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MH-17

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    Posted: 22 Jul 2014 at 03:38
Although from available evidence to date it seems that the shooting down of Flight MH-17 by pro-Russian rebels could have been an error, the culpability of the pro-Russian Rebels in the Ukraine is multiplied by their refusing to allow crash investigators onto the site and their blatant looting of passengers property.
 
In the most recent TV clip, the rebels are seen with heavy equipment removing parts of the aircraft fuseleage from the crash site, thereby denying investigators, if they were permitted on site, any hope of proving what had happened.
 
It may well be said that no real investigation is necessary, as we all know what happened, but from air crash investigations come ideas for airline safety improvement.
 
That, directly or indirectly, Vladmir Putin is ultimately responsible for the downing of MH-17 is inescapable. The weapons used are Russian, and the operators would have needed Russian training.
 
This whole episode was predictable, given that the world allowed Russia to interfere with the Ukraines government and structure-regardless of those who would say to the contrary.
 
Had NATO or the European powers banded together in aiding the Ukraine when this trouble first began, the passengers on MH-17 could well still be alive.
 
The only small positive to come out of this shameful episode is that the rebels have now handed over the "black boxes" from MH-17.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2014 at 04:37
It's a disgusting episode, but one must ad some culpability to the airlines. Many (not all) decided to keep flying over a war zone, one in which a couple of Ukrainian planes had been shot down, by (predictably) low skilled operators with high tech equipment. This is negligence. Malaysian Airlines has since announced a detour around Ukraine. Via Syrian airspace. I'm not kidding.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Arlington Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2014 at 07:01
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:



Although from available evidence to date it seems that the shooting down of Flight MH-17 by pro-Russian rebels could have been an error, the culpability of the pro-Russian Rebels in the Ukraine is multiplied by their refusing to allow crash investigators onto the site and their blatant looting of passengers property.
 
In the most recent TV clip, the rebels are seen with heavy equipment removing parts of the aircraft fuseleage from the crash site, thereby denying investigators, if they were permitted on site, any hope of proving what had happened.






** No real investigation will occur. Nor would it necessarily be successful given the machinations by the Russians and their proxies. As they continue to support their SPETZNAZ led, equipped, and directed lap dogs. Whom, one might add now, afaic, join the illustrate ranks of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. I don't believe in misidentification of radar targets nor do I believe it was a case of inexperience.

What it was was murder and terrorism.


 
It may well be said that no real investigation is necessary, as we all know what happened, but from air crash investigations come ideas for airline safety improvement.
 
That, directly or indirectly, Vladmir Putin is ultimately responsible for the downing of MH-17 is inescapable. The weapons used are Russian, and the operators would have needed Russian training.
 
This whole episode was predictable, given that the world allowed Russia to interfere with the Ukraines government and structure-regardless of those who would say to the contrary.
 
Had NATO or the European powers banded together in aiding the Ukraine when this trouble first began, the passengers on MH-17 could well still be alive.
 






** All true Toyo but a significant portion of the blame must be laid at the feet of the current US Admin. It's indecisive and appeasement intended foreign policy towards the Russians is well documented. I neither expect the NATO or EU nations to do anything. Why should they? When the most recent history of the region has always included decisive US response and leadership. None of which, for at least the next two years, is forthcoming. The same can be said for the ME and the now ongoing Hamas instigated conflict with Israel.


But the so called social democrats will be along I'm sure to obfuscate that away. As much as they continue to hide from the recent downing of the aircraft. All the oratory and rhetoric in the world, from Europe, and the US, will make no difference to the Russians. Europe remains terrified of their impact on their economies. And the Russians know this and will play it.

When the actual solution is an age old one: 'peace through strength'
and not an apology from a weak and vacillating US government.


Immediate actions?

a. Re institute the missile defense program in Europe.

b. Increase troop rotational and training with NATO allies that border Russia. Immediately grant Ukraine access as a member of NATO.

c. Freeze all Russian assets in the US. And revoke diplomatic credentials and travel visas of Russian business interests and representatives.

d. Begin immediate shipments of Natural gas and coal to European markets.

e. All European and US monies currently sent to support Hamas. Be re directed towards the Ukraine.

f. and finally the shipment of lethal weapons and training teams to the same.

Because in the end, it is as you note, a Russian incident and Russian responsibility. And as long as a former KGB thug is in the Kremlin. Intent on and deluded with visions of a reemergence of the glory days of the USSR is present.


Then indeed a 'reset' is necessary. But it not the folly of the Obama-Clinton variety.







The only small positive to come out of this shameful episode is that the rebels have now handed over the "black boxes" from MH-17.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2014 at 07:13
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

It's a disgusting episode, but one must ad some culpability to the airlines. Many (not all) decided to keep flying over a war zone, one in which a couple of Ukrainian planes had been shot down, by (predictably) low skilled operators with high tech equipment. This is negligence. Malaysian Airlines has since announced a detour around Ukraine. Via Syrian airspace. I'm not kidding.
 
No sh*t???
 
Pardon my language, are these folks for real?
 
Why not over Israel or Palestine?
 
Sheesh!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2014 at 17:11
Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

 

Immediate actions?

a. Re institute the missile defense program in Europe.

Missile defense is ineffective, and in the case of a widespread nuclear attack, totally ineffective. Billions would be spent to achieve no political gain.

Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

 
b. Increase troop rotational and training with NATO allies that border Russia. Immediately grant Ukraine access as a member of NATO.

Moving troops around was impressive in 1850, but would mean nothing in the nuclear age. Bringing Ukraine into NATO would legally oblige Europe and the US to immediately intervene in that country, which would take us to WW3.

Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

 
c. Freeze all Russian assets in the US. And revoke diplomatic credentials and travel visas of Russian business interests and representatives.

A robust move, but it will never happen. Your entrepreneurial friends have billions of western dollars invested in Russia, and would stand to loose them in retaliation, and so would insist Washington made the "right" decision.

Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

 
d. Begin immediate shipments of Natural gas and coal to European markets.

Europe is not going to start burning massive amounts of coal for (sound) environmental reasons, and there are currently no pipelines or specialized ships available to ship natural gas, although that is being worked on, and will soon allow W Europe more latitude in policy.
 
Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

 
e. All European and US monies currently sent to support Hamas. Be re directed towards the Ukraine.

European and US money does not support Hamas. The UN and other aid agencies do support humanitarian projects in Gaza, without which we would truly have a genocide going on.
 
Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

 
f. and finally the shipment of lethal weapons and training teams to the same.

Ukraine is already heavily armed. Although technical support in some areas might be in the cards. I'm not sure if this is already being done.

In short, international relationships require a bit more depth of thought than simple adolescent muscle flexing.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2014 at 21:29

Realistically, I think this is were Putin will be made to back down on Ukraine. Despite a big military, Russia still has a tiny economy in relation to the west. And Putin's backing depends, in large measure, on the uber-rich in the Russian kleptocracy:


"..Following the July 17 downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet in eastern Ukraine, widely blamed on Moscow-backed rebels, U.S. exchange-traded funds that invest in Russia saw one of their biggest net outflows for the year — US$28.54-million pulled out for the five days ending July 18. Russia easily led all other emerging market countries in outflows..."

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/07/21/russian-billionaires-who-have-lost-14-5-billion-this-year-live-in-horror-as-putin-risks-isolation/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2014 at 02:37
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:


Realistically, I think this is were Putin will be made to back down on Ukraine. Despite a big military, Russia still has a tiny economy in relation to the west. And Putin's backing depends, in large measure, on the uber-rich in the Russian kleptocracy:


"..Following the July 17 downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet in eastern Ukraine, widely blamed on Moscow-backed rebels, U.S. exchange-traded funds that invest in Russia saw one of their biggest net outflows for the year — US$28.54-million pulled out for the five days ending July 18. Russia easily led all other emerging market countries in outflows..."

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/07/21/russian-billionaires-who-have-lost-14-5-billion-this-year-live-in-horror-as-putin-risks-isolation/
 
I can see, in part, where Arlington's coming from, to sit and watch another major tragedy unfold, without seeing an appropriate and rapid response is frustrating.
 
I would have liked to have seen armed support for the Ukraine when the pro-Russian guerillas first started their actions in Crimea. I recognise that it was never going to happen for the many reasons that you've put forward.
 
Financial embargoes on Russia will only translate to more hardship for the innocent population-so we sit and watch and wait.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2014 at 10:10
Originally posted by CV CV wrote:

Many (not all) decided to keep flying over a war zone, one in which a couple of Ukrainian planes had been shot down, by (predictably) low skilled operators with high tech equipment. This is negligence. Malaysian Airlines has since announced a detour around Ukraine. Via Syrian airspace. I'm not kidding.

Maybe you are not kidding but you are wrong.
All airlines including Malaysia are now flying over Turkey and Iran. The MH16 flight path is: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/MAS16

(I'm not sure if that website changes during the day as the flight progresses. If you can't see it they may have changed.)

Also all airlines were flying over Eastern Ukraine, not just Malaysia. Malaysian Airlines is IMO one of the best airlines in the world.
Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

All true Toyo but a significant portion of the blame must be laid at the feet of the current US Admin. It's indecisive and appeasement intended foreign policy towards the Russians is well documented. I neither expect the NATO or EU nations to do anything. Why should they? When the most recent history of the region has always included decisive US response and leadership. None of which, for at least the next two years, is forthcoming.

Because this is a history forum, I think it's important to remember the history and present of the Ukraine before commenting too much.

Kiev is the birthplace of Russian culture and the Russian nation. The Kiev Rus were destroyed by the Mongol invasions and the frontier cities in the far north such as Tver, Moscow, and Novgorod were left the rebuild the Russian nation. Eventually Moscow became the premier Russian city and the most powerful Duchy in the region. They re-took Kiev from the Poles over 400 years ago. Eastern Ukraine and the Crimea were never a part of Poland or ruled from Kiev. They were part of the Crimean Khanate and the Golden Horde. The Ottoman Empire supporting the Crimean Tartars constantly fought against Russian expansion in the eastern steppe but eventually lost about 250 years ago. Far western Ukraine (Lviv/Lvov) was taken by the Russians in the Holocaust from Poland. It was forcably Ukrainianised/Russianised in the 1940s and 50s.

The word Ukraine was only invented about 120 years ago. It was invented as an administrative region by the Soviets. Crimea and Eastern Ukrain was added to that administrative region in the 1950s and until 1991 a Ukrainian was no less Russian than a Californian is American. Until the orange revolution in 2005 the Ukrainian government was staunchly pro-Russian, that revolution then failed at the next election and they again had a pro-russian government until this year when the elected government was again overthrown. The overthrow of that government prompted the revolts across Ukraine including the successful ones in Crimea and Donetsk.

The areas the areas that have seen the biggest pro-Russian revolts are the areas that were part of the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. These are areas that have never been ruled nor identified with Kiev, they were taken for the Russian people by the Moscovites from the Tartars. Furthermore Crimea has been Russia's principle naval base for over 200 years. It will be full of the sons & daughters of the Russian Navy. The areas that have been the most anti-Russian (Lviv) are arguably actually parts of Poland that were taken in 1939.

So, you should be able to conclude several things from this:
1) It is surprising that Putin has allowed the Ukraine to leave Russia without a fight.
2) It is surprising that Putin has no done more to help the people of Donetsk and has not sent in Russian troops.
3) It is unreasonable to expect the Moscovites to leave the Kiev Rus to the west.
4) Any other Russian leader would start a nuclear war over this.
5) Obama's "indecisive and appeasement intended foreign policy towards the Russians" has done what no other power has done since the Mongols - pulled portions of the Russian motherland out of Moscovite control.
6) It is reasonable to expect the Moscovites will want Kiev back.
7) It is reasonable to expect the Moscovites would give up Lviv.
8) Trying to take Ukraine out of Russia is like trying to take New England out of the USA

Edited by Omar al Hashim - 23 Jul 2014 at 10:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2014 at 14:30
Omar:
But the Ukraine is a sovereign nation, and as such, whether you like or not, whether Putin likes it or not, the Ukranian people are entitled to self determination.
If in fact the majority of the Ukranian people want the Crimea back under Russian control, so be it.
 
That an overall ethnic minority of Russians want Crimea back as a part of Russia, doesn't really count.
 
It would be the same if some of the people in, for example, Boston wanted to succeed and become a province of the UK-and the UK provided them with training, arms and materiel to assist their revolt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2014 at 19:20
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Originally posted by CV CV wrote:

Many (not all) decided to keep flying over a war zone, one in which a couple of Ukrainian planes had been shot down, by (predictably) low skilled operators with high tech equipment. This is negligence. Malaysian Airlines has since announced a detour around Ukraine. Via Syrian airspace. I'm not kidding.

Maybe you are not kidding but you are wrong.
All airlines including Malaysia are now flying over Turkey and Iran. The MH16 flight path is: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/MAS16

(I'm not sure if that website changes during the day as the flight progresses. If you can't see it they may have changed.)

Also all airlines were flying over Eastern Ukraine, not just Malaysia. Malaysian Airlines is IMO one of the best airlines in the world.

The MH flight over Syria was all over the media, and in at least one report admitted to by the airline. This may well have been changed, and not too surprisingly if so, due to the media scrutiny.

It is true that airlines fly regularly over conflict zones. However each flight must (or certainly should) be appraised for safety given current conditions. Some, including BA I believe, chose not to fly over Ukraine. It was crazy for any airline to route air traffic over Ukraine after several military planes were shot down, one reportedly from 21,000 ft.

To choose another route over an area that has seen some aerial warfare recently, after loosing two aircraft within months, is an indication of poor judgement, IMO. The majority seem to see Turkey-Iraq-the Persian Gulf route as a safer bet than Syria. Tough choice in that part of the world perhaps, but in this case MH seemed the outlier.

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:


Originally posted by Arlington Arlington wrote:

All true Toyo but a significant portion of the blame must be laid at the feet of the current US Admin. It's indecisive and appeasement intended foreign policy towards the Russians is well documented. I neither expect the NATO or EU nations to do anything. Why should they? When the most recent history of the region has always included decisive US response and leadership. None of which, for at least the next two years, is forthcoming.

Because this is a history forum, I think it's important to remember the history and present of the Ukraine before commenting too much.

Kiev is the birthplace of Russian culture and the Russian nation. The Kiev Rus were destroyed by the Mongol invasions and the frontier cities in the far north such as Tver, Moscow, and Novgorod were left the rebuild the Russian nation. Eventually Moscow became the premier Russian city and the most powerful Duchy in the region. They re-took Kiev from the Poles over 400 years ago. Eastern Ukraine and the Crimea were never a part of Poland or ruled from Kiev. They were part of the Crimean Khanate and the Golden Horde. The Ottoman Empire supporting the Crimean Tartars constantly fought against Russian expansion in the eastern steppe but eventually lost about 250 years ago. Far western Ukraine (Lviv/Lvov) was taken by the Russians in the Holocaust from Poland. It was forcably Ukrainianised/Russianised in the 1940s and 50s.

The word Ukraine was only invented about 120 years ago. It was invented as an administrative region by the Soviets. Crimea and Eastern Ukrain was added to that administrative region in the 1950s and until 1991 a Ukrainian was no less Russian than a Californian is American. Until the orange revolution in 2005 the Ukrainian government was staunchly pro-Russian, that revolution then failed at the next election and they again had a pro-russian government until this year when the elected government was again overthrown. The overthrow of that government prompted the revolts across Ukraine including the successful ones in Crimea and Donetsk.

The areas the areas that have seen the biggest pro-Russian revolts are the areas that were part of the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. These are areas that have never been ruled nor identified with Kiev, they were taken for the Russian people by the Moscovites from the Tartars. Furthermore Crimea has been Russia's principle naval base for over 200 years. It will be full of the sons & daughters of the Russian Navy. The areas that have been the most anti-Russian (Lviv) are arguably actually parts of Poland that were taken in 1939.

So, you should be able to conclude several things from this:
1) It is surprising that Putin has allowed the Ukraine to leave Russia without a fight.
2) It is surprising that Putin has no done more to help the people of Donetsk and has not sent in Russian troops.
3) It is unreasonable to expect the Moscovites to leave the Kiev Rus to the west.
4) Any other Russian leader would start a nuclear war over this.
5) Obama's "indecisive and appeasement intended foreign policy towards the Russians" has done what no other power has done since the Mongols - pulled portions of the Russian motherland out of Moscovite control.
6) It is reasonable to expect the Moscovites will want Kiev back.
7) It is reasonable to expect the Moscovites would give up Lviv.
8) Trying to take Ukraine out of Russia is like trying to take New England out of the USA

This is a great post, and brings us some balance. I'd just like to add a couple of points.

Aggressive Stalinist economic policies in the '30s caused many deaths in the region, which apparently didn't endear Moscow to the population. When Germany invaded in '41, there were enough in the country to see this as a plus, and many joined a militia that supported Germany against the Soviets.

Recent opinion polls I've seen in the media show pretty clearly a desire for independence, and surprisingly even a number of ethnic Russians seem to share this view.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2014 at 00:35
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:


Realistically, I think this is were Putin will be made to back down on Ukraine. Despite a big military, Russia still has a tiny economy in relation to the west. And Putin's backing depends, in large measure, on the uber-rich in the Russian kleptocracy:


"..Following the July 17 downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet in eastern Ukraine, widely blamed on Moscow-backed rebels, U.S. exchange-traded funds that invest in Russia saw one of their biggest net outflows for the year — US$28.54-million pulled out for the five days ending July 18. Russia easily led all other emerging market countries in outflows..."

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/07/21/russian-billionaires-who-have-lost-14-5-billion-this-year-live-in-horror-as-putin-risks-isolation/
 
I can see, in part, where Arlington's coming from, to sit and watch another major tragedy unfold, without seeing an appropriate and rapid response is frustrating.
 
I would have liked to have seen armed support for the Ukraine when the pro-Russian guerillas first started their actions in Crimea. I recognise that it was never going to happen for the many reasons that you've put forward.
 
Financial embargoes on Russia will only translate to more hardship for the innocent population-so we sit and watch and wait.
 
 

I'm not so sure. The average Russian doesn't have billions to loose, and is merely a bystander to the massive embezzlement and corruption of the ruling elite. They will struggle on, stoic as ever. It is the rich who are threatened, and could stand to see their lifestyle erode. More importantly, they are likely to pressure Putin to smarten up before they see too many rubles going down the drain. This makes more sense than moving fighter jets up to Romania.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2014 at 12:36
Originally posted by toyo toyo wrote:

But the Ukraine is a sovereign nation, and as such, whether you like or not, whether Putin likes it or not, the Ukranian people are entitled to self determination.

If in fact the majority of the Ukranian people want the Crimea back under Russian control, so be it.



That an overall ethnic minority of Russians want Crimea back as a part of Russia, doesn't really count.



It would be the same if some of the people in, for example, Boston wanted to succeed and become a province of the UK-and the UK provided them with training, arms and materiel to assist their revolt.

That's a good analogy. It would be exactly if some of the people in, say Boston, wanted to become a provence of the UK and the UK backed them. Let's call these people Canadians.

Self determination is the best way of resolving territorial disputes without resorting to war, yet the trick with self determination is that you have to respect which ever way the people choose, even if it's not your side. Crimea and Donetsk have voted to be in Russia.

The Soviets deliberately divided the SSRs to make them easy to control. They did not divide them according to ethnic, geographic or any other sensible divisions. That's why the central asian states are funny shapes, and that's why Ukraine is so big. Ukraine is at least 4 regions. Moldova, the Crimean Khanate, parts of Poland, and the Kiev region.
The people in the former Crimean Khanate from Odessa to Kharkov have been pro-Moscow, voted for pro-Moscow parties and seen pro-Moscow unrest. The people in the bit that's basically Poland have been staunchly anti-Moscow, and most of the people in the Kiev region, even as far as Dnepropetrovsk have been generally anti-Moscow. I don't know what's happening in the Moldovian bit. I'm guessing if they have a choice they'd like to be in Moldovia or Romania.

There is a significant regional divide in Ukraine and there is huge interference from both Russia and the west. Self-determination would be great but I don't think either side is willing to do it.

Originally posted by CV CV wrote:

The MH flight over Syria was all over the media, and in at least one report admitted to by the airline. This may well have been changed, and not too surprisingly if so, due to the media scrutiny.


It is true that airlines fly regularly over conflict zones. However each flight must (or certainly should) be appraised for safety given current conditions. Some, including BA I believe, chose not to fly over Ukraine. It was crazy for any airline to route air traffic over Ukraine after several military planes were shot down, one reportedly from 21,000 ft.

I am not aware of any change, I didn't hear anything about that. There's a lot of misinformation and speculation about this story around.
It's easy to say in hindsight that they shouldn't have been flying there but they were following established proceedure and following all safety guidelines.
Quote Aggressive Stalinist economic policies in the '30s caused many deaths in the region, which apparently didn't endear Moscow to the population. When Germany invaded in '41, there were enough in the country to see this as a plus, and many joined a militia that supported Germany against the Soviets.

Stalin killed a lot of people not just in Ukraine. In fact if you haven't been masacarred by the Moscovites at some point in the last 500 years you are doing pretty well.
While it is a well known fact that the Soviets and Germans combined to invade Poland in 1939 it is not that well known that the Poles never got the bits the Soviets took back. They are now Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. At the end of WW2 the Russians wouldn't give up what they took in 1939 and as a result the whole of Poland was shifted a couple of hundred kilometers westward. Silsia, Pomerania and Prussia were ethnically cleansed of Germans and given to the Poles, while Lviv, Vilnius, Brest were ethnically cleansed of Poles and Jews and given to the Russians. I am not aware of how many Poles walked out of a catholic church and into an orthodox one to avoid being ethnically cleansed but I suspect this is a big reason why western ukraine is not pro moscow.
Quote Recent opinion polls I've seen in the media show pretty clearly a desire for independence, and surprisingly even a number of ethnic Russians seem to share this view.

I have seen the same but I am not sure how far you can trust polls in this situation

Edited by Omar al Hashim - 24 Jul 2014 at 12:38
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