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Ukrainian Separatists Block 100+ News Websites in ‘Lugansk People’s Republic’

Users in occupied parts of Lugansk region report over a hundred Ukrainian news sites as blocked. Images mixed by Tetyana Lokot.

Users in occupied parts of Lugansk region report over a hundred Ukrainian news sites as blocked. Images mixed by Tetyana Lokot.

More than one hundred Ukrainian news websites are currently inaccessible in the self-proclaimed “Lugansk People's Republic,” a section of eastern Ukraine's Lugansk region that has been occupied by a pro-Russian militia since shortly after the 2014 protests that led to the ousting of former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The separatist leaders say they are blocking access to news websites in order to protect citizens from the “destabilizing” influence of Ukrainian media. The blocking reportedly took hold on January 8, in compliance with a decree from the separatist authority's Ministry of Information.

Independent eastern Ukrainian news website Ostrov reports that separatist officials in Lugansk pressured local Internet service providers to implement the censorship order, and had approached providers in mid-December 2015 with a list of approximately 117 URLs to be blocked. The number of websites currently reported as blocked hovers between 113 and 117, according to various media reports.

Ukraine's national government regards the Lugansk People's Republic as an unofficial and illegal zone of the region. It is not surprising that local leaders take issue with independent news sites, many of which reflect conflicting views on the status of the territory.

Although the initial December list of URLs to be blocked included Ostrov's own website, ostro.org, along with the BBC news service in Ukrainian, both sites are currently still available in Lugansk. However, popular news websites such as Ukrainska Pravda, Obozrevatel, Novoe Vremya, TSN, and 24 TV are allegedly blocked. Users attempting to access these and other websites in the separatist-held territory report receiving a “Webpage is unavailable” error. As early as December 21, 2015, there were sporadic reports that some Lugansk ISPs had already started blocking Ukrainian news websites, before the “information destabilization” decree went into effect.

Radio Liberty, whose Ukrainian website was also on the list of blocked websites, reminded its followers on Twitter about circumvention tools such as Psiphon that could allow users to access blocked content.

A number of Ukrainian news websites don't work on the territory held by the “LPR” group. Here's how to get around the blockings [embedded infographic explains how to search for, download, install and use Psiphon to connect to blocked websites through a regular browser].

The breakaway parts of eastern Ukraine have long sought to restrict access to Ukrainian media online to cement their hold on the information sphere. In June 2015, the other pro-Russian separatist “republic” in Donetsk region instituted an Internet blacklist registry as part of a new law passed to “help regulate the use of information technologies and provide for information security.” Although separatist authorities never released a full list of blocked URLs, local media reported that the blacklist contained a number of Ukrainian news websites.

  • John H Newcomb

    LPR” wants a Stalinist-level of press freedom even worse than that of Russia’s #152 rank: https://index.rsf.org/#!/

    • slat

      Worse is only killing writers (Buzina in Kiev), politicians (Kalashnikov and dozen others), jailing thousands dissidents … including single mom:
      http://redstaroverdonbass.blogspot.com/2016/01/ukrainian-democracy-single-mom-gets-11.html

      • BlackisNOTWhite

        I think you are delusional if you are comparing the current Kyiv government with that of the Russian occupied so-called governing bodies of Donbas and Lugansk. When your unelected DNR/LNR officials say that life will be so good your residents will be able to go on holiday to shoot kangaroos in Australia…what planet do those people live on? When you can’t even read news from Kyiv and Ukraine, because they might hear about how life is in not-Russian occupied Ukraine.

        • slat

          Just checking some facts
          >>When your unelected DNR/LNR officials
          Independent observers:
          /youtu. be/OVIi6vM1FhM
          NY times:
          http://www.nytimes. com/2014/11/03/world/europe/rebel-backed-elections-in-eastern-ukraine.html

          I would argue that under L/DNR people feel themselves more natural. Same monuments are staying, no streets renaming, heroes changing, people speak freely Ukrainian and Russian (can provide you with plenty of videos – check Sharij with those from Donetsk). Most prefer documents processing in Russian – they got it – no forces them to comprehend Ukrainian. Old ladies have no hard time in pharmacies reading labels and instructions in Ukrainian with many words that did not exist 10 years ago.

          People feel themselves to be SELF. Not sure why guys from other side of the world would argue with those who talks to locals every day.
          I have relatives and classmates in government controlled Mariupol – they do not have luxury to be SELF. They are afraid to voice any angst – cause have nqzi battalion “Azov” railing around the city (“teaching” them love Ukrainian), their prevailing vote for the Opposition Block was the only way to expose their dissatisfaction with the current governance.

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            I am not on the other side of the world. I do talk to people everyday either in occupied territories, or those fleeing. I am aware of the propaganda surrounding Ukrainian as a language, and people not wanting to learn the language of the country they live in. I personally speak Russian, more than Ukrainian, but see the point in keeping Ukrainian as a state language for documents, and wish I could speak better than I do. If you compare Ukraine to Latvia it has a more relaxed stance on language than there, in Latvia you can’t vote until you pass an extremely difficult Latvian exam. I live in unoccupied Ukraine, and I have no-one telling me what to think, say, or believe. I haven’t seen any Azov folks around, but I spoke to someone today who told me about how their apartment was stolen by an armed gang in Lugansk, and how they had to leave family members behind to protect their properties from being looted and stolen.

          • slat

            >> people not wanting to learn the language of the country they live in
            Who defined that language of the country MUST be Ukrainian?
            I’ve been in Kiev in 1993 and all people around spoke Russian.
            In Canada only portion speaks French and it is not pushed on the rest of the country.
            Why someone in Ukraine decided that people MUST learn the “language of the country”? It is NOT native to most of the people.
            The only reason they force it is to create this anti Russian split.
            You say that’s right – well then we see outcome of such policy – civil war. And the language per se is not a problem but the way it is pushed on people shows arrogant attitude of new government towards the people.
            I used to live and studied in Mariupol’s university – everything was in Russian. And why NOT. Find me single one fundamental scientific work originally written in Ukrainian – NONE. It was oppressed – come on – they made us all learn Ukrainian at school.
            This notion that Ukrainian language is native to the country is totally nonsense.

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            I never said that Ukrainian was the native language of Ukrainians. The elected representatives of Ukraine make constitutional amendments, of which, 75% must agree, they decide on what the state language is. The state language is Ukrainian. There could be a constitutional proposal to make two state languages in Ukraine, that is how democracy works, if there is political will it will happen. No-one is forced to learn Ukrainian, it is your choice, I speak Russian, but want to learn Ukrainian. Some people who live here don’t want to learn Ukrainian, that is their choice, but as it is the only state language of Ukraine they are naturally disadvantaging themselves. I know many of those who were born in Russia, who even in their old age learnt Ukrainian, it is very similar to Russian in grammar, pronunciation is a bit trickier. There is no civil war in Ukraine, there was an invasion and occupation by the Russian Federation. I define it as an invasion as more than 50% of the soldiers/militants in occupied territories do not hold Ukrainian citizenship. I live in Ukraine, and have never had the Ukrainian language pushed on me, by anyone, governmental or otherwise.

          • TIM TOMSEN

            Ukraine is now forced to FIGHTING AND IS WORKING HARED to fix a historical injustice to its linguistic and culture heritage and at the same time fight the sovieticus mentality of corruption left over by the Russian controlled USSR and if that was not enough, it is also being forced to defend the land from Moskali Russian evil underhand war / attack and annexation of the Ukrainian nations lands..

            The Russian government has in history and are still today underhandedly and covertly promoting the spread of the Russian language and Russian dominance over Ukraine.

            Russia even promotes this idea of a justifiable and rightful dominance over Ukraine not just to its own Russians and the world in general but among the native Ukrainian population as well… They do this by actively refusing to acknowledge the historical facts and the existence of the Ukrainian language and take every opportunity too belittle Ukrainian history by calling it a myth; this way Moscow is indirectly saying that Ukrainian history never existed and Ukrainian people are just nothing more than confused little Russians..

            If we look back in time this is nothing new, the Russian Minister of Internal Affairs Pyotr Valuev in 1863 issued a secret decree that banned the publication of religious texts and educational texts written in the Ukrainian language The Emperor Alexander II expanded this ban by issuing the Ems Ukaz in 1876 (which lapsed in 1905). The Ukaz banned all Ukrainian language books and song lyrics, as well as the importation of such works. Furthermore, Ukrainian-language public performances, plays, and lectures were forbidden

            During the Soviet times, the attitude to Ukrainian language and culture went through periods of suppression (during the period of Stalinism) While officially there was no state language in the Soviet Union until 1989, Russian in practice had an implicitly privileged position as the only language widely spoken across the country From around the 1960s nearly all dissertations were required to be written in Russian That caused most scientific works to be written exclusively in Russian. Studying Russian in all schools was not optional, but the requirement SO DONT COME SCREENING about Russian Russian language rights in UKRAINE after forcefully running a linguistic genocide on the Ukrainian language for years.

            if Ukraine is to win this war we must remember 3 Quotes from von Clausewitz

            1, “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s “center of gravity

            2, “No one starts a war–or rather, no one in his sense ought to do so–without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by the war and how he intends to conduct it.”

            3““The aggressor is always peace-loving he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.”

            ― Carl von Clausewitz

            The real question is how does that world negotiate with a mad man like Putin and his thugs How did the world deal with Stalin or Hitler ..? You have no other choice then too take them out and end them and their nation like you take put down a willed dog..

            And why is that the best way of dealing with them you ask?

            Well with very few exceptions, the men who are running Putin’s Government and Putin him self are of a mentality that you and I cannot understand mostly ex KGB with a sovieticus mentality. Some of them are psychopathic cases and would ordinarily be receiving treatment somewhere But now they are free to continue with their evil in other nations as well as in their own because the rest of the world is being week in it response just like British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was with that other psychopathic cases Hitler back in his day

            Putin’s goal has been to show that what’s happening in Ukraine “isn’t democracy and that Ukrainians won’t be able to do anything,” That’s crucially important for the Kremlin because his legitimacy is based on his claim that democracy can’t work in Russia.

            Russkii Mir,”

            When Putin annexed Crimea last year, he claimed to be protecting the rights of Russians abroad, which has also been his main rationale for supporting the separatists in eastern Ukraine. Other Russian neighbors worry that Putin’s claim will extend to them. “Next it can be Latvia, which is 40 percent Russian, or maybe Estonia,” says Bondarev, who like some other Kremlin critics compares Putin’s logic with Hitler’s rationale for annexing Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland in 1939. A new law defining “compatriots” abroad enacted two years ago—along with the creation of a new Foreign Ministry department devoted to that issue—is raising more fears. “Putin, like Stalin, is eyeing world domination under the motto of Russkii Mir, which he’s combining with an incredible wave of anti-Americanism,”

            THE END GAME IS CLEAR “Defeating the United States is now an officially stated goal for Russia.”

            Some of the propaganda comes out through a proliferation of ostensibly independent cultural organizations in Western capitals that are funded by state and private money and headed by prominent Kremlin loyalists.

            They include one called Russkiy Mir, which operates centers in Washington, London, and other Western cities and which Putin created supposedly to promote the Russian language and Russian Orthodox values. The stated goal of another, the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation—with offices in Moscow, New York, and Paris—is to gain a hearing for Russian positions on global human rights and democracy and to expose what it says are double standards by the West. The involvement of Russians in the West is key. “They need the support of the émigrés to build the concept of the Russkii Mir,”.

            They are representatives of the oldest and most illustrious Russian families, who played a huge role in the Motherland’s history,” he told the government’s official paper of record, Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “Today they include professors of leading universities, scholars, doctors, successful entrepreneurs, and journalists. They support Russia and the Russian people with their souls.”

            Putin’s wider Russkii Mir strategy includes the establishment of a Moscow-led bloc of former Soviet countries called the Eurasian Economic Union, which Russia launched with Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan this year as a counter to the EU and other Western organizations. Its name evokes Eurasianism, a hard-line nationalist movement conceived by émigrés in the 1920s based in France who believed Russia to be closer to Asia than Europe. Resurrected in the 1980s, it has been led by well known Russian neonazi named Alexander Dugin, he is also one of Putin’s top advisory’s a strident ideologist who has the idea to from a strategic bloc that would join the former Soviet Union to Middle Eastern countries, including Iran and remake the USSR in sheep’s clothing calling it Eurasia Union . Without Ukraine, however, Putin’s union remains very much symbolic.

            Moscow is encouraging such sympathies among both far-left and far-right groups in order to help split Western opinion. That’s an old game for Moscow: European Communist parties and other groups acted in the same way during the Cold War. Now the Kremlin is quietly cultivating radical parties across the continent—including some that are openly neofascist—united by the common goal of undermining the European Union.

            Despite the paradox, many far-right parties across Europe, including France’s anti-immigrant National Front and the Dutch Freedom Party, are voicing loud support for Putin. Russia also has ties with Hungary’s nationalist Jobbik party, Slovakia’s People’s Party, and Bulgaria’s anti-EU Attack movement. National Front leader Marine Le Pen recently praised Putin, saying that “he proposes a patriotic economic model radically different than what the Americans are imposing on us.” Her party went so far as to take out a loan worth more than $10 million from a Russian bank owned by a Kremlin ally. Last year, both the National Front and the United Kingdom’s anti-EU UK Independence Party won 24 seats in the European Parliament, an institution they want to sideline.

            Anti-Americanism also fuels support for the Kremlin from Europe’s left. Greece’s new ruling coalition, led by the radical left-wing Syriza party, has made waves for emerging as a potential Russia ally within the EU. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has objected to sanctions against Russia. Last year, during a trip to Moscow, he accused the Ukrainian government of having “neo-Nazi” elements. He’s not alone. The Greek defense minister, Panos Kammenos, was photographed in Moscow last year together with senior legislators from Putin’s United Russia party, and Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is known to have friendly ties to Dugin, whom he invited to Athens in 2013 to lecture about the role of Orthodox Christianity.

            Elsewhere in Europe, Communists and other powerful leftist groups that supported the Soviet Union during the Cold War tend be sympathetic toward Russia. Not least in France, where more than 60 percent of those polled believe their country was wrong to suspend a $1.39 billion sale to Russia of two highly advanced helicopter-carrier ships after the conflict in Ukraine started. Against that background, Shakhovskoi’s letter has been effective. “Westerners listen to the émigrés,” “Most people don’t care about one or the other side [of the conflict in Ukraine]. But a certain number do believe that America will do anything to remain the strongest power, and that Russia needs to balance the United States.” the same United States that save France and Europe in ww1 and ww2 and gave France and Europe the Marshall help too rebuild their nations after ww2 and lest not forget also gave freedom to eastern Europe by crushing the USSR and winning the cold war. Yes that United States..

            Although there is no evidence that émigré descendants’ support for Putin has significantly swayed opinions in Russia or abroad, its importance lies in what it reveals about his strategy. It shows the Kremlin is able and willing to use Russians living abroad—even those who would not seem natural allies of his regime—as part of its so-called hybrid war in Ukraine and use hundreds of thousands, if not millions of them, as Putin’s proxies.”

            Russian controlled soviet union former satellite states like Poland, Romania, and Czech the Baltic sates, Slovakia ect ect ect …couldn’t wait to join NATO and the EU to get as fare away from Russian hegemony control as fast as the possibly can at the time .

            “Putin bases his policies on Lenin’s principle: probe with bayonets; if you encounter mush, proceed; if you encounter steel, withdraw,” the aide said. “With Obama, Putin has encountered mush for nearly seven years, never steel, and that’s why he continues to challenge the United States time after time.”

            If the Russians weren’t such malignant, belligerent a**holes, they wouldn’t have to worry about EU NATO and former satellite states like Poland, Romania, and Czech the Baltic sates, Slovakia ect ect ect running too the front door of EU and NATO .

            Her is a thought if every one thinks you are a bunch of malignant, belligerent a**holes and you think you are the the greatest thing since sliced bread and you are the only one that thinks that maybe you need a reality check and just maybe just maybe you are a bunch of malignant, belligerent a**holes and not the greatest thing since sliced bread

            The Ukrainians are living all over Ukraine the myth of just Russian live in east Ukraine is a myth and that’s all it is…. To day only 17,3% of ethnic Russian live in Ukraine they only are 17,3% of the nation BUT ARE SHOUTING like they was 96%

            In the 2001 Ukrainian census, only 17,3% of people identified themselves as ethnic Russians. 17.3% of all the population of Ukraine

            Also out of that 17,3% 70% of then live in Crimea and acording too Putin and you that is now part of Russia that gives us only 5% living in what now is Ukraine with out Crimea … their are now only left 1416705 ethnic Russians and in the land the total population in Ukraine is estimated to be 44,840,743 in 2014

            Ukraine Demographics

            Ukrainians make up almost 77.8% of the total population, while Russians take the second spot with almost 17% of the population. Other minorities include Bella Russians 0.6%, Bulgarians 0.4%, Hungarians 0.3%, Crimean Tatars 0.5%, while Romanians and Poles both are 0.3% and Jewish residents make up 0.2% of the total population. Other minorities present are 1.8%.

            The major language is Ukrainian, spoken by 67% of the population, while the second most common language is Russian, spoken by 24% of the total population. The remaining 9% is comprised of various other languages.

            http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/ukraine-population/

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            In regards to the independent observers I watched Russian…that’s right Russian state news articles, where the Russian citizen reporter went from polling booth to polling booth with just her Russian driver’s license and voted at every single polling station in Sevastopol….hilarious. INDEPENDENT….OBSERVERS…with machine guns lol.

          • slat

            Machine guns in Crimea – hilarious indeed.

            Three Western independent polls ran after the referendum showed that absolute majority of Cirmeans feel back home.
            Forbes:

            forbes. com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/20/one-year-after-russia-annexed-crimea-locals-prefer-moscow-to-kiev/
            site your references. Not sure why you are so concerned about Crimeans – to me that’s only their opinion matters.

          • slat

            And here what people on the streets of Kiev think about Crimea – interviews led by Western Radio Svoboda (Liberty)
            youtube.com/watch?v=HDZTob03BEg

            Most do not want sacrifice much let alone lives to change Crimean’s choice.

          • TIM TOMSEN

            RUSSIAN MYTHS AND PROPAGANDA ABOUT CRIMEA AND UKRAINE.. Crimea has never really been Russian.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMgjYetl4pQ

            Any more than Norway is Swedish just because Norway was forcefully taking into an union with Sweden and for some time under brutal Swedish occupation and rule dose not make Norway into Swedish lands … Norway like Ukraine was just a politically and military occupied nation for some time in history of its history that’s all..

            Norway has been from time to time under Swedish occupation and even some Norwegian city’s was built by Swedish occupier’s But that doesn’t mean that Sweden owns Norway or the Norwegians are Swedish ANY MORE THEN Russian owns Ukraine….!!!

            The Russian public has long been encouraged to view Crimea as native Russian land.

            The 2014 annexation of Crimea was actually the fourth Russian attempt to claim the peninsula in the past 250 years. On each occasion, these efforts have ultimately failed. This video is history of Russian deception about the Crimea.

            THE BEST HISTORY FACTS

            The underlying premise of Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea is false: Crimea has not been part of Russia from time immemorial. Instead, it has had a complex history, one in which Russia’s role has been remarkably brief. As a result, it is important that the future of the peninsula be decided by the people of Crimea itself rather than by Moscow.

            That logic, widely recognized by many but unfortunately not by all in the West, has now been presented by Andrey Zubov in today’s “Vedomosti” newspaper in an article entitled “Is Crimea Ours? Just How Weighty are the Arguments that Crimea Historically Belongs to Russia”

            Zubov, who was a professor at Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO) until he lost his position there because of his pro-Ukrainian positions, uses this article to lay out for Russian readers just how tendentious and wrong are the Kremlin’s arguments at a time when few in that country or elsewhere are willing to challenge them.

            The beginning of the tragedy that is Russia’s current one in Ukraine was Ukraine which Moscow seized on the basis of Vladimir Putin’s claim that “Crimea always was and again has become Russian,” a claim that many have accepted without challenge and without reflecting that absorbing the lands of others “never will occur quietly and peacefully.”

            If Crimea was “always” Russian as Putin insists, such an “injustice should have been corrected,” Zubov says, but it should have been done via referendum without the introduction of Russian military force as in the case of Scotland in Great Britain or Catalonia in Spain. That is not what happened because Crimea wasn’t.

            And if it had been true that there was a genocide of ethnic Russians there, then United Nations rules about the right of peoples to self-determination under threat of disappearance might have been applied, the Moscow historian says. “But there was no genocide in Crimea while it was part of Ukraine.”

            That has forced the Russian side to rely on three other arguments: that “Crimea was always Russian,” that “Crimea has been covered with Russian blood in many wars,” and that “Crimea was handed over to Ukraine illegally.” All of those, Zubov argues, collapse upon even the most superficial examination.

            In antiquity and the medieval period, the Crimean peninsula was controlled by many states and populated by many peoples. Russia and Russians weren’t among them because neither a Russian state nor a Russian nation existed, the Russian historian points out. It only became part of the Russian world in April 1783 when it was seized in a bloody war.

            As a result of that occupation, the population of the peninsula declined by a factor of five, and many of the Muslims who remained were forcibly converted to Christianity. Indeed, Zubov says, until the 1930s, many Muslims urged their children to protect Christian cemeteries there because their own ancestors had been buried in them.

            Over the course of the century of Russian rule from Catherine II to Alexander II, about 900,000 Muslims left Crimea. In their place arrived Christians from the Ottoman Empire – Greeks, Bulgarians and Armenians and Germans from Russia, Germany and Austro-Hungary, Zubov continues.

            As a result, the share of Tatars in the Crimean population fell dramatically: from 87.6 percent in 1795 to 35.6 percent in 1897 and to 19.4 percent in 1939.

            But even if Crimea was absorbed by the Russian Empire, one must keep in mind, Zubov says, that “the Russian Empire of the 17th to 19th centuries and present-day Russia are not one and the same state.” The former included many peoples, “and present-day Russia can hardly pretend to any lands only on the basis that sometime they were part of the Romanov empire.”

            The Bolsheviks rejected the notion that they were the successors of the Russian Empire. They insisted that “they were building a new state of workers and peasants,” and once in power, “they changed the borders among these states many times,” taking land from one and giving it to another, including the transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to Ukraine in 1954.

            But what is important, Zubov argues, is this: “however conditional [these administrative borders] were in the USSR, after the disintegration of the USSR, they were confirmed by international agreements” and by the declarations of the countries which emerged, including the Russian Federation.

            As far as time of control is concerned, the Ottoman Empire controlled Crimea for three centuries, the Russian Empire for 134 years, the RSFSR and the Russian Federation which has declared itself that entity’s successor 34 years, and “the Ukrainian SSR and present-day Ukraine 60 years (from 1954 to 2014).”

            Moreover, the Russian historian points out, during the Soviet period, “a multitude of crimes were committed against the indigenous Crimean Tatar and all other peoples of the peninsula including Russians.” Some 60,000 died in battles at the end of the Russian Civil War, and another 80,000 died in the succeeding famine.

            Collectivization and forced deportation had an additional and horrific impact. In August 1941, 63,000 Germans were expelled, in January-February 1942 700 Italians, and in 1944, 191,000 Crimean Tatars, 15,040 Greeks, 12,242 Bulgarians, 9600 Armenians, and 3650 Turks and Persians were deported. Many died in the process.

            That reduced the population of Crimea by two-thirds, Zubov says, and the places left vacant were then filled by Soviet war veterans, NKVD officers, and political workers. As a result, “the composition of the population of Crimea was dramatically changed.” Only in the 1980s did the Crimean Tatars have a chance to begin to return.

            “And now,” Zubov concludes, “’Crimea is ours,’” a declaration that not only is without historical justification but one that has led to the horrific war in Ukraine and the international isolation of Russia. “Is there a way out? Yes,” he says.” But that will requires giving up claims to this land and returning the question of its fate to the people who live there.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMgjYetl4pQ

          • slat
          • BlackisNOTWhite

            No, it is every Ukrainian’s responsibility to care about Crimea, Crimea is a part of Ukraine, legally, morally and ethically. Any and all Russian citizens living in Crimea should leave, unless they have Ukrainian residence. If you identify as Russian and want to live in Russia, go live there, no-one is preventing you from doing so.

          • slat

            >> Any and all Russian citizens living in Crimea should leave, unless they have Ukrainian residence.
            Most of them have Russian citizenship and always were residents of Crimea. They left Ukraine with their residence.

            If you so much frustrated – sign up for Ukrainian army – they promise to get Russians away. Same you can help with Donbas.
            If you are so involved – stop winning – go and punish Crimean and Donbas people for their wrong choices.

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            The latest speech by Petro Poroshenko stated very clearly that Ukraine is using diplomatic channels to have Crimea returned to Ukraine. Invoking the Budapest memorandum and Ukraine’s new appointment to the UNSC. I am not frustrated, I am amused and constantly amazed at the level of intellect, lack of coherence, and sheer gullibility of people who defend the actions of the Russian Federation in Crimea, Donbas and Lugansk. The people of Crimea and Donbas had no choice, as is clearly evident by the widespread international condemnation, the extensive video footage available, and the Kremllin propaganda, as well as the absolutely terrifying examples of kidnappings, beatings and murders. I know three separate people personally who were kidnapped in Crimea by the FSB. I know a couple who watched the Russian tanks roll across the Russian border for three months from their house on the border. Why would I want to punish Ukrainians, or my friends and family for being invaded by Russia?

          • slat

            I think you missed that Budapest memorandum was NOT ratified (though signed by parties).
            Thus all this legality BS blows away.

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            So to paraphrase your argument is: Russia can, so it does. It doesn’t matter what Ukrainians, who by and large have built Crimea think on the issue. Russia can steal territory because the US invaded other countries. The Budapaest is not the only treaty that affirms the bilateral agreement on the territorial sovereignty on Ukraine. Your arguments are weak arguments, especially that of the Budapest Memorandum not being ratified, you obviously do not understand the concept of the memorandum, legal due process, nor legal intent.

          • slat

            Tell me now: did US asked UN mandate or Assad government to invade Syria. Same regarding Iraq. Well you know the answer. They asked no one. So why they are a signee of Budapest and they themselves do not follow the rule.
            USA can so they do
            >> Russia can, so it does
            here is lady refugee from Donetsk mentions whether she saw many Russians involved – she says that knows many of men in her circle joined rebellion and does not believe in many Russian mercenaries. Despite that she has Ukrainian position – hopes that separatism will go away
            https://youtu.be/kvv4HHkfqUI?t=92

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            What difference does that make? My neighbour stole a car, so I stole a bicycle? Is not a legal defense. A more pertinent question would be, who is the US fighting in Syria, and who is Russia? Because 90% of Russian bombing targets are not in ISIS controlled territory. Wow, I know a whole lot of people in occupied territories with an opposing view of the situation, doesn’t make either true. Logic is your friend, use it, Russia does not have a legal right to invade other sovereign countries, I publicly protested, with banners, on the streets, marching on countless occasions, against the US-led invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, did you? I continue to protest of China’s subjugation of the Phillipines, do you? No, you support imperialism, Russian imperialism. You excuse one form of imperialism for another.

          • slat

            Russia invaded other countries only in your dreams.
            Crimea voted for an independence than to join Russia. Russia military were present in Crimea all the time before, during and after.
            Russia invaded Georgia? Well check UN statement regarding the conflict – most blames are put on Saakashvili government that broke mandate of peacekeepers with his military invasion in regions.
            theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/a-foreign-policy-of-russophobia/

            Please, provide any evidence – real quality pics – like US provided from Syria – where Russian military, regular army is present in Ukraine.
            Russian mercenaries – oh well – they are on both sides – Russian nazi joining Azov battalion, Chechen terrorists joining Azov and had their own union fighting for Ukraine. So what’s the problem?
            For Donbas people those who joined their forces deemed to be on their side and opposite are invaders (leet alone those Galician ones)

          • BlackisNOTWhite
          • slat

            Have you noticed not many reliable sources cite the guy?
            Yes he does provide kind of believable facts but CIA did not support many of them and even State Department would not.
            Some believe his work just a cover for creating noise.
            I can keep giving you interviews of Donbas people almost everyday – who denounce any claims regarding presence of Russian regular army.
            Regarding CIA involvement on Maidan there are plenty of references too.
            ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2015/january/01/oliver-stone-cia-fingerprints-all-over-ukraine-coup/
            Whose influence is more natural to see in Ukraine – Russian/FSB or USA/CIA – sure the later one is much closer to your taste but not be so for people of Donbas.
            Anyway that’s their business to decide who they deem an invader on their territory … not yours.

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            I could take you to the occupied territories introduce you to Russian regular soldiers, who would take out their documents, show you their army ID and tell you they are Russian soldiers and you wouldn’t say it’s good enough. Bellingcat, is not just ‘some’ guy, and the evidence is what you should refute, and take the time, they took the time to collate, analyse and present it. Putin has said there are Russian soldiers in Eastern Ukraine and that they played a role in the annexation of Crimea. There is no argument from the Russian government that they are taking part in the conflict, the Ministry of Defence, a month ago, and was quoted in all Russian State media as saying that they were pulling the Spetznas forces from Lugansk and Donetsk and deploying them to Syria, that was the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation. Oh, and you didn’t answer my very simple question, do you live in Crimea, or any of the other occupied territories of Ukraine?

          • slat

            Pro-Ukrainian refugee – opera singer from Donetsk – hopes that separatists movement will vanish.
            Question: “Where those Russian soldiers are coming”
            Laughing – “That’s a propaganda someone needs for their narrative. I know many of my acquaintances who joined military rebellion”
            youtu.be/kvv4HHkfqUI?t=149
            sure your knowledge from an internet investigation”expert” in remote country is more reliable than locals.
            I can give you hundreds such interviews of random people in Donetsk.

            >> Russian State media as saying that they were pulling the Spetznas forces from Lugansk and Donetsk and deploying them to Syria

            sure you have link

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            Do you live in Crimea, or other occupied territories of Ukraine? It is a simple question, but you don’t answer it. You ask for evidence, I provide it. I didn’t ask you for evidence Russian troops aren’t there, I know that they are. How? Because I have been there, met with them and talked with them, and every day I speak to refugees from Donetsk and Lugansk, some pro-Russian, some pro-Ukrainian. You don’t, you watch videos on Youtube, use that to back up your viewpoint, but then, in the ultimate act of hypocrisy criticise and complain that Bellingcat, who collate evidence from social media sources aren’t somehow qualified to do so, and that their evidence is somehow flawed because of this.

          • slat

            I have relatives, classmates in Mariupol – my cousin lives near Sartana and saw whose Grad system were passing by before Mariupol was hit.

            I worked in Donetsk – Nord (refrigerators) factory – and have ex coworkers there. Tell me who you have there? ;)
            >> Because I have been there, met with them and talked with them

            sure you were … you even have pics from there … your really do ;)

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            I have pics, a social media account with photos of me there, other social media accounts, unrelated to me, that have photos of me there, with geolocation on, that shows the location, I have videos on Youtube, I have tweets from there, with geolocation on, I have photos of me talking to soldiers and standing next to Russian military equipment, but you don’t believe any of those things are valid evidence right? And if I showed you, you wouldn’t believe it, just like you didn’t believe the evidence presented from Bellingcat, when that is the self-same evidence you are asking me to provide again isn’t it? I have never asked you for evidence, because I don’t need it, you asked for evidence, I provided it. Do you dispute the evidence from Bellingcat, and why? Because you have anecdotal evidence to the contrary, but not empirical evidence. Here’s some more empirical data for you to dismiss: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/reports/hiding-in-plain-sight-putin-s-war-in-ukraine-and-boris-nemtsov-s-putin-war?gclid=CKf147WMvcoCFdZsGwod6FMCQw

    • JJ Joseph

      Ukraine sends little girls to prison for viewing unapproved websites! Next comes Ukraine gulags for disrespectful persons!

  • BlackisNOTWhite

    I’ve met many people who have escaped Donbas and Lugansk, life is terrible there for people caught in a war-zone, and it is all the people who can’t afford to leave, the elderly, the infirm, those with nowhere else to go. It has been a facet of Russian occupiers to exploit those who have no means to know better, when power was cut in Russian-occupied Crimea, what did they do? They had giant tv screens on the back of trucks to play Russia 24 etc… round the clock, moving through the neighbourhoods, hooked up to generators, which could have been used elsewhere for much more critical tasks, rather than continually brainwashing people.

    • guest

      For the pro-Poo Teen regime in Crimea brainwashing is the task number one.

      • slat

        Crimea seems to not matter as much to people in Kiev than to you boys
        youtu. be/HDZTob03BEg
        Though Crimeans choice is clear –
        forbes. com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/20/one-year-after-russia-annexed-crimea-locals-prefer-moscow-to-kiev/

        • BlackisNOTWhite

          Crimeans choice matters little from a legal perspective, the Ukrainian constitution is very clear on how a region can secede. The idea of sovereignty is also about ownership, Ukraine invested in infrastructure, Crimea was a loss-making enterprise, Ukraine invested many billions year after year, as the tax take from Crimea versus the allotted budget for expenditure and infrastructure development was net minus, meaning Ukraine was paying more to build infrastructure, and maintain it, than it received, since 1992, there hasn’t been a year when this wasn’t true, therefore, in essence, if Crimea wants to secede it must ask all of Ukraine, because Ukraine, and Ukrainians from other areas have all invested in Crimea, so basically they own Crimea as well. The same is true for the 14 oil rigs the Ukrainian government built off Crimea’s coast, that are currently occupied by Russian soldiers, those rigs were paid for by the Ukrainian people, you just can’t steal stuff and say you own it. It takes substantial time to properly secede from a country, many years, complex negotiations, it’s a careful process.

          • slat

            If you insist legality than Ukrainian coup d’etat is illegal.
            The Ukrainian Constitution is clear: A sitting President may only be removed from office by a 3/4 vote in the Rada which is 338 of the 450 seats. 328 votes is 10 votes short of the number required by the Constitution. They voted to remove Yanukovych and failed. But they just moved ahead removed Yanukovych anyway in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution and in defiance of the Ukrainian Supreme court . That is called a coup and it is the opposite of democracy.

            Yanukovych insisted he was the legitimate President of Ukraine for months after the coup. He did not abdicate and he did not ‘flee the country’ until after the coup.

            Following up president elections “free and fair” even as so-called “lustration” laws are being used to prevent anyone who opposes the coup from running for office. The largest political party in the country, the Party of Regions, refused to even participate in these rigged elections.

          • TIM TOMSEN

            THE WEST AND THE US. IS OBLIGATED TO GIVE UKRAINE WEAPONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances agreement…

            Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for the grantee from the USA and and the United Kingdom that they will protect the Ukrainian nation from invasion…

            The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is a political agreement signed in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. China and France gave somewhat weaker individual assurances in separate documents.

            The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as those of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result, Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996, of which Ukraine had physical though not operational control.[citation needed] The use of the weapons was dependent on Russian-controlled electronic Permissive Action Links and the Russian command and control system

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances

            Claim: The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate

            Fact: Ukraine’s President Poroshenko was elected on 25 May with a clear majority in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/119078?download=true ) as showing the “clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms.” The only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook “increasing attempts to derail the process.”

            The current parliament was elected on 26 October in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/126043 ) as “an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms”. It again pointed out that “Electoral authorities made resolute efforts to organize elections throughout the country, but they could not be held in parts of the regions (oblasts) of Donetsk and Luhansk or on the Crimean peninsula”.

            Finally, Russian officials continue to allege that the Ukrainian parliament and government are dominated by “neonazis” and “fascists.” However, in the parliamentary elections, the parties whom Russia labelled as “fascists” fell far short of the threshold of 5% needed to enter parliament. Ukraine’s electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that.

            In short, the President and parliament are legitimate, the actions of the separatists were not.

            Claim: NATO provoked the “Maidan” protests in Ukraine

            Fact: The demonstrations which began in Kiev in November 2013 were born out of Ukrainians’ desire for a closer relationship with the European Union, and their frustration when former President Yanukovych halted progress toward that goal as a result of Russian pressure.

            The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, see here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26289318 and a stronger role for the parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to the pervasive and endemic corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. There was no mention of NATO.

            Ukraine began discussing the idea of abandoning its non-bloc status in September 2014, six months after the illegal and illegitimate Russian “annexation” of Crimea and the start of Russia’s aggressive actions in Eastern Ukraine. The final decision by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to abandon the non bloc status was taken in December 2014, over a year after the pro-EU demonstrations began.

            Claim: The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical

            Fact: The Kosovo operation was conducted following exhaustive discussion involving the whole international community dealing with a long-running crisis that was recognized by the UN Security Council as a threat to international peace and security.

            Following the operation, the international community engaged in nearly ten years of diplomacy, under UN authority, to find a political solution and to settle Kosovo’s final status, as prescribed by UNSCR 1244.

            In Crimea, there was no pre-existing crisis, no attempt to discuss the situation with the Ukrainian government, no involvement of the United Nations, and no attempt at a negotiated solution.

            In Kosovo, international attempts to find a solution took over 3,000 days. In Crimea, Russia annexed part of Ukraine’s territory in less than 30 days. It has sought to justify its illegal and illegitimate annexation, in part, by pointing to a “referendum” that was inconsistent with Ukrainian law, held under conditions of illegal armed occupation with no freedom of expression or media access for the opposition, and without any credible international monitoring.

            Claim: Russia’s annexation of Crimea was justified by the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the independence of Kosovo

            (online herehttp://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_111767.htm#cl506 ).

            Fact: The court stated that their opinion was not a precedent. The court said they had been given a “narrow and specific” question about Kosovo’s independence which would not cover the broader legal consequences of that decision.

            Claim: NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate

            Fact: The NATO operation for Kosovo followed over a year of intense efforts by the UN and the Contact Group, of which Russia was a member, to bring about a peaceful solution. The UN Security Council on several occasions branded the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the mounting number of refugees driven from their homes as a threat to international peace and security. NATO’s Operation Allied Force was launched to prevent the large-scale and sustained violations of human rights and the killing of civilians.

            Following the air campaign, the subsequent NATO-led peacekeeping operation, KFOR, which initially included Russia, has been under UN mandate (UNSCR 1244) see here http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1244%281999%29 , with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment in Kosovo.

            Claim: Russia has the right to demand a “100% guarantee” that Ukraine will not join NATO

            Fact: According to Article I of the Helsinki Final Act (here http://www.osce.org/mc/39501) which established the

            Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1975, every country has the right “to belong or not to belong to international organizations, to be or not to be a party to bilateral or multilateral treaties including the right to be or not to be a party to treaties of alliance.” All the OSCE member states, including Russia, have sworn to uphold those principles.

            In line with those principles, Ukraine has the right to choose for itself whether it joins any treaty of alliance, including NATO’s founding treaty.

            Moreover, when Russia signed the Founding Act, it pledged to uphold “respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security”.

            Thus Ukraine has the right to choose its own alliances, and Russia has, by its own repeated agreement, no right to dictate that choice.

            Claim: NATO tried to “drag” Ukraine into the Alliance

            Fact: When the administrations of President Kuchma and President Yushchenko made clear their aspiration to NATO membership, the Alliance worked with them to encourage the reforms which would be needed to make that aspiration a reality.

            When the administration of President Yanukovych opted for a non-bloc status, NATO respected that decision and continued to work with Ukraine on reforms, at the government’s request.

            NATO respects the right of every country to choose its own security arrangements. In fact, Article 13 of the Washington Treaty specifically gives Allies the right to leave.

            Over the past 65 years, 28 countries have chosen freely, and in accordance with their domestic democratic processes, to join NATO. Not one has asked to leave. This is their sovereign choice.

            Claim: NATO’s response to Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine violates the Founding Act

            Fact: NATO has responded to the new strategic reality caused by Russia’s illegitimate and illegal actions in Ukraine by reinforcing the defence of Allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and by ensuring the ability to increase those reinforcements if necessary, including by upgrading infrastructure.

            All this is consistent with the Founding Act, quoted above.

            In the Founding Act, all signatories, including Russia, agreed on principles which include “refraining from the threat or use of force against each other as well as against any other state, its sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence in any manner inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and with the Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States contained in the Helsinki Final Act” and the “respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security, the inviolability of borders and peoples’ right of self-determination as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE documents.”

            NATO has respected those commitments faithfully. Russia, on the other hand, has declared the annexation of Crimea, supported violent separatists in the east of the country, and insisted that Ukraine be barred from joining NATO.

            Claim: Russia has the right to oppose NATO-supported infrastructure on the territory of member states in Central and Eastern Europe

            Fact: The relationship between NATO and Russia is governed by the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, agreed by NATO Allies and Russia in 1997 and reaffirmed at NATO-Russia summits in Rome in 2002, and in Lisbon in 2010.

            (The Founding Act can be read here http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_25468.htm.)

            In the Founding Act, the two sides agreed that: “in the current and foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will carry out its collective defence and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces. Accordingly, it will have to rely on adequate infrastructure commensurate with the above tasks. In this context, reinforcement may take place, when necessary, in the event of defence against a threat of aggression and missions in support of peace consistent with the United Nations Charter and the OSCE governing principles, as well as for exercises consistent with the adapted CFE Treaty, the provisions of the Vienna Document 1994 and mutually agreed transparency measures. Russia will exercise similar restraint in its conventional force deployments in Europe.”

            Therefore, both infrastructure and reinforcements are explicitly permitted by the Founding Act and therefore by Russia.

            Let’s look at Ukraine’s disgraced former president, the legitimately elected Victor Yanukovych. After he fled to Russia the idea that he remained the legitimate head of state, and therefore the manner in which he was replaced was automatically illegitimate, was commonplace. This line of thinking was heavily promulgated by his new host country for reasons that are self-evident. But was it right, or even logical, to claim this?

            The legitimacy of the Yanukovych regime indeed began with a fair election, albeit an election in which the Ukrainian people had no good choices. But could that legitimacy go on unquestioned despite the blatant grand scale theft of state resources? No. Of course it could not.

            Common hooligans and thugs were brought to Kyiv by the Yanukovych authorities (first recorded on Nov. 29, 2013 when the revolution was just a few days old) to terrorize the residents of the capital. This act was completely in contradiction to Article 3 of the constitution that Yanukovych was elected to uphold. It was right to question Yanukovych’s legitimacy after this.

            Can the legitimacy of a ruling authority survive past the blatantly illegal adoption of laws designed to end democracy and create a dictatorship? No. Of course it cannot. Yet, this is what the Yanukovych controlled Party of Regions attempted to do on Jan. 16, 2014. Later analysis of images taken in parliament that while 235 MPs were declared to have voted for these “dictatorship” laws, only about half of this number of MPs were actually in the session hall when the vote was taken (by a show of hands – also illegal.)

            After such clearly anti-democratic and dishonest actions, can anyone consider that authority to be legitimate? The actions were a breach of Article 5 of Ukraine’s constitution – something that Yanukovych was under oath to protect and uphold. But he failed to keep his word.

            There were more violations of the constitution by Yanukovych, its supposed protector.

            Article 27 of Ukraine’s constitution says that “Every person shall have the inalienable right to life. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of life.” Yet Yuri Verbitsky, a 42 year old geologist from Lviv, was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by forces belonging to the Yanukovych regime between Jan. 22 and Jan. 25 of 2014.

            That Yanukovych had already lost any legitimacy by this point should be beyond question. Later, of course, came the deaths of many more people on Jan. 18 and then Jan. 20, after which Yanukovych fled to Russia, insisting his authority and position were still legitimate. Define legitimate.

            The idea that legitimacy carries on from appointment without further question is a complete fallacy. It is something that we should refuse to accept. An elected leader most certainly can lose their legitimacy through illegal and/or unconstitutional, actions. The most recent public attempt at increasing the fog blurring the distinction between legitimately elected and legitimate comes from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Bottom line, they are not the same, although it is easy to see why Russia’s ruling clan would seek to pretend that they are.

            It is so funny all the Russia are working so hard to hold on to ukraine and kiev inside russian sphere and control By telling lies about ukrainians and ukraine like noenazis , junta, corruption , poor nation that has nothing but poor illiterate people ect ect ect ect …

            If all of this Russian propaganda was true the only question must be why is russia and putin working so hard to have ukraine under its wing and control ???

            ETHNIC RUSSIANS IN UKRAINE DO NOT SUPORT UKRIAN E I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT SOME FACTS..

            I do however agree with everything except the first statement….and that is and i quote … the reality is that pro-Russian Ukrainians are a tiny minority.

            Let me says this don’t let your Political correct fascination and ideology blind you to the fact that in the Donbas, and Crimea in 2010 by an overwhelming majority it was voted for the Kremlin puppet Yanukovych…

            He got up to 95 % of the ethnic Russian vote in Lugansk and Donetsk and that is typical ethnic russians hartland are big Yanu. and moscow loving support land….

            Kharkiv, Lugansk and odessa over the kremlin boy Yanukovych got over 80% ++ of the vote in Crimea he got over 96% of the vote and in this areas where there lives most of the ethnic Russians yes the vast majority of them DO not support ukraine they support Russia and shows this by their support for Putin’s man Yanukovych…

            So the numbers show what you claim are in contrast to the facts it is NOT AS YOU SAY a fact that most ethnic Russian Ukrainians are pro Ukraine the figures and numbers do not support your Political Correct claims at all.. The numbers shows that ethnic Russians supports moscow will living in ukriane and even if they have ukrainian citizenship they are loyal to moscow not Kiev .

            So based on this facts pro-Russian Ukrainians are NOT a tiny minority of ethnic Russians at all.!!!.

            However there is hope as their are (believe it or not) only 17,3 % ethnic russians living in ukraine YES THEY ARE ONLY 17.3 % of the nation BUT ARE SHOUTING like they was 96%

            NOTE .. if there is only 17,3 % of the population that are ethnic russians that are living in ukraine and yanu, got this much votes under the election then most of them must have voted for him this is logic pure and simple as his support is mostly in donbass and Crimea where this 17,3 % live…

            In the 2001 Ukrainian census, only 17,3% of people identified themselves as ethnic Russians. 17.3% of all the population of Ukraine

            Also out of that 17,3% most of them the vast majority live in Crimea and the donbass..

            Ukraine Demographics

            Ukrainians make up almost 77.8% of the total population, while Russians take the second spot with almost 17.3% of the population. Other minorities include Bella Russians 0.6%, Bulgarians 0.4%, Hungarians 0.3%, Crimean Tatars 0.5%, while Romanians and Poles both are 0.3% and Jewish residents make up 0.2% of the total population. Other minorities present are 1.8%.

            http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/ukraine-population/

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_presidential_election,_2010

            The major language is Ukrainian, spoken by 67% of the population, while the second most common language is Russian, spoken by 24% of the total population. The remaining 9% is comprised of various other languages.

            FOR DATE AND FACTS TAKE A LOOK AT THE LINK AND THE PIC

            http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/ukraine-population/

            World Bank predicts 1% economic growth in Ukraine in 2016 after 12% contraction in 2015 http://uatoday.tv/business/world-bank-predicts-1-economic-growth-in-ukraine-in-2016-after-12-contraction-in-2015-567334.html

            Russia’s Economic Outlook Worse Than Thought, World Bank Says

            Western sanctions, weak oil prices weigh on economy http://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-economic-outlook-worse-than-thought-world-bank-says-1427883522

            How is the strong proud invincible Russian Putin bear wrestling petro ruble doing hahahaha now that it is nothing but worthless rubble, hahahaha

            When you guys get your payment to discredit the USA , EU and Ukriane, are you trolls getting paid now in evil yankee negro dollars or homosexual pedofile EU euros or neonazi junta ukrainian hryvnia… or just good old soviet food stamps for your upcoming bread queues hehehe ??

            Lets look at some facts

            World Bank and other experts predicts from 1% to 3 % economic growth in Ukraine in 2016 after 12% contraction in 2015

            http://uatoday.tv/business/world-bank-predicts-1-economic-growth-in-ukraine-in-2016-after-12-contraction-in-2015-567334.html

            Russia’s Economic Outlook Worse Than Thought, World Bank Says Western sanctions, weak oil prices weigh on economy the Ruble is now down 70% and falling to the dollar and Euro

            http://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-economic-outlook-worse-than-thought-world-bank-says-1427883522

            Benefits of the EU-Ukraine

            What does the DCFTA mean in practice? What opportunities does it present for Ukraine’s economy? What benefits will it deliver for Ukrainian consumers and businesses? And how do EU exporters stand to gain from the new set up?

            Goods traded between the European Union and Ukraine are worth €30 billion a year2 . The EU is Ukraine’s first commercial partner, ahead of Russia. It accounts for 35% of Ukraine’s external trade. The EU is also the principal source of investment in Ukraine. More than 50% of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ukraine comes from the EU. Ukraine’s exports to the EU are mainly commodities:  iron & steel  mining products  agricultural goods and to a lesser extent:  chemicals  and machinery. The DCFTA can help Ukraine fully realise its industrial potential and move towards higher-end exports. For the EU, Ukraine is today a source of many raw materials. With 45 million consumers located next to the EU’s border, it is also a highpotential market. Main EU exports to Ukraine are:  machinery & appliances  transport equipment  chemicals  other industrial products. Ukraine is also an economic bridge to other countries of the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood

            This in turn will boost competitiveness in the domestic market, which will be beneficial to Ukrainian consumers.

            The quantitative assessment of Ukraine’s regional integration options: DCFTA with European Union vs. Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan prepared by the German Advisory Group and the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting predicted that Ukrainian consumers’ welfare would increase by almost 12% in the medium term. To make all this happen, the EU provides significant support to the government of Ukraine to implement the agreement and to create the optimal conditions for economic development. This includes technical assistance to various state authorities for preparing technical regulations and standards, food safety rules, intellectual property legislation and public procurement, as well as direct support to the private sector. The EU’s assistance involves business support organisations from the EU and Ukraine and focuses mainly on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These programmes aim at increasing the competitiveness of Ukrainian SMEs, improving their access to finance, enabling them to comply with new standards on food safety, and technical and quality standards, as well as with environmental protection measures – an essential precondition to benefit from the new market access opportunities. Also, an important part of the €11 billion of EU assistance to Ukraine will be allocated to investment projects in infrastructure (road, energy, water, etc.). Read more about EU support to Ukraine in general, in the recent context and more specifically on investment and trade.

            http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/december/tradoc_154128.pdf

          • slat

            The WEST obligated bring democracies into ME … you know.
            They keep up with their obligations – hundred thousands are dead. Countries are ruined and ruled by extremists.
            Keep up with those obligations. Isn’t it enough? Oh yes do not forget with Thermo bomb from North Korea.
            Russians and Ukrainians (most of whom are ethnically Russians) will find out their way. More over I’d claim they would not run into any of those issues provided WEST’s grip of “democracy” did not come to Ukraine.

            Results of this friendly grip we see in ME. Millions refugees, almost dead countries. Peoples who surely should be thankful for WEST’s “democracy” on their land with millions displaced, hundred thousands killed and many more enjoying “democratic” rule of ISIS.

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            There was no coup in Kyiv, but there was in Crimea, you cannot alter definitions to fit your beliefs. You can say that the process of appointing an acting President was unconstitutional. But, in the situation, that was the only way forward, the country needed governance, if 100 parliamentarians abandoned their posts, you can’t realistically expect to have a constitutional majority of 3/4 of 450 parliamentarians. What do you do? You need to call new elections, which is what the interim government did. Which could have been the chance for Crimea to express their views and engage in the political process.
            Party of Regions splintered after Yanukovych fled, and it was polling so badly, that they re-branded as Opposition Block and about a hundred other smaller parties.
            All that doesn’t alter the fact that the referendum in Crimea was illegal, illegitimate and therefore non-binding. 100 states in the UN said it was invalid, with only 11 states voting in favour of recognising it, and those states that voted in favour included North Korea, Sudan, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Zimbabwe and Syria. Really scraping the barrel with those allies.

            The largest party in Ukraine is Solidarity, Petro Poroshenko Block, which includes many former Party of Regions members. Petro Poroshenko helped found Party of Regions.

    • slat

      Oh sure, TV shows make people change their identity from Ukrainian to Russian.
      Don’t you find yourself this argument bizarre?

      Moreover Crimea had 4 referendums for autonomy since Ukrainian independence.

      • BlackisNOTWhite

        No, I think when you have an electricity blackout it is a rather bizarre act to drive around giant screens showing Russian news, surely other public services are more important than broadcasting Russian news, news that doesn’t even mention the blackouts or show any public information etc… totally understandable if it was for public local information, but it wasn’t. On March 11th the Crimean parliament announced the referendum to be held on March 16th…five days to prepare a referendum, where both sides could equally represent their case….ahhh but there weren’t two sides, only one….leave Ukraine and become independent, or leave Ukraine and be part of Russia. So, no choice for the status quo, a basic principle of referenda on sovereignty. A referendum held under the watch of armed Russian soldiers, and where Russian citizens could vote…multiple times…and without even showing their passport…106% of Sevastopol voted to join Russia. If people want to live in Russia, they can move to Russia, problem solved, Crimea is, was, and will be Ukrainian. If you don’t like it, move to Russia.

        • slat

          Three independent Western polls after referendum showed that Crimeans choice was clear.
          You do not trust any of those?
          https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/john-o%E2%80%99loughlin-gerard-toal/crimean-conundrum
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/20/one-year-after-russia-annexed-crimea-locals-prefer-moscow-to-kiev/
          http://www.voltairenet.org/article183288.html

          Yes they used illegal state (absence) of legitimate governance in Ukraine as a case to avoid rest of the Ukraine to break their choice. In fact they used one of the UN charters for self determination.

          You like it or not – not sure what is your stake in Crimea but people made their choice and it matters to them and I do not see why it should even concern people from any other countries but Ukraine and Russia. If people from Kiev let them go what is your problem … it is not yours … let it go.
          https://youtu.be/J069hdOdXBo

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            I believe in facts, it is a fact that 100 states of the UN General Assembly voted that Crimea is a part of Ukraine, versus 11 against, those who voted against the resolution were Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

            All the bastions of democratic freedom there. The resolution stated that the territorial integrity of Ukraine includes the Crimean peninsula, and that the 5 day referendum was both illegitimate and illegal, in terms of its international validity. But North Korea, Syria and Belarus are truly magnificent states in terms of democratic freedom, not to mention Russia, I wonder if you know the stages for a state to constitutionally leave the Russian Federation? And what the constitutional process is for a state to secede from the RF?

          • slat

            How many states voted for invasion to Iraq? Invasion to Libya?
            Annexing Kosovo from Serbia? Should I note those invasions were led by country that on other side of the globe … not even neighbor with immediate threats to its interests (despite claims through very truthful MSM)

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            So, the facts are uncomfortable for you, the vast majority of the world does not support the illegal annexation of Crimea. And yes, the threat that if a neighbouring country should embrace democracy or make a choice not to the Kremlin’s liking, is well known, we have examples like Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, and most recently Turkey, and even when Lukashenko challenges Putin, they will be either invaded or acted against economically. When Putin said regarding Ukraine, you can either have corruption and peace, or no corruption and war, this is the perfect example of unacceptable behaviour, as is demanding another state amend its constitution. This kind of meddling and threatening behaviour is unacceptable in the twenty-first century. And you don’t get a free “invade a country pass”, because the US invaded a country, that is ridiculous. If a country violates another country’s sovereignty it doesn’t give all countries to right to violate other countries sovereignty. The great saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” springs to mind, and is particularly pertinent when dealing with the impertinent child foreign policy of Russia.

          • slat

            Vast majority :)
            maxpark.com/static/u/article_image/15/06/28/tmpn81YLU.png

          • BlackisNOTWhite

            Do you live in Donetsk, Lugansk or Crimea? Take a read of this: http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_the_island_of_donetsk

          • slat

            Well there were “pro-Ukrainian” citizens in Donetsk but majority is overwhelmingly against new governance that so unnatural to them with their anti-Russian rhetoric (since Maidan time “hang Moscovites”).

            Believe me there are many more people who lives on government controlled territory feeling they lost the country they used to live in.

            I can give you many Facebook, Classmates groups with thousands and millions of people – who calls current governance JUNTA and root for LDPR.
            Here is British guy with many interviews of locals:
            youtube.com/watch?v=-JGxy1-WZuc

            I can give you many more Ukrainian(!) interviewers of people on Donetsk streets – check Sharij.
            Here is lovely pro-Ukrainian asks people in Ukrainian language:
            https://youtu.be/wJavxNBU7yc
            so prevailing majority of people feel right with their choice.
            Regions that used to be Okay with junta – let them enjoy it till they get tied and may join normal people, i.e. those without “Ukraine above the all” hysteria.

          • slat

            Vicenews (Western news for sure):
            youtube.com/watch?v=-ZjbYXF6yi0

  • TIM TOMSEN

    Russia is a joke and will always be a joke Russians have nothing at all to be proud of Stalins USSR and today’s Putin’s Russia are and was totalitarian states..

    Putin is appealing to the most basic of instincts and fears of Russians. Many Russians harbor insecurities related to loss of the evil empire that was the USSR, and with that Russians idea of superpower status..

    With Putin now Russians would like to reclaim this feeling and idea of the superpower status lol…

    Russia today is known mostly for being nothing more than a petro state run by oligarch elite that answers to only one leader and the leadership is Mr Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin himself…

    Russia is one step away from in all but name a fascist state and too deflect this simple facts, Putins Russia uses total strong hold and control over the media and over Russia’s gas energy sector, military, FSB and Police force.

    When ever Putin feels that it is needed Putin’s thugs the FSB boys take control of anything they want and they do this internally and externally, all this gets backed up with source of lies and propaganda to deflect the world from the real truth about what Russia really is, a mentally sick nation and society full of people controlled and living in a dream of a past that never really existed (or at least not in the way they wish it was )

    Lest be honest the Soviet Union 1922–1991 only was in word history for 69 years not much of a super power if you only can clam 69 years in history before you was wiped out of existence …69 years my grandmother Bessy is older than that LOL

    Or what am i not right ????? USSR can only clam 69 years it started in 1922–1991 ….

    Russians USSR a super power don’t make me laugh….it was nothing more and still is nothing more then a evil state run by evil little people that just has some nukes under their control.. and as the cowards they are wave around them self’s this weapons and shout about them to make them self look big..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union

    Russians have nothing at all to be proud of Stalin the USSR and today’s Putin’s Russia are and was all totalitarian states..

    RuSSia and the Soviet Union was NO better then Hitlers Germany, Pol Potts Cambodia, Idi Amins Uganda, Francos Spain, Mussolinis Italia, Gaddafi’s Libya, Kim Jong-un North Korea and/ or Putins good friend Bashar al-Assads Syria

    Ukrainians, on the other hand have made a new beginning. They are rejecting Russian-style autocracy, reforming the economy and moving against the pervasive corruption of the old regime.

    Ukraine naturally and rightfully belongs in Europe. Putin has used every means possible, including military aggression and terrorism to damage and subordinate Ukraine.

    He will not succeed. Ukraine’s whole history revolves around the struggle for liberty and resistance to foreign oppression. Ukrainians are starkly different to Russians. They are not and have never been mentally slaves of Moscow lies, propaganda and control .

    The face of true evil Putins RuSSia and propaganda

    https://news.vice.com/video/silencing-dissent-in-russia-putins-propaganda-machine-full-length

    Claim: The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate

    Fact: Ukraine’s President Poroshenko was elected on 25 May with a clear majority in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/119078?download=true ) as showing the “clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms.” The only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook “increasing attempts to derail the process.”

    The current parliament was elected on 26 October in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/126043 ) as “an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms”. It again pointed out that “Electoral authorities made resolute efforts to organize elections throughout the country, but they could not be held in parts of the regions (oblasts) of Donetsk and Luhansk or on the Crimean peninsula”.

    Finally, Russian officials continue to allege that the Ukrainian parliament and government are dominated by “neonazis” and “fascists.” However, in the parliamentary elections, the parties whom Russia labelled as “fascists” fell far short of the threshold of 5% needed to enter parliament. Ukraine’s electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that.

    In short, the President and parliament are legitimate, the actions of the separatists were not.

    Claim: NATO provoked the “Maidan” protests in Ukraine

    Fact: The demonstrations which began in Kiev in November 2013 were born out of Ukrainians’ desire for a closer relationship with the European Union, and their frustration when former President Yanukovych halted progress toward that goal as a result of Russian pressure.

    The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, see here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26289318 and a stronger role for the parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to the pervasive and endemic corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. There was no mention of NATO.

    Ukraine began discussing the idea of abandoning its non-bloc status in September 2014, six months after the illegal and illegitimate Russian “annexation” of Crimea and the start of Russia’s aggressive actions in Eastern Ukraine. The final decision by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to abandon the non bloc status was taken in December 2014, over a year after the pro-EU demonstrations began.

    Claim: The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical

    Fact: The Kosovo operation was conducted following exhaustive discussion involving the whole international community dealing with a long-running crisis that was recognized by the UN Security Council as a threat to international peace and security.

    Following the operation, the international community engaged in nearly ten years of diplomacy, under UN authority, to find a political solution and to settle Kosovo’s final status, as prescribed by UNSCR 1244.

    In Crimea, there was no pre-existing crisis, no attempt to discuss the situation with the Ukrainian government, no involvement of the United Nations, and no attempt at a negotiated solution.

    In Kosovo, international attempts to find a solution took over 3,000 days. In Crimea, Russia annexed part of Ukraine’s territory in less than 30 days. It has sought to justify its illegal and illegitimate annexation, in part, by pointing to a “referendum” that was inconsistent with Ukrainian law, held under conditions of illegal armed occupation with no freedom of expression or media access for the opposition, and without any credible international monitoring.

    Claim: Russia’s annexation of Crimea was justified by the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the independence of Kosovo

    (online herehttp://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_111767.htm#cl506 ).

    Fact: The court stated that their opinion was not a precedent. The court said they had been given a “narrow and specific” question about Kosovo’s independence which would not cover the broader legal consequences of that decision.

    Claim: NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate

    Fact: The NATO operation for Kosovo followed over a year of intense efforts by the UN and the Contact Group, of which Russia was a member, to bring about a peaceful solution. The UN Security Council on several occasions branded the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the mounting number of refugees driven from their homes as a threat to international peace and security. NATO’s Operation Allied Force was launched to prevent the large-scale and sustained violations of human rights and the killing of civilians.

    Following the air campaign, the subsequent NATO-led peacekeeping operation, KFOR, which initially included Russia, has been under UN mandate (UNSCR 1244) see here http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1244%281999%29 , with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment in Kosovo.

    Claim: Russia has the right to demand a “100% guarantee” that Ukraine will not join NATO

    Fact: According to Article I of the Helsinki Final Act (here http://www.osce.org/mc/39501) which established the

    Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1975, every country has the right “to belong or not to belong to international organizations, to be or not to be a party to bilateral or multilateral treaties including the right to be or not to be a party to treaties of alliance.” All the OSCE member states, including Russia, have sworn to uphold those principles.

    In line with those principles, Ukraine has the right to choose for itself whether it joins any treaty of alliance, including NATO’s founding treaty.

    Moreover, when Russia signed the Founding Act, it pledged to uphold “respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security”.

    Thus Ukraine has the right to choose its own alliances, and Russia has, by its own repeated agreement, no right to dictate that choice.

    Claim: NATO tried to “drag” Ukraine into the Alliance

    Fact: When the administrations of President Kuchma and President Yushchenko made clear their aspiration to NATO membership, the Alliance worked with them to encourage the reforms which would be needed to make that aspiration a reality.

    When the administration of President Yanukovych opted for a non-bloc status, NATO respected that decision and continued to work with Ukraine on reforms, at the government’s request.

    NATO respects the right of every country to choose its own security arrangements. In fact, Article 13 of the Washington Treaty specifically gives Allies the right to leave.

    Over the past 65 years, 28 countries have chosen freely, and in accordance with their domestic democratic processes, to join NATO. Not one has asked to leave. This is their sovereign choice.

    Claim: NATO’s response to Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine violates the Founding Act

    Fact: NATO has responded to the new strategic reality caused by Russia’s illegitimate and illegal actions in Ukraine by reinforcing the defence of Allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and by ensuring the ability to increase those reinforcements if necessary, including by upgrading infrastructure.

    All this is consistent with the Founding Act, quoted above.

    In the Founding Act, all signatories, including Russia, agreed on principles which include “refraining from the threat or use of force against each other as well as against any other state, its sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence in any manner inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and with the Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States contained in the Helsinki Final Act” and the “respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security, the inviolability of borders and peoples’ right of self-determination as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE documents.”

    NATO has respected those commitments faithfully. Russia, on the other hand, has declared the annexation of Crimea, supported violent separatists in the east of the country, and insisted that Ukraine be barred from joining NATO.

    Claim: Russia has the right to oppose NATO-supported infrastructure on the territory of member states in Central and Eastern Europe

    Fact: The relationship between NATO and Russia is governed by the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, agreed by NATO Allies and Russia in 1997 and reaffirmed at NATO-Russia summits in Rome in 2002, and in Lisbon in 2010.

    (The Founding Act can be read here http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_25468.htm.)

    In the Founding Act, the two sides agreed that: “in the current and foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will carry out its collective defence and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces. Accordingly, it will have to rely on adequate infrastructure commensurate with the above tasks. In this context, reinforcement may take place, when necessary, in the event of defence against a threat of aggression and missions in support of peace consistent with the United Nations Charter and the OSCE governing principles, as well as for exercises consistent with the adapted CFE Treaty, the provisions of the Vienna Document 1994 and mutually agreed transparency measures. Russia will exercise similar restraint in its conventional force deployments in Europe.”

    Therefore, both infrastructure and reinforcements are explicitly permitted by the Founding Act and therefore by Russia.

    Let’s look at Ukraine’s disgraced former president, the legitimately elected Victor Yanukovych. After he fled to Russia the idea that he remained the legitimate head of state, and therefore the manner in which he was replaced was automatically illegitimate, was commonplace. This line of thinking was heavily promulgated by his new host country for reasons that are self-evident. But was it right, or even logical, to claim this?

    The legitimacy of the Yanukovych regime indeed began with a fair election, albeit an election in which the Ukrainian people had no good choices. But could that legitimacy go on unquestioned despite the blatant grand scale theft of state resources? No. Of course it could not.

    Common hooligans and thugs were brought to Kyiv by the Yanukovych authorities (first recorded on Nov. 29, 2013 when the revolution was just a few days old) to terrorize the residents of the capital. This act was completely in contradiction to Article 3 of the constitution that Yanukovych was elected to uphold. It was right to question Yanukovych’s legitimacy after this.

    Can the legitimacy of a ruling authority survive past the blatantly illegal adoption of laws designed to end democracy and create a dictatorship? No. Of course it cannot. Yet, this is what the Yanukovych controlled Party of Regions attempted to do on Jan. 16, 2014. Later analysis of images taken in parliament that while 235 MPs were declared to have voted for these “dictatorship” laws, only about half of this number of MPs were actually in the session hall when the vote was taken (by a show of hands – also illegal.)

    After such clearly anti-democratic and dishonest actions, can anyone consider that authority to be legitimate? The actions were a breach of Article 5 of Ukraine’s constitution – something that Yanukovych was under oath to protect and uphold. But he failed to keep his word.

    There were more violations of the constitution by Yanukovych, its supposed protector.

    Article 27 of Ukraine’s constitution says that “Every person shall have the inalienable right to life. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of life.” Yet Yuri Verbitsky, a 42 year old geologist from Lviv, was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by forces belonging to the Yanukovych regime between Jan. 22 and Jan. 25 of 2014.

    That Yanukovych had already lost any legitimacy by this point should be beyond question. Later, of course, came the deaths of many more people on Jan. 18 and then Jan. 20, after which Yanukovych fled to Russia, insisting his authority and position were still legitimate. Define legitimate.

    The idea that legitimacy carries on from appointment without further question is a complete fallacy. It is something that we should refuse to accept. An elected leader most certainly can lose their legitimacy through illegal and/or unconstitutional, actions. The most recent public attempt at increasing the fog blurring the distinction between legitimately elected and legitimate comes from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Bottom line, they are not the same, although it is easy to see why Russia’s ruling clan would seek to pretend that they are.

  • TIM TOMSEN

    Russia is a joke and will always be a joke Russians have nothing at all to be proud of Stalins USSR and today’s Putin’s Russia are and was totalitarian states..

    Putin is appealing to the most basic of instincts and fears of Russians. Many Russians harbor insecurities related to loss of the evil empire that was the USSR, and with that Russians idea of superpower status..

    With Putin now Russians would like to reclaim this feeling and idea of the superpower status lol…

    Russia today is known mostly for being nothing more than a petro state run by oligarch elite that answers to only one leader and the leadership is Mr Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin himself…

    Russia is one step away from in all but name a fascist state and too deflect this simple facts, Putins Russia uses total strong hold and control over the media and over Russia’s gas energy sector, military, FSB and Police force.

    When ever Putin feels that it is needed Putin’s thugs the FSB boys take control of anything they want and they do this internally and externally, all this gets backed up with source of lies and propaganda to deflect the world from the real truth about what Russia really is, a mentally sick nation and society full of people controlled and living in a dream of a past that never really existed (or at least not in the way they wish it was )

    Lest be honest the Soviet Union 1922–1991 only was in word history for 69 years not much of a super power if you only can clam 69 years in history before you was wiped out of existence …69 years my grandmother Bessy is older than that LOL

    Or what am i not right ????? USSR can only clam 69 years it started in 1922–1991 ….

    Russians USSR a super power don’t make me laugh….it was nothing more and still is nothing more then a evil state run by evil little people that just has some nukes under their control.. and as the cowards they are wave around them self’s this weapons and shout about them to make them self look big..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union

    Russians have nothing at all to be proud of Stalin the USSR and today’s Putin’s Russia are and was all totalitarian states..

    RuSSia and the Soviet Union was NO better then Hitlers Germany, Pol Potts Cambodia, Idi Amins Uganda, Francos Spain, Mussolinis Italia, Gaddafi’s Libya, Kim Jong-un North Korea and/ or Putins good friend Bashar al-Assads Syria

    Ukrainians, on the other hand have made a new beginning. They are rejecting Russian-style autocracy, reforming the economy and moving against the pervasive corruption of the old regime.

    Ukraine naturally and rightfully belongs in Europe. Putin has used every means possible, including military aggression and terrorism to damage and subordinate Ukraine.

    He will not succeed. Ukraine’s whole history revolves around the struggle for liberty and resistance to foreign oppression. Ukrainians are starkly different to Russians. They are not and have never been mentally slaves of Moscow lies, propaganda and control .

    The face of true evil Putins RuSSia and propaganda

    https://news.vice.com/video/silencing-dissent-in-russia-putins-propaganda-machine-full-length

  • TIM TOMSEN

    Russian noe – Stalinist Hypocrites like Putin groom the world with RuSSian Kremlin Propaganda about how bad everyone else is..

    And why does Putin’s propaganda machine do this you ask…

    Well it makes perfect sense it is so the rest of the world the EU, USA, UN and all others becomes hyper-aware of their own minor (or non-existent) wrongdoings, while actively dismissing anything that ruSSia themselves are doing wrong..

    This KGB tactic of propaganda and blame game, would have even made propaganda German Minister Goebbels blue in the face of envy, First thing Russia does is relocate blame—then, our western conscience and PC. liberal mind, does the rest of the work for them.

    Russian Hypocrites spend their lives cheating, betraying, conning, and deceiving. But despite this disgusting pattern of behavior, RuSSians still feel entitled to point out (or invent) the most minor mistakes in others—and they’ll point them out repeatedly, to negate & excuse all of their own horrible actions.

    World Bank predicts 1% economic growth in Ukraine in 2016 after 12% contraction in 2015 http://uatoday.tv/business/world-bank-predicts-1-economic-growth-in-ukraine-in-2016-after-12-contraction-in-2015-567334.html

    LETS LOOK AT SOME FACTS WITHOUT THE RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA

    Russia’s Economic Outlook Worse Than Thought, World Bank Says

    Western sanctions, weak oil prices weigh on economy http://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-economic-outlook-worse-than-thought-world-bank-says-1427883522

    How is the strong proud invincible Russian Putin bear wrestling petro ruble doing hahahaha now that it is nothing but worthless rubble, hahahaha

    When you guys get your payment to discredit the USA , EU and Ukriane, are you trolls getting paid now in evil yankee negro dollars or homosexual pedofile EU euros or neonazi junta ukrainian hryvnia… or just good old soviet food stamps for your upcoming bread queues hehehe ??

    Lets look at some facts

    World Bank and other experts predicts from 1% to 3 % economic growth in Ukraine in 2016 after 12% contraction in 2015

    http://uatoday.tv/business/world-bank-predicts-1-economic-growth-in-ukraine-in-2016-after-12-contraction-in-2015-567334.html

    Russia’s Economic Outlook Worse Than Thought, World Bank Says Western sanctions, weak oil prices weigh on economy the Ruble is now down 70% and falling to the dollar and Euro

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-economic-outlook-worse-than-thought-world-bank-says-1427883522

    What has been done in ukriane until now the measures include stripping lawmakers and certain judges of prosecutorial immunity, changing the election system, and selling off more than 1,500 state-owned enterprises.

    The following are highlights of the successes …

    Yes not all is as we all wished for but there is still the fact that we have 12 successes for this 1 year and that is 12 more than putins boy Yanu. ever did ….

    And it is 12 more successes than was ever done since 1991 by any government that has ever been in the Rada (ukrainian parliament) Yes it may by still a long way to go but Rome wasn’t built in one day either..

    And the temporary failures are just that temporary they are fixable and i believe that within the fulness of time the temporary failures will be in the end turned into successes….Just as i believe that one day Ukriane will become a NATO and EU member just like Poland and take its rightful place at the table with its European brothers far away from the evil of Moscow..

    Key successes:

    Free trade zone with European Union

    As of Jan. 1, customs duties were removed on most imports and exports of Ukrainian and EU products.

    Elimination of electric car duty

    Government cancelled customs duties on electric cars.

    Identification card

    Instead of passports, Ukrainians who are 16 or older will receive an identification card with biometric data, something all Ukrainians will get by 2019.

    The card will digitally store such information as a driver’s license, medical insurance, subsidy and pension information. “It will be easy to renew a card if it is lost,” Yurchyshyn said.

    Public procurement through ProZorro

    All state purchases will shift to the online platform ProZorro, which was launched in February. The public will be able to monitor all state procurement tenders, excluding secret military orders. According to Deputy Economy Minister Maxym Nefyodov, this will increase transparency and reduce corruption, while saving $200 million in taxpayers’ money in 2016.

    Civil service

    Future civil servants will be appointed competitively. Moreover, all ministers, their deputies, the prime minister, president, and lawmakers are no longer classified as civil servants as of Jan. 1. The law also doesn’t allow civil servants to belong to a political party and limits the length of service of high-ranking civil servants.

    Decentralization

    More functions and power were delegated to local and regional governments. The reforms also pave the way for local businesses to get registered locally.

    Audits of political parties

    Applying for state funding, a political party will be forced to report its property, number of employees, salaries and expenditures on public events, etc. Parties will also have to submit to international audits.

    Police expansion

    This year, the national police, which was formed in July in Kyiv, will be present in all big cities and even in the Donbas, including the cities of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Mariupol.

    Traffic fines

    A flexible system of fines for violating traffic rules will be introduced on Jan. 16. Those who pay for minor violations within 20 days will be granted a 50-percent discount. If the fine is not paid within a month, the amount doubles. Citizens may also pay a fine to the police officer issuing the ticket.

    Recognition of labor migrants

    For the first time, the Ukrainian parliament recognized the existence of migrant workers abroad, their rights, and guaranteed commitments to them and their families.

    Transparent media

    The law on media privatization aims to remove state and local councils as media owners. According to the media group at Reanimation Package of Reforms, approximately 550 newspapers remain under government control. Their privatization has to be finished by the end of 2017. Also, the owners of media are required to reveal their names.

    Pension limit

    Pensions will be capped at Hr 10,740. “The subsistence minimum level will continue to grow, so we suppose that pension level should not exceed reasonable limits,” Social Policy Minister Pavlo Rozenko said.

    Benefits of the EU-Ukraine
    What does the DCFTA mean in practice? What opportunities does it present for Ukraine’s economy? What benefits will it deliver for Ukrainian consumers and businesses? And how do EU exporters stand to gain from the new set up?

    Goods traded between the European Union and Ukraine are worth €30 billion a year2 . The EU is Ukraine’s first commercial partner, ahead of Russia. It accounts for 35% of Ukraine’s external trade. The EU is also the principal source of investment in Ukraine. More than 50% of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ukraine comes from the EU. Ukraine’s exports to the EU are mainly commodities:  iron & steel  mining products  agricultural goods and to a lesser extent:  chemicals  and machinery. The DCFTA can help Ukraine fully realise its industrial potential and move towards higher-end exports. For the EU, Ukraine is today a source of many raw materials. With 45 million consumers located next to the EU’s border, it is also a highpotential market. Main EU exports to Ukraine are:  machinery & appliances  transport equipment  chemicals  other industrial products. Ukraine is also an economic bridge to other countries of the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood

    This in turn will boost competitiveness in the domestic market, which will be beneficial to Ukrainian consumers.

    The quantitative assessment of Ukraine’s regional integration options: DCFTA with European Union vs. Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan prepared by the German Advisory Group and the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting predicted that Ukrainian consumers’ welfare would increase by almost 12% in the medium term. To make all this happen, the EU provides significant support to the government of Ukraine to implement the agreement and to create the optimal conditions for economic development. This includes technical assistance to various state authorities for preparing technical regulations and standards, food safety rules, intellectual property legislation and public procurement, as well as direct support to the private sector. The EU’s assistance involves business support organisations from the EU and Ukraine and focuses mainly on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These programmes aim at increasing the competitiveness of Ukrainian SMEs, improving their access to finance, enabling them to comply with new standards on food safety, and technical and quality standards, as well as with environmental protection measures – an essential precondition to benefit from the new market access opportunities. Also, an important part of the €11 billion of EU assistance to Ukraine will be allocated to investment projects in infrastructure (road, energy, water, etc.). Read more about EU support to Ukraine in general, in the recent context and more specifically on investment and trade.

    http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/december/tradoc_154128.pdf

  • TIM TOMSEN

    THE WEST AND THE US. IS OBLIGATED TO GIVE UKRAINE WEAPONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances agreement…

    Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for the grantee from the USA and and the United Kingdom that they will protect the Ukrainian nation from invasion…

    The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is a political agreement signed in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. China and France gave somewhat weaker individual assurances in separate documents.

    The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as those of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result, Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996, of which Ukraine had physical though not operational control.[citation needed] The use of the weapons was dependent on Russian-controlled electronic Permissive Action Links and the Russian command and control system

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances

    Claim: The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate

    Fact: Ukraine’s President Poroshenko was elected on 25 May with a clear majority in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/119078?download=true ) as showing the “clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms.” The only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook “increasing attempts to derail the process.”

    The current parliament was elected on 26 October in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/126043 ) as “an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms”. It again pointed out that “Electoral authorities made resolute efforts to organize elections throughout the country, but they could not be held in parts of the regions (oblasts) of Donetsk and Luhansk or on the Crimean peninsula”.

    Finally, Russian officials continue to allege that the Ukrainian parliament and government are dominated by “neonazis” and “fascists.” However, in the parliamentary elections, the parties whom Russia labelled as “fascists” fell far short of the threshold of 5% needed to enter parliament. Ukraine’s electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that.

    In short, the President and parliament are legitimate, the actions of the separatists were not.

    Claim: NATO provoked the “Maidan” protests in Ukraine

    Fact: The demonstrations which began in Kiev in November 2013 were born out of Ukrainians’ desire for a closer relationship with the European Union, and their frustration when former President Yanukovych halted progress toward that goal as a result of Russian pressure.

    The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, see here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26289318 and a stronger role for the parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to the pervasive and endemic corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. There was no mention of NATO.

    Ukraine began discussing the idea of abandoning its non-bloc status in September 2014, six months after the illegal and illegitimate Russian “annexation” of Crimea and the start of Russia’s aggressive actions in Eastern Ukraine. The final decision by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada to abandon the non bloc status was taken in December 2014, over a year after the pro-EU demonstrations began.

    Claim: The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical

    Fact: The Kosovo operation was conducted following exhaustive discussion involving the whole international community dealing with a long-running crisis that was recognized by the UN Security Council as a threat to international peace and security.

    Following the operation, the international community engaged in nearly ten years of diplomacy, under UN authority, to find a political solution and to settle Kosovo’s final status, as prescribed by UNSCR 1244.

    In Crimea, there was no pre-existing crisis, no attempt to discuss the situation with the Ukrainian government, no involvement of the United Nations, and no attempt at a negotiated solution.

    In Kosovo, international attempts to find a solution took over 3,000 days. In Crimea, Russia annexed part of Ukraine’s territory in less than 30 days. It has sought to justify its illegal and illegitimate annexation, in part, by pointing to a “referendum” that was inconsistent with Ukrainian law, held under conditions of illegal armed occupation with no freedom of expression or media access for the opposition, and without any credible international monitoring.

    Claim: Russia’s annexation of Crimea was justified by the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the independence of Kosovo

    (online herehttp://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_111767.htm#cl506 ).

    Fact: The court stated that their opinion was not a precedent. The court said they had been given a “narrow and specific” question about Kosovo’s independence which would not cover the broader legal consequences of that decision.

    Claim: NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate

    Fact: The NATO operation for Kosovo followed over a year of intense efforts by the UN and the Contact Group, of which Russia was a member, to bring about a peaceful solution. The UN Security Council on several occasions branded the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the mounting number of refugees driven from their homes as a threat to international peace and security. NATO’s Operation Allied Force was launched to prevent the large-scale and sustained violations of human rights and the killing of civilians.

    Following the air campaign, the subsequent NATO-led peacekeeping operation, KFOR, which initially included Russia, has been under UN mandate (UNSCR 1244) see here http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1244%281999%29 , with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment in Kosovo.

    Claim: Russia has the right to demand a “100% guarantee” that Ukraine will not join NATO

    Fact: According to Article I of the Helsinki Final Act (here http://www.osce.org/mc/39501) which established the

    Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1975, every country has the right “to belong or not to belong to international organizations, to be or not to be a party to bilateral or multilateral treaties including the right to be or not to be a party to treaties of alliance.” All the OSCE member states, including Russia, have sworn to uphold those principles.

    In line with those principles, Ukraine has the right to choose for itself whether it joins any treaty of alliance, including NATO’s founding treaty.

    Moreover, when Russia signed the Founding Act, it pledged to uphold “respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security”.

    Thus Ukraine has the right to choose its own alliances, and Russia has, by its own repeated agreement, no right to dictate that choice.

    Claim: NATO tried to “drag” Ukraine into the Alliance

    Fact: When the administrations of President Kuchma and President Yushchenko made clear their aspiration to NATO membership, the Alliance worked with them to encourage the reforms which would be needed to make that aspiration a reality.

    When the administration of President Yanukovych opted for a non-bloc status, NATO respected that decision and continued to work with Ukraine on reforms, at the government’s request.

    NATO respects the right of every country to choose its own security arrangements. In fact, Article 13 of the Washington Treaty specifically gives Allies the right to leave.

    Over the past 65 years, 28 countries have chosen freely, and in accordance with their domestic democratic processes, to join NATO. Not one has asked to leave. This is their sovereign choice.

    Claim: NATO’s response to Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine violates the Founding Act

    Fact: NATO has responded to the new strategic reality caused by Russia’s illegitimate and illegal actions in Ukraine by reinforcing the defence of Allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and by ensuring the ability to increase those reinforcements if necessary, including by upgrading infrastructure.

    All this is consistent with the Founding Act, quoted above.

    In the Founding Act, all signatories, including Russia, agreed on principles which include “refraining from the threat or use of force against each other as well as against any other state, its sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence in any manner inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and with the Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States contained in the Helsinki Final Act” and the “respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security, the inviolability of borders and peoples’ right of self-determination as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE documents.”

    NATO has respected those commitments faithfully. Russia, on the other hand, has declared the annexation of Crimea, supported violent separatists in the east of the country, and insisted that Ukraine be barred from joining NATO.

    Claim: Russia has the right to oppose NATO-supported infrastructure on the territory of member states in Central and Eastern Europe

    Fact: The relationship between NATO and Russia is governed by the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, agreed by NATO Allies and Russia in 1997 and reaffirmed at NATO-Russia summits in Rome in 2002, and in Lisbon in 2010.

    (The Founding Act can be read here http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_25468.htm.)

    In the Founding Act, the two sides agreed that: “in the current and foreseeable security environment, the Alliance will carry out its collective defence and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces. Accordingly, it will have to rely on adequate infrastructure commensurate with the above tasks. In this context, reinforcement may take place, when necessary, in the event of defence against a threat of aggression and missions in support of peace consistent with the United Nations Charter and the OSCE governing principles, as well as for exercises consistent with the adapted CFE Treaty, the provisions of the Vienna Document 1994 and mutually agreed transparency measures. Russia will exercise similar restraint in its conventional force deployments in Europe.”

    Therefore, both infrastructure and reinforcements are explicitly permitted by the Founding Act and therefore by Russia.

    Let’s look at Ukraine’s disgraced former president, the legitimately elected Victor Yanukovych. After he fled to Russia the idea that he remained the legitimate head of state, and therefore the manner in which he was replaced was automatically illegitimate, was commonplace. This line of thinking was heavily promulgated by his new host country for reasons that are self-evident. But was it right, or even logical, to claim this?

    The legitimacy of the Yanukovych regime indeed began with a fair election, albeit an election in which the Ukrainian people had no good choices. But could that legitimacy go on unquestioned despite the blatant grand scale theft of state resources? No. Of course it could not.

    Common hooligans and thugs were brought to Kyiv by the Yanukovych authorities (first recorded on Nov. 29, 2013 when the revolution was just a few days old) to terrorize the residents of the capital. This act was completely in contradiction to Article 3 of the constitution that Yanukovych was elected to uphold. It was right to question Yanukovych’s legitimacy after this.

    Can the legitimacy of a ruling authority survive past the blatantly illegal adoption of laws designed to end democracy and create a dictatorship? No. Of course it cannot. Yet, this is what the Yanukovych controlled Party of Regions attempted to do on Jan. 16, 2014. Later analysis of images taken in parliament that while 235 MPs were declared to have voted for these “dictatorship” laws, only about half of this number of MPs were actually in the session hall when the vote was taken (by a show of hands – also illegal.)

    After such clearly anti-democratic and dishonest actions, can anyone consider that authority to be legitimate? The actions were a breach of Article 5 of Ukraine’s constitution – something that Yanukovych was under oath to protect and uphold. But he failed to keep his word.

    There were more violations of the constitution by Yanukovych, its supposed protector.

    Article 27 of Ukraine’s constitution says that “Every person shall have the inalienable right to life. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of life.” Yet Yuri Verbitsky, a 42 year old geologist from Lviv, was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by forces belonging to the Yanukovych regime between Jan. 22 and Jan. 25 of 2014.

    That Yanukovych had already lost any legitimacy by this point should be beyond question. Later, of course, came the deaths of many more people on Jan. 18 and then Jan. 20, after which Yanukovych fled to Russia, insisting his authority and position were still legitimate. Define legitimate.

    The idea that legitimacy carries on from appointment without further question is a complete fallacy. It is something that we should refuse to accept. An elected leader most certainly can lose their legitimacy through illegal and/or unconstitutional, actions. The most recent public attempt at increasing the fog blurring the distinction between legitimately elected and legitimate comes from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Bottom line, they are not the same, although it is easy to see why Russia’s ruling clan would seek to pretend that they are.

  • BlackisNOTWhite

    So just to make this clear, in the occupied territories you can’t access news sites from Ukraine, your children cannot study Ukrainian at school and you can’t elect the representatives you wish to represent you. This New Russia sounds just like the Old Russia to me.

  • guest

    Poo Teen trolls do their best to show their zeal to their management, because with cheaper oil and thinning budget staff cuts could be quite possible; therefore everybody should prove his/her particular utility to the cause. Otherwise what? Work as a janitor?

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