Clarifications on DC in Flames and Ukraine

My blog post yesterday appears to need a few points clarified for some who exhibit educated ignorance. For those who did not bother to read the post, it was a parody on the situation in Ukraine and not a “conspiracy theory” on the US.

As I said in that post… think, people. Use your brain.

I do see that CNN is doing some somewhat balanced reporting today. They have also posted a good piece on why Ukraine is in turmoil.

So now for some clarifications:

Putin: No, I do not think Putin is an angel. He very clearly offered to help Ukraine avoid bankruptcy by offering them financial support to avoid bankruptcy and reducing the price of natural gas to them if they turned down the offer from the EU.

However, I do not believe he is driving the government response in Ukraine like the West accuses him of doing. Putin is not one to pull strings behind the scenes. If he is going to drive what happens in Ukraine, he is the type to do it openly and aggressively. It would have ended months ago if Putin was involved.

Putin is clearly the calm head in the East vs. West banter of late.

USA/EU: Their goal is not supporting democracy in Ukraine. Their goal seems to be nothing more than to destabilize Putin. This can be seen in their comments on Ukraine, the Olympics, and their comments about Putin’s involvement in Syria. Let’s keep in mind who has been the advocate of peace and negotiations in Syria and Ukraine – it hasn’t been the USA.

Protesters: There are peaceful protesters in Ukraine, on both sides. The whole deal started out with the opposition leader, Klitchko, paying 200 UAH, new clothing, and free meals for every day a student would go to Maidan (Independence Square) and protest (peacefully) against the government. Yes, I personally know of students who were paid to go there. In return, many government employers sent their employees to protest for the government… and yes, I personally know of some of these protesters as well.

Then the opposition brought in the OUN (Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists) which is a paramilitary group that has long been tied to the call for an independent state of Ukraine, free of outsiders (including Russians). They fought with the Nazi’s in WW2, and are a sore subject with non-Western Ukrainians – and heros to Western Ukrainians. This is where the trouble started. Many videos that the West uses as proof the government is killing peaceful protesters are actually videos of this military force. This military force is NOT under the control of the government.

To this very day, there are peaceful protesters on both sides of the argument. In Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Crimea, Kharkov, and other Eastern Ukrainian regions, there are many peaceful people who support the government and defend the police. Just yesterday, opposition protesters tried to occupy buildings in Dnepropetrovsk, and were turned away by government supporting protesters and police – peacefully.

Everyone in Military Uniforms are Government Forces: No, sorry. First, every male in Ukraine must serve time in the military. Uniforms are easy to obtain, just like in the US. The OUN militia (non-government) have camo and gear. The Ukrainian government forces being used are called Berkut – or Riot Police. They are dressed in all black with white “Berkut” emblazoned on the back. The standard police and military are in black or grey/green camo with “Militia” printed on their backs.

Yanukovych: I view him as a weak leader. He has sat by as his countries most precious squares and buildings are destroyed by overzealous protesters. Why are Western Ukrainian cities, and Kyiv, under siege by opposition protesters? Because he does not take definitive action, regardless of the view of Russia or the West.

The Eastern Ukrainian (and Southern Autonomous Republic of Crimea) officials have taken a stance that they will not put up with destruction of their cities, nor the occupation of their administrative buildings. They do so under the threat of swift police action. These are the regions where peaceful people are protesting, and the fanatical rioters have been quickly dispersed.

I believe if Yanukovych had taken swift action immediately, Ukraine would not be in the shape it is in today. He needs to take decisive action, one way or the other.

Paid Thugs: This is not an idea I put forth. This is an idea put forth by the opposition leaders in order to blame the Ukrainian government for the deaths of peaceful protesters (anti and pro government) and police. They claim that the government paid thugs to come in and destroy the city, beat police and administrative officials, and to take over the government buildings. Use your head: yes – it is a conspiracy theory, and no – I don’t believe the Ukrainian government hired thugs to beat and kill their own forces.

Again – look at both sides of the story. There are plenty of stories from both sides out there, outside of the mainstream US news. You can see opposing views at The Guardian, RT, or the Toronto Star.