Sunday, 6 April 2014
Ukraine and Crimea - an Illegal Putsch and a Democratic Referendum
At 6.05 a.m., (GMT) on Tuesday 1st April, a correspondent on the BBC's flagship morning news programme "Today" stated that Russia had "seized Crimea", faithfully following the rampant propaganda being hysterically stirred from Washington and Whitehall and by newspapers ranging from the Los Angeles Times to pick-your-favourite-news-outlet land. Again, for anyone just returning from another planet, Crimea with a turn out of 83.1%, voted, in a referendum, by nearly ninety seven percent, to rejoin Russia. Not only was not a shot fired (apart from a couple in the air and one by a sniper suspiciously mirroring actions by the far right in Kiev) but incredibly, Russia is now contemplating returning some of the arms from the bases it has taken over, to Kiev. Reportedly two thirds of Ukrainian armed forces are so underwhelmed by those who, backed by the US, illegally overthrew the government in Kiev, that they have opted to stay in Crimea and/or join Russia's defence forces. Incidentally, a google of "referendum" elicits that: "A referendum ... is a direct vote in which the entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment or a law ... the referendum is one of the three pillars of direct democracy." (Emphasis mine.) Never the less, on Thursday 27th March, the UN, ever willing to do Washington's bidding, carried a majority vote for a Resolution which dismissed Crimea's vote as: "having no validity (and) cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or of the (Capitol) City of Sevastopol." Surely the key to this craven farce is also in the word "Autonomous", of which the dictionary definition is: "(of a country or region) having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs." Western diplomats were quoted as saying the UN vote sent a "strong message" to Russia. Well no. Since it is non-binding the bluster is hardly worth the oxygen expended, or the hot air that accompanied it. Perhaps the most laughable statement of the day was from Ukrainian "Foreign Minister" Andriy Deshchytsia, who said that: "The purpose of this document is to reinforce core United Nations principles ... This text is also about respect of territorial integrity and non use of force to settle disputes" and that challenges would not be allowed: "to our rules based on international framework." This from a man involved in the US funded overthrow of a sovereign government, resulting in over one hundred deaths and a mob: "Feeding the blazing defenses with blankets, tires, wood, sheets of plastic foam and anything else that might burn", in their efforts to overthrow President Viktor Yanukovych, who whatever his failings, was democratically elected. ' "It is called the tactic of scorched earth," said a protester who identified himself as Andriy.' (New York Times, 19th February 2014.) This was the mob of which US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki tweeted: "To echo Barack Obama today - proud to stand #UnitedForUkraine. World should stand together with one voice." She was joined by an un-named "Senior White House official" who: "posted a 'selfie' on Twitter holding a sign that read: '#United_For_Ukraine @State_Dept_Spox." Those with whom they were "standing" were also, presumably, the: "Hundreds of members of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector movement" who "stormed the parliament (Rada) building in Kiev, smashing windows and breaking down doors" on 19th March.(1) Meanwhile, "scorched earth" seems to be the order of the day, with former Ukraninan Prime Minister and jail bird, Yulia Tymoshenko, in an alleged telephone conversation (2) with former Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Nester Shufrych, stating that arms should be raised against the Russian Federation so that: "not even a scorched field will be left in Russia." "This is really beyond all boundaries. It's about time we grab our guns and go kill those damn Russians together with their leader", she is cited as saying. "Tymoshenko confirmed the authenticity of the conversation on Twitter" but claimed: "a section where she is heard to call for the nuclear slaughter of the eight million Russians who remain on Ukrainian territory was edited." On President Putin, seemingly she was also prepared to: "grab a machine gun and shoot that m*********er in the head." That German hospital must have worked miracles on her alleged severely damaged spine. Meanwhile, in the Crimea this week, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, with a delegation of Cabinet Ministers, paid a surprise visit promising funds for improved power supplies, water lines, education, health care, infrastructure, salaries and pensions for the elderly. Shortly before when much of the power supplied by Ukraine was mysteriously cut, Russia immediately supplied mega-sized generators - some which had been formerly deployed as power back-up for the Sochi Olympics. Medvedev also announced that Crimea would benefit from the creation of a special economic zone, with lower taxes, simplification of bureaucracy, incentives for business development and the development of the region - named by National Geographic as a "Best Trip" in 2013 - as a top tourist destination. Meanwhile, Russia's Defence Minister announced that all men of conscription age will get a one year deferral of draft. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen finds this all very threatening, warning of danger of "intervention", "miscalculation", strategic implications." Ratcheting up rhetoric to hysteria level, warning that Russia could "invade" swathes of the Ukraine in three to five days - a statement with more than a whiff of Tony Blair's weapons of mass destruction which could be launched in "forty five minutes." Threatening is actually NATO, whose member countries near encircle the Russian Federation, with Ukraine's troops to train with NATO in Bulgaria in shortly upcoming exercises. The trained killers have wasted no time in recruiting new members to their international gang. The US has sent six F-15s to "patrol" the Baltic and twelve f-16s to Poland, pledging that: "more US support is on the way." America's friends better watch out - it's "support" is more often than not an occupation - and mega scorched earth. Meanwhile, back in Ukraine, the population is set for financial nightmares. Russia's parliament has cancelled rents for the Black Sea Fleet's base until 2042 - worth $98 million annually. Also cancelled are generous discounts for Russia's natural gas. Household gas prices are expected to rise by fifty percent from the 1st May. The complex gas discount and the hosting of the Black Sea Fleet are linked, thus, additionally, Kiev may also be additionally obliged: "to return $ eleven billion which Russia paid to lease the bases."(3) Meanwhile, Ukraine's "interim government" has to ponder on how to repay a believed $ twenty seven Billon loan to the IMF, with its entire gold reserves allegedly "confiscated"(4) in more than forty heavy boxes and taken for "safe keeping" to the US - as Iraq's and Libya's gold reserves and with Germany's from WW11 still unreturned. In all, it has to be wondered how many in the Ukraine are wondering whether to move to Crimea.