Russia's Gazprom reduces gas to Ukraine after deadline passes

Comments (19)
AlfNeuman wrote:

How many of us could get away with not paying our gas bill and still receive service? Kiev deadbeats, pay your debts.

Jun 16, 2014 5:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
itsmysayokay wrote:

It’s all about money and greed.

Jun 16, 2014 6:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CanRus wrote:

“Kiev says that waiving the duty rather than agreeing a new contract price means Moscow could use the threat of cancelling the waiver to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence.”
If there’s anything Ukrainians should have learned by now, it’s that Putin and the Russian government should never be trusted. The Kremlin is trying hard to demonize them with their “Ukrainians are Nazis!” campaign, but the Ukrainian government are obviously not fools.

AlfNeuman wrote:
“How many of us could get away with not paying our gas bill and still receive service? Kiev deadbeats, pay your debts.”
Probably none. On the other hand, companies don’t usually go around stealing from, beating up and trying to bankrupt their customers while hoping to get paid… Sounds more like mafia tactics than civilized business.

itsmysayokay wrote:
“It’s all about money and greed.”
Definitely! All comes down to a power trip. Somebody wants to control Ukraine – no doubts there.

Jun 16, 2014 7:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BraveNewWrld wrote:

@CanRus wrote:
All comes down to a power trip. Somebody wants to control Ukraine – no doubts there.

Right. It certainly can’t be our State Department. Or can it?

Jun 16, 2014 8:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamesChirico wrote:

Summer usage being low, European gas inventories unusually high, has Putin with little leverage until fall. A game of flinch going on with Russia trying to get back a puppet government (Crimea) or at least concessions from the new Ukrainian government.

The Euro economy will suffer without Russian gas, Ukraine more so, but the Russian economy will do worse without the gas revenue.

Jun 16, 2014 9:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BraveNewWrld wrote:

@Canrus:

Why are you repeating again and again your mantra that some “Kremlin agents” are “trying hard to demonize them with their “Ukrainians are Nazis!”

It is quite obvious that no reasonable posters here are saying that sort of silly things you are claiming. Of course, Ukrainians (overwhelming majority) are not Nazis. Neither are Russians, or Germans for that matter. However, some of them, be it Russians, Germans, Hungarians, or Ukrainians, certainly are Nazis, neo-Nazis, Nazi apologists and Nazi sympathizers. should not be called so. There are political extremes and societal margins in most countries.

Or, are you suggesting that neo-Nazis, Nazis, Nazi sympathizers and modern day Nazi apologists simply do not exist? Or, they exist but should not be called so?

The problem arises when these types, from political margins begin playing significant role in governing the country. When their inhumane ideology becomes political mainstream.

The issue is absolutely clear here. Anyone marching under the portrait of Adolf Hitler, glorifying him and his henchmen as German heroes and inventing apologies for their heinous Nazi crimes are neo-Nazis, Nazi sympathizers and Nazi apologists, and should be clearly identified and condemned as such.

Similarly, in Ukraine’s case, anyone marching under the portrait of Stephane Bandera, glorifying him and his henchmen as Ukrainian heroes and inventing apologies for their heinous Nazi crimes (including massacre of 60-80 thousands of poles in Galicia and Volhynia) are Ukrainian neo-Nazis, Nazi sympathizers and Nazi apologists, and should be clearly identified and condemned as such. What is so difficult to understand here?

As in Germany in 1930-s not all Germans were Nazis, only a small but active fraction were, similarly in Ukraine only a small but active fraction of the populous are neo-Nazis or Nazi sympathizers. And you could just look up photos from the occupied Kiev city hall to see the large portrait of Bandera, the Ukrainian little Hitler. And you could just Google “Bandera monuments” to see that more than 15 monuments to this man have been erected in Western Ukraine in recent yeas.

But even small fraction of the population being active Nazis was enough in Germany to establish the Nazi regime. This has not yet happened in Ukraine, but the situation is dire. The population is poor, desperate, its hopes and aspirations for better life which were high upon the dissolution of the USSR are shattered to pieces. People are poor and humiliated like Germans were in 1930s. Many of the neo-Nazis and Nazi sympathizers now hold important positions of power in the government. The media is churning out nationalist propaganda, alternative and non-nationalist media are banned (incidentally, this is exactly in accordance with Bandera’s directions). People are brainwashed, incapable of rational thinking, and ready to mob justice and mob rule. And the economy is going down the drain.

And immature minds blame it all on Putin. As if having put the blame on somebody would somehow help. But it wont. Even if Putin flies to Mars tonight, nothing would change for the Ukrainian economy or for the Ukrainian people. They have to be saved from themselves by themselves. God save the Ukrainian people. God bless Ukraine.

Jun 16, 2014 9:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
kalles wrote:

@AlfNeuman, how many companies do you know raises the price by 85% over night?

I live in Kiev, they can cut the gas, freedom is more important! Russia must understand that they can not control Ukraine, Soviet days are over, move on…

Jun 16, 2014 10:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
DonD1977 wrote:

Russia proves again and again that it is not a reliable business partner any more than OPEC was in the 1970s – same results – customers revolt.

Jun 16, 2014 10:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Nagant wrote:

When a minister of foreign affairs calls the head of neighboring state “d-i-c-k-h-e-a-d” on record, it becomes declaration of state policy. Such a policy definitely is not conductive to reaching any agreement with that state, especially extracting discount on utility bills.

Jun 16, 2014 11:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
UauS wrote:

@Nagant: it’s a huge achievement of the Ukrainian people that they make their politicians call thing by their real names.

Jun 16, 2014 11:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:

Hard to see why Russia would keep sending oil and getting no money in return.

Jun 16, 2014 12:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
PaulBradley wrote:

Obviously, I have not read the agreement(s) that Ukraine and Russia have . . . However, there must be more issues to solve than just paying debt for gas . . What about Crimea owing now to Ukraine for electricity, gas, canceled by Russia lease for their navy port, taxes, etc., etc. I think, for Ukraine to pay above average price for gas from Russia would be foolish until all these issues are solved, including gas ‘transit fee’ to EU through Ukraine billed to Russia, etc.

Jun 16, 2014 12:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
NoFauxNews wrote:

Russia and Gazprom are using Gas deliveries as a tool to dominate the politics. Russia will invade Ukraine, directly or more likely, by proxy. Why? All the Crimea gas that fuels the Russian Black Sea fleet and military operations comes through Ukraine! Of course they’re going to take back Ukraine! How could they not?

Jun 16, 2014 1:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

Russia sounds very reasonable and Ukraine is just what the first comment says. The country has a corrupt government, like Iraq, and can’t pay the bills due to graft and insider deals. It’s not likely the customers are in arrears but the distributors are. However, the price differential is very hard to understand. It seems the transit route of the pipeline is vulnerable to takeover by Ukraine. So who’s pressuring whom? If the situation gets very nasty, the Ukraine could disrupt the pipeline and Europe. And one couldn’t reasonably blame Russia if that happened?

Jun 16, 2014 1:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CanRus wrote:

Lavrentii wrote:
“This russophobe Ukrainian regime expects Russia to subsidize its Russophobia…”
I would probably become “russophobe” too if my country had been exploited and oppressed for decades, just had a chunk invaded by them, and they were sending terrorists to destroy the region where I live. The Ukrainian government expects the Kremlin to stop acting like a schoolyard bully. Not a very realistic expectation, but at least they’re trying to defend themselves instead of cowering in the corner.

Bfstk wrote:
“The pompous EU officialdom who helped to engineer the coup and are responsible for many deaths will now have to go to the woodshed.”
And the even more pompous Putin & his Kremlin cronies who are directly causing many more deaths, have just managed to lose their stranglehold on Ukraine and alienate most of the World in a single move. Quite an impressive accomplishment… Putin’s paranoia and persecution complex have fulfilled themselves, and they’ve sent the Russian economy into a tailspin. Not that this last point bothers them much, since they’re all filthy rich and most of their foreign bank accounts are still safe… for now. Why should they care about the plight of the average Russian, right? As for the imaginary “coup” in Kiev, take a look at Thailand – or closer to home, Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk. Maybe then you’ll have a better understanding of what that word really means.

momonator wrote:
“I’m just asking myself—-what if majority of Cremains did not vote for independence and than joining Russia.”
Shhhh!!! Don’t say things like that! It might upset Putin. Irrelevant anyways – that wasn’t even an option on the ballot papers.

CNSG wrote:
“The fact is, I do not see anything wrong with Russia’s move this round. Ukraine is acting like a bullying brat who won’t pay for their candies instead.”
If you ignore everything except the gas deal, then yeah, the Kremlin is doing nothing wrong. Of course, the Ukrainians are the bullies… (rolleyes)

BraveNewWrld wrote:
“Ukraine certainly got Crimea illegally…”
By who’s definition – Putin’s? Legally and illegally are relative terms. Crimea was transferred by the Russian government (the USSR was just a euphemism for the Russian Empire) to Ukraine while Ukraine was under Russian occupation. Before that, Crimea was conquered – from Turkey I think. Doesn’t matter from who, it was seized in a war. The last news was, Russia acknowledged by treaty, twice (1991 & 1994) that Crimea was Ukrainian territory. Many Russians weren’t happy about that, Putin being the first. So he decided to take it back to boost his ego & popularity. Many Russians aren’t happy about the sale of Alaska – they don’t think Russia got a fair deal. If the Russian army was powerful enough, should they be allowed to take it back? Things can’t work that way in a civilized world. And just in case you come back with “but the majority in Crimea are Russians” – true, but that was acheived via forced displacement of the natives and genocide.

“Russian Black Sea fleet with up to 25,000 military personnel was legally stationed in Crimea.”
Yes, they were allowed to be there through a lease agreement with Ukraine. Why would Russia sign a lease agreement for something which you claim didn’t legally belong to Ukraine? Also, I’m sure nothing in that lease agreement permitted those Russian troops to leave their bases to participate in a coup against Ukraine.

meleze wrote:
“it is n’t quite clear why the pipe to Ukraine cut by Russia is n’t able to be reversed and feed from western countries?”
First there’s technical problems… it isn’t as simple as it sounds. Second, that probably would be clearly illegal. Apparently (most?) of the gas contracts European countries signed with Russia don’t allow reselling the gas back to another country.

kalles wrote:
“I live in Kiev, they can cut the gas, freedom is more important! Russia must understand that they can not control Ukraine, Soviet days are over, move on…”
I wish more Russians had this attitude. Then Russia could get back on track of becoming a better country, like it was 10 years ago. Love Kiev and its citizens. Great city. I hope Ukraine continues on its path to freedom.

UauS wrote:
“it’s a huge achievement of the Ukrainian people that they make their politicians call thing by their real names.”
Hear! Hear! More honest politicians would do the world a lot of good. The guy was trying to distract a (justifyably) angry mob that was getting violent… and the Kremlin stooges still complain. The’re still stuck in the Soviet “victim” mentality.

WestFlorida wrote:
“Hard to see why Russia would keep sending oil and getting no money in return.”
It’s gas, not oil. Simple: To try and look like “nice reasonable people”, hoping Ukraine and the rest of the World will forget about Crimea and distract them from the terrorists they’re supporting in Eastern Ukraine. Also, gas & oil are Russia’s main sources of revenue – Ukraine and Europe are their main customers – they hope not to lose them completely. Putin is also certainly hoping to maintain at least some control over Ukraine – gas can be used as leverage.

paintcan wrote:
“Russia sounds very reasonable and Ukraine is just what the first comment says. The country has a corrupt government, like Iraq…”
Yes, Russia “sounds” very reasonable – that’s what they hope everybody will believe – or at least instill some doubt and confusion. Standard KGB tactics. Ukraine HAD a very corrupt government – like Russia. Ukrainians kicked most of the worst cronies out. They fled – to Russia. Interesting. Of course there’s still a lot of cleaning up left to do. But at least they’re making progress. Meanwhile, Russia is deteriorating – and it already has one of the most corrupt governments in the World. Putin knows this since he’s behind it. Hence his public distraction “We got Crimea back! Yay!” and “War against Ukrainian Nazis” campaigns. There was also his “Biggest bestest most expensive Winter Olympics in World history” distraction campaign which completely flopped, and helped to make Russia’s floundering economy even worst… right before starting a self-destructive war. Pure genius! But as long as the little folk love him… why should he care about everything else?

Jun 17, 2014 9:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CanRus wrote:

Messed up. Got 2 threads confused. Everyone please ignore everything up to “kalles wrote:”. This is what should have gone before that…

BraveNewWrld wrote:
“Right. It certainly can’t be our State Department. Or can it?”
If by that you mean the US State Department, yes, they’re certainly involved. They want to have some influence – maybe a lot of influence, as in many other places. But by “control” I meant something more heavy-handed – along the lines of “obey or we’ll destroy you”. Like the type of control the Russian government had over Poland during the USSR days. That’s the type of control Russia had over Ukraine until recently. They’re losing it – which makes Putin and his nostalgic crony buddies very unhappy.

“Why are you repeating again and again your mantra that some “Kremlin agents” are “trying hard to demonize them with their ‘Ukrainians are Nazis!’
I said “Kremlin”, not “Kremlin agents”. Though there are also some of those hanging out in the comments sections of all major Western news sites. Disseminating propaganda is standard Soviet procedure – most of the people at the top still have a very USSR/KGB mentality. And there are possibly some simply naive people who believe the Russian government’s propaganda. If you want to see what I mean for yourself, watch some Russian TV. All Kremlin-controlled by the way. The nightly news is the best. “Ukrainian Nazis” this and “coup government” that, repeated over and over for months. Same thing with Russian newspapers, most of which (all the major ones) are also Kremlin-controlled. That’s where the majority of Russians get all their “information” about the outside world. It may surprise you, but the vast majority of Russians don’t speak any foreign languages, not even a bit of English. Teaching them is going out of style in Russian schools, like learning about anything that isn’t Kremlin-approved – “history” being top priority at the moment. Lot’s of complaints from higher officials that school programs need to be made more “patriotic”. It’s a major topic in newspapers at the moment. Surprizing, isn’t it?

Of course neo-Nazis exist, in most countries – in Ukraine, Russia (unthinkable!), the US, most of Europe, even Canada. But they’re no more popular a group in Ukraine than in Russia, and far from being a major problem in either of those countries. What I oppose is the Kremlin’s propaganda of painting all or even most Ukrainians as “Nazis”, and their government as a “fascist coup”. I think Putin and his buddies should take a long hard look in the mirror before calling anybody else fascist. Though “coup” mantra has died down a bit since Poroshenko got elected. Interesting, since he’s the only member of the Ukrainian government that changed – everyone else there had been elected before the so-called “coup”. But who cares about facts, right? Certainly not the Kremlin. The reason they’re being so loud about their “Nazi” accusations is obvious to anybody Russian or who has lived in Russia. “Nazi” is probably the most despicable insult possible to a Russian, because of WWII. It fuels Russian hatred towards Ukrainians, and motivates the masses to support Putin in his campaign against them.

People who worship Hitler are obviously neo-Nazis. Bandera is a very different and controversial case. You have to understand all the complexities and dire situation Ukrainians found themselves in during WWII to fully understand. Even I don’t claim to. But in a nutshell, they basically found themselves between a rock and a hard place – Stalin and Hitler. They knew Stalin well – he had been oppressing and exterminating them for years. Hitler was the new guy on the block. Possibly the knew he wasn’t a nice guy, possibly they didn’t. I don’t know, I wasn’t there. It’s easy to judge people with hindsight. But one thing was obviously clear to them – Hitler was fighting Stalin. And from the Ukrainian point of view at the time, that was good.

I don’t blame everything wrong with the World, or even in Ukraine, on Putin. That would be simplistic and dishonest. But I do blame him for what he IS doing wrong. And that’s already a giant heap of attrocities – not only in Ukraine, but also in Russia, and all the problems he’s causing to the rest of the World. It all comes down to an overinflated ego – product of an inferiority/persecution complex and paranoia, in my opinion. Once a KGB agent, always a KGB agent it seems. Ukraine is not only a mess because of Putin. Most of it is due to their USSR heritage. But Putin is certainly doing everything in his power to make the situation worse and as bad as possible. It’s clearly become a personal vendetta. Ukrainians would have a much easier time rebuilding their country if he wasn’t around.

Jun 17, 2014 12:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@CanRusa – You igore the fact the Ukraine and Russia have some substantial, built-in, interdependencies. Ukraine and Belarus have the shared waste land of Chernobyl that will require some kind of monitoring and patrol/protection for decades (even hundreds of years) and Ukraine holds the pipeline connecting Russia to Europe. It also does substantial defense contracting work with Russia and has about 40% of that industry by dint of USSR investment. Russia was also Ukraine’s major importer. As much as I have complained in other comments about the USA defense establishment, and Reuters has even run articles detailing its criminal fraud and waste, the government of Russia had a far greater stake in Ukraine than the US government ever had in Iraq. Iraqi oil fields and their leases are actually private contracts. In contrast, Ukraine walked off with government assets. If the US gets re-involved with Iraqi conflicts because the oil fields might be at risk, (and that’s about the only reason they would) they would be coming to the defense of private interests. Russia is at risk for strategic government owned property that has been semi privatized (or it is a monopoly controlled by the Russian government, as I understand it). Of course they have an interest in insuring a friendly government is in control of Ukraine. Otherwise Ukraine is in the position to put the strangle hold on Russia income from Europe. Oil interests seems to call the shots elsewhere, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise they are doing it there. And Russian interests are move reasonable. The country was once port of Russia and many of it s present citizens thought they still were until the last 20 something years. The USA had to make a more outrageous claim on Iraqi resources than Russia is for Ukraine ports and territories.

Also, as I understand the history, Ukraine is not an ancient independent country that once existed outside the Russia empire but, rather, reached its greatest extent at the time of Catherine the Great and was considered a part of Russia. Prior to Catherine II, eastern Ukraine was part of Russia, western Ukraine was part of Poland and Crimea was part of the Ottoman Empire. The Russian Empire created the Ukraine you claim was independent.

And you don’t have to “worship Hitler” to be fascist, xenophobe, or nationalist (where you also have to invent the nation) and intent on starting a civil war. Fascism “lite” (or more polite and less obvious) seems to becoming the rule here too, or very easily could if the many current conflicts continue to escalate.

The Nazi leaning party still represented in the Ukraine government uses the swastika and the claim of “Ukraine for Ukrainians”. They have been anti-Semitic. I have been accused of anti-Semitism by some real fools and all I do is criticizes Israel and the idea of Zionism. They say – “Jews get out”. All sorts of “freedom loving” people, so called, seem to be very fond of civil wars, even if, as in Iraq, they have to sow the conditions that guaranteed them and then install a more adaptable (and even more corruptible) government then SH headed.

BTW – I tried to rebut your mention of my comment earlier and Reuters wouldn’t print it. They also wouldn’t print another in another thread today. They usually print them and it’s interesting when they don’t, although I never quite understand why.

Jun 17, 2014 8:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CanRus wrote:

Grrr! Page reloaded while I was typing… Take 2…

@paintcan
I won’t get into comparisons with Iraq, because I know a lot less about it than Russia and Ukraine. The only thing I can say for sure is that Iraq was the US/UK’s mother of all foreign policy blunders, which may take a century to live down. I’m not convinced Iraqis are better off under “US protection” than they were under Saddistic Hussein. And thank the US Constitution that Bush Jr. is gone – he was as much a danger to World peace as Putin is now.

Yes, of course Ukraine and Russia are heavily intertwined – both historically during the past few centuries and financially more recently. And parts of Ukraine were previously part of Russia, as you pointed out. National borders have changed continously during all of human history. When WWII ended and the UN was formed, all members (including Russia) agreed that post-WWII borders were frozen and final, unless there was UN consensus to change them. I won’t get into the details of exactly what “consensus” entails because that would take pages and I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject. But that’s the general idea. The USSR was technically one country at the time. When it fell apart, the portion called Ukraine retained its share of territory and assets by treaty with the portion called Russia. That’s when Ukraine became an independant country, with its current (pre-Russian invasion of Crimea) borders, and this was also endorsed through UN consensus. Ukraine didn’t unilaterally “walk off” with anything – not like Russia just grabbed Crimea and everything it contains. Ukraine also gave up some things, notably its share of nuclear weapons (in another treaty) in exchange for guarantees that its territory (including Crimea) would never be violated by Russia.

Of course, it’s clearly in Russia’s best interest that any Ukrainian government be Russia-friendly. It’s also in Ukraine’s best interest. Makes it all the more puzzling why Putin is so intent on provoking hostility from the Ukrainian government. Almost makes me question his sanity. That was Russian-style sarcarstic humour – I have no doubts about his sanity – I’ve been convinced for years that he’s insane. His ego is clearly more important than all other considerations, including Russia’s best interest.

But getting back to the intertwining… For various reasons, including a heritage of USSR-era massive corruption (which is still alive and kicking in Russia), and probably that Russia currently has a dubious despotic and imperialistic president who plans to remain in power for a long time, Ukrainians want to begin cutting the strings on that intertwining and move closer to the rest of the civilized world. That’s how the majority see things. It doesn’t preclude maintaining ties with Russia, including a trading relationship – just getting rid of the elements that maintain an abusive relationship. Putin and his nostalgic buddies don’t see things this way. They don’t want Ukraine to escape from the Russian sphere of control. They like the abusive relationship and want it to continue – especially Putin, who wants to maintain it at any cost (with Belarus too). The gas pipelines to Europe you mentioned are a great example. Everyone involved – Russia, Ukraine and the EU – want those to continue operating smoothly. They all need them. Yet Putin is working hard to alienate not only Ukraine, but also the EU – one of Russia’s major sources of revenue. Makes no logical sense. The US has no right to make any claims on Iraqi (or anybody else’s) ressources, nor does Russia have a right to make any claims on Ukrainian ports and territories. Both are in the wrong on those points – it attacks the basic principle of sovereign nations and everything the UN stands for.

“And you don’t have to “worship Hitler” to be fascist, xenophobe, or nationalist (where you also have to invent the nation) and intent on starting a civil war.”
I agree. Not all fascists are Nazis. Fascists are a lot more common in both Ukraine and Russia than neo-Nazis. The ruling elements of the Russian government are clearly fascist, in my opinion – Putin being one of the worst. There are obviously some problematic and dangerous elements in the Ukrainian government too. Some of the more fringe ones are clearly neo-Nazi. Luckily they have little popular support. But they’re still going to have to be dealt with eventually before they get out of control. Unfortunately, Ukrainians have far worst and more urgent problems to deal with at the moment. Foremost being a country on the verge of bankruptcy and total disarray. And then there’s the hypocritical war being waged against them by Russia, which amplifies the former point. This is probably part of Putin’s plan – he doesn’t really want them to get rid of their fascist elements. He’s doing everything he can to provoke and encourage them – then he can keep screaming “Nazis!” at them, which fuels Russian hatred towards Ukrainians and boosts his popular support, while deflecting attention from his own fascist policies.

“Fascism “lite” (or more polite and less obvious) seems to becoming the rule here too, or very easily could if the many current conflicts continue to escalate.”
Ultranationalism is clearly on the rise in Ukraine (as in some parts of Europe). In Russia too – the Kremlin calls them “patriots”, while the Ukrainian ultranationalists are labelled “Nazis”.

Thanks for the intelligent debate. It’s a welcome change from all the trolling and propaganda.

Re BTW: Yeah, that’s happened to me too. Probably software glitches. I re-post the same comment (save a copy in my text editor until it gets published) later and it goes through.

Jun 18, 2014 7:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

@CamRus- As I understand the situation, Ukraine became an independent country during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and there was a general collapse of all rule of law, of all contracts, and institutional structures of the country. The creation of “Ukraine” was an act of popular will but the depth or representation behind that “will” was never really discussed during the general euphoria of the period. This country liked the break up of a traditional enemy or rival and wasn’t likely to argue for restraint during the Yeltsin years. There may have been some wiser voices in the world of foreign policy experts but most Americans are not fp experts. Perhaps there really isn’t as much expertise in government as one likes to think?

You should make more comparisons between your situation (you sound like you really know Ukraine and may be from there) and others in the world now and in the past. I can’t do much of that myself because I’m not an FP expert either. I just read the “funny” papers and usually just this one, because it’s a kind of central source for other papers.

Euphoria and “going for broke” is also a kind of “insanity” and it’s understandable that few, if any, ever really know what a truly sane situation is. It’s also a matter of what the news doesn’t talk about or mention that could be more important than what they do. There always seem to be hidden hands behind all big movements of “the popular will”.

But so far Putin and the Russia government have seemed to know how to make their force and scale persuasive without unleashing a bloodbath. Somehow the power that unleashes the most destructive and bloody turmoil should be the looser because it is obvious that is the least expert type of government. A good doctor doesn’t let his patient bleed to death. I just finished “Lincoln” by Gore Vidal and the secessionist states seemed to have created the situation most threatening to the Union by blockading the Federal Government in DC. Like you say about other issues – it’s too long to go into here and it’s almost like consulting the auspices and looking for “signs” to set principals of conduct. It sounds good to me in principle but trying to figure that out in practice is the “rub”. It’s also my hunch that the UN agreed to the situation because it really had no other choice. Its ability to deal with any world conflict is limited by the structure of the Security Council and the traditional hostility of the five permanent members. Their deliberations aren’t usually public and whose will they really reflect is largely a matter of guesswork and something only the experts seem to understand well.

Thanks for the compliment but I’ve been a troll at times too. Some days I don’t have the energy to get out from under the bridge and it’s probably just as well: that where and when a car or big truck can probably hit one.

Jun 18, 2014 10:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.