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“Behind The Kiev Snipers It Was Somebody From The New Coalition” – A Stunning New Leak Released | Zero Hedge

The last time a leaked phone call out of Ukraine was released about a month ago ostensibly by the Russian NSA equivalent, one between US assistant sec state Victoria Nuland and the US envoy to the Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, it was revealed that the real puppet masters behind the Maidan movement, and the true instigators of the Ukraine “revolution” were none other than the “developed” world superpowers, lead by the US. Also revealed were tensions between the US and EU strategies on how to overthrow the current government, culminating with the infamous “Fuck the EU.” Needless to say the US, which implicitly confirmed the recording, was angry at Russia and accused it of using dirty tricks.

That’s ironic, because when it comes to “dirty tricks” what is about to be presented, blows the top off anything Russia may or has done to date.

Earlier today an even more shocking recording has been “leaked” this time one between the always concerned about human rights EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet, in which it is revealed on tape that all those photos of horrifying deaths of Ukrainians by snipers during the last days of the Median stand off, were in fact caused not by Snipers controlled by Yanukovich, but that the snipers shot at both protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders!

Here is the key exchange, just after 8 minutes into the conversation :

Paet: “All the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides. … Some photos that showed it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it is really disturbing that now the new coalition they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened. So there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”

Ashton: “I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh.”

Paet: “It already discreditates (sic) this new coalition.”

So first US orchestrates the Kiev overthrow, and now the new “leaders” of Ukraine are allegedly found to have fired against their own people – the same provocation they subsequently used to run Yanukovich out of the country and install a pro-Western puppet government. Of course, said pro-Western coalition has not been discreditated (sic) because Ms. Ashton has sternly refused to investigate, knowing quite well how horribly this would reflect on the new Ukraine “leadership” –  a government which shot its own people to fabricate the pretext under which it rose to power.

Is it any wonder then that Russia has responded the way it has?

As for at least one of the affected parties, Estonia, it has just confirmed the authenticity of the recording, and the ministry of foreign affairs has organized a press conference to answer media questions today at 5 pm. From the Valisministeerium:

No. 84-E Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton uploaded to the Internet today, a phone call is authentic.

Paet and Ashton conversation took place on 26 February, following Estonia’s Foreign Minister’s visit to Ukraine, and immediately after the end of the street violence.

Foreign Minister Paet communicate what he had said about the meetings held in Kiev last day and expressed concern about the situation.

“It is extremely regrettable that such an interception is occurring at all””said Paet., Including its call for today’s photos are not random,” he added.

Yes, it is truly regrettable that the people know the truth.

Full leaked recording below:

via “Behind The Kiev Snipers It Was Somebody From The New Coalition” – A Stunning New Leak Released | Zero Hedge.

Russia Warns Kerry's "Threats Are Unacceptable" As Europe Weighs Sanctions | Zero Hedge

Russia Warns Kerry’s “Threats Are Unacceptable” As Europe Weighs Sanctions | Zero Hedge.

Russia has lashed out following comments from US Secretary of State John Kerry:

  • *RUSSIA SAYS KERRY THREATS ARE `UNACCEPTABLE’
  • *RUSSIA SAYS KERRY ISN’T ANALYSING SITUATION IN UKRAINE
  • *KERRY IS USING COLD WAR SLOGANS, RUSSIA FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS

In comments on the Russian foreign ministry website, Lavrov added:

  • *RUSSIAN MEASURES IN UKRAINE ARE `REASONABLE,’ `LEGAL’: FOR.MIN.
  • *U.S., ALLIES IGNORED VIOLENCE, RUSSOPHOBIA IN UKRAINE PROTESTS
  • *G-8 HALT OF PREPARATIONS FOR SUMMIT IS UNCONSTRUCTIVE: RUSSIA

 

In addition, EU ministers debate freezing the assets of Ukrainians responsible for corruption and “targeted measures” against Russia if no change of course is undertaken.

  • *EU Ministers Debate Freezing Assets of Ukrainians Responsible for Corruption – Draft Text
  • *EU Debates Calling Russian Crimea Actions “Invasion” – Draft Text
  • *EU Commends Ukraine’s Response to Russia Actions – Draft
  • *EU Will Suspend Visa Negotiations with Russia – Draft Text
  • *EU Debating Placing Arms Embargo on Russia If No Change of Course
  • *EU Could Prepare Future “Targeted Measures” vs Russia If No Change in Course – Draft

Perhaps most notable though this morning was the following headline:

  • *RUSSIA DEP FORMIN KARASIN SPOKE ON UKRAINE W/ CHINA COUNTERPART
  • *RUSSIA: CHINA EXPRESSED UNDERSTANDING OF ITS UKRAINE ANALYSIS
  • *RUSSIA, CHINA DISCUSSED UKRAINE’S INTERNAL POLITICAL CRISIS

In other words, China was well aware of the plan and appears comfortable taking sides.

Russia Warns Kerry’s “Threats Are Unacceptable” As Europe Weighs Sanctions | Zero Hedge

Russia Warns Kerry’s “Threats Are Unacceptable” As Europe Weighs Sanctions | Zero Hedge.

Russia has lashed out following comments from US Secretary of State John Kerry:

  • *RUSSIA SAYS KERRY THREATS ARE `UNACCEPTABLE’
  • *RUSSIA SAYS KERRY ISN’T ANALYSING SITUATION IN UKRAINE
  • *KERRY IS USING COLD WAR SLOGANS, RUSSIA FOREIGN MINISTRY SAYS

In comments on the Russian foreign ministry website, Lavrov added:

  • *RUSSIAN MEASURES IN UKRAINE ARE `REASONABLE,’ `LEGAL’: FOR.MIN.
  • *U.S., ALLIES IGNORED VIOLENCE, RUSSOPHOBIA IN UKRAINE PROTESTS
  • *G-8 HALT OF PREPARATIONS FOR SUMMIT IS UNCONSTRUCTIVE: RUSSIA

 

In addition, EU ministers debate freezing the assets of Ukrainians responsible for corruption and “targeted measures” against Russia if no change of course is undertaken.

  • *EU Ministers Debate Freezing Assets of Ukrainians Responsible for Corruption – Draft Text
  • *EU Debates Calling Russian Crimea Actions “Invasion” – Draft Text
  • *EU Commends Ukraine’s Response to Russia Actions – Draft
  • *EU Will Suspend Visa Negotiations with Russia – Draft Text
  • *EU Debating Placing Arms Embargo on Russia If No Change of Course
  • *EU Could Prepare Future “Targeted Measures” vs Russia If No Change in Course – Draft

Perhaps most notable though this morning was the following headline:

  • *RUSSIA DEP FORMIN KARASIN SPOKE ON UKRAINE W/ CHINA COUNTERPART
  • *RUSSIA: CHINA EXPRESSED UNDERSTANDING OF ITS UKRAINE ANALYSIS
  • *RUSSIA, CHINA DISCUSSED UKRAINE’S INTERNAL POLITICAL CRISIS

In other words, China was well aware of the plan and appears comfortable taking sides.

John Kerry Slams "Incredible Act Of Aggression", NATO Says Russia "Must Stop" | Zero Hedge

John Kerry Slams “Incredible Act Of Aggression”, NATO Says Russia “Must Stop” | Zero Hedge.

Just in case Obama’s Friday message of “costs” should Russia invade Ukraine, which it did, was lost in translation, here is NATO with the clarification, and more harsh language:

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen convened an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors in Brussels on Sunday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Ahead of the meeting he issued the following statement:

I have convened the North Atlantic Council today because of Russia’s military action in Ukraine. And because of President Putin’s threats against this sovereign nation.

What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations Charter. It threatens peace and security in EuropeRussia must stop its military activities and its threats.

Today we will discuss their implications, for European peace and security, and for NATO’s relationship with Russia.

Afterwards, we will meet in the NATO-Ukraine Commission.

We support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We support the right of the people of Ukraine to determine their own future without outside interference. And we emphasize the need for Ukraine to continue to uphold the democratic rights of all people and ensure that minority rights are protected.

Ukraine is our neighbour, and Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO.

We urge all parties to urgently continue all efforts to move away from this dangerous situation. In particular, I call on Russia to de-escalate tensions.

And just in case both Obama and NATO were misunderstood, here is Kerry appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation laying down the law, and even more harsh language:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday condemned Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine and threatened “very serious repercussions” from the United States and other countries, including sanctions to isolate Russia economically.

You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text,” Kerry told the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

Kerry, however, added that Russia still has “a right set of choices” that can be made to defuse the crisis.

It’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, willful choice by President (Vladimir) Putin to invade another country. Russia is in violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia is in violation of its international obligations,” Kerry added.

Kerry said U.S. President Barack Obama told Putin in a 90-minute phone call on Saturday that “there will be serious repercussions if this stands. The president … told Mr. Putin that it was imperative to find a different path, to roll back this invasion and un-do this act of invasion.”

Kerry said G8 nations and some other countries are “prepared to go to the hilt to isolate Russia” with a “broad array of options” available.

They’re prepared to put sanctions in place, they’re prepared to isolate Russia economically, the ruble is already going down. Russia has major economic challenges,” Kerry said, as he also mentioned visa bans, asset freezes and trade isolation as possible steps.

Some great soundbites: we can’t wait for the White House to release the obligatory photo op, which we assume would look somewhat different than this.

Russia’s response?

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Sunday when asked for a response to harsh words from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who condemned Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine. “No comment at the moment,” Peskov said.

Just laughter.

John Kerry Slams “Incredible Act Of Aggression”, NATO Says Russia “Must Stop” | Zero Hedge

John Kerry Slams “Incredible Act Of Aggression”, NATO Says Russia “Must Stop” | Zero Hedge.

Just in case Obama’s Friday message of “costs” should Russia invade Ukraine, which it did, was lost in translation, here is NATO with the clarification, and more harsh language:

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen convened an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors in Brussels on Sunday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Ahead of the meeting he issued the following statement:

I have convened the North Atlantic Council today because of Russia’s military action in Ukraine. And because of President Putin’s threats against this sovereign nation.

What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations Charter. It threatens peace and security in EuropeRussia must stop its military activities and its threats.

Today we will discuss their implications, for European peace and security, and for NATO’s relationship with Russia.

Afterwards, we will meet in the NATO-Ukraine Commission.

We support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We support the right of the people of Ukraine to determine their own future without outside interference. And we emphasize the need for Ukraine to continue to uphold the democratic rights of all people and ensure that minority rights are protected.

Ukraine is our neighbour, and Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO.

We urge all parties to urgently continue all efforts to move away from this dangerous situation. In particular, I call on Russia to de-escalate tensions.

And just in case both Obama and NATO were misunderstood, here is Kerry appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation laying down the law, and even more harsh language:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday condemned Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine and threatened “very serious repercussions” from the United States and other countries, including sanctions to isolate Russia economically.

You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text,” Kerry told the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

Kerry, however, added that Russia still has “a right set of choices” that can be made to defuse the crisis.

It’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, willful choice by President (Vladimir) Putin to invade another country. Russia is in violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia is in violation of its international obligations,” Kerry added.

Kerry said U.S. President Barack Obama told Putin in a 90-minute phone call on Saturday that “there will be serious repercussions if this stands. The president … told Mr. Putin that it was imperative to find a different path, to roll back this invasion and un-do this act of invasion.”

Kerry said G8 nations and some other countries are “prepared to go to the hilt to isolate Russia” with a “broad array of options” available.

They’re prepared to put sanctions in place, they’re prepared to isolate Russia economically, the ruble is already going down. Russia has major economic challenges,” Kerry said, as he also mentioned visa bans, asset freezes and trade isolation as possible steps.

Some great soundbites: we can’t wait for the White House to release the obligatory photo op, which we assume would look somewhat different than this.

Russia’s response?

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Sunday when asked for a response to harsh words from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who condemned Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine. “No comment at the moment,” Peskov said.

Just laughter.

Deposed-Ukraine President Yanukovich Speaks At Press Conference – Live Webcast | Zero Hedge

Deposed-Ukraine President Yanukovich Speaks At Press Conference – Live Webcast | Zero Hedge.

The long awated press conference has begun. Here are the highlights:

  • YANUKOVICH BLAMES WEST FOR IRRESPONSIBLE CONDUCT
  • YANUKOVICH CALLS FOR UKRAINE REFERENDUM ABOUT GOVERNMENT ORDER
  • YANUKOVYCH SAYS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS SHOULD BE IN DECEMBER
  • YANUKOVYCH SAYS CALLS FOR NORMAL LIFE IN UKRAINIAN REGIONS
  • YANUKOVICH SAYS POWER IN UKRAINE WAS SEIZED BY “PRO-FASCIST” FORCES
  • YANUKOVYCH SAYS TO CONTINUE FIGHT FOR UKRAINE’S FUTURE

Live webcast below:

Ukraine Calls Russia’s Bluff, Slashes Nat Gas Imports By 80% | Zero Hedge

Ukraine Calls Russia’s Bluff, Slashes Nat Gas Imports By 80% | Zero Hedge.

Twice in recent years, Russia has suspended gas supplies, or notably raised prices, as the somewhat well-known “trump card” of Russia’s oil and gas supply to Ukraine (and Europe for that matter) remains Putin’s easiest option for clenching his iron-first against the divided nation. Following a pre-emptive move in November by Ukraine to diversify its energy supply,  Russia had reduced the price of gas for the highly indebted Ukraine in December (to entice Ukraine under Russia’s wing); but, after recent events, Dmitry Medvedev signaled on Monday that the price could be raised again. However, today we find that Ukraine’s state oil and gas company, Naftogaz, has slashed gas imports from Russia’s Gazprom by  stunning 80% in February as Ukraine tries to show Russia it can’t be pushed around… of course, with limited (and more expensive) alternative supplies, we fear this could well shoot them in the foot.

This action is similar to that taken in November (before the EU accession discussion)…

 Russia and Ukraine waged two gas wars over prices in the winters of 2006 and 2009 (which lasted 3 weeks) over a claim Ukraine was late in paying.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that if Gazprom refuses to revise its contract, Ukraine would stop importing gas from RussiaIn a step away from energy dependence on Russia, last week Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas deal with Chevron.

Ukraine is speeding up its effort to diversify its supply, and has looked at different exporters, fracking, new offshore projects in the Black Sea, as well as new LNG terminals and pipelines to diversify supply. Ukraine imports more than half of its gas from Russia, but under Viktor Yanukovich’s leadership, has intentionally scaled down Gazprom imports 40 percent over ‘unfair prices’.

And now today,

Ukraine’s state oil and gas company, Naftogaz, has slashed gas imports from Russia’s Gazprom to 28 million cubic meters per day as of February 24 from 147 million, two Russian industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

They said Naftogaz had gradually reduced its imports from 147 million cubic meters as of February 1, but did not offer a reason for the cuts.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hinted on Monday that gas prices, reduced as part of a Russian bailout in December, may revert to higher levels.

Ukraine consumes about 55 billion cubic meters of gas each year, and more than half is imported from Russia. Gazprom exported 161.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe last year.

Gazprom official declined to comment on Naftogaz import volumes but said Russian gas transit to Europe was unaffected.

So simply put, they want to show Russia they can’t be pushed around… the trouble is, of course, that with alternative supply routes in short-supply (and only more expensive alternatives available)…

…they may well be shooting themselves in the foot. That and the whole being out of money thing too won’t help.  Finally, as everyone knows by now, Russia does have the “trump card” no matter how hard to get the Ukraine plays:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Leave Ukraine Alone!

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Leave Ukraine Alone!.

written by ron paul
sunday february 23, 2014
Ronpaul Tst

Last week Ukraine saw its worst violence since the break-up of the Soviet Union over 20 years ago. Protesters occupying the main square in the capitol city, Kiev, clashed with police leaving many protesters and police dead and many more wounded. It is an ongoing tragedy and it looks like there is no end in sight.

The current conflict stems from a divide between western Ukraine, which seeks a closer association with the European Union, and the eastern part of the country, which has closer historic ties to Russia.

The usual interventionists in the US have long meddled in the internal affairs of Ukraine. In 2004 it was US government money that helped finance the Orange Revolution, as US-funded NGOs favoring one political group over the other were able to change the regime. These same people have not given up on Ukraine. They keep pushing their own agenda for Ukraine behind the scenes, even as they ridicule anyone who claims US involvement.

A recent leaked telephone conversation between two senior government officials made it clear that not only was the US involved in the Ukrainian unrest, the US was actually seeking to determine who should make up the next Ukrainian government!

Senator John McCain, who has made several trips to Ukraine recently to meet with the opposition, wrote last week that the US must stand up to support the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea.

Why are US government officials so eager to tell the Ukrainians what they should do? Has anyone bothered to ask the Ukrainians? Perhaps the ongoing violence could be alleviated if Ukrainians decided to re-make the country as a looser confederation of regions. Perhaps Ukraine engaged in peaceful trade with countries both to the west and east would benefit all sides. But outside powers seem to be fighting a proxy war, with Ukraine suffering the most because of it.

If you asked most Americans how they feel, my bet is that you would discover they are sick and tired of the US government getting involved in every crisis that arises. Certainly the American people want none of of this intervention in Ukraine. They understand, as recent polls have shown, that our interventionist foreign policy is only creating more enemies overseas. And they also understand that we are out of money. We could not afford to be the policemen of world even if we wanted to be.

And I bet if we asked the Ukrainians, a vast majority of them would prefer that the US — and Russia and the European Union — stay out their affairs and respect their sovereignty. Is it so difficult to understand why people resent being lectured and bribed by foreign governments? All we need to do is put ourselves in the place of the Ukrainians and ask ourselves how we would feel if we were in the middle of a tug-of-war between a very strong Canada on one side and a very strong Mexico on the other. We would resent it as well. So let’s keep our hands off of Ukraine and let them solve their own problems!

ClubOrlov: Shock over Ukraine

ClubOrlov: Shock over Ukraine.

Pawel Kuczyński

[Update: I am pushing this live a few days early, because the Ukrainian situation is evolving so rapidly. One political corpse (Yanukovych) is out; apparently he has fled to Russia. Another political corpse (Tymoshenko) has been hastily rehabilitated and is ready to be put on the ballot for elections in May. Question is, Will there still be a country for her to (pretend to) run? Financial reserves are down to a few days, federal structures are being dismantled throughout the country, regional governors are fleeing, and a default on some €60 billion of Ukrainian bonds, many held by Russian banks, seems likely. Could this be just the kind of financial contagion needed to finally pop the ridiculous US equities bubble? At least two Ukrainian provinces are openly talking secession; one (Crimea) wants to immediately join Russian Federation. A question for US State Dept. flunkies and EU functionaries: What does that do to your geopolitical calculus? At risk are five nuclear power plants and a lot of Russian gas that transits Ukraine on its way west. Ukraine is shaping up to be a lot like Yugoslavia, except with more than twice as many people, lots of crazed street fighters who think they now own the place, and a role critical to European energy security. If you aren’t in shock about this, then you haven’t been paying attention.]

I’ve been receiving a lot of emails asking me what I thought was happening in Ukraine. It took me a while to formulate an opinion, but what I now think is happening is this: a complete and utter failure of politics on every level.

Everyone has failed: the EU representatives, the US State Department with its Victoria “Fuck the EU” Nuland, the Yanukovych government, its political opponents, and the Kremin. And now they are all in shock and nobody knows what to do. Except for the protesters, who do know what to do: continue to protest. Most of them don’t even know what it is they are protesting, but, in essence, they are protesting the very existence of their country, which is made up of two parts: Eastern Poland, which is Ukrainian-speaking and predominantly Catholic, and Western Russia, which is Russian-speaking and predominantly Orthodox. The “Russians” outnumber the “Ukrainians” two to one. The ultimate resolution to the crisis lies in partitioning the country. Nobody has the stomach to even talk about it—yet. But until that happens we will continue being subjected to this strange spectacle, where every single actor in Ukraine does everything possible to undermine the country’s political system. Deep down, the Ukrainians don’t want there to be a different government in Kiev—they don’t want there to be a government in Kiev at all.
I now turn it over to Andrey Tymofeiuk, a Kiev resident who posted the following on his Facebook page, in obscenity-riddled Russian. (The Russian language is remarkably rich in obscenities, which pack tremendous expressive power but don’t translate into English with its paltry collection of four-letter words.) I think he provided a good, information-rich summary of the situation from all the angles, his graduate-level potty-mouth notwithstanding, so please give him props. Translation and clean-up are mine.
I think that the current situation is such that everyone is in terrible shock over what’s happening.

The EU representatives are shocked most of all. They were playing at being skillful diplomats, who stooped to work with the barbarous dictator of a third-world country. He was supposed to quiver with anticipation over his handout, in the form of an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which would have allowed him to don the mantle of the great Euro-integrator and win the 2015 elections.

Gazing down from their lofty diplomatic perch, these experts were blindsided when the barbarous dictator suddenly decided to do a bit of arithmetic, spotted a flaw in the deal (Ukrainian national bankruptcy) and swiftly decided to take his 46 million slaves away from the EU and give them to Moscow instead. And then, due to their ridiculous bureaucracy and complete lack of understanding of Ukrainian reality, they allowed an initially peaceful protest to develop into something like civil war.

The EU representatives really don’t need a bloody quagmire with a humanitarian crisis, hundreds of thousands of refugees, terrorist attacks, tanks on the streets and other such joys, and they will try to do all they can to prevent it, even if this means that the thick-headed barbarous dictator has to stay in power. But the problem is that the barbarous dictator seems to have lost his mind.
Now the EU representatives will have to answer some very difficult questions from television viewers back home. Such as: “Why are the people waving EU flags wearing Nazi emblems? Are we supporting Nazis?” or “If they are peaceful, then why are they throwing Molotov cocktails at policemen and taking them hostage?” That’s just for starters. Here is a more serious question: “Do we really want 46 million of these violent barbarians to join the EU?” And how about this one: “What makes you think that the five Ukrainian nuclear power plants will remain safe if the country falls into chaos?” Just one more, but it’s a doosie: “If Ukraine becomes ungovernable, how are we going to get our fix of Russian natural gas next winter? Are we going to freeze to death?” But the EU representatives may not have to field such questions much longer because their diplomatic careers may be at an end. After all, they haven’t been too effective, have they? To transform a perfectly peaceful protest into a bloody mess is not exactly the pinnacle of European diplomacy. A few mid-level al Qaeda operatives could have managed the job just as well.
Ukrainian opposition leaders are in shock as well. They were all ready to use the energy of the demonstrators to advance their own political ambitions—but now these ambitions seem rather beside the point. They are politicians, not field commanders, and now they don’t know what to do. Their task is an immensely intricate one: on the one hand, they must act like ardent revolutionaries, or the crowd will turn against them, haul them off the podium and string them up; on the other hand, they have to placate the Europeans and somehow make them believe that they still have influence, that this is still a peaceful protest, and that they are not leading illegal combatants to overthrow lawful authority, but legitimate, peaceful protesters. They still hope that the Europeans will give them jobs in the new puppet government once this is all over. So far, this is not working, and they themselves no longer believe that they are in control of anything. They sign agreements to end hostilities, and hostilities continue.

The barbarous dictator, Yanukovych, is in shock too. His luck has been quite good until now, but has suddenly run out. He rose from low ranks, became one of the kingpins of the Donbass region, survived the collapse of 2004 and then got rich and built himself a palatial estate complete with a Solid Gold Toilet. Up until now he had several different ways of winning the elections in 2015. After that, he could have borrowed a page from Lukashenko’s playbook and fashioned himself into Ukraine’s president-for-life. But now that dream is gone.

He had a couple of chances to resolve the situation, but he made missteps, constantly listening to the hard-liners in his administration, and now the situation is serious and his options quite limited. After the events of February 18 there is no way for him to even claim to be a caretaker president, in power until the 2015 elections. His special forces can’t disperse the protesters. He was counting on Putin’s help, but Putin is less than pleased with his avarice and stupidity, and is noncommittal even about granting him asylum should he need to escape from Kiev. Plus, he’d be leaving behind the Solid Gold Toilet. But if he sticks around the people might hang him. He has gone from trying to survive the next election to trying to survive until the next election.

The administration’s hard-liners are in shock too. They sincerely believed that all they have to do is wave some night-sticks and the crowds will disperse. They trucked in special forces, traffic cops, criminals under their control, assorted zombie idiots, and ordered them all to attack the protesters. They tried it once—nothing; tried it again—still nothing. Protesters aren’t dispersing. Just the opposite: the more they beat on the protesters, the more their numbers grow and the more violent their tactics become. Once they saw an armored personnel carrier —a symbol of their invincibility—engulfed in flames, their hands started to shake. They don’t think that Yanukovych will abandon them, but what can he do? Order in the army? But the army people haven’t been placated with special privileges like the special forces and the police, don’t have much to lose, and could easily cross over to the other side.

The special forces are in even greater shock. A lot of them also worked as policemen, happily beating up football hooligans and collecting bribes from businessmen. And now they are confronted with a most unwelcome situation: the hooligans and the businessmen are united against them. In the beginning it was fun for them—beat on defenseless people in the center of Kiev, receive medals and money, and go home. But things have dragged on and on. The the stupider ones (the majority) are now furious, can’t understand why they haven’t been ordered to just shoot everyone, and think that Yanukovych is a sissy. The smarter ones (the minority) understand full well how dangerous that would be. First of all, success is not guaranteed and losses are likely to be high on both sides—but they have no desire to lay down their lives in defence of the Solid Gold Toilet. Second, even if they manage to suppress and disperse the protesters, the day after that they would start getting killed off one by one, because there exists a database with their names and addresses. Unlike the higher-ups in the administration, they won’t have the chance to flee abroad, and will stay to experience popular anger firsthand. They really want Yanukovych to magically return the situation to the way it was before, but the probability of this happening is dropping every day.

The Kremlin is in a bit of shock as well. They were carefully masterminding the situation, supporting the Donbass thugs, gradually ramping up their influence in Ukraine and buying up key stocks. They were methodically planning to annex half of Ukraine as a “voluntary incorporation.” But then this idiot Yanukovych started giving them a hard time trying to extort money in return for joining the Customs Union, and then he made a series of mistakes leading to the current disaster—in the middle of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, no less! The right thing to do would be to send tank columns into Donbass and Crimea, but that would put a damper on the Olympics. Plus, nothing is ready—Ukraine is not tiny Georgia, and a beautiful textbook military operation would not be possible without preparation. And a less-than-stylish military operation could lead to visa problems and international banking difficulties for the Russian leadership at a minimum, and World War III at a maximum.

The Kremlin’s propaganda people are observing the formation of the contemporary Ukrainian nation right on the streets of Kiev, and they are crying bloody tears. How are they going to be able to explain to these people that their country is not Ukraine but “Little Russia,” that their national language is made up, and that they should come home to Mother Russia and start sending their taxes to Moscow? More importantly, what about the average Russian, who is used to thinking that “nothing can be done” but is now seeing right on his television screen how for three months now special forces, armed to the teeth, haven’t been able to do much of anything to put down a ragtag mob of provincials? Thoughts are starting to course through his brain—dangerous thoughts. And the average Belarussian is even further ahead in his thinking. He has stopped looking at the television screen, has walked over to the window, and is looking at the door of the nearest government office, where local officials recently beat a bribe out of him.

The Americans and the Brits are also in shock. They couldn’t possibly care any less about the sufferings of the Ukrainian aborigines. All they care about is that Russia doesn’t grow stronger. Until recently Yanukovych seemed like a pleasant sort of dictator—not too accommodating toward the Russians, and willing to talk business with the West, about shale gas and other natural resources in particular. But now there’s a bloody mess, with Molotov cocktails, troop carriers on fire, catapults, snipers… They could dismiss Yanukovych, but then who would honor all the agreements and contracts he has signed? And who will they talk business with? The guerilla warrior nationalists from The Right Sector? The club-wielding Cossacks? And what if the Russians achieve some kind of breakthrough, absorb Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine into the Russian Federation, and grow even stronger?

Even China has something to think about. China has its own interests in Crimea, and is not so much shocked as perplexed: why can’t the local barbarian put down his opponents? There was a similar problem in China in 1989 on Tiananmen square, but there they mowed down hundreds of unarmed students without any undue excess of emotion and it was all over quickly. The West grumbled for a bit, but then resumed economic cooperation as if nothing happened. The Chinese can’t grasp why this dictator can’t do the totally obvious thing, but in general they don’t care. Ukraine is far away, and they have no desire to play a part in Eastern European conflicts. They have more important things to think about, like winning every single medal at the Olympic games in 2016 and putting a red flag on Mars.

The active population of Kiev has been in shock for a few months now, continuously, more and more every day. But at some point shock was replaced with active enthusiasm: it is better to go carry medicine to the wounded and to hurl shingles at police on Independence Square than to watch horrors unfold on television.

The passive population of Kiev is still quietly drinking beer and poking around with social networking apps. They don’t understand what’s happening yet. But if the unofficial state of emergency (including limitations on access to the city) last a few more days—and food and drink running out—then they will end up in a state of shock more serious than anything they have ever experienced.

So, who isn’t in shock? I saw him today on Independence Square: a Cossack dressed in national garb, who, with a smile on his face, was marching off to skirmish with the special forces. In one hand he held a shield with “Glory to Ukraine” written on it, and in the other a frighteningly big club. He was singing a patriotic song. It occurred to me that this man isn’t bothered by questions such as “How will I get home tonight?” or “What if something happens to me?” or “What is going to happen to us all?”

He isn’t in shock. He no longer gives a damn, bless him.

The Eastern Ukrainians Are Revolting | Zero Hedge

The Eastern Ukrainians Are Revolting | Zero Hedge.

It is hardly surprising, given the drastically divided nation, that when Vitali Klitschko’s pro-European political party ventured to Kerch – a city of the eastern edge of Ukraine in the Crimea region – things did not go entirely according to plan… This is the region that Russia has stated it is willing to go to war over and is deep in the pro-Russia territory… headlines galore are coming out of Ukraine but all that matters now is the Russian response

Especially after Tymoshenko’s earlier comments:

  • *TYMOSHENKO URGES PROTESTERS TO STAY IN INDEPENDENCE SQUARE
  • *UKRAINIANS OBLIGED TO BRING YANUKOVYCH BACK TO KIEV: TYMOSHENKO
  • *TYMOSHENKO: UKRAINE MAY BRING CHANGES IN OTHER EX-SOVIET STATES
  • *TYMOSHENKO: UKRAINE WILL HELP OTHER COUNTRIES UNDER `DICTATORS’

A EuroMaidan meeting does not go quite as planned in the east/west of Ukraine…

 

As is clear from this map – the nation is desparately divided (Kerch is on the eastern corner of the Crimea peninsula at the bottom on the map)…

 

As Russia warned before…

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the official said. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” In August 2008, Russian troops invaded Georgia after the Georgian military launched a surprise attack on the separatist region of South Ossetia in an effort to establish its dominance over the republic.

The brief conflict with Georgia pitted Russia indirectly against the US and Nato, which had earlier tried to put Georgia on a path to Nato membership. The Kremlin regards the Georgian conflict as the biggest stand-off between Russia and the west since the end of the Cold War and it has fed determination in Moscow to push back against what it believes to be western attempts to contain Russia.

The warning of a similar scenario comes because Ukraine’s civil conflict has fanned tension in Crimea. On the peninsula, located on the northern coast of the Black Sea where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed, ethnic Russians make up almost 60 per cent of the population, with Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars accounting for the rest.

..

Volodymyr Konstantinov, speaker of Crimea’s parliament, said on Thursday that the region might try to secede from Ukraine if the country split. “It is possible, if the country breaks apart,” he told the Russian news agency Interfax. “And everything is moving towards that.” Russian media also quoted him as saying Crimeans might turn to Russia for protection.

Some humor might help…

 

But it’s pretty clear who they blame…

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