Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reports on Ukraine

Cenk Uygur reports on recent remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Do Putin's Remarks Mean Significant Violence Is Coming? The Young Turks 04/17/2014:

I would prefer to hear Cenk being a little more critical toward US policy on Ukraine. But he's reporting on Putin's position in that report.

Euronews has also been running English-language reports on Russia and the Ukraine crisis, the following two considerably longer than most of their YouTube video reports.

Putin Q&A: 'We can't live separately with Ukraine' (recorded live feed) 04/17/2014:

I you want to spend a while listening to the official Russian position on this, you can check out this four-hour Euronews report of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talking about it, Lavrov speaks on Ukraine crisis after Geneva talks (recorded live feed) 04/17/2014; the Lavrov part starts just after 3:33:00; the rest has news on various things, including the Ukraine crisis:

This is a report from Sophie Shevardnadze, the granddaughter of former Soviet Foreign Minister and later President of the nation of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze, from the Russian state TV channel RT. Since Putin recently tightened political control over RT, I've become even more skeptical in evaluating their reports. But this one features former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, with whose political commentary I'm familiar, talking about Ukraine, who is currently working with Tell the Word, a project of the Church of the Saviour. Toward the end, they start flirting with each other, which is cute. Europe will now think twice before following Washington's orders - Ex-CIA Officer SophieCo 04/14/2014:

If you want to hear four hours of Putin, a longer version of the question-and-answer session reported above, RT has it, Putin's annual Q&A session 2014 (FULL VIDEO) 04/17/2014:

Here are a couple of video reports from the PBS Newshour, presumably a less exotic source for American news consumers than RT.

Tentative deal for Eastern Ukraine follows night of violence 04/17/2014:

U.S. cautious about diplomatic deal to calm Ukraine conflict 04/14/2014:

Robert Perry's article about the influence of the violent far right in the current Ukrainian government is also worthwhile, Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass Consortium News 04/16/2014

... in my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan – when much of the government’s modern propaganda structure was created – there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush’s Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets.

But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of “propaganda” when their accounts – though surely not perfect – are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing.

There’s also the added risk that this latest failure by the U.S. press corps is occurring on the border of Russia, a nuclear-armed state that – along with the United States – could exterminate all life on the planet. The biased U.S. news coverage is now feeding into political demands to send U.S. military aid to Ukraine’s coup regime.

Fred Kaplan is one well-known defense writer who has kept his head about the current crisis. He writes in Why Putin May Stand Down Slate 04/14/2014:

It's worth remembering how this crisis got underway. Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, was about to form an association with the European Union. Putin offered him $15 billion in aid if he backed away. He took the bribe. Western-leaning activists took to the street. Yanukovych cracked down, prompting thousands more to join the protests. Under pressure, Yanukovych fled, the parliament appointed a new mostly pro-EU government—enticing Putin to exploit the instability, seize Crimea, amass troops on the Ukrainian border, incite (if not formally organize) separatist rebellions just across that border, and squeeze.
And as Perry reminds us, the US encouragement of the opposition was open and obvious:

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland was a cheerleader for the uprising, reminding Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their "European aspirations," discussing who should replace Yanukovych (her choice, Arseniy Yatsenyuk became the new prime minister), and literally passing out cookies to the protesters in the Maidan. (Nuland is married to neoconservative superstar Robert Kagan, a founder of the Project for the New American Century.) [my emphasis]
This was prior to the most recent agreement. But Kaplan speculates that Russia is not looking to invade eastern Ukraine:

But Obama and the other Western leaders also know they’re not going to go to war over Ukraine. Putin knows this, too. At the same time, if he’s at all rational (and this is the worrying thing—it’s not clear that he is), Putin would calculate that escalation is not a winning strategy for him. He could invade the eastern slices of Ukraine, especially around Donetsk, but he couldn’t go much further. The move would rile the rest of Ukraine to take shelter under the EU’s (and maybe NATO’s) wing, and it would rouse the Western nations to rearm to an extent unseen in 20 years (and to a level that the Russian economy could not match).

This would not be a revival of the Cold War. The Cold War was a global contest, in which the capitalist West and the communist East vied not only in the occasional proxy war but also for ideological allies. No countries, besides a handful not worth having as allies, support Russia in this standoff, and many of the neutrals would join the opposition if Russian troops crossed into mainland Ukraine.

1 comment:

Haywood Djablomi said...

Cenk Uygur is and has always been a tiresome blowhard. You do your own credibility no favors by your efforts to pump life into his.