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"It is by no means clear that the army would fight against its own people," said Stephen Blank, a senior fellow with the American Foreign Policy Council.

Ukraine's military leadership has remained largely apolitical and would be wary of getting involved in an internal political crisis. "I think the military wants no part of this," said James Howcroft, a retired Marine intelligence officer and military attaché with extensive experience in the region. "It's a no-win situation."

Even if some commanders did agree to enter the fray, the military would likely fragment and some forces might go over to the opposition, said Adrian Karatnycky, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/02/20/ukraine-pentagon-military/5654345/

 

 

 

BBC Text Updates

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26269221

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Interior Ministry troops from western Ukraine have arrived in Kiev - to support the demonstrators. They're reporting to local administrations controlled by opposition parties rather than the Ministry.

 

It looks as if most of the west is no longer under central control.

Edited by swerve
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Ukraine news from Military.com:

Hagel Fails To Reach Ukraine Counterpart

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/02/20/hagel-fails-to-reach-ukraine-counterpart.html?ESRC=eb.nl

 

----

Ukraine President Announces Early Election

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/02/21/ukraine-president-announces-early-election.html?ESRC=eb.nl

Edited by shep854
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KIEV, Ukraine — As the center of the Ukrainian capital tipped into a maelstrom of gunfire and blood on Thursday, a man wearing a helmet stood on a street corner near Independence Square, the epicenter of the violence, holding a leaf of printer paper.

“Guys,” he called out, “we are forming a new hundred. Please sign up.”

Anton Chontorog, 23, a computer programmer, joined a small crowd of young men who lined up to enroll in the hundred, the basic organizing unit of a strikingly resilient force that is providing the tip of the spear in the violent showdown with government security forces. The sotni, as the units are called, take their name from a traditional form of Cossack cavalry division. Activists estimate at least 32 such groups are in Kiev now, with more forming all the time.

Mr. Chontorog said that he had been in the square many times as a protester, but that after the violence on Thursday wanted to commit himself to the fight, which meant following orders from the commander of his hundred. “A volunteer just shows up to help,” he said. “The difference is that a member of a hundred has obligations.”

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/world/europe/protesters-join-fight-in-kiev-100-at-a-time.html?hpw&rref=world&_r=0

Edited by X-Files
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one theory is that it comes from "twenty" (one in twenty selected by ballot to be volunteered). There are other explanations.

 

 

OTOH "sotni" literally means "hundreds" (similar to old Cezch expression for a Company, "setnina", and old expression for Captain: "setník", ie centurion)

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A question: isn't this a protest against an elected leader who, by all accounts, won in a fair election? So while there may be some internal strife, isn't it a little weird that the EU or US would give any support to the protestors? So far the police don't seem to be using force out of proportion to the force being applied to them until recently (reports of snipers shooting people). It seems to me to be a purely internal problem with clear side to support.

 

Am I missing something?

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Democracy doesn't mean you can do anything you want just because you won elections. Before the protests started it was widely believed in Ukraine that Yanuk will sign an AA with the EU, but he didn't. The new freedom-restricting law passed in January was very much 'Belarusian', though under current agreement it's going to be abolished. Since the beginning every action to bring down the protests was met with adequate reaction from the protesters, who became more and more radicalized as the government was tightening the grip.

 

Also last week Yanuk dismissed the Chief of Staff and anyone with even moderate knowledge about current situation in Ukraine can guess why it happened. Recent decisions made by Ukrainian parliament (ceasing all actions against protesters by the security forces) also somehow give legality to the Maidan, or rather take it away from the executive. (Parliament>President).

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Molotovs among police. From the Slate site linked above. After receiving a few of these, the temptation to return the thought would have to be strong.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/photography/2014/02/ukraine_protest_photos_police_and_protesters_clash_during_demonstrations.html

Then you shoot the people using the illegal deadly force. (this would go for BOTH sides).

 

Any sort of response to illegal actions should be precise, not random unaimed gunfire or return grenades in the general direction. When you take it beyond a precise and scalpel like effect from targeting THE person committing the illegal act that's going to cause deadly harm to someone then you've changed from being police to something else. If you're throwing what amounts to a mass weapon at a mix of folks as a police officer, you've stopped being a cop and started being a soldier in a civil war.

 

Watching the videos of the people being shot at, it's pretty clear they're well past "being police" at this point.

Edited by rmgill
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Democracy doesn't mean you can do anything you want just because you won elections.

 

But "elections have consequences".

 

 

Hey, it's pure Ankh-Morpork style democracy! One man - one vote! :)

 

Voting 123 grains at a time?

 

 

Russia is prepared to fight a war over the Ukrainian territory of Crimea to protect the ethnic Russian population and its military base there, a senior government official has told the FT.

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the official said. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” In August 2008, Russian troops invaded Georgia after the Georgian military launched a surprise attack on the separatist region of South Ossetia in an effort to establish its dominance over the republic.

 

 

 

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/84909a9e-9a55-11e3-8e06-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz2txma0Z6O

Edited by X-Files
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Hah! Another TNer PM'd me about the thread, and I thought, "Feel good to shoot AT government goons...?"

 

No, it would feel good to KILL them: shoot them (not at), invite them to Molotov cocktail hour for some drinks, garrot them with wire strung across urban streets, your mileage may vary. Glad other TNers chimed in first and better.

 

There are a few complications though, a few of which have already been noted by others. I will just add that this day and age most governments can bring supporters to the party, if nothing else because they might dislike the guys who are taking up arms for whatever reasons (ethnic feuds, politics, whatever). They will have guns too and things can easily go downhill from there. Real ugly and real fast. It might be unavoidable in some cases, but something well worth pondering.

 

Also, when things get ugly they not only bring out the worst in ordinary people but ugly people wind up being in charge. I would suggest people start to pay attention to the fine print in the news: some of the protest groups don't exactly belong to the PC crowd, to say the least, and should some kind of political solution fail to appear soon it is a reasonable bet they may wind up in the driving seat.

 

But so did Hitler. Not that im suggesting that Ukraines President is comparable, but it does illustrate, just because someone is democratically installed, does not necessarily mean they are what the country needs. Look at Chavez for a further illustration and you will see what I mean.

 

 

Let's not kid ourselves, these situations are usually shades of grey and often with interests at stake. It is a safe bet that should the tables be turned in Ukraine, with a pro-west government and protesters in favor of a deal with Russia, western pols would not be in hurry to express support for the protesters and quite abit of stuff that is being kept in the fine print would end in the front page. Russia would be celebrating the protesters of course.

Edited by Marcello
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A question: isn't this a protest against an elected leader who, by all accounts, won in a fair election? So while there may be some internal strife, isn't it a little weird that the EU or US would give any support to the protestors? So far the police don't seem to be using force out of proportion to the force being applied to them until recently (reports of snipers shooting people). It seems to me to be a purely internal problem with clear side to support.

 

Am I missing something?

There were allegations at the time of vote-rigging in the east, in areas where his supporters controlled local administrations. As said, winning an election doesn't mean you can do whatever you want - a point which Yanukovich doesn't seem to understand - & he's been helping himself to rather a lot of money, judging by the luxurious new mansions he & his family have mysteriously acquired.

 

This current outbreak of violence began when he decided to break up a fairly small, peaceful protest by sending a mixture of police & plain-clothes goons to beat up those involved, It escalated from there. Prior to that, journalists who'd shown too much interest in off-limits areas such as the Yanukovich family personal finances had been beaten, abducted, or even murdered. He's suborned the judiciary, persecuted political opponents, & railroaded through constitutional amendments to increase his personal power & laws to silence his opponents.

 

Not that his opponents are all lily-white, but you see why I have little sympathy for the line that he's an elected president & should be left to get on with governing.

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I don't have a horse in this race, but I found the EU and US imposing sanctions on an elected government of Ukraine that the Russian's are fond of to be interesting. As someone else said, if it had been a pro-Western government I suspect less fanfare would be made of it on the Western side while mother Russia would staunchly suppose the protesters. The cynic in me feels this is a little payback for Russia's lack of cooperation on the Syria issue more than any actual concern for the will of the people or the behavior of the president. Which is fair game I guess, far as it goes. The US and EU can basically annoy the hell out of Russia with little to no risk or resources, just some pushes on some economic levers and moral support. Standard power politics I guess.

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Yanukovitch (sp?) announced elections and a new constitution to be written. Until then the 2004 constitution is to be used as interim. And there are to be talks between the various groups and a government of national unity to be formed. The far out right wing nationalists of course do not want to talk and want their nazi paradise.

 

 

Agreement on Settlement of Crisis in Ukraine has been signed - Official web-site of President of Ukraine - http://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/30117.html

 

 

well at least a bit of sense seems to return. But if it holds? That the President left Kiev does not look good.

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Perhaps not, but those protesters could be armed to the teeth with everything from a healthily equipped Rec room, and it wont do anything for them when someone decides to muscle up and send the T72s in. Im surprised its not already happened TBH.

 

 

The thing about sending in the AFVs is that there are really just 3 outcomes; Prague, Tianamen, or Bucharest. I know little of Ukraine, but if the gov't escalates, I believe the outcome will be Bucharest.

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You forget Grozny, but I don't think the Ukis had the foresight to get access to the heavy weapons before this "disturbance."

 

If America had a government "of the people, for the people" the 2nd Amendment would cover LAW's, ATGM's and MANPAD's. And we wouldn't need them. S/F.....Ken M

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well, as it was said in the joke about the difference between Правда ("Truth") and Известия ("News") major Russian newspapers..."There is no news in Правда and there is no truth in Известия" :)

 

Reportedly the sub-carpathian region also completely turned over, remarkably as it was one of the main strongholds of the governing party in the Western Ukraine. Presidential palace is completely deserted and interior minister claims something about police standing with the people and mourning the dead - while Yanukovych seems tto be in Eastern Ukraine.

 

Well, either the fat lady sings, he resigns and gets Russian protection... Or things are going to turn nasty. Nastier than up to now, anyway.

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Reports of secret service burning archives in Kiev and elsewhere. And Parliament seems to have found some legal way how to push through the deal even without president's signature - probably by similar mechanism that works elsewhere, the Qualified majority (in Czech Republic it is 60% of total deputy mandates and 60% of present senators, by chamber). Would also mean more guys from the governing party joined the opposition - then again if you see that your leader buggered off after failing to squash the uprising, joining the momentarily stronger block is prudent.

 

under these circumstances, hard to say if Yanukovich would find enough support to try to hold on to his office... On the other hand...

 

"Leaders of predominantly Russian-speaking regions in south-eastern Ukraine and Crimea have challenged the legitimacy of the national parliament in Kiev. At a meeting in Kharkiv, regional leaders said they were "taking all the powers into their hands" until the "constitutional order" is "guaranteed" in Kiev."

 

(from the Beeb)

 

Then again they may be more interesting in keeping their position that Yanukovich.

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