ok what the fuck is happening in the ukraine

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with details about post soviet politics, and links to realvent background sites, please.

anthony, Wednesday, 24 November 2004 14:50 (seventeen years ago) link

layers of corruption bubble to the surface at election results time

lukey (Lukey G), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 14:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Ukraine is now controlled by a giant cat, except they had to put a human brain in the cat's head and they used Hitler's.

Freelance Hiveminder (blueski), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 14:57 (seventeen years ago) link

so they drugged to opposition dude (after years of opposition journos murdered, politicians intimidated etc) and forced through a victory for the pro Kremline Bad Dude (a la Double Dragon), but now everyoones pissed off and saying they are at the end of their tether like in Georgia, but mad shit like that prob wont happen cos Ukraine is bigger and less weird and poor and alien to the West so there iwll have to be some sort of dissapation of tension. They already did the tents-in-main-square thing about the journo and then that sort of petered out. so i reckon Yankovich stays in power, everyone settles down (sort of), ukrainians gripe about russian influence for another X years.

but maybe there iwll be some sort of miracle transformation.

ambrose (ambrose), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 15:11 (seventeen years ago) link

The situation reminds me a lot of Andrey Kurkov books.

jel -- (jel), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:37 (seventeen years ago) link

I wish this were a Bela Tarr movie.

I'm serious ... Ti-i-i-i-im (deangulberry), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:38 (seventeen years ago) link

I went to the post office on my lunch hour yesterday, and there was a giant group of protesters in Daley Plaza carrying Ukrainian flags and waving handmade signs that said, "ELECTION IS A FRAUD!"

Sanjay McDougal (jaymc), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:39 (seventeen years ago) link

What was the opposition leader supposedly drugged with? They showed before and after photos of him on the news last night and, man.

sgs (sgs), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:39 (seventeen years ago) link

It is a mystery to all.

I'm serious ... Ti-i-i-i-im (deangulberry), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:44 (seventeen years ago) link

He wasn't drugged. They just replaced him with a significantly older, grayer man.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:46 (seventeen years ago) link

Has anyne seen John Major lately?

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Powell: U.S. Rejects Ukraine Vote Results

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday the United States cannot accept the results of elections in Ukraine, which the opposition says was marred by fraud.

Powell warned "there will be consequences" for the United States' relationship with Ukraine as a result of the developments in the former Soviet bloc nation.

Powell spoke shortly after election officials in Ukraine declared that Kremlin-backed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych won the election over opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. The announcement raised fears of violence in Kiev, where tens of thousands of demonstrators have been demanding that the results be overturned.

I'm serious ... Ti-i-i-i-im (deangulberry), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 18:13 (seventeen years ago) link

hahaha, that's some pretty funny shit from the US government.

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 18:30 (seventeen years ago) link


teeny (teeny), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 19:20 (seventeen years ago) link

the ukranian girl in my program wore her orange scarf today :(

g--ff (gcannon), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 21:24 (seventeen years ago) link

whats with the :(?

orange is a wicked colour

argh i was reafing baout the ddrug they think was used on him, it is something with "chlor" in the name, and accelerates acne to a massive extent or something.

ambrose (ambrose), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 22:06 (seventeen years ago) link

heres a link to what i was talking about

ambrose (ambrose), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 22:40 (seventeen years ago) link


Ed (dali), Thursday, 25 November 2004 07:43 (seventeen years ago) link

orange is the campaign color of the dude who got poisoned!! she was not happy, so :(

g--ff (gcannon), Thursday, 25 November 2004 08:08 (seventeen years ago) link

which one is the dude who got poisoned? the Kremlin guy or the Yankee guy?

dog latin (dog latin), Thursday, 25 November 2004 08:51 (seventeen years ago) link

man, I bet she's hot
aren't ukranian girls hot?

I mean, until they turn 30 and immediately turn super-dumpy

trigonalmayhem (trigonalmayhem), Thursday, 25 November 2004 14:04 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah i mean its just cool that she is showing her support really. i thought you were pro-Yankovich or soemthing. not that you shouldnt be, but it would be an/....unusual position to be in at the least.

ambrose (ambrose), Thursday, 25 November 2004 14:29 (seventeen years ago) link

it always makes me sad when people get ugly
unless I'm competing directly with them for ass

trigonalmayhem (trigonalmayhem), Thursday, 25 November 2004 14:31 (seventeen years ago) link

ed that blog is wicked

i really wanna go to kiev


ambrose (ambrose), Thursday, 25 November 2004 15:33 (seventeen years ago) link

could be

Ed (dali), Thursday, 25 November 2004 15:57 (seventeen years ago) link

one month passes...
one month passes...
If I was Prime Minister, I would totally dress like Yulia Tymoshenko

Madchen (Madchen), Thursday, 24 February 2005 11:56 (sixteen years ago) link

She's fucking hot eh?

kate/papa november (papa november), Thursday, 24 February 2005 11:58 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, she's like the coolest PM ever! She's a wanted crime suspect in Russia though, for assumed corruption.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Thursday, 24 February 2005 11:59 (sixteen years ago) link

Man i don't care what she's done. She's making me drool


kate/papa november (papa november), Thursday, 24 February 2005 12:02 (sixteen years ago) link

man did i ever make a shitty prediction (upthread)

nice pics of timoshenko. whats with the c.17th thing? is this some ukrainian nationalism schtick? national dress a gogo?

ambrose (ambrose), Thursday, 24 February 2005 15:50 (sixteen years ago) link

The hair is definitely a Ukrainian peasant girl thing. I think the clothes are inspired by something.

Madchen (Madchen), Thursday, 24 February 2005 15:51 (sixteen years ago) link

I think it's stunning, and a vast improvement on her old hair.

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Thursday, 24 February 2005 16:15 (sixteen years ago) link

three years pass...

A Stratfor note today:


Ukraine made a radical policy adjustment on Thursday by essentially ending its bid for NATO membership. The move, which would have been unthinkable as recently as a month ago, probably resulted from external forces, namely Russia. Ukraine’s abrupt departure from its long-standing bid indicates the ominous involvement of Moscow. In its effort to maintain its security buffer, Russia probably employed its FSB security services.

Economic tools can include fostering closer integration, raising or lowering barriers to trade, embargoing another country, threatening to undermine a country’s financial stability by mass sales of its currency, or by simply shelling out cash. In the case of Ukraine –- and by extension, Western Europe –- Russia frequently has employed natural gas cutoffs.

Political tools are varied, and focus on finding political weak spots for later manipulation. The options include promoting closer integration among citizens with a common heritage found in both of the countries in question. These ties can then be manipulated later. For example, one country can threaten to intervene in the other to protect an allied ethnic group from alleged discrimination. Russia could employ this tactic in relation to ethnic Russians living in Ukraine.

Military tools to influence another state’s behavior include the threat of invasion, conspicuously aiming weapons — anything from artillery to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)— at the other country, or providing military assistance to the government or the opposition groups in the other country. Russia’s Feb. 12 threat to aim ICBMs at foreign forces that might deploy in Ukraine falls in this category.

The 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s subsequent loss of influence in its near abroad and in the West laid the foundation for Russia’s current geopolitical trajectory. Russia’s resurgence under President Vladimir Putin has involved a strong effort to regain the influence, respect and national security it believes it is due. Moscow’s desire is especially keen given previous Russian humiliations — particularly those suffered by the government of the late Boris Yeltsin, when the West encroached on what Russia perceives as its prerogatives. Russia, however, lacks many of the tools the Soviet Union had at its disposal for compelling other countries’ behavior. This complicates Putin’s effort to satisfy the Russian geopolitical imperative of establishing hegemony in its near abroad.

The Russian resurgence took a potentially fatal hit over Kosovo’s Feb. 18 secession from Serbia. This was an issue of minor importance to the United States and most Western European countries, but a major threat to Russia’s effort to demonstrate its return to major power status. For Russia and Putin to survive the Kosovo insult, retribution elsewhere in the Russian near abroad was expected — namely in the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states.

Ukraine’s dramatic about-face on NATO comes in the context of Kosovar independence. Ukraine’s pro-Western president, Viktor Yushchenko — who came to power in his country’s 2004 Orange Revolution — was clamoring as recently as a month ago for NATO membership, despite a lukewarm reception from the alliance. Rumor has it that Yushchenko’s sudden change at the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels occurred after the Russian president literally ordered him to withdraw Ukraine’s NATO bid, probably reminding him of the aforementioned Russian economic leverage over Ukraine.

Putin likely did not rely on economic coercion alone, however, and we can assume the FSB helped change Ukraine’s mind on NATO. The FSB is quite good at pressuring individuals using threats, intimidation, enticements and even sophisticated assassinations. Yushchenko knows the capabilities of the secret service underworld well, having barely survived a poisoning while seeking office in 2004.

Russia and the FSB probably decided that bringing the existing Ukrainian leadership in line would be easier than introducing a new leadership, allowing Moscow to avoid the pitfalls of Ukrainian politics. Given the lukewarm reception to Ukraine’s membership bid, Kiev could simply have let its application fall by the wayside. Instead, it made an active policy reversal. Compelling Yushenko’s U-turn on Ukraine’s NATO bid thus represents a significant Russian achievement, one that others — particularly Georgia — will observe closely.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 7 March 2008 06:20 (thirteen years ago) link

The willingness of right-wing analysts to suggest that personal threats by the FSB against the Ukrainian government were probably behind the policy change, while completely omitting to mention the saleient fact that Gazprom did in fact cut gas supplies to Ukraine beginning on Monday and only restored full flows on Thursday... well, you're smart guys I'm sure Stratfor, but don't pretend you have less of a policy agenda than Putin does.

mitya, Saturday, 8 March 2008 04:46 (thirteen years ago) link

I imagine anybody writing about Russia who doesn't themselves work for the Kremlin is likely to have on about fifteen tinfoil hats as regards the FSB/GRU apparatus, and with perfectly understandable reason

El Tomboto, Saturday, 8 March 2008 04:50 (thirteen years ago) link

five years pass...

it has come to...trebuchets


pessimishaim (imago), Thursday, 23 January 2014 01:44 (seven years ago) link

four weeks pass...

can someone with more geopolitical smarts explain what's happening to me?

the american MSM seems to painting this as a peaceful-freedom-fighters vs. entrenched-corrupt-government thing, but I get the feeling it's more complicated. for one thing reading the foreign press tells me that some ultra- right-wing groups (whose nationalist distaste for Russia apparently trumps reservations they might have about the EU) with a distinctly anti-Semitic bent (and some soft-right groups who have connections to the ultra-rightists) are taking an increasingly visible (and increasingly violent) role in the Kiev protests.

but you know, I don't really know anything about all this. so 'splain me.

espring (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:30 (seven years ago) link

some discussion here - Rolling European Politics Thread

ogmor, Thursday, 20 February 2014 01:05 (seven years ago) link

the protesters are fascists trying to impose the EU on a country that doesn't want it

AIDS (Hungry4Ass), Friday, 21 February 2014 05:41 (seven years ago) link


i think that washington post thing is a little pollyanna-ish (pollyanish?) about the nature of the protest movement(s), it's true.

espring (amateurist), Friday, 21 February 2014 05:43 (seven years ago) link

but i honestly don't know what to read/who to believe.

espring (amateurist), Friday, 21 February 2014 05:44 (seven years ago) link

I'll break it down as i see it.

Yanukovich indicated that he wanted to sign a provisional agreement with the EU to liberalise trade relations. He's not on good terms with Putin and Russia's decision to keep charging Ukraine high fees for gas (which is partly Ukraine's fault for reasons i won't go into) has wrecked the Ukrainian economy. He took the view that opening up Ukraine to the EU would have some short term difficulties (cheap EU products competing with domestic Ukrainian goods, etc) but it was worth it for the potential long term gains. The EU prevaricated over exactly what was on offer, didn't give a clear indication that full membership could be on the cards in the future and wasn't willing to provide financial assistance to help compensate for short-term hardship.

At the same time, Russia did what Russia always does. They said that if you don't want to have a special relationship (in this case preferring the EU over a post-Soviet trade agreement) then you can't expect special favours. Russia started imposing the kind of border checks on Ukrainian traffic into Russia that Poland always has on the other border and stopped giving Ukrainian companies preference on government contracts over Indian, Chinese, etc firms. Ukraine's eastern side is economically reliant on Russia and trade income went down by about 30% over the course of two or three months.

Ukraine also owes Russia a stack of cash for gas it hasn't paid for. The Ukrainian government was very close to defaulting until Russia offered to defer billions of dollars worth of loans in return for signing their trade agreement. Yanukovich didn't really have much of a choice other than accepting.

This went down very badly with a wide range of people, from EU-minded liberals to hardline neo-Fascists and ended up highlighting deep political, regional and ethnic splits in the country that go back decades. Bear in mind that Stalin was responsible for starving millions of Ukrainian peasants and Ukrainian nationalists later collaborated with the Nazis to murder hundreds of thousands of Russians and Jewish people. Western Ukraine remains strongly nationalist - both in the soft sense of wanting to make sure that the country is free of Russian control and in the less soft 'Mein Kampf displayed in bookshop windows' sense. The nationalists are not all violent right-wing extremists, as the Russian press would like to have it, but some of them certainly are. On the other hand, lots of the East of the country, and Crimea, retain a strong Russian identity.

There is no unified protest movement. Some are hardline nationalists, some are liberals, some want to be part of the EU, some want to be free of Russian control, some want to split the country in two, some want to unite it. There are a million positions in between each. The protests are also equally about the economy. Ukraine has been in a massive slump for several years, partly as a result of the oil situation, and people are sick of it.

They're also sick of corrupt, criminal politicians. Pretty much everyone who has held a political post in Ukraine since independence is a corrupt criminal, though, so Yanukovich is not unique in that regard. There's a chance that Klitchko might be different though which is why a lot of people are uniting behind him.

Ramnaresh Samhain (ShariVari), Friday, 21 February 2014 09:02 (seven years ago) link

that's the sanest, most even thing i've read about the situation since i stopped listening to the BBC pretending to be impartial

we sold our Solsta for Rock'n'Roll (Noodle Vague), Friday, 21 February 2014 09:08 (seven years ago) link

I think that's about right, although the geographic split being talked about doesn't seem to be working out so much in reality -- my Ukrainian pals are all Russian-speaking Easterners, and are supporters of the protests. Yanukovich is also widely considered to be the worst of a bunch of idiots -- this is an "enough is enough" moment in many ways. There are neo-fascists in the protest movement, but I have seen no sources that are not Russian-friendly that suggest that they are the majority or growing, and there sure as hell are neo-fascists in Yanukovich's troops as well. There are agents provocateurs at work as well. For the people on the ground this is primarily and simply anti-government protest, but of course there is far more going on than just the people on the ground.

Three Word Username, Friday, 21 February 2014 09:20 (seven years ago) link

in the context you folks describe the way the west (esp. US) is dealing w/ this is kind of embarrassing.

we all know john mccain is an idiot, but appearing with some of the right-wing protest groups and calling for "freedom" was one of his more embarrassingly credulous photo ops.

what about those folks that briefly came into power after the "orange revolution"? my understanding was that they were both crooks _and_ victims of political show trials.

espring (amateurist), Friday, 21 February 2014 09:23 (seven years ago) link

The elite political class in Ukraine is a disaster -- the lack of a central strong figure leading the protests is both a result of and a reaction to that.

Three Word Username, Friday, 21 February 2014 09:33 (seven years ago) link

Yes, Yushchenko (who was president) is a minor crook, his son is a fairly major one. Tymoshenko (who was Prime Minister) stole several billion dollars worth of gas from Russia while people on both sides of the border were dying in poverty. Her reinvention as a St Joan figure is laughable.

Yushchenko and Yanukovich were both PM under Leonid Kuchma, the journalist-murdering crim who was Ukraine's first independent President, so the idea of a major political difference between the two is somewhat overstated.

Ukraine is generally though of as more corrupt than Nigeria. All politicians are required to state their income on electoral forms. There was one election in the mid-2000s where every single candidate but one claimed that their only source of income was their government salary of £5,000 - £13,000. All had BMWs, plush Kyiv apartments and massive country dachas. The one candidate who didn't claim to be living off his stipend ran with the campaign tagline "i'm too rich to need to be corrupt!". He didn't win.

Much of Ukraine's economy is carved up between a small number of oligarch factions and they bankroll everything. Some are pro-Tymoshenko, some are pro-Yanukovich. Quite a few are in favour of EU membership as they think it'll stop future governments from trying to reclaim the money they've stolen, some are against it as they think it'll prevent them from stealing more.

The oligarchs tend to be worse than the politicians. Ukraine' richest man, Rinat Akhmetov (who's more famous as Chairman of Shakhtar Donetsk), for example, was a prominent member of the Donbass Mafia and acquired most of his wealth when his boss (and former Chairman of Shakhtar) died in a bomb attack at a football match.

Ramnaresh Samhain (ShariVari), Friday, 21 February 2014 09:46 (seven years ago) link

Actually, I have to qualify my last post: Badiou's most extensive comment on Khmer Rouge was made in 1975, but apparently Badiou reiterated his support for the group in 1978, in the context of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. In an interview with Eric Hazan in 2008 (http://kasamaproject.org/theory/799-31badiou-on-different-streams-within-french-maoism), Badiou took his distance both from the Khmer Rouge regime and the 'nouveaux philosophes' who made public statements of their anti-communism, and explained what he found useful in his own Maoist group of the late 60s:

There were three essential points of Maoist provenance that we practised: the first was that you always had to link up with the people, that politics for intellectuals was a journey into society and not a discussion in a closed room. Political work was defined as work in factories, housing estates, hostels. It was always a matter of setting up political organizations in the midst of people's actual life. The second was that you should not take part in the institutions of the bourgeois state: we were against the traditional trade unions and the electoral mechanism. No infiltration of the so-called workers' bureaucracies, no participation in elections; that distinguished us radically from the Trotskyists. The third point was that we should be in no hurry to call ourselves a party, to take up old forms of organization; we had to remain very close to actual political processes. As a result of all this, we found ourselves sharply opposed to the two other main currents [in French Maoism]. Our founding pamphlet attacked both the PCMLF on the right and the GP 'on the left'.

one way street, Tuesday, 2 December 2014 15:56 (seven years ago) link

(...I'll reserve judgment on Badiou's formulation as a description of Maoism, and I'll stop here so as not to derail this thread.)

one way street, Tuesday, 2 December 2014 15:58 (seven years ago) link

xx-post: Right, but I'm just saying. Today, the khmer rouge is among the worst of the worst, worse than apartheid or mao - and rightfully so. But liking them back in the seventies, as Badiou did, was something a bunch of people all over the political spectrum did.

Frederik B, Tuesday, 2 December 2014 16:18 (seven years ago) link

so what? badiou et al were childish assholes; it's not as though the khmer rouge's crimes (or mao's crimes for that matter) were only rumors.

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 18:37 (seven years ago) link

i mean there were enough people on the left at the time who saw mao and pol pot for who they were to make badiou's allegiances inexcusable. he can't claim ignorance, really, only bullheadedness.

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 18:39 (seven years ago) link

Man, Badiou just gave an excellent analysis of the situation at the time in the ows-link, 'childish assholes' is so simplistic as to be laughable.

Frederik B, Tuesday, 2 December 2014 19:10 (seven years ago) link

ha ha ha

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 20:08 (seven years ago) link

You're an idiot. Wasting time on discussing with you is pointless.

Frederik B, Tuesday, 2 December 2014 20:32 (seven years ago) link

You're an idiot. Wasting time on discussing with you is pointless.

― Frederik B, Tuesday, December 2, 2014 2:32 PM (2 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

sorry i'm not as concerned with you about the nuanced rationalizations of people who pledged allegiance to a tyrant who cultivated a cult of personality and -- through a combination of arrogance, ignorance, and venality -- wound up with the deaths of millions of chinese on his hands.

. it's not as though there weren't plenty of people on the left at the time who would have been happy to tell him he was full of shit.

sure, "childish assholes" is simplistic and rash, but i'm not too worked up about it.

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 07:19 (seven years ago) link

one thing that's particularly grotesque that the height of (one segment of) the new left's fascination with mao was the mid-late 60s, the moment of the cultural revolution's worst excesses (which is far too polite a word to use in this context). while badiou et al were hoisting their little red books in parisian salons, chinese intellectuals were being assaulted and paraded through the streets for cooked-up "counter-revolutionary" crimes. that badiou et al couldn't know the full extent of the horrors of the cultural revolution isn't much of an excuse. enough was known.

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 07:26 (seven years ago) link

I'm going to write this anyway since i can prob cp it into so many discussions with just small adjustments.

1) Being a maoist doesn't mean you 'pledge allegiance' to mao.

2) This was a time when politicians all over the spectrum cosied up to killers. Including Nixon and Mao for crissakes.

In conclusion, you're dumb, and you should read what Badiou says to get smarter. It's a good interview.

Frederik B, Thursday, 4 December 2014 07:46 (seven years ago) link

smh/lol @ one of ILX's arch liberal babies calling Badiou "a childish asshole"

ey mk II, Thursday, 4 December 2014 08:57 (seven years ago) link

reminder that the Black Panthers were Maoists, wonder if amateurist would call them "grotesque"

ey mk II, Thursday, 4 December 2014 08:59 (seven years ago) link

Patrick L. Smith article in Salon that Mordy posted is so poorly written I found it all but unreadable and gave up. As near as I could make out, the author seems to think that whatever Henry Kissinger says in an interview with a journalist is tantamount to the Voice of God speaking from a burning bush.

oh no! must be the season of the rich (Aimless), Thursday, 4 December 2014 18:33 (seven years ago) link

Tempted to say that every country gets the Seamus Milne it deserves.

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Thursday, 4 December 2014 18:36 (seven years ago) link

i'm an "arch liberal baby"? what does that mean? what do you know of my politics?

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:09 (seven years ago) link

fwiw i don't think badiou is childish /now/ -- i think even he'd admit to a bit of rash childishness at the time. he almost says as much in that interview.

btw are the black panthers beyond reproach now?

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:10 (seven years ago) link

on ilx surely

Mordy, Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:12 (seven years ago) link

(it's weird how people will insult me on the same or different threads with diametrically opposed caricatures. e.g. on ILM i've been called a stupid poptimist and an arch-rockist. i think people are just quick to insult here.)

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:12 (seven years ago) link

(i've also been accused of being a chauvinist israel-stan /and/ some kind of hamas apologist.)

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:13 (seven years ago) link

i'm a commie in the shul and a fascist in the academy so i feel u

Mordy, Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:14 (seven years ago) link

yeah, i also inevitably emphasize different things when talking with people from different milieux. i think everyone does that.

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:17 (seven years ago) link

you should read what Badiou says

i did, as i pointed out repeatedly. you're convinced that after reading it, i'd have a different view. i don't, really. sorry.

but yeah i admit that "childish assholes" is not the most nuanced critique of the new left's more-than-flirtation with maoism in the 1960s and 1970s. and of course badiou et al could in theory find value in some of the ideas mao espoused without "pledging allegiance" to him or align themselves with what mao was doing (or what was being done in his name) in china. but if you actually look at the history of western maoism it's not nearly so dandy. the cult of personality did have sway, and people really did wave away some atrocities and do a lot of ideologically-correct victim-blaming.

chris marker has a film, le fond de l'air est rouge, about the failures of western—and in particular, french—leftism, and there's a rather incisive (if a little allusive) critique of the new left's fascination with maoism in the middle.

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:22 (seven years ago) link

anyway we should give this debate up since it's only tangentially (or analogically) relevant to putin/ukraine/etc.

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:23 (seven years ago) link

did i mention that i think la chinoise is a great (and very funny) movie?

I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4 December 2014 22:24 (seven years ago) link

i'm an "arch liberal baby"? what does that mean? what do you know of my politics?

I know of your politics what I've read you post here & in other threads, and based on that I'd say your politics typify liberalism - is that not an accurate characterisation?

(although I'm not a Maoist at all, I think Mao had an interesting thing to say about liberalism btw ;) )

btw are the black panthers beyond reproach now?

― I dunno. (amateurist), Thursday, 4

no one is nor should be beyond reproach. but I asked that for two reasons - 1) to see what you think of radical, militant activism (as a sort of additional acid-test for your politics...) and 2) to give an example of Western Maoists who effectively applied Maoist ideas IRL as part of an organised struggle, as opposed to some nerd who makes youtube channels dressed in Rev Guard clothes as part of an infantile Role Playing Experience.

ey mk II, Friday, 5 December 2014 10:41 (seven years ago) link

fwiw, I think leftists who support Putin either because they think it's still the 1950s and Russia's geopolitics=the USSR's or out of reflexive "anti-Imperialism" (b/c if you look at what Russia is doing now and don't connect it to neo-imperial ambitions then you must be a bit confused) are Pretty Bad and it's a very frustrating tendency.

ey mk II, Friday, 5 December 2014 10:48 (seven years ago) link

Given Russia's existential demographic problems, its actions in Crimea / Novorossiya has more the character of a cornered animal than neo-imperialism. Which is of course why economic sanctions have had and will have little effect. Gasprom/Rosneft's next shareholder's report is irrelevant to the central question that vexes the Kremlin, which is the Russian nation's continued existance over the next few centuries.

TTAGGGTTAGGG (Sanpaku), Friday, 5 December 2014 22:34 (seven years ago) link

can't they just wait for global warming to make siberia the most irrigable area in the world?

Mordy, Friday, 5 December 2014 22:44 (seven years ago) link

I know of your politics what I've read you post here & in other threads, and based on that I'd say your politics typify liberalism - is that not an accurate characterisation?

what sort of liberalism do you mean? i barely post on politics threads here compared to many. you act as though you were making a dispassionate, objective observation, but in the same phrase you called me a "baby."

i'm not sure what kind of litmus test you're applying here but as with many folks i think there are things the black panthers did that were great and other things that were bordering on horrific. if you expect me to express blanket approval or disapproval so that you can safely categorize my attitudes toward "radical, militant activism," then sorry i haven't served your purpose.

I dunno. (amateurist), Friday, 5 December 2014 23:27 (seven years ago) link

Xp, there's some controversy over whether Russian demographics are as bad as everyone makes out:


There's definitely anxiety about the population not rising quickly enough from sections of the right, though, which feeds into both pan-Russian nationalism and things like the 'family values' campaign. The woman who proposed the laws against 'gay propaganda' has a track record of statements about needing to fill Russia with more people to ward off invaders. That said, the main concern is the huge underpopulated areas that border China, there's a paranoia that as China grows, it will colonise border towns. It doesn't sound particularly likely to me.

I'd see Crimea as an attempt to right what was widely seen as a historical wrong rather than classic imperial expansionism though.

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Saturday, 6 December 2014 03:15 (seven years ago) link

glad i could contribute to this maoist--->badiou--->panthers derail good work all

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 22:36 (seven years ago) link

ruble now only slightly more valuable than bitcoin

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 20:42 (seven years ago) link

xp has been discussed itt http://www.ilxor.com/ILX/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?boardid=40&threadid=100650

gyac, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 20:44 (seven years ago) link

Lavrov has said today that Poroshenko is the best hope Ukraine has for recovery and that Russia has no opinion on whether Ukraine should move towards federalisation. The power of the market!

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 21:24 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

With Russian-backed separatists pressing their attacks in Ukraine, NATO's military commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, now supports providing defensive weapons and equipment to Kiev's beleaguered forces, and an array of administration and military officials appear to be edging toward that position, American officials said Sunday.


o. nate, Monday, 2 February 2015 02:44 (six years ago) link

Might be tough to get this past NATO given how much back and forth there was in the EU over extending sanctions. The challenge isn't just a lack of weapons, it's a lack of trained forces on both sides. Many of the pro-Kyiv forces are irregular militias, not the standing army - loading them up with expensive weapons is a recipe for disaster, not least because they have their own loyalties and paymasters. It's difficult to see how military aid could be restricted just to the proper army. The more destructive the weapons they've had access to (bombers and rockets / mortars) the more civilians have been accidentally killed.

Equally, unless NATO troops intervened directly (which they won't do), there's nothing to stop Russia simply upping the military aid it's giving the separatists in return. The major Russian intervention came when it looked like the separatists were heading for defeat - avoid that is much more of a priority than pushing them to take more land. This would be another escalation.

It looked like Poroshenko recognised that there is no viable military solution prior to the recent flare up in hostilities and i'm not sure that much has changed.

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Monday, 2 February 2015 13:35 (six years ago) link


Ukraine Forces Withdraw From Strategic Town in Major Defeat
President Petro O. Poroshenko sought to cast the retreat from the embattled town of Debaltseve in a positive light, but it was clearly a devastating defeat at the hands of Russian-backed separatists.

Mordy, Wednesday, 18 February 2015 18:33 (six years ago) link

one year passes...
four years pass...

With all hostages free and the hostage-taker in custody, President Zelensky has deleted the Facebook video of himself complying with the armed man's demand to promote the 2005 film Earthlings featuring narration by Joaquin Phoenix. But here it is for posterity. pic.twitter.com/lPcHB8XD3H

— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) July 21, 2020

rumpy riser (ogmor), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 08:29 (one year ago) link

"Late on Tuesday, the Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said: 'The film … is a good one. And you don’t have to be so screwed up and cause such a horror for the whole country – you can watch it without that.'"

Scampo di tutti i Scampi (ShariVari), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 12:16 (one year ago) link

Cancel joaquin phoenix until we can figure out wtf is going on

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 12:21 (one year ago) link

you don’t have to be so screwed up and cause such a horror for the whole country - but it helps!

scampo, foggy and clegg (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 14:05 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Scary thread:

In the last few weeks, I have become increasingly convinced that Kremlin has unfortunately made a decision to invade Ukraine later this winter. While it is still possible for Putin to deescalate, I believe the likelihood is now quite low. Allow me to explain why 🧵

— Dmitri Alperovitch (@DAlperovitch) December 21, 2021

o. nate, Wednesday, 22 December 2021 02:20 (four weeks ago) link

The idea that "The Free World" can control the fate of "The Rest of the World" seems to me to be an idea that has been proved fallacious in the majority of tests it has undergone. The alliance that can more or less be described as 'NATO and friends' can continue to strenuously limit the benefits the Russian Federation can derive from Putin's aggression, but driving him back from Ukraine via full scale war seems like a bad bargain for NATO alliance members. Look how well it has worked as a tool for controlling outcomes for USA policy in its past five decades. When strongly tested, it hasn't worked at all.

I fully recognize this fact is shitty for Ukrainians, unless they already have pro-Putin cred, but the world is big, war is hell (and fucking expensive), and bad actors abound.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 22 December 2021 02:36 (four weeks ago) link

It doesn't seem like there is any appetite for direct military conflict with Russia over Ukraine. As far as I know, the US has been trying to drum up support for punitive sanctions in that event. Nothing else is even on the table.

o. nate, Wednesday, 22 December 2021 04:21 (four weeks ago) link

three weeks pass...

Things continue to heat up:

"U.S. Charges Russia Sent Saboteurs Into Ukraine to Create Pretext for Invasion"

o. nate, Friday, 14 January 2022 17:03 (five days ago) link

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