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The bad feelings concerning Russia run deep in the Western parts of Ukraine (as they topple statues of Lenin in growing numbers) while in the East they see themselves much more as Russians. These feelings run very deep in the region and memories do not fade so easily as the mayor and police chief of Kerch vigorously defend the Ukrainian flag in the clip below – deep in the eastern Crimea region (that Russia has already suggested it is willing to go to war over). Russian President Vladimir Putin has now been placed in a very difficult position, as Martin Armstrong notes, the entire set of circumstances creates the image of events in Ukraine that have diminished the power of Russia, which is a matter of pride and the only stable resolution remains a split along the language faultline. The critical question then is – will Putin let it go?
In the west they are toppling Lenin statues en masse
But in the East, the mayor and city officials in Kerch, Crimea defend the Ukrainian flag…
The big question- of course – will Putin let it go? (via Martin Armstrong),
Russian President Vladimir Putin has now been placed in a very difficult position. As the protesters in Ukraine gathered the support of the police against the mercenaries, they turned the tide of politics for the moment. Putin’s Sochi Olympic moment has been overshadowed by the bloody mess in neighboring Ukraine thanks to the insanity of Yanukovich trying to oppress the people as in the old days. Yanukovich has demonstrated that ultimate power always corrupts ultimately. There must be checks and balances.
The entire set of circumstances creates the image of events in Ukraine that have diminished the power of Russia, which is a matter of pride. The situation may appear that it is slipping out of control and Russia will just walk away. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine that Putin will just walk away and leave Ukraine to its own devices. There is political pride that is at stake here and Putin said in 2005 that the fall of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. Putin’s view of this is not economic, but only political. From that perspective, we must understand that if the USA split apart as was the case with the Civil War, there is a sense that a loss of prestige and power will engulf the nation unless the lost portion is regained.
There are lessons from history on this point to demonstrate this is not my personal opinion. Take the Roman Emperor Aurelian (270–275 AD) who fought to regain the European portion that separated from Rome known as the Gallic Empire and in the East defeated Zenobia who established the Empire of Palmyra. Putin’s desire to retake the former nations that were part of the Soviet Union is in accordance with history and would be an exception if it were not true. Therefore, to allow Ukraine to slip out of Russia’s orbit would make Putin no better than Mikhail Gorbachev, who presided over the Soviet empire’s dissolution in 1991 and allowed the very thing he sees as a great geopolitical catastrophe.
There can be no question that Putin wants Ukraine to join Russia’s economic attempt to create the offset to the EU with his Customs Union that includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, and soon, Armenia. The Customs Union is his counter economic response to the European Union’s much larger trading bloc. On this score, economics is the battleground.
It is true that only after Yanukovych broke off with the EU moving away from a European Union integration accord last November and chose Russia instead that the protests began in Ukraine. Putin applied pressure and Yanukovych responded taking the nation toward the Customs Union rather than the EU that would have no doubt curtailed trade to a large extent and reduced the prospect for greater entrepreneurship in Ukraine. The emergence of small business in Ukraine does not match the oligarchy monopolies inside the Russian economic model. However, this was more the straw that broke the camel’s back than the spark that ignited the revolution.
I have explained in the Cycles of War that Russia and Ukraine have deep historical links dating back to the Kievan Rus, from whom the very word “Russia” emerges. They were the days of the 11th and 12th centuries and they are traditionally seen as the beginning of Russia and the ancestor of Belarus and Ukraine. Kiev was the first real capital of Russia before Moscow. Therefore, we have a mother-country complex involved as well.
According to the Russian business daily Kommersant, they cited a source in a NATO country’s delegation back in 2008 that reported Putin had told President George W. Bush: “You understand, George, that Ukraine isn’t even a state.” Indeed, Ukraine has been the real mother-country to Russia for most of the last 900 years prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Certainly, parts of what is now called Ukraine have been controlled by many various countries as the borders have constantly change including Poland, Lithuania, the Khanate of Crimea, Austria-Hungary, Germany, in addition to Russia. Putin has often referred to Ukraine as “little Russia.” So clearly, there are serious issues here that warn that the immediate result in Ukraine may not yet be permanent independence. I have suggested that Ukraine split along the language faultline BECAUSE history warns that Russia is not likely to simply fade into the night. This is the ONLY solution that may allow Ukrainian independence and Russia to maintain its pride.
Strategically, Crimea, the southern part of Ukraine on the Black Sea, was part of Russia until 1954. At that time, Crimea was given to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, supposedly to strengthen brotherly ties. However, the majority of the population were Russian – not Ukrainian! Therein lies part of the problem. This “gift” of Crimea to Ukraine would be like the USA giving Texas to Mexico and Texans would suddenly all be Mexican. Would they “feel” Mexican or American?
There is also Russia’s Black Sea Fleet that is headquartered in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, which is less than 200 miles northwest of Sochi where the Olympic Games are being held. It is hard to imagine that the Ukrainian government could even end that lease without major consequences. Russia would no doubt be forced to move its headquarters east to Novorossiysk, yet this will have a serious geopolitical loss of face. Just last December, Russia proposed a deal of providing cheaper natural gas to Ukraine in exchange for better terms on its lease in Sevastopol. This is another reason there should be serious consideration of a split handing back the Crimea to Russia.
With the crisis over Syria that is the Saudi attempt to get a pipeline through Syria to compete with Russia on natural gas sales to Europe, Ukraine also presents a very serious problem for Russia. Natural gas sales to Europe are a key source of foreign exchange for Russia, yet a large portion of that gas actually passes through Ukraine. An independent Ukraine may present an economic threat to Russia if those pipelines were to be shut off. Nevertheless, Gazprom is also hedging its bets by building a new South Stream pipeline that crosses the Black Sea on the seabed from Russia to Bulgaria, bypassing Ukraine. This could relieve that geopolitical-economic threat, but it is not immediate. Clearly, this comes at a time that is serious in light of what the USA and Saudi’s are trying to pull off with the overthrow of Syria pretending they care about human rights when in fact it is all about that pipeline.
The Ukrainians really do not “feel“ that they are Russian and they have toppled statues of Lenin everywhere. Why? Historically, Josef Stalin brutally subjugated Ukraine back in the 1930s. He confiscated all the wealth liquidating the farmers that were known as kulaks. The bad feelings concerning Russia run deep in the Western parts while in the East they see themselves as Russians.These feelings run very deep in the region and memories do not fade so easily. We still have the word “vandalize” that comes from the North African Vandals sacking Rome back in 455AD. China still hates Japan for their brutal invasion. These feelings and memories do not really exist in the USA most likely because of the very diverse ethnic backgrounds creating a melting pot rather than one group that remembers another.
Russia Angered At Ukraine Government Vote To Remove President After “I Won’t Resign” Comments | Zero Hedge
Remember that (laughable) agreement that was signed less than 24 hours ago and was grandly endorsed by all European nations, and which delineated the next legal presidential election sometime between September and December? Good times.
With 328 (of the 450 seats) voting in favor, the Ukraine parliament has agreed to removed President Viktor Yanukovych:
- *UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO REMOVE PRESIDENT YANUKOVYCH
- *UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO HOLD EARLY ELECTIONS ON MAY 25
“Yanukovych, in an illegal manner, removed himself from his constitutional duties,” Turchynov says in chamber before vote. The Russians are not at all happy with Siluanov exclaiming these actions “pose a direct threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and constitutional order.”
As Martin Armstrong warns:
I believe the nation will survive divided for there is far too much resentment to simply put this all behind and walk forward. Divide Ukraine along the historical language faultline and there is a chance to calm things down. Otherwise, this will flare up and take others with it.
My position is consistent – ALL governments are only a necessary evil. They should never be allowed to have such power over the people for it will also be abused to sustain that same power. It does not matter what form of government – they are all the same.
It would appear we are getting closer to a divided/split nation…
In the minds of so many western journalists, yesterday’s “deal” to reform the constitution, hold new elections in 10 months or so, and generally all ‘just get along’ was a victory but this morning it is clear that very little has changed.
- *YANUKOVYCH SAYS HE WON’T LEAVE UKRAINE OR RESIGN: INTERFAX
Late last night Ukraine time, President Yanukovych (and some of his key advisers) fled Kiev (amid so-called threats) and headed to the eastern part of the country. Then following rumors he would resign, he stated in a TV address that he would not and that pro-EU forces had staged a “coup d’etat”. This has left a troubled nation with just as divided a future as protesters have taken back control of Kiev.
Russia is not happy; blaming extremists for threatening order.
- *RUSSIA URGES GERMANY, POLAND FRANCE TO INFLUENCE UKRAINE OPPOS.
- *RUSSIA SAYS UKRAINE OPPOSITION FAILED TO FULFILL OBLIGATIONS
- *RUSSIA SAYS UKRAINE OPPOSITION THREATENS SOVEREIGNTY, ORDER
- *RUSSIA SAYS UKRAINE OPPOSITION `FOLLOWING LEAD OF EXTREMISTS’
The government has moved in his absence:
- *UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER TURCHYNOV SPEAKS IN ASSEMBLY
- *UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO REMOVE PRESIDENT YANUKOVYCH
- *UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO HOLD EARLY ELECTIONS ON MAY 25
- *UKRAINE PARLT VOTES TO REMOVE PRESIDENT WITH 328 OF 450 SEATS
Putin will not be happy:
Russia’s foreign minister on Saturday accused Ukraine’s opposition of failing to fulfill its side of a peace deal intended to end the nation’s political crisis and urged Western mediators to intervene.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called his German, French and Polish counterparts, who helped broker Friday’s agreement between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition. Yanukovych agreed to hold early elections this fall and surrender much of his powers, but opposition supporters have kept pushing for his immediate dismissal.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov urged his counterparts to use their influence with the Ukrainian opposition, which he said “not only has failed to fulfill any of its obligations, but keeps making new demands under the influence of armed extremists and rioters.”
Their actions “pose a direct threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and constitutional order,” he said.
From Deal to Defection…
*YANUKOVYCH SAYS SOME PARTY MEMBERS DEFECT IN BETRAYAL: UBR TV
Government authority appeared to melt away Saturday, leaving protesters in control of the capital’s center. President Viktor Yanukovych left the capital for a city in the country’s Russian-speaking east and said he would work to prevent the country from splitting up.
In a television interview Saturday afternoon in Kharkiv, where Russian-speaking supporters had gathered, Mr. Yanukovych denounced the events in Kiev as a “coup d’etat” that he blamed on “bandits.” He said he wasn’t stepping down and vowed to remain inside the country. He said parliament’s decisions today are “illegal” and that he would refuse to sign them. Asked about his plans, he said he will travel in the Russian-speaking south and east of the country, “where for the moment it’s less dangerous.”
Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko earlier had called on parliament to vote to oust Mr. Yanukovych and announce presidential elections in May, as police withdrew from the center of the capital Saturday.
Ukraine opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was expected to be released from prison within hours, according to a spokeswoman for the opposition.
The army has said it will not get involved…
*UKRAINE MILITARY, DEFENSE MINISTRY `REMAIN FAITHFUL TO PEOPLE’
*UKRAINE DEFENSE MIN: ARMY WON’T BE INVOLVED IN GOVT CONFLICT
Opposition leaders signed a peace deal with Mr. Yanukovych Friday after dozens were killed in clashes between protesters and police. The deal proposed power sharing and presidential elections by the end of the year. But protesters weren’t satisfied and called for his immediate ouster.
In Kiev on Saturday, volunteer security brigades from among the protesters took over security at government buildings, and journalists reported around 300 people had entered Mr. Yanukovych’s opulent suburban residence without resistance.
Oleh Tyahnybok, an opposition leader, called on parliament to adopt a resolution calling on police and protesters’ “self-defense” forces to work to prevent looting in Kiev and other cities.
Outside the Kiev headquarters of Ukraine’s security service, plain-clothed men wearing earpieces stood at the street corners, eying those who passed. They wouldn’t say who they worked for.
With truckloads of activists armed with baseball bats driving the streets of Kiev, the security service appeared to be taking no chances. In the interior lobby and parking lot of the building, fire hoses and fire extinguishers were piled in the corners.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that “it serves only the Ukrainian people and fully shares the desire of citizens for immediate change.” It called for cooperation from all sides to ensure public order.
A power vaccum has developed…
Opposition lawmakers in parliament called for calm amid concerns over a power vacuum, calling on state officials and religious and civic leaders to work together to ensure order.
Parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Rybak, a close ally of Mr. Yanukovych, handed in his resignation Saturday. Lawmakers elected opposition leader Olexander Turchinov to replace him. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the opposition could muster sufficient support to vote Mr. Yanukovych out.
The European Union is prepared to offer Ukraine financial support, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said on Saturday.
“If there is a reform-minded government in Ukraine, we will work with the international community and international financial institutions to support Ukraine,” Mr. Barroso told German newspaper “Welt am Sonntag.”
Days after Kazakhstan broke out is tanks post-devaluation, the promise to “Restore order by all means envisaged” is under way in Ukraine as military vehicles are being mobilized into the city center (andfighter jets are being reported overhead). As Martin Armstrong so eloquently noted recently, “the Western powers represented by the EU and the US have nothing to stand on to protect Ukraine and can only offer lip-service at best. So once again, it appears that Ukraine is doomed and the best one can hope for there, is that Russia will allow the West to leave. The countdown goes forward and the political and economic crisis is indicative of what we see with the first shot across the bow in the rising trend of the Cycle of War.” The US has ‘demanded’ an end to the violence…
Two jet aircrafts, presumably military, have appeared over Maidan in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, the mass media report.
The economy is collapsing:
- *UKRAINE JAN. INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT FALLS 16.0% IN MONTH (largest on record)
Things are rapidly deteriorating…
- *KLITSCHKO URGES UKRAINIANS TO FLOCK TO INDEPENDENCE SQUARE
- *KLITSCHKO SAYS MAIN TASK TO AVOID BLOODSHED
- *KLITSCHKO SAYS UKRAINE FORCES MAY STORM INDEPENDENCE SQUARE
- *KLITSCHKO URGES WOMEN, CHILDREN TO LEAVE INDEPENDENCE SQUARE
- *UKRAINE RIOT POLICE AMASS ON PERIMETER OF INDEPENDENCE SQUARE
The death toll is rising (and hundreds are injured)
- *UKRAINE INTERIOR MINISTRY SAYS ONE POLICEMAN SHOT DEAD TODAY
- *UKRAINE SAYS 37 POLICEMAN INJURED IN CLASHES WITH PROTESTERS
- *UKRAINE OPPOSITION SAYS 3 KILLED IN CLASHES, 7 CRITICAL
- *TWO MORE DEAD BODIES DISCOVERED AMID KIEV PROTESTS: INTERFAX
The world condemns…
- *EU’S ASHTON `DEEPLY WORRIED’ ABOUT RENEWED UKRAINE VIOLENCE
- *GERMANY TO MAKE ALL EFFORTS TO RESOLVE CONFLICT: STEINMEIER
- FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER FABIUS CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN KIEV (FR)
- *SIKORSKI SAYS UKRAINE URGENTLY NEEDS POLITICAL COMPROMISE
- *US DEMANDS YANUKOVYCH END VIOLENCE IN KIEV, AFP SAYS
And now the military vehicles are rolling:
Martin Armstrong Warns Europeans Of The Coming Expropriation Of 10% Of Everyone’s Accounts | Zero Hedge
As we have discussed in depth previously (2 years ago here as “muddle through has failed” and most recently here as the IMF discussed a “one-off” wealth tax), a confiscation (akin to Cyprus overnight debacle) is coming and Martin Armstrong believes sooner than most think.
Submitted by Martin Armstrong via Armstrong Economics,
Anyone who thinks it is a fantasy that government will simply just confiscate 10% of everyone’s accounts in Europe better have another look at the fool they see in the mirror staring back at them. This IMF solution is traditionally French and is really coming because the people in charge are effectively Marxists and this idea came from the IMF under the control of French ideology. They willexpropriate these funds to save a banking system that they screwed up and will never reform anything because they are incapable of admitting any mistake.
These European government officials really are playing a dangerous game that is inviting total chaos, civil unrest, and may set themselves up for invasion. Instead of Napoleon invading Russia (1812.479), it may be the other way around when they smell weakness.
Let me make this very clear. I have many French friends and they know the people in charge are just Marxists. Adam Smith wrote Wealth of Nations because he visited France to investigate Physiocracy that argued agriculture was the only real wealth. Karl Marx did not come up with Communism himself. He was more of a socialist. He did not advocate confiscating all property. It was the French movement of a commune at the time that convinced him their way was better. It was Engels who steered Marx into Communism. These ideas have emerged from France and this is why we have some of the most insane ideas still emerging from this country. There is a core philosophy among some that this socialism is correct.
The IMF proposal to expropriate everyone’s accounts in Europe will happen. The consequences could be absolutely the collapse in confidence that will be off the charts. Why should people trust government ever again or any bank for that matter?
My advise to Europe – move as much as you can… – Hollande will come up with that one you can bet. He will weaken Europe and destroy the future of generations yet to come.
When they took the funds in Cyprus, the EU did not distinguish between European, American, or Russian accounts.