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Thread: Big Bad Bears - Russia and Putin

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    Big Bad Bears - Russia and Putin

    Just a question(s) on posters views on the current situation. I've been outside of Russia twice in the last 12 months and have been subject to 2 sides of media (Irish/British/US - Russian). In the Summer it seemed like a full on invasion was about to happen in Ukraine, the "western" media had a field day and the Russian media were full of pomposity.

    The situation here is not great and getting not greater (okay, worse) daily. As the price of oil sinks, and buckwheat flies off the shelves, and EU holidays are cancelled, I feel further and further from outside input. The vocal "liberal" groups have all but vanished and people who marched against Putin and co now hail him as a hero.

    What are your opinions on what's happening?

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    Like the Fonz. Only a dog. Mr A's Avatar
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    Putin has had too much power for too long and that makes him very dangerous indeed, as outlined here: https://theconversation.com/putins-c...appeased-24507

    Ian Robertson's blog can be found here- http://professorianrobertson.wordpress.com/blog/ I find it very interesting. We can only hope that as the sanctions and oil prices start to bite Putin doesn't do anything too mental.

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    Going to have a good look at that blog - thanksMr A!

    I know it's easy to see Putin as the main man, but there is a grouping around him, all ex-KGB/FSB or current officers who infest the government and main companies. THe biggest milk cows - Gazprom, Sberbank - are secret services beasts. Putin does seem to have gone a mad ott, leaving his wife was a surprise, even though he'd been shacked up and had a kid with Kabaeva, but he almost lost his biggest constituency (or a very large part) by doing that. He hasn't shown up in public with a new squeeze and there is no rag like the Indo or Sun here (who go after protected sources), and anything that comes from outside Russia is dismissed as hate.

    If the economy continues it's tumble (with the euro expected to hit 73 rbs this week), then we'll see what will happen. On Friday I looked at one of my old payslips, from June last year, and compared it with June this year. 41 rbs = 1euro, to 43 rbs, now we're ove 70rbs for a euro.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    I came across this on Salon the other day, which might be of interest; 'These are lies the New York Times wants you to believe about Russia': http://www.salon.com/2014/12/11/thes..._about_russia/

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    Thanks Danny. The point about people making out like bandits is dead right. The "entente" between Russia and Ukraine came about when the election for President was won by Poroshenko. Why did he spend his dwindling reserves on the campaign? Because his company's main trading partner is....Russia! Russia banned Ukrainian products at the turn of the year and his company, Roshen, were gone. So he wins the presidency, keeps the oil and gas moving and looks for peace.

    The Salon article is very interesting, makes you think.

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    Interesting article from John Pilger here which takes a different angle on the Ukraine crisis.
    Many in the western media haves worked hard to present the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

    What the Russian president has to say is of no consequence; he is a pantomime villain who can be abused with impunity. An American general who heads Nato and is straight out of Dr. Strangelove - one General Breedlove - routinely claims Russian invasions without a shred of visual evidence. His impersonation of Stanley Kubrick's General Jack D. Ripper is pitch perfect.

    Tallaght Stadium Regular

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    Just on that last piece, from Pilger (who is a great journalist and documentarian), I think but I could be wrong, weren't the Yanks caught discussing ways to overthrow/realign the Ukrainian government because they didn't like the way the people elected Yanukovich? I thought it very funny when the big love-in for Timoshenko went on and on, she was and is a crook and what is very sad, is that those at the top of Ukranian power (from any ethnic background) are all "business people" who benefit massively from doling out contracts to themselves.

    One great yoke to look up, and who would make our Jackie Healy Rae look like a paragon of virtue, rock of sense and daycent fella, is Vladimir Zhirinovsky! Google the name, sit back and be shocked!

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    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/e...rise-1.2038955

    This happened on "Siberian time". Getting a tad worrying! Just FYI, mortgage interest rates (with a 20-30% deposit) range from 10-14%, think Ireland in the 1980's!

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    3 Russian premier clubs are in serious trouble, and a 4th has filed for "protection". Amkar, Rostov and Torpedo are in serious debt with players unpaid and problems with stadia. Mordovia are the worst off but are trying to hang on. Big problems for clubs with foreign players as they are losing massive amounts having on forex. Interesting that last week the FA made a big deal of trying to force limits of foreigners. Not an issue as such as all local players (down to 2nd division) negotiate their contracts against the dollar or euro.

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    International Prospect mypost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudulika
    Just a question(s) on posters views on the current situation. I've been outside of Russia twice in the last 12 months and have been subject to 2 sides of media (Irish/British/US - Russian). In the Summer it seemed like a full on invasion was about to happen in Ukraine, the "western" media had a field day and the Russian media were full of pomposity.

    The vocal "liberal" groups have all but vanished and people who marched against Putin and co now hail him as a hero.

    What are your opinions on what's happening?
    The marchers may have gone home, but that doesn't mean they love Putin. Russia is not a free country, so while he is popular, I don't take his official poll ratings as gospel.

    4,000 people have been lost in Ukraine in one of the most stupid wars I've ever heard of. More people have been killed there in one year than the entire war in NI. The Irish and British media are more concerned though about his advocacy of traditional family friendly policies than his influences in Ukraine, and every time a debate is had in this country about Putin, that subject raises it's head. It dominated the build up to the Sochi Olympics, rather than those who fell during the Kiev revolution. However I fully support his policies in that regard, as do most Russians.

    Russia tried a fully fledged open democracy in the 90's, which saw all the old certainties torn up. They didn't like it very much so they elected Putin, a strong firm leader to make them relevant again. He's going to be there for another 10 years, so whether they like him or not, the West is going to have to get on with him.

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    Putin is the biggest threat to European peace since Adolf Hitler & Slobodan Milosevic.

    Putin's desire is too restablish the old borders of the USSR.
    Long Live King Kenny

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    Quote Originally Posted by mypost View Post
    The marchers may have gone home, but that doesn't mean they love Putin. Russia is not a free country, so while he is popular, I don't take his official poll ratings as gospel.

    4,000 people have been lost in Ukraine in one of the most stupid wars I've ever heard of. More people have been killed there in one year than the entire war in NI. The Irish and British media are more concerned though about his advocacy of traditional family friendly policies than his influences in Ukraine, and every time a debate is had in this country about Putin, that subject raises it's head. It dominated the build up to the Sochi Olympics, rather than those who fell during the Kiev revolution. However I fully support his policies in that regard, as do most Russians.

    Russia tried a fully fledged open democracy in the 90's, which saw all the old certainties torn up. They didn't like it very much so they elected Putin, a strong firm leader to make them relevant again. He's going to be there for another 10 years, so whether they like him or not, the West is going to have to get on with him.
    You have hit the nail on the head - all the talk about freedom etc, and there is a full scale war going on! What irked me about the media here and outside is the fact that while it was clear (from communications and then open rhetoric) that the US had advocated and pushed for a coup in Kiev, the Russians quickly prepared to support the "breakaway" group.

    I do not like the local media being quite reticent in questioning fully, but as in Ireland there are lone voices which most of the population ignore. Yesterday he got away with an amazingly funny/arrogant statement on salary. Asked about the levels of compensation for officials and whether they're worth it, he answered very correctly, but began with "I don't know how much I'm paid, the money arrives in my account and I don't check it." It was funny, it was dodgy, but how much dodgier is it than Bertie claiming he didn't know how to open a bank account or his magic safe; or Tony Blair and George Bush saying it wasn't (after all) important that there were no WMD's; or any other list of remarks that go unchallenged.

    It is a sad fact that Putin inherited a mess that was a combo wet dream of dodgy locals and "innovative genii" from the West, they bankrupted the country and Putin has picked up (and pocketed parts of) the pieces. His social policies are in line with the overwhelming majority of Russians and if he is to do something right he will remove backing for the crooks in East Ukraine. As for Crimea, the locals voted and left - Kosovo ring a bell?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinxy lilywhite View Post
    Putin is the biggest threat to European peace since Adolf Hitler & Slobodan Milosevic.

    Putin's desire is too restablish the old borders of the USSR.
    Jinxy, don't agree with the first part - what about Stalin, Bush GW, Blair, the Saudi Royal family, the Qatari Emirs......and on and on. It was the US eejits who forced things over the top in Ukraine:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...elove-china-us
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/...best-plan-yet/

    I do agree he is looking to bring back some sort of USSR, at least with those places worthwhile (with natural resources). But Russia is more afraid of breaking up from within. The catastrophic demographics are an issue, as is the growth of radical Islamism and shortage of labour.

    I'd love to see things get better, but it's looking worse.

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    http://www.ketchum.com/about

    Just a small aside, this crew advise Putin and the Russian Government on PR etc. Makes you think! :-)

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    International Prospect bennocelt's Avatar
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    Remind me how the billions invested in the snooze fest that is the winter Olympics benefited Russia. Surely that looks like a colossal waster of money now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bennocelt View Post
    Remind me how the billions invested in the snooze fest that is the winter Olympics benefited Russia. Surely that looks like a colossal waster of money now?
    Benno, I agree (that it was boring), I watched maybe 1 minute of hockey and 2 Irish athletes, that's it. As with the World Athletics tickets were being given (and travel paid) to the games. There was a boost for infrastructure, lots of people made money (including many international companies) and the country were happy it was a success. But it was "just" a snow games things.

    Waste of money, I don't know. It made this summer better for domestic tourism and for the forseeable future too - as locals can't afford to shell out for euros! Regardless, it was an ego trip and "taking the place on the world stage" thing. Like the Germans trying to rejoin the human race in the 1970's, Cold War battle 1980-4, Blair and the bankers 2012, Coke and Turner 1996, etc etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudulika View Post
    Jinxy, don't agree with the first part - what about Stalin, Bush GW, Blair, the Saudi Royal family, the Qatari Emirs......and on and on. It was the US eejits who forced things over the top in Ukraine:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...elove-china-us
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/...best-plan-yet/

    I do agree he is looking to bring back some sort of USSR, at least with those places worthwhile (with natural resources). But Russia is more afraid of breaking up from within. The catastrophic demographics are an issue, as is the growth of radical Islamism and shortage of labour.

    I'd love to see things get better, but it's looking worse.
    My omission of Stalin was an oversight but according to the times they were it was claimed he was the lesser of 2 evils.

    The issue in the eastern Ukraine and the Crimea stinks to me of the German Anschluss in 36 in and the repatriation of the Sudetenland in 37. Russia is a police state, it's not democratic and does not enjoy freedom of expression.
    Even their laws against homosexuality should of brought sanctions sooner. This would of been done if the laws were against Black's, Jews etc
    Long Live King Kenny

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudulika
    You have hit the nail on the head - all the talk about freedom etc, and there is a full scale war going on! What irked me about the media here and outside is the fact that while it was clear (from communications and then open rhetoric) that the US had advocated and pushed for a coup in Kiev.
    Sorry, have to stop you there.

    That line from the Kremlin has fooled many of their own citizens, there's no need to fool you too. America didn't push for any coup in Kiev. America doesn't push for coups. What America demands is that people are able to air their voices on whatever given issue in an open, free country. In Kiev, people gathered around Nezhaleshnosti to protest that their President sign their EU Association agreement. His response was to get the police to beat them up, just as the protest was about to break up.

    Things rapidly went downhill from there, and soon enough the protesters wanted him to resign and call early elections. Ukrainians are not Irish protesters that turn up with a few placards, hand in a letter of protest, hit the boozer and go home. When they protest, they get out in the frost and the snow, set up camp in Nezhaleshnosti Square and don't shift until their demands are met. 10 years ago they drove Yanukovich out of office. This year they did it again, while America looked on and left the people there to their own fate, however it ended up, as they do now.

    As for Crimea, the locals voted and left - Kosovo ring a bell?
    No. In Crimea, however rigged the vote was, they consulted the people. Kosovo didn't even bother doing that. They just declared their independence without any consultation/negotiation with their own people or neighbours, hence I do not recognise their declaration. Those that do, are merely out to kick the Serbs for their involvement in previous Balkan conflicts, no other reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by jinxy lilywhite
    Even their laws against homosexuality should of brought sanctions sooner.
    There are many nationalities and countries across the world that hate it and have zero tolerance of it. By comparison, Russia's (and Ukraine's) approach to it is mild. If you're going to start sanctioning one country for it, you have to sanction them all, and that isn't going to happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinxy lilywhite View Post
    My omission of Stalin was an oversight but according to the times they were it was claimed he was the lesser of 2 evils.

    The issue in the eastern Ukraine and the Crimea stinks to me of the German Anschluss in 36 in and the repatriation of the Sudetenland in 37. Russia is a police state, it's not democratic and does not enjoy freedom of expression.
    Even their laws against homosexuality should of brought sanctions sooner. This would of been done if the laws were against Black's, Jews etc
    Eastern Ukraine was a manufactured situation, it suited a lot of businesses and was wrong, is wrong. I don't know if it can be compared to 1936, as Russian troops did not invade, however there were/are"volunteers", but they arrived on both sides, including some of the real slime of the earth from Croatia and Canada.

    About the police state, not as much as we'd think, but it has less freedom than the locals have sought, at least the majority. That sounds a bit pedantic, but there is a large and vocal minority who don't see freedom as having much to recommend it, for whatever reasons.

    laws against homosexuality - no such laws exist, unlike in countries where the west and US happily do business. It was funny last evening hearing about Hozier (I only heard his name last week on a Joe Duffy show) and his drum beating 20 odd years too late. Apparently his video, shot in Clare, was in support of gay rights in Russia, can only say Guinness and Immy Sommerville did it way better, and earlier, and with better music.

    You are right about laws against jews or blacks - such as those against jews in the Middle East (and christians for that matter), however sanctions are far from the minds of the businesses and government doing business there. We kind of need balance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mypost View Post
    Sorry, have to stop you there.

    That line from the Kremlin has fooled many of their own citizens, there's no need to fool you too. America didn't push for any coup in Kiev. America doesn't push for coups. What America demands is that people are able to air their voices on whatever given issue in an open, free country. In Kiev, people gathered around Nezhaleshnosti to protest that their President sign their EU Association agreement. His response was to get the police to beat them up, just as the protest was about to break up.

    Things rapidly went downhill from there, and soon enough the protesters wanted him to resign and call early elections. Ukrainians are not Irish protesters that turn up with a few placards, hand in a letter of protest, hit the boozer and go home. When they protest, they get out in the frost and the snow, set up camp in Nezhaleshnosti Square and don't shift until their demands are met. 10 years ago they drove Yanukovich out of office. This year they did it again, while America looked on and left the people there to their own fate, however it ended up, as they do now.
    Mypost - I was not fooled by the recordings of US diplomats discussing who who should be in power (I listened on NPR as well as from alternative sources), nor by the US fronts who got into the rage machine. I saw it first hand in Croatia and experienced it in Serbia at what they can get up to, though the public sentiment in Euromaidan was real, until it was taken over by real vested interests who were bought and paid for. Ukraine has been governed by klepto's (although I will give an honourable mention to Yuschenko - despite his being in the pocket of Poroshenko), and any objectivity went out the window as soon as the locals were not given a chance to decide for themselves. It woudl be simple to believe that it was all simple, however the country was, and is, a playground for powr players.

    No. In Crimea, however rigged the vote was, they consulted the people. Kosovo didn't even bother doing that. They just declared their independence without any consultation/negotiation with their own people or neighbours, hence I do not recognise their declaration. Those that do, are merely out to kick the Serbs for their involvement in previous Balkan conflicts, no other reason.
    Agreed on the rigged vote, though it is throwing up all maner of problems now with returning/disgruntled Tatars who have rights to much of the prime resort land in the region. Kosovo was a great win for many countries who buried their secrets there, the recent CIA torture report added to the list of "useful things" Kosovo provided. Add to that profits for tobacco and drug companies (inlcuding a large Russian player) and it is the best little country in the Balkans.


    There are many nationalities and countries across the world that hate it and have zero tolerance of it. By comparison, Russia's (and Ukraine's) approach to it is mild. If you're going to start sanctioning one country for it, you have to sanction them all, and that isn't going to happen.[/QUOTE]

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