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Thread: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

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    Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    The big question the Obama administration has to grapple with is whether the Russian parts of eastern Ukraine will make an attempt to secede and will Russia attempt to facilitate their desire. It appears that the dismantling of the Yanukovych regime for refusing to accept the EU offer has opened a rather big can of worms. As Daryl Royal said, "it ain't over till the fat lady sings."

    Russian troops storm last Ukrainian base in Crimea Israel News | Haaretz

    More than 5,000 pro-Russia residents of a major city in Ukraine's east demonstrated on Saturday in favor of holding a referendum on whether to seek to split off and become part of Russia.

    The rally in Donetsk came less than a week after the Ukrainian region of Crimea approved secession in a referendum regarded as illegitimate by the Western countries. After the referendum, Russia moved to formally annex Crimea.
    ...............

    The ministry adds that fewer than 2,000 of the more than 18,000 Ukrainian military personnel want to leave Crimea.

    With Crimea now effectively under the control of Russian forces, concern is rising that Ukraine's eastern regions will agitate for a similar move.

    Russia has brought large military contingents to areas near the border with eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said there is no intention to move into eastern Ukraine, but the prospect of violence between pro- and anti-secession groups in the east could be used as a pretext for sending in troops.


    Eastern Ukraine is the heartland of Ukraine's economically vital heavy industry and mining and the support base for Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president who fled to Russia last month after being ousted in the wake of three months of protests in the capital, Kiev.

    Russia and Yanukovych supporters contend Yanukovych's ouster was a coup and allege that the authorities who then came to power are nationalists who would oppress the east's large ethnic Russian population.

    "They're trying to tear us away from Russia," said demonstrator Igor Shapoval, a 59-year-old businessman. "But Donbass is ready to fight against this band which already lost Crimea and is losing in the east."

    Donbass is the name for the region of factories and mines that includes Donetsk.

    About an hour after the Donetsk rally began, the crowd marched through the city center and assembled before the regional administration building chanting: "Crimea! Donbass! Russia!"

    Demonstrators waving Russian flags were faced off by lines of shield-wielding riot police. Inside, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was meeting with local officials.

    The demonstrators erected several tents, an ironic echo of the massive tent camp that was established on Kiev's central square after the protests against Yanukovych broke out in late November.

    "I'm ready to live in a tent, but I'm not ready to submit to the West, to dance to their tune," said Viktor Rudko, a 43-year-old miner.

    The local parliament on Friday formed a working group to develop a referendum analogous to the one in Crimea. Activists on Saturday passed out mock ballots, although no referendum has been formally called.

    A number of leading pro-Russian activists have already been detained by police on suspicion of fomenting secessionist activities. The country's security services said Saturday that they have arrested Mikhail Chumachenko, leader of the self-styled Donbass People's Militia, on suspicion of seeking to seize authority.

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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    This is not an American issue or a matter for America to lead on - this is a matter for the United Nations to deal with and lead on, if indeed it is still or ever was a body that protects the territorial integrity of member nations.

    That I can see, there are no direct American national security or national interests at play in the Ukraine. As such, any direct involvement by America in the Ukraine would be no different and perhaps no less unlawful than Russian involvement there. America has no direct treaty relationship with Ukraine that requires military intervention at this time and without UN sanction. Even NATO nor the EU have such treaty relationships, even though the EU apparently has hastily signed off on economic and other relations with the interim government in Ukraine.

    For all anyone knows, the "free" elections in the Ukraine coming up in May may once again seat another pro-Russia alignment party in Ukraine government. No interference on the part of outside nations should commence until that official Ukrainian government is elected and seated and they officially request outside aid.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    Here's something else that demonstrates that the Obama administration is concerned about the possibility that the Russian parts of Ukraine may make an attempt of succession.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/22/wo...ents.html?_r=0

    Russia’s Shifting of Border Force Stirs U.S. Worry

    The White House cast doubt Friday on the Kremlin’s claims that thousands of troops massing on the border of southeastern Ukraine are merely involved in training exercises, deepening fears that Russian aggression will not end in Crimea.

    “It’s not clear what that signals,” the national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, said to reporters in a briefing at the White House. But she added, “Obviously given their past practice and the gap between what they have said and what they have done, we are watching it with skepticism.”

    At the Pentagon, senior officers and analysts said they were monitoring the Russian infantry, airborne, air defense and other reinforcements with growing alarm, uncertain of President Vladimir V. Putin’s ambitions.

    Pentagon officials do not believe that a new Russian move into Ukraine is imminent. But one of their big worries is that American and NATO officials would have virtually no time to react if it did happen. All told, officials said, there are more than 20,000 troops near the border.

    “The Russian forces are reinforcing and bulking up along the eastern Ukrainian border,” a Pentagon official said. “Our view is they’re preserving all their options, including going in, absolutely. If they choose to do that, we just wouldn’t have much warning.”

    President Obama cited the troop movements on Thursday in announcing new sanctions against officials with ties to Mr. Putin and in opening the door to broader measures against key industrial sectors.

    He warned Russia against further incursions after its annexation of Crimea.

    Ms. Rice’s comments, which set the stage for Mr. Obama’s trip to Europe next week, suggested that the tensions between the United States and Russia were continuing to intensify. Asked if the Ukraine crisis was prompting a “fundamental reassessment” of America’s relationship with Russia, she answered in a single word: “Yes.”

    Russia’s integration into the global political and economic order after the Cold War, Ms. Rice said, was predicated on its adherence to international rules and norms. “What we have seen in Ukraine is obviously a very egregious departure from that,” she said.

    Her comments were among the bluntest of any ranking administration official since the crisis began, and were even more striking because they came hours after Mr. Putin signaled that he wanted to halt the cycle of tit-for-tat retribution between Moscow and Washington.

    The White House, it seems, is paying less attention to Mr. Putin’s words than to the movement of his troops, described as a mix of infantry, motorized and airborne forces. Officials also worry about clashes with Ukrainian soldiers, who are increasingly agitated. Ukrainian officials have told American officials that Russia could use that as a pretext to move.

    “This is obviously a very worrying and fragile situation,” Ms. Rice said, “but we have been very much admiring of the posture that the Ukrainian people and government have been taking.”

    On Thursday, Russia’s defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that “the troops he has arrayed along the border are there to conduct exercises only, that they had no intention of crossing the border into Ukraine, and that they would take no aggressive action,” according to the Pentagon’s press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby.

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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    This is not an American issue or a matter for America to lead on - this is a matter for the United Nations to deal with and lead on, if indeed it is still or ever was a body that protects the territorial integrity of member nations.

    That I can see, there are no direct American national security or national interests at play in the Ukraine. As such, any direct involvement by America in the Ukraine would be no different and perhaps no less unlawful than Russian involvement there. America has no direct treaty relationship with Ukraine that requires military intervention at this time and without UN sanction. Even NATO nor the EU have such treaty relationships, even though the EU apparently has hastily signed off on economic and other relations with the interim government in Ukraine.

    For all anyone knows, the "free" elections in the Ukraine coming up in May may once again seat another pro-Russia alignment party in Ukraine government. No interference on the part of outside nations should commence until that official Ukrainian government is elected and seated and they officially request outside aid.
    you seem to forget that we are part of the united nations leadership.
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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    Quote Originally Posted by Unitedwestand13 View Post
    you seem to forget that we are part of the united nations leadership.
    I have forgotten no such thing. America leading at the UN as a member nation is entirely different from America leading as a nation.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    I have forgotten no such thing.
    if the UN gets involved there is absolute necessity for the united states to participate.
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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    Mornin' Mildsteel. This might be of an interest as well. I put it up earlier.


    Ukraine's east rallies for secession referendum.....

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe...eferendum.html

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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    What does Ukrainian law say about a majority imperative as far as referendums go? Because last time I checked, the polls in the Ukraine say that something like 60% don't want to split up the Ukraine or join the EU. (And those are polls pre and post Russian intervention.)

    As for American intervention... that's already happening. The whole reason why the interim government came to power and the protests disabled the country was because of CIA involvement. It's also why Russia is there now. Maybe if these two powers (but mostly the U.S. in this case) would stop playing puppeteer in silent continuation of the Cold War, the Ukraine could actually determine what is best or itself.

    A referendum is just yet another bait and switch to try and make this look like democratic action. The interim government is unlawful and not a representation of what the majority of the Ukraine wants. They were propped up with outside support. Western globalists and elites have a vested interest in continuing to expand the EU's regionality and the Ukraine is a worthy prize.

    I'd love to see Russia continuing to give the U.S. and EU the middle finger as it always does, because they can't touch it. Russia and China are the only two countries on this planet right now who are not under their thumb and they hate them for it.

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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    Quote Originally Posted by Unitedwestand13 View Post
    if the UN gets involved there is absolute necessity for the united states to participate.
    I wouldn't doubt that at all. I seem to recall that those on the left in the US were adamant that no aggression by American forces, such as in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. could be legitimate unless it was sanctioned by the UN as was Afghanistan and Iraq during Desert Storm under the first President Bush. One could argue that all of those had/have direct American national security/national interests involved whereas Ukraine is far less so, if at all.
    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley Jr.

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    Re: Thousands in east Ukraine rally for secession referendum

    Quote Originally Posted by MMC View Post
    Mornin' Mildsteel. This might be of an interest as well. I put it up earlier.

    Ukraine's east rallies for secession referendum.....

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe...eferendum.html
    Thanks, I didn't see that.

    BTW, I just ran across this old article that I think is highly interesting.

    Editorial Notebook - Woodrow Wilson's Dynamite - NYTimes.com

    Woodrow Wilson's Dynamite

    By KARL E. MEYER
    Published: August 14, 1991

    If one were to choose the man of the hour in post-Communist Europe, his name might well be Woodrow Wilson, long deceased and seldom celebrated. For he was the President who memorably informed Congress in 1918 that "self-determination is not a mere phrase. It is an imperative principle of action which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril."

    From the Baltics to the Adriatic, from the Ukraine to the Balkans, oppressed millions have given new life to his imperative -- and often troublesome -- principle. Indeed, if results are the measure, Wilson has proved a more successful revolutionary than Lenin.

    Wilson's anxious Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, sensed at once that self-determination was a phrase "simply loaded with dynamite." As he presciently remarked in a confidential memorandum in December 1918:

    "What effect will it have on the Irish, the Indians, the Egyptians, and the nationalists among the Boers? Will it not breed discontent, disorder, and rebellion? Will not the Mohammadans of Syria and Palestine and possibly of Morocco and Tripoli rely on it? How can it be harmonized with Zionism, to which the President is practically committed?"

    Lansing's alarm was shared by the imperial victors in World War I, who successfully diluted Wilsonian doctrines at the Versailles peace conference. Britain, France and Italy firmly rejected self-determination for their own colonies; they applied the principle only to defeated powers, and did so inconsistently. Even so, however grudgingly, they lent force to a slogan seized on by aggrieved peoples everywhere to challenge imposed rule.

    To be sure, the phrase was trumpeted by dictators as well as democrats. Lenin's Bolsheviks championed self-determination -- for those not under Soviet control. Hitler claimed the right for those Herrenvolk who were outside Germany, while subjugating whole nations without pity or scruple.

    Lansing's initial misgivings were prudent. If Wilson was right, he asked, was Lincoln wrong to deny self-determination to seceding Confederate states? And what unit did Wilson have in mind: a race, territory or a community? "Without a definite unit which is practical," he wrote, "application of this principle is dangerous to peace and stability."


    These are sand traps that Wilson largely and loftily ignored. To dissolve a union by unilateral secession can nullify democracy and sunder a nation that owes its existence to an act of self-determination. Few states are tidily homogeneous; frontiers are often disputed. Nor is it self-evident that a passport and national flag are essential to self-determination: Switzerland's several peoples have cohabited in a single state for centuries.

    Yet qualifying a principle is very different from rejecting it. Lansing, a realist, sourly scorned Wilson's vision as "the dream of an idealist who failed to realize the danger until too late. . . . What a calamity that the phrase was ever uttered!" Try telling that to a billion people whose liberation has been speeded by a doctrine enshrined in the first article of the United Nations Charter.

    Wilson, who died defeated and embittered, has earned the epitaph bestowed by Londoners on Sir Christopher Wren: If you wish to see his monument, just look around.

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