The Ukraine crisis: Links & comments 3/30/14

Crimean Tatar women protest breakup of Ukraine

Crimean Tatar women protest breakup of Ukraine

Elections are scheduled in Ukraine for May 25.   I don’t know how free and fair the elections will be or whether Ukrainians will have meaningful choices.  But it matters little, because the present unelected government of Ukraine has committed the nation to an agreement with the International Monetary Fund that no elected government would ever agree to.  It is an example of Naomi Klein’s “shock doctrine” in action.

The Ukraine government will sell off national assets at bargain prices, raise gas prices and cut public services as a condition for its loans to foreign banks to be paid off.  Yet I don’t read anything meaningful about this aspect in the national press.  Here are summaries of what is going on in Ukraine that are better than anything Americans are likely to read in their local newspapers or see on their local TV news programs.

Another important aspect of the situation is the desire of certain neo-conservatives in the U.S. government to draw Ukraine into an anti-Russian alliance.   Vladimir Putin could not more tolerate the possibility of nuclear-armed American warships docking in Crimea than John F. Kennedy could tolerate Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba.

Economic sanctions against Russia have a price that some countries – for example, Germany – may not be willing to pay..

That doesn’t mean that Ukrainians, including Russian speakers and ethnic Russians, necessarily want to be “rescued” by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Dmitry Orlov gives a Russian perspective on his ClubOrlov blog.

Pepe Escobar of Asia Times has sharp commentary on the geopolitical implications of the Ukraine crisis.   Read his articles to get an idea of how U.S. policy seems to the outside world.

There are links to the latest from Ian Welsh, Pepe Escobar and Dmitry Orlov on my Blogs I Like page.

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2 Responses to “The Ukraine crisis: Links & comments 3/30/14”

  1. whungerford Says:

    Did NATO, by overreaching in central Europe, provoke this crisis?


  2. philebersole Says:

    I think that two things provoked the crisis. One is the desire of Western bankers to profit from IMF austerity on Ukraine, which was threatened by a Russian bailout offer. The other is the desire of neo-conservative hawks in the U.S. State Department such as Victoria Nuland to draw Ukraine into NATO.

    The analogy I would draw is this. Suppose there was a political crisis in Canada or Mexico, following by a takeover by an unelected interim government supported by Russia. An international crisis would be certain to follow.

    Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, has proposed that Ukraine become a loose federation, with greater autonomy for the individual provinces and respect for the rights of all ethnic and language groups. I think that is a reasonable deal.

    I recommend the latest analysis by Pepe Escobar.


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