Political talk from outside of the UK
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#395272
Firstly, 'we' have practically no say in UK/EU foreign policy so the term is inappropriate. Secondly, despite the ongoing attempts to obfuscate, the far right clearly was - and remains - a significant presence in the Maidan movement, provided with strong political (and almost certainly logistical/financial support) from the EU/US. Victoria Nuland was caught red-handed discussing who should go in the post-Yanukovich government ffs. Both the far right and their enablers are scum, whatever side they're on.
#395274
Look, we know for a fact that the EU and US have provided invaluable political and diplomatic support to a movement containing a pronounced fascist element. The IMF has promised $17bn worth of loans - not likely to be anywhere near enough, by the way - and the cash it's stumped up so far is helping to cover the immediate cost of the war in the east. The presence of ultranationalists on the Ukrainian side (e.g. the Azov battalion) is well documented. But if it makes you feel better to pretend all that isn't happening, knock yourself out.
#395282
To be honest I'd say that more than anything, all this is a product of a sclerotic, rotten political and economic system that's begging to be put out of its misery. This is how markets sometimes have to be forced open. Either we replace the system or it buries the lot of us, one way or another.
#396019
In order to put the country back on a sound financial footing, Ukraine's finance ministry is proposing sweeping cuts, from cutting the years of mandatory schooling, to firing two-thirds of MPs, to hiking the pension age.

According to leaked documents drawn up by the finance ministry, the new government, voted in on December 2, is readying sweeping reform of the entire budget sector.

The 120 pages of proposals outline changes to the constitution and legislation to reduce the state's spending obligations to the order of UAH496bn (€24bn), much of which remains in fact chronically unfunded. The proposals would drastically cut back the remnants of the Soviet cradle-to-grave welfare state.

Among the most startling proposals are to reduce the number of MPs from 450 to 150, reduce obligatory schooling from 11 to 9 years, and abolish the constitutional guarantees of free education and medicine, as well as abolishing a constitutional norm prohibiting closure of existing institutions (such as schools and hospitals).
http://www.bne.eu/content/story/new-ukr ... lfare-cuts" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

In the absence of a strong left, this is all likely to prove grist to the mill for the far right. Not to mention the enormous human suffering this is going to inflict on ordinary working-class Ukrainians.
#396762
Uh-oh. Stand by for some Muscovite cock-waving...

Ukraine's parliament has voted to drop the country's non-aligned status and work towards Nato membership.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30587924" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#396798
Perhaps if Russia hadn't behaved like a dick over Crimea then maybe Ukraine wouldn't have voted to drop its neutrality still Putinistas* like Milne and Pilger will blame the West for this rather than Russia.

* A term I have invented to describe left-wing supporters of Putin.
#396840
Littlejohn's brain wrote:A guide to the Ukranian far right without the Kremline hyperbole

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Hromadske is funded by the US government among others, FYI.
The station is publicly funded and has a bank account (Privat Bank) posted on its website. Individual contributions in 2013 amounted to over 1.1 million Ukrainian hryvnias, -₴-[16] and almost 1.5 million in the first quarter of 2014.[17]

According to their own interim financial reports, Hromadske TV was funded in 2013 by the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands (793,089 Ukrainian hryvnias, -₴-), the Embassy of the United States of America (399,650 ₴) and by George Soros International Renaissance Foundation (247,860).[16] By April 2014, Hromadske TV had received another 287,898 ₴ from the United States Embassy in Kyiv, 207,402₴ from auction organized by 'Dukat' (the Auction House) and 1,408,324 ₴ from individual contributors.[17]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hromadske.TV#Funding" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As far as Ukraine's potential Nato membership is concerned, its military is way below the required standard to actually join Nato so it seems unlikely that there'll be a formal application for it to join any time soon. More here on the massive austerity programme that's just been waved through by the Ukrainian parliament:

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12 ... a-d23.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

40% cut in healthcare spending, 20% cut in education spending (with 100,000 teachers sacked), pensions cut by up to 90%, rapid privatisation of state assets... for all the West Good Putin Bad pantomime stuff, this is all looking very much like the same shock therapy that devastated Russia in the '90s, paving the way for... Putin. One of the chief vultures responsible for that Russian shock therapy, Anders Aslund, is now circling Ukraine. First as tragedy, second as farce.
#397955
Remember this is the man who gave us JFK

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... ce=twitter" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#404115
Useful piece on the Ukrainian militias and where they're getting their backing from. Workers at one another's throats at the behest of 'their' oligarchs. What a sorry state of affairs.

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/20/8072643/uk ... ion-danger" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is a crucial point that not many are making.
At some point, the Ukrainian government needs to be able to govern Ukraine. It can't do that if parts of the country are dominated by militias that don't obey any official authority.

The fact that powerful oligarchs are supporting some of the militias — and that Ukraine's oligarchs have a long history of resisting the state — raises the worrying possibility that these wealthy Ukrainians could use the militias to protect their interests from state interference.

Simply by existing, those private armies could be "creating enough of an implicit threat that the government can't move against, say, corrupt schemes," Karatnycky warned.
As time goes on, the things that made the militias useful for Ukraine will also make them dangerous. Their strength and autonomy in eastern Ukraine, particularly compared to the relatively weak government, could potentially give them tremendous power there. These are the conditions for warlordism — for militias turning their pieces of territory into little fiefdoms that they or their wealthy patrons would be free to govern, or exploit, as they wished.
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