Is this who we want to risk WWIII for?

The brief naval skirmish in the Azov Sea prompted Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to declare martial law. It didn't fool many people.

The president’s initial plan was to declare martial law throughout Ukraine for 60 days. With an election scheduled for March 31, this threatened to throw into disarray the campaigns of every candidate except Poroshenko himself. As commander-in-chief, he would be at the center of attention, rallying the nation against the invasion threat.
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Poroshenko realized early on, however, that he lacked the votes in parliament to impose 60 days of direct military control. So in his address, he said he would agree to 30 days to allow for the election campaign. That was a major concession. It’s unclear how Ukraine can strengthen its defenses against a Russian attack by handing Poroshenko emergency powers for a month. After that, voters will likely ask themselves what the president had hoped to achieve.

According to a recent poll, nearly 50 percent of Ukrainians won’t vote for Poroshenko under any circumstances. An earlier poll shows that Poroshenko is running in fourth place, just barely ahead of a professional comedian.
Poroshenko is deliberately inflating the Russian threat for his own political advantage.

He said in the debate that he had thwarted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to provoke Ukraine so it would set off a war like the one Georgia fought against Russia in 2008 (and lost).

Putin, however, won’t launch an all-out attack, just as he didn’t in 2014 or 2015, when his army would have easily overrun Ukraine’s weak military. The Kremlin would gain little by invading and, besides, the election provides a much better opportunity for Putin to go on destabilizing and weakening his neighbor.

If that sounds like the moves of a cynical, corrupt government, that's because it is.
The western media left us with the impression that the Maidan Revolution replaced the old corrupt government with a new government.
It didn't.

Moreover, the politicians that came to power after the revolution were not really such new faces: many had served in previous governments and were suspected of corruption themselves.
...Many are bitterly disappointed. Corruption is still rife and no high-level figures have been jailed, either for corruption or their role in the killings on Maidan (most of Yanukovich’s associates fled to Russia). The current government manifestly resists attempts to pass necessary anti-corruption reforms and only caves in under pressure from civil society and the foreign donors that keep the economy afloat.

That isn't just the general impression. It's reflected in the official report from the IMF and World Bank.

“Governance issues – it’s basically a high level of corruption and the rule of man instead of the rule of law –have prevailed in Ukraine.

Just to give you the idea of the levels of corruption, Kateryna Handzyuk, a Ukrainian anti-corruption activist, died last month. She was attacked on the street with a liter of acid three weeks earlier.

Then there is the rise of the neonazis in Ukraine.
They've been busy killing poor members of Ukraine’s Roma communities, an itinerant ethnic group sometimes called Gypsies.
Which is bad enough. But what you may not know about is that the Ukrainian neonazi groups are making connections with white supremacist groups here in the United States.

The Rundo fight has received fresh scrutiny following an FBI criminal complaint against him unsealed last month that preceded his arrest. In it, Special Agent Scott Bierwirth wrote that Azov's military wing is "believed to have participated in training and radicalizing United States-based white supremacy organizations."
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The Azov Battalion flaunts a symbol similar to that of the former Nazi Wolfsangel. (The group claims it is an amalgam of the letters N and I for "national idea.") It has been accused by international human rights groups, such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), of committing and allowing serious human rights abuses, including torture.

Following a 2015 deal known as the Minsk Accords that was meant to be a road map to end the fighting but did little more than turn down the intensity, the Azov Battalion was officially incorporated into Ukraine's National Guard and its leadership shifted focus from the battlefield to the political arena.

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Does that photo look familiar? It's from Ukraine.

I'm not saying to believe Russia.
I'm saying that Ukraine is as likely to be lying about events there as Russia is.
So before we take any strong stance we should verify the facts independently.
Or don't do anything.

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I am not sure what to call what Porto is doing. False flag maybe? I remember after the Maidan coup the regime in Kiev was always claiming that there was a massive number of Russian troops on the border ready to invade. One intrepid reporter actually went to the area where troops were supposed to be and found nothing, and no evidence of any large number of stationsed troops who may have just left. Another example was one Maidan group sending notices to synogagues that they had to register with local authorities. They just make shit up, and of course, NATO/US/EU went along with the lies. But martial law which seems to be aimed at stopping an election? Not sure lackies in the EU can go along with that one.

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@MrWebster

I remember after the Maidan coup the regime in Kiev was always claiming that there was a massive number of Russian troops on the border ready to invade.

They are still doing that.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd @UntimelyRippd
right2.jpg

but Helms Deep works too. If it was raining...

helms.jpg

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Bollox Ref's picture

as small, plucky Serbia, Belgium, Poland (take your pick) from yesteryear is going to be a very hard sell.

Kiev is pissing in the wind.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

magiamma's picture

In regions near russia iirc. Not the whole country. Can’t find the link now.

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magiamma's picture

Bloomberg

Rival political parties — former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi’s Self-Help and populist Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party — demanded further concessions. They wanted immediate confirmation, rather than just a promise, that the election will go ahead on March 31. They sought to limit martial law to a number of regions rather the whole country, and they objected to any plans to limit Ukrainians’ constitutional freedoms. Their fear wasn’t just that campaigning would be limited, but that Poroshenko would get near-dictatorial powers.

As the legislators hurled insults at each other and even had a shoving match, Poroshenko left in a huff, and then continued negotiating from his office. He returned to applause after accepting a deal that limited martial law to 10 of Ukraine’s 27 regions — those on the Black Sea and those directly bordering Russia and the unrecognized statelet of Transnistria, where Russian troops are stationed. Poroshenko promised he would only move to suspend the basic freedoms if Russia invades. Parliament also voted to confirm the election date.

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mimi's picture

Poroshenko tries to save his political career (heh, did you know we have war now over here, Wednesday morning hours, after they shot at each other for four years, apparently nobody heard them bombs and bullets flying), Putin does so as well (not everyone loves Putino to death and feels rather bearish over there at Bearlandia). Drumpelstiltzchen said Merkelina better not to like the cuddly bear's roaring attempts flagging them as aggressions. Now the question is if Mr. Makrone will have to step outside to have a little smoke chat with Merkelinchen to hack out a plan to get rid of Mr. Bolderman's influence on Mr. Drumpelstiltzchen. I think they rather have another cigarette and let 'em boys play dirty in the sandbox all by themselves.

Me think everyone is so pissed off that all plans of anything will be flushed down the toilet and the stink will be over.

Where did I put my air freshener again? It can still smell something stinky ...

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"heh, as they say, if you don't dig the blues, you got a hole in your soul" - JS

But Ukraine is much worse than Russia. The fact that several provinces want to join Putin's Russia speaks volumes (along with Crimea, which was part of Russia to begin with). The neoliberal austerity forced upon the people of Ukraine encourages the rise of fascism. What a bloody mess.

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