Category Archives: Europe & EU

Ukraine Chess: Russia’s first moves

Russian pawn Yukanovych to Rostov, Russian military to Crimea. Ukraine forces unknown in strength and location, fear Dnipropetrovsk under threat.

Russian pawn Yukanovych to Rostov, Russian military to Crimea.
Ukraine forces unknown in strength and location, fear Dnipropetrovsk under threat.

 

In Russia first moves of geopolitical chess they have secured their pawn in their major trading port of Rostov-on-Don, and moved forces to the Russian sympathetic region (oblast) of Crimea. Apparently minimal violence has occurred and the Russian are questioning legitimacy of the ousting of Yukanovych. Ukraine is concerned that Dnipropetrovsk (home to nuclear weapons, missile and defense industries) will be the next target for Russian occupation. Its difficult o determine whether Russia is acting with outright aggression/conquest of simply making sure things don’t get too out of control, perhaps both are true. The distance between Kiev and Moscow is similar to the distance between Melbourne and Sydney, so no one want things to get too crazy.

The Ukrainian upheaval: Some geopolitical perspectives

The Ukraine is becoming a complex and fast moving conflict with multiple factions having multiple agendas.

For the latest updates: https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPR

It seems that this conflict started as a proxy war between Russia/CIS  vs  EU/US, but additional home-grown factions soon saw their chance to enter the power vacuum. The Crimea has talked of independence so what you have is at least four factions.

Some might argue Russia is simply suffering from a bruised ego, but the conflict goes deeper than this. The former USSR states are attempting to for a new USSR called the CIS, a copy of the EU incorporating many of the former USSR states.  You might be wondering why Ukraine is so important to Russia and the CIS in this plan. The answer is of course petrochemicals, not oil per se this time, but rather gas pipelines.

The Gas

155206369

The Ukraine is strategically important have the majority of Russian gas pipelines to Europe, Without the Ukraine Russia has only one pipeline going  through  Belarus to deliver is gas to Europe. Giving Belarus a monopoly on gas delivery to Europe would make Belarus far too powerful for Russia’s liking, and far too powerful in a proposed CIS.

3060-700187

Russia is of course building other pipe lines to be less dependent on the Ukraine and Belarus, but these are massive projects and take significant time and resources to complete.

_44470431_russia_pipelines_416_1

The gas deals are of course very controversial, Yukanovych and Tymoshenko were both implicated in dirty deals and skimming money off gas deals with Russia, and most recently (2010) the controversial Ukrainian decision to allow Russian to keep its black sea fleet in port of Sevastapol, on the Crimean peninsula until 2042.

The Crimea

Crimea has wanted Independence from both Russia and the Ukraine for at least a decade. The Crimean Economy is largely based on the two navies stationed there, (the Ukrainian and Russian) the industries that support the Navies.  Tourism Is economically significant being a temperate ( and Russian speaking)  beach side resort for many people of the CIS. The Crimean does not want to risk bad relations with Russia and the CIS, as the tourism money would disappear.

While Russia has other land that borders the Black sea, they have had their navy stationed In Sevastopol since 1783, briefly forced out by the Germans in WW2, so naturally feel they belong there. Sevastapol is part of the Ukraine so the Ukrainian navy feel it should belong there. As a deep water port the Crimean has some interesting advantages, because of its island/peninsula arrangement the Navy can quite easily surround and defend its port from land based attack, This makes it a natural stronghold, not something any navy would want to give up. The black sea flows through the Dardanelles past Gallipoli (which we all should know about) into the Mediterranean (of importance to the EU) and then to the rest of the world’s oceans.

This of course leads to somewhat strange situation of two navies both being stationed in the same place, almost a naval cold war.

So what this is about is the politics of the middle man.

For the Gas pipelines Ukraine and particularly Kiev are able to set the price (and quantity) of Russian gas entering the EU. Controlling this flow of energy and money between two powerful economic blocs makes for significant political power and significant risk of corruption.

For whoever controls the Crimea and Sevastopol controls the black sea and its ability to deploy naval and military force in the region. Controlling a geopolitically significant deep water seaport is an extremely powerful tool in diplomacy. Russia wants to build a gas pipeline under the black sea so will need to control the black sea to assure the project and hardly want the additional expense of building a new naval port as well.

An independent Crimea would be unlikely to create a naval fleet of its own and would likely take the highest bid to station any interested party, which could be almost anyone, Turkey, US, EU, Iran… This could become a geopolitical lottery, or just Russian Roulette.

It’s not easy being an honest middle man.

Ukraine protesters shot, Oligarchs flee

1609693_235204079996735_1795587459_n

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DxkDiAcSF8

Army marching to Kiev allegiance uncertain, political turmoil, EU and US sanctions on senior politicians.

Russian military implicated in ‘berkut’ armed crackdown.

Euromajdan protesters retake independence square, at least 13 protesters killed by sniper fire, possibly up to 100 dead. 67 police taken prisoner by protesters.

Many oligarchs and senior political officials are attempting to fee the country, even taking armoured cars full of loot to the airports.

Titushki (government paid vandals/thugs) wandering city destroying property and attacking people.

Hard to say if this civil war at this stage or exactly what it could be defined as, but it is certainly happening.

Ukraine: violent clashes, revolution likely

ukraine ustream channel pic

Links to live stream channels.

http://channel9000.net/euromajdan2/

Some English commentary from:

http://channel9000.net/spilno3/

protesters defeat armoured personnel carrier

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6Eaqfi6gZg

protesters using guns and attacking riot cops

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=34e_1392746107#qMxuguTeJ7T5irHc.99

Banker suicide cluster weeks before Barclays LIBOR charges

banker suicide and libor scandal calendar

The body count:

Jan. 26, 2014
William Broeksmit, 58.

retired Deutsche Bank
Found hanging at home

Jan. 28, 2014
Gabriel Magee, 39.

JP Morgan’s European headquarters in London.
Reportedly leaped to his death from the 33rd story of his workplace

Jan. 29, 2014
Mike Dueker, 50.

Chief Economist at Russell Investments
Jumped over a four-foot fence and fallen some 40-to-50 feet down an embankment?

Feb. 3, 2014
Ryan Crane, 37.

JP Morgan trading exec.
Found dead at home poisoning suspected.

Feb. 4, 2014
 Richard Talley, 57. 

Former investment banker at Drexel Burnham Lambert and founder of Centennial.
Found is his garage at home with self inflicted nail gun wounds.

Do you believe in coincidences?

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/following-a-wave-of-banker-suicides-3-former-barclays-bankers-now-charged-in-libor-scandal_022014

http://www.silverdoctors.com/alert-at-least-20-bankers-now-dead/

Ukraine pro democracy protest

ukraine protst 2

ukraine protest 1

20140204_180352[1]

On the day Victorian government was debating laws to effectively criminalize protest , protestors for Ukraine democracy met at the exact place where Robert Doyle’s Melbourne City Council brutally crushed a democracy Movement called Occupy Melbourne.

This may actually be Victoria’s last protest where protest is legal.

Yet another irony is the Ukrainian situation protest was also made illegal recently.

So I’m sure we’d love for you to have democracy Ukraine, but we don’t have it our selves.

Basic Income for No Work

While Phony Maggot and his cronies are trying to return Australia to the dark ages with their oxy-moronic “work for the dole scheme”, the first European country (Switzerland) is now voting on giving every adult a basic income, no matter what their work status is. The “basic income solution” is being discussed all over Europe, especially in Germany and Austria . The reality is , we live in a world where automation and third world salary debasement are putting a lot of people out of work and there is no going back, so new solutions will have to be found. Of course someone will still need to pick up rubbish and maintain parks (until robots can do this too), but these are jobs that people need to be paid for adequately, not at dole (slave) wage salaries.

The “Basic Income” was already proposed at the beginning of the 20th century by the visionary Rudolf Steiner, who claimed that when people have all they need, their creativity will lead them to do more important work in areas like science, the arts or helping the community. The cliché dole bludger sitting in front of the telly, smoking and drinking beer, often feels disenfranchised by the community , leading to depression and hopelessness. What is the point of looking for jobs that are simply not there? What is the point of trying, when you are guaranteed to be unsuccessful due to circumstances out of your control? The “basic income solution” could restore people’s dignity and enable them to express themselves in many ways.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/us-swiss-pay-idUSBRE9930O620131004

Playing Kiev Chicken: Ukraine poised for revolution

After anti protest laws were enacted already alarmed and protesting citizens stepped up their resistance to the increasingly authoritarian out of touch government.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/01/ukraine-president-calls-calm-amid-clashes-201412016214424945.html

Government has made illegal; shields, armor, helmets and gas masks for protests.

This all makes occupy look very sedate, Afghanistan veterans, barricades, guards with bats and people flouting the new ‘no armor’ laws dressed in medieval style protection, some even getting actual medieval helmets.

ukraine_protest_sign_contentfullwidthHacktivists have shut down many government websites

Ethnolingusitic_map_of_ukraineOne of the possible futures for Ukraine is a breakup into two or more states based on ethnic/linguistic lines.

AC8I7747_aShields: aluminum cladding (?), borrowed from police, 44 gallon drum, reinforced sign, plywood.

Recent laws made gas masks illegal, so all the more reason to wear one.

024838-562ee988-824c-11e3-993a-e0590e98e9fbThis guy really does not care if you know where money comes from or not, it’s beyond that for now.

ukraine-14Hey Molotov, look at those poor policemen, they have been standing in the cold for hours with no Vodka,

throw them one of your cocktails, here I’ll light it so they can see it coming.

Protesters try to break through police lines near the presidential administration building during a rally held by supporters of EU integration in KievDimitri, this not in police manual.

http://occupymelbourne.net/2014/02/21/ukraine-protesters-shot-oligarchs-flee/

http://occupymelbourne.net/2013/12/02/ukraine-unrest-soars/

Inside the EU parliament

 

English with Greek subtitles

Nigel Farage giving the EU parliament a bit of a reality check.

But why so many empty seats?

 

German and English with English subtitles

As usual most politicians are just parasites having a good bludge/rort at the expense of the taxpayer.

All wars are Banker wars -Michael Rivero

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 162 other followers

%d bloggers like this: