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Why Are We in Ukraine?   Discussions

Started 27/10/22 by Apollonius (Theocritos); 8365 views.
In reply toRe: msg 1

War and democracy have always been more comfortable bedfellows than they should be. Our own history makes that perfectly clear.

During the second world war, the US sent Japanese Americans to internment camps. During Vietnam, the FBI surveilled and attacked anti-war and civil rights movements. And the “war on terror” led to a massive assault on civil liberties, especially of Muslim and Arab communities.

The longer wars continue, the harder it is to reclaim those lost liberties. More than 20 years after the US invasion of Afghanistan, the 2001 Patriot Act’s attacks on civil liberties remain and US police departments are more militarized than ever.

That reality is all the more true in an acknowledged fragile democracy like Ukraine.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s governments have often been marked by corruption and repression. And since Nato began its provocative eastward expansion, Ukrainians have also faced renewed Russian aggression, including the 2014 illegal seizure of Crimea and other parts of their territory.

The US, challenging Russian influence, has backed a set of political players in Ukraine including powerful far-right forces linked to neo-Nazi organizations, who were particularly influential within Ukraine’s military and to a lesser degree within its parliament.

The 2019 election reduced some of the influence of those rightwing extremists and brought to power a more democratic leadership headed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. But challenges remain.

In 2020 alone, Ukraine’s Institute of Mass Information reported 229 free speech violations, including 171 physical attacks against journalists. In 2021 and 2022, Freedom House rated Ukraine at a low 39 on its democracy percentage for nations in transition. It noted that while “laws and strategies respecting civil society, ethnic minorities, and human rights” had been adopted, they were “accompanied by the imposition of sanctions on a record number of Ukrainian citizens, businesses, and media”.

Now things are much worse. Whatever democratic openings Zelenskiy’s election may have heralded, Ukraine’s democracy is clearly threatened – certainly by the Russian invasion, but also by the corrosive impact war has on all democratic structures.

Few countries mobilized for war, whether aggressive or defensive, have not faced losing many of whatever democratic freedoms had previously existed. In February last year, a year before the war, Zelenskiy’s administration banned TV stations, claiming they were part of Russian disinformation, and a month into the invasion 
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From: Guard101


Despite pre-war polls showing large numbers of Ukrainians willing to take up arms to defend their country against a Russian invasion, Moscow’s wager was not entirely implausible given the recentness of the shift and the persistence of family and other ties across the Russian-Ukrainian border.

In reply toRe: msg 21

From: Guard101


Russia’s War in Ukraine:

Identity, History, and Conflict

April 22, 2022 Jeffrey Mankoff
Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine constitutes the biggest threat to peace and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War.  cyclone


From: Guard101


There were warnings about Putin bullying Ukraine, seen  all over Europe.... but no one thought it was going to these kind of invasion.

In reply toRe: msg 23

From: SasBun


 Luke Harding on Ukraine, Russia, Putin and What Happens Next 
5x15 Stories  5 Jun 2022

Luke Harding returns to 5x15 to discuss Ukraine, Russia, Putin and what happens next. Luke is an award-winning foreign correspondent with the Guardian and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the Guardian's Moscow bureau chief; the Kremlin expelled him from the country in the first case of its kind since the cold war. He is the author of Collusion, A Very Expensive Poison, The Snowden Files, and Mafia State, as well as the co-author of WikiLeaks and The Liar (nominated for the Orwell Prize). Two of Harding's books – The Fifth Estate and Snowden – have been made into films. 




I agree 100%.  At times things are very simply explained.


In reply toRe: msg 2

Lafontaine poses the same question I've asked on several forums by now.    The U.S. has troops and missiles stationed on the borders of Russia.   Would Americans tolerate Russian troops and missiles in Canada or Mexico?

He also mentions Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the chief foreign policy advisors during the Clinton years.   Brzezinski was adamant even back then that the Ukraine must be absorbed into the West's empire.   I've said a many times by now and will probably say it many times again:  The number one reason that Hillary Clinton, the Democrats and party hacks of various affiliations, the State Dept., Washington bureaucrats, and the media were so furious with the election of Donald Trump and worked so hard to get rid of him and will continue do everything they can to thwart him, is that he wouldn't sign on to their long planned war with Russia.

One of Lafontaine's main themes is that the U.S. is clinging to the idea that must remain the only true World Power.   We talk about Russia invading Ukraine, but how many countries has the U.S. invaded?   We hear about deaths of Ukrainians (and sometimes about the Russians who get killed-- recently several were unceremoniously shot dead even after surrendering), but we don't hear about Yemen and a whole long list of other countries, including Afghanistan, which Americans have apparently already forgotten about.

In reply toRe: msg 16

A recent wave of Russian missile and drone strikes have crippled almost half of Ukraine's energy system, Ukraine's prime minister has said.

The damage comes as temperatures drop below freezing and the capital Kyiv experiences its first winter snow.

One official in Kyiv warned that the city could face a "complete shutdown" of its power grid.

President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier said that 10 million Ukrainians have been left without power.

Just looked at the weather in Germany.   It's -1 C in Berlin right now, which is actually a couple of degrees colder than it is in Kyiv at the moment.   But they still have power, at least for now.

In reply toRe: msg 28

The head of Ukraine's biggest private energy firm says people should consider leaving the country to reduce demand on the country's power network.

"If they can find an alternative place to stay for another three or four months, it will be very helpful to the system," DTEK chief executive Maxim Timchenko told the BBC.

Russian attacks have damaged almost half of Ukraine's energy system.

Millions of people are without power as temperatures drop for winter.

Blackouts - both scheduled and unscheduled - have become common in many parts of Ukraine, as Russia aims regular waves of missile attacks at parts of the energy infrastructure.

Earlier this week, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov suggested that the strikes were a "consequence" of Ukraine's refusal to negotiate with Russia.

In reply toRe: msg 1

From: Sylveria


Ukraine war: Kherson evacuated as winter approaches

Ukrainian authorities have started evacuating civilians from recently liberated parts of Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, fearing lack of heat, power and water due to Russian shelling will make winter unliveable.

One civilian said they "waited for [their] boys until the end".

Tuesday 22 November 2022 17:17, UK