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Ukraine's Holodomor of 1933 and the Maidan Revolution

by Oui Sat Feb 22nd, 2014 at 06:09:47 AM EST

Ukraine's west was culturally more independent and even the landscape shows an eastern and western divide. The west had suffered immensely under Soviet occupation and Stalin terror, the partisans were never subdued and fought the Soviets into the 1950s. The Maidan revolution is distinctly different from the peaceful Orange Revolt of 2004.  The divisiveness has turned violent as the nationalists from the Odessa region arrived in Kiev and the fascists used their strength to defeat Yanukovich. It's rumored the president left fled Kiev yesterday and his plane could be tracked on Internet. The Speaker of Parliament, the first in line to replace the President is also on the plane. A few days ago, messages on social media stated large sums of cash were transported out of the country. It looks like the Revolution has succeeded to overthrow Yanukovich as the opposition forces have now occupied all of the government center in Kiev, including Parliament. One oligarch family is about to be replaced by another. The situation is very troublesome as the elites are equally divided as the nation falls into economic chaos as the acute debt of $15bn will likely not be alleviated by Putin's Russia. A failed state and bankruptcy is imminent. A bit more about Ukraine's history, Stalins terror and gulags and the devision after Nazi Germany attacked Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

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A picture of Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich is seen as trash on the ground in Kiev (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Soviet Policy under Stalin and the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-33

Ukraine was formally incorporated into the USSR as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkSSR) in 1922. The Communists were aware that resistance to their regime was deep and widespread.  To pacify the Ukrainian people and to gain control, Moscow initially permitted a great deal of local autonomy to exist in the UkSSR. The newly established Ukrainian Autocephalous (self-ruling) Orthodox Church and the new All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, non-Communist national institutions of great importance, were both permitted to continue their work until the end of the 1920's.

All of this changed once Joseph Stalin came to power.

Continued below the fold ...

Stalin wanted to consolidate the new Communist empire and to strengthen its industrial base.  Ukrainian national aspirations were a barrier to those ends because even Ukrainian Communists opposed exploitation by Moscow.  In Stalin's eyes, Ukraine, the largest of the non-Russian republics, would have to be subdued.  Thus, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church was placed under the jurisdiction of the Communist-controlled Russian Orthodox Church. Ukrainian bishops, priests and thousands of Christian lay leaders were sent to Siberian labor camps, the so-called "Gulag."  Hundreds of thousands, possibly over a million, of Ukraine's intellectual leaders - writers, university professors, scientists, and journalists - were liquidated in purges ordered by Stalin.  Not even loyal Ukrainian Communists were exempt from Stalin's terror.  By 1939, practically the entire (98%) of Ukraine's Communist leadership had been liquidated.

Hardest hit by Stalin's policies were Ukraine's independent landowners, the so-called "kulaks" (kurkuly in Ukrainian).  Never precisely defined, a kulak was a member of the alleged "upper stratum" of landowners but in reality anyone who owned a little land, even as little as 25 acres, came to be labeled as a kulak.  Stalin ordered that all private farms would have to be collectivized.  During the process, according to Soviet sources, which are no doubt on the conservative side, some 200,000 Ukrainian families were "de-kulakized" or dispossessed of all land.  By the summer of 1932, 69.5% of all Ukrainian farm families and 80% of all farm land had been forcibly collectivized.

Ukrainian Holodomor or Extermination by Starvation

Efforts to reconcile Jewish and Ukrainian People

Ukraine was the only country that continued to fight WW II until 1956. General Roman Shukhevych, Commander of UPA, kept the guerrilla war going against USSR, five years after World War II, until he was killed in action in 1950. Something as unique as that, did not make it into the history of WW II? During WWII, Ukrainians had little to loose. They had lost their lands, their farm animals, tools and implements as well as families to the Stalin regime. Later the Germans came in and took their youth, the last of their food and burned out their shelter. So dying for Ukrainian freedom was the only honorable thing to do. Dying for Ukraine is an ongoing theme passed down through poetry. Young men took to the woods and kept killing Soviet soldiers. "Then many partisans, fully armed, crossed through Czechoslovakia to Austria and Germany and surrendered to Western occupational authorities" (Compiled by George Skoryk, from information contained in Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004).

"Fighting it out to the end, Shukhevych killed himself and several nearby Soviets with his last grenade...The UPA's last official military engagement occurred in October 1956, when some UPA survivors fought bravely on the Hungarian border to assist the Hungarian anti-Communist revolt."

Stepan Bandera, Ukrainian revolutionary politician and leader of UON

Assessments of his work have ranged from totally apologetic to sharply negative. On 22 January 2010, the outgoing President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko awarded to Bandera the title of Hero of Ukraine (posthumously). The award was condemned by European Parliament, Russian, Polish and Jewish organizations, and was declared illegal by a pro-Russian Ukrainian government and court in April 2010. In January 2011, the award was officially annulled. As a result, Stepan Bandera remains a controversial figure today both in Ukraine and internationally.

UPA and the ethnic cleansing of Poles in Volhynia and Galicia

Ukrainian rabbi tells Kiev's Jews to flee city

(Haaretz) - Ukrainian Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, called on Kiev's Jews to leave the city and even the country if possible, fearing that the city's Jews will be victimized in the chaos, as reported by Israeli daily Maariv.

"I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too," Rabbi Azman told Maariv. "I don't want to tempt fate," he added, "but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions."

According to the paper's report Azman closed the Jewish community's schools but still holds three daily prayers. He said the Israeli embassy told members of the Jewish community to avoid leaving their homes.

Edward Dolinsky, head of the umbrella organization of Ukraine's Jews described the situation in Kiev as dire, telling Maariv "We contacted Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman requesting he assist us with securing the community."

Ukraine opposition leader Tymoshenko to go free

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 22nd, 2014 at 10:21:07 AM EST
Ukraine's Southeast seeks to restore constitutional order, thousands gather in Kharkov

(Russia Today) - The public gathering of deputies from local councils of southeastern Ukraine have declared they are taking responsibility for constitutional order in the country, as thousands of people have assembled in the city of Kharkov.

"We, the local authorities of all levels, the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol region decided to take responsibility for ensuring the constitutional order and the rights of citizens on their territory," their resolution said.

The Kharkov public gathering has announced a number of measures local authorities should take in response to the developments in Kiev. They should take full responsibility for all decision in respective regions with no regard to authorities in Kiev until the constitutional order in Ukraine is restored, a resolution of the gathering says.

They authorities should take measures to protect arms depots and prevent their take-over and looting by radical opposition activists. The deputies have criticized the decision adopted by the Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) in the last few days, saying they are raising doubts about its legitimacy.

The gathering says the legislative acts may have been passed involuntary and are neither legitimate nor lawful.  The recent decisions of the national parliament were taken in conditions "of terror, threats of violence and death," the resolution says.

 « click for analysis of Crimea crisis

Meanwhile, citizens are encouraged to form local militias to protect public order. Local authorities are to fund and support those militias. The situation remains generally quiet with the crowd being partly in good spirits and partly subdued and concerned, Itar-Tass news agency reports from the Palace.

Over 10, 000 people have gathered at the city's Sport Palace, where a total of 3,477 deputies have been holding a meeting. "3, 477 deputies from local councils in southeastern Ukraine have gathered. We have gathered here not to separate the country, but to save it," the regional governor, Mikhail Dobkin, told the crowd.

The head of the Kharkov administration, Gennady Kernes, has called the public gathering "an attempt by qualified deputies from the east of the country to stabilize the situation." "My colleagues and I have been personally threatened. But today we have gathered to change the situation," he said. "We will not give in; we will fight till the end."

The statement has been echoed by Rada's Party of Regions deputy, Vadim Kolesnichenko, who also said that politicians are being threatened and "their families are basically hostages [of the situation]."

Russia sent several officials in the capacity of observers to the gathering, including Aleksey Pushkov, the head of Russian parliamentary commission on foreign affairs, Mikhail Markelov, Pushkov's counterpart in the Council of Federation, the upper chamber of the parliament, and several governors from regions in eastern Russia.

"The decisions taken here are positive and concrete. What is important is that everything voiced here was implemented in the interests of the Ukrainian people and the entire Ukraine. What Ukraine needs now is common sense and a survival instinct," said Evgeny Savchenko, Governor of Russia's Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, commenting on the Kharkov gathering.

Partition Lines in Ukraine Sharpen as Crimean Russians Call for Separate "Malorossiya"

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 22nd, 2014 at 11:06:21 AM EST
Meanwhile, citizens are encouraged to form local militias to protect public order. Local authorities are to fund and support those militias.

Nothing can go wrong with this.

(Yup, yup, yup.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Feb 22nd, 2014 at 12:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The EU and Ukraine are waiting for the last minute O. Lyashko - Nov. 2013

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 23rd, 2014 at 05:10:23 AM EST
Blitzkrieg, die nächste Generation

Das ist der Anführer des "Rechten Sektors" in der Westukraine, Aleksandr Musytschko. Ein Geschäftsmann und Mitglied der "Wiking"-Einheit der UNA-UNSO. Das Foto zeigt ihn inmitten von ihm untergebener Guerilla der sogenannten "nationalen Selbstverteidigung". Das Foto wurde dieser Tage auf dem Kiewer "Maidan" gemacht.

 « click for link Una-Unso
Anführer des "Rechten Sektors" in der Westukraine, Aleksandr Musytschko

Der "Rechte Sektor" ist zwar ein eigens für die Ereignisse der vergangenen Monate geschaffener, faschistischer und gewalttätiger Dachverband verschiedener ukrainischer Nazibewegungen, Herr Musytschko ist aber schon sehr viel länger einschlägig bekannt. 1994 hat er zusammen mit einer Rotte "ukrainischer Freiwilliger" in Tschetschenien auf Seiten der Separatisten gekämpft und reichhaltige Erfahrungen in der Guerilla-Kriegsführung insbesondere in und um Grozny gewinnen können. Falls noch jemand den Zusammenhang zwischen Nazibanden und Wahhabiten vermißte - das hier ist ein Beispiel dafür; insgesamt also noch eine weitere Veranschaulichung für ein und dieselbe Methode der Demontage von Staatswesen, bei der Wahhabiten / Naziguerilla / radikale Strömungen als Instrumente der jewiligen auswärtigen Interessenten auftreten.

Kiew: Polizist appelliert an Medien die Wahrheit zu berichten

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 23rd, 2014 at 06:39:33 AM EST
Russia accuses Ukraine of fighting for Georgia against S.Ossetia

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) August 24 - Russian prosecutors said that Ukrainian troops and members of a nationalist group were involved in Georgia's attack on South Ossetia last August.

"Ukraine's regular Defense Ministry units and at least 200 members of the UNA-UNSO nationalist organization joined Georgia in its military aggression against the republic of South Ossetia," the investigation department of the Prosecutor General's Office's said in a statement.

Russian investigators say they have found uniforms, photographs and documents belonging to Ukrainian National Assembly - Ukrainian National Self Defense (UNA-UNSO) members, as well as documents authorizing them to use vehicles provided by Georgian authorities.

A spokesman for Ukraine's General Staff denied the Russian prosecutors' accusation, which coincided with Ukraine's Independence Day.

"This is propaganda. Our military units were not there," Serhiy Kuzmin was quoted by the BBC Russian service as saying. He said the Ukrainian soldiers who took part in military drills in Georgia were withdrawn from the country when the war broke out.

Una-Unso militia fighting the Russians in Georgia

УНА-УНСО - In memory of Ukrainian heroes of Georgia - YouTube video

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 23rd, 2014 at 07:17:50 AM EST
Under the constitution of the Ukraine, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of VI Convocation would be in line to succeed President Vanukovich. That would be Volodymyr Rybak, unless mob rule decided otherwise. Most similar to the overthrow of Egypt's president Morsi, we wont call it a coup d'état.

US: Russia involvement in Ukraine 'grave mistake'

(ITV) - US President Barack Obama's national security adviser said it would be a "grave mistake" for Russia to send military forces into Ukraine and that it is not in the interest of Russia, Europe or the US to see Ukraine split apart.

Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press, Susan Rice was asked about a possible scenario in which Russia would send forces into Ukraine to restore a government more friendly to Moscow.

"That would be a grave mistake," Rice said. "It's not in the interests of Ukraine or of Russia or of Europe or the United States to see a country split.It's in nobody's interest to see violence return and the situation escalate.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 23rd, 2014 at 12:15:48 PM EST
The battle for Kiev may well be over, but is the battle for Crimea about to begin?

While many in Kiev are celebrating today, the situation in some other parts of the country still appear tense. For an example, look toward Crimea. The video below shows a small anti-government group being violently harassed after trying to honor those who died in the Maidan protests - they're shouted down, called "fascists," and eventually beaten before police step in. As the Guardian's Shaun Walker, who tweeted the video, explains, it looks "extremely ominous."

Майдан в Керчи - Maidan in Kerch

From the 18th century on, the region was part of Russia, but that changed in 1954, when the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union passed it from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, a decision that is still controversial in some circles. Today the peninsula might still be a part of Ukraine, but in many ways it is separate from the rest of the country: It has its own legislature and constitution, for example, and it's still very Russian: Some  60 percent of the population is ethnically Russian, with the rest being Ukrainian or Crimean Tatars.

Volodymyr Konstantinov, the speaker of Crimea's parliament, recently told lawmakers that the region may well secede if Ukraine's tensions begin to pull it apart. The parliament has also suggested that the region's constitution be amended to list Russia as the "guarantor" of Crimea's autonomy.The situation is complicated by the fact that many Russians view Crimea as part of Russia: one recent poll found that 56 percent of Russians view Crimea as a Russian territory.

The future of Ukraine in the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan: "No - Ukrainian fascism"

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 23rd, 2014 at 04:37:06 PM EST
Russia has recalled its Ambassador to the Ukraine for consultation in Moscow. As Western powers applaud the actions of opposition leaders, the first acts are clearly counterproductive to reconcile differences. Parliament has banned the Russian language as second official language in the Ukraine. This is similar to the Baltic states when these claimed its independence from Russia. These divisive measures will lay the basis for a separation of East and West.

Ukrainian parliament appoints speaker as acting president

(RT) - Parliament is considering a number of key decisions that need to be taken in order to assume full power in Ukraine, including appointing a new prime minister, a new prosecutor general and other top officials.

It has also voted to oust top figures of the Yanukovich government, with the latest victims being acting Foreign Minister, Leonid Kozhara, acting Education Minister Dmitry Tabachnik and acting health minister Raisa Bogatyryova.

Among other bills the parliament is to consider are one outlawing Yanukovich's Party of Regions and the Ukrainian Communist Party, both of which have elected MPs in the parliament. And another one seeks to censor Russian media, accusing them of biased reporting on the protests in Ukraine.

The new authorities in Kiev say they are seeking the arrest of former senior officials, like former Incomes Minister Aleksandr Klimenko and former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka. Both were reportedly stopped on Saturday by border control due to lack of proper paperwork, as they were trying to leave Ukraine.

European integration 'priority' for Ukraine  

US warns Putin against Ukraine grab amid break-up fears

(Today's Zaman) - Earlier this month, a Kremlin aide warned that Moscow could intervene and accused Washington of breaching their 1994 treaty under which Russia removed Soviet nuclear weapons from Ukraine.

It is unlikely the United States and its allies in NATO would risk an outright military confrontation with Russia but such rhetoric, laden with echoes of the Cold War, underlines the high stakes in Ukraine, whose 46 million people and sprawling territory are caught in a geopolitical tug of war.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 23rd, 2014 at 07:43:50 PM EST
I do not know if this is real photo but here it is

"Hitler the saviour"...???????

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Mon Feb 24th, 2014 at 12:01:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was surprised by the harsh criticism from Mikhail Gorbachev directed at "bulldozers full advisers" pouring into Kiev to influence internal Ukrainian affairs.

Milhail Gorbachev: Ukrainians must get rid of all mentors and advisers from the U.S. and the EU

KIEV (UNN) February 23 - Last thing - it's to give advice to people, we should not interfere, not incite. This way the first Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev commented on developments in Ukraine, UNN reported citing Russian media.

 « click for interview Boston Globe

"Let sit at the negotiating table: there is a need to talk - let them talk a month, they want to negotiate six months - let them negotiate," - Gorbachev said.

According to him, Ukrainians must get rid of all the "mentors and advisers" in the United States and the European Union. "Let the people decide." - said Gorbachev.

[Source Ukrainian News: UNN: "Михайло Горбачов"]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 24th, 2014 at 12:14:26 AM EST
Well, he saw first hand what happened with all the 'advisers' in Russia after 1989.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 24th, 2014 at 12:31:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]


there will be blood...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Mon Feb 24th, 2014 at 12:31:26 AM EST
With no intention to "save" Stalin I have to say that what ever he did to Ukrainians he did to Russians too and more. Those things happened in all newly communist countries after WWII even in ex YU ,and bear in mind that Tito distanced himself from Stalin and said NO to him, it did not stop him to nationalize and confiscate everything and kill a lot of intellectuals and anticommunists). So nothing extra harsh happened to Ukraine that did not happened to others.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 24th, 2014 at 12:40:09 AM EST

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