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erla
08-10-2006, 14:04
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/10/07/russia.murder.ap/index.html

http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/0610/08/NYHETER-08s14-anja5-94_438.jpg - Taken away by the ambulance

This is the saddest news in a long time. She was my favorite journalist out there, and now she's dead. I had a feeling it was going to happen sooner or later... but so soon?

It took me quite a while to let it sink in and today I've been near tears everytime I think about it. :(

She's a true hero. She lived and died for the freedom of speech. Hopefully this will affect Russia in a positive way, and let journalists get the freedom they're supposed to have. There are so many of them who are stalked and threatened and they should not end up the same way as Anna did for wanting to spread the word of truth.

freddie
08-10-2006, 18:00
Sad indeed. :(

But let me get this straight... people are actually acussing the goverent of sponsoring, maybe even organizing the hit, right? I hardly see that as an option, imo. The goverment knew damn well all fingers will be pointed at them if something happens to her (since she was so anti-establishment). That was probably her greatest safety measure. If anything I think the opposition forces might be responsible for this horrid crime.

Rachel
08-10-2006, 18:06
The goverment knew damn well all fingers will be pointed at them if something happens to her.Since when has that stopped a government?

freddie
08-10-2006, 20:29
Since when has that stopped a government?

They want to be on good terms with the world now that economic gain (especially from the oil industry) is starting to kick in. They know they can achieve a great deal by trading with the rest of the world. To do that at least from the outside things must appear as if Russia is not an iron-fisted dictatorship. This incident works directly against their efforts to perpetuate that image. The whole world's pointing fingers at the Russian establishment. Exactly what the opposition wants.

erla
08-10-2006, 21:32
It's definetly a political murder though. I don't think Putin or the government made this happen though. If that would be the case, it would have been done with much more carefulness.

Besides, the russian nationalists and racists are getting more and more. It's something president Putin really needs to stop. It's getting way out of hand.
Anna could sometimes seem to defend terrorists and so on so forth, and I believe this has ticked of many nationalists in Russia.

Anna was supposed to publish some very "sensitive" materials to the newspaper today... So this could have been a reason for maybe the "security police" or the "national special forces", I don't know the english names. And President Putins birthday was yesterday, many think that this could've been a "gift" to him, which I kind of think is ridiculous.

The Suspect

http://img.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/0610/08/murd.jpg
http://img.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/0610/08/mord.jpg

Rachel
08-10-2006, 21:40
They want to be on good terms with the world now that economic gain (especially from the oil industry)Governments don't give a shit what another government does as long as they get their oil for a good price. Especially America.

freddie
09-10-2006, 00:32
Governments don't give a shit what another government does as long as they get their oil for a good price. Especially America.

Well... State Department strongly condemned the murder. :p

And President Putins birthday was yesterday, many think that this could've been a "gift" to him, which I kind of think is ridiculous.

One that might lessen his political popularity. Fabulous gift.

Rachel
09-10-2006, 12:12
Well... State Department strongly condemned the murder. :pOh come on!! You really think they are gonna sat "yes, we approve of this murder." Riiiiiiight. They make it obvious without actually say the words.

freddie
09-10-2006, 13:50
Oh come on!! You really think they are gonna sat "yes, we approve of this murder." Riiiiiiight. They make it obvious without actually say the words.

But they actually DON'T approve it. :p This writer was a serious pain in the ass for Putin's administration, hence she was also a lovely little agent provocateur for the US goverment, since the US doesn't trust Russia as far as tehy can throw them.

In any case, it's an extremely sad event. Just shows you how ruthless people can be when it comes to ambitions of power and dominance. Even if she wasn't killed by the goverment it was stilll no doubt a political assassination.

Rachel
09-10-2006, 14:01
Freddie, sorry I read your post wrong, I thought you were referring to Russian government *blind*

Anyway, as I wanted to say even if there was proof Russian government were behind this it would make no difference America would carry on getting their oil regardless as with most governments. Most governments wouldn't give a shit what was happening as long as it didn't effect their country in any way (and yes I have to say it again, especially America.) American goverment are just saying what they know they have to say.

forre
13-10-2006, 12:49
What surprises me the most is the reaction of the Russian press. She's called "enemy of the nation", "a person who professionally betrayed her motherland", etc. I got this freaky feeling of déjà vu when a row of repressions took place during the time of Soviet. Is Russia getting back to the Soviet lies and denial era? I can't believe it.

Linda16
13-10-2006, 13:09
She's called "enemy of the nation", "a person who professionally betrayed her motherland", etc

Really? Then it is really presumable that Putin's administration (ex-KGBists) is behind the murder. I had never thought that he will make such an obvious move. Perhaps he is not afraid at all... and thinks that the opinion of West will not affect anything any more. When it is so, then it really a very dangerous signal. Also for us, in my country.

haku
13-10-2006, 15:39
Also for us, in my country.Estonia is now an EU Member State and part of Nato, Russia won't risk any conflict with the EU or Nato. However, we can expect CIS countries to be more and more controlled by Russia again.

The EU commission was right in thinking that after the collapse of the USSR, the window of opportunity to expand to the East would be very narrow before Russia would grow stronger again.
Fortunately with Romania and Bulgaria joining in 3 months, the process will be complete and the EU will be in full contact with the CIS border from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea, a border which could very well become a new iron curtain in the coming years.
The fast EU enlargement will probably be seen as a smart political move when people will look back at that period in the future.

haku
17-10-2006, 01:40
More signs of Russia slipping deeper into totalitarianism and wanting to regain control over the former USSR countries, this interview with Russia's EU ambassador (http://euobserver.com/9/22654) Vladimir Chizhov is quite telling.

haku
19-10-2006, 14:20
And another political assassination (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6065586.stm) in Russia, in the far east this time.

I especially like this:The town prosecutor, the police chief and the local judge had all taken annual leave and had left Dalnegorsk during the election campaignTalk about looking the other way while the dirty work is being done. Kinda shows the state of Russia these days.

The man was a member of Putin's party though, so there seem to be an opposition as radical as the party in power.

haku
20-10-2006, 14:53
I have widened the topic to Russian politics in general.

Here's a disturbing article (http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20061018/54910113.html) on Russian juries acquitting people who have committed hate crimes. Racist attacks have greatly increased in recent years and now juries are simply acquitting the attackers as if killing foreigners is not even a crime anymore.


*****
Vladimir Putin has pulled a Dubbya, he was having a press conference with Israeli President Moshe Katsav (who is currently accused of multiple rapes) and at the end as he was about to leave, he said:
"What a mighty man he turns out to be! He raped 10 women - I would never have expected this from him. He surprised us all - we all envy him!"
The comment was only meant for the presidential entourage but journalists overheard it.
The Kremlin admits the Russian President said that, but says that you have to understand Russian to get the finesse of the comment.
BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6069136.stm)

Argos
20-10-2006, 20:10
Racist attacks have greatly increased in recent years and now juries are simply acquitting the attackers as if killing foreigners is not even a crime anymore.
It's not a problem of law but of selecting the lay judges. They represent the society and it's not easy to sort out racists. What can a presiding judge do, when he sees that he is surrounded by people who will certainly bend the law to their private (or public) opinions?


... he said:
"What a mighty man he turns out to be! He raped 10 women - I would never have expected this from him. He surprised us all - we all envy him!"
Quite obviously pure sarcasm and a sign of deep contempt, but anyway, such words should never be said by the leader of any nation.

haku
21-10-2006, 15:02
It's not a problem of law but of selecting the lay judges. They represent the society and it's not easy to sort out racists. What can a presiding judge do, when he sees that he is surrounded by people who will certainly bend the law to their private (or public) opinions?Oh i totally agree, popular juries are completely unreliable, i've never been in favor of popular juries, they introduce too much prejudice in the trial process.

*****
Vladimir Putin was at an EU-Russia meeting yesterday evening and he openly hinted at a Russian military intervention in Georgia (http://euobserver.com/9/22692). He accuses Georgia of wanting to "take back" the secessionist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian army could therefore intervene to "defend" those regions.
The Russian parliament has been looking for legal ways to annex Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the Russian Federation for quite some time now.

haku
25-10-2006, 13:39
Vladimir Putin is warning the Russian people of Geogia's war plans (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6083644.stm). That kind of public speech is generally to prepare the public opinion to an imminent military intervention.

haku
24-11-2006, 20:13
Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko who was investigating the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya has been assassinated by radioactive poisoning, polonium-210 to be precise, which is something extremely difficult to obtain unless you work for the secret services of a country with nuclear capabilities of course.
Radioactive element found in blood of Russian ex-spy

Traces of radioactive polonium have been found in the blood of the deceased Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) said on Friday. His urine also tested positive for radiation.

“This is an unprecedented event in the UK,” said HPA chief executive Pat Troop. “It is the first time someone in the UK has apparently been deliberately poisoned with a radioactive agent.”

The agency is now assessing the health risks posed to members of the public who may have come into contact with Litvinenko, including family members and hospital staff who cared for him during the weeks he spent in hospital. They are also trying to decide the safest way for pathologists to conduct an autopsy of his body, and indeed whether such a procedure is safe enough to be performed at all.

Litvinenko, aged 43, died on Thursday of heart failure after claiming he had been poisoned in a London restaurant. He was formerly an agent of the Soviet, then the Russian, security service. He specialised in investigating organised crime and its involvement with corrupt officials.

High levels of radiation have been discovered in a central London hotel that Litvinenko frequented, and at the sushi restaurant where he said he ate on 1 November 2006. The restaurant has now been closed, said the HPA.

“Tests have established that Mr Litvinenko had a significant quantity of the radioactive isotope polonium-210 in his body,” the HPA announced on Friday. “It is not yet clear how this entered his body. Police are investigating this.”

Dissolvable salt

Litvinenko was not admitted to London's University College Hospital until 17 November. His symptoms, reported to include hair loss, dehydration, vomiting and a very low white blood cell count, are consistent with poisoning by a radioactive material.

To poison someone, polonium would most likely have been chemically combined in some type of dissolvable salt, for example polonium nitrate, experts told New Scientist. In this form the material could easily have been added to his food and ingested.

Polonium is a radioactive element that is used industrially as an anti-static material. It is difficult to get hold of and not used regularly by research scientists, but very small traces of it occur naturally. The metal is usually made by bombarding the element bismuth with neutrons.

"To poison someone, large amounts of polonium-210 are required and this would have to be manmade, perhaps from a particle accelerator or a nuclear reactor," said Dudley Goodhead at the UK's MRC Radiation and Genome Stability Unit. “Polonium has a half-life of 138 days. This means that if that was the poison it will still be in the body and in the area – which makes it relatively easy to identify.”

Knocking out electrons

Polonium-210 decays to lead-206, which is stable. During the decay it emits alpha particles – two neutrons combined with two protons. These are not able to penetrate most materials, including skin. This means that Litvinenko would have had to ingest the polonium or have it enter his body through a wound or by inhaling it, said Roger Cox, director of the UK’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards.

“Alpha particles are ionising. When they strike tissue they knock electrons out of molecules. Such damage can in serious cases wreck cellular machinery resulting in cancer, radiation sickness, or worse," said chemist Andrea Sella at University College London.

But the short-range action of alpha particles decreases the risks faced by people who may have come into contact with Litvinenko. Normal hygiene practices would reduce the risks still further, since people would have to ingest or breathe in his bodily fluids or faeces to be at risk, Cox added.

Many details are still unknown, such as how much of the material may have been given to Litvinenko. Cox was only able to say that a fatal dose would have to be something greater than 5 grays (a gray is a measurement of the amount of radiation absorbed by body tissue).

Organ malfunction

Determining the amount of polonium originally given will involve a “backwards analysis”, taking into consideration the radiation currently in his body, the days that have passed since it entered his body, and the half-life of the isotope.

In low doses over a long period of time, radiation poisoning produces few symptoms, but an increased risk of cancer. In high doses – as in this case, apparently – organs begin to malfunction within a few days to a few weeks, Cox said.

Radioactive poisoning was once used against dissidents by the Stasi, the former security service of East Germany. The Stasi favoured the element scandium (see Cold war, hot secret).

Litvinenko left Russia after reportedly falling out with President Vladimir Putin over a failure to crack down on corruption. His job is said to have made him many enemies. Those enemies, he claimed, poisoned him at a meal in a London restaurant on 1 November 2006. He was reportedly a close associate of exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, himself a politically controversial figure in Russia.

On Friday, the British Home Secretary John Reid stated that police have called in experts “to search for any residual radioactive material at a number of locations".

New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn10659)And a BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6180682.stm).

marina
25-11-2006, 11:33
That's just awful :(
I have read yesterday and today on MSN news about Litvinenko but wasn't sure how exactly they managed to poison him with polonium...salt during the meal , ex? though ..who take salt when eating sushi ??

------
what do you make of it ? Putin?

freddie
25-11-2006, 13:24
I'm willing to bet Putin nor any part of the Russian Goverment is involved. It'd be kid of silly of them to do so, since of course they'd be the first one people would point fingers at. Basically what's happening now is they (the Russian Goverment) have been caught with a smoking gun, eventhough they more than likely didn't fire it.

If anything I think it's more than plausable that someone else set Putin up. It certainly doesn't do their international reputation any favours. First Anna Politkovskaya murder, now this. Both incidents widely believed by the general public to be the doing of Russian Goverment (or even by direct orders of Putin).

nikki
25-11-2006, 15:04
I remember reading that Anna Politkovskaya wasn't the first journalist to be murdered from that newspaper. At least one other person has been killed while investigating organised crime.

I don't think Putin was involved with this. It all seems too convenient and he has more to lose than gain. I can't help thinking he's been set up. I believe there's quite a long list of people who would wish to do that. The question is who has the means to kill Litvinenko with something like polonium-210 ?

More things I can't help thinking - why didn't the Italian bloke eat anything in the sushi place ? Why have traces of radiation been found in other places ? Had Litvinenko gradually been poisoned ?

I was a bit alarmed to see that polonium-210 is found in cigarettes, I'm so glad I stopped smoking !

haku
26-11-2006, 00:45
Well, i don't know who's done it but…

First, i don't think Putin would have any problem ordering an assassination, he wouldn't even blink.
Second, i don't think Putin cares at all what foreigners think, he's holding everybody by the balls with an efficient energy blackmail, he can do whatever he wants with no repercussion.
Third, the FSB (ex-KGB) is a state within the state, it conducts operations on its own. Several ex-KGB defectors have been assassinated in the past years around the world, and it's no secret that the FSB is behind them, it's a general clean-up after the loose years of the Yeltsin era.
Fourth, everything goes back to a series of dodgy terrorist attacks that happened in Russia and were officially blamed on Tchetchens with no proof and even contradictory elements, everybody who has come too close to that affair has been eliminated one way or another, Politkovskaya and Litvinenko are just the last names of a long list.
Finally, polonium 210 is not something you can buy at your local pharmacy, it has to be produced in a nuclear reactor or a particle accelerator (and i've read that only 100g of polonium are produced globally every year), only state organizations can obtain that kind of products.

Rachel
26-11-2006, 00:50
I'm willing to bet Putin nor any part of the Russian Goverment is involved. It'd be kid of silly of them to do so, since of course they'd be the first one people would point fingers at. Basically what's happening now is they (the Russian Goverment) have been caught with a smoking gun, eventhough they more than likely didn't fire it.

If anything I think it's more than plausable that someone else set Putin up. It certainly doesn't do their international reputation any favours. First Anna Politkovskaya murder, now this. Both incidents widely believed by the general public to be the doing of Russian Goverment (or even by direct orders of Putin).I was watching a thing yesterday on BBC News 24 about this. There was this guy was an expert on this. According to this guy no one other than government sources would be able to get hold of this kind of thing. There is record of every mg of this produced. Either it was Putin and he's trying to get the guy to shup up about Politkovskaya (which is most probably the case) or he's being set up by another countries government. Either way, it will do no halm to Putin. People have to keep him happy as he can use oil as a weapon. He is pretty untouchable.

Argos
26-11-2006, 01:03
It makes no sense to use Po210, which is extremely expensive and even extremely dangerous to handle for the assassinator and would immediately point with the finger at Putin himself. If he wanted to kill Litvinenko, he could have done it much smarter. As far as I could follow, Po210 is only supposed to be the poison, because of it's almost non-detectibility, but not proved. Anyway Russian dissidents die like flies nowadays, creepy times!

freddie
27-11-2006, 17:09
Yeah it's all extremely fishy. If Putin doesn't care what people think of him or his regime, then why would he bother assassinating an ex-spy who was investigating a murder of a journalist (of which Putin couldn't give a damn just as well). If Putin was so careless and uninterested about what the world thinks of him he'd just leave the ex-spy be - no one would take him seriously anyway and everything would be shruged of as another one of those crazy consipracy theories (like it always has been).

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not saying some people who're associated with Russian politics aren't involved. But if anything I'd point my finger at the opposition. My suspect? Vladimir Zhirinovski. He publically stated a spy who goes abroad, decides to trade goverment secrets and thus turns it's back on the motherland deserves to be shot.

Argos
27-11-2006, 18:51
If Putin had ordered the murder, he would have a strange sense of humour. First he let kill Politkovskaya on his birthday, shaking hands with numerous foreign politicians and diplomats, then he let kill Litvinenko just before the EU - Russia summit, strange behaviour in foreign policy.

The last people Litvinenko met, was a CIA-man and two Beresovski-footmen, so there could be some quite different speculations.

if the speculations, that the murders of Litvinenko and Politkovskaya are directly connected, which is supported by 'Novaya Gazeta', the employer of her and one of the very few really independent newspapers, then there is evidence that the de facto 'president' of Chechnya, Ramsan Kadyrov is involved ("Those, who I had to kill, I have already killed, and those behind them I will kill - to the last man, as long as I am not killed myself or arrested. I will kill as long as I live!"). He is now old enough to be president and can't be interested in revelations of Politkovskaya or her murder.

Another possibility is the power struggle of the wannabie future presidents. Putin will not prolong his presidency and in 2008 there will be a new one. A dissident ex-FSB man could be quite dangerous for a not so 'clean' candidate.

thrilling whodunnit-quiz!

Valito
30-01-2007, 21:50
I've read the Po210 was in his tea, and according to the newspaper the British police was investigating the hotel, I think it was Millennium. Besides, an Italian man who had met Litvinenko the day he was poisoned was contaminated as well, so the article explained that rests of Po210 were likely to find in everything the man touched. About the "wannabe future presidents" as Argos well said, what do you think of Kasparov? I don't know much of him, only he's a great chess-player :D (Maybe his strategies help him, hehe)

haku
01-02-2007, 17:27
Gagged babies (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6319439.stm) in Yekaterinburg hospital. You'd think that with the collapsing birth rate, the rare babies would be treated better.

QueenBee
01-02-2007, 17:42
haku, oh my god, that is horrible... makes me sick :none:

haku
25-03-2007, 02:46
Russian opposition demo quashed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6492447.stm)

Russia slowly sinking back into authoritarianism.

Amy_Lee_Rocks
25-03-2007, 16:47
Gagged babies (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6319439.stm) in Yekaterinburg hospital. You'd think that with the collapsing birth rate, the rare babies would be treated better.

woah, poor babies..
A russian kid is on my mind to adopt
later in the future. As well as an African kid.

Talyubittu
25-03-2007, 17:59
Russian opposition demo quashed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6492447.stm)

Russia slowly sinking back into authoritarianism.

How do you figure that? You cannot organize an Anti-Government rally anywhere in the world. It's entirely subversive to the country you're living in! Protesting is one thing - but rallying for an overthrow of the Government is another.

haku
25-03-2007, 18:12
You cannot organize an Anti-Government rally anywhere in the world. It's entirely subversive to the country you're living in! Protesting is one thing - but rallying for an overthrow of the Government is another.It was a simple protest against the government, which is perfectly legal in any democracy.
Those people weren't out there to "overthrow the government", give me a break. :rolleyes:

A similar protest (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6493441.stm) met the same response in Belarus actually.

Amy_Lee_Rocks
25-03-2007, 20:05
What are the requirements to adopt a Russian kid?

Talyubittu
25-03-2007, 20:38
What are the requirements to adopt a Russian kid?

Months of paperwork and checking and cross referencing to make sure you can provide a nice atmosphere and that you are financially able and all that happy stuff. it's extremely complicated - i dont think anyone here has specific detail. try googling it or finding a russian adoption agency site.

haku
26-03-2007, 15:42
Police beat protestors in Belarus and Russia

Riot police used fists and batons against peaceful demonstrators in Minsk on Sunday making 30 to 60 arrests. The events come one day after similar scenes in Russia, with Russian president Vladimir Putin sending the EU a barbed birthday message.

The Belarus violence broke out in mid-afternoon when a column of some 3,000 to 5,000 protestors tried to break through a police cordon to get to October Square. No serious injuries were reported but a Polish MP, Malgorzata Gosiewska and a PAP reporter, Bozena Kuzawinska, were each punched several times.

Between 10,000 and 15,000 people came out in total, making the rally the biggest since last year's protests against the fake elections that kept Europe's "last dictator" president Aleksander Lukashenko in power. Polish MEP Janusz Onyszkiewicz and the German ambassador to Belarus were also in the crowd.

Many of the protestors carried blue EU banners and flags, a revolutionary symbol in Belarus, and chanted "Belarus to Europe!" as well as German chancellor Angela Merkel's words - "Europe is with you" - which had been relayed by media from the EU 50th birthday party in Berlin.

The two people in charge of the riot squads, Dzmitry Paulichenka and Yury Padabed are already on the EU's 35-strong visa ban list, which was unanimously extended for one more year just a few days before the weekend's events.

"Today despite all the obstacles we have proved that we are one people that want to live in Europe in a free and independent state," one of the opposition youth leaders, Mikita Sasim, told crowds gathered outside Minsk's library, NGO Charter97 reports.

"Despite a campaign of fear, people came out on the streets to protest. It's disturbed the authorities, which answered the only way they know how, with violence," one of the opposition leaders, Aleksander Milinkevich told Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.

Mr Milinkevich and his wife were also punched and kicked to the ground on Sunday. The night before, his car was doused with acid by unknown vandals. His ally, Aleskander Kozulin, is in jail. Other opposition leaders, such as Kristina Shatsikava, have been put into mental asylums.

Belarus authorities said the number of protestors was just 4,000 people, Russian media report. "The suppression of any political action associated with violating public order, posing a threat to people's security and resisting the authorities is a quite appropriate policy in any democratic state. I am certain that the fuss over such actions will weaken," Lukashenko spokesman Alexander Konovalov said.

Russian violence day earlier
The events in Minsk mirrored Saturday's violence in the Russian town of Nizhny Novgorod, where riot police beat crowds protesting against president Vladimir Putin's roll back of democratic reforms in the run-up to next year's presidential elections. About 30 arrests were made.

Similar protests were also handled roughly by police in St Petersburg in recent weeks, with some western powers - but not the EU - recently voicing concern about the internal drift back to pre-perestrojka days in Europe's largest country.

"The trends, unfortunately, are not going in the right direction," senior US diplomat David Kramer told EUobserver in Brussels last week, citing pressure on free media and independent NGOs as key problems.

The EU is less keen to publicly criticise Moscow, with the German EU presidency recently burying a UK proposal to try and send OSCE election monitors to the parliamentary elections this December.

Brussels and Moscow's relationship is not an easy one since 2004 enlargement, with trade commissioner Peter Mandelson this weekend saying the EU may block Russia's WTO entry bid if it does not lift an embargo on Polish meat exports.

The meat issue and wider energy gripes have seen Poland veto talks on a new EU-Russia treaty since late last year. Lithuania is threatening to do the same.

Happy birthday Russian style
Russian president Vladimir Putin on Sunday sent a birthday message to Berlin on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the EU's founding treaty. His words spoke of the European Union as a "growing authority" in global security problems.

But the increasingly autocratic leader also called for "mutual respect" and warned the EU27 leaders that "every interruption to dialogue is counter-productive" in an apparent reference to the stalled EU-Russia treaty negotiations.

"We cannot allow new dividing lines to appear in Europe, allowing unilateral projects to be realised that endanger the interests and security of neighbours," he added, on Poland and the Czech Republic's plans to host a US missile defence system in the future.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/23777?rss_rk=1)

Amy_Lee_Rocks
13-04-2007, 01:11
Someone enlighten me about Beslan, that attack that happend back
in Sept 1st of 2004. To my knowledge, i really dont remember hearing anything
about this on the news. So i really dont know what went on.

haku
13-04-2007, 01:32
Someone enlighten me about Beslan, that attack that happend back
in Sept 1st of 2004. To my knowledge, i really dont remember hearing anything
about this on the news. So i really dont know what went on.Wikipedia has a page about it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beslan_school_hostage_crisis), it's rather detailed.

Talyubittu
13-04-2007, 02:37
Beslan was so sad...I almost cry when I watch t.A.T.u. sing Nichya at the charity event for it.

Amy_Lee_Rocks
13-04-2007, 02:54
Wikipedia has a page about it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beslan_school_hostage_crisis), it's rather detailed.

Thank you,

Its pretty sad for these things to happen in the world.
Inosent lives are taken away from people.
Why do people have to suffer?
Why so much hate?
Let hate be the enemy and love be the friend.

Talyubittu
13-04-2007, 02:57
Thank you,

Its pretty sad for these things to happen in the world.
Inosent lives are taken away from people.
Why do people have to suffer?
Why so much hate?
Let hate be the enemy and love be the friend.

Вечер без любви
Утро без обиды
ЛЮДИ ИНВАЛИДЫ
ЛЮДИ ИНВАЛИДЫ

:(

haku
22-04-2007, 00:21
A recent chilling story about women who were abducted and forced into prostitution by a gang. This gang was stopped but many others are operating in pretty much every Russian city, Russia has become an international hub for girls trafficking.

Over four years Urals gang killed 30 women (http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2010473,00.html)

la aurora
22-04-2007, 02:05
A recent chilling story about women who were abducted and forced into prostitution by a gang. This gang was stopped but many others are operating in pretty much every Russian city, Russia has become an international hub for girls trafficking.

Over four years Urals gang killed 30 women (http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2010473,00.html)

It's sick.

But what's even worse if that the author was wrong thinking that we here in Moscow get surprised and horrified hearing about such things happening in far province. We don't. We are used to seeing injured, disabled people, pregnant girls and small kids, prostitutes. They all have their 'price', they were either stolen, bought or forced to work for gangs with other methods. You can't live a day without seeing those in the metro trains begging for money they'll have to give to their 'owners' in the evening. And how many girls go for vacations abroad with someone they like and trust and never come back...

It's not everything Russia is about though. This thread overall is quite depressing :)

Talyubittu
22-04-2007, 02:23
True. Nobody ever points out the good in Russia.

freddie
22-04-2007, 08:15
The scale of the horror has reminded rich Muscovites of the brutal life out in the provinces where low pay and lack of work can drive ordinary people to shocking crimes.
That's just bullshit. There are billions of people in the world who work for scraps (infact the majority of mankind) and they don't all go around murdering young girls. These were just classic psychopaths.

Talyubittu
22-04-2007, 08:46
That's just bullshit. There are billions of people in the world who work for scraps (infact the majority of mankind) and they don't all go around murdering young girls. These were just classic psychopaths.

You are correct. You do not murder someone because you are poor. Thats is completely psychotic. Russian gangs are extremely out of hand and need to be dealt with. Unfortunately with the Government of Russia crumbling before our very eyes, I doub't that will happen.


Putin definately needs out of office. He's the Stalin of Democracy. He's taken the beatiful dream of brining freedom back to Russia, and he's running it into the ground, even if he is doing it slower than molasses.

la aurora
22-04-2007, 13:35
You are correct. You do not murder someone because you are poor. Thats is completely psychotic. Russian gangs are extremely out of hand and need to be dealt with. Unfortunately with the Government of Russia crumbling before our very eyes, I doub't that will happen.
This is not really an example of what you usually point out ax an example of 'russian gang'. Criminality and corruptioness is indeed a problem that needs to be dealt with but, as Freddie mentioned already, this example is a clinical case. Those people were more of maniacs than a criminal 'gang'. I don't really think our current government is to blame for all this. The level and frequiency of such crimes hasn't really noticebly increased since Putin became the president. I'd say it's the opposite actually. All these problems are here for a while and this country was a real mess in 90ies when our democracy began to be built. In last decade we became more civilized, more stable as a country and it did affect society in a positive way.

Putin definately needs out of office. He's the Stalin of Democracy. He's taken the beatiful dream of brining freedom back to Russia, and he's running it into the ground, even if he is doing it slower than molasses.

I hope you realize that no matter how civilized and peaceful we all are, we haven't really left some things behind. The echo of cold war can still be heard. USA, EU and Russia are still important figures on the chessboard this world is and their interests are often quite the opposite. I guess I also don't have to explain you the way media works. They get paid for bringing up scandals and critics. They have no reason in this world to praise the regime of strategical enemies of their country. It doesn't mean they are always wrong or that they tell you lies all the time. But it does make the whole picture a bit twisted. It's just like this thread. There are many positive things about this country but it only takes listing only neative things (even if they all are true) to give a random outsider an idea of Russia being a big criminal mess under dictatorship of Putin.

As I citizen of this country, I feel more secure and confident about us having a future that it was in pre-Putin Russia. Democracy is a great thing but it can get quite an ugly face in the country that isn't ready for it. Criminality, corruption - these are not the things Putin invented. It's something every president would have to deal with and it was quite hard to pay any attention to such things when political forces aren't any solid and keep confronting each other using all dirty methods available. Jornalists had much more material and objects for criticizing before and the fact that death of Politkovskaya was a 'loud' story here says a lot. This profession was much more risky before. Journalists were killed on regular basis. It always became a habbit hearing such things.

Right now I can do more things without having to pay a proper guy. People around me here in Moscow and relatives in further regions stopped trying to survive. Overall level of our lives became higher. Business companies here aren't playing 100% clean of course but they started paying bit less attention to criminal wars and bit more to their customers. We don't live on the bomb of revolution anymore. We have much more civilized dialogue with the rest of the world and less chances to get involved in new war. Media calmed down. They do provide critics of course but at least it stopped being such an obvious war of pre-paid compromates. I'd say society overall feels more stable and secure nowadays. No wonder Putin does have support of the masses. People of this country haven't seen anyone better for a very long while. He's not perfect of course but his 'strong hand' is something this country really needed.

^^ IMHO

PowerPuff Grrl
24-04-2007, 01:05
Sorry, don't know too much of the man, I was just a kid when he was around but what I saw of him was awesome. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5FIoocja4k)

RIP, Boris "Big Ol' Bear" Yeltsin. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2064265,00.html#article_continue)

Made Russia a republic (albiet, still maintaining most, if not all, Soviet elements), kinda overreacted to Chechnya, and probably should have asked China for some lessons in de-regulation. Remember kids, next time you want to de-socialize a country, start with the economy first then slowly spread it to civil liberties. And an oligarchy is not a free market.

haku
24-04-2007, 02:16
Well, due to my old age, i was already around when Yeltsin was in power and the man was such a breath of fresh air (maybe not up close, lol) from a Western point of view. He was the first (and only up to this date) Soviet/Russian leader who could put a smile on your face and didn't make you feel like he was an absolute enemy ready to destroy you (i remember Andropov, Chernenko or even Gorbatchev from when i was young, those guys were not funny).
During Yeltsin's time, it seemed like the Cold War was really behind us, that Russia had become a friendly country and could even join the Western bloc in international relations, the famous Yeltsin-Clinton laughing moment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQULzrgC3dg) really reflects how relaxed relations between Russian and the West were at that time.
It's weird to think back of those good times when you compare to what we have now with Putin which is basically Cold War II.

Yeltsin will be remembered in the West as a jovial guy who stood on a tank to defeat a coup. RIP Boris.

Talyubittu
24-04-2007, 02:38
This is not really an example of what you usually point out ax an example of 'russian gang'. Criminality and corruptioness is indeed a problem that needs to be dealt with but, as Freddie mentioned already, this example is a clinical case. Those people were more of maniacs than a criminal 'gang'. I don't really think our current government is to blame for all this. The level and frequiency of such crimes hasn't really noticebly increased since Putin became the president. I'd say it's the opposite actually. All these problems are here for a while and this country was a real mess in 90ies when our democracy began to be built. In last decade we became more civilized, more stable as a country and it did affect society in a positive way.



I hope you realize that no matter how civilized and peaceful we all are, we haven't really left some things behind. The echo of cold war can still be heard. USA, EU and Russia are still important figures on the chessboard this world is and their interests are often quite the opposite. I guess I also don't have to explain you the way media works. They get paid for bringing up scandals and critics. They have no reason in this world to praise the regime of strategical enemies of their country. It doesn't mean they are always wrong or that they tell you lies all the time. But it does make the whole picture a bit twisted. It's just like this thread. There are many positive things about this country but it only takes listing only neative things (even if they all are true) to give a random outsider an idea of Russia being a big criminal mess under dictatorship of Putin.

As I citizen of this country, I feel more secure and confident about us having a future that it was in pre-Putin Russia. Democracy is a great thing but it can get quite an ugly face in the country that isn't ready for it. Criminality, corruption - these are not the things Putin invented. It's something every president would have to deal with and it was quite hard to pay any attention to such things when political forces aren't any solid and keep confronting each other using all dirty methods available. Jornalists had much more material and objects for criticizing before and the fact that death of Politkovskaya was a 'loud' story here says a lot. This profession was much more risky before. Journalists were killed on regular basis. It always became a habbit hearing such things.

Right now I can do more things without having to pay a proper guy. People around me here in Moscow and relatives in further regions stopped trying to survive. Overall level of our lives became higher. Business companies here aren't playing 100% clean of course but they started paying bit less attention to criminal wars and bit more to their customers. We don't live on the bomb of revolution anymore. We have much more civilized dialogue with the rest of the world and less chances to get involved in new war. Media calmed down. They do provide critics of course but at least it stopped being such an obvious war of pre-paid compromates. I'd say society overall feels more stable and secure nowadays. No wonder Putin does have support of the masses. People of this country haven't seen anyone better for a very long while. He's not perfect of course but his 'strong hand' is something this country really needed.

^^ IMHO

I agree whole heartedly. Except for one thing...Democracy is a great thing but it can get quite an ugly face in the country that isn't ready for it.

Every country, every person, and everything deserves democracy and freedom. It is not democracy that turns an ugly face on the country it's being brought into, it's the country that turns against democracy.

______

Boris Yelstin...so so sad :(

la aurora
24-04-2007, 06:09
Every country, every person, and everything deserves democracy and freedom. It is not democracy that turns an ugly face on the country it's being brought into, it's the country that turns against democracy.


I didn't mean that democracy can be bad on it's own. I meant than in situation we had here after USSR collapse, such things as chaos, loyality to criminal things as so on were considered a part of democracy. By saying 'country that is not ready for democracy' I first of all meant the 'country that can't draw a strict line between democracy and something else, country where some proper democratic things don't work due to other factors that have to be dealt with first'.


Yeltsin indeed was an open-hearted, easy and somewhat funny person. He's been a part of the nation more than a president. He made many things that will be remembred as political mistakes but it's a big sress being a president of one of the biggest countries in the world coming through major changes. I don't think many people will have a chance to prove they can do better in similar situation. It happens once in many centuries.

R.I.P., Boris Nikolaevitch :(



I wouldn't compare him to either Putin or Gorbachov though. It's not only 'easy personality' that makes a good president. Grobachov and Putin are quite 'fun' on their own. They are just different.

haku
27-04-2007, 13:49
Estonia removes Soviet memorial (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6598269.stm) (and Russia goes insane over it)

Putin steps up missiles warning (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6599647.stm) (and talks of "mutual destruction" like in the good old days)

We are now officially in Cold War II.

la aurora
28-04-2007, 01:59
Estonia removes Soviet memorial (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6598269.stm) (and Russia goes insane over it)

One important thing the author of the article forgot to mention is that all this is happening with 9th May coming in less than 2 weeks... Victory Day one of the biggest and most important holidays in this country.

I don't know how important memories of the WW2 are in France but here it's considered one of the most painful and important events of 20th century. We've lost millions of people in this one. Almost every family in this huge country lost someone dear to them in this war. Our grandparents still have a lot of painful stories to share and scars to show. Landscape in some parts of the country still looks different from what it was before the bombing took place.

We, younger generation of russians, grew up in the atmosphere of deep sorrow and respect when it comes to WW2. 1941-1945 is the date everyone knows from a young age. We all saw a lot of movies about that time, learned our history lessons and yeah, call us stupid, but we treasure monuments reminding us of that time. And on 9th of May you don't really get surprised seeing a young punk-kid giving a flower to the old person he doesn't even know and saying 'thank you'.

Those people that were burried there in Estonia were not really communists or stalinists. They were fighting against a fierce power that tried to take over the Europe. They were fighting for their own land and people, for estonians, for the rest of the Europe and we don't really know how many silient heros found their last 'home' there. Removing the monument just because some unwanted people choose to meet near it and the authorities of the city can't find a couple of police guys to watch them is a choice that's really hard to understand. It does seem vandalic, disrespectful and unhuman. Monuments in general are known for being an attraction for various groups. Let's get rid of them all?

Saying that russian reaction on this is 'going insane' was rather cold-hearted and makes it sound like we made a big deal out of nothing. Mind you, Estonian officials knew exactly what russian reaction would be. And if they thought dealing with this reaction was easier than dealing with a small crowd of nationalists that gather there from time to time, I personally start to believe it's a 'provocation'.

Putin steps up missiles warning (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6599647.stm) (and talks of "mutual destruction" like in the good old days)

We are now officially in Cold War II.

Putin said what Bush would say if we suddenly 'felt insecure' and decided to place a couple of such bases somewhere in Latin America. Look at the map and check where USA, Russia and Poland with Czech Rep are situated. Administration of USA was acting rather agressivly in last years. They got out of several agreements they found 'uncomfortable' for them, they attacked Iraq without really asking for permission from the rest of the world. I'd be really surprised to see Putin happy about them planning to place their bases in Eastern Europe. What other reaction would you expect?

Cold War hasn't began today and it wasn't Putin who've started it. It's just how things are done in modern world. Everyone tries to push their interests as far as possible. It's not a game of one and not even a game of two.

haku
28-04-2007, 06:17
I don't know how important memories of the WW2 are in FranceThe 8th of May is a holiday here but it's more focused on reconciliation and honoring the loss on both sides (and for most ordinary people it's simply a 4-day sunny weekend and they don't think of war at all). As you may know, France and Germany reconciled very quickly, they both founded the ECSC (ancestor of the EU) in 1951, only 6 years after the war. Now over 60 years have passed, we've just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the EU and most people see WWII as a long gone historical event.

Those people that were burried there in Estonia were not really communists or stalinists. They were fighting against a fierce power that tried to take over the Europe.That's how Russians see it, but that's not how Europeans see it. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 in which they agreed to divide up the countries situated between them (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland), and Estonia fell in the Soviet half of the cake. The Soviet Union occupied Estonia as soon as 1940, and the following years the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany fought over that piece of land, it was simply two totalitarian states fighting for supremacy over a land that did not belong to them in the first place, and the well being of Estonian people were the least of their concerns.
From an Estonian point of view, both occupations were equally illegal, unwanted, and ruthless. It's understandable that they consider this monument as a symbol of Soviet occupation.

It's to be noted that the annexation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania by the Soviet Union was never recognized by Western countries, from 1940 to 1991, they were officially considered sovereign countries under Soviet occupation.

Putin said what Bush would say if we suddenly 'felt insecure' and decided to place a couple of such bases somewhere in Latin America. Look at the map and check where USA, Russia and Poland with Czech Rep are situated. Administration of USA was acting rather agressivly in last years. They got out of several agreements they found 'uncomfortable' for them, they attacked Iraq without really asking for permission from the rest of the world. I'd be really surprised to see Putin happy about them planning to place their bases in Eastern Europe. What other reaction would you expect?I can be accused of many things, but not of being pro-American. :p I mentioned in the USA thread that i didn't agree with the expansion of the US missile shield in Europe. That being said, Russia has to come to terms with the fact that countries like Poland, Czechia or Estonia are now EU and NATO members and no longer Russian satellites, there is and will be EU and NATO military in those countries, it's only normal.
I'm a reasonable person though, i don't agree with those who think that the EU and NATO should expand even further East to Ukraine or the Caucasus, i think the EU and Russia can be satisfied with the Finland-Romania line as the new Iron Curtain.
Russia really shouldn't feel threatened anyway, it's by far the largest country on the planet with 17 million km2 of territory, the EU is only 4 million km2, 4 times smaller! When i was young i had to live with the Red Army stationed only 1000km from where i lived pointing nuclear missiles at us… So i think Russia can live with the EU and NATO as a neighbor (Russian still has enough fire power to annihilate the entire European continent in a couple of hours anyway), especially since the EU and NATO are nowhere near as aggressive as the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact were in the old days, Russia has really nothing to worry about.

la aurora
28-04-2007, 08:56
That's how Russians see it, but that's not how Europeans see it. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 in which they agreed to divide up the countries situated between them (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland), and Estonia fell in the Soviet half of the cake. The Soviet Union occupied Estonia as soon as 1940, and the following years the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany fought over that piece of land, it was simply two totalitarian states fighting for supremacy over a land that did not belong to them in the first place, and the well being of Estonian people were the least of their concerns.
From an Estonian point of view, both occupations were equally illegal, unwanted, and ruthless. It's understandable that they consider this monument as a symbol of Soviet occupation.

It's to be noted that the annexation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania by the Soviet Union was never recognized by Western countries, from 1940 to 1991, they were officially considered sovereign countries under Soviet occupation.
You'll be surprised probably but they do teach us this side of WW2 as well at history lessons :) I like believing I'm not some kind of brain-washed fanatic when it comes to this. Soviet government was really far from saints for sure and they commited many crimes against a lot of people including their own. USSR would most likely attack Hitler if the guy wasn't faster with this.

But you see, people that did sign those agreements weren't even present there on the battle field. Those were ordinary people dying there, ones that thought they were fighting for something different from 'getting control over Estonia'. They were fighting against fascist occupants, against brutal force that attacked their homeland, killed their children and destroyed their cities, they were clearing their way to Berlin to fully defeat 'the evil'. It's those people that were burried there and the monument was for the soviet soldier, not soviet regime.

Of course it would be great if this war never began. But things we wish and things that really happen aren't always the same. Estonia is a small country and they had no power to protect themselves. There was not so many options. If soviet army never got there, it would be Hitler to feel there at home. Would they rather prefer that? When it comes to Western Europe it surprises me a bit how easy politicians & media turned USSR into one big evil. Yes of course the regime was bad. But we were allies in that war and without soviet army the result of this war could be really different. Most of west-european countries didn't have enough power to give Hitler a real fight. He wasted a lot of resources fighting on the East. And now everything is forgotten, words 'soviet' and 'communist' are like a curse, Germany easily got back to 'friends' list and all soviet army did in this war is occupy poor Estonia along with whole Eastern Europe. This is how they teach kids in USA that it was actually America to defeat mighty Hitler in that war, I guess.

Dead people should be respected, graves shouldn't be vandalized and monuments that are important for millions of people including over 1/4th of your own population should stay where they are if you don't have a real excuse to remove them. 'Nazis like to meet there' is a very poor excuse in my eyes and it's definitely not worth hurting feelings of millions, organizing political scandal and getting all those demonstrations there in Estonia. And doing this right before the 9th May was well.. just lame.

I can be accused of many things, but not of being pro-American. :p I mentioned in the USA thread that i didn't agree with the expansion of the US missile shield in Europe. That being said, Russia has to come to terms with the fact that countries like Poland, Czechia or Estonia are now EU and NATO members and no longer Russian satellites, there is and will be EU and NATO military in those countries, it's only normal.
I'm a reasonable person though, i don't agree with those who think that the EU and NATO should expand even further East to Ukraine or the Caucasus, i think the EU and Russia can be satisfied with the Finland-Romania line as the new Iron Curtain.
Russia really shouldn't feel threatened anyway, it's by far the largest country on the planet with 17 million km2 of territory, the EU is only 4 million km2, 4 times smaller! When i was young i had to live with the Red Army stationed only 1000km from where i lived pointing nuclear missiles at us… So i think Russia can live with the EU and NATO as a neighbor (Russian still has enough fire power to annihilate the entire European continent in a couple of hours anyway), especially since the EU and NATO are nowhere near as aggressive as the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact were in the old days, Russia has really nothing to worry about.
I'm quite indifferent to this 'game' personally. I reacted only because I'm one of the few if not the only one respesentative of another side of what you call 'Iron Curtain' here. The way you put it in your message above, it sounded like it was Putin's words that officially started the Cold War II. Big lot of readers of this thread have no other sources of information but western media when it comes to such things. So I just felt like reminding it's something that never stopped and something Mr.Putin would feel bored playing alone.

USA and Russia are strategical opponents.
NATO and USA are allies.
NATO and Russia are strategical opponents.
USA was behaving rather agressivly lately.
USA can use NATO's military bases in critical situation.
NATO coupldn't stop USA from starting the war in Iraq.
USA are planning to build those bases on their own, not as part of NATO (ie they aren't asking for permission of all other members of NATO)

Putin is a president of Russia who has to push interests of this country forward and follow our military doctrine that has NATO and USA as our strategical opponents.
Putin no likes when NATO expands to the East (it's against stragical interests of Russia)
Putin says 'no thanks' when USA suggests to put a part of their nuclear system so close to our borders and so far from their own (it's against strategical interests of Russia)

It's cool if we all were friends and could come to agreement and cooperate against threats that are real rather than strategical. But 'friendship' is something that must come from both sides, you know. Putting a knife to someone's throat is quite a bad way to become friends. If USA puts their bases close to the borders of Russia for strategical reasons (there's no real need to this, right?), Russia minds a lot for same strategical reasons. It's not that hard to understand the reasoning of our authorities. If we are to come to agreements, it has to be voluntary, not because we are in a weak military position. Putin isn't that wrong saying those bases are a step in direction of 'mutual destruction' because it's definitely not a step in the opposite one.

Of course it's not about really pushing buttons and having a war. But strategical power is quite a good argument in many economical and political discussions. These are the rules of the game. So I don't really get the fuss about this 'beginning of the Cold War II'. For me everything happening now is neither surprising nor illogical.

I don't know and don't really care who's right and who's wrong here. I'm just saying that both sides have their reasons.

haku
28-04-2007, 17:25
When it comes to Western Europe it surprises me a bit how easy politicians & media turned USSR into one big evil. Yes of course the regime was bad. But we were allies in that war and without soviet army the result of this war could be really different. Most of west-european countries didn't have enough power to give Hitler a real fight. He wasted a lot of resources fighting on the East. And now everything is forgotten, words 'soviet' and 'communist' are like a curse, Germany easily got back to 'friends' list and all soviet army did in this war is occupy poor Estonia along with whole Eastern Europe.The fact that the Red Army is not celebrated as an heroic force in the West is because the Red Army behaved as badly as the Nazi Army during and after the war (i posted in another thread this article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/01/24/wbeev24.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/01/24/ixworld.html) about how the Red Army systematically raped millions of women and girls in Eastern Europe).
The Allied Armies on the western front defeated the Nazis and restored democracy and freedom everywhere they went, they did not abuse or oppress the local populations, and they gave back control to local democratic governments after a few months or a few years at most. The Red Army on the Eastern front defeated the Nazis as well but the similarity ends there, the Red Army abused and oppressed local populations, it installed puppet dictatorial regimes and continued to occupy Eastern Europe for 50 years, it crushed any attempts to restore freedom (Prague, Budapest) and democrats were persecuted.
Understandably this has left a lasting resentment in Eastern Europe, sure the Red Army defeated the Nazis, but what it did after that was just as bad as Nazis.

USA are planning to build those bases on their own, not as part of NATO (ie they aren't asking for permission of all other members of NATO)Absolutely, and that's why i am opposed to the project. If the missile shield was a NATO project, i would support it, but not as a unilateral US project. That being said, the missile shield in Europe is no threat to Russia, the shield would only harbor a dozen interceptors (which are conventional weapons, not nuclear) while Russia has thousands of nuclear missiles, you don't stop thousands of missiles with a dozen interceptors.

Putin no likes when NATO expands to the East (it's against stragical interests of Russia)The EU is simply creating an area of peace, democracy, and wealth for European people, and NATO is now mostly a US-EU military alliance, neither organization is meant as a threat to Russia (NATO no longer specifically targets Russia as an enemy, this doctrine was abondoned after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact).

Europe used to be divided between Western and Eastern Europe, this was an unnatural division and it was only normal for the EU (and NATO) to expand to the East up to the border of the former USSR. I do understand that it's difficult for Russia to accept the loss of its former satellite countries and that's why i do not support any further Eastern expansion of the EU (and NATO) to countries which were formerly part of the USSR (with the exception of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania because their annexation by the USSR was never recognized by the West). I think this is an acceptable compromise for the EU and Russia.

la aurora
28-04-2007, 22:26
The fact that the Red Army is not celebrated as an heroic force in the West is because the Red Army behaved as badly as the Nazi Army during and after the war (i posted in another thread this article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/01/24/wbeev24.xml&sSheet=/news/2002/01/24/ixworld.html) about how the Red Army systematically raped millions of women and girls in Eastern Europe).
The war has an ugly face. Hatered, sorrow, revenge, hunger, fear, tiredness - all twisted by propaganda. Those people had their own excuses to commit crimes no excuse can justify. But it was happening in all armies, including Allies. Because the war is like that. And there were other stories with great sacrifices made, unbelievable acts of kindness and love to humanity. It's also true for all armies including German one. Just because western media is more interested in writing about one kind of aspects of the soviet army doesn't mean others never existed. I have no reasons not to believe the article you linked here. I just hope you realize that your view on story is pretty much one-sided due to having only western sources of information.

The Allied Armies on the western front defeated the Nazis and restored democracy and freedom everywhere they went, they did not abuse or oppress the local populations, and they gave back control to local democratic governments after a few months or a few years at most. The Red Army on the Eastern front defeated the Nazis as well but the similarity ends there, the Red Army abused and oppressed local populations, it installed puppet dictatorial regimes and continued to occupy Eastern Europe for 50 years, it crushed any attempts to restore freedom (Prague, Budapest) and democrats were persecuted.
People in charge often make their decisions with reasoning that's quite far from human one. All governments had their interests and limitations. Everyone took what he wanted and what he was allowed to take. Authorities often have no right to be human when it comes to pushing the interests of their country. Idealizing someone in this war is just wrong. Yes USSR did use the opportunity to gain control over Eastern Europe. Because they could and no one said 'no' including USA that had nuclear monopoly back then. I'm personally against such kinds of actions but I'm also against one-sided view on the history.
Stalin's regime is something russians suffered from just as much as those people in Eastern Europe. It was unhuman in many ways. But people that fighted against Hitler and believed they are doing a good thing were human and importance of soviet army in that war shouldn't be understimated. History should be full and not twisted.


Understandably this has left a lasting resentment in Eastern Europe, sure the Red Army defeated the Nazis, but what it did after that was just as bad as Nazis.
They don't selebrate the Victory Day anymore. At least it's not as important as it was in USSR times. They decide to remove the monument for the soviet soldiers that died there because it reminds them of soviet regime and nationalists use it as a place for their meetings. But at the same exact time here in year 2007 they officially allow the celebration of the Day of Waffen SS Legioners. Now that doesn't bring up any painful memories and they politely ask nationalistic parties that plan demonstrations for the day to 'please behave and express their opinion (they have democratic rights for) in a civilized way'.
I've recently had my ways crossed with ways of some young citizens of Poland. I don't remember what I said exactly but it was something innocent like us having a lot in common in our languages and cultures. The reaction was them furiously demanding for me to never never never use names Poland and Russia in one sentance. And it happened more than once in last year. Different people, all pretty young and not exactly stupid but full of hate. I wonder what they write in books nowadays.
And how about forbidding russian language in latvian schools? And have you heard what young Ukrainians feel towards Russia now with all those 'revolutions'?

There's something really fishy going on and I find it quite scary. Some countries are running full-speed into direction of democracy. But they use soviet-like propaganda to achieve the result. They twist history, deny the culture, raise up hate. It's not my idea of democracy and seeing this being praised by western media doesn't make this media any trustworthy in my eyes.

Absolutely, and that's why i am opposed to the project. If the missile shield was a NATO project, i would support it, but not as a unilateral US project. That being said, the missile shield in Europe is no threat to Russia, the shield would only harbor a dozen interceptors (which are conventional weapons, not nuclear) while Russia has thousands of nuclear missiles, you don't stop thousands of missiles with a dozen interceptors.

The EU is simply creating an area of peace, democracy, and wealth for European people, and NATO is now mostly a US-EU military alliance, neither organization is meant as a threat to Russia (NATO no longer specifically targets Russia as an enemy, this doctrine was abondoned after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact).

Europe used to be divided between Western and Eastern Europe, this was an unnatural division and it was only normal for the EU (and NATO) to expand to the East up to the border of the former USSR. I do understand that it's difficult for Russia to accept the loss of its former satellite countries and that's why i do not support any further Eastern expansion of the EU (and NATO) to countries which were formerly part of the USSR (with the exception of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania because their annexation by the USSR was never recognized by the West). I think this is an acceptable compromise for the EU and Russia.

It's not about loosing satellites, it's not about believing that the war is about to start, it's not about being paranoid. It's us, civil citizens to 'like' or 'dislike', 'be afraid' or not. Military guys have no right to think this way. They must make sure that if something happens, the country won't find itself weak and helpless. It's their job. They can't rely on good will of current governments of other countries. This all can change in no time.

USA being the big military power they are, plan to put their bases close to our borders without asking for anyone's permission (not for the first time). Things add up, USA expands their military force. Those bases of course are not a big threat on their own but they are a part of a big military system and in case war happens, they will give USA just another advantage. Russian military guys can't pretend it's cool because they can't afford being not prepared for such situations even if they don't expect the war anytime soon.

Plus the more powerful strategically the country is, the louder its voice is on political and economical field, the easier it is to push its interests forward in many discussions that aren't military related, the more independent it is. We don't want to see the infamous World Arbitor to 'help' us in solving our inside problems one day. Of course with these bases or without, we still have the magic red button, multi-million population and a lot of military devices. But it's a step in direction that goes against our interests. That's why we do mind.

Western Europe wasn't behaving agressively for quite a while now. I guess if USA was out of NATO, it would be much easier for us to get along. I don't really notice much paranoia when it comes to European countries. But your military systems can be used by USA and this country loves getting its nose in everyone's business lately without caring what the rest of the world thinks. You don't appear too peaceful and harmless when you are together.

simon
29-04-2007, 11:40
The war has an ugly face. Hatered, sorrow, revenge, hunger, fear, tiredness - all twisted by propaganda. Those people had their own excuses to commit crimes no excuse can justify. But it was happening in all armies, including Allies. Because the war is like that. And there were other stories with great sacrifices made, unbelievable acts of kindness and love to humanity. It's also true for all armies including German one. Just because western media is more interested in writing about one kind of aspects of the soviet army doesn't mean others never existed. I have no reasons not to believe the article you linked here. I just hope you realize that your view on story is pretty much one-sided due to having only western sources of information.

Actually, it doesn't work that way in the west. Unlike in the USSR and Putin's Russia, alternative viewpoints aren't suppressed by the state. There is a lot of self-criticism about things that were done in the past, such as colonialism. Many countries that were once ruled by Britain removed all the memorials the British put up. Britain doesn't do anything about that. British people don't get angry that people in those countries aren't grateful for having been colonised.

It's absurd to make out that what the western allies did is equivalent to what Stalin did in eastern Europe. Did the US and UK deport millions of people to their death in labour camps?

The western allies did do things that were wrong, but nothing they did was comparable with what Stalin or Hitler did. Stalin was as evil as Hitler and he killed a lot more people. For the Estonians, the Soviet occupation was at least as bad as the Nazi one.

People in charge often make their decisions with reasoning that's quite far from human one. All governments had their interests and limitations. Everyone took what he wanted and what he was allowed to take. Authorities often have no right to be human when it comes to pushing the interests of their country. Idealizing someone in this war is just wrong. Yes USSR did use the opportunity to gain control over Eastern Europe. Because they could and no one said 'no' including USA that had nuclear monopoly back then. I'm personally against such kinds of actions but I'm also against one-sided view on the history.

So are you saying the US should have fought a war or used nuclear weapons to prevent Soviet occupation of eastern Europe? That it's their fault that Stalin murdered millions of people in the countries he occupied? The US didn't do that in the countries they liberated and nothing they ever did was anything like as bad as what Stalin did.

Stalin's regime is something russians suffered from just as much as those people in Eastern Europe. It was unhuman in many ways. But people that fighted against Hitler and believed they are doing a good thing were human and importance of soviet army in that war shouldn't be understimated. History should be full and not twisted.

But people that fought against Stalin on the German side also believed they were doing a good thing. That doesn't mean there should be statues celebrating their heroism.

They don't selebrate the Victory Day anymore. At least it's not as important as it was in USSR times. They decide to remove the monument for the soviet soldiers that died there because it reminds them of soviet regime and nationalists use it as a place for their meetings. But at the same exact time here in year 2007 they officially allow the celebration of the Day of Waffen SS Legioners. Now that doesn't bring up any painful memories and they politely ask nationalistic parties that plan demonstrations for the day to 'please behave and express their opinion (they have democratic rights for) in a civilized way'.

It's completely untrue that the Estonians officially celebrate the Waffen SS Legionnaires. Estonia is a democracy where people are allowed to hold demonstrations. It's not like Russia where anti-government demonstrations are violently broken up and the participants arrested, as happened in Moscow and St Petersburg recently. In a free, democratic country even people we don't agree with are allowed to hold demonstrations. It's scary that you don't understand that.

I've recently had my ways crossed with ways of some young citizens of Poland. I don't remember what I said exactly but it was something innocent like us having a lot in common in our languages and cultures. The reaction was them furiously demanding for me to never never never use names Poland and Russia in one sentance. And it happened more than once in last year. Different people, all pretty young and not exactly stupid but full of hate. I wonder what they write in books nowadays.
And how about forbidding russian language in latvian schools? And have you heard what young Ukrainians feel towards Russia now with all those 'revolutions'?

As a Brit, I'll give you some advice. Don't expect people from countries that your country victimised to be grateful for it. I wouldn't dream of telling Irish people or West Indians, for example, that we have a lot in common in terms of language and culture. I know it would be an incredibly tactless thing to say because the strong British cultural influence is due to colonialism and oppression. A bit of contrition about what was done will go a long way. We do it, so you can do it too.

There's something really fishy going on and I find it quite scary. Some countries are running full-speed into direction of democracy. But they use soviet-like propaganda to achieve the result. They twist history, deny the culture, raise up hate. It's not my idea of democracy and seeing this being praised by western media doesn't make this media any trustworthy in my eyes.

The Soviet-style propaganda is in the government-controlled Russian media. Russia needs to understand that it has to sincerely apologise for the crimes of the past like Germany did to the Jews and Britain did to Ireland. It's unreasonable to expect people in countries that experienced the horror of Soviet occupation, mass rape, mass murder and mass deportations not to feel bitter about it. Russians getting angry with them for being bitter about what was done just shows insensitivity.

It's not about loosing satellites, it's not about believing that the war is about to start, it's not about being paranoid. It's us, civil citizens to 'like' or 'dislike', 'be afraid' or not. Military guys have no right to think this way. They must make sure that if something happens, the country won't find itself weak and helpless. It's their job. They can't rely on good will of current governments of other countries. This all can change in no time.

USA being the big military power they are, plan to put their bases close to our borders without asking for anyone's permission (not for the first time).

Actually, they did get the permission of the countries where those bases are to be located. It would have been more accurate to write: "The US plan to put bases in countries close to Russia that that have been occupied by Russia in the past and joined NATO for future protection. Those countries have the cheek to invite the US to put bases there without getting Russia's permission."

Things add up, USA expands their military force. Those bases of course are not a big threat on their own but they are a part of a big military system and in case war happens, they will give USA just another advantage. Russian military guys can't pretend it's cool because they can't afford being not prepared for such situations even if they don't expect the war anytime soon.

Plus the more powerful strategically the country is, the louder its voice is on political and economical field, the easier it is to push its interests forward in many discussions that aren't military related, the more independent it is. We don't want to see the infamous World Arbitor to 'help' us in solving our inside problems one day. Of course with these bases or without, we still have the magic red button, multi-million population and a lot of military devices. But it's a step in direction that goes against our interests. That's why we do mind.

I see. If other countries that have previously been occupied by the USSR want the Americans to protect them that goes against Russia's interests. Well, of course! But try looking at it from the other person's perspective.

Western Europe wasn't behaving agressively for quite a while now. I guess if USA was out of NATO, it would be much easier for us to get along. I don't really notice much paranoia when it comes to European countries. But your military systems can be used by USA and this country loves getting its nose in everyone's business lately without caring what the rest of the world thinks. You don't appear too peaceful and harmless when you are together.

The US isn't going to attack Russia. That's a fantasy. You have thousands of nuclear weapons. What Russia is really concerned about is that it won't be able to bully its neighbours as it's doing to Estonia right now.

la aurora
30-04-2007, 03:58
Actually, it doesn't work that way in the west. Unlike in the USSR and Putin's Russia, alternative viewpoints aren't suppressed by the state. There is a lot of self-criticism about things that were done in the past, such as colonialism. Many countries that were once ruled by Britain removed all the memorials the British put up. Britain doesn't do anything about that. British people don't get angry that people in those countries aren't grateful for having been colonised.
Yes, your government doesn't surpress alternative viewpoints. They (+media) just don't give you alternative viewpoints to consider. They feed you the same old story about evil USSR and anti-democratic Russia. Look at your own words. You almost put a "=" sign between USSR and Putin's Russia when it comes to surpressing opinions. You make it sound like it's a fact, you don't even consider other options. I wonder if you visited Russia, lived here for a year at least, watched our TV, read our media, digged into history of last 20 years at least to see differences and similarities between USSR, Eltsin's Russia and Putin's Russia, analyzed what happened to the country after USSR collapsed and what mistakes were made. If you did all this, then I'd respect this your statement at least. But something tells me you didn't. All I hear from you now is what I hear from other Europeans, what I hear from European politicians and read in Western media. I don't really see why one would be proud with the 'freedom of speech and thinking' if he never considered actually using advantages of those.

I grew up in USSR, I do remember many things about 'communism'. Some of those were really bad and I'm really sorry that it happened to all countries under this regime including my own. But I also remember a lot of good things that I really miss now. For me history is not black and white, I've been raised with idea that memories should be treasured, bad things should felt sorry about and taken as lessons, good things should be apperciated, respected and carried further.

I've seen many things with my own eyes, I have older people around to tell me how things really were for them back in years, I have old movies and documentaries, novels and songs, art work to see how it 'felt' for people. I have modern russian media writing about things that happened back then, revealing archives that lost their 'secret information' lable lately. I have my history lessons that I got in new democrating Russia with new re-written books and quite an open-minded teacher. The lesson about WWII didn't start with 'evil Hitler attacked our beloved homeland'. It began with pre-1941 events, Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Stalin's plan to catch Hitler out guard with sudden attack, secret services reporting Stalin exact date of Hitler's attack and Stalin not taking it seriously enough and not using an opportunity to prepare which caused extra victims and diffculties for us in the begining of war on our territory. I have my literature lessons and Solzhenitsin was one of obligatory authors in my school. And on the top of this all I have western media to give me yet another perspective on things. I read those articles online or see them on tv. You know, in this 'totalitarian' country almost every channel has 'foreign media' section on their news that does inform us of 'your' opinion on things. Surprisingly, those channels are still feeling pretty well and journalists responsible for this aren't killed or prisoned.

This is where my opinion comes from and I don't feel it being suppressed by anything or anyone. I can go to Red Square now and shout it out, I can write in my blog and no one will look for me to punish, I can tell it to my boss at work, I can tell it to Putin personally if I meet him without any fear, I can write in in the news-paper and it won't be closed. What's yours based on? A couple of books by western writers and western media with their prejudices and political interests? And if I don't share your ideas about everything about USSR and Putin being black, if I don't feel like spitting into face of my grandparents for that war and feel thankful they suffered and died not allowing Hitler to take over this country and whole Europe, it means my opinion is wrong, suppressed and comes from brain-washing? Because with this your whole post you made me feel like this is how you see it.

I honestly don't know what kind of British monuments were removed in your ex-colonies. If those were set just as symbols of British domination then yes, there's nothing wrong with removing them just as there's nothing wrong with East-European countries removing varios 'CCCP' signs, random soviet red stars, monuments dedicated to communism, communistic party and special events of that time, monuments to Lenin, Stalin and so on. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and we removed quite a lot of those ourselves.
But monuments to unknown soldier set near places where people were burried together in one grave is a whole different issue. Those people didn't come there as conquirers. They were fighting for 'freedom', they were fighting against Hitler, against dark power of fascism and they had no goddamn idea on what would happen next. Have you ever looked in the eyes of those people that stayed alive and lived it long anough to still be here now? I did and heard them telling stories about how it was. They feel really sad about a lot of things that happened. They themselves didn't expect to live under fear of being killed and deported due to 'traitors' paranoia that happened after the war was over, they didn't expect to be labled 'occupants' by people who's freedom they believed they fighted for. They are really old now, most of their friends that did share their memories died already. On the 9th of May they just put their uniform on and go outside to meet few people that remember that are still alive, they go to those monuments to leave some flowers to those dear friends, children, beloved ones that never fillfulled their promise to come back. And they shyly accept flowers from random people relieved that there are people that apperciate what they did, that everything they came from during and after the war wasn't for nothing.

It's these people that monument was set for, it's these people who were burried there, it's for people that cried in Berlin not believing the hell was over. It's these people that got this slap, not Stalin or Soviet Government that are gone long ago.

There's a monument of a soviet soldier holding a German girl in one hand and a sword ripping fascist Iron Cross apart in another in Berlin. Somehow no one is removing it, Germans actually spent 1.5 mlns Euro reparing it few years ago. No matter how monsterious Stalin and soviet regime was, it still was a soviet army to break into Berlin loosing thousands of people there and destroying last remanings of fascism there. And there's nothing wrong with honoring dead people that did this, there's nothing wrong with allowing others who feels thankful to come a bring flowers to the monument that is dear to them. That's what democracy is about I guess - respect.
It's absurd to make out that what the western allies did is equivalent to what Stalin did in eastern Europe. Did the US and UK deport millions of people to their death in labour camps?
Huh? I was talking about human behavior during the war. I was saying that it's wrong to claim all soviet soldiers were bad and all western soldiers showed nothing but heroism in this war. There were heroes even in German army. What does it have to do with Stalin at all?
The western allies did do things that were wrong, but nothing they did was comparable with what Stalin or Hitler did. Stalin was as evil as Hitler and he killed a lot more people. For the Estonians, the Soviet occupation was at least as bad as the Nazi one.

It's completely untrue that the Estonians officially celebrate the Waffen SS Legionnaires. Estonia is a democracy where people are allowed to hold demonstrations. It's not like Russia where anti-government demonstrations are violently broken up and the participants arrested, as happened in Moscow and St Petersburg recently. In a free, democratic country even people we don't agree with are allowed to hold demonstrations. It's scary that you don't understand that.

But people that fought against Stalin on the German side also believed they were doing a good thing. That doesn't mean there should be statues celebrating their heroism.

June 2002. Pyarnu, Estonia.
August 2004. Lihula, Estonia.
2 attempts to install a monument for 'heroic fighters for freedom of Estonia'. It was same monument actually with a soldier in SS uniform, with fascist Iron Cross and german gun in his hands. Both times the monument was removed under pressure of EU, USA and russian and jewish organizations. In 2005 third attempt almost happened but then they desided to put the monument into museum of 'History of the fight for liberation of Estonia' (not sure about the exact translation).

16 March is an un-official day of Latvian SS Legioner in Latvia. In 2005 nationalistic groups were officialy allowed to organize demonstration. Anti-fascist groups dressed in prisoners' suits, stood on the way of this demonstration and were 'cleared from the way' by police. Your media did show it I believe. That moment made it to many tv reports. In 2006 authorities of Riga have forbidden any demonstrations on this day in fear to get another fight on the streets and they had NATO summit coming later that year. In 2007 all 'selebrations' were once again officially allowed.

I don't really see anything bad about feeling sorry for victims of this war whatever side they were on. That was an ugly war, as I already said, and a lot of things were twisted but people suffered and died for things they believed in.

It's just amazes me how while they show tolerance to SS soldiers and allow nationalists to organize demonstrations (which is indeed their democratic right), they can't do same for people that fighted against Hitler in that war.

It's not about being madly in love with soviet regime. But don't you see that trying to get closer to Europe and/or feeding nationalistic feelings in their countries, they go for another extreme. They try to re-write history, they discriminate people here in 2007. They shave away modern democratic Russia and russians like they are some kind of desease. They stopped considering the day nazis were out of their countries any good. New ideology is praising 'fighters for freedom' and the excuse for wearing SS uniform is ' they planned to free themselves from soviets first with the help of german army and after that they planned to get rid of germans as well'. I see more and more people actually believing this without realizing how absurd it does in fact sound. That's what scary.

Russians, estonians, latvians, lithuanians, georgians etc were actually in pretty same position under this regime. Deportations, prisons, limitations of freedome, propaganda - we all were getting it. Never ever were those nations considered 'our slaves' or something. The ideology itself wasn't as bad as the methods used to enforce it. For generations of soviet russians estonians and latvians were nothing but 'brothers'. It's history now after USSR collapsed and every country was suggested to 'take as much independence as they could handle'.

It's modern russians they raise hatered for in their children.
So are you saying the US should have fought a war or used nuclear weapons to prevent Soviet occupation of eastern Europe? That it's their fault that Stalin murdered millions of people in the countries he occupied? The US didn't do that in the countries they liberated and nothing they ever did was anything like as bad as what Stalin did.
You don't have to really use the button that only you own to push your interests forward. I never digged deep enough into this situation but everything has its reasons. Allies + USA had everything to demand liberation of those countries from USSR right till 1949 when Stalin got a heavy 'leave us alone' argument. Russia lost quite a lot of blood in domestic wars in the first quater of the century. Commies took over and began building this regime. USA and Europe did nothing to stop it when they could just like they did nothing to stop Hitler when he began doing his thing in the country weakned by the WWI. Why did they alow Stalin to take over Eastern Europe? I dunno. Probably it had something to do with those documents that give hints into direction of British&American plans to attack USSR a bit later and probably it was just the opposite and they let Stalin to do that to prevent WWIII that could begin right after WWII. I don't know. Do you?
As a Brit, I'll give you some advice. Don't expect people from countries that your country victimised to be grateful for it. I wouldn't dream of telling Irish people or West Indians, for example, that we have a lot in common in terms of language and culture. I know it would be an incredibly tactless thing to say because the strong British cultural influence is due to colonialism and oppression. A bit of contrition about what was done will go a long way. We do it, so you can do it too.
Would be a good advise if our similarities were really due to occupation. But you see, we are both slavic, our languages have a lot of similar words for many centuries as we have similar orgins. My parents grew up on Polish TV shows, movies, music and were happy getting clothes produced in Poland. How comes all this doesn't matter suddenly just because USSR 'occupation'? They indeed were under soviet influence but they weren't part of USSR. In many ways Poland was the most 'western' country of the region. Do you really think this is enough of excuse to raise children feeding them ideas of hate for whole Russia (that is not USSR btw)? So if whole this commie thing never happened, would we be right hating all Polish people for the Polish Intervention we had earlier in our history? It's not like we got introduced to each other in 20th century, you know. We've been 'entertaining' each other for many centuries with 'bright' moments for both sides. Sorry, but I honestly believe this all should be left there, in the past.
The Soviet-style propaganda is in the government-controlled Russian media. Russia needs to understand that it has to sincerely apologise for the crimes of the past like Germany did to the Jews and Britain did to Ireland. It's unreasonable to expect people in countries that experienced the horror of Soviet occupation, mass rape, mass murder and mass deportations not to feel bitter about it. Russians getting angry with them for being bitter about what was done just shows insensitivity.
This (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-wsdAcQx_8) video was made by British guy who has Latvian wife. Of course it's just an 'opinion' of 1 person and it can't be taken as 100% truth. I do believe he exaggerated a bit even. But may be his point of view you'll at least consider without throwing stones at the country the person comes from. May be you'll get an idea on what kind of 'propaganda' I actually mean.

As for appologizing... you know, if I meet some Latvian and Estonian and he tells me a sad story of something that happened to his family, I'll sincerely say 'I'm sorry your family had to come through all this'. But the country you expect appology from doesn't even exist anymore... majority of russians suffered from this regime just as much as other nationalities did, as I said already. It's not the case when one country slaves another. The thing is much more complicated than this.
Actually, they did get the permission of the countries where those bases are to be located. It would have been more accurate to write: "The US plan to put bases in countries close to Russia that that have been occupied by Russia in the past and joined NATO for future protection. Those countries have the cheek to invite the US to put bases there without getting Russia's permission."
Would it really be more accurate? That's your subjective view on things. Russia never occupied those counrties, it was USSR that did. Russia hasn't done anything to threat these countries after USSR collapsed. And it's not Russia's permission I was talking about. I was talking about NATO as organization. I find it very wierd that you find dissing Russia more important than actually thinking about what's going on. USA plans to expand military power of NATO on European continent without giving a damn about what other members of NATO think about that. It does look like they do it for their own needs.
I see. If other countries that have previously been occupied by the USSR want the Americans to protect them that goes against Russia's interests. Well, of course! But try looking at it from the other person's perspective.
Why would I look at things from different perspective while giving reasoning behind Putin's words about this situation? I wasn't discussing what's fair or not, what's good or not. It IS against Russian interests. That's all.
The US isn't going to attack Russia. That's a fantasy. You have thousands of nuclear weapons. What Russia is really concerned about is that it won't be able to bully its neighbours as it's doing to Estonia right now.
Why wouldn't USA attack Russia? :) Because it can't happen in the modern world, right? WWIII could be a serious threat for whole humanity when nuclear potential of small group of countries is enough to destroy this planet fully and more than once. Then why the hell do all those small countries we don't give a damn about for almost 20 years need protection from Russia? Double standards or what? And please explain me how we bully Estonia. All we did was express our disgust with this their action.

simon
30-04-2007, 13:14
Yes, your government doesn't surpress alternative viewpoints. They (+media) just don't give you alternative viewpoints to consider. They feed you the same old story about evil USSR and anti-democratic Russia. Look at your own words. You almost put a "=" sign between USSR and Putin's Russia when it comes to surpressing opinions. You make it sound like it's a fact, you don't even consider other options.

I didn't claim that the USSR and Putin's Russia were the same. I'm well aware that there is more freedom than in the USSR.

I've seen many things with my own eyes, I have older people around to tell me how things really were for them back in years, I have old movies and documentaries, novels and songs, art work to see how it 'felt' for people. I have modern russian media writing about things that happened back then, revealing archives that lost their 'secret information' lable lately. I have my history lessons that I got in new democrating Russia with new re-written books and quite an open-minded teacher. The lesson about WWII didn't start with 'evil Hitler attacked our beloved homeland'. It began with pre-1941 events, Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Stalin's plan to catch Hitler out guard with sudden attack, secret services reporting Stalin exact date of Hitler's attack and Stalin not taking it seriously enough and not using an opportunity to prepare which caused extra victims and diffculties for us in the begining of war on our territory. I have my literature lessons and Solzhenitsin was one of obligatory authors in my school.

I never claimed that criticism of Stalin and the USSR isn't allowed in Russia today.

And on the top of this all I have western media to give me yet another perspective on things. I read those articles online or see them on tv. You know, in this 'totalitarian' country almost every channel has 'foreign media' section on their news that does inform us of 'your' opinion on things. Surprisingly, those channels are still feeling pretty well and journalists responsible for this aren't killed or prisoned.

Unlike Anna Politkovskaya, who strongly criticised Putin, was poisoned on her plane journey to Beslan and later assassinated. Or Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned in London.

This is where my opinion comes from and I don't feel it being suppressed by anything or anyone. I can go to Red Square now and shout it out, I can write in my blog and no one will look for me to punish, I can tell it to my boss at work, I can tell it to Putin personally if I meet him without any fear, I can write in in the news-paper and it won't be closed.

I mentioned how peaceful anti-government demonstrations in Moscow and St Petersburg were recently violently broken up and the participants arrested.

And if I don't share your ideas about everything about USSR and Putin being black, if I don't feel like spitting into face of my grandparents for that war and feel thankful they suffered and died not allowing Hitler to take over this country and whole Europe, it means my opinion is wrong, suppressed and comes from brain-washing? Because with this your whole post you made me feel like this is how you see it.

That's not at all what I said. You keep equating opposition to the Soviet Union with support for Hitler. It's extremely offensive.

I honestly don't know what kind of British monuments were removed in your ex-colonies. If those were set just as symbols of British domination then yes, there's nothing wrong with removing them just as there's nothing wrong with East-European countries removing varios 'CCCP' signs, random soviet red stars, monuments dedicated to communism, communistic party and special events of that time, monuments to Lenin, Stalin and so on. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and we removed quite a lot of those ourselves.
But monuments to unknown soldier set near places where people were burried together in one grave is a whole different issue.

No, British war memorials were removed too. It happened first in Ireland after independence and then in many of the other countries that later got independence.

Those people didn't come there as conquirers. They were fighting for 'freedom', they were fighting against Hitler, against dark power of fascism and they had no goddamn idea on what would happen next. Have you ever looked in the eyes of those people that stayed alive and lived it long anough to still be here now? I did and heard them telling stories about how it was. They feel really sad about a lot of things that happened. They themselves didn't expect to live under fear of being killed and deported due to 'traitors' paranoia that happened after the war was over, they didn't expect to be labled 'occupants' by people who's freedom they believed they fighted for.

But they did come as conquerors and they weren't bringing freedom. The USSR occupied those countries for the next 50 years. Those people didn't have a choice and so it's not their fault, but we can't deny the truth just because it's more comfortable for you to pretend something else.

There's a monument of a soviet soldier holding a German girl in one hand and a sword ripping fascist Iron Cross apart in another in Berlin. Somehow no one is removing it, Germans actually spent 1.5 mlns Euro reparing it few years ago. No matter how monsterious Stalin and soviet regime was, it still was a soviet army to break into Berlin loosing thousands of people there and destroying last remanings of fascism there. And there's nothing wrong with honoring dead people that did this, there's nothing wrong with allowing others who feels thankful to come a bring flowers to the monument that is dear to them. That's what democracy is about I guess - respect.

I'm of Jewish ancestry so I have more cause than most people to be glad the Nazis lost the war. Nazi ideology was certainly worse than Soviet ideology. But in practice Stalin was as evil as Hitler. Both murdered millions of people, just for different reasons. The most important difference is that after Stalin died the Soviet regime became much less bad, whereas the Nazi regime would probably have continued to be just as bad for a lot longer.

June 2002. Pyarnu, Estonia.
August 2004. Lihula, Estonia.
2 attempts to install a monument for 'heroic fighters for freedom of Estonia'. It was same monument actually with a soldier in SS uniform, with fascist Iron Cross and german gun in his hands. Both times the monument was removed under pressure of EU, USA and russian and jewish organizations. In 2005 third attempt almost happened but then they desided to put the monument into museum of 'History of the fight for liberation of Estonia' (not sure about the exact translation).

The fact you don't mention was that these monuments weren't official. It was private groups that attempted to put them up. And they weren't allowed to.

16 March is an un-official day of Latvian SS Legioner in Latvia. In 2005 nationalistic groups were officialy allowed to organize demonstration. Anti-fascist groups dressed in prisoners' suits, stood on the way of this demonstration and were 'cleared from the way' by police. Your media did show it I believe. That moment made it to many tv reports. In 2006 authorities of Riga have forbidden any demonstrations on this day in fear to get another fight on the streets and they had NATO summit coming later that year. In 2007 all 'selebrations' were once again officially allowed.

It was wrong of the Latvian authorities to clear the way for the demonstration like that. Latvia is not Estonia.

I don't really see anything bad about feeling sorry for victims of this war whatever side they were on. That was an ugly war, as I already said, and a lot of things were twisted but people suffered and died for things they believed in.

I agree. The statue and the associated graves are not being destroyed, they are being moved from Freedom Square in the centre of Tallinn to a military cemetery.

It's not about being madly in love with soviet regime. But don't you see that trying to get closer to Europe and/or feeding nationalistic feelings in their countries, they go for another extreme. They try to re-write history, they discriminate people here in 2007. They shave away modern democratic Russia and russians like they are some kind of desease. They stopped considering the day nazis were out of their countries any good. New ideology is praising 'fighters for freedom' and the excuse for wearing SS uniform is ' they planned to free themselves from soviets first with the help of german army and after that they planned to get rid of germans as well'. I see more and more people actually believing this without realizing how absurd it does in fact sound. That's what scary.

You're making a false equation where opposition to the Soviets equals support for the Nazis and the SS. There were genuine partisans in all those countries who fought both the Nazi and the Soviet regimes. Those people should be celebrated and have statues in places like Freedom Square, not the Soviet invaders. We don't have to celebrate conquest by one monstrously evil regime because it was perhaps slightly less monstrously evil than another one. Nobody forced the USSR occupy the Baltic states and central Europe for the next 45 years.

Russians, estonians, latvians, lithuanians, georgians etc were actually in pretty same position under this regime. Deportations, prisons, limitations of freedome, propaganda - we all were getting it. Never ever were those nations considered 'our slaves' or something. The ideology itself wasn't as bad as the methods used to enforce it. For generations of soviet russians estonians and latvians were nothing but 'brothers'. It's history now after USSR collapsed and every country was suggested to 'take as much independence as they could handle'.

It's modern russians they raise hatered for in their children.

Now you're equating not wanting to celebrate the Soviet conquest of Estonia with hatred of Russians. You keep trying to change the subject.

You don't have to really use the button that only you own to push your interests forward. I never digged deep enough into this situation but everything has its reasons. Allies + USA had everything to demand liberation of those countries from USSR right till 1949 when Stalin got a heavy 'leave us alone' argument. Russia lost quite a lot of blood in domestic wars in the first quater of the century. Commies took over and began building this regime. USA and Europe did nothing to stop it when they could just like they did nothing to stop Hitler when he began doing his thing in the country weakned by the WWI. Why did they alow Stalin to take over Eastern Europe? I dunno. Probably it had something to do with those documents that give hints into direction of British&American plans to attack USSR a bit later and probably it was just the opposite and they let Stalin to do that to prevent WWIII that could begin right after WWII. I don't know. Do you?

They allowed it to happen because they didn't want to start World War III. I don't think that makes them morally responsible for it.

Would be a good advise if our similarities were really due to occupation. But you see, we are both slavic, our languages have a lot of similar words for many centuries as we have similar orgins. My parents grew up on Polish TV shows, movies, music and were happy getting clothes produced in Poland. How comes all this doesn't matter suddenly just because USSR 'occupation'? They indeed were under soviet influence but they weren't part of USSR. In many ways Poland was the most 'western' country of the region. Do you really think this is enough of excuse to raise children feeding them ideas of hate for whole Russia (that is not USSR btw)? So if whole this commie thing never happened, would we be right hating all Polish people for the Polish Intervention we had earlier in our history? It's not like we got introduced to each other in 20th century, you know. We've been 'entertaining' each other for many centuries with 'bright' moments for both sides. Sorry, but I honestly believe this all should be left there, in the past.

You start out saying that the cultural similarities weren't due to occupation, but then you mention how Poland and the USSR were close because Poland was under Soviet 'influence'. You mention the brief Polish intervention after WW I, but not that czarist Russia occupied most of Poland for 150 years before that. Poland has a long history of Russian domination. That's not your personal fault, just like the British Empire wasn't my fault, but it calls for a certain sensitivity in dealing with people from countries like Poland and Ireland.

As for appologizing... you know, if I meet some Latvian and Estonian and he tells me a sad story of something that happened to his family, I'll sincerely say 'I'm sorry your family had to come through all this'. But the country you expect appology from doesn't even exist anymore... majority of russians suffered from this regime just as much as other nationalities did, as I said already. It's not the case when one country slaves another. The thing is much more complicated than this.

Russia inherited the USSR's permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the Soviet nuclear arsenal and has the same national anthem as the USSR. It's reasonable to consider it the main successor state.

When the Irish Famine took place in the 1840s, Ireland was a constituent part of the UK. Even so, Tony Blair apologised to Ireland for what the UK government had done during the famine. You're taking a legalistic position.

Would it really be more accurate? That's your subjective view on things. Russia never occupied those counrties, it was USSR that did. Russia hasn't done anything to threat these countries after USSR collapsed. And it's not Russia's permission I was talking about. I was talking about NATO as organization. I find it very wierd that you find dissing Russia more important than actually thinking about what's going on. USA plans to expand military power of NATO on European continent without giving a damn about what other members of NATO think about that. It does look like they do it for their own needs.

If those countries want US bases on their territory, that's for them to decide. It's not for other countries to tell them whether or not they can.

Why would I look at things from different perspective while giving reasoning behind Putin's words about this situation? I wasn't discussing what's fair or not, what's good or not. It IS against Russian interests. That's all.

Why wouldn't USA attack Russia? :) Because it can't happen in the modern world, right? WWIII could be a serious threat for whole humanity when nuclear potential of small group of countries is enough to destroy this planet fully and more than once. Then why the hell do all those small countries we don't give a damn about for almost 20 years need protection from Russia? Double standards or what?

Russia is currently supporting breakaway armies in Georgia and Moldova. Russian troops are backing up the breakaway republic in Moldova. Russia is imposing an economic blockade on Georgia. Last July, Russia cut off the oil pipeline to Lithuania because of a 'leak' immediately after Lithuania sold an oil complex to a Polish company rather than a Russian one. Nine months later, the pipeline still hasn't been 'repaired'.

And please explain me how we bully Estonia. All we did was express our disgust with this their action.

Kommersant, 27 April 2007: State Duma International Relations Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachyov echoed the sentiments of his party's leader and threatened the Estonian authorities with harsh retaliation from Moscow. "These measures will not necessarily take the form of official sanctions – the palette of our possible actions is very wide, and the actions of the Russian authorities will be very effective and will have an extremely painful impact on the state of the Estonian economy," said Mr. Kosachyov.

Argos
30-04-2007, 17:07
...Anna Politkovskaya, who strongly criticised Putin, was poisoned on her plane journey to Beslan and later assassinated. Or Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned in London.
What an argument! Politkovskaya's murder had nothing to do with the Kremlin. She had practically no influence on politics and public opinion and was of no danger for Putin whatsoever. Better look for the assassinators in another direction.

Litvinenko was a Polonium dealer. He transported that substance (in huge amounts!!!) in a not correctly closed container and the Polonium vaporized and contaminated every location, where Litvinenko went, for days. He simply inhaled enough that he had to die of a lethal dosis. It was an accident. It's quite unlogical to assume that somebody tried to kill him like this. It's like giving him a motor-cycle expecting he would die in a road accident. Assassinators work differently.

If those countries want US bases on their territory, that's for them to decide. It's not for other countries to tell them whether or not they can.
You don't mean that seriously, do you? No country wants a military basis of it's strategic opponent at it's borders.There will always be intense reactions from their side. Think about, what would the USA do if some Latinamerican country decides to build a Russian basis on their territory? And what have they done when something like that happened (Cuba)?

Russia is currently supporting breakaway armies in Georgia and Moldova. Russian troops are backing up the breakaway republic in Moldova. Russia is imposing an economic blockade on Georgia.
Russia has tried for years to convince EU and USA to help solve the ethnic problems in these countries, but they refused, IT'S NOT IN THEIR INTEREST. They have their fun seeing Russia surrounded by their numerous problems with their former 'provinces', keeping them constantly occupied with unsolved conflicts, so they can't work on foreign politics of global scales. Russia now does what they have to do, no matter whether we like it or not. We had our chance.

The last years we have witnessed more than enough of those strategies, thought up in Washington, to keep Russia at it's place. It's a simple defence concept of the USA to keep their power. A high amount of conflict potential lets the USA remain the most powerful country in the world. An almost conflictfree, prospering world, especially in Eastern Europe and West Asia, makes the EU stronger. Therefore the EU should help solve the problems there, not support the USA with those politics. Helping Russia to develop it's economy and solving the numerous problems of this area will make Europe the most powerful institution of the world and it's really sad that an alcohol-abuse demented Texas cowboy takes us Europeans by the nosering and pulls us everywhere he wants. (Well, what to expect from a region, whose name comes from a cow, who was the fuck-toy of the Big Boss - who obviously fucks her till now!)

It's not important, who is right or who is wrong, and what happened in the past - the main concern is the future. The neighbour-countries will have much profit from a working-together with Russia, there is no use for nationalist actions and revenge for things, which are not in the responsibility of the current political leaders in Russia.

Another fact to observe: Putin had to fight from the first day of his reign against the 'family' and the nationalist military fraction. Every nationalist conflict in the former republics with their strong Russian minorities strengthens the power of the military and puts pressure on the government to act 'appropriately' and Russia is in constant danger that they may overtake the government or at least win the next presidental elections, which will be a highly undesired development for the EU. The EU should consider, how to build the house Europe for the future as long as we are able to do it.

simon
30-04-2007, 17:41
What an argument! Politkovskaya's murder had nothing to do with the Kremlin. She had practically no influence on politics and public opinion and was of no danger for Putin whatsoever. Better look for the assassinators in another direction.

I also mentioned her poisoning on her way to Beslan. Politkovskaya was unimportant domestically, but important and famous internationally. She was an irritant to the Kremlin and its puppet government in Chechnya. Nobody else seems to have had a strong motive to kill her.

Litvinenko was a Polonium dealer. He transported that substance (in huge amounts!!!) in a not correctly closed container and the Polonium vaporized and contaminated every location, where Litvinenko went, for days. He simply inhaled enough that he had to die of a lethal dosis. It was an accident. It's quite unlogical to assume that somebody tried to kill him like this. It's like giving him a motor-cycle expecting he would die in a road accident. Assassinators work differently.

Do you have any evidence for this extraordinary allegation? The forensic evidence actually shows that Lugovoi and Kovtun were already contminated with polonium before they met with Litvinenko. They were travelling with polonium, Litvinenko was living quietly in London. Yet Litvinenko was the one who got a lethal dose of polonium at their meeting, not them.

Russia has tried for years to convince EU and USA to help solve the ethnic problems in these countries, but they refused, IT'S NOT IN THEIR INTEREST. They have their fun seeing Russia surrounded by their numerous problems with their former 'provinces', keeping them constantly occupied with unsolved conflicts, so they can't work on foreign politics of global scales. Russia now does what they have to do, no matter whether we like it or not. We had our chance.

The last years we have witnessed more than enough of those strategies, thought up in Washington, to keep Russia at it's place. It's a simple defence concept of the USA to keep their power. A high amount of conflict potential lets the USA remain the most powerful country in the world. An almost conflictfree, prospering world, especially in Eastern Europe and West Asia, makes the EU stronger. Therefore the EU should help solve the problems there, not support the USA with those politics. Helping Russia to develop it's economy and solving the numerous problems of this area will make Europe the most powerful institution of the world and it's really sad that an alcohol-abuse demented Texas cowboy takes us Europeans by the nosering and pulls us everywhere he wants. (Well, what to expect from a region, whose name comes from a cow, who was the fuck-toy of the Big Boss - who obviously fucks her till now!)

Your conspiracy theories are demented. The US and EU aren't forcing Russia to occupy part of Moldova, blockade Georgia, cut off Lithuania's oil pipeline or threaten to cripple Estonia's economy. Those are Russia's decisions.

It's not important, who is right or who is wrong, and what happened in the past - the main concern is the future. The neighbour-countries will have much profit from a working-together with Russia, there is no use for nationalist actions and revenge for things, which are not in the responsibility of the current political leaders in Russia.

Russia's current leaders are responsible for their bullying of their neighbours.

Another fact to observe: Putin had to fight from the first day of his reign against the 'family' and the nationalist military fraction. Every nationalist conflict in the former republics with their strong Russian minorities strengthens the power of the military and puts pressure on the government to act 'appropriately' and Russia is in constant danger that they may overtake the government or at least win the next presidental elections, which will be a highly undesired development for the EU. The EU should consider, how to build the house Europe for the future as long as we are able to do it.

Russia is indeed a threat to its neighbours. We shouldn't appease Russian nationalist bullying as you suggest, we should stand up to it.

haku
30-04-2007, 18:02
This (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-wsdAcQx_8) video was made by British guy who has Latvian wife. Of course it's just an 'opinion' of 1 person and it can't be taken as 100% truth. I do believe he exaggerated a bit even.It's an interesting video (i have no doubt that there is an extreme-right in Latvia) but the person who made it loses credibility when you read his comments, he goes as far as to say that Latvian people do not really exist and that the Latvian language is just some primitive Russian dialect.

The Latvian language is part of the Baltic family of Indo-European languages, that family is no more and no less related to the Slavic or Germanic ones, it's not a Slavic sub-group, it's a language family in its own right.
Linguists actually find the Baltic family (particularly Lithuanian) to be extremely interesting since it has kept many archaic features and its comparison with Sanskrit and Ancien Greek is a great help to determine what the original Proto-Indo-European language looked like.

As for Latvian people, the presence in the area of tribes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Baltic_Tribes_c_1200.svg) who were clearly Indo-European but distinct from Slavic and Germanic tribes is historically well attested (notably by Teutonic Knights and Scandinavian sailors).

Balts are not a Russian (or even Slavic) sub-group.


Other than that, i mostly agree with simon (except about US bases in Europe obviously). Russia can't expect people who were colonized and russified by force to be greatful for what was done to them. People can easily reconcile (French and Germans are proof of that) but faults have to be officially acknowledged by the states.
The main thorn in EU/NATO relations with Russia is that the Russian regime is becoming more and more authoritarian and that can't be good for anyone.


And regarding the citizenship issue of ethnic Russians in Estonia and Latvia, as far as i understand it, Latvia and Estonia decided to grant citizenship to all residends except those who were sent there as Russian colonists during the Soviet occupation after 1940, which is their right and understandable considering those colonists were part of a forced russification process of the area.
And it's not like Russians don't have a homeland, they have a massive 17 million km2 one right next to Latvia, surely that's big enough and they don't need the small Latvian territory.

Argos
30-04-2007, 20:06
Do you have any evidence for this extraordinary allegation? The forensic evidence actually shows that Lugovoi and Kovtun were already contminated with polonium before they met with Litvinenko. They were travelling with polonium, Litvinenko was living quietly in London. Yet Litvinenko was the one who got a lethal dose of polonium at their meeting, not them.
If you listen to experts of physics and chemistry of Polonium, everybody tells you, that there is no room for ANY assassination theory, irrelevant who ever is the murderer. I've read some of them. Unfortunately I didn't gather them, but I have at least one quite elaborate theory, how it may have happened and why assassination is practically out of question, here (http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/3266).

Your conspiracy theories are demented. The US and EU aren't forcing Russia to occupy part of Moldova, blockade Georgia, cut off Lithuania's oil pipeline or threaten to cripple Estonia's economy. Those are Russia's decisions.
I don't talk about conspiracy, but about global politics. Every superpower has it's own strategy, USA has it, Russia has it, China has it - only the EU has not. You are right, EU and USA didn't force Russia's actions, those were Russia's decisions, but they were predictable like in a chess game, where each move forces a response from the other side. If you are good in your game, your opponent does what is in your interest. At least in the Caucasus Europe is not so innocent of the escalation, as Caspic oil is the modern Helena.

Russia's current leaders are responsible for their bullying of their neighbours.

Russia is indeed a threat to its neighbours. We shouldn't appease Russian nationalist bullying as you suggest, we should stand up to it.
We are talking about a super-power, the USA and China are not that different. Their tactics may differ a bit, the result is the same - promises, bribery, blackmail. You are right, we should not give in, when countries are threatened by Russia, but we should prevent aggressive nationalism on both sides. Russia is too valuable for the EU to ruin the relations because of those childish nationalistic revenge acts. Russia is the future of EU's struggle for being THE economic worldpower. Therfore, outwit Russia to play our game, not that of America and not their own, that should be the target for the EU.

la aurora
30-04-2007, 20:09
I didn't claim that the USSR and Putin's Russia were the same. I'm well aware that there is more freedom than in the USSR.
You've put them on one side of equalation in your suppressing alternative points remark without giving any differences. You kept using Russia instead of USSR when it came to occupation matters and modern threat to East European countries. It did give impression that even if you do see some differences, they aren't that strong. Sorry, if this impression I got was wrong but there was no single hint in you long post to make me think otherwise.
I never claimed that criticism of Stalin and the USSR isn't allowed in Russia today.
I wasn't saying this to prove you that we can criticise Stalin. I was just saying that I'm not exactly brain-washed and I got a relatively healthy look on our past and present. And I was saying that I probably got a bit more information than you do, that this information includes views on this from USSR, democratinc Russia and the West at the same time, while you have only western look on things. You did have that tone of a person who talks like he knows for sure what he talks about and you've put lables on many things like you had right to.
Unlike Anna Politkovskaya, who strongly criticised Putin, was poisoned on her plane journey to Beslan and later assassinated. Or Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned in London.
And you do know for sure that it was done by our current government or Putin personally? It could easily be a provocation. Putin's position is strong enough here not to do such things. Killing people became a traditional way to 'solve problems' here quite a while ago. In many ways this tradition began in Yeltsin's Russia. The chaos we had in attempt to build democracy was quite bad, criminality level got terribly high, most political and business issues were solved in a ways that were really far from democratic. The list of journalists killed in 90ies is way longer than what we had with Putin so far. It's sad that it's happening, I hope that one day we'll be civilized enough for this to stop. You don't build a new perfect country in less than 20 years starting with the mess we had. I'll wholeheartedly agree if you say that we are still far from being as civilized and democratic as some countries with a long history of democratic regime. But I won't agree with saying Russia got worse with Putin taking the presidents chair. I feel it being much better actually. Musch safier and more stable to live in.
I mentioned how peaceful anti-government demonstrations in Moscow and St Petersburg were recently violently broken up and the participants arrested.
Those demonstrations were illegal, weren't they? As far as I remember, t.A.T.u. weren't allowed to gather all those girls in the center of London without asking for permission, they were also peaceful enough. But you can't do whatever your want even in democratic country. Official permission allows authorities to send police there to make sure everything goes smooth. In Russia such things are especially dangerous. We are not yet happy enough as a nation and people get agressive quite a lot. I still remember the bashing of center of Moscow after that football match against Japan as well as remember terracts we had there. It's important to keep things in order.

We have elections comming, you know. And life always gets 'interesting' at such moments. I won't say Putin or current government are saint. But I wouldn't call those demonstrants victims either. Some of those guys get arrested few times a year for various provocations. I don't know who's right and who's wrong. All I know is those demonstrants needed a scandal much more than Putin did. Western media taking the side of anti-governmental demonstrants was rather predictable, so I personally wouldn't dramatize things too much here.
That's not at all what I said. You keep equating opposition to the Soviet Union with support for Hitler. It's extremely offensive.
I'm sorry if you got this impression and double sorry if you found it offensive. I didn't mean that and I never suspected you in support for Hitler. What I meant was that while many bad things happened in USSR, there were good things too. You sounded like you believe Soviet Union was a home for evil, you keep talking about occupants, Stalin, suppressed opinions in modern Russia and all other bad things and expect me to accept this your view. You we giving me advises, saying how scary it is that I don't understand things etc. But for me it's the country I was born in, where my parents and grandparents were born and grew up, it's an important part of our history and culture. I can't and don't want to shave all this away and it has nothing to do with me not understanding what's bad, it's just that I can apperciate something that's good. I just count on you respecting this my position.
No, British war memorials were removed too. It happened first in Ireland after independence and then in many of the other countries that later got independence.

But they did come as conquerors and they weren't bringing freedom. The USSR occupied those countries for the next 50 years. Those people didn't have a choice and so it's not their fault, but we can't deny the truth just because it's more comfortable for you to pretend something else.

If we are talking about memorials to dead, then my opinion is they shouldn't be removed. I can understand why some may dissagree with me here but past is past and removing memorials for half of the dead won't bring another half back to life. I believe that majority of soldiers that died there didn't have much choice and theu died for something they believed was right even it was a mistake in historical meaning.

The case with this estonian memorial is more complicated. Those soldiers didn't come there to conquire a free country. They were freeing it from nazis and that was a good thing to do. What happened next happened on some political level. Civil soviet people didn't even realize it was 'an occupation'. Estonians voted for parliment, parliment decided to join USSR, welcome 'brothers', let's build communism together. As I already said, Estonia was never treated as 'colony' and estonians were never slaves. They were a part of big country, USSR did use its resources to build infrastructure there. Generations of estonians themselves didn't see it as 'occupation'. Soviet propaganda was effective enough and they were born and grew up in a 'happy soviet brotherhood' with no one daring to tell them otherwise without risking to be shot or repressed. Those soldiers weren't 'occupants' in their heart during the war and weren't after it. Some of them died without ever seeing things this way.

That was an occupation on some top political level. No doubts here. Soviet Regime commited serious crimes against humanity. No doubts here either. But this part of the history is complicated. Even after USSR collapsed, after painful realization of what kind of hell soviet regime was, we kept feeling that all those people are not really foreigners to us. And it's not because we thought we still 'own' them, I repeat. We never did 'own'. We grew up with the idea they were 'brother nations' to us. We got used to respect and support them and counting on them doing same back. Such things are very hard to erase from mentality. For example when watching some sport competion on TV, you support ex-USSR sportsmen like if they were 'urs', you don't really think about it, you just feel this way. Or if you meet someone from those countries in far foreign country, you feel happy to see them like if they were russian. And russians weren't alone in feeling this way for a while till this 'let's go west' idea governments of those countries began to push.

With all this current situation does make russians feel bit betrayed. This war meant a lot to us and it's very offensive to see how they remove the monuments for our dead and make it look like ones that fighed in Hitler's side were more of a heroes than ones that fighted against. It's hard to understand such things from where you are as you don't share our memories. But Estonians knew what they were doing pretty well.

West takes anything that's ani-russian as a sign of liberation, West takes any our protest as an attempt to bully countries we once 'occupied'. Governments of these newly independent countries want to be a part of modern Europe, want to be supported by NATO and EU and they hurry to please the West often taking things to extreme. It's very hard to see the line between some things for both Russia and the West.
I'm of Jewish ancestry so I have more cause than most people to be glad the Nazis lost the war. Nazi ideology was certainly worse than Soviet ideology. But in practice Stalin was as evil as Hitler. Both murdered millions of people, just for different reasons. The most important difference is that after Stalin died the Soviet regime became much less bad, whereas the Nazi regime would probably have continued to be just as bad for a lot longer.
Yes, I agree that Stalin and Hitler were equally bad as historical figures. Well may be not absolutely equal but so outstanding from the rest that you can make it equal. Nazi regime was way scarier though and it's scary when people forget it and actually start believing it would be better if Hitler was there instead of soviets. I'm talking about those 'we wanted to defeat soviets and then Hitler' ideas that are used as excuse to replace soviet 'heroes' with 'SS Legion heroes' in people's minds. I wonder how they'd do that. People's minds get twisted for pragmatic reasons of the government. That's bad.
The fact you don't mention was that these monuments weren't official. It was private groups that attempted to put them up. And they weren't allowed to.
That's not fully true. It's quite hard to say what's official and what's not. There were officials of the country present during the opening ceremony for the first one. Second one was installed with permission of authorities of the region. It's not the case when a small group of nationalists does it overnight. In this case I'd expect it removed next morning when people wake up and find out. It wouldn't need any 'pressure' from USA, EU and others. Don't forget that there are other monuments with Nazi symbolics (for example for Belgian and Netherlandian SS members). There were medals given out to the 'heroes of that another side'. There's quite some propaganda going on about this matter with new historics writing new view on old history. 2 countries that provided Hitler the strongest support in the region (Lithuania refused for example) in attempt to make the 'soviet' part of the history as dark as possible, look for another extreme. Someone had to fight for good in that war and who fighted soviets? You know know the answer. I don't say that Estonians or Latvians are Nazis or were Nazis during the war. It would be unfair. But their current authorities try really hard to please the West with being anti-soviet and anti-russian enough and in this attempt they take acceptance for fascism too far.

Look at you only country. You never were pro-soviet, UK was always one of the strongest opponents of USSR in this cold war and public opinion does reflect it pretty well nowadays. You aren't exactly on the Russian side in curent silent Cold War either. You are anti-soviet in all ways possible. But could such things happen in your democratic country? Don't you really see the difference between being anti-soviet and pro-nazi?
It was wrong of the Latvian authorities to clear the way for the demonstration like that. Latvia is not Estonia.
I see similar tendencies in these 2 countries. Of course Latvia is not Estonia but their governments are going into similar directions lately.
I agree. The statue and the associated graves are not being destroyed, they are being moved from Freedom Square in the centre of Tallinn to a military cemetery
That's a new 'excuse' actually. They came up with it after making decision to remove the monument. There were some troubles with this monument some time ago. A group of nationalists organized a loud event there demanding for the monument to be removed from the square. And later at night the monument was vandalized. Authorities had to bring police forces in there not to allow similar events to happen again. And then they decide to do exactly what those nationalists demanded.. This monument was there for years and there are people burried not far from that place. Now would you like if someone took a grave stone from your granddad's grave and moved it to another cemetry?
They allowed it to happen because they didn't want to start World War III. I don't think that makes them morally responsible for it.
We don't know for sure why they allowed Stalin to 'occupy' Eastern Europe. Your theory is just a theory. But they could stop him and Hitler much earlier and prevent WWII. There were quite ugly moments in WWI as well. It's not about moral responsibility. I'm just saying no one was saint and it's not fair to say otherwise.
You start out saying that the cultural similarities weren't due to occupation, but then you mention how Poland and the USSR were close because Poland was under Soviet 'influence'. You mention the brief Polish intervention after WW I, but not that czarist Russia occupied most of Poland for 150 years before that. Poland has a long history of Russian domination. That's not your personal fault, just like the British Empire wasn't my fault, but it calls for a certain sensitivity in dealing with people from countries like Poland and Ireland.
I don't say we were close because of this 'influence'. I say I do know this 'influence' did take place and it would be unfair of me to claim otherwise.
And no, I wasn't mentioning intervention after WWI. I meant something that happened much earlier in czarist Russia. We have a long and intense history together since the time we were 'Kievskaya Rus' and 'Rech Pospolitaya'. There were a lot of attacks from both sides and I see no point in trying to remember who was worse. It shouldn't justify hate in the modern world.
Russia inherited the USSR's permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the Soviet nuclear arsenal and has the same national anthem as the USSR. It's reasonable to consider it the main successor state.
Yes, Russia did also get most of the territory of USSR and took responsibility for financial debts USSR had. Someone had to. We took different anthem and flag after USSR collapsed and it stayed this way for years. It's not that long ago we decided to change our anthem as one by Glinka had no words and was very hard to sing to. Not wanting 3rd melody in a short time and knowing that everyone here knows Alexandrov's melody by heart, we went for this one with re-written lyrics. Nuclear arsenal had to go to someone, right? Deviding it between all countries of ex-USSR would be a disaster. We've left quite a lot of important objects for countries that had those on their territories.
When the Irish Famine took place in the 1840s, Ireland was a constituent part of the UK. Even so, Tony Blair apologised to Ireland for what the UK government had done during the famine. You're taking a legalistic position.
So how many years did you need to come up with an apology? Probably Russia will do it too with time when things settle down. Right now it's still too painful. It can encourage some negative tendencies going on in the countries that only try to get stable politically. Plus majority of alive Russians were born in USSR and won't feel that great if the president on their behalf appologies to others when no one ever appologized to them who came through exactly the same shit.
Just give this time.
If those countries want US bases on their territory, that's for them to decide. It's not for other countries to tell them whether or not they can.
It's not how things work in the modern world. Or let everyone work on nuclear weapons system. That's their business right? If they want to feel more secure, they should be allowed. Those bases are a change in the military system of NATO and Europe itself, it's not only a business of these 2 countries and USA.
Russia is currently supporting breakaway armies in Georgia and Moldova. Russian troops are backing up the breakaway republic in Moldova. Russia is imposing an economic blockade on Georgia. Last July, Russia cut off the oil pipeline to Lithuania because of a 'leak' immediately after Lithuania sold an oil complex to a Polish company rather than a Russian one. Nine months later, the pipeline still hasn't been 'repaired'.
All this is not something those countries need military shields against. Russia has enough of independence to deal with things inside of the country without intervention but it can't and has no intention to attack or even threat with attack any of these countries.
Case with Lithuania is just a routine of the war for the oil market. We don't attack them, we don't rob them off anything. We just stop selling them something we aren't obliged to sell at all. Dirty? Yeah for sure. But these are games not only Russia plays.

Other 2 cases are not as simple as you make them sound. It's not like we just came up with the idea 'lets show Gergia who's the boss' and started bullying them. There are quite serious troubles there and new Georgian government knows what to do and who's help to count on. Don't make them look all poor and unprotected. In this situation they definitely aren't or they wouldn't take actions they take.

Kommersant, 27 April 2007: State Duma International Relations Committee chairman Konstantin Kosachyov echoed the sentiments of his party's leader and threatened the Estonian authorities with harsh retaliation from Moscow. "These measures will not necessarily take the form of official sanctions – the palette of our possible actions is very wide, and the actions of the Russian authorities will be very effective and will have an extremely painful impact on the state of the Estonian economy," said Mr. Kosachyov.
And? :) You don't have politics that say stupid things from time to time? There's no official economical blockade on Estonia. Even if there was, it would be our right not to do business with the country we don't want to be dealing with. It has nothing to do with military threats once again.

What those countries need is not american bases to protect them from Russian military forces. They need stable economics not to feel economically dependant on us. It's wierd to constantly do things to annoy us and at the same time expect 'special treatment'.

la aurora
30-04-2007, 20:16
haku,

I said it that that video is just an opinion and that I personally don't agree with everything shown there and written in comments.

I really haven't ever thought of Latvian not being a language on its own.

But tendencies I see in those countries do make me feel uneasy.

Of course its 'their right' to tell people that lived there for 80+ years to pack their things and go 'home' but it's really doesn't sound as an example of modern european democracy for me. Some of those people lived there for even longer but lost papers, majority didn't come their voluntary after WWII. Don't you find it unhuman to discriminate them for whatever reason?

haku
01-05-2007, 05:10
Of course its 'their right' to tell people that lived there for 80+ years to pack their things and go 'home' but it's really doesn't sound as an example of modern european democracy for me. Some of those people lived there for even longer but lost papers, majority didn't come their voluntary after WWII. Don't you find it unhuman to discriminate them for whatever reason?Well, personally, i think Latvia and Estonia should have granted citizenship to ethnic Russian residents (if desired, i don't know if many of those ethnic Russians would want to renounce Russian citizenship) in 2004 when they became EU members. I'm guessing they were afraid of being overwhelmed by such a large Russian population, but once in the EU, half a million Russians do not really pose a threat in a block of 500 million Europeans.
That being said, each EU state is free to define its own citizenship rules (within EU regulations).


************
A BBC article about the various fates of Soviet memorials (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6608733.stm) in Eastern Europe.


************
Another account of the mass rapes commited by the Red Army in Eastern Europe, from this book (http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385497992&view=excerpt).
Sadly, it was the weak and defenseless, the villagers and townspeople of Eastern Germany, who first felt the impact of the Soviet army. Pumped up with Zhukov's rhetoric, Soviet soldiers unleashed a campaign of terror in the Eastern German lands of Pomerania, Silesia, and East Prussia that was barbaric even by the standards of an already ghastly war. Not only were Germans abused, terrorized, and driven off their land, but they were murdered in large numbers, and women in particular were made into targets of abuse. German women were raped in unimaginable numbers, then often killed or left to die from their wounds. Some women's bodies were found raped, mutilated, and nailed to barn doors. Hundreds of thousands of women have given testimony to the rapes they endured at the hands of the Russians; historian Norman Naimark has estimated that as many as 2 million may have been sexually assaulted. Worse, most women were victims of repeated rapings; some were raped as many as sixty to seventy times.

With cruel irony, this outburst of violence seemed to confirm the wartime fulminations of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, that the Russians were inhuman beasts. One member of an anti-Nazi cell in Berlin, a woman named Ruth Andreas-Friedrich, has left a vivid account of the sense of shock and fear that these assaults left upon German people. Writing in her diary on 6 May 1945, she observed:

These days have become dangerous to many. Panic prevails in the city. Dismay and terror. Wherever we go, there is pillaging, looting, violence. With unrestrained sexual lust our conqueror's army has flung itself upon the women of Berlin.

We visit Hannelore Thiele, Heike's friend and classmate. She sits huddled on her couch. "One ought to kill oneself," she moans. "This is no way to live." She covers her face with her hands and starts to cry. It is terrible to see her swollen eyes, terrible to look at her disfigured features.

"Was it really that bad?" I ask.

She looks at me pitifully. "Seven," she says. "Seven in a row. Like animals."

Inge Zaun lives in Klein-Machnow. She is eighteen years old and didn't know anything about love. Now she knows everything. Over and over again, sixty times.

"How can you defend yourself?" she says impassively, almost indifferently. "When they pound at the door and fire their guns senselessly. Each night a new one, each night others. The first time when they took me and forced my father to watch, I thought I would die."

..."They rape our daughters, they rape our wives," the men lament. "Not just once, but six times, ten times and twenty times." There is no other talk in the city. No other thought either. Suicide is in the air ...

"Honor lost, all lost," a bewildered father says and hands a rope to his daughter who has been raped twelve times. Obediently she goes and hangs herself from the nearest window sash.

For a generation of Germans, then, the spring of 1945 would forever be linked with the image of a grime-encrusted, battle-scarred Russian soldier, boots on, forcing himself upon a German woman.Reading this helps to understand how some people and countries can find Soviet memorials offensive. A memorial to the raped women of WWII should probably be built somewhere actually.

la aurora
01-05-2007, 06:41
Well, personally, i think Latvia and Estonia should have granted citizenship to ethnic Russian residents (if desired, i don't know if many of those ethnic Russians would want to renounce Russian citizenship) in 2004 when they became EU members. I'm guessing they were afraid of being overwhelmed by such a large Russian population, but once in the EU, half a million Russians do not really pose a threat in a block of 500 million Europeans.
That being said, each EU state is free to define its own citizenship rules (within EU regulations).

Well it's good that you are so kind yourself that you would, really.

The question is 'What would be reaction of western media if Russia left such a big amount of people without basic rights?' And how would it influence the public opinion on Russia. I don't ask this for the sake of arguing or being defensive, I just geniously wonder what do you think would happen and would there be zero reaction or would anyone bother to look for excuses because 'it's our right to define our own citizenship rules'? Be honest please.

I somehow guess it would be different. But may be I'm wrong.

Another account of the mass rapes commited by the Red Army in Eastern Europe, from this book (http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385497992&view=excerpt).
Reading this helps to understand how some people and countries can find Soviet memorials offensive. A memorial to the raped women of WWII should probably be built somewhere actually.

How would you call people that eat bodies of other people? Dead bodies. They did do it in Leningrad during blockade. It's very easy to sit at the comfy chair, drink morning coffe and blame people that could fall so low to do all those ugly things. 5 years are quite a time even in modern world. Do you realize how long they could seem in the hell? How long days are without when you don't get sleep, proper food, medicine, when you haven't seen faces of people you love for years and have no idea if they are even alive, if this all will be ever over? When you see places you once found beautiful and peaceful turn into bloody ugly mess? When you have random people around you that you have to trust you life to and at the same time expect them to die any moment? When you see small kids and women taking guns and dying under tanks? Or how nice was the sight of people freed from concentration camps? Or the feeling that you just can't go further anymore but have only 2 options: to crawl or to die? Discipline in those armies was so much less human than it is now: turn back and get shot. Easy. Their children and women were tortured and raped, whole existence of their nation was put under question.

Are you sure you'd manage to stay sane in such situation? That you wouldn't forget all the laws of common sense and politeness? That you'd know who to love and who to hate? That you'd keep basing your actions on common sense and remember about human rights?

There were people that managed to stay human with all this. And there were ones that lost mind totally and never really recovered from what they came through and saw with their eyes. After 5 years they made it to the Heart of Hitler's Empire and some of them didn't put smokings on and invite german girls for a dance.

I'm really sorry for every victim for this war. For every girl that was raped, turtured and murdered by either of the sides. This shouldn't happen. Neither of them deserved even 1/10th of what they had to come through. I don't really want to excuse ones responsible for those cruel unhuman actions. But big amount of those people that made it there weren't human anymore and it wasn't exactly their choice.

It's ok to call bad things 'bad'. But I'm not sure it's ok to make it look like millions of people (part of those were small children and women) were rapists and occupants and neither of them deserves any respect for what they came through. Where would I be if they didn't go through it? Where would you be? Where would Estonians and Latvians be if soviets lost that one? How comes a soviet soldier doesn't deserve any respect for surviving or dying in this war while SS Legioner that also raped women, killed their own people (I'm not even talking about Jewish people) deserves it because it's new fasion to call him 'figher for free Latvia'?

I really think we shouldn't spit in the faces of those who already had it hard enough. And that we should suddenly feel disgusted and hateful for whole army that fighed against Hitler just because some of them didn't behave properly according to modern view on the things.

It's cool to be cool and fair and judge people that did it 'wrong' at some point. It's really cool. Just not exactly human.

Come here on the 9th of May one day. Just hurry, because most of them won't really wait for long. Come, find an old man sitting on the bench in his uniform all alone because his friends didn't make it there and never will anymore. Come and tell him that all his life was a big mistake, that in that war he was actually an cruel occupant, that all he came through was actually something no one needed. Estonians basicaly did this when removed that monument and they did it because some young nationalists didn't want to see it there. Neither those nationalists that vandalize monuments, nor a big % of authorities that run the country now have no idea what the war feels like, they weren't born early enough to be raped, killed or repressed by Stalin. They hate things written in a book and praise things written in the book and twist facts whatever way they want. It's not that hard to do, really. They didn't see what that regime in all its glory. That guy on the bench did.

I know this all can sound over-emotional and you may blame me for not accepting things that seem 'facts' for you. But those people are around me, you know. I can't really talk about it like it was a movie or something, like it happened somewhere else.

la aurora
01-05-2007, 09:00
The speech of Estonian prime-minister (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUsxRmEx4Do) was posted on the russian branch of this forum. Pity it's in Russian.

He's very sad about this whole sitiation...

He hadn't mentioned even a single possibility some of those people on the streets actually felt hurt. He called them vandals, maradeurs and hooligans. (And then he talks about tolerance, respect for each other's memories and cultures)

While over a million of good estonians stayed at home (then follows a long speach with thanking their mothers, fathers, school teachers etc for rasing such tolerant and calm children), some maradeurs went out and did their vandalizing thing. Behavior of people definitely tells a lot about how democratic the contry they come from is.
It was some cirtain dark power that was spreading untrue information and causing the trouble between nations.
(Yes sure, some western channels already showed the guy who had a small portrait of Putin with him. Of course it was those evil provocators that caused the trouble, Estonian authorities that removed the monument knowing half of their own population will feel absolutely shocked and offended, had nothing to do with it)

They respect the dead a lot, they respect the memories and culture of other nations. They had to move the monument to save it from drunk maradeurs. They basicaly had no choice because seeing how memories of dead soldiers are accociated with drunk maradeurs and are mentioned in same context on the news channels hurts their feelings. Dead should be respected (I thought 'maradeurs' came there because the monument was removed, not vice versa. There were over dozen of dead bodies next to that monument. Getting them out of the ground, removing the monument from the place lots of people used to attend and bring flowers to, calling them occupants is indeed the biggest sign of respect one could ever show).
________________________________________

No single mention of this monument being offensive for a part of their population. All was done only to take care of the monument and show respect to the dead.
Absolutely no responsibilty taken for 1 dead, hundreds of injured and arrested. Only evil powers of some known orgin to blame. They have absolutely nothing to do with it, they are shocked it happens.
Without saying it directly, he made it quite clear that all anti-democracy in Estonia comes from ethnic russians that are drunk maradeurs, vandals and hooligans, that whole thing was organized by russian authorities. And then he blames 'someone' for creating an atmosphere of hate and missunderstanding between 2 nations.
Long speech about how tolerant, democratic and economically well they are.

If this isn't one of the most hypocritical things I've ever heard, I don't know what it is.

And while he talks his bullshit, his own country is a mess (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR4ZFTJC_r8) and people get beaten and it will keep happening due to the perfect timing for this action they've chosen. Relationship between 2 countries will get much worse. Level of hate between people will raise drastically. And he knows for sure that whatever happens, western media and politics will blame everything on 'evil' Russia that keeps bullying small members of EU. For now most of european politics showed their support and only some Belgians pointed out that this monument was much less dangerous while it was where it was.

simon
01-05-2007, 21:14
You've put them on one side of equalation in your suppressing alternative points remark without giving any differences. You kept using Russia instead of USSR when it came to occupation matters and modern threat to East European countries. It did give impression that even if you do see some differences, they aren't that strong. Sorry, if this impression I got was wrong but there was no single hint in you long post to make me think otherwise.

Under Yeltsin, I thought Russia really had changed. But Putin isn't a democrat, he's an authoritarian. There is a longer Russian tradition of imperialism going back to Peter the Great that Putin has plugged in to. The Bolsheviks created the USSR to maintain that Russian empire. Yeltsin let the other countries go, although he later helped breakaway states in Georgia and Moldova to undermine those newly independent countries. Under Putin, we've seen a more aggressive approach to the neighbours.

I wasn't saying this to prove you that we can criticise Stalin. I was just saying that I'm not exactly brain-washed and I got a relatively healthy look on our past and present. And I was saying that I probably got a bit more information than you do, that this information includes views on this from USSR, democratinc Russia and the West at the same time, while you have only western look on things. You did have that tone of a person who talks like he knows for sure what he talks about and you've put lables on many things like you had right to.

So I must be brain washed? I don't have only the western perspective. I read RIA Novosti and other Russian news sources on Google News. I notice how the Russian state media's presentiation of events is so different from that of news sources from other countries around the world and Russia's Kommersant. Everyone's biased except the Russian state media?

And you do know for sure that it was done by our current government or Putin personally? It could easily be a provocation. Putin's position is strong enough here not to do such things. Killing people became a traditional way to 'solve problems' here quite a while ago. In many ways this tradition began in Yeltsin's Russia. The chaos we had in attempt to build democracy was quite bad, criminality level got terribly high, most political and business issues were solved in a ways that were really far from democratic. The list of journalists killed in 90ies is way longer than what we had with Putin so far. It's sad that it's happening, I hope that one day we'll be civilized enough for this to stop. You don't build a new perfect country in less than 20 years starting with the mess we had. I'll wholeheartedly agree if you say that we are still far from being as civilized and democratic as some countries with a long history of democratic regime. But I won't agree with saying Russia got worse with Putin taking the presidents chair. I feel it being much better actually. Musch safier and more stable to live in.

I don't know who was behind the killing of Anna Politkovskaya. I doubt it was a provocation, though, because she was far more helpful to Putin's opponents alive than murdered. She was really listened to in the West.

Russia under Yeltsin was lawless and chaotic. Putin has brought more order, but used it as an excuse for authoritarianism. Order doesn't require authoritarianism.

Those demonstrations were illegal, weren't they? As far as I remember, t.A.T.u. weren't allowed to gather all those girls in the center of London without asking for permission, they were also peaceful enough.

The demonstrators had a permit, but they had been forbidden to march anywhere. When people tried to leave that was interpreted as a violation and they, the bystanders and journalists were violently beaten and many were arrested. In London, there had been no permit request, but the girls, the bystanders and journalists weren't beaten or arrested.

But you can't do whatever your want even in democratic country. Official permission allows authorities to send police there to make sure everything goes smooth. In Russia such things are especially dangerous. We are not yet happy enough as a nation and people get agressive quite a lot. I still remember the bashing of center of Moscow after that football match against Japan as well as remember terracts we had there. It's important to keep things in order.

The Yabloko supporters demonstrating weren't football fans or terrorists, they're very mild-mannered liberals. A lot of the people beaten were pensioners.

We have elections comming, you know. And life always gets 'interesting' at such moments. I won't say Putin or current government are saint. But I wouldn't call those demonstrants victims either. Some of those guys get arrested few times a year for various provocations. I don't know who's right and who's wrong. All I know is those demonstrants needed a scandal much more than Putin did. Western media taking the side of anti-governmental demonstrants was rather predictable, so I personally wouldn't dramatize things too much here.

Sure, they demonstrate because they like getting beaten so much. Peacefully demonstrating is not a 'provocation' as you call it. It's a democratic right.

I'm sorry if you got this impression and double sorry if you found it offensive. I didn't mean that and I never suspected you in support for Hitler. What I meant was that while many bad things happened in USSR, there were good things too. You sounded like you believe Soviet Union was a home for evil, you keep talking about occupants, Stalin, suppressed opinions in modern Russia and all other bad things and expect me to accept this your view. You we giving me advises, saying how scary it is that I don't understand things etc. But for me it's the country I was born in, where my parents and grandparents were born and grew up, it's an important part of our history and culture. I can't and don't want to shave all this away and it has nothing to do with me not understanding what's bad, it's just that I can apperciate something that's good. I just count on you respecting this my position.

I said that Stalin was extremely evil, but the Soviet system became much less evil after his death. I didn't say and don't think that the people of the USSR were evil or that everything about life in the USSR was bad. It was a place where a great deal of normal life took place, where you and your family lived. I understand all that, I was married to someone who grew up in Ceausescu's Romania. I understand how people can live normal lives and feel attached to their homeland even under dictatorship.

The case with this estonian memorial is more complicated. Those soldiers didn't come there to conquire a free country. They were freeing it from nazis and that was a good thing to do. What happened next happened on some political level. Civil soviet people didn't even realize it was 'an occupation'. Estonians voted for parliment, parliment decided to join USSR, welcome 'brothers', let's build communism together. As I already said, Estonia was never treated as 'colony' and estonians were never slaves. They were a part of big country, USSR did use its resources to build infrastructure there. Generations of estonians themselves didn't see it as 'occupation'. Soviet propaganda was effective enough and they were born and grew up in a 'happy soviet brotherhood' with no one daring to tell them otherwise without risking to be shot or repressed. Those soldiers weren't 'occupants' in their heart during the war and weren't after it. Some of them died without ever seeing things this way.

But the Estonians didn't really vote any more than Russians did. Everybody knew the 'elections' were a sham. Tens of thousands of Estonians were sent to labour camps and many never returned. The Estonians did see it as occupation, not as 'happy soviet brotherhood'. The minds of the Balts weren't colonised by communism in the way that the minds of the people in other nations of the USSR were. That's why they made a speedy transition to the West afterwards and the other countries didn't.

That was an occupation on some top political level. No doubts here. Soviet Regime commited serious crimes against humanity. No doubts here either. But this part of the history is complicated. Even after USSR collapsed, after painful realization of what kind of hell soviet regime was, we kept feeling that all those people are not really foreigners to us. And it's not because we thought we still 'own' them, I repeat. We never did 'own'. We grew up with the idea they were 'brother nations' to us. We got used to respect and support them and counting on them doing same back. Such things are very hard to erase from mentality. For example when watching some sport competion on TV, you support ex-USSR sportsmen like if they were 'urs', you don't really think about it, you just feel this way. Or if you meet someone from those countries in far foreign country, you feel happy to see them like if they were russian. And russians weren't alone in feeling this way for a while till this 'let's go west' idea governments of those countries began to push.

I've read a lot about the difficulty that Russians have had in coming to terms with the end of the USSR and the economic collapse that came with it. I understand why people are nostalgic for the past. I also understand how Russians identified with the USSR rather than as Russians and found it hard to discover everyone else had seen them as foreigners.

I understand it a lot better than you might think because my parents were English and I grew up in Scotland. Yes, I'm kind of like those Russians rioting in Tallinn. The United Kingdom is a little like the USSR. For hundreds of years the English have confused Englishness and Britishness. I grew up in Scotland as it was experiencing its national re-awakening before it got its parliament back. I understood the differences between being British, being English and being Scottish - and I felt all three. I could see why the Scots felt aggrieved at the English and shared their frustration at English bossiness. I also hated Scottish parochialism and being an outsider in the country of my birth. But politically I sympathised with the Scots and how they felt about the relationship with England. Since Scotland and Wales got devolution in 1999, the English have come to realise that being English and British are different. It's something I always understood.

With all this current situation does make russians feel bit betrayed. This war meant a lot to us and it's very offensive to see how they remove the monuments for our dead and make it look like ones that fighed in Hitler's side were more of a heroes than ones that fighted against. It's hard to understand such things from where you are as you don't share our memories. But Estonians knew what they were doing pretty well.

It's the Estonians' country. You can't expect them to be grateful for being colonised. You were living in an illusion under the USSR and now reality bites.

West takes anything that's ani-russian as a sign of liberation, West takes any our protest as an attempt to bully countries we once 'occupied'. Governments of these newly independent countries want to be a part of modern Europe, want to be supported by NATO and EU and they hurry to please the West often taking things to extreme. It's very hard to see the line between some things for both Russia and the West.

Those countries weren't 'occupied'. They were occupied. Pretending it didn't really happen doesn't fool anyone except you.

That's not fully true. It's quite hard to say what's official and what's not. There were officials of the country present during the opening ceremony for the first one. Second one was installed with permission of authorities of the region. It's not the case when a small group of nationalists does it overnight. In this case I'd expect it removed next morning when people wake up and find out. It wouldn't need any 'pressure' from USA, EU and others. Don't forget that there are other monuments with Nazi symbolics (for example for Belgian and Netherlandian SS members). There were medals given out to the 'heroes of that another side'. There's quite some propaganda going on about this matter with new historics writing new view on old history. 2 countries that provided Hitler the strongest support in the region (Lithuania refused for example) in attempt to make the 'soviet' part of the history as dark as possible, look for another extreme. Someone had to fight for good in that war and who fighted soviets? You know know the answer. I don't say that Estonians or Latvians are Nazis or were Nazis during the war. It would be unfair. But their current authorities try really hard to please the West with being anti-soviet and anti-russian enough and in this attempt they take acceptance for fascism too far.

Pro-Nazi gestures certainly aren't an attempt to please the West. The thing the West still hates most is Nazism. I don’t believe that there should be statues celebrating the Nazis or the Soviets.

Look at you only country. You never were pro-soviet, UK was always one of the strongest opponents of USSR in this cold war and public opinion does reflect it pretty well nowadays. You aren't exactly on the Russian side in curent silent Cold War either. You are anti-soviet in all ways possible. But could such things happen in your democratic country? Don't you really see the difference between being anti-soviet and pro-nazi?

It may surprise you to hear this, but the UK was anti-Nazi as well as anti-Soviet. We fought the Nazis when Stalin was carving up Poland with Hitler.

That's a new 'excuse' actually. They came up with it after making decision to remove the monument. There were some troubles with this monument some time ago. A group of nationalists organized a loud event there demanding for the monument to be removed from the square. And later at night the monument was vandalized. Authorities had to bring police forces in there not to allow similar events to happen again. And then they decide to do exactly what those nationalists demanded.. This monument was there for years and there are people burried not far from that place. Now would you like if someone took a grave stone from your granddad's grave and moved it to another cemetry?

I've read in Kommersant that the identities of the people buried aren't known and that they didn't even know how many bodies are buried in Freedom Square.

We don't know for sure why they allowed Stalin to 'occupy' Eastern Europe. Your theory is just a theory. But they could stop him and Hitler much earlier and prevent WWII. There were quite ugly moments in WWI as well. It's not about moral responsibility. I'm just saying no one was saint and it's not fair to say otherwise.

Stalin didn't 'occupy' eastern Europe. He occupied it.

I don't say we were close because of this 'influence'. I say I do know this 'influence' did take place and it would be unfair of me to claim otherwise.
And no, I wasn't mentioning intervention after WWI. I meant something that happened much earlier in czarist Russia. We have a long and intense history together since the time we were 'Kievskaya Rus' and 'Rech Pospolitaya'. There were a lot of attacks from both sides and I see no point in trying to remember who was worse. It shouldn't justify hate in the modern world.

Poland spent 191 years of the last 235 years under Russian or Soviet occupation and you think that there's no point remembering that? You really did make me laugh! Russians certainly need to remember that and not pretend innocence.

All this is not something those countries need military shields against. Russia has enough of independence to deal with things inside of the country without intervention but it can't and has no intention to attack or even threat with attack any of these countries.

Russia isn't doing it directly. They instead support breakaway armies in Georgia and Moldova.

Case with Lithuania is just a routine of the war for the oil market. We don't attack them, we don't rob them off anything. We just stop selling them something we aren't obliged to sell at all. Dirty? Yeah for sure. But these are games not only Russia plays.

You don’t have to attack a country militarily to bully it.

Other 2 cases are not as simple as you make them sound. It's not like we just came up with the idea 'lets show Gergia who's the boss' and started bullying them. There are quite serious troubles there and new Georgian government knows what to do and who's help to count on. Don't make them look all poor and unprotected. In this situation they definitely aren't or they wouldn't take actions they take.

There are quite serious troubles in Georgia because Russia has been supporting armed groups there. Georgia is poor and unprotected. Russia’s embargo is making life hard for the Georgians. Russia’s military support for Transdnestria is destabilising and impoverishing Moldova.

And? :) You don't have politics that say stupid things from time to time? There's no official economical blockade on Estonia. Even if there was, it would be our right not to do business with the country we don't want to be dealing with. It has nothing to do with military threats once again.

Threatening to cripple Estonia’s economy, as the chairman of the Duma foreign relations committee did, is a bullying threat.

What those countries need is not american bases to protect them from Russian military forces. They need stable economics not to feel economically dependant on us. It's wierd to constantly do things to annoy us and at the same time expect 'special treatment'.

It's not asking for special treatment to want Russia to stop backing rebel armies and stop imposing economic blockades on them whenever they do anything Russia dislikes.

Eku1
02-05-2007, 01:38
Oh God, I couldn't read everything about Estonian case you have written here, but what I read, especially written by la aurora as Russians point of view, there needs to be lot of explainations and discussing. I'm just too tired to do it for now, but I'll do that soon.
Btw. I'm an Estonian myself.

simon
02-05-2007, 10:34
Absolutely no responsibilty taken for 1 dead, hundreds of injured and arrested. Only evil powers of some known orgin to blame. They have absolutely nothing to do with it, they are shocked it happens.

The person who died was stabbed by a rioter. It's reasonable to stop and arrest rioters. A riot is not a peaceful demonstration.

And while he talks his bullshit, his own country is a mess (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR4ZFTJC_r8) and people get beaten and it will keep happening due to the perfect timing for this action they've chosen. Relationship between 2 countries will get much worse. Level of hate between people will raise drastically.

The video clip is has the title 'eSStonia'. It shows police non-violently arresting people. It, rather than the Estonian prime minister, is inflaming the situation and creating hate.

And he knows for sure that whatever happens, western media and politics will blame everything on 'evil' Russia that keeps bullying small members of EU.
For now most of european politics showed their support and only some Belgians pointed out that this monument was much less dangerous while it was where it was.

I know, everyone in Europe is wrong except poor little Russia.

tanrah
03-05-2007, 15:19
I know, everyone in Europe is wrong except poor little Russia.

Today JSC "Russian railways" has interrupted suppling Estonia with oil by technical reasons - of course. I suppose this argument will be undersandable for estonian nazi.

It is absolutely clear that your NATO countries respect only power and violence. Be calm - all your protests againest "russian imperialism" will be ignored by European goverments. Agreement with Gasprom and Transneft is more important.))))))

Poland spent 191 years of the last 235 years under Russian or Soviet occupation and you think that there's no point remembering that?

Do you understand the term "occupation"? Poland was an independent state - UNO member and Warshaw pakt member. Following your conclusions I can consider UK as occupied country - becouse last one is a NATO and EU member. And your "independent" goverment allows US to have airfields and bases in Kingdom.

Being UK citizen I would be confused to speak about "occupation" and colonialism - since hands of your militants covered with blood of many nations in Asia and Africa.

And the last one. 3 weeks ago Lord-mayor John Stattard visited Saint-Petersburg. At press conference he had declared that about 60% of super-expensive (more than USD 5 mln for 1 building) real estate in City of London belongs to russins. What's about occupation?

haku
03-05-2007, 17:38
NATO rebukes Russia over Estonia statue dispute

NATO has stepped into the dispute between Russia and Estonia over a Soviet-era statue, asking that Moscow put a stop to the violence outside the Estonian embassy in the Russian capital.

In a statement issued on Thursday (3 May), the organisation said it was "deeply concerned by threats to the physical safety of Estonian diplomatic staff, including the ambassador, in Moscow, as well as intimidation at the Estonian embassy."

"These actions are unacceptable and must be stopped immediately; tensions over the Soviet war memorial and graves in Estonia must be resolved diplomatically between the two countries," it continued.

The NATO comment comes amid escalating tension between Moscow and Tallinn concerning Estonia's decision to move a bronze statue of a soldier erected by the then Soviet authorities in 1947.

The Bronze Soldier is seen by many Russians as a testament to the Soviet Union's painful contribution to the World War II effort, but it is regarded by most Estonians as a symbol of 20th century Soviet oppression.

The authorities shifted the statue from the centre of Tallinn to a military cemetery last week, sparking riots in the Estonian capital - around one quarter of Estonia's 1.3 million population is ethnically Russian. The "siege" of Estonia's embassy in Moscow began around the same time.

Vienna Convention
The EU has also called on Russia to put a halt to the violence in Moscow, taking the unusually quick step of issuing a formal request for Russia to fall in line with the UN's so-called Vienna Convention on diplomatic protection.

But Russia denies it is in the wrong, saying instead that Estonia's "provocative" actions have led to the dispute between the two countries.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that moving the statue has "led to seriously negative consequences for Russian-Estonian relations," according to the BBC.

The Russian foreign ministry also spoke with the Moscow ambassadors of the European Commission, Germany and Portugal (the current and next EU presidencies, respectively) on Wednesday night, Reuters reports.

Russian officials expressed "deep bewilderment" at the meeting about what they called the "lack of a principled assessment by the European Union of the actions of the Tallinn government."

Energy dimension to political row
In the meantime, Moscow has also halted rail supplies of oil to the small Baltic state.

Although it has denied the oil move is politically-motivated, the action is likely to once more raise EU fears about Russia's willingness to use its vast oil and gas resources as political weapons.

The same fears were sparked last year when Moscow cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and again this year, when it stopped gas supplies to Belarus.

The two incidents prompted a major rethink of EU energy policy, a key aim of which has now become to reduce EU dependency on Russian oil and gas in future.

The Russia-Estonia dispute is also taking place within the wider context of Moscow's unhappiness over NATO's recent expansion to include several countries - Estonia among them - that were previously within the Soviet sphere of influence.

EU Observer (http://euobserver.com/9/23991)

simon
04-05-2007, 00:43
Today JSC "Russian railways" has interrupted suppling Estonia with oil by technical reasons - of course. I suppose this argument will be undersandable for estonian nazi.

It is absolutely clear that your NATO countries respect only power and violence. Be calm - all your protests againest "russian imperialism" will be ignored by European goverments. Agreement with Gasprom and Transneft is more important.))))))

It seems from the latest news that NATO isn't as cynical as you are.

Do you understand the term "occupation"? Poland was an independent state - UNO member and Warshaw pakt member. Following your conclusions I can consider UK as occupied country - becouse last one is a NATO and EU member. And your "independent" goverment allows US to have airfields and bases in Kingdom.

Is this a joke? Poland was a member of the Warsaw Pact because its government was imposed on it by Soviet troops. As soon as the Soviet Union allowed Poland to have free elections they elected a government that left the Warsaw Pact and asked for Soviet forces to leave. Poland then freely decided to apply to join NATO and the EU. All the other countries that the USSR had occupied at the end of WW II made the same decisions as soon as the Soviet Union allowed them to choose their own governments. Freely elected governments in the UK and other countries decided invite the US to have bases to defend us from the Soviet Union and to join NATO and the EU. Nobody forced us to do those things. The Warsaw Pact was to NATO as rape is to consensual sex.

la aurora
04-05-2007, 05:14
simon,

there's of course some truth in what you are saying but at the same time you ignore quite a lot of very important facts and factors and you tend to idealize EU, NATO, USA and Allies army back in years. It's much more complicated than that and there was always quite a lot of hypocricy shown from all sides, including current situation.

NATO reacted only when they got an excuse of Russia breaking the agreements of Vienna Convention. It's a safe playing. They've picked up on something obvious and stayed silient when it comes to other things.

But where were they when Russian authorities sent official requests to investigate situations in Estonia, Latvia and some other East-European countries? International community decided to ignore them completely.

And don't expect NATO and USA in particular to make decisions on honorable issues alone. Give it some time, all 3 sides will get tired of playing 'democracy' and 'patriotism' and will concentrate on something that's more important for them. West won't openly confront Russia for poor little Estonia, they'll find financial interests and political stability more important. Estonia will come back to senses too when they see that EU is not going to sponsor them and they'll find themselves in serious trouble as economically they depend on Russia a lot (Russian market for their goods and huge money they get from transits through Estonia by Russian companies). Russia won't be too mad for too long either. We can afford acting offended for a bit but in the end we have some established business ways that go through Estonia and looking for new ones takes time and money.

Anyway, I'm planning to post some essay on issues regarding our government, situation is the region and military issues with our neighbours. May be it will give you a better idea on some things as I can see you aren't informed well enough concerning some issues.

tanrah
04-05-2007, 09:24
Is this a joke?

You are victim of govermental propaganda. We lived in USSR with strong state ideology - so we have critcal point of view - we used not to beieve in any official news and we are are ready to hear your opinion. I don't want to confrontate with you this forum.
So I have a right to consider you and your owner (US) as an enemy and you have the same right. But take in account that 90s years finished and Russia as an enemy is not the best situation for you...

The Warsaw Pact was to NATO as rape is to consensual sex.

Bullshit... WP and NATO are the military alliances. Or your statments based on grandpa's magazines...
Your mind is heavy armoured againest any other viewpoint - you look like official from Communist party propaganda department.

NATO isn't as cynical as you are.

Just business - nothing personal)) This idiom was born in your world. I believe in Gasprom and Rurgaz management experience.

simon
04-05-2007, 12:32
You are victim of govermental propaganda. We lived in USSR with strong state ideology - so we have critcal point of view - we used not to beieve in any official news and we are are ready to hear your opinion. I don't want to confrontate with you this forum.
So I have a right to consider you and your owner (US) as an enemy and you have the same right. But take in account that 90s years finished and Russia as an enemy is not the best situation for you...

Bullshit... WP and NATO are the military alliances. Or your statments based on grandpa's magazines...
Your mind is heavy armoured againest any other viewpoint - you look like official from Communist party propaganda department.

I point out that Poland was forced to join the Warsaw Pact and freely decided to join NATO. You respond that I'm repeating government propaganda like a Communist official! The inconsistency and hypocrisy in your position is laughable.

tanrah
04-05-2007, 13:14
I point out that Poland was forced to join the Warsaw Pact

I didn't know this fact. WP is a military alliance based on agreement of socialistic states against agressive NATO block. WP existed since 1955, NATO-1949.

simon
04-05-2007, 18:53
And tanrah wrote a few posts back that he/she didn't fall for propaganda, but I sounded like an official from the Communist Party propaganda department. :D

Linda16
05-05-2007, 03:34
Thank you, simon and haku for explaining Estonia's history. There are so many facts and opinions in which la aurora is wrong, that I can't answer to all of them separately. But I think that the most important fact is that Estonia was not 'occupied' by USSR, Estonia was occupied and in even twice, in 1940 and in 1944. In 1940 the Soviet troops invaded Estonia and a marionette government was organised here by Moscow.
In 1944 when the Soviet troops invaded Estonia the second time, Estonia had actually declared independance. German troops had left Tallinn, we had our own government and our own blue-black-white flag in the tower of Toompea, Pikk Hermann. The Soviet army teared it down and replaced it with red flag. And the terror that had started in 1940 continued during all these years.

No one in Estonia lived happily in "a big Soviet family". Estonian children were not brainwashed by Soviet propaganda, because they had their memories from their parents and grandparents, who had suffered from deportations and imprisonments. Estonians remained Estonians and were proud of it during all these 50 years.


As for the riots in Tallinn last week ( I was away and I could not see it myself), the police did not attack innocent and peaceful demonstrators, as Russian media tries to depict it. Police attacked when the vandalizm and robbing started.

You can see yourself what happened in Tallinn: drunken youngsters are beating windows, burning shops, stealing and robbing:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBeKUgFI13s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQR-IqdmIRo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV7FfUzj0Dw

I believe you know that the youth organisation Nashi terrorised Estonian embassy in Moscow and tried to attack our ambassador.

Also attacks to Estonian government servers are executed from Russian government and Kremlin IP-numbers.

So, please don't be naive and think that Russia was not behind it all. It all was a well-organised intelligence operation, directed from Moscow, paid by Moscow, organised by local activists and provocators.

Estonia behaved as a state that is ready to protect itself. I am proud of it.

la aurora
05-05-2007, 08:33
Linda16,
sorry. I do respect your feelings and can see where some of your points come from but still I don't agree. Both governments are involved in this for their reasons and either can be fully believed.

I do put the word 'occupy' not to make it look like whole Estonian nation was dreaming to become a part of USSR days and nights. That's not true. I do put this word in quotes as we have yet to define this term regarding some countries of Eastern Europe and Estonia in particular. Unfortunately I have some urgent work at the moment that I need to finish but once I'm done, I'll get back here and explain what I mean exactly. So don't hurry to argue with arguments you haven't yet heard.

Claiming whole Estonia was absolutely against joining USSR is as wrong as claiming the opposite. Your country has a complicated history and your population couldn't make up your mind quite a lot back in years. There were people that were fighting on Hitler's side against bolsheviks as well as there were people that did the opposite. There were supporters of joining USSR as there's a whole lot of historical, economical and mentality reasons for that. And you can't claim everyone was unhappy because the picture wasn't as bad as your current historics make it look. Don't forget that quite a lot of people in your current government that started all this anti-soviet hysteria weren't exactly rebells hiding in forests. Ansip for example was building a nice happy career and showing effort no one forced him to show.

I don't buy this 'it was organized by russian government' stuff. It goes against logic.
1. Was it Russian government to come up with the idea of removing the monument? Estonia was living on the bomb for a while. It's an obvious mistake (or was it intentionally?) of your government who had to know that good half of their own population will go crazy over this. Their were absolutely no surprise in reaction of Russia either. This was rather obvious after all the fuss that that law itself was surrounded with. Or were your authorities forced to do that?
2. Were they forced to do it so close to 9th May knowing how high the level of russian patriotism gets at such moments both in Russia and Estonia?
3. Was it russian government to put majority of ethnic Russians in position of aliens, that don't have even basic rights? This monument story was just a last drop that got the party started but reasons for all this lay in previous events. Those people basicly don't see what they can lose in this situation.
4. Was it Russian government to put words in the mouths of your authorities and to pay for anti-russian publications in some big estonian papers? Or don't you yourself hear that there's absolutely no respect for russians as nation in this situation? Don't you hear how they all keep calling russians nothing but hooligans and maradeurs and constantly repeat how it was Russia to organize this mess, how we want to tear your country apart with nationalistic ideas? Where is at least a slight concern for the feelings of half of your population, where's realization that those people do feel hurt? Why is it that it's only feelings of Estonians that are taken into consideration? I'm not even saying about respecting those feelings and acting on them, but I've yet to see even a basic realization of the fact those feelings exist.

And the last thing. Look at this objectively and see who really benefits from this situation? What does Estonia get from this and what could Russia possibly count on?

Estonia got the chance to once again play a victim and get attention from EU and NATO. It was rather obvious who's side those organizations would take. This brings Estonia closer to getting protection from NATO (for example military bases on your territory). It brings Estonia closer to their goal of international tribunal equaling Nazi and Soviet regimes and making Russia paying compensations for the past. This idea is quite popular in several countries nowadays. It helps to justify revanchistic and nationalistic ideas your current government is so fond of. It helps to create an image of 'bad' Russian to justify position of Russians in Estonia in particular and this whole 'Estonians and other people' ideas.

Russia couldn't count on getting any kind of countrol over Estonia. We are talking about independant country, member of EU and NATO. Any plans of this kind would be just absurd. Russia gets even worse relationship with the West after this story which doesn't exactly helps us to join VTO. Russia gets bashed in world media and falls even lower in the eyes of ordinary people like public opinion on us wasn't bad enough.

Both countries suffer economically. It was obvious that that reaction of Russia was coming as it's the only measure we can take in current situation. While it's of course more painful for Estonia, still it doesn't benefit Russia either. We don't earn money on breaking relationship with you, we loose them.

Both governments benefit when it comes to inside political situations. It creates the image of the outside enemy that gets public attention off other actions of the government, the wave of patriotism and nationalistic ideas gives additional points to authorities that ride that wave. But selections in Estonia are much closer than ours.

Now while I totally disagree with the idea of haku and simon being able to give an objective look on the history of USSR and Estonia for the reason of never being here when all that was happening, I can trust them in giving non-baised opinion on situation that requires common logic. If you, guys, are able to shave away the image of 'poor ocuupated Estonia' and 'evil authoritarian and agressive Russia' for a bit and look at this situation from the point of logic, that would be really cool if you could give your honest opinion on who's responsible for events in Tallin.

I really don't like seeing all those fights in Tallin. It hurts my feelings just as much as yours. This shouldn't happen. But 'drunk youngsters and maradeurs' is the position of your authorities. I'm sure there were a lot of young people in there as they are always most emotional and agressive when it comes to such situations. And I never said this was a peaceful protests. But can you honestly say there was time and reson for peaceful demonstrations? Did those people actually have a chance to be heard? Majority of them aren't even citizens of your country. They had nothing to lose. Claiming all of them came there only for the sake of stealing, robbing and breaking anything is just another way to totally deny right of ethnic Russians to feel deeply hurt but this decision of your government. 1/3 of all people arrasted that night were ethnic estonians, younf citizens of your country. It's still a big question who organized what there.

There were cruel methods used by your police to stop 'maradeurs'. There are quite a lot of reports on russian-speaking forums that hardly come from our government as they are much more descriptive than version of our media. quite a lot of people were beaten and arested for no reason. Many of those were teenagers. I won't say that some of it couldn't be fabricated as I'm quite aware of professionalism of our FSB. No one is going to do anything about it but sending official request for investigation. I hope international community won't ignore this one. It just suprises me how demonstrations in Moscow and St.-Peterburg were met with such a fuss and our police was blamed for cruelty. And at the same time western media pretends not to notice worse things when it comes to EU. I wonder what a big scandal it would be if story like this one (http://www.iltalehti.fi/uutiset/200705016054874_uu.shtml) appeared in media and how fast would it be in every paper of the world was it Russian police to be accused of those things (the article is from Finland. The heroes of it are Germans. But probably it was also paid by Russian government. Finns are so on our side when it comes to that war :) )

Nashi were using their democratic right to express their opinion. There was police there and people were being arrested for extra-agression. Of course there couldn't be any kind of serious fight when authorities of the city, police guys and demonstrates feel pretty much the same. I suspect that actions of authorities weren't too strict but that doesn't mean everytone could do everything and get away with it. It's also wierd to claim it was organized by authorities as similar protests are happening near in every region of the country. I don't really see anyone around who doesn't feel offended by the action your governmnet took. Would be wierd to expect people bringing flowers to your Ambassy and would be wierd to expect authorities using brutal force against people they share similar feelings with.

In case of attack on the servers, it sounds fishy. Anyone could say anyone but it would be wierd to do it from Kremlin IP's, don't you think? We aren't that bad with computers here. I guess your government should request official investigation on this by the 3rd side. If this investigation proves this really happened, you should insist on punishment for the guilty ones. I will just applause you for that and boo the idiots you did this. But for now this is just another trick used in informational war that is happening now.

Linda16
06-05-2007, 02:09
la aurora, let's define at first where we are coming from. I am an Estonian, but I'm here, on this forum, because I'm a fan of a Russian girl band. Besides this I am fascinated about great Russian literature, I consider Dostoyevski one of the best writers in the whole world, I admire Mikhail Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita”, I find Viktor Pelevin to be a genius. I can very well make the difference between Russian culture, Russian people and the politics of Russian government. I know, la aurora, that you are a smart girl, because I liked your posts when you wrote under the nick sunny posion . Therefore I’m trying to explain the situation further. And also for all the others who are reading this thread.

Russia has never totally accepted that it lost Baltic States in 1991. Estonians were lucky in the early 1990s because we managed to get back our freedom without any blood, although Russian tanks were also in our streets. Throughout 1990s and early 2000s Russia has bullied its neighbouring states separately – Georgia, Moldova, Latvia. Now it was Estonia’s turn.

Read these articles, they give an objective picture of what happened and the political background of it:
http://www.delfi.ee/news/paevauudised/estoniareports/article.php?id=15822956

http://www.delfi.ee/news/paevauudised/estoniareports/article.php?id=15822932

The infamous monument stood silently in the middle of our city for 15 years. On the 9th May Soviet war veterans gathered there, but Estonians did not pay much attention to it during all these years. Until last year, it was not just old veterans who gathered there, there were also young men with red flags, aggressive and shouting communist slogans. You know, it is not very pleasant sight to see red flags in the capital of an independent state. The monument was politicised suddenly.
This created discontent among Estonians and groups of Estonians started to gather there with Estonian flags, which caused fights and collisions. Soon after that Nochnoi Dozor was created, a organisation of young Russians. Some of the people related to Nochnoi Dozor were also activists of Interfront movement in early 1990s – a organization of Russians who opposed Estonian independence. Nochnoi Dozor was definitely supported by Russian government. The monument became a place that created disturbance and disorder in the city. It was a symbol, but I’m absolutely sure, if there had not been Bronze Soldier, then some another statue or place would have been politicised. So, it became quite obvious already last spring, that Estonia had to move this monument, for showing that Estonia is an independent state. And for showing that Russia does not have power over Estonia, telling us what to do.

The removal of the monument was only a matter of time. Perhaps the timing was not the best, summer would have been better, when people are on vacations.
But, the demonstrations against it were definitely organised by Russia and with the help of local provocateurs. Certainly, there were a lot of people who were present out of curiosity. However, if you look at the videos of the marauders, you see that even young girls rob the shops.

I repeat, the videos that Russian media shows, depict only demonstrations and police. They don’t show the vandalism. Actually, the city was in total chaos, the crazy mass destroyed everything in its way, shouting Rossija! Rossija! And only after that police (in my opinion even too late), attacked and arrested the vandals.
I was abroad during the riots and the information I got from home was really terrifying. My only question was – where is the police? And when the police managed to restore law and order in the city, it was a real relief.

Estonia managed to resist Russia’s plotting this time. In these two days of April, Estonia did not render to Russia’s dictations. We saved our state.

haku
06-05-2007, 15:36
http://www.delfi.ee/news/paevauudised/estoniareports/article.php?id=15822932That article hits the nail right on the head. Indeed, Yeltsin wanted Russia to break away from the USSR, he wanted it to collapse and disappear just like all other Eastern European countries, and that's why Russia's relations with its neighbors and the West were so good at the time, in the mid 90s there were even talks of Russia eventually joining NATO and the EU… Those days are long gone.
With Putin we are now once again dealing with an imperial Russia with territorial claims on its neighbors and bullying tactics, and that makes all the difference. The Russian official rhetoric is now strikingly similar to what was coming from the USSR when i was a teenager, it's pretty much the same political line with simply 10 to 15 years of detente between then and now (and since we are on a Tatu forum, Tatu's short success in the West will probably remain a symbol of that detente period).
Those who had warned already in the early 90s that we would have a short window to spread and consolidate democracy to Eastern Europe before Russia would revert to an authoritarian regime turned out to be absolutely right.

la aurora
06-05-2007, 16:51
That article hits the nail right on the head. Indeed, Yeltsin wanted Russia to break away from the USSR, he wanted it to collapse and disappear just like all other Eastern European countries, and that's why Russia's relations with its neighbors and the West were so good at the time, in the mid 90s there were even talks of Russia eventually joining NATO and the EU… Those days are long gone.
With Putin we are now once again dealing with an imperial Russia with territorial claims on its neighbors and bullying tactics, and that makes all the difference. The Russian official rhetoric is now strikingly similar to what was coming from the USSR when i was a teenager, it's pretty much the same political line with simply 10 to 15 years of detente between then and now (and since we are on a Tatu forum, Tatu's short success in the West will probably remain a symbol of that detente period).
Those who had warned already in the early 90s that we would have a short window to spread and consolidate democracy to Eastern Europe before Russia would revert to an authoritarian regime turned out to be absolutely right.

Sorry, haku. But I can't even take it as offense. It sounds like well.. paranoia?
You sound pretty much idealistic when talking about 90ies and collapse of USSR. Are you aware that those heros of the era that released poor East European countries later admitted it was a mistake? And they actually had a lot of reasons for that? Or do you probably realize how much pressure from the West were they getting when making those decisions and what a mistake it was to do exactly what they were pushed into without thinking about hundred of important things they had to think about? What they did wasn't exactly good for most of East European countries.

And it's funny how now we went back to imperial Russia that suddenly becomes an ethalon of evil. Will we go even deeper in history now? What's next?

As far as I know, Yeltsin started Chechen War. Putin started none. Bullying attacks and territory claims... I wonder if we are really as bad as you make it sound, because if we occupied any of our neighbours lately, I'm not informed.

What I see now is not soviet rhetoric, I hear rhetoric of cold war. You are basicly creating an image of a big evil enemy of humanity now. No wonder you thought the same about USSR.

Argos
06-05-2007, 17:36
Indeed, Yeltsin wanted Russia to break away from the USSR, he wanted it to collapse and disappear just like all other Eastern European countries, and that's why Russia's relations with its neighbors and the West were so good at the time, in the mid 90s there were even talks of Russia eventually joining NATO and the EU… Those days are long gone....
Those who had warned already in the early 90s that we would have a short window to spread and consolidate democracy to Eastern Europe before Russia would revert to an authoritarian regime turned out to be absolutely right.
Eltsin and his politics failed. Maybe you are not fully aware of this. He gave away Russia's wealth (of ressources) to the mafia aka "family", and the people were at the edge of starvation. The turbulences about that made the nationalist military fraction strong. Putin is no democrat, he is the fire brigade. Civil war, return to communism or military dictatorship were the other options. I think, what we have got, is not the worst of all cases, but democracy has lost. Seen as a whole, sacrificing democracy for a prospering Russian population is not that bad.

The relationship between the other countries and Russia were so good in Eltsin's time, because every country had their profit from Russia's decline, but not the Russian people. This is now a movement in the other direction. It's time of retaliation of all involved parties but when they have seen that it doesn't bring benefit, then reason will have a chance again.

Patience and foresighted policy is necessary now, not accusations, threats and revenge. When Russian policy can work relaxed, then democracy and good relation with their neighbours will follow sooner or later.

simon
06-05-2007, 20:39
Sorry, haku. But I can't even take it as offense. It sounds like well.. paranoia?
You sound pretty much idealistic when talking about 90ies and collapse of USSR. Are you aware that those heros of the era that released poor East European countries later admitted it was a mistake? And they actually had a lot of reasons for that? Or do you probably realize how much pressure from the West were they getting when making those decisions and what a mistake it was to do exactly what they were pushed into without thinking about hundred of important things they had to think about? What they did wasn't exactly good for most of East European countries.

The end of the Soviet empire and the collapse of communism had very different effect in different places. In Russia, Yeltsin practiced a form of 'democracy' that meant lawlessness and a brand of kleptocratic 'capitalism' that turned out to be a handful of oligarchs somehow ending up as owners of Russia's natural resources, which they 'bought' from the state for almost nothing. This went hand in hand with a huge collapse in living standards and of the health of the people. Something rather similar, sometimes more extreme and sometimes less extreme, happened in most of the other European countries that had been part of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, most of the former satellite states and the Baltic states had a rather different experience. There was economic contraction and a lot of pain, but not on anything like the same scale. There was corruption, but the states did not become kleptocracies. Fairly functional democracies were extablished with normal party systems and alternation of power between parties. After several years, the economies started to recover. They joined NATO and EU.

Russia was headed down a slope to social implosion when Putin became president. But, luckily, the price of oil and gas, Russia's main exports, stopped falling and rose to be unusually high. Putin then took back Yukos and used that example to frighten the other oligarchs into paying taxes.

The other European countries in the USSR didn't have many natural resources. They remained headed in a very frightening direction. In Georgia and Ukraine there were popular revolutions inspired by the idea of getting off that track and onto the track the central Europeans had followed. But Putin's Russia doesn't want more countries to go down the Western route.

The West was wrong to back Yeltsin so enthusiastically. It was apparent early on that he was pursuing very flawed policies, but there was a mistaken assumption that things would work out in the end. Actually, they ended up discrediting the idea of democracy in Russia.

And it's funny how now we went back to imperial Russia that suddenly becomes an ethalon of evil. Will we go even deeper in history now? What's next?

It's not thinking Russians are evil, it's pointing out that Russia is behaving in the imperialist way it did in the past.

As far as I know, Yeltsin started Chechen War. Putin started none. Bullying attacks and territory claims... I wonder if we are really as bad as you make it sound, because if we occupied any of our neighbours lately, I'm not informed.

Yeltsin started a war in Chechnya, as you say. It ended in Chechen independence. When Putin was prime minister he started the second Chechen war and has continued it through his period in office. Putin rode the popularity of starting the second war to the presidency.

The pretext for starting the second war was the apartment bombings. It's interesting that soon after the last of those bombings Russian police caught FSB officers planting such a bomb in another apartment building. The FSB said it was just a training exercise, but it does seem rather suspicious. It's also curious that many people in Russia who have tried to investigate those bombings have been assassinated.

What I see now is not soviet rhetoric, I hear rhetoric of cold war. You are basicly creating an image of a big evil enemy of humanity now. No wonder you thought the same about USSR.

You were two when Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union. He was completely different from all previous Soviet leaders and over the next few years life in the USSR and international relations were transformed. When you were six the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War was definitively over. You can have no personal memories of what the Cold War was like. We are old enough to remember those times. The attempt to smear Estonia and its supporters as fascists is straight out of the playbook of Soviet propaganda in the Cold War against the West.

This new cold war is different from the old one. Russia's big new weapon isn't its armed forces, it's gas. Turning off the gas has already been used against Georgia and Ukraine to force them to pay Western rates as they were no longer Russian allies. Most countries formerly in the Soviet bloc are completely dependent on Russian gas and as North Sea gas runs out western European countries are beginning to rely on it too.The spectre stalking Europe right now is fear that Russia will turn off the gas supply to exert political control. It's already done it to Georgia and Ukraine. Who's next?

Argos
06-05-2007, 21:28
Mostly agreed, but there are a few things I see a bit different.
The other European countries in the USSR didn't have many natural resources. They remained headed in a very frightening direction. In Georgia and Ukraine there were popular revolutions inspired by the idea of getting off that track and onto the track the central Europeans had followed. But Putin's Russia doesn't want more countries to go down the Western route.
I think Georgia is a special case. In Soviet times very different nationalities were joint to the Grusinian SSR against the will of most of the northern and western 'Grusinian' people. When Georgia became independent, those ethnical groups IMMEDIATELY wanted to split off, namely Adjaria, Abchasia and South Ossetia, which always wanted a reunion with northern Ossets. Tbilisi reacted with all their brutality to this efforts until the Russian minorities in those regions called for the Red Army, who since then 'protected' them, certainly not out of humanity, but because they wanted to avoid the conflict spread to the northern (Russian) Caucasus. This protection was negotiated internationally, so no use to blame Russia for this.

Georgia got more and more important for the USA and EU, because of the oil-pipeline projects from the Caspic to the Black Sea, but the conflicts could not be solved. Russia stopped the support for Adjaria, their most distant trouble spot, to give Georgia the chance to show, that they are able to solve the ethnic problems peacefully and in consent with the population. They failed. So Russia is no more willing to cooperate with Georgia. The conflict between Russia and Georgia escalated. My view to this: The USA and EU were far too long only economically interested in Georgia, not politically. Their efforts now, to join Georgia to NATO and EU, is just another affront to Russia, solving the ethnic problem in 'ingesting' Georgia into their realm.

This new cold war is different from the old one. Russia's big new weapon isn't its armed forces, it's gas. Turning off the gas has already been used against Georgia and Ukraine to force them to pay Western rates as they were no longer Russian allies. Most countries formerly in the Soviet bloc are completely dependent on Russian gas and as North Sea gas runs out western European countries are beginning to rely on it too.The spectre stalking Europe right now is fear that Russia will turn off the gas supply to exert political control. It's already done it to Georgia and Ukraine. Who's next?
Well, this should be seen in a different way, too. The World Trade Union has moaned since years, that Russia gives it's 'satellites' oil and gas for a fraction (about 10 %) of the world market price and requested that Russia should increase the prices in several steps, which has been promised by Russia. They just began with those countries, who were not especially 'cooperative' with Russia. theft and then closing off the pipelines were the logical consequences. I wouldn't blame Russia for this. Every country who has the power to do so, makes strategical politics with it's ressources. The USA began a war, justified with lies, for this.

Linda16
06-05-2007, 23:33
Some more information about the timing of the Bronze Soldier's removal. In my last post I presented an opinion that summer would have been a better period for this action. However, today a interview with one Estonian intelligence analytic was broadcasted on TV. Estonian intelligence had made clear that the biggest riot was planned to be held on the 9th of May this year. For this revolt also a lot of weapons - knives, chains, brass-nuckles, masks - were procured. Fortunately, as government acted faster, then during the two days of April the organisers had no time to provide all rioters with weapons, so there were less casualities, than it would have been during the 9th of May. So, I will take back my words and say that the timing was right.

And of course, the Bronze Soldier is not destroyed, but only relocated. It stands now in the military cemetary: Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xhBLDqeQQo)

simon
06-05-2007, 23:44
Mostly agreed, but there are a few things I see a bit different.

I think Georgia is a special case. In Soviet times very different nationalities were joint to the Grusinian SSR against the will of most of the northern and western 'Grusinian' people. When Georgia became independent, those ethnical groups IMMEDIATELY wanted to split off, namely Adjaria, Abchasia and South Ossetia, which always wanted a reunion with northern Ossets. Tbilisi reacted with all their brutality to this efforts until the Russian minorities in those regions called for the Red Army, who since then 'protected' them, certainly not out of humanity, but because they wanted to avoid the conflict spread to the northern (Russian) Caucasus. This protection was negotiated internationally, so no use to blame Russia for this.

That's true about South Ossetia, but in Abkhazia it's the Abkhazians who committed the biggest human rights violations, with Russian support. About 250,000 ethnic Georgians (the majority of the population) were ethnically cleansed from Abkhazia.

Georgia got more and more important for the USA and EU, because of the oil-pipeline projects from the Caspic to the Black Sea, but the conflicts could not be solved.

It could instead be said that Georgia became more important to Russia because it wants to prevent any such pipeline being built as it would reduce its leverage in the region.

Russia stopped the support for Adjaria, their most distant trouble spot, to give Georgia the chance to show, that they are able to solve the ethnic problems peacefully and in consent with the population. They failed. So Russia is no more willing to cooperate with Georgia.

The Adjaran people themselves overthrew Aslan Abashidze, their Russian-backed dictator, in the aftermath of the Rose Revolution. The Georgian government has subsequently reduced Adjara's autonomy too far, but that doesn't justify Russia's embargo of Georgia, which is causing a great deal of hardship.

The conflict between Russia and Georgia escalated. My view to this: The USA and EU were far too long only economically interested in Georgia, not politically. Their efforts now, to join Georgia to NATO and EU, is just another affront to Russia, solving the ethnic problem in 'ingesting' Georgia into their realm.

Why do you think Russia has the right to meddle in Georgia's affairs, but that the US and the EU don't have the right to support the elected Georgian government? The EU is a much less interested party and has a much better record of handling ethnic disputes than Russia does. Look at Chechnya.

Well, this should be seen in a different way, too. The World Trade Union has moaned since years, that Russia gives it's 'satellites' oil and gas for a fraction (about 10 %) of the world market price and requested that Russia should increase the prices in several steps, which has been promised by Russia. They just began with those countries, who were not especially 'cooperative' with Russia. theft and then closing off the pipelines were the logical consequences. I wouldn't blame Russia for this. Every country who has the power to do so, makes strategical politics with it's ressources. The USA began a war, justified with lies, for this.

I wasn't claiming that Russia didn't have the right to increase its prices to market levels, although the timing of the price increases for Georgia and Ukraine were politically motivated. I was pointing out that countries across Europe are concerned that Russia will turn off the gas to them for purely political reasons. That's something Russia has already done with oil when it cut the oil pipeline to Lithuania.

Argos
07-05-2007, 19:24
...but in Abkhazia it's the Abkhazians who committed the biggest human rights violations, with Russian support. About 250,000 ethnic Georgians (the majority of the population) were ethnically cleansed from Abkhazia.
That's true. Before the cleansing there were about 48 % Georgians and only 17 % Abkhazians in the country, but this is only a tiny bit of the whole, rather complicated story of Abkhazia. The conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia goes back to the second half of the 19th century, when Russia expanded to the Caucasus and heavily suppressed the mostly muslim Abkhazian population. Many of them fled into the Osman Empire and Georgians settled there. In a few decades the Georgians were twice as many as the Abkhazian people.

1931 Abkhazia became part of Georgia. The use of the abkhazian language was forbidden, repressions, Georgians were again invited to settle in Abkhazia ... After Stalin's death the ethnic minority got many lost rights back, which caused much annoyance among the Georgian mayority. 1991 Georgia became independant and adopted a new constitution without negotiations with the autonomous regions. Then Abkhazia declared itself independent.

The next months saw much unrest, ethnical, religious and political ones. When Russian transports were robbed a few times, they demanded from the Georgian government to solve the problem and guarantee safety for Russian transports. The Georgian army came there, freed all prisoners (what for?), who in turn began to loot, preferentially ethnic Abkhazians. From that moment the situation escalated and the Russians began to support the rebels. The victory was not so much caused by Russia's intervention, their troops were quite small at that time, but because of the chaos in the Georgian troops. When they fled, the ethnic Georgians joined them, far before the Abkhazians could reach them. Most of the war-crimes happened to the remaining Georgians after most of them left the country, it could have been much worse, if they remained there. Since 2002 the Abkhazian government tried to convince Moskva to associate with them, to have a customs- and currency-union and to station Russian troops in Abkhazia, Russia only granted the last request. But since 2006 Russia seems to change it's politics.
It could instead be said that Georgia became more important to Russia because it wants to prevent any such pipeline being built as it would reduce its leverage in the region.
I don't think so. Since the times of tsaristic Russia, Russia was interested to deny Georgia the full control over the Black Sea ports. Quite independent autonomous regions in that area could guarantee that.
The Adjaran people themselves overthrew Aslan Abashidze, their Russian-backed dictator, in the aftermath of the Rose Revolution. The Georgian government has subsequently reduced Adjara's autonomy too far, but that doesn't justify Russia's embargo of Georgia, which is causing a great deal of hardship.
This needs some completion, too. The Georgian parliament has installed Abazhidze, to stop communist influence in this region. In Adjaria live more than 80 % Georgians, so no ethnic problem, but a religious one. Most of them are muslims and Georgia has proved numerous times that they can't deal with religious minorities. Additionally most of the muslims were communists, there fore this intervention. Eltsin then supported Abazhidze due to this fact and Putin did not change the politics either.

In 2003 massive opposition raised against his corrupt regime of nepotism and despotism. Abakhidze could only survive with the help of Russian troops, but then Putin and Saakashvili met and made a deal (guaranteed full autonomy of Adjaria and Russian troops will no more support Abakhidze). Iwanow told him to resign and the rest was only formality. The full autonomy did not hold up longer than two months. This was the end of Russia's cooperation.
Why do you think Russia has the right to meddle in Georgia's affairs, but that the US and the EU don't have the right to support the elected Georgian government? The EU is a much less interested party and has a much better record of handling ethnic disputes than Russia does. Look at Chechnya.
You misunderstood. EU and the USA should have had an active political role much earlier to prevent the too dominant influence in Georgian policy. An intervention before the various escalations, which were predictable, would have been much better. To offer Georgia now NATO and EU membership without trying to solve Georgia's minority problems and to assign Russia the role of the loser is a very myopic act, which in the long-term will be of no benefit for all the involved parties.
I was pointing out that countries across Europe are concerned that Russia will turn off the gas to them for purely political reasons. That's something Russia has already done with oil when it cut the oil pipeline to Lithuania.
That's true and it will happen again. In foreign policy Russia has been cornered more and more. The inherited problems of Soviet era, the up-coming nationalism of the former satellites with the conflicts with their Russian minorities, the expansion of EU and NATO, the many strategically important neighbours, this all adds to Russia's uneasiness and they react more and more thin-skinned.

Therefore it's time to loosen the tension, to plan a long-term partnership and to play the cards face up. Putin may handle the current situation in some way, but the next president eventually may not. A cold war with Russia costs Europe even more than Russia.

tanrah
08-05-2007, 06:25
Why do you think Russia has the right to meddle in Georgia's affairs, but that the US and the EU don't have the right to support the elected Georgian government?


Becouse Georgia in fact is the state depending on Russia. The budget of Georgia is being formed by investments from Georgia sitezens working in Russia. So we have all possibilities to do with Georgia "goverment" all what we want. EU is not an authority for Russia - and EU bandit polycy to destabilse region is really danger for Russia.

About 250,000 ethnic Georgians (the majority of the population) were ethnically cleansed from Abkhazia.

Stupid Georgian propaganda especially for US footmen from UK.

simon
08-05-2007, 12:02
Becouse Georgia in fact is the state depending on Russia. The budget of Georgia is being formed by investments from Georgia sitezens working in Russia. So we have all possibilities to do with Georgia "goverment" all what we want.

What a statement of Russian imperialism.

Stupid Georgian propaganda especially for US footmen from UK.

Actually, the estimate of 250,000 refugees from Abkhazia comes from the United Nations (http://www.un.org/Docs/SG/SG-Rpt/ch4d-10.htm).

Linda16
10-05-2007, 01:05
Some more information about Estonia. The 9th of May, the celebration of Victory Day - was peaceful in Estonia. Russian people went to the military cemetary, to the new location of the Bronze Soldier, and placed flowers at the foot of the monument. A lot of policemen were in the city, but no collisions or bigger violations of the law did happen. We all really hope that the anxious times are over and we can continue our normal life.

An interesting article about Russia's strategy was published in Eurasia Daily Monitor (http://jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2372148).

nikki
11-05-2007, 23:33
I wasn't quite sure where to put this but here goes ... the article mentions the Moscow Gay Pride March and Alexey Mitrofanov. Have a look at the site it comes from too, there is some interesting stuff about the March.


Russian State Duma Deputy: “Gay Parade in Moscow Should Be Authorized”

Alexey Mitrofanov warns Russian deputies they might be denied access to European countries ...


Russian State Duma deputy representing Liberal Democratic party and deputy head of the Duma Committee on constitutional legislation Alexey Mitrofanov said on Friday that Moscow authorities should allow the public actions of sexual minorities planned for the end of May because their banning will lead to very negative consequences for Russia as a country.

Alexey Mitrofanov said during morning debates in the Duma that “As became known to me, a notification for the conduct of the manifestation in support for tolerance towards sexual minorities will be filed shortly”.

He stressed that at the level of emotions one can have various attitudes towards “these groups of our electors” but my personal attitude to them is “polite and balanced”.

Alexey Mitrofanov suggested that “there are no reasons to ban such manifestations – we must acknowledge that”.

Liberal democrat deputy is convinced that in case Moscow authorities ban such manifestation it will provoke very negative reaction in the West. He said: “And we will lose all Strasbourg cases on this issue and then we will be surprised that some persons or deputies will not get entry visas to the European countries”.

Organizer of Moscow Gay Pride Nikolai Alekseev welcomed the statement of deputy Mitrofanov calling it “a very brave political step”. He stressed that “unfortunately we very rarely hear such balanced and politically responsible statements concerning homosexual people from Russian politicians. Today’s statement of Alexey Mitrofanov is a statement of the politician who is looking into the future and who sees Russia as a democratic and free state where the rights of all citizens irrespective of personal characteristics are respected”.

Nikolai Alekseev added that “Alexey Mitrofanov knows very well that LGBT community is a big electoral resource which has not be used by any political power in our country. I want to believe that the time has come when the situation will start to change and the views of gays and lesbians who are equal citizens of Russia will finally be heard in the political process”.

Organizer of Moscow Pride invited Alexey Mitrofanov to take part in the forthcoming conference as part of Gay Pride in any suitable position, as a participant or as an observer.

Press conference dedicated to the second Moscow Pride coinciding with the official application to Moscow Mayor will take place in Russia’s capital on 15 May.


Source - http://www.gayrussia.ru/en/news/detail.php?ID=9152

Sunrider
12-05-2007, 10:03
I wasn't quite sure where to put this but here goes ... the article mentions the Moscow Gay Pride March and Alexey Mitrofanov. Have a look at the site it comes from too, there is some interesting stuff about the March.


Russian State Duma Deputy: “Gay Parade in Moscow Should Be Authorized”

Alexey Mitrofanov warns Russian deputies they might be denied access to European countries ...


Russian State Duma deputy representing Liberal Democratic party and deputy head of the Duma Committee on constitutional legislation Alexey Mitrofanov said on Friday that Moscow authorities should allow the public actions of sexual minorities planned for the end of May because their banning will lead to very negative consequences for Russia as a country.

Alexey Mitrofanov said during morning debates in the Duma that “As became known to me, a notification for the conduct of the manifestation in support for tolerance towards sexual minorities will be filed shortly”.

He stressed that at the level of emotions one can have various attitudes towards “these groups of our electors” but my personal attitude to them is “polite and balanced”.

Alexey Mitrofanov suggested that “there are no reasons to ban such manifestations – we must acknowledge that”.

Liberal democrat deputy is convinced that in case Moscow authorities ban such manifestation it will provoke very negative reaction in the West. He said: “And we will lose all Strasbourg cases on this issue and then we will be surprised that some persons or deputies will not get entry visas to the European countries”.

Organizer of Moscow Gay Pride Nikolai Alekseev welcomed the statement of deputy Mitrofanov calling it “a very brave political step”. He stressed that “unfortunately we very rarely hear such balanced and politically responsible statements concerning homosexual people from Russian politicians. Today’s statement of Alexey Mitrofanov is a statement of the politician who is looking into the future and who sees Russia as a democratic and free state where the rights of all citizens irrespective of personal characteristics are respected”.

Nikolai Alekseev added that “Alexey Mitrofanov knows very well that LGBT community is a big electoral resource which has not be used by any political power in our country. I want to believe that the time has come when the situation will start to change and the views of gays and lesbians who are equal citizens of Russia will finally be heard in the political process”.

Organizer of Moscow Pride invited Alexey Mitrofanov to take part in the forthcoming conference as part of Gay Pride in any suitable position, as a participant or as an observer.

Press conference dedicated to the second Moscow Pride coinciding with the official application to Moscow Mayor will take place in Russia’s capital on 15 May.


Source - http://www.gayrussia.ru/en/news/detail.php?ID=9152

Mitrofanov is so non-typical for the LDPR. Kudos to him.

haku
12-05-2007, 15:21
Mitrofanov is an opportunistic bastard, a few years ago he proposed to the duma a law that would send lesbians to jail because they were a threat to Russia's birth rate, and now he's gay friendly? :laugh: This smells of electoral positioning for the LDPR, it remains to be seen if Russian homosexuals also think that annexing Finland and Alaska would be a good idea. :p

Thanks for the article nikki :)

Sunrider
12-05-2007, 15:35
Electoral positioning by being gay-friendly? How is a reactionary, ultra-nationalist party going to win votes by being gay-friendly? Especially in Russia. If anything, this is going to cost them votes.

haku
12-05-2007, 15:57
Well, i'm sorry but i've never trusted Mitrofanov, a 'moderate' LDPR is still a LDPR in my eyes, just like i wouldn't trust Marine Le Pen even though she's a 'moderate' FN, i just don't buy his sincerity, he has to have an agenda.

tanrah
14-05-2007, 09:51
Jirinovsky allways uses prisoners and homosexual people for election support. I don't see something new in this position. If you consider LDPR as a conservative nationalistic party comparable with Le Pen party - that means you know nothing about Russian political establishment. They are ready to use any image which is actual at current moment. Western people are afraid LDPR after 1993 elections - nationalism was very popular after Eltsin's revolt and national humiliation of Russian people after USSR crashing. So LDPR propaganda was based on nationalism - but after 1993 LDPR changed political position many times.

I can not understand the goal of gay-parade in Moscow. Russian people are rather conservative and after this action gays and lesbians will be more despised than now. On the contrary at present time russian gays are feeling quite good at least in large cities. There are even special stores for gays in centre of Moscow and St.-Petersburg (situated on Nevsky prospect!!!).
At the same time St.-Petersburg government has allowed gay demonstration in city centre. But I am sure that is not interesting for gay leaders without conflict with authorities.

freddie
10-08-2008, 10:34
So to review the politics & science room a bit... the Russian invasion of Georgia 08 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_South_Ossetia_War)!

Russians accusing Georgians of genocide against the Ossetians. Awesome innit? That's like Hitler accusing someone of racism. I guess Chechnya is long forgotten in the Russian spirit. Medvedev is one huge disappointment so far. He says he's a man who promotes the rule of law but so far he's shown himself to be nothing but Putin's buttboy. It's OBVIOUS what the motives behind this invasion is and I think this time Russia went to far. Of course like always the international community will "strongly condemn" Russia's actions while doing nothing about it.

Imo Russia has NO business being in UN's Security Council.

Argos
10-08-2008, 11:00
...That's like Hitler accusing someone of racism.
Couldn't be more demagogic and simply AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I guess Chechnya is long forgotten in the Russian spirit.
What do you know about Chechnya, other than those propagandistic lies we are used to hear in western media?
Medvedev is one huge disappointment so far.
Your understanding of politics is too!!!!!!!!!!
It's OBVIOUS what the motives behind this invasion is
It's obvious you didn't care to gather some information before you post your UNBEARABLE RANT against a country about which you don't even know the basics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

freddie
10-08-2008, 11:33
What do you know about Chechnya, other than those propagandistic lies we are used to hear in western media?

You are absolutely right. I'm only familiar with lies global press has been manipulatively feeding me for ages, rather than the real truth which can only be heard from politically unbiased, uncensored and righteous press of the Russian Federation.

However we shall end this everpresent global conspracy against Russia once and for all by starting to ignore anything web-related that doesn't bear the .ru ending. Then we will finally be liberated from all malicious lies the western media (which in itself is of course a unified front against Russia) bombards us with.

Argos
10-08-2008, 12:10
^^^You didn't answer my question. But it was more a rhetorical question anyway, because I know that you are not familiar (to express it gracefully) with history of the Caucasus. And by the way, my information sources don't have .ru endings. But that's another typical polemic of yours, not ready to talk about contents, just to throw shit on others, wherever you can, if it's convenient for you!

freddie
10-08-2008, 14:26
^^^You didn't answer my question. But it was more a rhetorical question anyway, because I know that you are not familiar (to express it gracefully) with history of the Caucasus. And by the way, my information sources don't have .ru endings. But that's another typical polemic of yours, not ready to talk about contents, just to throw shit on others, wherever you can, if it's convenient for you!

What question?

spyretto
10-08-2008, 18:48
Russia did nothing more than what the Americans have been doing for the past 50 years - even in regions they have no ties with, other than economic ties. Especially considering that the South Ossetians were independent and many have Russian citizenship. Bush was trying yesterday to demonise the Russians - that they indiscrininately bombing civilians etc.
So if you're siding with that camp freedie you're siding with Bush and his propaganda advisors. And since the Georgians have possibly started the invasion either directly or indirectly with the USA eulogies - or perhaps they thought they could get away with it cause big fat uncle Sam would be on their side?
So I dunno, I'd take anything "Bush" with a pinch of salt these days.

freddie
10-08-2008, 19:48
Russia did nothing more than what the Americans have been doing for the past 50 years - even in regions they have no ties with, other than economic ties. Especially considering that the South Ossetians were independent and many have Russian citizenship. Bush was trying yesterday to demonise the Russians - that they indiscrininately bombing civilians etc.
So if you're siding with that camp freedie you're siding with Bush and his propaganda advisors. And since the Georgians have possibly started the invasion either directly or indirectly with the USA eulogies - or perhaps they thought they could get away with it cause big fat uncle Sam would be on their side?
So I dunno, I'd take anything "Bush" with a pinch of salt these days.

Leave Bush out of this. I'm siding with people who're willing to call a spade a spade and stop with this ridiculous hypocrisy. Russia doesn't give a shit about Russian citizens living in Ossetia. We all know what a thorn in Putin's side Georgia's pro-western stance was after Shevernadze got kicked out (by the people, like it should be). What I see is an invasion on a soverign country's borders. Not a country that harbour terrorism or tyranic dictators. Not a country that holds public executions on a football pitch. But simply a country that threatens dangerous NATO expansion. They've showed a clip today of Putin & Medvedev discussing current state of affairs; Putin saying that they simply have to protect poor people of Ossetia from Georgian genocide.... that literaly made me physically sick. What guile! What hypocrisy! It's just unbearable.

Argos
10-08-2008, 20:31
Russia doesn't give a shit about Russian citizens living in Ossetia.
Oh, we continue with polemic of lowest level! 90 % of South Ossetia's citizens have a Russian passport. Therefore it's of importance for Russia, what happens to them. From the moment Georgia became independent, the South Ossetians tried to be independent, because they never trusted Tbilisi. There are reasons for this.
What I see is an invasion on a soverign country's borders.
A country which has been built by Stalin who gave a shit about it's ethnical composition. Since independency Georgia failed completely to give the religious and ethnic minorities at least a minimum of rights. Austria (that's where I live, by the way) is currently full of those people who had no more place to live in that oh so democratic country.
.... that literaly made me physically sick.
I hope you will soon recover (maybe by not watching sensation TV and not reading boulevard papers)!

edit:

Some things for amusement in this case:
I'm in agreement with George W. Bush that it isn't so much about Georgia but that it is in some way an aggression against the United States Of America.
Eeeh, what? That widens the horizon, doesn't it?

On the 6th or 7th August I smelled something fishy. I tried to talk with the Russian side but didn't get an answer.
Well, that's funny! He orders the army to set the capital of South Ossetia under fire, with the consequence that about 1500 people died, which caused the interruption of Putin's China visit, who headed directly for North Ossetia, where he could greet already a lot of refugees from South Ossetia, and only then he, Mikhail the Nose, smelled something?

The following is not my quote (from Austrian newspaper Der Standard), but I think it hits the mark quite well:
A hint for Saakashvili: in most cases the reason is your rubbish bin. Nobody sets his kitchen on fire if he smells something, but he disposes his rubbish properly.When it comes to hypocrisy then Mikhail is not less a master than the Russian leaders, whose claim of genocid against the Ossetian people is ridiculous as well, but in our beautiful world it's soooo inconvenient that there are two bad guys. There has to be a good one and a bad one. Amen!

Life In Technicolor
10-08-2008, 20:53
90 % of South Ossetia's citizens have a Russian passport. Therefore it's of importance for Russia, what happens to them.

Eduard Kokoity says what happens to them:

The President of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity claimis about 1,400 people have been killed by Georgian shelling.

“It is the third genocide of the Ossetian people from the side of Georgia, and Saakashvili is the main murderer,” Kokoity said. http://www.russiatoday.ru/

freddie
10-08-2008, 23:13
Oh, we continue with polemic of lowest level! 90 % of South Ossetia's citizens have a Russian passport. Therefore it's of importance for Russia, what happens to them. From the moment Georgia became independent, the South Ossetians tried to be independent, because they never trusted Tbilisi. There are reasons for this.

What on Earth are you saying? 30% of the populace of Macedonia comprises of Albanians. Albanians feel they're getting treated with severe prejudice in a Slavic country. Does that give Albania teh right to invade Macedonia and "free it's people"? Hell no. There's a huge Russian population in the Baltic states and they feel discriminated against as well. Lets just hope Russia doesn't come to "liberate" them as well.


A country which has been built by Stalin who gave a shit about it's ethnical composition. Since independency Georgia failed completely to give the religious and ethnic minorities at least a minimum of rights. Austria (that's where I live, by the way) is currently full of those people who had no more place to live in that oh so democratic country!

So the only remedy to fix these great injustices would be for a foreign occupying force infiltrating sovereign borders and make things right? Lets not forget they're not bombing military infrastructure Georgia has in Ossetia, they're bombarding Tbilisi which is Georgia proper. Civilians in Tbilisi have absolutely nothing to do with rebel figthers in Ossetia. As far as I'm concerned this is an all out war against a sovereign country.

When it comes to hypocrisy then Mikhail is not less a master than the Russian leaders, whose claim of genocid against the Ossetian people is ridiculous as well, but in our beautiful world it's soooo inconvenient that there are two bad guys. There has to be a good one and a bad one. Amen!

Well in my book the invader will always be the bad guy no matter how you spin it. And you say it like the charges of genocide are pretty much a proven fact, with Mr. Shakashvili just counting the hours till he's taken to an international tribunal facing charges. But that's sort of... not the case is it? Again: there is absolutely no international standard that would allow an invasion into a neighbouring country, which posses no direct threat to your existence.

u2kforever
10-08-2008, 23:45
More human beings destorying theirself, it never ends. Can someone give me a the short version why this stupid war has started?

Also, any word on what the group tatu says about the war?

PowerPuff Grrl
11-08-2008, 02:04
So if you're siding with that camp freedie you're siding with Bush and his propaganda advisors.
How is this an either/or situation?
I think you're giving too much credit to the States.

I know Americans are quite guilty of entangling themselves in many foriegn disputes but some countries are quite capable of fucking up all on their own without any outside help. Esp. in this case seeing as how there's nothing the US can do... they tend to steer clear from nuclear powers.

Talyubittu
11-08-2008, 08:09
In my opinion, Russia only did what was necessary to protect the Russian people living in Ossetia. It's not like it was an attack on Georgia...or even an unprovoked disturbance. Georgia should have left Ossetia in peace. I always find it comical to watch these former soviet occupied countries (that resented soviet oppression) try to seize control of independent republics that have broken away from them. Largely hypocritical in my opinion.

What on Earth are you saying? 30% of the populace of Macedonia comprises of Albanians. Albanians feel they're getting treated with severe prejudice in a Slavic country. Does that give Albania teh right to invade Macedonia and "free it's people"? Hell no. There's a huge Russian population in the Baltic states and they feel discriminated against as well. Lets just hope Russia doesn't come to "liberate" them as well.

I'm not really sure why Balkan people such as yourself like to keep discussing themes of the Yugoslav wars in relation to everything else that happens in and around the region. It's an entirely separate issue, what purpose do comments like this serve, other than to cause even more ethnic tension in an already ethnic-hostile region? - Russia was not "freeing" anybody. They were simply protecting their citizens in this region. You're twisting things around.

freddie
11-08-2008, 12:58
In my opinion, Russia only did what was necessary to protect the Russian people living in Ossetia. It's not like it was an attack on Georgia...or even an unprovoked disturbance. Georgia should have left Ossetia in peace. I always find it comical to watch these former soviet occupied countries (that resented soviet oppression) try to seize control of independent republics that have broken away from them. Largely hypocritical in my opinion.

In my opinion it wasn't. I can't see how bombing the capital of Georgia could be percieved as anything else but an attack on Georgia. Nor do I understand how striking civilian targerts and causing a mass exodus from Ossetia would contribute to "protecting Russian people living in Ossetia". It's also my opinion Russia had absolutely no business interfering with internal matters of an internationally recognized state. A country's right to protect it's citizens living abroad ends where the rights of another sovereign entity begins (eventhough of course I'm also of the opinion Russia's using the whole "protecting minorities/Russian citizens as a convenient excuse to justify the attacks; when the Soviet Union invaded Prague in 68 it was also officially just "protecting minorities").

I'm not really sure why Balkan people such as yourself like to keep discussing themes of the Yugoslav wars in relation to everything else that happens in and around the region. It's an entirely separate issue, what purpose do comments like this serve, other than to cause even more ethnic tension in an already ethnic-hostile region? - Russia was not "freeing" anybody. They were simply protecting their citizens in this region. You're twisting things around.

Georgia is neither in nor "around" the Balkans. I was using it to show the banality of the situation rather than draw a direct comparison. And I also used the example of Baltic countries. I think "freeing" or "protecing it's citizens" sound equally outrageous, hence me employing that particular verb.

fanoff
11-08-2008, 13:32
Russia bombing civil targets in Tbilisi(Last action was bombing Tbilisi civil airport) to "protect its people living in Ossetia"?Sounds ridiculous.

Talyubittu
11-08-2008, 15:54
It's also my opinion Russia had absolutely no business interfering with internal matters of an internationally recognized state.

That statement is difficult to swallow, depending on who you're speaking with. I don't see it as an internal matter at all for Georgia. S. Ossetia has expressed its wishes to remain separate from Georgia - it is no longer an internal conflict; especially when the people living there are largely Russian citizens in percentage. Georgia should have never moved any military forces into Tskhinvali.

obez17
11-08-2008, 16:09
I wonder how Russians would feel if an American band came to Russia with shirts reading "Fuck War"?

freddie
11-08-2008, 16:13
That statement is difficult to swallow, depending on who you're speaking with. I don't see it as an internal matter at all for Georgia. S. Ossetia has expressed its wishes to remain separate from Georgia - it is no longer an internal conflict; especially when the people living there are largely Russian citizens in percentage. Georgia should have never moved any military forces into Tskhinvali.

Chechnyans have expressed a similar "wish"... by that reasoning that's all the reasons you need to storm borders of the Russian Federation and start shelling Moscow.

Argos
11-08-2008, 17:02
it is no longer an internal conflict; especially when the people living there are largely Russian citizens in percentage.
The people living in S. Ossetia are Russian citizens, but not Russians. After the breakdown of the Sovietunion the people who lived outside the Russian Federation, but didn't get citizenship of the new country almost automatically got Russian passports. Matter of fact, the Ossetians didn't make any efforts to get the Georgian citizenship, so they got the Russian one quite unburocratically.

What should be noted is, that Russia has a mandate of the international community to keep the conflict parties apart and to protect the civil population. Therefore the invasion of Russian troops into S. Ossetia was completely according to international law. The war beyond the Ossetian borders is not.

Bush and Saakashvili played a silly game. While the Georgian president thought he could create clear situations inside the borders of Georgia with a surprise attack , the US were interested in how fast and accurate the new administration would react in such a situation and how good is Medvedev. Nobody thought that he would go farther than Putin ever was ready to go.

Whatever the outcome, nobody can really win. All involved parties will be in a more complicated situation with a lot more problems than before.

Talyubittu
11-08-2008, 21:01
The people living in S. Ossetia are Russian citizens, but not Russians. After the breakdown of the Sovietunion the people who lived outside the Russian Federation, but didn't get citizenship of the new country almost automatically got Russian passports. Matter of fact, the Ossetians didn't make any efforts to get the Georgian citizenship, so they got the Russian one quite unburocratically.

What should be noted is, that Russia has a mandate of the international community to keep the conflict parties apart and to protect the civil population. Therefore the invasion of Russian troops into S. Ossetia was completely according to international law. The war beyond the Ossetian borders is not.

Bush and Saakashvili played a silly game. While the Georgian president thought he could create clear situations inside the borders of Georgia with a surprise attack , the US were interested in how fast and accurate the new administration would react in such a situation and how good is Medvedev. Nobody thought that he would go farther than Putin ever was ready to go.

Whatever the outcome, nobody can really win. All involved parties will be in a more complicated situation with a lot more problems than before.


:yes:

u2kforever
11-08-2008, 21:08
More human beings destorying theirself, it never ends. Can someone give me a the short version why this stupid war has started?

Also, any word on what the group tatu says about the war?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^anyone?

Argos
11-08-2008, 21:29
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^anyone?
Hm, if it were so easy...

There were lots of tensiosn the last few weeks between Ossets and the Georgian army. A few days ago the Georgian president affirmed to the Russian side that he doesn't even think of attacking his own people, but hours later Georgian troops set the capital of South Ossetia under fire, which cost supposedly the lives of almost 1500 people (claim the Russians) and more than 30.000 Ossets fled northwards to Russia (again said the Russians, which is in no way plausible - a number between 5.000 and 10.000 would be more correct). This was the cause that Russian troops according to their international mandate invaded South Ossetia and fought the Georgian troops, and because they were so much in their element, didn't stop at the Ossetian boarders, but attacked Georgian military bases, infrastructure and even civil targets all around the Georgian country, which goes far beyond the mandate of the international community.

And this all is just a tiny bit of the whole story which would fill a whole encyclopedy to give at least an approximately correct picture of the situation in the country and it's surrounding.

Life In Technicolor
11-08-2008, 21:36
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhhyZjNApBg

Hi, this video is directed to an American public and the rest of civilized Western world. I am a Russian citizen, I live in United States for a long time, for over 10 years. I happened to be in Russia now and I caught all this "action" that's taking place in South Ossetia, a region in Georgia. I never posted on youtube, but I couldn't hold myself from doing it now. I had to do this.
My message to American public is meant as a wake up call. American and other Western media especially CNN is feeding you complete horse shit! Russia did not invade and did not attack Georgia. It was a response to a horrible war crime committed by Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, this irresponsible man who just can't stand Russia, hates us, and will kiss America's and Europe's ass just to get a chance to join NATO and European Union. America has always supported Georgian "democracy" and I suspect actually that it was America who instigated Georgia to commit this crime.... on the first day of Olympics! How ironic is that? But please don't take this allegation too close heartedly, my point is not about whether or not U.S. government had any role in this, my point is to give you truth about what really happened Thursday night

So again, Russia did not invade or attack Georgia, as your media outlets are saying.

A brief geography and history lesson. South Ossetia is a very small region about 40 miles by 40 miles in the northern Georgia. It's population is around 70000 people. It borders with Russia. Today, many of the residents of South Ossetia are Russian citizens holding Russian passports, it's our people. South Ossetia had claimed independence from Georgia in 1992. Obviously it was never recognized by any international organizations. In 2006, they held an election where 99% of the voters supported independence from Georgia, and the turn out rate was 95%, it was monitored by a team of 34 international observers from the West. It still was not recognized by the world. As an analogy I would like to bring Kosovo situation, Serbian region in the south that was illegally snatched from Serbia and made into an independent country. Please look it up on Wikipedia and see how similar this situation is. How ironic is that America never supported Southern Ossetia same way it supported Kosovo. Obviously, it was made to show Russia how unfriendly the rest of the world is towards us.

Thursday night, Georgian military started an attack against South Ossetia. It was yesterday. They shelled the main city of Tshinkvali. They killed over a 1000 people. The excuse was to "restore the constitutional order in the region". BULLSHIT! This attack was an attempt to commit "ethnic cleansing", it was an act of genocide. They shelled civilian houses, schools, hospitals, without any warning. They also captured several villages near Tshinkvali. Reports say that they attempt to kill anyone of the Ossetian nationality. It was a pure act of Genocide. Wake up!

Russia couldn't watch this atrocity happening to its own citizens. We had no choice but to bring in our military into the region and protect our people. Whatever happens next the world needs to know, that the cause of this conflict is Georgia and its president. Before you accept what your media tells you, before you get fired up by McCains irresponsible allegations and comments, try remember all the lies that American media had always fed you, try to read news from other media outlets, not russian, but other parts of the world, other than U.S. or U.K.'s media.

America needs to wake up and stop doing what it's doing. Stop seeing an enemy in Russia. Stop using countries like Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Estonia who are basically acting like prostitutes of U.S. government in their public acts of hatred towards Russia.

And finally need to say, Mr. SSHAshvili that's how we like to call him. S.SH.A stands for U.S.A in Russian. Mr. SSHAshvili will pay for what happened yesterday
http://roman7927.livejournal.com/

freddie
11-08-2008, 21:40
What should be noted is, that Russia has a mandate of the international community to keep the conflict parties apart and to protect the civil population. Therefore the invasion of Russian troops into S. Ossetia was completely according to international law. The war beyond the Ossetian borders is not.

That mandate doesn't give them any more right to invade a foreign country, let alone it's capital city, no more than UNMIK has the authority to bomb Belgrade.

My message to American public is meant as a wake up call. American and other Western media especially CNN is feeding you complete horse shit! Russia did not invade and did not attack Georgia. It was a response to a horrible war crime committed by Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili, this irresponsible man who just can't stand Russia, hates us, and will kiss America's and Europe's ass just to get a chance to join NATO and European Union...

Yeah those words just scream objective-unbiased-thinking don't they? :p

Argos
11-08-2008, 21:58
That mandate doesn't give them any more right to invade a foreign country, let alone it's capital city, no more than UNMIK has the authority to bomb Belgrade.
The mandate is clearly for inside the borders of South Ossetia, even Bush confirmed it. No reason to pick on my words.

In the whole discussion I tried to make clear why things happen and not whether this or that party has a right for their acting, because that's completely uninteresting for me. International law gave the Russians a right which never should be given to an involved party, and on top of that, them ALONE. Is this right? Ridiculous. But that doesn't matter at all. Fact is, quite a lot of interest groups play a game in a region, which was always some sort of powder-keg. And if children play there with fire the outcome is predictable. Who is the bad guy, who is the good one? - complete BS.

freddie
11-08-2008, 22:54
It's plain as day to me. The person that infiltrates national borders (and we are NOT talking about Ossetia here, since they're bombing Tbilisi) will always by default be the bad guy. Of course the Americans, EU & NATO will naturally side with Georgia, since it's their ally, but directly connecting the US or even Bush with this mess is a very forced conclusion to make.

Argos
11-08-2008, 23:00
Of course the Americans, EU & NATO will naturally side with Georgia
Bush yes, the others not so really. They are quite fed up with this maniac.
...but directly connecting the US or even Bush with this mess is a very forced conclusion to make.
Saakashvili said a little bit too many words that Bush can disappear through the backdoor. :D

u2kforever
12-08-2008, 06:40
Hm, if it were so easy...

There were lots of tensiosn the last few weeks between Ossets and the Georgian army. A few days ago the Georgian president affirmed to the Russian side that he doesn't even think of attacking his own people, but hours later Georgian troops set the capital of South Ossetia under fire, which cost supposedly the lives of almost 1500 people (claim the Russians) and more than 30.000 Ossets fled northwards to Russia (again said the Russians, which is in no way plausible - a number between 5.000 and 10.000 would be more correct). This was the cause that Russian troops according to their international mandate invaded South Ossetia and fought the Georgian troops, and because they were so much in their element, didn't stop at the Ossetian boarders, but attacked Georgian military bases, infrastructure and even civil targets all around the Georgian country, which goes far beyond the mandate of the international community.

And this all is just a tiny bit of the whole story which would fill a whole encyclopedy to give at least an approximately correct picture of the situation in the country and it's surrounding.

So people are fighting and dying for nothing, hmmmmm just like every war. People need to grow up and start loving one another , seriously......Human beings can't even learn and understand peace.

freddie
12-08-2008, 06:48
Bush yes, the others not so really. They are quite fed up with this maniac.

Yeah the EU really seems to be completely fed up with the man. With that annoying pro-western stance of his. Transforming a country from a Shevernadze-led pseudo-vassal (unofficially) Russian republic like Belarus, to a western style parliamentary democracy, with sweeping changes throughout the country in an attempt to move away from it's dependancy on Russia. I can totally understand how the west (aside from Bush of course, who loves all things evil) would absolutely despise this tyrant.

Saakashvili said a little bit too many words that Bush can disappear through the backdoor. :D
Like what?

So people are fighting and dying for nothing, hmmmmm just like every war. People need to grow up and start loving one another , seriously......Human beings can't even learn and understand peace.
Peace and understanding are utopic. It's in our nature to be territorial and combative. That's a phenomenon observed throughout the animal kingdom. When there are no enemies we have to invent them. Why do you think we have laws? The rule of law was put in place to restrain the beast that lies dormant inside all of us. Normality is only maintained through fear and intimidation... okay that sounds sort of grim, but it's not like I'm saying nothing good can come of humanity. Just trying to show that agressive inter-species conflicts are just as much a part of us as breathing.

u2kforever
12-08-2008, 07:57
Freddie relax lol, when i say humans, i am not talking about all. I am one person who does what he is suppose to do in life, i love everyone, i follow rules( GOD;s rules ) etc. If i can do it, so can the next person.

The good thing, not all humans are foolish, the bad news there are some who are foolish and those who are, cause destruction upon the earth. But hey people need to put down their guns and weapons, give each other a hug, love one another, play with kittens and eat some good food.

Thats the way life is suppose to be. All i know, throughout all these wars, i have separate myself away from it, i do not support wars, never will. :)

Argos
12-08-2008, 09:06
Transforming a country from a Shevernadze-led pseudo-vassal (unofficially) Russian republic like Belarus
In your blind hatred against Russia you forgot completely THAT YOU KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Georgia. For your information, although I know that it is completely fruitless, a quote from Wikipedia about Shevardnadze:
The war in the Russian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia) republic of Chechnya (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chechnya) on Georgia's northern border caused considerable friction with Russia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia), which accused Shevardnadze of harbouring Chechen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chechen_people) guerrillas and supported Georgian separatists in apparent retaliation. Further friction was caused by Shevardnadze's close relationship with the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States), which saw him as a counterbalance to Russian influence in the strategic Transcaucasus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasus) region. Under Shevardnadze's strongly pro-Western administration, Georgia became a major recipient of U.S. foreign and military aid, signed a strategic partnership with NATO and declared an ambition to join both NATO and the European Union (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union). Perhaps his greatest diplomatic coup was the securing of a $3 billion project to build a pipeline (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipeline_transport) carrying oil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum) from Azerbaijan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijan) to Turkey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey) via Georgia.

Like what?
It's not about quality, but quantity of his words, as I already hinted. There is no day where he doesn't tell the people what he has talked with Bush. His name is known in the whole region as USAshvili. Although everybody knows that he is a notorious liar it will be difficult for the Bush administration to deny their involvement, considering Mikhails many supposed quotes of Bush, his numerous American presidential consultants and the more than 1000 US military experts in the country.

Peace and understanding are utopic. It's in our nature to be territorial and combative. That's a phenomenon observed throughout the animal kingdom. When there are no enemies we have to invent them. Why do you think we have laws? The rule of law was put in place to restrain the beast that lies dormant inside all of us. Normality is only maintained through fear and intimidation...
INSANITY UNMASKED!!!!

freddie
12-08-2008, 14:13
In your blind hatred against Russia you forgot completely THAT YOU KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Georgia. For your information, although I know that it is completely fruitless, a quote from Wikipedia about Shevardnadze:

Shevernadze - a former ministry of foreign affair of the Soviet Union - was well known for his double agent role during the days of his rule. That - and his former close ties with Moscow were the ONLY reason he managed to keep Russians away. Unfortunately at a price of him becoming a semi-dictator. Never ever was he a puppet of the west though. Ed openly strived for closer ties with Moscow (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E04E1DD1E3AF935A35750C0A9629582 60&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all) up to an extent until it wasn't strategicaly smart thing to do anymore; but he never went straight-out against it's mighty neighbour, keeping serious amounts of lobbying power in the Kremlin. Unlike Mr.Sakashvilli.


It's not about quality, but quantity of his words, as I already hinted. There is no day where he doesn't tell the people what he has talked with Bush. His name is known in the whole region as USAshvili. Although everybody knows that he is a notorious liar it will be difficult for the Bush administration to deny their involvement, considering Mikhails many supposed quotes of Bush, his numerous American presidential consultants and the more than 1000 US military experts in the country.

That is pure conjecture. "Everyone knows he's a notorious liar" is something that'd be best uttered in a pub. There is absolutely no proff US has anything to do with this war. And I'd be a seriously dumb move if they did have anything to do with it. Nothing substantial to gain, yet so much to lose.



On a different note: I was watching CNN today. It was interesting to observe how the lying anti-russian western press still managed to show the interview between Putin and Medvedov as they had their military consultations; something that would never ever happen if the tables were turned and it was the Russians who had to show the other side of the story. I guess that's the slavic way. At least from 2000 onwards.

thegurgi
12-08-2008, 14:52
Of course the Americans [sic] will naturally side with Georgia, since it's their ally, but directly connecting the US [sic] with this mess is a very forced conclusion to make.
When news came that Russia had bombed the Georgian capital i actually heard someone say on the metro "did you hear the russian's are bombing Atlanta?!... it's the cold war restarted!"

I know you guys are having a serious discussion, but reading freddie say "Americans - Georgia" ... i couldn't help but say what i heard this morning. This country's people could care less about this conflict and i'm sure before the fighting began 80 percent of the American people had no clue a country named "Georgia" existed.

I have mixed feelings about the current struggle in this region. I don't want to say much of anything because, like most americans, i'm not that current with Georgian/Russian relations... but the argument between freddie and argos has been really interesting and i thank you both for your candor.

freddie
12-08-2008, 16:13
When news came that Russia had bombed the Georgian capital i actually heard someone say on the metro "did you hear the russian's are bombing Atlanta?!... it's the cold war restarted!"

:D

I know you guys are having a serious discussion, but reading freddie say "Americans - Georgia" ... i couldn't help but say what i heard this morning. This country's people could care less about this conflict and i'm sure before the fighting began 80 percent of the American people had no clue a country named "Georgia" existed.

It's unfortunate that the country's angicized name corelates to a US state. Not really sure where that comes from; we call it "Gruzija", while native georgians call their country "Sakartvelos".

Argos
12-08-2008, 16:37
Shevernadze - a former ministry of foreign affair of the Soviet Union - was well known for his double agent role during the days of his rule. That - and his former close ties with Moscow were the ONLY reason he managed to keep Russians away. Unfortunately at a price of him becoming a semi-dictator. Never ever was he a puppet of the west though. Ed openly strived for closer ties with Moscow (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E04E1DD1E3AF935A35750C0A9629582 60&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all) up to an extent until it wasn't strategicaly smart thing to do anymore; but he never went straight-out against it's mighty neighbour, keeping serious amounts of lobbying power in the Kremlin. Unlike Mr.Sakashvilli.
Your link is from a time immediately after the Russians have defeated his opponent and former president Gamsakhurdia (and probably killed). Your evaluation that Shevardnadze played a double game is on very weak grounds. He was a diplomatic nature, not a 'toro' like Saakashvili, but he made it clear from the beginning that his way was toward the west with a disentanglement of the grip of Russia. He just did it calmly and factually, step by step. The west turned against him because the corruption became more and more intolerable and all the money spent by the EU and USA somehow landed in the hands of his family and friends, not in the ambitious projects. You are the first person I ever heard that Shevardnadze was a vassal of Russia.
That is pure conjecture. "Everyone knows he's a notorious liar" is something that'd be best uttered in a pub.
I would rather say that your comparing Russia's authorities with Hitler and calling Medvedev Putin's buttboy is perfectly fit for pub conversation!
There is absolutely no proff US has anything to do with this war.
There is no need for a proof. People will believe it anyway, regardless whether Bush had something to do with the case or not, especially in the affected region.
Nothing substantial to gain, yet so much to lose..
Exactly! Just another unpaid bill. As with every violent move in this region, it makes everything more complicated and success of negotiations more implausible.

It's unfortunate that the country's angicized name corelates to a US state. Not really sure where that comes from; we call it "Gruzija", while native georgians call their country "Sakartvelos".
Why has the Georgian flag the George's cross? ;)


Ok, answer! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_V_of_Georgia)

freddie
12-08-2008, 23:02
Your link is from a time immediately after the Russians have defeated his opponent and former president Gamsakhurdia (and probably killed). Your evaluation that Shevardnadze played a double game is on very weak grounds. He was a diplomatic nature, not a 'toro' like Saakashvili, but he made it clear from the beginning that his way was toward the west with a disentanglement of the grip of Russia. He just did it calmly and factually, step by step. The west turned against him because the corruption became more and more intolerable and all the money spent by the EU and USA somehow landed in the hands of his family and friends, not in the ambitious projects. You are the first person I ever heard that Shevardnadze was a vassal of Russia.]

For goodness sakes! He was the friggin' Ministry of foreign affairs in the Soviet Union! He knew exactly what he was doing and while he made superficial symbolic ties with the west the underpinnings were still based on the connections of old. I even watched a documentary on his double agent role in which he was claimed to be a personal friend of Boris Yeltsin and they'd have frequent undercover phone conversations regarding reciprocal moves. I'd reckon the same treatment applied to Putin later as well.

I would rather say that your comparing Russia's authorities with Hitler and calling Medvedev Putin's buttboy is perfectly fit for pub conversation!

I was just exposing the banality of the situation, while you actually say stuff with enormous conviction; as if they were long proven without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt facts.

There is no need for a proof. People will believe it anyway, regardless whether Bush had something to do with the case or not, especially in the affected region.
Precisely!

Exactly! Just another unpaid bill. As with every violent move in this region, it makes everything more complicated and success of negotiations more implausible.

Yes... so again... why would USA have any motivation whatsoever to get involved in this crap?


Why has the Georgian flag the George's cross? ;)

Ok, answer! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_V_of_Georgia)

That's interesting! Always pondered it had to be something to do with one George or another.

Argos
13-08-2008, 10:57
He was the friggin' Ministry of foreign affairs in the Soviet Union!
And what...?
He knew exactly what he was doing...
Oh, you could recognize such things?
I even watched a documentary on his double agent role..
Imagine, I saw a documentary where they proved that the KGB killed John F. Kennedy and I saw a documentation which made no doubt that the moon landing of Apollo 11 was total fake, completely produced in the studio. Oh yes, I believe everything what TV puts in front of my nose.:yes:
... in which he was claimed to be a personal friend of Boris Yeltsin...
Boris Yeltsin had many friends, Mikhail Gorbachev for example. Didn't impede him to give Misha the boot.
...and they'd have frequent undercover phone conversations regarding reciprocal moves.
Oh yes, I too have regular cell-phone conversations with the voices I constantly am hearing in my ears...:tel:

Well, let's summarize - Shevardnadze loosens his country from Russia, rearms Georgia with an every year growing support from the USA, begins to build a pipeline with western money, which is totally against the interests of Russia and at night tells the Russian president all the secrets he heard from his western partners. :lol: --->:cry:
Ok, I have to go easy on my diaphragm, it already hurts.

Interesting that the USA, with all their CIA agents in Georgia (and Russia), supported Shevardnadze practically until the end, and the EU diplomats had hard work over months to convince them to abondon this guy and cooperate with the opposition. Oh yes, I forgot, Amis are stupid... :rolleyes: ...And there goes reason down the river...:bye:

...while you actually say stuff with enormous conviction; as if they were long proven without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt facts.
My choice is - believe the numerous diplomats who have repeatedly expressed their irritation (like Condi Rice, Steinmaier, Kouchner...) or believe that they all are liars and only USAshvili tells the truth.
... so again... why would USA have any motivation whatsoever to get involved in this crap?
Geostrategically it's an absurdity, for stability and integrity of Georgia it makes no sense too. Testing Medvedev is by far not reason enough (considering the negative consequences), but there may be one reason - the American presidental election. The Republicans seem to be distinctly behind, the frictions in Georgia are definitely a support for Mackie's campaign, that's a clear home match against Obama.

Not that I have the firm opinion that Bush really has something to do with this, I'm more inclined that it's Saaki's own game, but we shouldn't exclude any possibility from consideration...

freddie
13-08-2008, 13:09
And what...?

Think about it some more. :p

Oh, you could recognize such things?

Well it's my (not so isolated) belief and pretty much common knowledge.

Imagine, I saw a documentary where they proved that the KGB killed John F. Kennedy and I saw a documentation which made no doubt that the moon landing of Apollo 11 was total fake, completely produced in the studio. Oh yes, I believe everything what TV puts in front of my nose.:yes:

Yes, only stuff that comes from Russia, right?
The thing is... it wasn't some crazy conspiracy documentary made by people who made ridiculous films about Roswell & 9-11. It was done by our own on-the-field-reporters, who're still employed by our national tv. But whichever... this is a bit futile, I think. I can't enforce my sources on you as absolute truth and neither can you do the same to me. But this is my belief of what happened in Georgia till Shakashvilli took office.

Boris Yeltsin had many friends, Mikhail Gorbachev for example. Didn't impede him to give Misha the boot.:
Indeed. Because he was useless to him after.

Well, let's summarize - Shevardnadze loosens his country from Russia, rearms Georgia with an every year growing support from the USA, begins to build a pipeline with western money, which is totally against the interests of Russia and at night tells the Russian president all the secrets he heard from his western partners. :lol: --->:cry:
Ok, I have to go easy on my diaphragm, it already hurts..:

I'm glad you're seeing my side of things finally! :D

Interesting that the USA, with all their CIA agents in Georgia (and Russia), supported Shevardnadze practically until the end, and the EU diplomats had hard work over months to convince them to abondon this guy and cooperate with the opposition. Oh yes, I forgot, Amis are stupid... :rolleyes: ...And there goes reason down the river...:bye:

I'm sorry but that's just full-out wrong. The international community was very clear in criticizing apparent irregularities in the voting process during 03 elections, including the US. By that time it was apparent Sheverdnandze's accumulation of power had become too great to risk anything, and the Rose revolution would never, ever have gone through weren't it for the full blessing of the international community (US included). Not to mentiont the guy who succeeded Ed was an ACTUAL western symphatizer and more favourable to the US than Ed could ever be.


My choice is - believe the numerous diplomats who have repeatedly expressed their irritation (like Condi Rice, Steinmaier, Kouchner...) or believe that they all are liars and only USAshvili tells the truth.

You're apparently selective reading. True Shakashvili had it's fair share of difficulties and not extremely smart moves as far as the seperatists are concerned, but US&EU politicians tend to acknowledge him as a breath of fresh air in that region's politics. Someone with no Soviet past whatsoever, someone who's been educated in the west and someone who actually understands the power of compromise and communication. I think

Geostrategically it's an absurdity, for stability and integrity of Georgia it makes no sense too. Testing Medvedev is by far not reason enough (considering the negative consequences), but there may be one reason - the American presidental election. The Republicans seem to be distinctly behind, the frictions in Georgia are definitely a support for Mackie's campaign, that's a clear home match against Obama.

Georgia is no Iran. It's not nearly important enough to make much impact on US elections. And with an unpopular war on Iraq, public opinion not favouring an invasion on Iran and Americans having enough other things on their plate (the subprime crisis to start with), I think it's safe to say any sort of active role in this conflict is highly unlikely.

Not that I have the firm opinion that Bush really has something to do with this, I'm more inclined that it's Saaki's own game, but we shouldn't exclude any possibility from consideration...

What game would that be though? I mean seriously... it's a country that's absolutely tiny going against the military remains of what was once a superpower? No one would be foolish enough to fight the windmills like that; especially considering the fact western powers would never allow themselves to get actively involved in the conflict.


ETA: A makeshift ceasefire is currently in place, but both sides already report violations.

Argos
13-08-2008, 19:20
.. it wasn't some crazy conspiracy documentary made by people who made ridiculous films about Roswell & 9-11. It was done by our own on-the-field-reporters, who're still employed by our national tv.
Honestly, they are still in their job, after this BS? Ok, not many altenatives in a small country. I so see them hiding under Eddie's bed when he called the Russian president at half past 1 o'clock!
I'm sorry but that's just full-out wrong. The international community was very clear in criticizing apparent irregularities in the voting process during 03 elections, including the US. By that time it was apparent Sheverdnandze's accumulation of power had become too great to risk anything, and the Rose revolution would never, ever have gone through weren't it for the full blessing of the international community (US included). Not to mentiont the guy who succeeded Ed was an ACTUAL western symphatizer and more favourable to the US than Ed could ever be.
a) I'm not talking about events immediately before, during and after the November elections, but the months before. As a military partner Shevardnadze was a very reliable one. In 2002 Georgia got about 55 Mio $ from the Foreign Military Financing Program, more than 10 times more than the year before (9/11 you know)
b) It wasn't accumulation of power, it was just plain unbearable corruption. Georgia at that time was one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
True Shakashvili had it's fair share of difficulties and not extremely smart moves...
Saaki is mentally disturbed, and this was written in a lot of W-E-S-T-E-R-N articles two years ago in the net, no reason for understatements.
... but US&EU politicians tend to acknowledge him as a breath of fresh air in that region's politics. Someone with no Soviet past whatsoever, someone who's been educated in the west...
It was always the co-operation of Saaki, Zhvania and Burdzhanadze together which made this little wonder possible, which made Georgia's government reliable and capable of acting, not the president alone. But Zhvania died under very mysterious circumstances in Feb 2005, and Burdzhanadze threw the towel in April this year. The moderate forces in the government have gone, and now little Misha can't be stopped. Condi must be really furious, if we believe (NYT) that she has warned him from attacking at least two times this month.
...and someone who actually understands the power of compromise and communication.
...and that's not exactly his virtue, or - it's exactly not his virtue (I'm really bad in English nowadays :D)!

I think it's safe to say any sort of active role in this conflict is highly unlikely.
I can agree, but I would have sworn too that a man of the integrity of Colin Powell would never lie to the UN Security Council and present a bunch of fake proofs about Iraqi nuke weapons. Since then I don't exclude anything...
No one would be foolish enough to fight the windmills like that; especially considering the fact western powers would never allow themselves to get actively involved in the conflict.
You see, Misha did! But wait! No! It was one of his doctors, a psychologist and FSB double (or triple, whatever) agent, who hypnotized him: "Destroy Tskhinvali...Destroy Tskhinvali...Destroy Tskhinvali...Destroy Tskhinvali...Destroy Tskhinvali...!" Yeah, that's it. There's no other possibility. :laugh:

safradise
13-08-2008, 21:14
People of the world. You deceive! World mass media conduct propagation of a false information. Russia DID NOT ATTACK Georgia! 07.08.2008 at 22:00 Georgia has attacked South Ossetia. At 3:30 08.08.2008 tanks of the Georgian armies have entered into city Tskhinvali. Artillery bombardment all the day long proceeded, fights with use of tanks and heavy combat material, both against ossetic armies, and against peace inhabitants were conducted. 1400 civil people already were lost. The Russian peacemakers have arrived to South Ossetia in the evening 08.08.2008 for settlement of the conflict and prompting of the world in republic and protection of the Russian citizens living on territory of South Ossetia. Georgia has attacked South Ossetia on eve of Olympiad, it is top of cruelty and cynicism. Proofs and video-materials look on : http://www.1tvrus.com/ , http://www.1tv.ru/owa/win/ort6_main.main , http://www.rian.ru/ , http://www.vesti.ru/news , http://news.ntv.ru/ , http://www.ren-tv.com/ , http://www.newsru.com/ .We shall tell
all tell is not present to WAR!!!

freddie
14-08-2008, 08:10
I'll just answer to parts that aren't plain bickering. :P

a) I'm not talking about events immediately before, during and after the November elections, but the months before. As a military partner Shevardnadze was a very reliable one. In 2002 Georgia got about 55 Mio $ from the Foreign Military Financing Program, more than 10 times more than the year before (9/11 you know)
b) It wasn't accumulation of power, it was just plain unbearable corruption. Georgia at that time was one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

You were the one making references to Wikipedia articles, so read up the selective parts that don't agree with your assertions as well. Like the part where it's stated Americans eventually got tired of pouring money into a black hole.
You can't have "unbearable corruption" without your own people maintaining control over the whole whole political & social spectrum of the country. Just like Zimbabwe. Tripartite organization of the government is intended for that purpose exactly - different branches of the government controling each other. State-wide corruption can only be achieved once you've taken control of all three of these branches..

Saaki is mentally disturbed, and this was written in a lot of W-E-S-T-E-R-N articles two years ago in the net, no reason for understatements.

Please show me links stating he's mentally disturbed. Even if you find three I can counter it with overwhelmingly favourable common-opinion articles about his reign so far. He might be ineffective in some areas, some of his reforms failed to meet their targets, but that could be said for any polititian in history. But he is definitely the lesser of two evil, and a wonderful counter-balance to Russia's oil-fueled apetites to become a superpower again.

It was always the co-operation of Saaki, Zhvania and Burdzhanadze together which made this little wonder possible, which made Georgia's government reliable and capable of acting, not the president alone. But Zhvania died under very mysterious circumstances in Feb 2005, and Burdzhanadze threw the towel in April this year. The moderate forces in the government have gone, and now little Misha can't be stopped. Condi must be really furious, if we believe (NYT) that she has warned him from attacking at least two times this month.

I seriously don't know what you've been reading. On her visit Condolenzza Rice only expressed her concern regarding the separatist issues in the country, saying it has to be resolved with Russia, while still extending her - and administration's - full support of the government. USA being concerned over seperatist movements inside one of it's allies is really not that hard to understand though.

I can agree, but I would have sworn too that a man of the integrity of Colin Powell would never lie to the UN Security Council and present a bunch of fake proofs about Iraqi nuke weapons. Since then I don't exclude anything...

When he said it he actually believed it, but that's a seperate issue.

You see, Misha did! But wait! No! It was one of his doctors, a psychologist and FSB double (or triple, whatever) agent, who hypnotized him: "Destroy Tskhinvali...Destroy Tskhinvali...Destroy Tskhinvali...Destroy Tskhinvali...Destroy Tskhinvali...!" Yeah, that's it. There's no other possibility. :laugh:

So... what ARE his motives then? Russian motives are clear to see, Ossetians just as well, but I don't see that Georgia would stand to gain by risking direct conflict with a military powerhouse like Russia.

Argos
14-08-2008, 10:58
... Like the part where it's stated Americans eventually got tired of pouring money into a black hole.
I didn't know that your comprehension of the English language is sooo weak!!!
Eventually, even his American supporters grew tired of pouring money into an apparent black hole.
...means, others were getting much earlier tired, and that's exactly what you could read in comments from French and German sources at that time.
You can't have "unbearable corruption" without your own people maintaining control over the whole whole political & social spectrum of the country.
Again the problem is not dictatorship per se, the US have and always had good relationships with a row of dictatorships, the cause of the abandonment of Eddie was, that the corruption blocked any development in the country, but the USA were the last ally who turned away from him. To tell me that this is wrong, is plainly ridiculous.
Please show me links...
Look for yourself. Do you really think that I would comb through the paper archives of a dozen newspapers all around the world, just to prove for you, what everybody else who ever followed the current history of Georgia has read already more than once?

What you can find about him in no time is for example, that he lowered down the age of full legal responsibility for crimes to 12 years and forced school children to visit jailhouses, where people with death penalty sentences were kept, just to show them where they will land if they became criminals. Drug tests for all people in administration jobs and the like. His numerous outbursts of fury for quite minor reasons and his regular panic attacks can't be so hard to find too, and that he is an egomaniac isn't a secret too, you have just to read!
I seriously don't know what you've been reading.
If you read what I wrote, you would know where I read it, from New York Times! An article about ambivalent messages from the Bush administration, telling different things in personal talks and in public speeches, which gave Saaki the impression that he would have unparted and far-reaching support whatever he does.

It is interesting to note that Burdzhanadze was called for a visit to the USA almost immediately after her decision to resign. A person who has no more influence in Georgia's politics was invited for talks by the president, the Secretary of State and by delegations of both Senate and House of Representatives. When she came home she announced to build up a think tank for the further development of the country (sponsored by the United States). This proves that the US don't want to lose this important moderate politician under any circumstances, even if she is just working extra parliamentary.

The US are completely aware that they can't continue their politics in Georgia with Saakashvili alone, too much obstinacy and unpredictibility, and all other politicians with 'weight' in this country have become lost the last few years mostly under strange circumstances. There are no alternatives inside the government party and no ones in the heavily splittered opposition, so there's no way around Saakashvili. The public support of the allies for him should not mislead, he is by far not the darling for the west.
When he said it he actually believed it, but that's a seperate issue.
Overcredulous then?
So... what ARE his motives then?
There are no real motives, if we see it as a Caucasus problem alone. Noone could win anything from the war, and that was clear from the first moment.

Russia would lose the control over the renegades to the UNO forces, the latter would suffer the consequences of the war and their self-determination under the Russian protection was at least temporarily satisfying, this would be gone, if other parties interfere (not so much the population, but the leaders = war lords), the Georgians would lose completely the control over these regions and the NATO membership would be postponed for many years. The EU has invested much money in vain, the repair will cost more and more and their military involvement will be inevitable. The USA can't be interested in more control organs in the country, where they had almost a monopole, the problems aren't solved, the carefully built up bridges between Russia and USA (which are for the USA even more important than for Russia) are now at risk.

No, there seems to be no reproducible motives 'inside' the Caucasus problem and other ones are just wild speculations. The most probable explanation is, that the crisis was a self-runner of the conflict parties around the cities of Gori and Tskhinvali. What were just occasional shootings at the end of July became critical on Aug. 1st, when even the peacemaker troops began to shoot against each other. Then Saakashvili lost his nerves...

Talyubittu
14-08-2008, 11:15
I'm not even bothering to read most of this thread anymore - thoroughly at least. The last page and a half have been nothing but fictional stories and poorly drawn conclusions responded to with blatant fact and competence. There is no need to discuss if everyone is going to use a different version of what should be the same history book.

freddie
14-08-2008, 11:39
It's funny how you're trying do discredit my sources, yet apparently celebrate articles that your viewpoint as the ultimate triumph of journalistic integrity. :p

During the Yeltsin days there was a lot more tension between the US and Georgia (Clinton expressed some far more bitter remarks than what you claim Condolenzza Rice, -who came to Georgia to reaffirm it's partnership with the country - than there were as the transition of power occured in the Kremlin, which indicates to me Ed had much stronger unofficial ties with Yeltsin than he did with Putin. But that's my take on the matter...

... unlike your take about Burdzhanadze's visit to the States which is pure conjecture. Yeah she was invited but only as a notable political figure in the region, not because they were trying to disassociate with or even shun Saakashvili.

And I'm not even going into that whole matter of "strange disappearances" of politicians, eventhough I know exactly what you're implying, but that's hardly worth a discussion.

Regarding the motives... c'mon. A few posts back you tried to invent American motives yet you don't see any Russian ones at all? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Think real hard... think why Russia could possibly have anything to gain by unsettling a pro-western government that risks having NATO alliance right at their doorstep. They've been pretty clear on this issue a while back when the question of Ukraine joining NATO arose. I think it came as no surprise when Russian representatives almost suffered a group-epileptic seizure at the prospect.

Argos
14-08-2008, 13:14
It's funny how you're trying do discredit my sources, yet apparently celebrate articles that your viewpoint as the ultimate triumph of journalistic integrity. :p
Only ridiculous conspiracy stories. In fact I give every source it's due weight, but give me the right to mistrust sources which are full of slobber against one party and miss any form of objectivity. Concerning celebrating blabla...funny, first you ask in which drain I have found the information, and when I name the source you speak of 'celebrating the triumph of jounalistic integrity'. I get the impression that it's not even the topic you are interested in. :rolleyes:
During the Yeltsin days there was a lot more tension between the US and Georgia
There were always tensions between USA and Georgia, sometimes more, sometimes less, but I don't have a tensionmeter to measure the amplitude exactly, if you have one, fine! ...indicates to me Ed had much stronger unofficial ties with Yeltsin than he did with Putin.
Of course, they were the same generation of politicians, worked together, had the same collegues and friends, at least for a considerable amount of time. That doesn't mean that they didn't go seperate ways, once Georgia was independent. Russia was disappointed that he looked for independency from Russia, the USA was disappointed that he didn't go far enough. My point of view, when both big players are disappointed then he was, at least with his ideas, not far from the right way (which doesn't prove that the results were in the right direction, which obviously completely failed).
... unlike your take about Burdzhanadze's visit to the States which is pure conjecture. Yeah she was invited but only as a notable political figure in the region, not because they were trying to disassociate with or even shun Saakashvili.
Do you intentionally twist my words or am I so unintelligable?
...they can't continue their politics in Georgia with Saakashvili alone,...
...there's no way around Saakashvili...
...the US don't want to lose this important moderate politician (Burdzhanadze)...
Nothing more - nothing less!
Regarding the motives... c'mon. A few posts back you tried to invent American motives...
It was you, who demanded me finding a possible motive. I told you that there is no plausible one and that any motives not connected with the Caucasus problem are far fetched. Even so, I gave an example. That doesn't mean I give it some seriousness. Concerning Russia's possible gain: it's the same as with the USA.There IS nothing to gain on a violent basis. Noone in the Kremlin nor in the White House has the illusion that he can be a winner in a clash in the Caucasus.

Infact the best Russian position was the status quo before the outbreak of the war. Keeping constant tension in the region, sometimes more, sometimes less, but cause nothing, that could change the whole situation. This weakens Georgia, makes the energy projects of EU-USA complicated and laborious and deters NATO to pick up Georgia in their alliance. To get rid of a western friendly government is out of question for Russia, they don't have supporters in Georgia, and the western countries and interest groups are already way to much involved in the whole process of modernising Georgia. The train has departed long time ago. Even dreaming about it would mean that the Russians have totally lost their reason.
They've been pretty clear on this issue a while back when the question of Ukraine joining NATO arose.
Ukraine is distinctly different. Here they have still much support from population and political structures. Russians see at least a chance for turning back the wheel of time, but as a matter of fact (well, you can prove the opposite, if you like), the west has much more to offer than the half totalitarian neighbour, who has never seen the other CIS nations at their own eye level. It may take longer, but it's unavoidable. Ukraine will be part of the western community, and there is no way Russia can stop this.

freddie
14-08-2008, 14:11
Only ridiculous conspiracy stories. In fact I give every source it's due weight, but give me the right to mistrust sources which are full of slobber against one party and miss any form of objectivity. Concerning celebrating blabla...funny, first you ask in which drain I have found the information, and when I name the source you speak of 'celebrating the triumph of jounalistic integrity'. I get the impression that it's not even the topic you are interested in. :rolleyes:

It is. And the only article you've quoted was the NYT one, to which I could post you numerous others, not to mention official press releases from both countries (though these might be somewhat biased, but together they offer a rounded view).



Do you intentionally twist my words or am I so unintelligable?

Nothing more - nothing less!

You're isolating your statements, what you really said was "The US are completely aware that they can't continue their politics in Georgia with Saakashvili alone, too much obstinacy and unpredictibility", which IS pure speculation, since official Washington always held Saakashvili in high regards and considered him a key factor in the stability of the region, rather than a destabilizing factor.

It was you, who demanded me finding a possible motive. I told you that there is no plausible one and that any motives not connected with the Caucasus problem are far fetched. Even so, I gave an example. That doesn't mean I give it some seriousness. Concerning Russia's possible gain: it's the same as with the USA.There IS nothing to gain on a violent basis. Noone in the Kremlin nor in the White House has the illusion that he can be a winner in a clash in the Caucasus.

Infact the best Russian position was the status quo before the outbreak of the war. Keeping constant tension in the region, sometimes more, sometimes less, but cause nothing, that could change the whole situation. This weakens Georgia, makes the energy projects of EU-USA complicated and laborious and deters NATO to pick up Georgia in their alliance. To get rid of a western friendly government is out of question for Russia, they don't have supporters in Georgia, and the western countries and interest groups are already way to much involved in the whole process of modernising Georgia. The train has departed long time ago. Even dreaming about it would mean that the Russians have totally lost their reason.

Well... everything you've said here is your opinion. And I've offered you mine above as well. I don't think status quo would weaken Georgia in the slightest nor would it deter NATO from wanting it as a very useful ally. Even as Kosovo was in the process of gaining independence Russia was very adamant about Ossetia & Abhazia following suit, almost to a point where the rhetoric bordered on "You want Kosovo, then accept Ossetia & Abhazia as intependent countries as well." It's plain as day to me that Russia will do everything in it's power for these two regions gain a de iure independence from Georgia. Why? See teh NATO argument above. Once you have a chance to hack of a significant chunk of a teritory that will sooner or later join a competitive army alliance it's only natural to grab the opportunity with both hands as it slowly presents itself. Also it's very interesting how Russia only started gathering speed in developing stronger ties with both separatist fractions after Ed stepped down. Not that they weren't pressing for it before, but only after the elections when Georgia went on a straight-out pro-western path, did it become "a project" for the Russians.

Ukraine is distinctly different. Here they have still much support from population and political structures. Russians see at least a chance for turning back the wheel of time, but as a matter of fact (well, you can prove the opposite, if you like), the west has much more to offer than the half totalitarian neighbour, who has never seen the other CIS nations at their own eye level. It may take longer, but it's unavoidable. Ukraine will be part of the western community, and there is no way Russia can stop this.

No doubt Ukraine is different and I also agree it's inevitably headed towards Euro-Atlantic alliances, but my point was Russians tend to get very edgy when you mention future NATO members that border Russia and quite understanably so, since a wannabe superpower can't afford to have other army alliances building bases 2 kilometres away from it's borders.It already lost Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, Poland, East Germany and the Baltic countries (all of which were once a pivotal factor in ensuring it's influence of intimidation on western Europe) to the other side and now it's absolutely vital for them to regain/maintain control over as much populace as possible. However I think sooner or later Russia will have to realize it's not the almighty super-power it once was; nor can it forcefully influence politics of it's former republics and satellite states. Medvedov with his firm stance on the Rule of Law was my great hope until recently. Although I'm still willing to give him a chance in case he's willing to free himself of the shackles Putin placed him in.

freddie
15-08-2008, 13:05
Another related development:

Ukraine imposses a decree restricting the Russian Black Sea fleet (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-08/14/content_9286398.htm), after Victor Yushchenko returned from a mass-raly in Georgia supporting Saakashvili. It just further underlines the clear and present danger a loose coalition of pro-western ex Soviet republics can pose to Russian ambitions of regaining the status of a reemerging superpower.

Also on that note Poland and US sign the missile shield agreement (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/15/poland.us.shield/index.html). A similar deal has already been put in place with Czech Republic (http://daily.iflove.com/world/2008-07/08/content_6829026.htm). I personaly don't agree with these deals involving the US building missile shields on EU territory, but it's also a sign of the times and another hint why Russia would be so adamant trying to keep as much ex-Soviet territory pro-Russian as possible.

Life In Technicolor
15-08-2008, 21:03
American Citizens Caught in Georgia During the Attack Speak The Truth. Watch the Reaction of FOX:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8XI2Chc6uQ 12 Year Old Girl Tells the Truth about Georgia

freddie
15-08-2008, 21:15
American Citizens Caught in Georgia During the Attack Speak The Truth. Watch the Reaction of FOX:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8XI2Chc6uQ 12 Year Old Girl Tells the Truth about Georgia

Looks like these Ossetian slavics (Russians?) were extremely eager to put out a certain message weren't they? Now lets hear some interviews with people that have -vili at the end on their surnames rather than -ova or -ski. I bet you'd hear a diametrically different story *hinthint*

ETA: A very interesting, (though slightly biased) article on the popular emergence of global totalitarism / panslavism and why aggressive American post 9/11 politics has been a big contributor to it's rise. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdBhiePXIJo&feature=related)

Argos
15-08-2008, 21:42
Looks like these Ossetian slavics (Russians?) were extremely eager to put out a certain message weren't they? Now lets hear some interviews with people that have -vili at the end on their surnames rather than -ova or -ski. I bet you'd hear a diametrically different story *hinthint*

ETA: A very interesting, (though slightly biased) article on the popular emergence of global totalitarism / panslavism and why aggressive American post 9/11 politics has been a big contributor to it's rise. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdBhiePXIJo&feature=related)
...and a look at the users personal youtube page...slightly what? (http://www.youtube.com/user/DAXUREvsREDS)

freddie
15-08-2008, 22:11
...and a look at the users personal youtube page...slightly what? (http://www.youtube.com/user/DAXUREvsREDS)

Yet he wasn't the one who made the video. The guy simply posted this video on youtube cause he likes what it said, just like Mr.Cyrillic-Nickname posted the link which he apparently liked. But that doesn't say anything about the content itself...

It's obviously an American documentary, highlighting an interview with Eric Margolis - and he certainly seems well ballanced; also criticizing not only Putin's Russia but also the USA.

Argos
15-08-2008, 22:25
Yet he wasn't the one who made the video. The guy simply posted this video on youtube cause he likes what it said, just like Mr.Cyrillic-Nickname posted the link which he apparently liked. But that doesn't say anything about the content itself...

It's obviously an American documentary, highlighting an interview with Eric Margolis - and he certainly seems well ballanced; also criticizing not only Putin's Russia but also the USA.
I know, I'm regularly looking at real news, which by the way is one of the good sources. I just wanted to show, how much heated all the discussion is and how fussy you have to be with the information and the providers of information at the moment.

About your quote about slavic names above: Kokoeva is a typical name in the Caucasus, just russified name, and Tedeeva is russified too. I know one linguist (who wrote about comparison of Ossetian and Georgian language) born in Tbilisi with the same name (in Georgian Tedety), again just russified, and Korewiski shouts for an explanation offside the slavic idiom.

freddie
15-08-2008, 22:41
I know, I'm regularly looking at real news, which by the way is one of the good sources. I just wanted to show, how much heated all the discussion is and how fussy you have to be with the information and the providers of information at the moment.

Don't have to be fussy, just look at many different sources and that's it. I sw loads of vids with blood-covered Georgians claiming how Russian troops beat them senselessly despite it being clear they were civilians and on the other hand I've also seen Ossetian sources claiming how Georgian army started shelling their homes with no prior provocation. People will say what their predetermined ideology tells them, that's the key.

About your quote about slavic names above: Kokoeva is a typical name in the Caucasus, just russified name, and Tedeeva is russified too. I know one linguist (who wrote about comparison of Ossetian and Georgian language) born in Tbilisi with the same name (in Georgian Tedety), again just russified, and Korewiski shouts for an explanation offside the slavic idiom.

I don't know enough about surnames to discuss this seriously, but if these surnames were infact Russified that even further proves her pro-Russian bias; i.e. Russification was done for some reason (pointing that this little girl is not really a Georgian but rather either a relative of Ossetians who willingly took Russian citizenship). I was just pointing at her obvious pro-Russian bias, not her actual ethnic origins (whatever they may be).

And that exactly was my point. The bias! Anyone can spew a whole shit-load of articles and documentaries that'll support their (sometimes even radical) ideologies. Mr.Cyrillic-Nickname did it. So did Mr. People-of-the-world! An inside micro-view of the Russian-propaganda-machine hard at work. On a macro level it looks pretty much the same except more pronounced. And then you have equally biased people on the other side drawing stupid hitler moustaches under Putin's nose, claiming Russia's building a secret missile defense system in Cuba. They're all silly. That's why I always say it's great to build one's opinions based on a whole multitude of factors and sources.

Argos
15-08-2008, 22:55
I don't know enough about surnames to discuss this seriously, but if these surnames were infact Russified that even further proves her pro-Russian bias; i.e. Russification was done for some reason (pointing that this little girl is not really a Georgian but rather either a relative of Ossetians who willingly took Russian citizenship). I was just pointing at her obvious pro-Russian bias, not her actual ethnic origins (whatever they may be).
You have the same russification in Central Asia, Kazakhstan and the North Caucasus. Most russification goes back to the Stalin era. And of course, if she is an Ossetian, and we know 90 % have a Russian passport, then she might not be Georgia friendly, but to allege that she is dishonest, based on her ethnicity, is strange..."All Ossetians are liars!" :rolleyes:

Life In Technicolor
15-08-2008, 23:26
After several days of silence, during which he was criticized for not taking a stand, President Klaus made his views clear in an interview for Czech Radio:
“Once again people are closing their eyes to the reality – and creating myths. I did not make a strong statement because I refuse to accept this widespread, simplified interpretation which paints the Georgians as the victims and the Russians as the villains. That is a gross oversimplification of the situation and I would have to write a lengthy article to explain why I do not share this view”
Mr. Klaus said further that in 1968 Czechoslovakia did not attack Subcarpathian Ruthenia and in his view the pro-reform Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubček did not resemble President Saakashvili in word or deed.
The Czech head of state who strongly advised caution over the matter of acknowledging Kosovo’s independence said that the situation in Georgia had been crucially influenced by the separation of Kosovo from Serbia in February of this year, and that with the separation of Kosovo, Russia had obtained a strong justification for its action. He said he did not share the view of Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states that Georgia should be given entry to NATO to prevent further attacks from Russia. Mr. Klaus indicated that this would only further aggravate an already complicated situation.
http://www.radio.cz/en/article/107261

freddie
16-08-2008, 01:32
You have the same russification in Central Asia, Kazakhstan and the North Caucasus. Most russification goes back to the Stalin era. And of course, if she is an Ossetian, and we know 90 % have a Russian passport, then she might not be Georgia friendly, but to allege that she is dishonest, based on her ethnicity, is strange..."All Ossetians are liars!" :rolleyes:

No that's taking it too far. I'd put it more like: all Ossetians are biased. Which they ARE, no matter how you turn it. It's only natural. And when you see religious, pointed proclamations like this, it's not hard to find it a bit fishy. I'm sure you'd find equally biased reports on the other side, but that's my point.

This (http://www.radio.cz/en/article/107165) is from the same site as Mr.Cyrillic-Nickname's article. Basically confirms what I've said about Russian feelings towards NATO expansion and it's connection to the present crisis. Veronika Kuchynova Smigolova and I think alike. However I do agree with president Klaus on the subject of Kosovo independence complicating things in Georgia. It does give Ossetia & Abhazia an internationally justified discussion right on this topic, but no way in hell does it give Russia justification to do ANYTHING let alone invade another country and bomb it's capital.

Argos
16-08-2008, 15:30
I'd put it more like: all Ossetians are biased....I'm sure you'd find equally biased reports on the other side, but that's my point.
I think we all are biased in one or another way. But I think we should take information of any kind as they are, but disregard such reports without informational content with solely rants in one direction.

Regarding this clip with 12 year old Kokoeva: It was interesting to see how the TV station tries to manipulate the viewers by affecting them emotionally with the fate of a child, but immediately (and very unprofessionally) shut them up when they talk about things which were not in the interest of the channel. Even if the girl was a Trojan Horse - you have to swallow the 'toad' to give at least the pretence of a neutral and unbiased news coverage, but here you have to be quite simple-minded if you don't see the channel's intentions and it's lack of interest in expression of free speech.

...which proves once again: Daily News TV - 'journalism' (everywhere) is the lowest possible form of journalism, and even slobbery paparazzi, who try to take some snapshots from a celebrities' pubic hair are honorable men compared to that scum, which is responsible for the TV news.

...Kosovo independence complicating things in Georgia. It does give Ossetia & Abhazia an internationally justified discussion right on this topic...
Not really, it's just a problem with western credibility - "Paleface talks with forked tongue, howgh!" Independency of one country can't automatically give every other minority on earth, who feels unprivileged, the right to become independent. In fact any minority problem has to be faced and discussed individually, no use to merge situations of different countries in different parts of the world with different problems and put one and the same solution over all of them.

In case of Georgia - the renegade 'republics' didn't even try a way together with Georgia. This is where I would blame the international community most, and the EU in particular (because they don't have direct military/strategical interests like the superpowers), that they didn't try to force the conflict parties to at least negotiate earnestly and find solutions for the main problems. And to give a party, which is heavily involved in the whole conflict, the control over the situation is simply stupid and irresponsible.

Life In Technicolor
16-08-2008, 18:05
Mr.Cyrillic-Nickname liked this BBC video http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=49wOzZdWWYM Saakashvili eats own tie

Saakashvili run away in panic
http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/9565/979234nn8.jpg
http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/3933/sakamo3.jpg

freddie
19-08-2008, 07:12
Not really, it's just a problem with western credibility - "Paleface talks with forked tongue, howgh!" Independency of one country can't automatically give every other minority on earth, who feels unprivileged, the right to become independent.

Indeed it doesn't but it was Russia who automatically made the correlation between the two situations, during the saga with Kosovo's independence.

Mr.Cyrillic-Nickname liked this BBC video http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=49wOzZdWWYM Saakashvili eats own tie


LMAO
That's hillarious. What the hell was he thinking?! :p


In a moment of political dementia Medvedov labels Georgian politicians as "morons". (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/18/georgia.russia.war/index.html) This will not go down well with those who he'd like to convince of his moderate views. This is no less ridiculous than Bush's "they hate freedom" / "axes of evil" speeches.

Argos
19-08-2008, 17:56
ILMAO
That's hillarious. What the hell was he thinking?! :p
Told ya, Misha is ga-ga!
******************

Well, Russia isn't just the centre of the evil, it is also the place where kind policemen think of ways to make traffic safer. Identifying the main source of risk the Krasnoyarsk police decided to publish rules for a particular part of the car-driving population...

Krasnoyarsk police’s ’Driving rules for a true lady’

#1
A true lady never breaks traffic rules because she respects the law.

#2
A true lady uses rear-view mirrors to check the road, not her appearance.

#3
A true lady won’t start a race against a male driver.

#4
A true lady will make way for another car when rules call for it - even if it means making way for a man.

#5
A true lady shall never use a mobile phone without a hands-free kit, even to learn the latest news on sales and discounts.

#6
Keeping her car fit is as important for a true lady as taking care of her looks.

#7
A true lady doesn’t flirt at the wheel and doesn’t get distracted by the looks of passing men. She knows it’s in bad taste.

#8
A true lady never sees the middle of the road as “a convenient spot to park the car”.

#9
A true lady always keeps her papers in order and in one place.

#10
A true lady keeps to her lane and uses indicator signals when she wants to change.Source Russia Today (http://www.russiatoday.com/features/news/29153).

freddie
21-08-2008, 09:52
Norway says Russia to cut military ties with NATO (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1834363,00.html).

On top of that they're blatantly threating a member state of the European Union. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/world/europe/16poland.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin)

The cold war talk is back again, apparently. It's interesting how quickly people start bitting the hand that once fed them. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the mighty Russian Federation humbly accepted humanitarian aid from the USA & EU. Now a decade and a half later they regain some economic footing, largely thanks to their huge natural resources, combined with soaring energy prices and look what happens...

(Though I will admit the US missile shield is a preposterous idea in it's own right. Conflict is inevitable. Seriously, what the hell were they thinking? If they want to target Iran and other semi-threats in the middle east they should build it in Turkey.)

Argos
21-08-2008, 11:44
Norway says Russia to cut military ties with NATO (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1834363,00.html).

On top of that they're blatantly threating a member state of the European Union. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/world/europe/16poland.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin)
This tells us two important facts:

1. Whatever Russia plans, they are in a hurry, they want to make their corrections to the world order before the USA can react accordingly. The opportunity is perfect. America is in presidental elections, their arms are bound in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the financial capabilities due to the budget problems are limited.

2. Whoever thought that Medvedev would be just Putin's puppet has now the opportunity to rethink. Putin's foreign politics in his early years was quite 'lenient' and full of concessions. This changed when he made Medvedev and Ivanov his vice presidents in 2005. Russia began more and more to put pressure on it's neighbours. Now, since Medvedev became president, they began to actively exercise their power outside the boundaries of the country. We don't need to be prophets, the next step will be to revise the situation in Ukraine.
It's interesting how quickly people start bitting the hand that once fed them. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the mighty Russian Federation humbly accepted humanitarian aid from the USA & EU.
A little correction here. It was the USA and the International Monetary Fund who pressed Yeltsin and Gajdar into an economic 'shock therapy', which ruined completely Russian economy, moved the wealth of this country into the hands of just a few persons (and to foreign investors, not to forget!!!) and left the population to hunger in less than 10 years. Gratefulness? :lol:
(Though I will admit the US missile shield is a preposterous idea in it's own right. Conflict is inevitable. Seriously, what the hell were they thinking? If they want to target Iran and other semi-threats in the middle east they should build it in Turkey.)
Strategically I don't see the sense. Even if Iran could reach Poland or other EU-countries the interceptors are way too slow for a missile which has to be shot over 1500 km. A defense against Russian missiles is also quite unlogical, the direction of the whole defense ensemble points towards the south-east, so it makes only sense for a defense system against Ukraine. :confused:

By the way, here is an in-depth analysis of the global background of the Georgia conflict, quite helpful for thinking about what we have to expect the next few months, by Stratfor (http://www.stratfor.com): The Real World Order (http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/real_world_order)

freddie
21-08-2008, 13:01
This tells us two important facts:

1. Whatever Russia plans, they are in a hurry, they want to make their corrections to the world order before the USA can react accordingly. The opportunity is perfect. America is in presidental elections, their arms are bound in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the financial capabilities due to the budget problems are limited.

Sounds like a nice imperialist plan indeed. Unfortunately that kind of "correction" will be very hard to achieve with the economy who's sole reasons for moderate success was ridiculous energy prices. Not to mention their army is not nearly as impressive as it used to be during the hayday of the Soviet Union. They have a bunch or old submarines and a quarter of their navy rusting at abandoned sea-ports, not to mention a large chunk of what was once Soviet Union has deflected to the other side in these two decades since the totalitarian madness ended. They can still be a pretty annoying globally, no doubt about that. But they'd only achieve former glory if they form some kind of a loose coalition with China. Which they won't given the natural resentment between the two (infact only thing the two countries share, besides their communist pasts is a centralized totalitarian rule.)

2. Whoever thought that Medvedev would be just Putin's puppet has now the opportunity to rethink. Putin's foreign politics in his early years was quite 'lenient' and full of concessions. This changed when he made Medvedev and Ivanov his vice presidents in 2005. Russia began more and more to put pressure on it's neighbours. Now, since Medvedev became president, they began to actively exercise their power outside the boundaries of the country. We don't need to be prophets, the next step will be to revise the situation in Ukraine.

Time will tell. I still consider Medvedev a man of reason and sound legal mind. For now he goes the Putin way, but maybe he just needs time to adjust himself in the new role and reaffirm his reign, before oppossing his master. The change in foreign policy in mid 00s has a lot to do with other reasons (more on that bellow) than Medvedov's vice presidency.

A little correction here. It was the USA and the International Monetary Fund who pressed Yeltsin and Gajdar into an economic 'shock therapy', which ruined completely Russian economy, moved the wealth of this country into the hands of just a few persons (and to foreign investors, not to forget!!!) and left the population to hunger in less than 10 years. Gratefulness? :lol:

They pressed them into modern economic reforms. Something all former communist countries had to go through, yet none of them (at least the ones that weren't war-torn) needed humanitarian aid. What exactly was the alternative here? Planned economy? Fixed prices? An average Russian working at the People's Combine Harvester company #3 until they run out of steam? God forbid five decades of a heavy-duty totalitarian communist regime that controled all the economy, ridden with corruption, spending an obscene amount of money on the military had anything to do with that "surprising" decline in the 90. Economic reform is a necessary step of any post-communist country if it wants to be competitive in the broader market. It's not like the USA or EU came up with the rules. Smith's invisible hand was operational long before the rise of the Soviet empire and it'll last well past Russia's descent into economic oblivion in five decades or so, as the world finds a decent alternative energy source.


By the way, here is an in-depth analysis of the global background of the Georgia conflict, quite helpful for thinking about what we have to expect the next few months, by Stratfor (http://www.stratfor.com): The Real World Order (http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/real_world_order):

Interesting article, but I don't see it quite as dramatic as they put it. Georgia was indeed a significant event but it was more a sign of Russian desperation than them "inviting us into a new world order". These non national entities and coalitions were everpresent and I don't see the significance of overaccentuating the issue.
I see this war as a consequence of two major factors:
1) Russia's desperation in NATO coming to it's doorstep, amids their struggles to regain a significant global player status
2) Pure economy: Europe has been struggling with it's heavy dependance on Russian oil and natural gas resources. The building of the BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) pipeline was a significant event for both Europe as well as the countries in the Caucasus in trying to distance themselves at least somewhat from heavy dependance on Russian energants. It was a significant blow for the Russian monopol of energy supply. It comes as no surprise British Petroleum (UK) and TotalFinaElf (France) were major investor in the BTC, accompanied by US petroleum companies. Russia tried it's hardest to pressure Azerbajdzan into not signing the accord that started this biggest private-investor project in the world. But they failed. After that the rose revolution took away unofficial yet significantly influential Shevardnadzej links which stem back to Gorbachov days, while a true pro-western democrat with no ties to Moscow came to power. That was when all hope of stopping BTC (or at least limiting it's influence) were finally squashed. It's estimated the BTC pipeline countries will make a 150 billion USD profit till 2024 (and no one even knows how much the western investors are planning to earn in that time). Russians see this as money out of their pocket. Every global cent gained from oil that doesn't get filtered through Moscow is a cent lost.

Putting that in perspective these two seperatist regions in Georgia are just as convenient for Russians as gay pride parades are for religious extremists.

Argos
21-08-2008, 22:46
Sounds like a nice imperialist plan indeed.
Welcome to planet Earth, stranger! Of course it's imperialism! Politics of regional or global superpowers were always like this and will always be. Well, the rusty weapons can be replaced and they are constantly modernizing. What experts did surprise that their military structures and strategies have extremely improved since their last enterprises in the Caucasus. That will make thing definitely harder for the NATO. I don't really believe that Russia wants back the former time of glory (which by the way never really existed), they want to gain control back in their immediate surroundings, which has been almost completely occupied by the NATO.
Time will tell. I still consider Medvedev a man of reason and sound legal mind. For now he goes the Putin way, but maybe he just needs time to adjust himself in the new role and reaffirm his reign, before oppossing his master. The change in foreign policy in mid 00s has a lot to do with other reasons (more on that bellow) than Medvedov's vice presidency.
I never saw Putin as the sole architect of the developments of the second half of this decade. From the moment the three guys from St. Peterburg shared the top positions in the Kremlin I did see them as one body. Putin just used the blade more elegantly than Medvedev does. In the internal politics, here I agree with you, Medvedev's way will be more constitutional, more in accordance with the rule of law, even with more liberty for the media, but in foreign politics I don't see a turning point, not now and not in the nearer future.
...
2) Pure economy: ...
...Every global cent gained from oil that doesn't get filtered through Moscow is a cent lost.
Economy is of course important, but the money itself isn't the big problem for Russia, it's the loss of control. The total dependence of Europe on Russia providing the vast majority of energy ressources brought them always in a good position for negotiations on any topic, the emanzipation of Europe will make it far more difficult to pull partners on their side, when it comes to questions important for Russia.

And global strategy should not be underestimated. The economic success and power of the USA is based on their global (military!) strategies. Russia's economical success, that is, a positive development of their economy with reduction of the huge dependence on their wealth of natural ressources and overcoming poverty, this can only be obtained with a higher influence on their neighbours. The question here is just, how much success brings a forced partnership (bullying and blackmailing) economically, and how much a partnership of trust and friendship.

freddie
23-08-2008, 11:09
Welcome to planet Earth, stranger! Of course it's imperialism! Politics of regional or global superpowers were always like this and will always be. Well, the rusty weapons can be replaced and they are constantly modernizing. What experts did surprise that their military structures and strategies have extremely improved since their last enterprises in the Caucasus. That will make thing definitely harder for the NATO. I don't really believe that Russia wants back the former time of glory (which by the way never really existed), they want to gain control back in their immediate surroundings, which has been almost completely occupied by the NATO.

It doesn't have to be imperialism. Not in the 21st century. This is not ancient Rome. I think it's high time we move on. It's true USA also supported it's fair share of dictators and extremist guerrillas (Saddam and the mujahedin in Afghanistancome to mind), but once it bit them in the ass they were the first to admit their mistake and changed their stance. While Russia (together with China) seems to abuse it's veto power in the Security council even way after their "allies" have turned into genocidal dictatorships (Serbia, Somalia) or religiously mad potential nuclear forces. (Iran)

I never saw Putin as the sole architect of the developments of the second half of this decade. From the moment the three guys from St. Peterburg shared the top positions in the Kremlin I did see them as one body. Putin just used the blade more elegantly than Medvedev does. In the internal politics, here I agree with you, Medvedev's way will be more constitutional, more in accordance with the rule of law, even with more liberty for the media, but in foreign politics I don't see a turning point, not now and not in the nearer future.

It's like this; if he wants to obey the rule of law then he'll have to ease up on the cold war speech of his ministers and generals combined with ceasing operations that involve infiltrating neighbouring countries. Simple as that.


Economy is of course important, but the money itself isn't the big problem for Russia, it's the loss of control. The total dependence of Europe on Russia providing the vast majority of energy ressources brought them always in a good position for negotiations on any topic, the emanzipation of Europe will make it far more difficult to pull partners on their side, when it comes to questions important for Russia.

Yeah. When I said "cent" I meant it in a broader way.

And global strategy should not be underestimated. The economic success and power of the USA is based on their global (military!) strategies. Russia's economical success, that is, a positive development of their economy with reduction of the huge dependence on their wealth of natural ressources and overcoming poverty, this can only be obtained with a higher influence on their neighbours. The question here is just, how much success brings a forced partnership (bullying and blackmailing) economically, and how much a partnership of trust and friendship.

I don't think the military strategies have attributed as much to the success of the USA as you might imagine. It firmed up their grip on some specific (although significant) parts of the market, like energy supply (just like Russia), but on the other hand they've spent billions of dollars during their war escapades. What's really behind the success is the world-leading high tech and outsourcing of heavy industries with less added value. The irony of all ironies is taliban rebels putting up websites, wishing death to America and it's imperialist allies, while maintaining the site on a server equipped with an Intel Xeon CPU on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 platform.

volk1
27-08-2008, 07:01
Kind of off-topic but is this the correct Russian translation of "One love?" Одна любовь.

manatsu103
27-08-2008, 08:28
The opportunity is perfect. America is in presidental elections, their arms are bound in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the financial capabilities due to the budget problems are limited.

Russia isnt going to go to war with the U.S. are they?
I think that would not turn out well for them...

freddie
27-08-2008, 16:01
Russia isnt going to go to war with the U.S. are they?
I think that would not turn out well for them...

I think they won't. But If they did it wouldn't turn out well for the whole globe, not just Russia.

EstBoy
28-08-2008, 11:06
Offtop:
Kind of off-topic but is this the correct Russian translation of "One love?" Одна любовь.Yes, it is.

forre
07-10-2008, 10:30
The President of Russia started his own video blog:
http://www.kremlin.ru/sdocs/vappears.shtml

Such an advaaaaanced internet user :D