Prime Minister A. Yatsenyuk with a Ukrainian soldier near Slovyansk
Ihor Losyev, Radio Svoboda, May 22, 2014
The events in Crimea and now in the Donbas have shown that the security forces of Ukraine have turned out to be ineffective and nonfunctional. A few wits have called Ukraine’s security forces “slabovyky” (the weak ones — Ed.). The issue is not only the organizational, financial, and human resource aspects of such a sorry state, but above all its ideological-educational one — how, for a period of 20 years, a peculiar version of the army, the Security Service and the Interior Ministry was being created. The army, in fact, has remained a fragment of the Soviet army, an offspring of the Russian-Soviet military tradition. Additionally, it is significant that during the entire educational-training process, particular emphasis was placed on the so-called “shared” Soviet-Russian military history and heroics. The examples of the USSR and Russia were constantly imposed; what was specifically Ukrainian was marginalized.
Staunton, May 14 – Polls show that many Russians now view their country as once again a great power as a result of the Crimean Anschluss, but that immediate emotional response while very real is neither accurate – this action alone is insufficient for such a status – nor likely to be any longer lasting than the boost Vladimir Putin got from the Sochi Olympiad.
In an article in “Gazeta” yesterday, Igor Nikolayev, the director of the FBK Institute for Strategic Analysis, says that Vladimir Putin’s actions in Crimea have clearly been sufficient for many Russians to conclude that Russia is now a great power but argues that they are not sufficient to make it one. Continue reading →
Staunton, May 15 – Russian commentators have talked openly about dividing up Ukraine and Moldova in order to support ethnic Russian communities there and weaken these two countries, but now one Moscow writer has taken such ideas further and called for the dividing up of Romania in support of Russian national interests in the Balkans.
In a commentary on APN.ru, Dmitry Rodionov says that the annexation of Crimea and the crisis in Ukraine have refocused attention on the possibilities of joining Transdniestria, the breakaway region in Moldova, to the Russian Federation, something he says that must be “decide in parallel with ‘the Ukrainian question’”. Continue reading →
Lately I wake up in the middle of the night with a complexity of thoughts about the situation in Ukraine, the effect it has on the former Soviet Union and on relations between Russia and the West. In particular the posts by Russian nationalists, pro-Putin facebook users and facebooks glorifying the deeds of Berkut leave a bad taste and a considerable impression. Some are downright stupid, others are racist or anti-Semitic, some are really abhorrent – but many show a total lack of information on what is actually going on outside Russia. The information block that the Putinshchina imposed really works, and we haven’t seen the end of it: now even livejournals that provide balanced information on Maidan are banned because of ‘extremism’. Continue reading →
Interview with Leonid Slutskiy, Head of the Russian Duma Committee for CIS Affairs by Ondras Fyoldas
Georgian Colleague: What is your position concerning the referendum? How soon will you discuss the decision of the Crimean people in Russian State Duma?
Russian Politician Let’s wait for the results of the referendum. We don’t know yet what the results will be … Let’s wait for the people of Crimea to freely express their will. If they vote for Russia, we’ll negotiate it as soon as possible in the Duma. As to the procedures, I am not ready to answer this question … I know for certain that it will not take much time … [And] with this, we will restore the historical justice: Crimea was always part of Russia. Continue reading →