Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lucia Putin wanted Poland to help him dismember Ukraine in 2008 [UPDATE!]

Back as far as 2008, Putin suggested to Poland’s prime minister on his first visit to Moscow that Russia and Poland divide Ukraine between them: Putin offered to divide Ukraine with Poland: Polish ex-minister
He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine … This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow.”

“He (Putin) went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don’t we just sort it out together,” Sikorski was quoted as saying in the interview dated Oct. 19.

Before World War Two, Poland’s territory included parts of today’s western Ukraine, including some major cities such as Lwow, known as Lviv in Ukraine.
According to Sikorski, who accompanied Tusk on his trip to Moscow, Tusk did not reply to Putin’s suggestion, because he knew he was being recorded, but Poland never expressed any interest in joining the Russian operation.

“We made it very, very clear to them – we wanted nothing to do with this,” Sikorski said.

This is important, as it shows that the justification that Russia has used to first annex Crimea, and then invade the east of Ukraine in order to set up Novorossiya was something that Putin has been planning for a long time rather than just a response to the Euro-Maidan protests.

It would have been incredibly dangerous for Poland to show the slightest bit of interest in this plan back in 2008, their words would have been used against them in justification for what Russia is doing now.

I think Poland is very happy with the current borders, no matter what the historical legitimacy to the lands to the east are, as those borders guarantee stability. Once Europe starts changing borders for whatever reason, the floodgates of war could be released. As a country that has experienced war on a devastating scale, there is no way Poland would want that.

As an aside, this weekend there is a Polish festival on Queens Wharf in Wellington, run by the Polish Association that was originally set up by NZ's first refugees, the Polish children that were granted temporary and then a permanent home here. Those children were most likely from the areas of Ukraine that Putin was suggesting that Poland take back1.

UPDATE 22 October:

From Polish Radio:

“My memory failed me. After checking, there was no bi-lateral meeting between Prime Minister Tusk and President Putin,” Radoslaw Sikorski said, Tuesday evening, adding that he was actually referring to comments Putin made at a NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008, and not in Moscow in February of that year, as he had originally told the American magazine.

Sikorski also appeared to back away from the claim that Putin offered parts of Ukraine to Poland on a plate, saying it could have been a sick joke but one that became more sinister as events have unfolded.

Sikorski has come under fire for not releasing such explosive information before and Poland's largest opposition party has called for his resignation as speaker of parliament.

The interview with Politico will probably be raised at a meeting of Poland's National Security Council on Wednesday, presidential spokeswoman Joanna Trzaska-Wieczorek has said.

Asked why he and PM Tusk had not made public Putin's imperial ambitions before, Sikorski said that the "surreal" remarks “appeared significant only later, after the NATO summit, after the war in Georgia and the annexation of Crimea".

He added that the detail of the conversation was “open to interpretation”, which takes on meaning “in the light of recent events,” referring to the current crisis in Ukraine.

...
In the morning, Radoslaw Sikorski tweeted that Politico “over-interpreted” some of his comments, detailing a conversation between Donald Tusk and Vladimir Putin, when the current president of Russia had allegedly offered to carve up Ukraine with Poland's help.

Sikorski - who was moved as head of the foreign ministry after seven years in office in September to take up the role of speaker of parliament – maintains a conversation still took place, though he “was not a witness to it” but declined to say who told him about it.

“Putin told all western leaders in Bucharest in 2008 that Ukraine was a conglomerate of several different nations, including Poland, and threatened its statehood,” Sikorski told journalists, Tuesday evening during his second press conference of the day.

1. Just to explain my connection, my aunt was one of these Polish children. My dad, her brother, was not a refugee child, he came to NZ as an immigrant in 1950 from Britain, to be reunited with his surviving family here. For more of his story, read Experiences of Motherhood and Conservatism.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lucia German Intelligence find that MH17 downing possibly a war crime

From De Spiegel (German Intelligence Claims Pro-Russian Separatists Downed MH17 ):

After completing a detailed analysis, Germany's foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has concluded that pro-Russian rebels were responsible for the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 19 in eastern Ukraine while on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

In an Oct. 8 presentation given to members of the parliamentary control committee, the Bundestag body responsible for monitoring the work of German intelligence, BND President Gerhard Schindler provided ample evidence to back up his case, including satellite images and diverse photo evidence. The BND has intelligence indicating that pro-Russian separatists captured a BUK air defense missile system at a Ukrainian military base and fired a missile on July 17 that exploded in direct proximity to the Malaysian aircraft, which had been carrying 298 people.

...
BND's Schindler says his agency has come up with unambiguous findings. One is that Ukrainian photos have been manipulated and that there are details indicating this. He also told the panel that Russian claims the missile had been fired by Ukrainian soldiers and that a Ukrainian fighter jet had been flying close to the passenger jet were false.

"It was pro-Russian separatists," Schindler said of the crash, which involved the deaths of four German citizens. A spokesman for the German Federal Prosecutor's Office told SPIEGEL that an investigation has been opened into unknown perpetrators because of the possibility that the crash had been a war crime.

However, The Interpreter believes that it couldn't have been a stolen Ukrainian BUK that was involved in the shooting down of MH17, for no Ukrainian BUKs are actually operational. In order to get them operational, it would have required highly specialised people to fix them so that they could be fired. The Interpreter thinks that instead it was a Russian BUK that was delivered to the separatists that was involved, with a false story planted by Russia of a stolen Ukranian BUK, so that the culpability could be directed at the Ukranians if necessary. (See German Intelligence Blames Russian-Backed Militants for Downing of MH17 at 13:58 (GMT) in the list of reports on the linked page)

So, if it was a Russian BUK and Russia supplied it to the rebels and if the shooting down is found to be a war crime, then my bet is that despite looking guilty as sin, the Russians will just continue to deny any involvement. You have to be pretty shameless to pull that off.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lucia Russian spies arrested in Poland

From the BBC:

The authorities in Poland have arrested a Polish army officer and a lawyer for espionage, amid reports that they allegedly spied for Russia.

Prosecutor General Andrzej Seremet said they had been detained after months of investigation and were suspected of "hurting Poland's interests".

He did not say which foreign state was involved, but a Polish MP and Polish media said it was Russia.

Marek Biernacki, a member of the Polish parliament's intelligence committee, told reporters: "Actions are being taken in respect of two agents of the Russian state."

The two unnamed detainees, he said, had worked for the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency.

The lawyer, who reportedly has joint Polish-Russian citizenship, is understood to have worked in Warsaw, specialising in economic matters, Polish radio said.

This makes me wonder if it is at all connected to the taping of Radosław Sikorski, who used to be Poland's Foreign Minister (and a very active and effective one at that), until the public disclosure of his lack of faith in the alliance with the United States.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

ZenTiger Think of the Walruses. Especially the child Walruses.



The headline blared:

"If These 35,000 Walruses Can't Convince You Climate Change Is Real, I Don't Know What to Tell You" [Photographic Proof]

Sounded like a double dog dare, too good to resist. About 3 minutes later, I was done. A blogsite called "Polar Bear Science" produced documented evidence that such events as described in the above scare mongering have been common for hundreds of years. [Not a new thing]

Either way, so what do these people think the appropriate response to reverse the change of climate? The common responses so far are a very small tax applied to New Zealanders (Green Party) to population reduction on a global scale (Green Party) to banning the use of coal (Green Party) to banning the use of coal, gas, oil and nuclear power (Green Party), to car-less days (Green Party) to calling National and Labour evil (Green Party) to paying a lot more tax to a UN funded body that would ensure World Wide Regulations preventing the rich countries from polluting and the poorer countries from improving their standard of living, sometimes called "industrialization and modernization" (Green Party)

Green Party: New campaign slogan "I am the walrus, Goo goo g' joob".

Hattip: Whoar

My apologies for being lazy - I'm not going to bother linking the Green Party policies to my statements. Refute them if you can (or care). However, the bigger question is do you think climate can be controlled by mankind? If so, are the solutions required to be so radical they would knock us back to the stone age, and kill millions? If you think it through, it might be better to plan to adapt to whatever happens.

ZenTiger Age of majority over

With the special votes counted, National are one seat short of a majority in the House. They now rely on the support of ACT, United Future or the Maori Party. They all become relevant again for 3 years.

Meanwhile, it was the Greens that gained an extra seat. They are the new Labour.
National has lost its outright majority in Parliament after the counting of special votes and the declaration of the final count.

Compared to election night National Party lost one list seat and now has 60 seats in total in a 121 seat Parliament.

The Green Party gained one list seat compared to election night, and now has 14 seats in total.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Lucia What a ceasefire looks like during a Russian invasion




From The Interpreter (Ukraine Liveblog Day 227: Fighting Rages Around Donetsk Airport:
We geolocated the scene on Google Street View which is near the Sarepta Pharmacy and also showed the separatists' positions in the southwest. If OSCE is saying that the shelling is coming from the south, it is even less likely that the rockets were fired by the Ukrainian army at the airport.




The airport is where Ukrainian forces are. The way the shell landed shows that it could not have been fired from the airport, instead it was most likely fired AT the airport, but fell short, killing civilians instead.

There is supposed to be a ceasefire, yet the rebels/Russian army have not let up on trying to drive the Ukrainian army out of the airport at Donetsk. From the Interpreter's website, there are reports of the rebels firing at the airport from various domestic buildings and then moving on to other buildings, in effect putting civilians in harm's way. When civilians are hurt, the Russian Federation media blames the Ukrainian army for the deaths.

Though, specifically speaking, the ceasefire agreement is only between the Ukrainian army and the rebels, with the Russian Federation not included, because Russia's not invading - not officially anyway.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lucia More on Soviet Era Statues being pulled down and what they mean to people

From The Guardian: Why Soviet monuments should be protected

Red Army monuments are a reminder of the astounding Soviet sacrifice during the war. You find them not only in the ex-communist bloc but in western Europe too – Berlin and Vienna being most prominent. Those two cities even feature quotations from Stalin, which remain in place without harassment. The degree of the Soviet sacrifice seems to be appreciated there.

The Soviet army played a major role in saving this part of Europe from the realisation of Hitler’s master plan in the east, which proposed the colonisation, enslavement and eventual extermination of the Slavic population.

[...]

In some areas of the former USSR that are keen to shrug off Moscow’s influence, Russia’s role in the second world war is seen largely through the initial collaboration with Hitler. But it is the Soviet Union’s later actions and subsequent role in the defeat of the Nazis in Europe that should be dominant.

Well, there you have it. Soviet monuments should be kept in formerly occupied Soviet countries because Russia saved the world from Nazism! We should ignore Soviet collaboration that allowed the war to ignite. We should ignore all Soviet actions except the defeat of the Nazis.  In other words, we should ignore all the evils the Soviet Union unleashed upon everyone, because the other major evil in WWII was eventually defeated by their sacrifice.  If you were to apply that line of thinking to any other situation, say a mass murderer who in the process of mass murdering manages to help do one good thing, and then just continues along with his mass murdering - no one would be able to look past the murdering.  It just defies belief that Russian apologists keep spinning the line that all Soviet evil should be overlooked because of the defeat of the Nazis.  I just cannot get my head around the type of mentality that justifies evil in this way.

With the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the Russian government made the preservation of Red Army monuments one of the conditions of the troops’ withdrawal from the newly independent countries.

Just astounding, the requirement to keep Soviet monuments as a condition of withdrawal!  I'd never heard of this until I read the linked article. That certainly puts the dissolution of the Soviet Union into perspective in 1991 - looks like the Russian Government may have been expecting the breakdown of their empire to be temporary.  With what is happening in Ukraine right now, the empire is seeking to reassemble itself, with or without the assent of the former Soviet Republics!


Meanwhile, The Washington Post has an interesting article on What toppled Lenin statues tell us about Ukraine’s crisis:

"To many Ukrainians, Lenin represents not only the communist regime, but also radical separation from Europe and Western civilization more broadly, Steven Fish, a Russian studies professor at University of California Berkeley, told the Los Angeles Times last December after a statue had been toppled in [Kyiv].

Other scholars view the toppling in a more modern light. Sasha Senderovich, assistant professor of Russian Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder who wrote a New York Times op-ed on this issue last December, considers Sunday's event not to be connected to Lenin specifically. "At this point, after Putin's assault on Ukraine's territorial integrity, the statue has become more symbolic of Russia's continued attempt to exercise imperial dominance over Ukraine rather than solely the historical legacy of the Soviet Union," he told The Post on Monday.

Here's some more pictures of Lenin coming down in Kharkiv a couple of days ago.

First, Lenin's legs were cut


With his legs cut, he was able to be pulled down
And down he goes
For more on the statue war in Ukraine, including the sheer number of statues pulled down this year, read the article: What toppled Lenin statues tell us about Ukraine’s crisis.