From [TBC] To The Polar Lands - Rolling Russia / "Near Abroad" News Thread

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The debate seems like a farce - set up with two stages with rival supporters in ‘fan zones’ taking up one half of the pitch each, with a line of police separating them. The moderator was going to be on the half-way line as well. Eventually Zelenskiy and Poroshenko did share a stage but spent the entire time insulting each other and suggesting the other was a puppet / going to jail. It looks like barely anyone turned up. However, the fact that it took place at all - a first for Ukraine and not going to happen any time soon in Russia - is being seen as a victory of sorts.

This Atlantic Council article blaming ‘the west’ for the rise of Zelenskiy is magnificent, in its own way.

The gist is that investing money in independent investigative journalism is a terrible thing as it exposes corruption and makes everyone unhappy with the government. Better to gloss over the corruption and focus on the reforms.

To reduce corruption, Ukraine needs a competent legal system that does not exist. Without it, the continued focus on exposes of alleged crimes that can’t realistically be punished seems irresponsible and counterproductive. Better to spend the money on an entertaining and educational series like a “CSI Kyiv.”

The problem for both the West and whoever wins is that the ‘reforms’ are even more unpopular than the corruption. Tying IMF loans to conditions like reductions in already terrible pensions, ending fuel subsidies for heating, etc, etc, means that, given a free-ish choice, people are always going to vote for someone else.

ShariVari, Saturday, 20 April 2019 07:36 (one year ago) link

Ze has won by a landslide, close to three quarters of the vote and carrying 23 of Ukraine’s 24 regions. The final vote hasn’t finished but Poroshenko has conceded.

ShariVari, Sunday, 21 April 2019 20:02 (one year ago) link

I can't wait till someone from UK comedy decides to save us from this rotten and dysfunctional two party system...

calzino, Sunday, 21 April 2019 20:09 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

Pavel Sheremet, a top Belarussian journalist, was killed with a car bomb in Kyiv this morning. He was driving the car of the head of Ukrainian Pravda, possibly one of the most important papers looking into political and corporate corruption in the wider region. He was a critic of Putin and Lukashenko and a friend of Boris Nemtsov, so fingers will inevitably be pointed in that direction, but in the current situation there is unfortunately no shortage of people with the means or motive to kill investigative reporters.

Three years on, the police have just arrested a metal guitarist and his partner after identifying the distinctive band logo on the former’s hoodie via surveillance footage,

There it is. Ukrainian police name suspects as Yulia Kuzmenko and Andriy Antonenko. They tie Antonenko to the crime via his sweatshirt logo. See above in this thread for background on that.

— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) December 12, 2019

Both suspects were in a nationalist militia group and Antonenko just got a fawning interview from the US-government-funded Radio Liberty / Svoboda last week. It’s great to see someone potentially being brought to justice for this. It is one of a couple of crimes that had hung over the head of journalists, and broader civil society, for years.

Srinivasaraghavan VONCataraghavan (ShariVari), Thursday, 12 December 2019 16:02 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

Big new constitutional proposals from Putin - suggesting an absolute two-term maximum on the Presidency and the potential delegation of a lot more power to Parliament. This is a fairly interesting bit of quick analysis / speculation:

It's been a while since a major #Putin policy address has been anything other than boring. Not today. Today, Putin proposed a radical reshaping of #Russia's political system.

Kind of.

THREAD #Послание2020


— Sam Greene (@samagreene) January 15, 2020

Medvedev, who was assumed to be Putin's successor again for years but who has been sidelined a bit following corruption allegations, has resigned as Prime Minister, along with the rest of the government. The expectation is that some will be rehired to their posts but not him.

ShariVari, Wednesday, 15 January 2020 13:47 (five months ago) link

five months pass...

Rise in nuclear particles detected in Sweden and assessed to be originating from western Russia.

That is similar to how the Chernobyl disaster came to light in 1986.

— Marten Hendriksma (@MHendriksma) June 27, 2020

Scampidocio (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 29 June 2020 11:36 (one week ago) link

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