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Ukraine continues offensive against rebels

  • Ukrainian forces have surrounded Sloviansk as they prepare an attempt to retake the eastern city from pro-Russian separatists.
  • The developments come after several people died in clashes in towns near Sloviansk yesterday, and after 42 people were killed on Friday in Odessa, 31 of them in a fire at the Trade Unions House. Separatist protesters had barricaded themselves in the building amid battles with pro-Kiev activists.
  • Ukraine's offensive against the rebels, which it has described as a war, has prompted Russia to say that it has received "thousands" of pleas for help from inside Ukraine. The fear outside Russia is that Vladimir Putin will use such "pleas" as an excuse to invade Ukraine.
  • More on Ukraine
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Comments (49)
  • rrs2205rrs
    , contributor
    Comments (128) | Send Message
     
    Buy the sell-offs, Russia isn't gonna invade anything....
    4 May, 04:43 AM Reply Like
  • BTR2RSK
    , contributor
    Comments (224) | Send Message
     
    Rrs, yes Russia has never invaded any country in the past and Putin is a sensible, trustworthy person... Maybe in an alternate universe that would be true but we are investigating in this universe.
    4 May, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (11135) | Send Message
     
    This is Georgia all over again but with permanent annexation involved. Rationality has little to do with it and Russia if they take over the east will just torment the non-Russians until they leave. Russia needs the East to supply Crimea because they are too cheap to build sea pipelines. And they need Crimea because they are too cheap to build another military port. And they need a military port in an uncontested sea because Putin likes looking at maps much like Hitler and uses the same justification Hitler used in taking Eastern Europe (to protect his race).

     

    Last, it is said the people who barricaded themselves in a building and burned were actually not from Ukraine. And I'm sure many Ukrainians there are pleased they don't have to go around hiding and going through checkpoints by people who abduct others and blindfold them with duck tape. Ukraine must insure the safety and order for all people and that means preventing thugs from controlling roads, kidnapping, and assaulting courts, media, government buildings, and police stations. These belong to everyone you know.
    4 May, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • Patent News
    , contributor
    Comments (1321) | Send Message
     
    there goes the markets tomorrow!
    4 May, 06:19 AM Reply Like
  • al roman
    , contributor
    Comments (5916) | Send Message
     
    Kiev means Business.fires no way to go.
    4 May, 06:22 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    If the US had not stirred things up in the area with various agitation efforts in over several years, would the Ukrainians and their Russian-oriented minority have been able to make a future together? That is a theoretical issue that people can debate if they wish.

     

    But violent events events do have consequences. Whether they could have lived together harmoniously under alternative scenarios, in the current situation of May 2014, it is clear that now the Ukrainians and Russians can no longer live together in large numbers within the same national boundaries without constant and horrible fighting.

     

    Of course, figures on the size of the Russian minority are hotly debated, but even if they are only seven or eight million out of 43 million, they have lived for centuries in the Donetsk area and a few other places in the southeastern parts of this poorly-configured country.

     

    To suggest that even five million of those Russians move is unthinkable now, not only because of what they have suffered in recent days, but also the deeply-remembered sufferings that their families endured there from the Germans in World War II--a time when the Germans were assisted by some Ukrainians.

     

    If moving five million or so "pro-Russians" is not going to happen, then what? Well, why not a partition of the area, with some of the southeastern areas going to Russia? People will gasp at this suggestion in horror, yet I maintain that it makes good sense, although, sadly, it seems that more fighting will occur before the partition happens.

     

    Or would you rather that the current borders be kept and that we hear of these fights and deaths (and sanctions efforts) every day for the remainder of our lifetimes?
    4 May, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • georgealphabeta
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    Why moving Russians out of Crimea is so unthinkable? Russians did that before to other nations. Think of 2 000 000 Tatars moved out of Crimea 60 years ago, think of Poles, Germans, Estonians and many other nationalities moved from historically their native areas in past 60 years. 6 years ago Russians did that on smaller scale in Georgia. If Russians do not want to melt in within their new countries, they can as well leave. Just imagine descendants of Japanese immigrants from 100 years ago claiming United States as a New Japan. Moving them out probably would solve the problem on permanent basis.
    4 May, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    Move Russians out? You and whose army?

     

    Are you or a close loved one enlisted in a US or Ukrainian military unit in a combat position? I doubt it.
    4 May, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • georgealphabeta
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    Sakelaris,
    So what do you propose, move 70% or 80% population from Eastern Ukraine to where? That is as last I know their own country called Ukraine.
    4 May, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    The combat question was unanswered. But, then again, if we have WWIII with Russia, civilians can die too. Maybe in the US. You up for that?

     

    i believe a line will be drawn across southeastern Ukraine. The sooner Kiev and the US realize that, the more equitable the line might be to the Ukrainians in that disputed area. Sadly, Kiev and the US want all or nothing.
    4 May, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • georgealphabeta
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    Sakelaris,
    I put like on your answer, now, either move part of the population or we might have another Yugoslavia kind of conflict at hand. With all that meddling by imperialist Russia there is not easy way out..., but then think about next steps, Russia meddling in Moldavia, then Estonia, Lithuania. Russian bombers in past couple years over flew Canadian Arctic, and not once, but quite few times. Adolf Hitler didn't stop after in 1938 after invasion in Czechoslovakia neither after anschluss of Austria. Japan in 1942 wasn't satisfied with taking over China, we had to deal with Pearl Harbor. Frankly we have to deal somehow with imperialism coming out from Moscow, we can do it now or we can do it later, but later it will be much more painful and expensive. 
    4 May, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    Keep in mind, of course, that the well-worn Czech analogy was used in the 1960s to justify the US heavy combat in Vietnam. Since the 1960s, however, it is the United States which has held the lead in supporting or arranging warfare for the purpose of making major border changes.

     

    Consider the US toleration of its much-favored ally Turkey creating a de facto border across Cyprus in 1974 to favor the Turkish population there, killing about 4,000 people and creating hundreds of thousands of refugees.

     

    Consider the various wars the US backed or fought in the 1990s to completely redraw the borders in southeastern Europe, obliterating Yugoslavia and replacing it with SEVEN countries! In that endeavor, about 2,000 civilians died in the US bombing of Belgrade in 1999. There were hundreds of thousands of Serbian refugees during that decade. Indeed, if some Ukrainians currently living in the Donetsk area end up being refugees from a Russian invasion, it remains to see seen whether that event would equal the percentage of the world's Serbs who became refugees in the 1990s because of the US.

     

    Finally, there was the 2003 US creation of a de facto independent Kurdistan, one result of our war in Iraq.

     

    Of course, the average American has forgotten all of that US border-changing. But Russians know about it. They are now viewing our nation as a bunch of hypocrites.
    4 May, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • just read the instructions
    , contributor
    Comments (113) | Send Message
     
    That's not about imperialism and certainly not about "race". It is about securing russian access to ressources to ensure the economic well-being of Russia. From that perspective, they have very little options, don't you think. I do not justify it or the the means. Foreign policy is most of the time dirty business, whether by the U.S. or Russia.
    George, it is not very responsible but rather consciously misleading to connect these activiies with AH or Pearl Harbour.
    4 May, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • RM13
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    I just have one question - how much compensation do you receive from Putin or his political/economic connections? Your views certainly have an interesting 'eastern' tilt.
    4 May, 10:45 PM Reply Like
  • RM13
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    Yugoslavia is as much Serbian as Russian fault - not US or Western Europea. Serbia decided it could not live with divided republic/independence of its pieces when de facto it was an aritifical creation. Serbia got what it deserved, in fact, much less than it deserved - so many war criminals that were never prosecuted.
    4 May, 10:49 PM Reply Like
  • JANFA
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    Sakelaris, you are pretty emotional for an investor. I was born in Czechoslovakia and spent some time in former Yugoslavia before it fell apart. I would not blame the US for not stopping the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Army in 1968 and I would not blame the US for causing the collapse of Yugoslavia. The occupation of Czechoslovakia was response by (communist) Moscow to the desire of Czechoslovakian people to get more freedom under the communist regime that time. Yugoslavia fell apart due to poor, nationalistic management of the Yugoslavian federation by the Serb majority in the government, military, etc. The US only intervened after the Serbs started their infamous ethnic cleansing.
    4 May, 11:25 PM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    But your point concerning Yugoslavia appears to be that there are times when a nation deserves to have its borders changed. The Russians might say the same thing about Ukraine.

     

    I will try to not be too emotional, regardless of how the Ukraine events develop.
    5 May, 12:53 AM Reply Like
  • georgealphabeta
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    Really, just heard on the news that US air force scrambled fighter planes offshore California, and same thing happened around Guam. I guess Russia bomber planes came just for a friendly visit. Nothing misleading about that.
    6 May, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • caupachow
    , contributor
    Comments (394) | Send Message
     
    Yes sakelaris, it is all The United States fault, Russia didn't have a damn thing about it.
    4 May, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • Surrealty
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    So what are you proposing exactly?
    4 May, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    I fault Putin for looking for a chance to wage a popular struggle on behalf of Russia. But that does not mean that US policymakers should have handed him that chance by stirring up the situation in Ukraine.
    4 May, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • RM13
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    US may do very little in regard to Putin's dangerous 'sudatenland' moves - but that doesn't mean you have to provide ideological justification for Putin's misguidance. Current justification of providing protection to Russian speaking minority in Eastern Ukraine flies in opposition to everything US and western Europe stand for, is ludicrous. After all, should Germany and France start to redraw boundries of Alscace/Lorraine, Slovak Republic boundries with Poland, Hungary? Should parts of Texas south of San Antonio belong to Mexico? Currently inhabitants of Alscace/Lorraine eat German sausage and sip French wine, and all is good.

     

    And US may have committed many mistakes in its foreign policy over the years, but everyone in US and across the world has the right to criticize those policies, both past and present. That's worlds better than what you can talk about in Putin's Russia.
    5 May, 12:09 AM Reply Like
  • Mattster
    , contributor
    Comments (162) | Send Message
     
    There is nothing sacred about national boundaries, especially in Europe. Have a vote of self-determination, redraw the lines and end this peacefully. Ukraine trying to keep these areas reminds me historically of Mexico trying to keep Texas within its control in the 19th century. Not going to happen.
    4 May, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4013) | Send Message
     
    Had only Lincoln been so reasonable.
    4 May, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • muki
    , contributor
    Comments (21) | Send Message
     
    That would be a reasonable resolution of the situation. Unfortunately, Russia and Russians in Ukraine will do anything to avoid such a vote because they form a minority in Ukraine even in the provinces that are currently experiencing separatist violence. The present chaos is designed to prevent any democratic solution. The masked men with machine guns had many opportunities for a peaceful solution and national elections, but instead they are inviting Russian forces to invade their own country without any regard to non-Russians living in the area. Very sad situation and the parallels with the pre-WW2 situation are not at all 'well-worn'. The parallels are chilling. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
    4 May, 10:58 PM Reply Like
  • Topcat
    , contributor
    Comments (427) | Send Message
     
    Actually, why don't we, as a goodwill gesture, give Texas back to Mexico asap.
    5 May, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (563) | Send Message
     
    TC, make it Mexifornia and you have a deal.
    5 May, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • lockeptrv
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    Sure, let's have 'partitian'. How's this for a scenario: Russia takes over eastern Ukraine, than they would have a 70% minority population. Really a big improvement, right! And this business of taking a population and 'moving' them to their own 'homeland'. Is there any historical precedent for that solution working?
    How about reasonable laws that apply to everyone, without discrimination, and with enforcement (non-violent where possible).
    4 May, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • Cliff Hilton
    , contributor
    Comments (1666) | Send Message
     
    @Sakelaris,

     

    You are a teacher of history. Will not war visit the USA? It seems to be all the rage! Sure is a lot of counties at war with themselves or their neighbors.

     

    We here seem to have rewritten what is moral. Lack of concern for our beautiful US Constitution. We have become a weak - minded and self-indulgent. Not much to hang our hat on.
    4 May, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    The main thing I have learned about warfare from studying history is that it is much easier to get into a war than to get out of one.

     

    Right now we are still in the "getting in" stage and there is time for sanity to prevail, just as it prevailed a few months ago over the US politicians who wanted us to go to war in Syria.
    4 May, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (356) | Send Message
     
    Agree, Sakelaris. Recent "wars" have been won rather handily. It's the occupation that is difficult and expensive. But politicians seem intent on drawing lines on maps without regard to geopolitical and ethnic differences. Most times we've intruded into what are basically local tribal and civil wars for power. What has our quest for imposed democracy gained? Often only bloodshed and chaos. In the current case of the Ukraine, partition seems much less lethal and complicated than moving entire popuations. imho
    4 May, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • bronchiti
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
     
    Time to grab some more Gold and VIX calls? Yuck
    4 May, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • taxman100
    , contributor
    Comments (285) | Send Message
     
    NATO in general, and the United States in particular, thought Russia, China, etc. would continue to roll over and allow their own national interests to be subjugated to the interests of Western bankers looking for a new sucker to indebt to them.

     

    As NATO continued to push East, they thought Russia was on the ropes and would acquiesce from a position of weakness.

     

    NATO pushed too far. Russia may not be what the Soviet Union was 30 years ago, but they are also not a country teetering on collapse like they were in the 90's.

     

    Russia will not invade Ukraine. They don't need to do so, as time is on their side with the puppet government in Kiev throwing their own people to the wolves of the International Monetary Fund.
    4 May, 03:39 PM Reply Like
  • Patent News
    , contributor
    Comments (1321) | Send Message
     
    your comments are full of all sorts of palaver and conspiracies.

     

    russia has 'invaded' already...
    4 May, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Lakeaffect
    , contributor
    Comments (1030) | Send Message
     
    Didn't Ukraine have their revolution a few months ago when they overthrew their previously elected President? Now the revolutionaries are fighting other revolutionaries. Sounds to me more like a civil war.
    4 May, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1694) | Send Message
     
    The only possible good I see out of this is that Europe understands who and what they are dealing with and over the next 10 years becomes much less dependent on Russia for energy. That will teach Putin that there is a cost to delusions of grandeur.
    4 May, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • Patent News
    , contributor
    Comments (1321) | Send Message
     
    see here for an ultra nationalist what they said in 2009 and 2010 implying East Ukraine joins Russia:

     

    At the film premiere of the film Taras Bulba in 2009 he stated: “Everyone who sees the film will understand that Russians and Ukrainians are one people – and that the enemy is from the West".[39] In February 2010 Zhirinovsky claimed that Eastern Ukraine would become part of Russia “in five years" claiming that "the population is largely Russian” and called President-elect of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych “basically Russian” (Yanukovych's father was an ethnic Polish-Belarusian, and his mother Russian)

     

    http://bit.ly/1ifK8ir
    4 May, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • Seth Walters
    , contributor
    Comments (675) | Send Message
     
    Russia is moving some serious airpower into the Crimea. Fighters, refueling tankers... strategic bombers. Somehow, I doubt they are playing around.
    4 May, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • James Bjorkman
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    This is starting to look like Czechoslovakia 1938/1939 all over again. First you bite off a chunk, swallow and digest it, then when you're ready you go back for another bite. If the Russians are smart, they'll do what the Germans did then and offer tasty bite-sized portions to other nations in the area.
    4 May, 10:04 PM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    That Chamberlain analogy is getting old. Trying to treat every single effort to adjust borders as the sign of another Hitler would have started numerous additional world wars over the past 70 years--and some of the border-changers during those 70 years were US presidents! I gave more details in a longer post above.
    4 May, 10:24 PM Reply Like
  • James Bjorkman
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    If the analogy fits, it fits. It fits. I'm not the only one who thinks so.
    4 May, 10:57 PM Reply Like
  • muki
    , contributor
    Comments (21) | Send Message
     
    I didn't notice that every single effort to adjust borders is treated as a sign of another Hitler. Frankly, this is the first I am aware of (but of course I may have missed some other instances). Let's see what we have here - an empire that lost a war (WW1 vs. cold war). A leader trying to feed off of the 'historical injustice" and dreaming of creating a large national space populated by Germans/Russians. Crowds cheering at home after successful aggression/annexation. Using deceit and breaking previous treaties to gain advantage over a seemingly weak coalition. Control of media and relentless propaganda. Using protection of their nationals as a pretext for invasion. Creating chaos in a neighboring country by small armed groups and defected soldiers. It is important to understand these parallels and not dismiss them as something shallow.
    4 May, 11:21 PM Reply Like
  • James Bjorkman
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    The parallels are so close they are chilling. The only question in my mind is why some on here are so desperate to deny them.
    4 May, 11:32 PM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    A general question for those on here who have expressed support for the Kiev government and opposition to Russia: Just how far would you have the US go in a pro-Ukrainian effort? Please be specific. Could it succeed?

     

    To help frame your answers: US troops? If so, how many? US aerial combat against Russian planes? US bombing inside Russia? US naval combat with Russia on the Black or Baltic Sea? Making a battle zone of the Bering Strait? Expecting all other tension areas (such as Israel, Korea, or the disputed Asian seas) to stay quiet? Nuclear war?

     

    Special extra-credit question for those who are Republicans: How would all of this work toward the Republican goal of a balanced budget?
    5 May, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (563) | Send Message
     
    “Special extra-credit question for those who are Republicans: How would all of this work toward the Republican goal of a balanced budget?”

     

    Sakelaris, I thought you were doing bad enough with your previous comments; you should have left bad enough alone.

     

    The world has seen many changes over the last 30 or 40 years with regards to ‘borders’ with most being quite positive. The fall of the USSR was the most dramatic but even Europeans (and visitors) have found it far easier to move around within Europe. I remember far too many Soviet Bloc countries where crossing that line on a map would result in the sound of machine gun fire coming from your 6. As these lines became blurred, peace and prosperity followed. The former Soviet States are probably the biggest benefactors of this peace and prosperity and for me, it is beyond comprehension why they want to return to the old days. I think Putin has delusions of grandeur.
    5 May, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • floortrader
    , contributor
    Comments (22) | Send Message
     
    This chat room is great on short term thinking . Don't you think Finland ,Baltic countries ,Poland and a few other Eastern Europe countries are sleeping . Your going to get a huge military built up aim at Russia. All these countries are reducing trade with the Russians. Ukrainian military is embrassed with their performance and will shortly rebuilt to a fast strike force . This will really hurt the business and financial standing of Russia, what a mess this Putin has created .
    5 May, 07:22 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1409) | Send Message
     
    There was not much response to my request for the get-tough-with-Russia crowd on here to come up with a real PLAN for what they would do to the Russians.

     

    There was one angry diatribe directed against me--with no plan. From another there was a hope that the Ukrainians will be able to create a "fast strike force," along with an implied hope that "Finland, Baltic countries, Poland, and a few other Eastern Europe countries" would also go against Russia. Well, if it comes to more intense combat, I doubt that such forces alone will cause Russia to accept Kiev's terms.

     

    That leaves the United States as an expected participant. Just what would you have the US do that would actually WORK, my angry-talking friends?

     

    6 May, 04:59 PM Reply Like
  • georgealphabeta
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    Frankly, your pro Russian comments are so ludicrous, to answer your question on what is being done to prevent Russian imperialism I suggest you to read the news and by that I don't mean just propaganda coming from Moscow. For example Poland considers to develop their missile defence system on their own. My understanding is that Eastern Europe countries will increase their own military spending to upgrade their military capabilities. It seems that "alpha rooster" (LOL this is good term for Putin) from Kremlin radicalised somewhat European societies in this respect. Here in North America probably we'll start push to export oil and LNG to Europe and that will reduce Europe dependency on Russia. That's for the beginning, my russified friend. And if " fascists from Moscow" will decide to invade Ukraine again, they will create even stronger backlash. Imagine, right after Olympics in Sochi I was really impressed, not any more, clearly Russia presents Attila the Hun attitude, and will pay for it. Living by the sword, dying by the sword.
    6 May, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (563) | Send Message
     
    I suggest sending Barack Chamberlain to draw a line in the sand.
    6 May, 07:07 PM Reply Like
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