV comedian and newsman Jon Stewart presented his viewers with the tales of Putin’s Crimea venture, which he entitled “blatant, naked aggression … or at the very least, disturbingly shirtless aggression.” “Who would be fooled by this guy’s bullshit?” he asked. Well, apparently, Mr. Stewart, 86 percent of Russian people are.

Vladimir Putin, who has controlled Russia for 14 years, is believed to be the richest man in Europe with his net worth as high as $200 billion. Although Putin has repeatedly dismissed any allegations that he has accumulated a large fortune, officially he owns 2 apartments, 2 GAZ Volga cars, 1 garage, and 1 caravan.

However, it is important to keep in mind that there’s always a risk of overestimating Putin. Washington, fearing an escalation of Russian-Ukrainian conflict, has been way too cautious not to ‘poke the bear’ by providing lethal aid to Ukraine. Despite the clear evidence that Russia is still sending its troops and heavy military equipment to aid separatist forces in the eastern Ukraine even after the second Minsk ceasefire protocol agreed to on 12 February 2015, it has been reported today that Obama decided not to supply lethal aid to Ukraine.

The German ambassador to the US, Peter Wittig, said in an Associated Press interview that Obama agreed to hold off during his White House meeting in February with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said Obama had decided with Merkel that it was important “to give some space for those diplomatic, political efforts that were underway”.

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Polina Tikhonova is a writer, journalist and a certified translator. Over the past 7 years, she has worked for a wide variety of top European, American, Russian, and Ukrainian media outlets. Polina holds a Master's Degree in English Philology from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Saint Petersburg State University. Her articles and news reports have been published by many newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs and online media sources across the globe. Polina is fluent in English, German, Ukrainian and Russian.
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123 COMMENTS

  1. “separate news organizations police each other”. You really do believe that nobody is powerful enough to steer and control public opinion by using media? Well how do you explain the total lack of “mutual policing” in september 2001 when media threw out ridiculously rush explanations and fabricated evidence exploiting public anger to make people support Patriot Act and other things as quickly as possible?

  2. Nobody said it was peaceful or ordinary. Revolutions rarely are, and that’s what this was. A coup is something that starts with an organized conspiracy, and almost always originates inside the government itself, most often within the military. That is not what happened here. This started as a resistance movement against Yanuckovich’s move to eschew the trade agreement with the EU (among other things he did that really bothered a lot of people in Ukraine) which seemed to confirm to everyone that he served Putin like a pawn. It gradually came to represent more than that, and towards the end it was more of a resistance movement against the corruption of the Ukrainian government than anything else. When the snipers opened fire, it changed into revenge, and that kind of situation breeds irrational and somewhat extreme decisions. The protesters were not strictly pro-Ukrainian/anti Russian, they came from all walks of life. There were of course some elements that used it to push their own agenda, but for the most part these people represented the populace, or at least a very large portion of it, and they wanted regime change. That’s textbook revolution. There is nothing else to call it, certainly not a coup. That’s a false allegation pushed by people who wish to diminish the legitimate motivations of the people who made up the Maiden protests.

    Now, the constitutionality of the actions that followed Yanuckovich’s departure, I do not contest. The problem there is that there was no provision in the constitution that covers what happened. It’s a rare thing that a sitting president so completely loses control of his own country that he gets chased out of his capital city, along with the majority of his party members, by a large percentage of the population. When this sort of thing happens, you can pretty much throw out the rule book, because it’s going to end up being rewritten anyway. We would all love to think that things could be orderly and analytic, but that simply isn’t the way things happen in the middle of a revolution. To be completely honest, I’m still somewhat amazed by the restraint the people showed. In most similar situations, the President’s ridiculous mansion would be burned to the ground, but instead people looked like they were on a tour at Disney. I’m sure people stole stuff, and it’s probably stripped bare now, but it was not the orgy of violence that history has normally seen in similar situations. In the aftermath, idiotic laws were passed. People were understandably very upset when Russia illegally annexed Crimea. I don’t agree with laws limiting the usage of the Russian language and things of that nature at all, not least of reasons being that it plays right into the hands of the Russian propaganda machine.

    Given the way things went though, there was no way Yanuckovich could ever return to power. His time as president was very clearly over, and the people in line for succession in the event of his removal were chased out right along with him, probably rightly so considering the levels of corruption that were involved in his government. So, in that void of power, those still around in the government had to decide how to move forward. Following the constitutionally appointed path was basically a complete impossibilty, so they had no choice but to break the law. Whether they made the best decisions they could have is a matter that we could debate forever. Personally I think it was all rushed, and obviously it was steered by the western side because those still sitting in government seats saw the writing on the wall. The people had chosen the west, at least the people of western Ukraine had, and that is where they were sitting, so they went with the flow. If they had tried to swim against the current, they would have been chased out of town as well.

    Throughout this situation, the influence of the extreme right wing sectors was a major concern to the western powers, but there was little that they could do to curb it. They are not breaking any laws by expressing their political beliefs, and aside from a few brutal instances of anti-Russian events like you described, they were largely obeying the law. It should be noted that people on the Russian side of this have undertaken virtually identical “anti-Ukrainian” killings, it’s not exclusive to the Ukrainian side. Shit happens in revolutions and war. After Yanuckovich fled, Russia illegally annexed Crimea and started supporting the insurgency in the East. In short order the right wing elements were needed to help fight, so it became doubly hard to get rid of them. Nobody likes this, except those few people in Ukraine who actually believe in that sort of thing, but you can’t just jail them all. They are just as much a part of the country as those who are war mongers in Russia, whether we like it or not.

    Your argument about cheap goods etc from Asia doesn’t make sense to me. Why would Russia have to close it’s borders to Ukraine when it is already inundated with cheap crap from China? I know this is true from talking to friends there, they complain that decent clothing and the like is extremely expensive, and the only inexpensive stuff is junk from China. Russia really doesn’t make much of it’s own goods, and has not for a long time. I know that’s not a favorable situation for Russia, but it doesn’t change with an EU aligned Ukraine. The deal simply would allow the EU to compete on equal footing with Russia in Ukraine, but Russia would not allow this because they knew they can’t compete on a level playing field. I know it would be a bad deal for Russia, but it is not Russia’s place to decide the fate of Ukraine, you see?

    That was the fundamental problem that started this whole mess. Russia tried to dictate what Ukraine was or was not allowed to do, and the people of Ukraine disliked this so much that it started a political revolt against those in the Ukrainian government that were believed to be corrupt, and especially those in government who were viewed as having been bought by Russia, Yanuckovich being the chief among those.

  3. Alan,

    So if it was not a coup, in your view, then what was it? Let me just brainstorm a few events that took place:

    1. Yanukovich left because his life and the lives of his family were in grave danger. That doesn’t sound very peaceful or ordinary. Can you send a death threat to Obama, open fire at his motorcade and it would be totally acceptable? Normal? Ordinary? Would that be easy to do? For anyone?

    2. Ukraine’s parliament votes to remove President from power. Can such vote even happen in absence of any legal procedure, documents and evidence clearly presenting the basis for impeachment? Well, according to Ukrainian Constitution, – NO. Yet, they voted, with violence raging and people being murdered… UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    3. Many in Ukraine’s parliament voted to remove Yanukovich anyway, without any legal basis for that, but… according to Ukraine’s Constitution there should be votes 3/4 of Parliament to do so, they do not get 3/4 and yet proceed with removing Yanukovich from power. No documented case or required legal procedure, not enough votes. UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    4. After Yanukovich is illegally and unconstitutionally removed, a certain opposition figure replaces him, while Ukrainian Constitution says that it should have been a completely different person. UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    5. Very aggressive ultra-nationalists were very much in control around administrative buildings and it was very dangerous for pro-Russia public figures to show up there. A pro-Russia reporter was dragged out of the taxi and shot right in front of the crowd, for example (Vyacheslav Veremiy). While neo-nazsis were not the majority, they were the ones who were well prepared, armed and trained to do the coup. After the power was seized and in absence of pro-Russia parliamentarians, many unconstitutional laws were passed. Further, suitable persons replaced many former officials.

    I really don’t think it’s complicated or hard to understand as along as you are sincere and honest. If, for some weird reason, you sincerely think that the events above do not fit into “coup” definition, then back it up with something and explain what exactly contradicts that definition and what do you call those actions. Democracy??? Constitution is irrelevant? Elected Presidents can be fired?

    In regard to EU deal, from what I know, it was not so amazing. It was a lot more beneficial to EU than to Ukraine, because it was basically suppose to allow EU exports and investment to flood Ukraine that produces many of the same products, as a result hurting many Ukrainian manufacturers. In return EU would open it’s market to Ukraine to, but not to the same extend, and in fact, quite little. Nor was it anywhere near granting Ukraine EU membership. For Russia, it was not good, because EU would not fill only Ukraine with it’s stuff, but also Russia, since Russia and Ukraine had trading agreements.EU imports would likely include cheap rubbish brought from Asia to make money on Ukrainians and Russians at the expense of their own manufacturers. It would hurt Russian enterprises. Keep in mind, that Russia, could not flood EU with Russian products same way either. Therefore, Russia would have to close it’s border with Ukraine, which would additionally hurt Ukraine’s industrial East. Now, does that sound so nice and rosy? Not so much to me.

    Your view of America’s intentions and motivations is very naive to say the least. I think, I’ve already talked a lot about it, so you’re either a shill or hopelessly gullible. You pick.

  4. Your idea of what a “coup” is, does not align with reality it seems, and your views on the United states are downright delusional. The United States does not have designs on Russia. We simply want a Russian government who is a friendly to it’s neighbors, rather than a lying, self-serving, confrontational, and downright dangerous autocrat.

    It’s funny how those two Malaysian Airlines flights look so much alike, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not like every single one of the hundreds of Boeing 777s currently in service with airlines around the world look EXACTLY alike. I agree that is is very that two aircraft from the same Airlines had incidents so close together, but they were two separate planes and there is paperwork going back many years to prove it. They were produced 5 years apart from each other, and have extremely extensive flight histories in the intervening years.

    The only reason Ukraine would be forced to lose a relationship with Russia in order to have one with the EU, was Russia’s refusal to allow such an action. The EU made no demands of any kind that Ukraine curtail it’s dealings with Russia, it simply offered an attractive option that was preferred by many in Ukraine to Russia’s all or nothing type of offer.

    What the rest of the world, and especially those of us in the USA want is not Russia’s capitulation, as Putin would have you believe. We simply want a neighbor who can be trusted not to lie to their people on a daily basis, and not to invade neighboring countries, especially ones it signed treaties to protect. Is that really so much to ask?

  5. Alan,

    Yes, it was a coup and the definition describes Ukrainian scenario perfectly. The majority of Maidan protesters did not seek government overthrow and were not violent. There were few small, but armed, aggressive and determined groups who did all the dirty job, including from within the existing back then gov’t. The word is used correctly unless you want to twist and distort things to suit the narrative you promote here.

    I did not state that American contractors did the shooting, did I? Nor did I refer to any evidence that points to that. The only thing I stated was that we do not know who the snipers were and provided my personal assessment on who I think it was, which is not necessarily to be true. I don’t have a clue about what picture you’re talking about and so my thinking has not been influenced by it.

    Yes, it is possible that Yanukovich ordered the shootings, but in my view it is very unlikely. Who were the snipers? Berkut? I doubt it. They were shot at as well and we’ve seen an attempt to fabricate a case against them. Now tell me, if Berkut is responsible, then why removing all evidence and trying to fabricate something? Come on, after they seized power they’ve been in charge and it was their responsibility to secure all evidence. You don’t just sneak in and steal the evidence, you have to have an authority to do that and it’s been anti-Russian forces in charge, not Russian. It also takes time and could not go unnoticed by current regime. So is current regime really interested in finding the criminals or are they simply trying to frame someone? Are they interested to bring killers to justice??? Somehow I am not seeing that and all this raises a big question in my mind in regard to current regime’s attitude. When your conscience is clear you just don’t try to hide and fabricate evidence. Anyway, I’ve already given you my arguments in support of my yet unproven view. Actually, if they were American contractors it would be very difficult to prove it, unless one of them, a brave alive soul, comes out and testifies. Otherwise, we’ll never know.

    I don’t think anyone stated that the $5 billion were given the night before the coup. Overthrowing a government takes time and lots of various preparations, including years of propaganda. What matters is who gets the money and the support. Do you really believe that most of that money was given to pro-Russia Ukrainians??? American meddling in Ukraine did not start last year, it’s been going on for quite a long time and the propaganda even longer. Since the collapse of USSR it only intensified, cz Ukraine became a much easier prey. America has been empowering pro-Western parties and candidates, which led to Orange Revolution back in 2004.

    “Nuland proudly told a meeting of the International Business Conference sponsored by the US-Ukrainian Foundation that the US had ‘invested’ more than $5 billion and ‘five years worth of work and preparation” in achieving what she called Ukraine’s ‘European aspirations.” Having just returned from her third trip tUkraine in five weeks, Nuland boasted of her ‘coordinated high level diplomacy’ and a more than two hour ‘tough conversation’ with Yanukovych. Already familiar with Nuland as former Secretary Clinton’s spokesperson at State, one can imagine her discourteous
    tone and manner when she says she made it “absolutely clear” to Yanukovych that the US required “immediate steps” …to “get back into conversation with Europe and the IMF.”

    “REQUIRED”! Isn’t it nice? I mean, what an arrogant attitude! Nuland apparently believes that Ukrainian President is her subordinate…. Well, it is actually the case now.

    Russia was very unfortunate to have the idiot and the drunk in power, but what’s misfortune to Russia is a fortune to America, right? So, that explains why the money was given. Trust me, Russians did not benefit from that at all, on the contrary, Russians were robbed and suffered chaos during those days. May God protect Russia from those kind of governors!

    I am positive you aren’t gonna like my opinions about MH17, but since you brought it up I’m gonna share them. As you may guess, I do not think Russians or separatists shut that thing down. Note, I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I just don’t think that’s what happened. BUK is a big complicated thing, which can’t just appear and disappear so easily. It also requires specialists to operate it. Saying that Russians brought it in and out, along with specialists, is just too much to believe. Besides, with America watching that region all the time from satellites, who would do it? So far, I have not seen any good evidence or image provided by anti-Russia side. All the blalbala bla and dubious proof have been clearly meant to simply frame Russia and separatists.
    In my view, MH17 was a hoax. Yes, I’ve heard many reports that there were military jets following MH17 and Russian side provided evidence, NOT just some fuzzy pictures. They also claimed that Ukrainian military had BUK close to that area as well. Now, why was it directed to fly over war zone in first place??? A small detour and the crash could be avoided…
    You might call me delusional, but I think MH17 is actually missing MH37. They belong to the same airline and are almost identical. The first one went missing in March same year, such a huge thing and without a trace. Whatever they might find today, could be brought from Ukraine. I do not think MH17 was full of alive passengers. I have my reasons and if you’re interested I can elaborate.
    I think what is important is to pay attention to who has been exploiting this crash. I saw western officials and media go wild within just a few hours pointing their fingers at Russia and separatists. Do you really believe they had evidence to make such accusations??? Up to this day they haven’t presented any meaningful evidence to support that very serious accusation. I’d also like to remind you the context of the situation. It was when America has been pushing hesitant EU to start sanctions war against Russia. Stubborn EU just did want to shoot itself in a foot! So, America had to push things forward somehow. MH17 is what accomplished that goal, – it was after vigorous anti-Russia propaganda in regard to MH17, EU went ahead with the sanctions. I’m not saying Americans are complicit in this, I’m just saying that MH17 helped them achieve their objective. Ukrainian subordinates, who share same objectives, could just help all that happen. So, I see a clear motive.

    I am going to repeat, – Yanukovich had to leave because he and his family received death threats. Whatever concessions he could possibly make were not really the goal. As I stated earlier, they wanted to seize power and they succeeded. It’s not just about EU deal, it’s about joining NATO, IMF, etc. and overall removal of Ukraine from Russian sphere of influence. You can’t do that by simply getting some concessions from a pro-Russia President, you need a new regime with suitable persons. Ukraine could not integrate with both, it had to loose Russia in order to trade with EU, which actually was not as good of a deal as you might imagine. The purpose was to set up a puppet regime which would turn Ukraine into another province of the empire, but with additional benefits, like a very serious strategic advantage in the Black Sea. It would almost remove Russia from those waters, giving America, via it’s instrument NATO, a nice position to launch further aggression against Russia, in regions like oil-rich Caucasus, etc., with an ultimate purpose of either subjugating Russia or causing it to collapse.

    There are many reasons why America has been doing it. It actually has been going on for ages! Where have you been? I wouldn’t even know where to begin, but you might want to look at a few possible motives in recent history, like nations trying to ditch dollar for instance. Gaddafi tried that and so did Hussein. Do you really think they died because America wanted to liberate someone from them? LOL!!! Well, Russians have been trying to dedollarize as well, creating a rival to IMF bank, forming new alliance in Asia and BRICS, which potentially can challenge US hegemony and even kick it out of Eurasia. In fact, it has already been challenged in Syria.
    American elites see themselves as some superior creatures, just like many Germans once did. They want to keep it this way and eventually gain ultimate control over this planet. It’s kinda hard with Russia standing on the way and being the largest, most lucrative real estate on Earth… not in American property.

  6. Well, one point of our disagreement is the term “Coup”. A Coup de Etat, is defined as “the sudden and illegal seizure of a government,[1][2][3] usually instigated by a small group of the existing state establishment to depose the established government and replace it with a new ruling body”. What happened in Ukraine does not fit that description, as it originated outside the government and involved a very large percentage of the population. It much more closely fits the definition of a political revolution, which is why most people in the USA will not use the word coup to describe what happened, as it is an incorrect use of the word.

    As far as American military contractors in Ukraine, the only evidence to support this claim that I have ever seen is a very obviously photoshopped picture which the Russia media claimed showed Academi (formerly know as Blackwater) employees in Ukraine. The picture was actually of American policemen patrolling the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana following hurricane Katrina. The image was altered to change the insignia on the uniforms and remove some signs from the background that would have given away the location, such as a sign for a Wendy’s restaurant. I have actually walked down the very sidewalk where the picture was taken, and you can see the location on Google street-view to confirm where the picture was taken. It was fake, and the allegations involved were manufactured by the Russian government as a distraction. It’s also possible that Yanuckovich himself was responsible in an act of desperation that clearly backfired, and that Putin’s actions were a reaction to what Yanuckovich had done.

    There have been so many outright lies told on Russian media that it is impossible to go through them all and debunk them here. They often involve some kernel of truth that is then twisted, such as a claim that the United States government spent nearly $5 Billion on the operation to destabilize Ukraine. This was based on the real number of foreign aid money the American government has given to Ukraine, but it came over a period of 20 some years, since the fall of the USSR. The USA gave Russia $2.7 Billion over the same period for the same purposes by the way, but of course they do not mention that. There are other examples, like a badly photoshopped image that claimed to show a Ukrainian fighter jet shooting a missile at Malaysian Airlines flight 17. This trick was exposed due to the fact that they used stock images found on the internet and pasted them together. There was also the fact that the fighter jet was far too close to the Airliner, and would have been damaged in the subsequent explosion had such a thing actually occurred.

    Personally I believe that flight 17 was most likely an accident, but one that was contributed to by negligence on the Western side. Russian Rebel forces apparently believed it was a Ukrainian cargo aircraft, and shot it down mistakenly. They even tweeted out that they had just shot down a Ukrainian Cargo aircraft at exactly the time that the flight was shot down, then deleted the post about 15 minutes later when they realized it was not what they thought it was. Why that flight was allowed to fly over the region is another question, one that I would have some very pointed questions for western governments about, as it was at best criminally negligent, at worst it could have been intentional baiting, which if true would be horrific. If it were true, I would want any any every person involved in the affair jailed for life.

    As far as missing evidence regarding what happened in Maiden, the fact that things have gone missing does not surprise me at all, and it does not point at the western side. It just means that whoever did it does not want to be tried for the crime and still has a presence in Ukraine. Russia has always had a strong presence in Ukraine, and that has not changed since those events. It’s just different faces at the front of the crowd, hidden ones mostly now.

    It appears I mistakenly remembered the details of the last day that Yanuckovich was in Kiev. You are correct that he refused to resign, but he had agreed to a new election in the short term, and he had capitulated to the main demand of the Euromaiden movement, which was to sign the trade deal with the European Union. The Euromaiden side very clearly was winning, and Yanuckovich fled when it became apparent that the police and military were abandoning his side in favor of the Euromaiden side following the events with the snipers, and he was losing his personal security as most of his soldiers and police would not fight for him anymore.

    To me, it is clear that there is one hand behind the escalation of violence. It served Putin’s desire to take Crimea and Eastern Ukraine back. I can’t see any way that it served western interests, as their side was already clearly going to win. The same goes for groups like Pravy Sektor. They were winning, and it was only a matter of time before things would end in their favor. Why set everything on fire when you were about to win? It makes no sense. Now, when you are about to lose, then you have a reason to set things on fire. Especially if your intent is to scare the people of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine enough to make sure they will be on your side in what is to come.

  7. As for Praviy Sector had no intent invading Crimea, you might want to Google “?????? ??????” from Jan-March 2014… You’d be surprised what you will learn about PS.

  8. Let me fill in blanks in your story. 1. Yanukovich agreed to hold elections in May 2014. Why impeach the guy who is willing to work with you? This agreement was brokered between Ukraine, USA, Germany and France. No need for violence. Yanukovich even offered Prime Minister position to Yarsenuk effective immediately in February 2014! So, here goes out of the window your “popular uprising against corrupt gov.” story. Ynek, in February 2014 agreed to everything opposition leaders asked him. “Someone” did not want peaceful transition of power and that someone sits in Washington DC. 2. Praviy Sector is not neo nazi?! They just used Nazies to fight soviet occupation? Well, my friend, then may be you can explain to me why Bendera and Shuhevich lead their troops to execute hundreds of THOUSANDS Jews and Poles? Children, women, elderly – they did not spare any one! It’s all very well documented by themselves. Just ask anyone from Poland about Bendera and watch their blood boil at front of your eyes! You have really big gaps in your knowledge of history Alan. As for PS numbers, they are quite big. They’ve got weapons and heavy armor too. I have no idea what cool aid you looking thru. Remember, that neither nazi in Germany or Bolsheviks in Russia had popular vote or huge following before they came to power. But they were very well organized, armed, trained and motivated. Praviy Sector is just like them. It’s a threat to the Europe and Russia will stump it out.

  9. Alan,

    You sound like you were there, right where all action was and in every situation. Well, I doubt it, but even if you were there, it still would be impossible to describe so many details with so much certainty.

    Lets just stick to the facts, which are unlikely to be out fantasies and try to analyze from there. Yanukovich did not resign and had to run for his life. Then, there was a coup. It’s very simple and needs no details really.

    We both agree that there were snipers whose goal was to set things on fire, to push things to a different level, to create violence. We do not know who those snipers were. This is the truth, – we do not know. Your entire analysis is based on the baseless assumption that the snipers acted on behalf of Russia, while I don’t see how Russia would benefit from triggering a war right on it’s borders and involving Russian speaking population. I am sorry, but I don’t see how it was supposed to serve Putin either.

    The violence did not just happen spontaneously, it was preplanned. I agree with you that the majority of people had peaceful intentions, but there were groups who did not. They were not going home without their objectives achieved. Those groups were prepared for violence in advance, it was planned and expected. Things like that take time, money and knowledge. Of course, you know who I’m referring too, the ones who did all the action there and there were NOT Russians, nor ordinary peaceful Ukrainians.

    So, how were they going to turn those peaceful protests violent???????? I say, snipers were part of their plan, which, I believe, was put together with their American sponsors. So, the question in my head is only whether those snipers were of Ukrainian origin or imported from USA. In either case, it was an American technique, which has been used previously in other places, the most recent being Syria. In the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if the snipers were Ukrainian nazsis or American private contractors, because in both cases they were serving same bosses and same agenda.

    Here’s something for you to ponder on:

    “The probes into the killings have been hindered by missing evidence, Reuters
    reports. According to its investigation, many guns allegedly used to shoot
    protesters have vanished, as well as the bullets. Barricades, bullet-pierced
    trees and other items of forensic evidence were removed, lawyers say. Court filings
    in the cases are not public, so the extent of the prosecution’s evidence is
    unclear.

    Among what has been unveiled in the Sadovnik case is a photograph, allegedly showing him near the crime scene, wearing a mask and holding a rifle with two hands, “his fingers clearly visible,”
    the report says.

    But, as Reuters points out, the man has only one hand, as his other one was blown off by a grenade in a training accident six years ago. Sadovnik demonstrated his stump at a
    courtroom. “He can’t really shoot, to blame him for the crime is a political game,”
    Sergey Vilkov, Sadovnik’s lawyer said, as quoted by Reuters.”

    “In September, Dmitry Sadovnik went missing after he
    was released from pre-trial detainment by the court and put under house arrest.”

    “Another gap in the investigation, according to the research, is the fact that “no one has been apprehended in the shooting of policemen,” although, according to Ukraine’s
    Ministry of Interior Affairs, almost 200 police officers were injured with gunshots and 13 died between February 18 and 20. But the prosecutors “represent the whole picture as a
    peaceful protest,” Reuters quotes Sadovnik having told a judge at a hearing.

    In April, ex-Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko said Berkut riot police were targets and not shooters during the Maidan standoff. He added that a fair investigation of the tragic events in Kiev was impossible under the biased, coup-imposed government.”

    “Several earlier reports stated that snipers who killed dozens of people during the violent unrest in Kiev in February operated from a building controlled by the protesters on Maidan
    square. The allegations have been confirmed by former chief of Ukraine’s Security Service Aleksandr Yakimenko.”

    “According to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which emerged online in March, the latter said that “there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition.” Estonian Foreign Ministry later confirmed authenticity of the leaked call.”

  10. Death threats forced a sitting president who had been hated by half his country for years to leave? No, the crowd that stormed his house after the snipers did their dirty work forced him to leave.

    Yes, the people of the Maiden movement wanted to take over the country, they not only hated Yanuckovich but most of their parliament too, as they regarded them as corrupt thieves. that includes both sides of the isle, both pro Ukriainian and pro-russian politicians were hated by the people of Maiden. They wanted to wash the government clean and start over, but there were not prepared to do it by force. They were intent on doing it peacefully.

    When I say they had secured their goal, it has nothing to do with military action. It simply means they got what they wanted. They forced Yanukovich to resign, and up to that point they had not used violence in any way except to resist violent police attempts to remove them from the square. They built homemade shields and wore helmets, so that they could stand up against the police in their riot gear, but they generally carried no weapons other than the odd baseball bat or something like that. If after Yanuckovich had stepped down, there had been no snipers, Maiden would have first become a huge party, then slowly dispersed after a few days. Instead, the police immediately tried again to clear them out by force, then the snipers took aim and managed to make everyone angry enough to actually become violent.

    That was the sniper’s goal. They wanted wanted the people of Maiden to storm the parliament by force. They wanted them to try to kill Yanuckovich. They wanted this because they needed a symbol that Putin could hold up to the Russian people in order to get them behind this war. They baited the people of Ukraine into action in order to justify their supposed “reaction”, when in truth Russia had thrown the first blow.

  11. 1st of all, there are VERY few Neo-Nazi’s in Ukraine. Pravy Sektor is not a neo-nazi organization as Ptuin would have you believe They do not promote Nazi idealogy, and they are not fascists. They are easy targets for that label because they idolize a Ukrainian resistance fighter who allied himself with the Nazis in WWII to try to get rid of the Russians and (idiotically in my opinion) choose to wear emblems that resemble Nazi paraphernalia, but that is not what they really are, nor what Bandera really was either. He fought against the Nazis too, he just used them as a tool to fight Russia.

    They wear the symbols etc because those symbols became synonymous with resistance to Russian rule. That is all the symbols really mean to the average Pravy Sektpor recruit. It means defense of Ukraine at all costs, even if it means allying yourself with an enemy. It’s the same thing as your St. George Ribbons, just a catastrophically bad fashion choice that should have been avoided because it gives enemy propagandists a goldmine to work with.

    What they really are, is a right-wing Ukrainian nationalist group, no different than the Russian nationalists on the other side for the most part. They just wear different symbols and wave a different flag.

    Both sides are dominated by extreme right wing groups, but its actually the Russian side that shows slightly stronger fascist tendencies. Now, if the Ukrainian side had more power, they might be acting the same, but there is no way to know so far.

    The one thing I would really stress here though, even Pravy Sektor and the like had no intentions of invading Crimea etc. They just wanted rid of a president they felt was a criminal, and a puppet of Putin (which he pretty much was) and I can’t say I disagree. Yanukovich was a criminal, even if he was democratically elected. I don’t think Ukraine has a provision for removing a president who has lost the faith of the people as we do, nor does Russia. That’s why it eventually came to people in the streets, rather than decisions in courts. It’s something that should be added to the laws in both countries. We call it impeachment, and it is very rare, but the provision is there.

    Also, you seem to take my criticism of Putin as defense of all things Ukrainian, which is not the case. Ukraine is a huge mess, with a lot of stuff going on that disgust me, but they didn’t start this war. Putin did that.

  12. Alan,

    I am wide awake.

    Yanukovich received death threats to himself and his family, which forced him to flee. After that, he, a democratically elected President, was unconstitutionally removed from power and the reigns have been grabbed by opposition forces. It is called coup. Period.

    No, there was barely anything “secured” before the snipers. They wanted to completely take over Ukraine.

  13. The “Coupe” as you call it was completely non-violent until they had effectively won. They had secured what they wanted, Yanukovich had agreed to step down, then hours later snipers are killing unarmed civilians? Why on earth would they then go on a rampage against their own people after they achieved their goals?

    WAKE UP!!!

  14. I never said I supported Khodorkovsky as a candidate. I don’t know much about his leanings, I just know that Putin was perfectly happy cozying up to him and using his money and influence, and continues to do the same with many others like him. People who became wealthy in exactly the same way, and who continue to steal from the people of Russia with Putin’s blessing. Until he became a threat to Putin himself, Khodorkovsky was welcome at Putin’s table, just alike all of the other vultures who continue to enjoy Putin’s favor.

    It was an illustration of Putin’s duplicity, not an endorsement of Khodorkovsky. If Khodorkovsky was anti-Russian, and didn’t represent the will of the Russian people, then he would never have been elected. I would like to see the Russian people trusted to make their own decisions.

    I am not anti-Russian, but it does certainly appear that you are anti-western. You describe Khodorkovsky as “anti-Russian” for having ties to western organizations. (This term has become extremely popular in Russia as of late. It’s being pushed by the Putin-run media every day) It doesn’t take much logic to deduce that you consider western organizations “anti-Russian”, just as Putin hopes you will think. He wants you to believe that all who oppose him are enemies of Russia. The reality is that most who oppose him are simply enemies of Putin. It seems that many Russian people cannot separate the leader of Russia from Russia itself. Putin is not Russia. Putin is Putin, Nothing more, nothing less. Opposition to Putin does not equal opposition to Russia, it equals opposition to Putin.

    The reasons I oppose Putin? There are many. For example, he has molded Russia into a country that now fits 12 of the 14 tenets that define a Fascist government, and the two that don’t fit are most likely due to a change in culture overall.

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism (He plays on your pride in your country in order to use you for his own purposes)
    2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights (Repeatedly killing those who insult him, such as 200 journalists killed in Russia in 15 years. Using war as a political tool, etc)
    3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause (Vilifying the west)
    4. Supremacy of the Military (Putin treats them as above the law, he courts their favor with high salaries and good benefits. He does this in order to buy their loyalty to him, and now he is putting military spending above all other interests)
    5. Rampant Sexism (Not true in Russia as far as I know)
    6. Controlled Mass Media. (Ownership of all TV stations, threatening or killing those who write or speak against him)
    7. Obsession with National Security (The wars against Muslim regions of Russia, presentation of the West as an enemy to Russia, etc)
    8. Religion and Government are Intertwined (Putin is extremely close to Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox church, and is increasingly bringing matters of the church into politics. The jailing of Pussy Riot is just one example of many)
    9. Corporate Power is Protected (Putin protects those in power unless they speak out against him like Khodorkovsky did. Everyone knows that those in his circle are above the law)
    10. Labor Power is Suppressed (Regular workers in Russia have virtually no power to resist the will of their employers, and are extremely underpaid)
    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts (Not true so far, unless you count journalists)
    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment (Putin uses this as his biggest tool, and strives to be seen as hard on crime)
    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption (Cronyism means keeping power in a small circle of friends and not sharing in it. Corruption is obvious with Putin)
    14. Fraudulent Elections (Stuffed ballot boxes in Chenya, Ingusetia, etc. The ridiculous “referendum” in Crimea. No election held in Russia to date has met international standards for fairness.)

    I hate Putin because he is a leading Russia in a dangerous direction for the world, one that strongly echos the steps Germany took in the 1930’s, and he is using many of the same tools Hitler used to dupe his people. I hate him because he has people killed for opposing him, as evidenced by nearly 200 dead journalists in Russia over the period of 2000-2015, making Russia the 4th most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist. I hate him because he leads a government that is one of the worst in the world at being honest with their citizens.

    But the strongest reason I hate him, is because I wish better for the people of Russia. Seriously, you can do so much better than him.

  15. I never said anything about Russian soldiers borrowing equipment and munitions. But I did state a fact: Ukrainian soldiers take equipment and munitions with them when they desert and join the rebels. Even so, I wish Russia did as you accuse. She should support the rebels more than she has. If America get stupider than she has already been and starts giving lot of military aid to the Ukrainian armed forces, Russia will almost certainly get very serious about helping the rebels. So far, though, Russia giving advanced weaponry to them is just a fantasy. Too bad it is a lie….

  16. Yes, Alan, tax evasion was one of the charges and the dude was accused of a number of crimes, including murder, theft, looting, etc. Some say, he cost Russians at least $1 billion. He and the likes (Berezovski, etc.) acquired important property at ridiculously cheap prices, during the era of chaos which plagued Russians back in the days of the idiot and the drunk, who happened to govern Russia. I think, the dude is a insatiably greedy traitor and an enemy of Russia. Can’t think one good thing folks like him did for Russians or Russia. On the contrary, he seems to be friends with deeply anti-Russian organizations and persons. I wish him sincere repentance.
    I am not sure why would you somewhat defend Khodorkovsky and oppose Putin? Your main arguement against Putin is his secret, likely mythical, undeserved wealth. Well, at least Putin can boast some tangible achievements for Russia and his “crimes” are yet to be proven. Kohorkovsky was the richest man in Russia and remains quite wealthy, and yet did virtually nothing good for Russia or Russians despite of being in a position to do plenty of good stuff, but he’s been doing rather the opposite. So, how is he a better person in your mind? Why would you criticize Putin for something unproven and yet downplay and justify Khodorkovsky’s crimes against Russia and Russians? I can think of only one explanation – you, yourself, are unconditionally anti-Russian… and the question is why.

  17. Khodorkovsky was not actually charged with tax evasion. He was accused of misdeeds during the process of privatizations, a charge which could be applied to virtually every wealthy person in Russia. Putin was friends with Khodorkovsky for a long time prior to this, and was aware of his past, but ignored it. It was only once Khodorkovsky decided to run for president against Putin that the charges appeared. The selective prosecution of Khodorkovsky, while ignoring all the others who had broken laws, was obviously politically driven. The chaos in Russian after the fall created a situation where Putin can look into the past of virtually any person with money and find wrongdoing, or at least enough ambiguity to file charges in Russia, which has a low standard of proof. He also exerts a tremendous amount of influence over the courts. Enough to influence the outcome of trials. This means he can control all competition against him, and effectively eliminate it, which is exactly what he has done so far.

    As for proof of his thievery, it’s really difficult to prove this because he controls all of the entities that have any authority to investigate such things. He also controls the entities that issue official documents, so he can forge anything he wishes to protect himself. This in and of itself is a situation that should NEVER exist. He’s been allowed to aggregate way too much power. Enough power that is it pretty safe to say that his only remaining vulnerability is to a revolution from the people themselves. The people of Russia are the only thing that can hurt him anymore, which is why he goes so far to appease and entertain them. All of his stunts, the war in Ukraine, etc. All of it is done to please the people of Russia and deflect attention from who he really is and what he is really doing. It’s all bread and circuses, to use a term from old roman times.

  18. So, official media is your evidence? Are you kidding me? On the street or in the field doesn’t count? And personal accounts by Ukrainian soldiers don’t count, let’s say from Debaltsev? You know what you’re reading, I don’t need to tell you.. that is unless you’re reading only RT and Paul Craig Roberts, Lew Rockwell, Daniel McAdams, Ron Paul.

    You bet your a$s the Kremlin is supplying weapons. Enuf BS bud. “Three armies” with USSR era slingshots against Russia’s latest. Sell your story somewhere else.

    So, what’s in this for you, to sell this tripe? Are you another American so pissed off at Washington that you ignorantly throw your support at the world’s newest rogue dictator in the Kremlin?

    Show me your shreds of evidence that Russia is not arming the Donb@ss gangs.

  19. You say I know nothing, but I have studied all of the resources available to me on the subject. Pray do tell where I went wrong? Otherwise, this feels like a cop-out.

    One thing I can tell you for sure, a very larger percentage of the Ukrainian speaking popular wants to move away from Russia, and have for a very long time.

  20. Alan, with all due respect, your statements have nothing to do with reality. You need to study a bit before making these statements. It’s striking how little you know about history of this region. But I commend you on trying and being proactive.

  21. Vanyam, there is not a single shred of evidence that Kremlin supply rebels with weapons. News reports based on social media posts IS NOT AN EVIDENCE. Secondary, post soviet Ukraine had stockpiles of weapons enough to arm 3 armies. Yes, numb nutz, 3 armies. Ukraine is historical route of invasion to Russia. USSR had arms and weapons depots there big enough for rebels to arm for years to come. They don’t need anything from Russia. Educate your self, sheeple!

  22. Well Geez, Skippy, I don’t know. If we’re going to play the manure game here spreading the BS, then I’m just getting down to your level so you can understand.

    You know that Ukraine is stuck with outdated weaponry and that Uncle Vlad provides the Donbass mob with the latest and greatest, so enough of your garbage, yeah? If you continue to spread it Skippy, I’ll go put on my boots so I don’t get manure on my socks.

    You’re like an old re-run with this stuff.

  23. Alan,

    Is current Ukrainian regime opposing nazsis? No. In fact, it collaborates with them against pro-Russia population with western support. If you look at the symbols used by Azov battalion, for instance, then no words are even needed. Aidar is not better, as well as a number of others. Those people with swastikas are sponsored and even encouraged to commit crimes against pro-Russia population, all with western support. So, it doesn’t really matter if Porky has swastika tattooed on his face, because his actions speak volumes. Just google his speech on how he plans to win the “WAR” by starving Donbass elderly and bombing kids.
    I am not really interested to analyze the ideology and causes of fascism. It’s plain evil and must be abolished, persecuted by law. In Ukraine, it’s the opposite. According to your logic, ISIS seizing power in any western country and butchering whoever they please, would be also justifiable and explainable.

    If you genuinely supported self-determination, then you’d never justify/accept foreign-backed violent coup. It’s not self-determination when foreigners empower certain groups against the other part of population, engage in power grab and all sorts of meddling. At the same time you deny self-determination rights to Crimeans and Donbass, using some dubious excuses. There was no bloodshed in Crimea, people wanted to join Russia. You speak against violence and yet, the coup was the right thing to do in your view. You criticize Yanukovich for accumulating wealth and yet Porky’s wealth is no concern to you. You whine about Yanukovich suppressing opposition and yet, shooting a pro-Russia reporter in broad daylight is not important, nor the fact that Porky owns Ukrainian msm and shuts down pro-Russia media, not to mention terrorizing and murdering political opponents. Your views are just way too inconsistent to say the least.

    It has not been proven that Berkut was responsible for the shootings. Your should ask why current authorities are so uninterested in investigating those terrible crimes. I saw a picture of Berkut sniper supposedly holding a rifle with 2 hands at Maidan, and then it came out that the dude had a missing arm… I say, it was either nazsi gangsters shooting or American private security firms employees. Both are totally capable and the way it was done suits their style.

    Putin doesn’t need to spread false info about nazsis in Ukraine, they are doing a pretty good job at it themselves. Those who support, sponsor and employ nazsis are no better, especially when it’s accompanied by corresponding statements and actions.

  24. Alan,

    Everything you’re saying might be pure fantasies, speculations and gossip. It’s not been proven. You actually don’t need to convince me that Putin is wealthy, because even if he is, I don’t really care. I don’t trust politicians and Putin is not an exception. I support and criticize his decisions, policies and all other aspects of his work. So, you’d have to address those things to discuss Putin with me. He’s robbing Russians? Prove it. In any case, I am not sure, why would anyone build hidden palaces which they can’t enjoy or at least show off.

    Hodorkovsky was accused of tax-evasion, meaning he was the one robbing Russia. Surely, there’s a different narrative in western msm, but then it’s just their word against Russians’.

    Vast majority of western msm is really owned by just a few corporations with a conflict of interests. So, many news sources you’re relying on belong to the same owner. I think, when it comes to Russia and a number of other foreign countries, all those corporations share pretty much same interests. So, it’s same narrative going on and on.

    As you can see, I am on a western news page, so I am familiar with western narrative as well as Russian. However, I also add to my analysis my personal experience and knowledge of places/peoples, along with some common sense and logic. Perhaps and quite likely, I’m mistaken about some things, the time will show. So far, these are my views, take it or toss it.

  25. He’s not in a bad situation anymore of course, but three years ago he very much was. There were open protests against his return to the Presidency in the streets in cities across Russia, not only Moscow. I know there were protests in Petrozavodsk, I got to see them on Webcam out of my friend’s windows.

    He knows that this could return at any time if he doesn’t give his people something else to worry about, so he has to keep to the path he created as a way out, which is demonizing the west and blaming all of Russia’s problems on them. He blamed the protests against him on the west, he blames the war he started on the west, he blames everything from poor health to the cost of groceries on the west, and Russians lap it all up because they don’t want to believe that they could be responsible for some of the ills of their own country. They force any publication with part western ownership to print warnings declaring themselves propaganda on each page for Christ’s sake.

    Russians supported the invasion of Crimean and eastern Ukraine because they feel it is rightfully a part of Russia, not Ukraine, and I personally would say I agree to a point. That does not justify starting a war though, and that is exactly what Putin did. Nobody stole it from Russia, Russia lost it all by themselves when the USSR fell to pieces.

    Russia needs to stop blaming others for their own ills. Of course a lot of people could learn from the same advice, but not many of them are placing blame so far afield, or so wrongly.

    Russia reaped the harvest of it’s own actions in Ukraine, both during the fall of the USSR, and in recent history. This was not a product of western “provocations” or whatever word they choose to use today, it was a product of a controlling and overbearing Russia being rejected by the people of western Ukraine.

  26. Oh, yah. He’s scared. His approval rating is less than 90%, barely. One of the most popular songs in Russia last year was “I want a man like Putin.” and the Russians think he’s a hero. He must be shaking in his boots.

  27. The information I listed came directly from the mouth of their director of the Ukrainian mission, in a recent interview posted on their site. You are saying he is misinformed?

    Oh, and their site sucks by the way. Half the articles you click on come up as nothing but an image, and their timeline of events is largely links to nothing at all.

  28. The Ukrainian people and culture have been in that region for hundreds of years, dating back well before the foundation of Tsarist Russia. for many years, it was traded back and forth and split between dueling empires like the Habsburgs and Czarist Russia, but that does not mean that there was not a strong cultural identity and common language in the region.

    It wasn’t until after the formation of the Soviet Union when Russia tried to enforce a policy of Russification on Ukrainian speaking peoples that things really got heated though. That’s what birthed the movements that eventually became things like Prayi Sektor. It was a response to Stalin’s attempt to eradicate the Ukrainian cultural identity. The fact that Ukraine was one of the first countries to break away from Russia during the fall of the Soviet Union should tell you something about how they feel towards Russian rule.

    Yes, West and East Ukraine are very different. On that I agree completely. It was a colossal mistake to allow the formation of the new country based strictly on the old Communist boundaries, but there simply were not leaders available who could effectively administer the transition. Russians like to think that the west forced this situation as an affront to Russia because they had the power, but the reality is that the west didn’t have the sway over those regions to control how the formation of new countries occurred, and the whole thing happened very haphazardly. It was just a matter for convenience really, lines were already there on the map, so they just stuck with them despite what should have been obvious problems.

    I should make clear that I have no opposition to Crimea becoming a part of Russia if it’s people truly wished this, but it should not have occurred how it happened. Border should not be redrawn through violence and aggression, especially not when the parties involved consistently lie about their intentions and the realities on the ground. It makes all of Russia’s neighbor’s extremely uncomfortable, and that distrust leads to poor relations and strain, like what we see now.

    One thing that people don’t seem to understand about the trade deal situation was that the EU deal with Ukraine was not an exclusive deal that would force Russia out. There was nothing to prevent Ukraine from engaging in trade with Russia on any given product, etc, it just provided for lower tariffs etc in order to facilitate trade. Russia on the other hand wanted a deal that would give them exclusive rights, and prohibit Ukraine from trading with the EU or any other country on certain items. There was nothing preventing Ukraine from signing trade agreements with both the EU and Russia except Russia’s unwillingness to allow competition in Ukraine.

  29. You read poorly and inaccurately. The “arrest” incident happened in the early days of the conflict when it seemed obvious to the rebels that the OSCE was mapping their defenses rather than doing neutral observation. They straightened it out with the help of Russian intervention.
    The OSCE is not limited to within 20-30 meters of two border stations. Except for safety concerns they are allowed to roam all over Ukraine – and do so. They follow Russian aid columns to their destinations, investigate treaty violations everywhere, inspect equipment storage.
    Both sides, however, use the “safety” thing to keep the OSCE from some vital sites and the rebels still don’t trust the OSCE enough to let them follow some columns into the storage yards.
    The OSCE complains daily that both sides give them a hard time about free movement. For instance, the Ukrainians are now demanding to know the nationality of OSCE personnel before they give them access.
    Try subscribing to their daily reports. Today, for instance, you would have received a report that the Ukrainian forces are barring OSCE from some weapons storage areas and some supposedly stored weapons seem to have disappeared. The Ukrainians are still shelling Donetsk every day and still have refused to pull back from the airport area.
    Fighting is still going on, apparently by mutual consent, near Mariupol with both sides lobbing shells.
    The important thing you get with OSCE is the only almost unbiased picture of what it really happening. It and the UN Commission on Human Rights are the only sources of honest information in the area, and the UNCHR doesnt’ say much.
    Try it for a few days and start looking real smart.

  30. Alan, every state control media has agenda. Here in US, Russia, EU, Ukraine. I find Russian media the least bias between all of them. Russia did not try to control Ukraine for 200 years. It WAS RUSSIA till 1917. There was no such nation as Ukrainians untill then. Ukraine is artificial state that won’t exist soon enough. West and East Ukraine have different language, religion, history, culture, economics – there is nothing holds them together but will of Russian governent throughout the years. You capable of intelligent thinking, you need to beef up your history knowledge now.

  31. Alan, this is where you disappoint me. Neo nazi movement has outgrew 40,000 mark long ago in Ukraine. It’s epidemic and it’s astonishing that people STILL fail to recognize it.

  32. Ivanov, of cause russian, of cause , is paid for posting his writings in support of Putin and his aggasion. Thousands of paid russians sit in internet . Putin spends the most of state money on media and army. Internet is one of his strong weapons to brainwash people, to misslead . He has uncontralled power in his country that developes intonsickness. It is not enough now to rule just Russia, he is ready to dictate his will to the whole world.

  33. So I went to the site and read what I could read. Most interesting part of the story? OSCE is currently limited to access to 2 border crossing locations in Eastern Ukraine, and their movement is restricted to within “20-30 meters” of those border crossing by agreements with Russia. Quite the “observer” mission. They tried to do more initially, but when they went to areas where Russia didn’t want them they were arrested and held hostage.

    So, technically you are correct, OSCE has not stated they have observed Russian Soldiers in Eastern Ukraine. They haven’t stated that they have seen ANYTHING in Ukraine outside of 20-30 meters from two officially appointed border posts in eastern Ukraine. Why would Russia restrict them to these two select places? To blind them of course, there is no other reason.

  34. I would also add here that I have spoken to several Russian people who have disowned their relatives in Ukraine after they heard something from them that they didn’t want to hear. They dismiss them as having been corrupted by the lying Ukrainians and become Ukrainian themselves and no longer Russian. This is insanity in my opinion.

  35. First of all, according to international observers, Russia has never held a fair and open election. Calling Putin a democratically elected leader is a little bit of a stretch, especially with reference to how he originally came to power, as it was for all intents and purposes a direct hand-off of power. Since that time, Putin has systematically suppressed or jailed any political opponent who actually had a chance of challenging him. There have also been vast voting irregularities in Russian elections, particularly where it concerns the Caucasus regions. Extremely high turnout rates(over 90%)and extremely high favorability numbers in a region that is openly at war with you is a bit strange, wouldn’t you think? Actually, Kadyrov has already admitted implemented an organized stuffing of the ballot boxes, so there is little argument on the fact.

    What I wish for Russia is that they finally get a system of government in place that protects them from someone gaining all of the power like Putin has. They actually almost had it, but Putin managed to find a way around it because of a weakness in the way the Russian government is administrated. Russia desperately needs term limits reinstated, as most leaders tend to consolidate power over time if given a chance. It’s a problem here in the USA as well, but it is mitigated by the term limits and the isolation of powers.

    another change that needs to be made in Russia is that the right to appoint judges needs to be removed from the president’s hands. When the president can appoint judges, then he can change the law, as Putin did in changing the Russian constitution to allow for his return to the presidency. Notice I did not say “return to power” as he never actually left power. This would never be able to happen in countries like the USA, due to separation of powers written into the constitution to protect against exactly this type of action.

    Putin has actually done a lot of good for the country, but I firmly believe almost any person elected during this time would have done the same or similar. Even the worst of leaders all do something positive, especially those who took power during a bleak period in a country’s history. Even Hitler and Stalin made positive contributions to society, warped and evil as they were.

    As Americans, we are forced to choose between two sides in the Ukraine conflict, both of which I see as deeply flawed. Ukraine is overrun with out of control nationalism, and so is Russia, but Ukraine’s outrage is much easier to understand than Russia’s. Russia has been trying to control Ukrainse for 200 years or more, when are you going to learn that they don’t want to be controlled by you? They want to determine their own destiny.

    I do find it interesting that you never challenge the fact of the outright lies Russian government and media have told. I guess you do understand somewhere deep down that you are being lied to, you just think that it’s ok because you agree with the sentiment.

  36. Again, the advanced weaponry only manufactured post USSR and never sold to Ukraine that has been observed in Eastern Ukraine can only have come from Russia. Russia even acknowledges that some of their equipment is there, but claims that it was “borrowed” by Russian soldiers on leave who went to volunteer. That’s one of the more ludicrous statements I have ever heard in international politics, and that is saying a lot. Allowing one of your soldiers to drive into another country with a “borrowed” tank to take part in a little war as R&R? Please…. That ranges somewhere on a scale from incredibly criminally negligent, to outright act of war.

  37. Willing vote? Seriously? You call a situation where outright lies are being broadcast on all news channels, armed but still officially unacknowledged Russian special forces soldiers(referred to as little green men during this time as a derisive putdown of the Russian government’s lying stance on them) are standing at the doors of the poling stations. 11% of the population of Crimea openly boycotted the referendum, and only around 35% of the population actually voted. Reporters demonstrated that it was possible for Russian citizens to vote, even though they were not Crimean citizens and had no right to vote. Putin has already for all intents and purposes admitted openly that this was a sham intended to be used a a propaganda tool. Russia has still never actually held an fair and open election according to international observers, and this one rates among the worst of all time, only bested by the likes of North Korea.

  38. Is it a new kind of sport in America – Putin demonization? Aren’t you tired of it? He is no thug, no angel! He is clever and wise politician deeply supported by his countrymen! He is a man who loves Russia!

  39. How about I call you Jif? You spread Kremlin BS like peanut butter also Julia. That Nazi rubbish is being homegrown right inside the Russian motherland and has become part of Putin’s regime. You should not be projecting current Russian Fascist policies on Ukraine.. you know that you misrepresent the truth, so how does it help you here on a thread when the truth has become so open and transparent about Putin’s dictatorial Fascism in RU? I think you need to get up to speed with the current news which has caught up with Kremlin agitprop. Putin and his well-financed media have become extremely transparent because he does not change the routine. He is mistrusted by all, even his so-called new “friends”. What a wonderful CV for a guy who thinks he is now a respected “world leader”. He’s not respected because he would never be trusted by ANYONE.

    Moledeetz!!!

  40. You got it Alan. Putin is stealing Russia blind. Richest man in Europe on the backs of Russians, their labor and their natural resources. He keeps just enough money in their pockets to prevent a revolution, but his Ukrainian folly has gotten the US and EU, even his Eurasian trade partners on call to prevent him from becoming the world’s largest terrorist state.

    He can’t stop now.. he will be offed if he backs off now, so he has to play the game till the end. It will end for him.

  41. Rest assured Alan, the Russian agitprop is flowing well from the Kremlin through the babushki network, all those relatives in Russia listening to the rubbish in Moscow and relaying it to Ukrainians. However, as Putin’s military “vacationers” continue dying on Ukrainian soil and their mothers, daughters and sisters step up to this silent war bullshit, as more scared and injured Russian soldiers tell their stories about Putin’s war on Ukrainian and western news, Putin’s dream will come to an end.

    Watch what happens in the next week, as Putin’s military has been moving more weapons through terrorist-held crossings into Ukraine since the last cease fire. Mariupol is the next target. Everyone knows his game well now and they are waiting for him to pull the trigger on the next push. The world is watching this strange paranoid greedy man trying to steal another country’s sovereignty. He will be stopped.

  42. There you go again sheep dog guy.. trying to steer someone where you want them to go. Crimea and East Ukraine are parts of the same Putin invasion as you well know, and your hero Putin is taking advantage of a spineless EU and US who’d rather break Putin’s bank rather than his neck so they can keep their hands clean.

    Staying on topic with Putin’s invasion includes all of Ukraine.. of which Crimea is part.
    The duplicitous scams Putin plays on the Ukrainian issue are his devious and underhanded style, the same he uses as he steals billions from the new Useful Idiots in Russia who kiss his ass for rebuilding the Russian national ego. He is screwing his own people 24/7, and then he graciously takes a 10% salary reduction to look like some kind of a friggin hero.

    He’s a murderer, a thief and he is turning Russia into a global pariah.

    And guys like you who run interference for this wealthy caveman? Very useful ……..

  43. I read that these Russian polls are conducted via land line phones. Most land line phones are used by the older generation, the pensioner babushki and dedushki who miss the old Soviet lifestyle with no surprises. Putin would get high praise for reviving USSR policies, but if he were to order mobile phone polls the picture would be extremely different.

    Add this to the fact that the Kremlin is notorious for listening in actively on the population and they know not to say anything against the state in public, one the phone, not even in front of their kids. It was after all the “rat” state, where people turn each other in for loose lips.

    85% my as$… I don’t get my western media keeps publishing this bogus stat.

  44. Eastern Ukraine was ripe with military bases and arms depots before the rebels decided that they needed to protect themselves. Not only that, but lots of deserters from the Ukrainian armed forces have brought all sorts of equipment and munitions with them on their way to joining the rebels, who have captured lots of equipment and munitions…..

  45. As I understand it, those weapons were largely removed from Ukraine, along with all nuclear weapons, under a treaty with Russia and sponsored by the United States. This was due to fear that the bad situation in Ukraine and the Ukrainian government’s inability to account for everything and protect it from theft would lead to a situation where people could steal and sell them to people who shouldn’t have them. Russia also guaranteed their protection of Ukraine’s sovereign borders in that treaty as an assurance that it was not a trap. This treaty was signed by Vladimir Putin himself, and clearly violated the moment he sent Russian special forces into Crimea.

    There is also the fact that numerous weapons systems and tanks that were developed after the fall of communism and never made available to the Ukrainian army have been photographed in Eastern Ukraine, as well as numerous satellite images of the places where these tanks etc are crossing the border from Russia.

    I’d love to continue this dialog, but it is late here and I must get some sleep. One thing I would say though is that it is documented that the first thing Russian troops did when they entered Crimea was take over the radio and TV and start broadcasting lies to scare the public. There never were any 40,000 crazed Nazi’s, etc, and that comes directly from my friend Elena listening to Russian TV and translating for me. Unless your relatives are actually seeing the fighting, they are getting their news from the Kremlin, same as the rest of Russia. That was priority #1 when Russian entered Ukrainian territory, literally the first thing they did was take over the TV and Radio, and they jam all other broadcasts in the region.

  46. Was it really a bad thing? 1. Do you want to chase the very first democratically elected pro democracy president into jail? What good does it do for the country in a big skim of things? 2. Putin put down all the others corrupt Eltsin thugs and cheers to that!

  47. Alan, your lack of history knowledge is just glaring here. Remember USSR? Ukraine was strategicly importaint as it was often used as route of invasion in to Russia. Thus, after USSR break up, Ukraine was left with million strong army and weapons depots to field 3 more in case of emergency. Rebels seized just that. They have more weapons stored in Ukraine than you can imagine. They don’t need any help. If only intelligence and can you blame RUSSIANS for that?

  48. Alan, those agencies are not claiming what you said they are claiming. This is just wishful thinking on your part. Second, you are mistaking UKRAINIAN army and UKRAINIAN neo nazi volunteer battalions warlords. Those would tell you anything you’d like to hear to continue war and hysteria. But when UKRAINIAN Army Chief of Staff say in UKRAINIAN language “There is no Russian troops in Ukraine” at press conference, I’m confident he means just that.

  49. Everyone who speaks Russian has already chosen sides it seems, and isolates themselves from thoughts that run counter to their point of view. The Russian hive-mind is impressive.

  50. I must admit it also mystifies me how intelligent Russian people can be so persuaded by Russian propaganda, especially since they have been caught in many very clear lies where it concerns Ukraine, not least of which is the little Green men situation and Putin’s recent revelation that contrary to what he claimed at the time, the plan was always to take Crimea well before the “referendum”. He very clearly lied, and now admits he lied with pride, yet you claim with certainty that he can’t be lying again? I think it would be really interesting to talk more with you. I am always interested in differing points of view. Kinda wish there was a private message option here.

  51. You missing one “minor detail” here Alan. Russians have millions of relatives in Ukraine. Close to 5 million Ukrainians are in Russia on work visa and now additional million Ukranians fled to Russia as refugees. We don’t take our news from State media. We pick up the phone and call relatives and friends in Ukraine. We are much better informed on events in Ukraine than you can possibly imagine. Western media is coueless at best, or criminally misleading at worst about Ukraine. You are making classic mistake – applying western mentality to Russian reality. These two do not compute together.

  52. The corruption I was referring to was how Putin came to power. He “verified” fabricated evidence used to discredit a Russian Prosecutor who was researching charges against Boris Yeltsin, so that Yeltsin would have an excuse to fire him and hire a prosecutor he could buy out. Yeltsin was being investigated for siphoning off Millions of dollars worth of Russian taxpayer’s money into Swiss bank accounts he and his family owned. Money that was supposed to be used to renovate the Kremlin. They were charging Russian taxpayers 2-3 times the prices for items like new doors, lights, toilets, etc, then pocketing the rest of the money for themselves. It’s called the Mabetex affair.

    Putin went on Russian TV and verified as legitimate a fabricated video purporting to show the prosecutor in bed with two prostitutes, and claimed that he had evidence that the prostitutes had been paid for by Vory v Zakone as a present to the prosecutor to thank him for his help in setting up Yeltsin. It was all a lie, and Putin knew it. He was rewarded by being made Prime Minister, then elevated to President when Yeltsin stepped down. He then proceeded to go after all of Yeltsin’s backers and free himself from Yeltsin’s control, and has been working to improve his hold over the government and country ever since.

  53. If you are tired of ignorance, visit the OSCE website or, better yet, subscribe to their daily free bulletins. You might also try reading something besides American propaganda.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukrainian-government-no-russian-troops-are-fighting-against-us-sanctions-against-russia-based-on-falshoods/5428523
    The flat fact is that the rebels don’t need the Russian army to help then beat the bejesus out of the poorly trained, poorly motivated and abysmally led Azov battalions.

    The Russian volunteers are enough.

  54. how is that not relevant to Eastern Ukraine? They are using the same tactics, just with the cover of real war this time preventing journalists from getting in to take a look. They have denied access to everyone, they even held OSCE agents hostage, etc.

    At the very least, Russia is supplying the heavy weaponry they are using. It didn’t just materialize out of thin air. Tanks don’t grow on trees, and last year there were very few tanks in Eastern Ukraine, now suddenly there are hundreds.

  55. I think you misunderstood that comment, Sir. Those agencies have all claimed that Russia has troops in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Army does almost every day in fact.

    I was referring to the ambiguity of the other poster’s comment, and saying it is hard to know whether someone is being sarcastic, or is simply misinformed.

  56. Buddy? I thought I was your comrade? Igor. And again you are wrong. I personally don’t like McCain at all.
    And I’ll leave this painful FACTUAL evidence below about your reporters.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

    You Russians have a short memory of forgetting dictators. Russia has a funny way of screwing up there freedom once they do get it. It is insane really. How many times do the same mistake over and over and over again. Your right Russia has a very long history of dieing for freedom just to hand it over to a dictator.
    When are you going to learn. Puting is killing Russia. And you just keep blindly following not asking questions.

  57. I speak mostly with a girl from Petrozavodsk who I met on the internet, but we became great friends and talk nearly every day. Checking my instant messenger, there are over 15,000 conversations stored between us, and that’s only about the last three year’s worth. She was born in St. Petersburg, and has lived in Russia all of her life. We have also met in person, although she did not want me to come to Russia, as she feared for my safety, and this was before the Ukraine situation, so we met in Helsinki Finland. I have always enjoyed speaking to people from different cultures and parts of the world, and have spoken at length with many people from all over the world.

    One consistent thing I have found, is that Russia is the only place where you will find what Russian news reports, other than maybe Belerus. Every single other country who’s news I have read regarding the Ukraine situation(google translate is a wonderful tool) is much closer to the western side of the story than the Russian side, and they all agree that Russian media lies all the time. Even Chinese media has called Russian media out for lying, and they normally are all for anything anti-American.

    Ukrainian media itself is very biased, and not really very trustworthy. It seems like they are trying to fight fire with fire, which I disagree with as it only makes the trust issues worse.

  58. What Putin’ corruption are you talking about Alan? You need to update your playbook, buddy. Let me give you an example. Samara – Russian region in the middle of no where that according to your data is surely corrupt. No so fast. Since Putin appointed his aid to be the governor few years ago – not even highway patrol officers on empty road accept bribes even if you try. FACT. Putin went above and beyond eradicating corruption in Russia. There is still room for improvement, sure. But work is being done. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone to give a bribe in government. Do some still take em? Possible. But no more so than in Italy or USA.

  59. UN observers, Ukranian Army high command, OSCE – are all agents of pervasive misinformation?! You need professional help, Alan.

  60. BD – My advise to you, stop hanging out with John Maccain. No one is branding anyone as traitor for speaking out – nonsense! No one gets shot for reporting news more than in any other country. These kind of statements are just too old now, invent something new. And RUSSIANS do know what freedom is. Unlike you, they fought for it for centuries, before your continent was even discovered. You have no leg to stand on here, buddy.

  61. You deliver credible speech, your conclusions are off the charts wrong tho. It’s rather amazing how somebody so well spoken can still be brainwashed by U.S. media.

    My qualifications? I lived thru the collapse of Soviet Union and “speak with Russians” on regular basis for last 40 years now, throughout the country (Russia it is). I don’t know what people you talk to and where you find them – your statements are not true.

  62. You need to check your stats there. They are incorrect.

    Not saying the United States does not have a warlike history, just that you shouldn’t spout false info. For instance it was 23 years between WWI and WWII, and the United States was not involved in any wares during that time. There are longer periods of peace if you look further back.

    Personally I don’t think we should have ever been in Iraq or Afghanistan, either time in Iraqs case. WWII was unavoidable, but the other wars were really over control, and were about keeping communism from becoming dominant. Considering Communism’s history, especially under Stalin, I can’t say it was all bad to try to stop them from spreading. Of course we could argue over whether Russia was ever truly communist, etc, but what’s the point?

  63. A wise man once advised me never to argue with an idiot. He said they will simply drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

    I will say this, you are completely and totally wrong about where I come from and what drives my opinions. The fact that you insult me simply because of my nationality is evidence that you are inherently biased. You have already lost the argument the moment you stoop to that level, as you have exposed yourself for what you are. I’ll leave it up to other readers to decide exactly what they think that is.

  64. I do live in the United States, although I have lived abroad i the past. I am not a conservative, and have a severe distaste for any politically biased bullshit. I hate Fox news most out of all of the news organizations, followed closely by MSNBC and CNN. I never watch broadcast news anymore, have not for probably 10 years, and am very careful about what I read on the internet as a lot of it has insidious bias involved. I search extensively for unbiased reporting, and prefer speaking to people on the internet when possible. I am also a big proponent of watching the raw video of events like the raw videos of what happened in Maiden when you can, as it tells the unvarnished truth, at least for the first few hours or days before it gets corrupted by people with “causes” to promote. I also research and double check things extensively because I have been burned by mistruths in the past, and it is amazing how much people will leave out when it is not furthering the point of view they wish to convey. That is the extent of “American Propaganda”, framing the article by omission. Russian propaganda is another animal entirely, as they allow bald faced lies, photo-shopped “evidence”, and the like. Russian TV once claimed that the company formally known as blackwater had mercenaries in Ukraine killing Russian children with sniper rifles. They provided “photographic evidence” of this as proof. It turned out that their evidence was a photo-shopped picture of police patrolling the streets of New Orleans after Katrina. They changed the emblems on the uniforms and removed a few tell tale sings in the background, like the one for Wendy’s Burgers. They also provided comical photo-shopped pictures of a Ukrainian fighter jet shooting down flight MH17, with the Ukrainian jet being copied from a stock image found on the internet and pasted into a picture of a passenger jet. Any challenge to these official lies is never broadcast in Russia, and if someone finds another way of getting the truth out, they usually get a stern warning from some thugs, followed by a bullet to the head or a convenient hit and run car accident if they fail to fall in line.

  65. “I guess the fact that I’ve actually spoken to Russian people living in
    Russia nearly every day for the past 7 years means nothing?”

    Right. You’re spewing the pure neocon line from somewhere in your American mother’s basement. Like all lying neocons, you’re completely full of horse manure.

  66. There have been numerous other monstrous residences attached to Putin over the years, but he always covers his tracks through the use of multiple shell corporations and other techniques in order to hide his wealth and the opulent lifestlyes of his children from the eyes of the public. Both of his daughters are living under assumed names, with positions of undue influence and wealth. These are tricks he learned from Yeltsin, but he is much better at hiding it than Yeltsin was.

    The majority of his wealth came the breakup and “sale” of Yukos Oil, after he imprisoned Mikhail Khodorkovsky for opposing him politically. Putin actually took control of a huge portion of Yukos’ assets through the use of his shell companies and fake financial transactions. Basically he had dozens if not hundreds of his shell companies “buy” portions of Yukos, but no money was ever paid for what they received, it was all just numbers on paper, He has a vast fortune, and owns dozens of extremely large residences throughout Russia. The thing is, every time one of his houses is discovered and someone attaches it to Putin, he immediately abandons it permanently. He has so many, what is it to him to lose one house? They are all in very remote locations, shielded from public view, and virtually impossible to surveil without detection. Several of them have been exposed though, usually as they are being constructed. One of which I was actually able to find on Google Earth with nothing but a description of it’s general location within Russia on the shore of the Black Sea. It was so massive and so isolated that it was easy to pick out. Construction on that house was immediately abandoned once it’s ownership was questioned by an independent journalist who got wind of it due to rumors he had heard surrounding the imposition of a new restricted zone in the Black Sea which was designed to prevent people in boats from sailing close enough to see what was being built. Local fisherman complained, and he looked into it. and found a huge house being built there. Once they are exposed, the shell companies involved are immediately liquidated to cover the tracks.

    The thing that amuses me about the claimed “western propoganda” is the fact that it doesn’t really exist. There is the pro-western point of view, and American news organizations are prone to overlooking unpleasant realities, but generally speaking American news agencies cannot get away with simply lying like Russian ones do. The reason for this is the fact that the seperate news organizations police each other. If one can catch the other in a lie, it is absolute gold to them. They all have their bias and their agendas, but they can’t completely lie or they will be destroyed by the others. In Russia on the other hand, the government owns virtually all of the sources of news, and cracks down hard on anyone who dissents with the official point of view dictated by Putin. Just ask Anna Politkovskaya’s family how it works when you say things Putin does not want you to say.

  67. Are you living in Russia, Julia? I ask because what you say sound
    suspiciously like what Russian “news” has been passing off as truth.

    Are you living in America, Alan? I ask because what you say sounds
    suspiciously like what neocon “news” has been passing off as truth.

  68. Russians shouldn’t hate Americans just because the American president smirks about how he’s destroying the Russian economy — I mean that just isn’t cricket. What’s wrong with those “haters”?!

    And Ukraine is none of Russia’s business — it has everything to do with the United States. After all, the US borders Ukraine and Russia is thousands of miles away from Ukraine.

    Here’s something to think about when you’re discussing “Putin’s
    aggression”. Since America’s founding in 1776, they have been at war
    218 years out of 239 years of existence. The only time the U.S. went
    five years without war (1935-40) was during the “isolationist” period of
    the Great Depression.

  69. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is based in Crimea. Unlike the actions of the violent Nazi thugs that the US and EU backed in Kiev, Crimea’s willing vote to join the Russian Federation was bloodless. And speaking of “little green men”. Do you also believe in Bigfoot and the hordes of invisible, unphotographical, Russian soldiers that paranoid, delusional neocons say invaded Ukraine?

  70. Another day — another steaming pile of neocon horse manure.

    Here’s something to think about when you’re discussing “Putin’s aggression”. Since America’s founding in 1776, they have been at war 218 years out of 239 years of existence. The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the “isolationist” period of the Great Depression.

  71. Are you living in Russia, Julia? I ask because what you say sound suspiciously like what Russian “news” has been passing off as truth.

    While it is true that there is an element of people in Ukraine who are on the surface practically nazis, they are not quite what they appear to be from the surface, and in truth Russia is responsible for their creation in the first place. This element of Ukrainian society, which is an extremely small but vocal part of the community and particularly of the war effort, arose out of resistance to Russian rule during the 1930’s and then through the second world war. They backed the Germans for a while during the war as a way to get rid of the Russians who had invaded their lands, and then turned on the Germans as well. Personally I think the modern incarnation of this element is misguided, but it is easy to see where the emotions come from. They are not a major force in the Ukrainian government, in fact they have no seats at all in the Ukrainian government and received less that 2% of the popular vote. They were active in Maiden, but still composed only a very small percentage of the overall movement. American do not support this element of Ukrainian society. We would rather it didn’t exist, but the reality is that it is a very small % of their society, and the vast majority of the Ukrainian populace does not espouse their beliefs. We support those in Ukraine who wish for self-determination. I would have supported those in Ukraine who supported rejoining Russia as well, had they done so in a non-violent way. The example of Scotland’s recent referendum on independence from the UK is a good example of what can and should happen in similar situations, although there is not as much recent bad blood of course.

    The overthrow of the Ukrainian government was mostly due to public outrage over corruption during Yanukovych’s reign. Things like his son becoming a billionaire in just a few years after he became president raised the public’s ire when they were exposed. The extremely strong-armed political tactics he used against opponents and his attempts to silence dissent were also strong factors in the public’s distrust of him, then his decision to turn his back on a trade deal with the EU really set people off. The people in the Maiden movement for the most part were normal, well-meaning citizens who had simply had enough of the corruption, coercion, and lies. Was the west involved in giving them a little push in the direction of public protest? I am sure they were, especially once it became clear that this had the potential of regime change, because Yanukovych’s regime was very clearly corrupt.

    Now, a key question in all of this is who pushed the whole thing over the brink? The snipers in Maiden were most likely from a branch of the Ukrainian police that was known for being largely composed of former Russian agents. They were rumored for years to take their orders more from Putin than Yanukovich. They communicated in Russian during the attacks, and dissappeared afterwards, most likely back into Russia. They took action almost immediately after it became clear that Maiden had succeeded and Yanukovich had effectively ceded power without a shot fired. He was no longer useful to Putin, so Putin took other actions.

    Personally, I believe that once Putin realized he was going to lose control over Ukraine, he decided to take steps that would give him the pretext he needed to get his own people behind the actions he had planned for Crimea and eastern Ukraine. That action was to throw a match on the powder-keg of tension that was Maiden, and make sure it exploded. He then immediately began intensifying the spread of false information concerning “nazis” in Ukraine, and the supposed threat they were to Russian speakers. He started claiming that they were coming to invade Crimean to kill all the Russians they could find. It was reported on Russian news that there were 40,000 “western-trained psychotic fascist killers” marching towards Crimea, when the reality was there mere more like 1,200 right wing nuts in Kiev, and they were perfectly happy enjoying the feeling of beating Yanukovych with no plans to go anywhere but to celebrate. His first actions in Crimea were actually directed at the local TV and radio stations, to ensure that he could spread this “terrible news” to the populace so that they would not resist occupation.

    It’s actually brilliant strategy, but brutal, dishonest, and self serving. That’s who Putin really is.

  72. Alan,

    Russians’ negative feelings towards the west have grown the most after gov’t overthrow in Ukraine. If you know Russia as you claim, then you should know how strongly Russians feel about the kind of Ukrainians that America empowered to seize power. People with swastikas running around, torturing and executing pro-Russia population is deeply upsetting to a vast majority of Russians, while US-backed coup-imposed illegal regime currently occupying gov’t offices in Kiev is condoning it. Porky himself pledged to starve pensioners and bomb kids in Eastern Ukraine to get his way. Then all these people and their bosses come out and start patronizing Russia about human rights and sovereignty. Putin or no Putin, all of the above is an abomination to Russians. You just can’t support neo-nazsis and the likes against Russian-speaking population and then expect Russians to have a positive view of the west. Nothing to do with Putin or any protests.

  73. “…officially he owns 2 apartments, 2 GAZ Volga cars, 1 garage, and 1 caravan..”

    I am outraged!

    And may I ask where does he keep his mythical wealth, under the mattress in one of his apartments or in a Volga trunk?

    I am yet to see an actual report in western media on Putin as a Russian President, his achievements and failures. So far, it’s been tons of lousy propaganda with pathetic unintelligent attempts to cause envy and hate.

  74. @Joe & vanyam:thanks Joe for right and honest remark about vanyam remark.He sounds like regular uneducated and rude yank redneck.my professor experience tells me that type of character are unable to be educated and improved in IQ.There is impossible to cure dumb.

  75. Average Russian citizen wealth when Putin took office was practically zero, they had nowhere to go but up. Yes they have done better during his time in power, and yes that wins him some sway with the general populace, but it does not negate his crimes. He came to power through corruption when he protected Yeltsin from prosecution for pervasive money laundering in the Mabetex affair, and has continued on that path ever since.

  76. If you don’t think any of those issues you just stated are happening in Russia you are a fool. Just because the US has what is called free and independent media and they report mostly the truth freely.
    I bet Russia has a major issue with their soliders from AF and Chechen wars. Yet you only hear what the Kremlin approves.
    Funny how you missed that. I guess they just keep them drunk on vodka to drowned their sorrows. Fact Russia has a extremely high alcoholism
    And you really don’t want to talk about Syria or Yugo considering what really happened. Mr.Kremlin
    Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t cast stones.

  77. Too funny. And no sorry don’t like CNN of Faux entertainment news. Never watch them EVER.
    And I do know what is going on most likely more so than you. No I don’t live there I do have family in Russia and other ex Soviet states.
    So why is it that anyone that reports anything other than the Kremlin line is branded a traitor or a enemy of the state? And if they keep up the truth they are killed?
    Russia creates laws every year to restrict freedoms. Funny how you don’t see that. I guess you like how they “protect” you from the evil of the truth and reality.
    And don’t patronize me on freedom. You have no clue what freedom is.

  78. I guess the fact that I’ve actually spoken to Russian people living in Russia nearly every day for the past 7 years means nothing? I basically watched all of this happen from inside Russia as it happened, with countless conversations with actual Russians who live in Petrozavodsk. I’ve also spoken repeatedly with a girl who lives in Sevastopol, well before all of this happened, and she refered to herself as Russian, not Ukrainian. I understand the complexities of the Crimean situation, and the problems that the fall of the USSR left behind in Ukraine. There are reasons Russians back Putin, but his reasons for doing what he is doing are self-serving. I’ve heard all of the Russian “news” for the past 7 years, and it completely changed post-protest.

    So, what are your qualifications to comment on the issue?

  79. And how do you know anything about free media in Russia? Have you ever lived there? Or your opinion was molded by CNN FOX? Why don’t you educate yourself? Russians have more freedom than you’d ever dream of – fact

  80. He stole billions? Said who?! Not a shred of evidence to back up your lame statement. The fact is, average Russian citizen wealth increased 8 fold under Putin. Can you say that about your president!?

  81. His father was Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin,
    His grandfather was Spiridon Ivanovich Putin
    His grandmother was Olga Ivanovna Chursanova.

    Nothing wrong with being a jew, but Putin’s genealogy doesn’t have even a hint of jews, and he himself is blond with blue eyes.

  82. Nobody seems to get this. Putin is scared of being deposed, and all of this is a show to keep his home crowd distracted from who their real enemy is. It really is as a simple as that. All of the anti-western stuff started immediately following the onset of mass anti-Putin protests in 2012, and since that time Putin has been willing to do anything to distract his people and keep the burning torches off his own doorstep. The fact that western leaders are too scared to do anything about it is simply an enabler, as is the fact that Americans generally are an easy target for Russian hatred just as Jews were an easy target for German hatred.

  83. Funny you brought up North Korea. Kinda the same deal. The local people only here what the Kremlin wants them to hear. So yes I believe these people are kept in the dark with the truth. And that is the scary part. There is litterally no free media in Russia. And if any one speaks out indifference to the Kremlin they are branded a ‘enemy of the state’
    And those are facts.

  84. You mean one of the brainwashed trolls who wouldn’t dare to speak the truth, lest he end up like Alexander Petrov, Anatoly Voroni, Vyacheslav Ifano, Vadim Kuznetsov,Yelena Shestakova, Gadji Abashilov, Anna Politkovskaya, Paul Klebnikov, Yuri Shchekochikhin… and more!

  85. Admired By who ?? The Kremlin backed poles !! He owns the title of most HATED dangerous man alive now .. Own it Putin you earned it

  86. Nice one-sided assassination article. What is Putin? It’s called being a Nationalist. It’s called actually putting the welfare and safety of those who live in your Nation State first. It’s called being a leader doing what that leader was elivated to do by the people who elevated that person. The contrast is the leadership of the USA spitting on Liberty, which is the foundation of that particular nation, and the leaders of Europe facilitating genocide of their own people by creating conditions that will cause those people as identifiable political entities to cease to exist.

    This doesn’t mean Mr. Putin is perfect or not aggressive or that he doesn’t have flaws or make mistakes. I’m sure he does but I can’t even keep up with screwups in Canberra let alone the locals. However the answer to this artical is plain as day for any with eyes to see: Mr. Putin is a Nationalist in a Western World that seeks to destroy Nation States.

    End of story.

  87. Thug, obviously. He isn’t even all that nice of a guy, so it’s not like Robin Hood or anything. The guy is known in Russia as a thief who stole billions from them and for violence outside of the communist sphere.

    No redeeming values, other than the fact that he is far from alone in being a leader mobster thug.

    A lot of nations, west and alike, seem to suffer the same infection.

  88. First of all, who is believing Russian polls about Putinella’s popularity? Is 85% far off from Kim Jung Un’s 100%? Make me laugh…

  89. Hey A#$hole, the Ukros were decimated by Russia in the 30’s and then they still fed Moscow’s murderers for decades, built their ships, their tanks, buses, made their clothes, gloves, shoes…

    You morons need all your teeth knocked out to get the message finally. Patton did not finish his work.

  90. desperate thug Putin is like a wild cat cornered by dogs , making a lot of evil noise, very sharp claws, but when all is said and done nothing will be left but a mess of blood and fur that smells like cat piss

  91. FRic//ki/ng ukros were fed by Russia for long time and betrayed us.What else could be expected of country/nation of lousy and lasy loosers?

  92. hard to tell
    it’s like asking an american if he believed the picture of WMD and starting war over it was justified
    or bombing Yugoslavia and splitting it into 6 countries was a good thing
    or arming Syrian rebels just to bomb them later is a smart thing to do
    and hundreds other suspicious little things
    what about this:
    Twenty-two United States veterans
    commit suicide a day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
    http://news.yahoo.com/air-force-veteran-s-suicide-sheds-light-on-female-soldiers-and-ptsd-144907870.html
    or this:
    US cops kill people at a rate 100:1 compared to any other country
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-cops-kill-at-100-times-the-rate-of-other-capitalist-countries/5423183

    and i can do it all day long lol

  93. ah jees! read it to the end just to see who the author was
    but of course lol “… Ukrainian-born writer”
    why am I not surprised?
    it’s always what the opposed party says lol
    i’d like to see the article of a “Russian born writer” for a change

  94. I guess the most confusing part for me is when Puting denies all of these “crimes” then after the dust settles. Putang is boasting about his deception and lies not only to the world but his own people. Not sure if the Russian people believe that he had to lie to them for their own benefit or what? I guess the Russian people are not trusted enough to know the truth and make decisions them selves so Puting makes them for Russia. But he is truly someone that shouldn’t have that much power. Its like the USA appointing the CIA to run the USA (not a good idea) and that is exactly what has happened and is happening in Russia. (Puting was / is FSB / KGB leader for many years)
    It defies all logic and is pure lunacy.

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