Novorossiya Sitrep June 12, 2015

The second one in my new series. This one is substantially shorter, as will be most consequent sitreps.

Gallup

Has conducted a very comprehensive poll about attitudes in the EU, Russia, Ukraine, and the US to various aspects of the Ukrainian crisis. Here is the link to it. I will highlight the most important findings.

1) Support for joining NATO, EU, military aid is high in Anglo-world, France, and Poland, but substantially lower in Germany and Italy.

nato-public-aid-to-ukraine-gallup

2) Willingness in NATO countries to defend allies. Incidentally, all of the figures here are higher than the results of a previous Gallup poll about willingness to fight for one’s country (presumably under any circumstances).

nato-defense-poll

3) The headline figure is “NATO publics support Ukraine, but Ukrainians want more.” But ironically, the NATO median for Ukraine becoming a NATO member (57%) is higher than in Ukraine itself (53%).

4) NATO countries and Russia both generally have an increasingly poisonous view of each other, but that is hardly news.

nato-russia-poll-gallup

5) A plularity of Ukrainians, even in the west, support a negotiated settlement with the separatists and Russia over continued use of military force to fight the rebels. There is also significant support for Donbass receiving greater autonomy from Kiev (a plurality in the east). That the regime ardently refuses to even talk about this once again illustrates that it represents the viewpoints of only the west of Ukraine and its zealously unitary ideological ambitions.

6) It’s a fun and counterintuitive fact but Putin is more popular in the US (21%) than he is in any major NATO country bar Germany (23%). Moreover, the US takes the lead if only West Germany is counted (19%), since the overall German score is influenced by the unusually Russophilic attitudes of the East (40%). Maybe because Americans respect manliness, at least marginally more so than limp-wristed Europeans if dank memes on the Internet are anything to go by? But I have no idea, really.

However, tallying attitudes towards Russia the country as opposed to Putin its leader, France is the most Russophilic (i.e. least Russophobic) major NATO country, at 30%, while Poland (15%) and the UK (18%) are unsurprisingly the least Russophilic.

7) Russians’ confidence in Putin (88%) and his foreign policy (82%-90%) remains high. There is slim majority support for Donbass becoming either part of Russia or an independent state; near universal opposition to Ukraine joining NATO, strong majority against it joining the EU, and plurality support for it joining the Eurasian Economic Union.

As covered earlier, as in the West towards Russia, Russian opinion towards its Western “partners” has plummeted.

russia-opinion-on-nato-countries-gallup

8) 66% of Ukrainians think the economy is very bad, while another 28% think it’s somewhat bad. Only 3% consider it good. With inflation running at 60% and possibly imminent default, this is not surprising.

It appears that the “current government in Kiev” has already lost the great bulk of its popularity, with 59% saying it is exerting a bad influence, and more than 60% of respondents disapproving of Poroshenko’s performance on the economy and corruption (cleaning up corruption was one of the Maidan’s main promises).

While 56% of people in Western Ukraine primarily blame Russia for the violence in Eastern Ukraine, only a third in the East do so. After more than a year of intensive anti-Russian propaganda it is indeed impressive that the figures are so low. Nonetheless, it must be acknowledged that Russia’s once high approval rating in Ukraine has almost completely collapsed, and is now at 21%, while the approval rating of the EU (72%), NATO (58%), and the US (69%) has increased.

Protests, Disorder, Far Right Antics

With things relatively quiet, the Right Sector, Azov, and sundry “activists” and other freaks tend to run amok, and this is pretty much what’s been happening this past week.

Kiev gay pride march violently dispersed by Right Sector after 30 mins (the Guardian feigns ignorance on the identities of the assailants). As Alexander Mercouris explains, following their betrayal by Yanukovych and the Maidan cooup, the Ukrainian security services are terminally demoralized and can no longer be relied upon to maintain regime stability. But far right hoodlums are more reliable. So their criminality and thuggishness has to be tolerated, even when it goes against the regime’s cargo cult efforts to ingratiate itself with the Western white men (e.g. by allowing an LGBT parade). Only in the most extreme cases, like that of Alexander “What bitch will take the gun from my hands” Muzychko and Vita Zaverukha, does the regime dare crack down on them.

A mob of 40 masked thugs carried out a series of knife attacks in Kharkov that landed three people in hospital in serious condition. The Russian consulate in Kharkov was pelted with paint and eggs. Some more Lenin statues went down, but that’s not really news since it happens near every week. (If Ukrainians so greatly want to purge the man who did more than any other to create Ukraine as we know it, Russians should not complain). Euromaidan and Right Sector activists occupied the Communist Party office in Odessa. In Kiev, activists set up tents and demanded the overthrow of Poroshenko. Right Sector marched in Lvov against Poroshenko, yelling traditional classics such as “Glory to the Nation,” “Glory to Ukraine,” “Putin khuylo” (“Putin is a dickhead”) interspersed with newer creations like “Poroshenko khuylo” and “Yatsenyuk khuylo.” Here is what one activist had to say about it:

Poroshenko’s regime is no better than Yanykovych’s. It’s the absolute same! Patriots are sitting in prison. At the same time, Poroshenko and his team gave the LGBT community the go ahead to have a gay parade in Kiev. Sane people, with traditional values and normal morals, decided to protest this degeneracy. They were made into criminals and terrorists, and locked up. Did the Heavenly Hundred fight so that Ukrainian patriots ended up in prison? People, prepare for the worst, tighten your belts, for nothing good will come from this regime. We have to unite. Only the people can take everything in their own hands, and not some oligarchs of non-Ukrainian lineage.”

While we wish them the best in their glorious struggle, unfortunately at least up till now they have been all bark and no bite when it came to confrontations with the Poroshenko regime. Because… see above. Birds of a feather flock together.

US Won’t Train Azov

azov-emblemBecause they are Neo-Nazis. Here is what its head Andrey Biletsky has to say about its ideology:

The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.

Its emblem features not one, not two, but THREE, Nazi-associated symbols.

Although it goes against the traditional no-fascists-in-Ukraine line generally adopted in Western rhetoric, I suppose that doing anything otherwise is just a tad too much in the way of hypocrisy overload.

But politics aside, this is rather fortunate, since enthusiasm for fighting in the ATO is much lower amongst typical Ukrainians who are not far right nutters. And not only lower enthusiasm, but probably lower competence too: According to those same American instructors, Ukrainian soldiers don’t know even the most elementary things, such as turning up for training without their helmets and putting unexploded grenades in their pockets.

ATO Chronicles

A deserter from the ATO was arrested for raping his one year old daughter. This is far from the first case of Ukrainian soldiers losing their minds once they get back from the war, inflicting a continuing toll on society, and it will not be the last. No wonder that even according to the commander of the pro-Kiev batallion Tornado, some 99% of the people he knows in Donbass hate Ukraine by now.

An advisor to Poroshenko confirms that junta casualties are systemically underestimated (see the last sitrep for background).

LNR/DNR, Crimea, Federalism

The story – seized upon by the Ukrainian media – about the DNR/LNR refusing to recognize Crimea as Russian, unsurprisingly and predictably, turned out to be complete BS.

As seasoned Russia expert Paul Robinson points out, insofar as all this reintegration with Ukraine talk is concerned, the “DNR is merely going through the motions,” almost certainly doing so under Russian pressure, which in turn is connected with Minsk 2 and the hope of reversing Western sanctions.

Ukraine Economy

Negotiations deadlocked. IMF says it will continue support Ukraine regardless, because it is implementing reforms. But creditors can sue because in the case of a default (or a “moratorium” on repaying debt, but that’s really the same thing), which is looking ever more imminent, they can make the case that they should be compensated first.

Sanctions

If Putin was counting on Minsk 2 to make the EU ease up on sanctions when they are up for review this July, the chances of that are slipping, with Obama maintaining that sanctions will be maintained after the G7 meeting and the EU Parliament Vice President Richard Charnetsky even touting the possibility of Russia being cut off from SWIFT (the economic “nuclear” option).

One of the main criticisms of Putin from the patriotic/nationalist right (e.g. Sputnik i Pogrom, El Murid) has been that if you are going to rob a bank, you might as well take $1 billion (Novorossiya) instead of $1 million (Crimea). Either way, the bank and the feds (the US/West) will be out hard for your ass. It’s a pretty simple-minded argument, all things considered, but if the sanctions continue or especially if they are stepped up even further, then it will be only further fuel for their wrath, and that is something Putin would wish to avoid. So at a minimum we can be sure that tightening sanctions will be unlikely to have the effects that the US wants, i.e. Russia’s capitulation in Ukraine.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.

 

Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.

 

Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.

Comments

  1. bob sykes says

    And now Transdniestra is on the table. Muy fun.

  2. Maybe because Americans respect manliness, at least marginally more so than limp-wristed Europeans if dank memes on the Internet are anything to go by?

    Or maybe empires just like empires.

  3. The EU is a wannabe empire.

  4. It’s a pretty simple-minded argument, all things considered, but if the sanctions continue or especially if they are stepped up even further, then it will be only further fuel for their wrath, and that is something Putin would wish to avoid.

    Putin can avoid this by getting rid off his economic block. The problem, though, is in the fact that Putin largely remains a monetarist. Being a patriot is not enough, one has to be competent and have a professional team in what matters most for the moment–new industrialization strategy. I will repeat a trivial, and widely known in Russia, point–Putin’s government is not competent to run nation’s economy as one might expect from the team stuffed with liberal lawyers and bankers. None of them understand what serious manufacturing is and neither, sadly, does Putin. So, while re-industrialization is ongoing, its tempo and scope are not satisfactory yet and Putin STILL, even against the background of his enormous support by people, is yet to address the key issue–the crime of 1990s. It will arise again down the road, it is inevitable. Current economic model in Russia IS unsustainable and it will be dealt with either by Putin or without him.

  5. inertial says

    You should have included the funny and edifying story of Maidan 3.0.

  6. Sam Haysom says

    It’s rather risible to watch the oscillation between: Russia is superior because it doesn’t have gay pride parades and Ukraine is worthy of attack because it breaks up gay pride parades. Why would even the hackiest of Putin flunkies want to demonstrate their complete absence of objectivity like this? I also find it hilarious that Azov is impeached here for a mission statement that would likely receive the support of 70 percent of the regular commenters here 85 percent of it worked in a causal mention of Zionism being fascism. Why so neocon all of a sudden?

  7. It seems that many people in NATO countries are at a minimum, unclear on the concept of a military alliance. They want NATO to exist (or even to admit Ukraine into NATO!) but don’t want to fight for members NATO already has. Must be very consoling for svidomites.

  8. Anonymous says

    But Russia does have gay pride parades.

  9. Maj. Kong says

    Dutch disease takes its toll. Best course would be to focus on import-substitution, to raise the long term currency value. India and China won’t be buying weapons forever.

  10. Felix Keverich says

    Regardless of its rhetoric, Azov and other Ukrainian nationalists are tools of US neocons and Jewish olygarhs, who are currently dominating the Ukraine. That’s one good reason to despise them even if you’re a white nationalist yourself.

  11. Import-substitution is ongoing and some strides are impressive. The issue is a long-term since Medvedev’s government has no understanding (and, probably, no desire to support) of a machine-building complex. These are overwhelmingly (with some minor exceptions) people with financial and law “education”–that is people without any useful education at all. India and China buy not only weapons and I would dare to say that they will remain Russia’s customers well into the next 2 decades–there are objective reasons for that. After all, Russia sells not only weapons, she remains a very serious provider for industrial plant and energy infrastructure–from metal processing to building nuclear power plants. And then there is the issue of returning once stellar Soviet/Russian public education back to its former self, which implies radical De-Bolognization and De-Americanization, this task requires literally ridding Russia’s Ministry Of Education of all kinds of Soros, European and US “educated” bureaucrats who openly sabotage every single positive development in this field. So, a lot could have been done already yesterday but it haven’t been done. And do not forget, appointing Serdyukov and initiation of yet another “reform” in Defense Sector was purely Putin’s idea. The ideas for that “reform” were written by late Vitaly Shlykov who, while being an undercover intelligence officer and, later the analyst of economic department of GRU, had economic education and the results of his ideas were such that Shoigu still tries to clean up after that. The fact that Russia didn’t lose completely Command and Control of her Armed Forces starting from 2007 was a miracle in itself. Putin is learning but he better hurry.

  12. And then there is the issue of returning once stellar Soviet/Russian public education back to its former self, which implies radical De-Bolognization and De-Americanization, this task requires literally ridding Russia’s Ministry Of Education of all kinds of Soros, European and US “educated” bureaucrats who openly sabotage every single positive development in this field.

    True. Unfortunately, the situation continues to get worse in Russia’s educational system (which started to get corrupt and degenerate later than other areas of Russia’s society post-1990). There are still very good schools but they are fighting a battle to stay that way.

  13. So “white nationalists” should instead support someone who gives Chechens special status in his country, under whose rule Moscow has been flooded with Tadjiks and Caucasians, and who cunningly decided to deflect anger of the people from himself for turning them into second-class citizens in their own country, by supporting a rebellion in a white country has has prolonged that rebellion and led to thousands more deaths of whites than would otherwise have occurred ?

    I have no sympathy for Azov Nazis or their Russian Nazi counterparts but viewing Putin as a savior for white nationalists is quite absurd.

  14. Doubtless you experience the bad feels you claim when Neocon hypocrisy is critiqued. However, your tu quoque is comical projection. There is nothing hypocritical in noting Neocon hypocrisy.

  15. Even today, Russian public schools STEM education is on the order of magnitude better than its US counter-parts and I am not even talking about specialized schools. The issue is in full return to the three tier education, as it was in 1970-80s, with restoration of the vocational education in forms of GPTUs (some industrial plants are actually opening own vocational schools as I write this) and complete elimination of EGE and its multiple choice BS. Back to the exit exams and to the entrance exams in the higher education schools. Some Russian universities DID retain the right to hold separate entrance exams even today. Going back to the examination commissions seems also a very good idea. Will there be bribes? Absolutely but they always existed, yet, for the STEM sector it was still possible to produce a world-class engineers and scientists.

  16. Putin inherited a war in Chechnya and turned it into peace. The loyalty of Chechen elites had to be bought the old-fashioned way. It was worth it. In general peace is worth a lot.

    Allowing guest workers was a big mistake. Putin is far from perfect, just better than the liberal alternative. “Liberals” would have allowed even more guest workers to come in than he did.

    Putin did not start the war in the Ukraine. He would have preferred the status quo. The neocons violently and illegally took over the government of the Ukraine in order to make it an enemy of the Russian government, in order to use Ukrainian media to braiwash Ukrainians to hate Russians and in order to hurt the Russian economy, including its military-industrial sector, by breaking the Ukraine’s economic ties with Russia. Unfortunately they succeeded at most of those things.

    Putin did not shrink back from responding and did not give up all of Russia’s pre-existing positions for nothing. That’s the only reason why the neocons did not succeed at all of their goals. Shrinking back before bullies is a very bad idea. This is an immutable law of life.

    Putin saved Russia’s Black Sea fleet and helped those Ukrainians who opposed the junta resist it. The people of the Crimea and of the Donbass were not turned into Russia’s enemies as was originally planned. The resistance that the neocons encountered on the Ukrainian front made it less likely that they would advance on other fronts. And their advancement is the advancement of evil itself – of war, chaos, poverty, backwardness. Just compare pre- and post-war Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine.

  17. As an uncle of someone entering a very good Russian university in a STEM field (he and his classmates chose it over top Western universities), I agree completely. This matches everything I’ve heard from the parents.

  18. Putin inherited a war in Chechnya and turned it into peace.

    Just to note: Putin’s war resulted in 25,000 to 80,000 civilian deaths. Compare that to monster Poroshenko’s 7,000.

    The loyalty of Chechen elites had to be bought the old-fashioned way. It was worth it.

    Well, it worth it for Putin. The price for this loyalty was paid by Russians who had to put up with Chechens being given special treatment over Russians. Russians were starting to get increasingly fed up with this arrangement – remember the revolt in Pugachev? Grabbing Crimea was a great way of distracting the Russian people from this without fixing the fundamental problem (of course, this was not the only reason or even the primary reason for seizing Crimea)

    Allowing guest workers was a big mistake. Putin is far from perfect, just better than the liberal alternative. “Liberals” would have allowed even more guest workers to come in than he did.

    Maybe, maybe not. They seem to have been grumbling about the foreigners too. Russian liberals aren’t completely like Western ones.

    Putin did not start the war in the Ukraine.

    Just as the West did not start the anti-Assad revolt in Syria. But the West in Syria as Putin in Ukraine, insured the problem would escalate, become more bloody, and be unresolvable by the government.

    He would have preferred the status quo.

    Ukrainian people disagreed. They did not want the status quo.

    The neocons violently and illegally took over the government of the Ukraine in order to make it an enemy of the Russian government, in order to use Ukrainian media to braiwash Ukrainians to hate Russians and in order to hurt the Russian economy, including its military-industrial sector, by breaking the Ukraine’s economic ties with Russia. Unfortunately they succeeded at most of those things.

    Why not freemasons? Jews? Yanukovich screwed up in many ways, the people revolted against him and succeeded.

    Putin’s actions did much more to turn Ukrainians against Russia, than any media “brainwashing.” Track the polls – support for Russia nosedived after Crimea was taken and has continued to slide as this war wears on. Theprice for gaining Crimea and for keeping this war going is the loss of Ukraine. It may or may not be worth, but it is the result of Putin’s actions.

    Shrinking back before bullies is a very bad idea. This is an immutable law of life.

    Which is why Ukraine had to fight in Donbas. If it didn’t fight there, there would be problems elsewhere.

    And their advancement is the advancement of evil itself – of war, chaos, poverty, backwardness. Just compare pre- and post-war Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine.

    Ironically, Putin is doing to Ukraine what the West is doing to Syria. Ukraine is punished for turning Westward, Assad for being allied to Iran/Russia. The difference is that Putin’s victim is a European, Christian nation. Which makes white nationalist support for Putin particularly ridiculous.

  19. “Ukrainian people disagreed. They did not want the status quo.”

    The current situation in the Ukraine is much worse than under Yanukovich – economy, law and order, oppression of dissenting views, etc. But there is no revolt, not much happening at the Maidan. Why? Because the US State Department and Western NGOs won’t pay for any revolts at this point. The current status quo, compared to which Yanukovich’s term was a golden age, satisfies the new owners of the Ukraine.

  20. And if Euromaidan was the Ukrainian people rebelling, why is there a tape where Vicky tells Pyatt that “Yats” should be the new prime minister and that “Klitch” isn’t ready for that post?

  21. Felix Keverich says

    I said nothing about supporting Putin. As a Russian, I have many issues with the Putin regime. I said that pro-EU Ukrainians (many of whom also happen to be nationalists) deserve nothing but contempt. Their ideology, combining hardline nationalism with EU worship is nonsensical, and they have allowed themselves to become pawns in the hands of some truly evil people.

    As a side note I notice that you keep referring to the “Ukrainian people” as though it was a real nation with a broad set of common values and a shared sense of destiny, but that simply isn’t true. The current government reflects the views of a crazy minority, that lives primarily in Western regions of the country. These “Banderites” (they actually call themselves that way!) may be cohesive and motivated, but thankfully there is no more than 10 million of them. The rest of the country does not share their worldview, and isn’t nearly as nationalistic/pro-EU/anti-Russian as you make it out to be.

  22. There is no revolt because the people dislike Poroshenko much less than they disliked Yanukovich, and because the alternatives to Poroshenko are other pro-Western parties. Most Ukrainians understand and expect problems now – if they persist a few more years things may change. but then, there will be elections for that – and as we saw Yanukovich fixed the system so that elections to get rid of his rule were impossible.

  23. Tape proves Americans had preferences. Who wouldn’t have preferences?

    Do you think the Americans faked the election results to give Yats’ party enough seats for him to become PM?

  24. As a side note I notice that you keep referring to the “Ukrainian people” as though it was a real nation with a broad set of common values and a shared sense of destiny, but that simply isn’t true. The current government reflects the views of a crazy minority, that lives primarily in Western regions of the country.

    Wishful thinking, unless you believe all polls and elections are results are part of a massive faking operation. An effect of recent events is that Central Ukraine has become like the West had been (I had predicted this), and large parts of southern Ukraine (Dnipropetrovsk) have become like Central Ukraine had been. With the most pro-Russian areas gone, Ukraine is unified more than ever.

    Once upon a time, Russian nationalists assumed that only Galicia was patriotic/nationalistic and that Kiev and the rest would be their if only Galicia were removed. Most have now accepted that Kiev is gone too, but hope that the country can be split along the old Orange/Blue lines. But realistically, they are basically down to Kharkiv and maybe Odessa. You seem to be more of an optimistic, hoping for the first and oldest idea.

    BTW a lot of the crazy extremists are from eastern Ukraine. Most of Azov’s leadership are from Kharkiv.

  25. Felix Keverich says

    Wishful thinking is to think that Ukraine is united. You don’t achieve unity through repression. Remember this is a country where opposition figures are being assasinated on a daily basis, the media are heavily monitored to promote a pro-government point of view, and ordinary citizens are encouraged to report on their neighbours with “separatist” sympathies… So yes, I think any recent polls from Ukraine should be taken with a grain of salt. For me massive draft dodging in the Ukrainian military is a much better gauge of Ukrainian partiotism/nationalism than any polls.

  26. Wishful thinking is to think that Ukraine is united. You don’t achieve unity through repression. Remember this is a country where opposition figures are being assasinated on a daily basis, the media are heavily monitored to promote a pro-government point of view, and ordinary citizens are encouraged to report on their neighbours with “separatist” sympathies

    Don’t assume that people stirred up to a frenzy indicated unpopular “repression.” Pro-Russian figures are very unpopular now in Ukraine and their persecution (like that of Muslims after 9-11 in the USA, for example) may reflect anti-Russian sentiment and not just government repression of pro-Russian figures. The two phenomena are certainly not mutually exclusive.

    Massive draft dodging means people don’t trust to place their lives in the hands of officers from Yanukovich’s army, as much as lack of patriotism. Draft dodging is massive in western Ukraine – does this mean the place is the least patriotic, or does it mean that it has the least amount of faith in the officers who had been developed under Yanukovich’s rule (the region does provide many volunteers in non-army groups).

    As for unity…Ukraine is not fully united, of course. But it is now much more united than it had been. For example, it had once been about evenly divided between pro-West and pro-Russia – this is no longer the case. Crimea and Donbas, along with their national influence, are gone. Dnipropetrovsk has flipped. It’s no longer a question whether pro-Western forces will win elections, the only question is which ones.

  27. does this mean the place is the least patriotic

    It means that the people of western Ukraine lack altruism. This must partly explain their poverty and general third-worldishness.

    or does it mean that it has the least amount of faith in the officers who had been developed under Yanukovich’s rule

    You’re not even trying to sound plausible. Being an officer tends to be a lifetime vocation. The average officer serving now must have entered a military academy 15 to 20 years ago. And all the really important decisions are surely made by American advisors anyway.

    the region does provide many volunteers in non-army groups).

    This sounds implausible and you have no evidence for it. The official casualty list that you linked to the last time you made this claim is largely a work of war-time propaganda. The casualties on it are likely real (that’s why I typed “largely” and not “wholly”), but they form a very small percentage of the overall number of casualties. God only knows how the junta’s PR men decide which casualties to report and which to hide. And even on that list west Ukrainians did not stand out.

  28. I don’t know who got what kind of iron cross a hundred years ago, but the larger points made by Buzina in the article that was quoted here are true. It’s true that the Germans didn’t get much military use out of the Galizien division, it’s true that it was mostly led by Germans and not by locals. More generally it’s true that, in contrast to the Cossacky areas of the Ukraine, there is no history of any kind of a martial tradition or martial spirit in western Ukraine. Why would it suddenly appear now?

  29. Massive draft dodging means people don’t trust to place their lives in the hands of officers from Yanukovich’s army, as much as lack of patriotism. Draft dodging is massive in western Ukraine – does this mean the place is the least patriotic, or does it mean that it has the least amount of faith in the officers who had been developed under Yanukovich’s rule (the region does provide many volunteers in non-army groups).

    Any conversation about Ukraine’s military, especially with the emphasis on the Western Ukraine, is, frankly, preposterous. War is culture, it is also, and even primarily so, the function of the state and its “quality”. No serious military history exists in Ukraine separated form Russia. NONE. The contribution to military history is that approaching of a zero, unless one considers a string of the military defeats of SS thugs in WW II. Well, Mazepa comes to mind, certainly. The “modern” Ukrainian military history is easily encapsulated in the titles of three deadly cauldrons it ended up in Donbas and by total demoralization of the so called Ukrainian “officer corps”.

  30. I’ve talked about my opinion of the causes of the junta’s conscription problems before.

    Eastern Ukraine has lots of martial spirit but relatively little enthusiasm for the Maidanite cause. Western Ukraine has lots of (verbal) enthusiasm for the Maidanite cause but less martial spirit, less altruism, less ability to sacrifice for the common good, regardless of how it is defined.

  31. Eastern Ukraine has lots of martial spirit but relatively little enthusiasm for the Maidanite cause

    A large portion of “Ukranianism” in Eastern Ukraine (albeit some differentiation must be applied) is largely due to absolutely loony Ukrainian media propaganda and traditional “let’s wait and see” approach in those parts. We CAN and, in fact, must talk about the case of the mass’ psychosis in Ukraine–it is something out Gogol or Kafka. As per military aspect of this whole deal–it is separate and very large issue on its own.

  32. Felix Keverich says

    Speaking about violence against pro-Russian figures in Ukraine, it is certainly possible that some of it may have been the work of fringe nationalist groups, but when the regime fails to punish perpetrators, it exposes its complicity. Simple as that.

    Crimea and Donbas, along with their national influence, are gone.

    True, Ukraine is a smaller country now. But even now, there are millions of people with pro-Russian sympathies inside the borders of Ukraine, and they would certainly make themselves heard if it wasn’t for the state-sponsored campaign of terror directed against them.

    Again, this should not be mistaken for any newfound national unity. Just because Dnipropetrovsk isn’t rebelling yet doesn’t mean it “flipped”. It just shows that the regime’s repressive tactics have allowed it to keep the situation under control for now.

  33. Just going by common sense and HBD I would guess that a wildly disproportionate share of the volunteers on both sides of this war are descended from cossacks. People don’t change. At least not that quickly. Values, proclivities, personalities are to some extent inherited.

    And there were never any cossacks in Galicia.

  34. Well, they managed to assassinate Vatutin. But that’s about it.

  35. More generally it’s true that, in contrast to the Cossacky areas of the Ukraine, there is no history of any kind of a martial tradition or martial spirit in western Ukraine.

    You do realize there were a lot of Galicians among the Cossacks? One of the Cossacks’ famous leaders was the Galician Sahaidachny:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petro_Konashevych-Sahaidachny

    there is no history of any kind of a martial tradition or martial spirit in western Ukraine.

    First of all, Galicia is only a part of Western Ukraine. Anyways, this reminds me of your silly and thoroughly debunked claim that Galicians have low IQs.

    After World War I there was something called the “Ukrainian Galician Army.” The population of Galicia was about half that of Donbas, yet while the current Donbas republics have managed to get about 30,000 troops max, Galicia was able to mobilize 70,000-100,000. The Galicians held off Poland for 9 months with no outside support. After they were pushed east, both Denikin and the Bolsheviks sought out an alliance with the Galicians. UHA was probably the most disciplined and best fighting force among all Ukrainian forces; indeed Galicians were shocked at the poor quality, lack of discipline, and violence of non-Galician Ukrainian soldiers.

    Galicia was occupied by Poland between the wars, so for that reason there were no Ukrainian units and no mass participation of western Ukrainians in Poland’s army. For similar reasons, there weren’t many in the Soviet army. However, UPA was a guerrilla force that in addition to slaughtering up to 100,000 Polish civilians did manage to inflict mor damage on Soviet forces as, for example, Chechens did against Russian forces. The first Chechen war cost Russia about 6,000 troops killed and missing, according to their own archives the Soviets lost about 12,000 troops fighting UPA. UPA also managed to kill Marshal Vatutin, as well as Communist Poland’s defense minister.

  36. And there were never any cossacks in Galicia.

    Of course there weren’t, because Galicia was well behind the front. But plenty of Galicians traveled to fight among the Cossacks. One of the most effective Cossack leaders, Sahaidachny, was a Galician.

  37. But even now, there are millions of people with pro-Russian sympathies inside the borders of Ukraine,

    There indeed are. But they are only about 20% of the country. Compare to before, when Ukraine was about evenly divided.

    Again, this should not be mistaken for any newfound national unity. Just because Dnipropetrovsk isn’t rebelling yet doesn’t mean it “flipped”

    No, but the fact that even taking into account no votes likely being secret pro-Russian sympathizers, etc. then numerous poll results and election results tell us that it flipped. Even if it hadn’t flipped, without Crimea and Donbas the pro-Russians are a definite minority, but this minority is even smaller. The ethnic Ukrainians of Dnipropetrovsk, unlike those of Galicia, had once been very friendly to Russia, but this changed when Russia took parts of their country.

  38. Western Ukraine has lots of (verbal) enthusiasm for the Maidanite cause but less martial spirit, less altruism, less ability to sacrifice for the common good, regardless of how it is defined.

    Particular nonsense. Western Ukrainians are far more organized and altruistic than Russians; they are comparable perhaps only to Jews. The western Ukrainian diaspora is full of credit unions, self-help organizations, schools, scouting organizations, etc. etc. involving hundreds of hours of volunteering and huge amounts of donations. Russian immigrants don’t come close to this.

  39. No serious military history exists in Ukraine separated form Russia. NONE.

    Hmmm…

    Battles of Galician princes in Rus and post-Rus times?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Galicia%E2%80%93Volhynia#Rise_and_apogee

    All the Zaporozhian Cossack history?

    Khmelytsky pre-Pereyaslav? Vyhovsky and his Battle of Konotop?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Konotop

    80% of Ukraine had been part of Russia or the USSR since 1795, so why would you expect significant military history not linked to Russia in the last 2 centuries?

  40. Well, judging by the “performance” of Ukrainian Army in Donbass it has no understanding, let alone, mastery of the combined arms warfare and, certainly, no tactical or operational acumen which in modern times was born out of evolution of the linear tactics of pre-Napoleonic era, which later was manifested in wars which dwarf, both in numbers and weapons, anything any Konotop Battle could have provided. In fact, European Civilization’s ultimate warfare is pre-industrial and industrial warfare in which Ukrainian “contribution” not only negligible, it is, basically, zero. Discussion of some obscure 17th century battle against the background, say, of Operations Citadel or Bagration, as an example, seems kinda redundant. National military school requires more than just some couple of battles here and there–it requires a massive historic experience with the warfare, it also requires an enormously serious and elaborate scientific, R&D and Military-Industrial Complex of which Ukraine never had one. It was the part of the Soviet MIC, to be sure, and Kiev even had a Kiev Political Naval Academy, of all places, but even rich Soviet strategic, operational, scientific and technological experience which was bestowed on the Soviet Ukraine was successfully sold, pawned, stolen, destroyed and turned into the collection of rust buckets, led by the totally corrupt and inept, so called, “officer corps”. This is the first symptom of absence of any national affinity with serious warfare. Then come, of course, very serious other modern warfare issues, of which Ukraine has no clue. There ARE famous military schools in history–Prussian, from Schliffen to Seeckt and all the way to Blitzkrieg, Russian/Soviet–from Suvorov well into the age of Strategic Deep Operations and, today, together with US military school–into the age of Net Centric Warfare, Sensor Fusion and stand-off weapons. I never heard about Ukraine here.

  41. SWSpires says

    The tape includes comments like “he needs to be talking to them four times a week.” This suggests micro-management, not just preferences.

  42. I don’t disagree with the essence of this comment of yours. I responded to the idea of no serious military history associated with Ukraine, not linked to Russia, ever. Ukrainian troops were an integral part of the Polish forces and played key roles in various battles, such as the massive Battle of Khotyn:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khotyn_(1621)

    Under Khmelnytsky, they also managed to do quite well in warfare against Poland.

    Discussion of some obscure 17th century battle against the background, say, of Operations Citadel or Bagration

    Khotyn (see above) was not so unimportant; it stopped cold a massive Ottoman invasion of Poland.

    As for comparisons to Bagration, , Ukraine was not a Great Power so one cannot expect world-changing battles conducted by Ukrainian armies.

    but even rich Soviet strategic, operational, scientific and technological experience which was bestowed on the Soviet Ukraine was successfully sold, pawned, stolen, destroyed and turned into the collection of rust buckets, led by the totally corrupt and inept, so called, “officer corps”.

    Correct. Post-Soviet elite (local late-era Commie leaders) were mostly plunderers not statesmen. But note that despite all these things Ukrainian troops didn’t just run away like Georgians or Arabs do.

    BTW, have you detected some recent improvements in Ukraine’s military?

    There ARE famous military schools in history–Prussian, from Schliffen to Seeckt and all the way to Blitzkrieg, Russian/Soviet–from Suvorov well into the age of Strategic Deep Operations and, today, together with US military school–into the age of Net Centric Warfare, Sensor Fusion and stand-off weapons. I never heard about Ukraine here.

    Nor have you heard of 90% or more of the world’s nations there, either.

  43. I was responding to a post implying that the Maidan was an American project involving local puppets, rather than a popular revolution.

    The idea that Yatsenuk became PM due to American selection is absurd – his party had the most votes of all the Opposition parties in the 2012 elections – the Americans didn’t select that to happen.

    “Micromanagement” suggests that they were directing detailed events. It looks, instead, like they were consulting, trying to come up with ways that their preferred scenario would work out, trying to make calls and arrange meetings, and hoping they their advice would be followed.

    Here is part of the exchange:

    Nuland: [Breaks in] I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the… what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know. I just think Klitsch going in… he’s going to be at that level working for Yatseniuk, it’s just not going to work.

    Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that’s right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?

    Nuland: My understanding from that call – but you tell me – was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a… three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it?

    Pyatt: No. I think… I mean that’s what he proposed but I think, just knowing the dynamic that’s been with them where Klitschko has been the top dog, he’s going to take a while to show up for whatever meeting they’ve got and he’s probably talking to his guys at this point, so I think you reaching out directly to him helps with the personality management among the three and it gives you also a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn’t like it.

    Nuland: OK, good. I’m happy. Why don’t you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.

    So they prefer Yatsenuk, they want him to keep Tiahnybok and Klitschko out of it, they want him to call etc. I don’t see them giving orders here – they seem to want to give suggestions, hoping that if their wishes are presented the right way, the Ukrainians will listen and go along. There’s a difference between trying to get in touch with people and trying to convince them of something, and giving orders to puppets (which is how the Nuland call is portrayed in the anti-Maidan media).

  44. Correct. Post-Soviet elite (local late-era Commie leaders) were mostly plunderers not statesmen. But note that despite all these things Ukrainian troops didn’t just run away like Georgians or Arabs do.

    They did and not for once, albeit Slavic steadfastness is a factor and some VSU (as opposed to neo-nazi thugs) units did stand their ground for some time, at least, and did endure abhorring conditions. But they also fought against vastly numerically inferior enemy.

  45. Nuland: Good. I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.
    Pyatt: Yeah. I guess… in terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework and stuff.

    It speaks for itself. It’s the tone that I can imagine my bosses using when discussing in my absence what I should and shouldn’t be doing in the office.”I don’t think [Glossy’s real name] should be doing that. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

    I don’t work for low-grade scum, so no four-letter words would be used, but other than that that’s standard corporate-American tone when talking about subordinates.

  46. Correct. Post-Soviet elite (local late-era Commie leaders)

    The post-Soviet leaders who are plunderers are mostly the ones who badmouth the Soviet Union the most (even though they were careerists in it). Lukashenko isn’t a plunderer and he doesn’t bash the late-USSR legacy. And the late-Soviet-era leaders themselves were builders, not plunderers. The early Bolsheviks were scum of course. There were really two Soviet Unions.

  47. You see what you want to see. But there are no orders or statements of certainty – “Klitshcko will not go in the government, Yats will. Or “Tell Klitschko he won’t be in the government.” Instead it’s just expressed preferences, and ways of selling those preferences to the Ukrainian politicians.

    Nuland:

    “My understanding from that call – but you tell me – was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was going to offer in that context a… three-plus-one conversation or three-plus-two with you. Is that not how you understood it”

    So “subordinates” are meeting on their own, and “boss” isn’t sure in what format she will be invited by them to speak with them.

    Nuland:

    ” But anyway we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast. So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep..we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing”

    Do bosses hope rather than expect that their orders are followed? Do they need to work on trying to convince subordinates to follow orders, even trying to get other influential people to convince the subordinate to follow orders? This looks more like selling or convincing, rather than giving orders. It’s like the sales department for one corporation discussing a potential customer’s executives and how to best work them, whom they would prefer to be in charge and how to get the others to agree with them, etc. in order to convince them to buy their product or services.

  48. Do you have reliable sources for info about numbers etc.? It seems that both sides are lying a lot about all such details.

    I respect your expert opinion on military matters. Have you seen any significant improvement in Ukraine’s military since last year?

    On a largely unrelated note, what is your take on Poland’s modernization efforts?

  49. Have you seen any significant improvement in Ukraine’s military since last year?

    I operate on strictly open data and sources. In interview to Shurygin some people from “North Wind” did notice some improvement in tactics and increased combat cohesion of Ukrainian units. Obviously the factor of accumulating combat experience should also be considered. So, in short, there are improvements on the tactical level but on operational and strategic levels it is Russian C4SIR against part of US C4SIR. US can not play whole Network since is keenly aware of still some pro-Russian military people being within Ukrainian General Staff and that means a serious leakage of sensitive data on US capabilities. Hence the purges of most Soviet-educated professionals from Ukrainian military. It had, of course, catastrophic consequences for Ukraine’s regime. The bottom line–it is Russian General Staff against US military. Pick your bet. I know mine.

  50. Makes sense. Thank you.

  51. Vatutin wasn’t a marshal, idiot.

  52. Look, someone who believes Buzina’s nonsense also calls others idiots. How cute 🙂

    A lot of people claim Vatutin was a marshal; such a mistake, unlike your many ones, is not unreasonable:

    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#tbm=bks&q=%22marshal+vatutin%22

  53. It is truly pitiable, how much satisfaction you derive from discovering someone else as ignorant as you. Must be a rare experience.

  54. Here’s one thing I’m curious about. Do we have any polling or other data on Ukrainians’ attitudes to neocon meddling in their country?

    How many Ukrainians think “yes, it’s great that the USA spent all this money to influence our internal politics via characters like Nuland and Pyatt”? I’ve never seen any research on that particular question.

  55. How many Ukrainians think “yes, it’s great that the USA spent all this money to influence our internal politics via characters like Nuland and Pyatt”?

    I don’t have numbers but I can confidently state that very many in Central Ukraine for sure, especially among young people. Ukraine already is a very interesting study subject in both contemporary combined arms warfare and national mental health.

  56. It would be like asking Americans about their attitude to the fact that the neocons control US foreign policy. Most wouldn’t know who the neocons are. Most of those who’ve heard of them wouldn’t know much about neocon policies. And if you explained the neocons’ policies to a sample of ordinary Americans, they’d take them for patriotic American policies.

    They aren’t really. And I can guarantee to you that if you wiretap Vicky long enough “F America” will come up much more often than “F the EU”. But the man on the street has been told that those are patriotic American positions. And most believe it. It’s kind of like that in the Ukraine as well.

  57. “Marshal Vatutin” was mentioned in a book co-authored by David Glantz, who is far more intelligent and well-informed than you are:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=PkqVrulKKNsC&pg=PA956&dq=%22marshal+vatutin%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCYQ6AEwA2oVChMIi8v4kr-VxgIVkBqMCh04-QCo#v=onepage&q=%22marshal%20vatutin%22&f=false

  58. Yanukovich was among the worst of the plunderers and he was sort of pro-Soviet.

    There were more than two Soviet Unions. There was a Leninist Soviet Union that was destroyed and purged by Stalin, then the Stalinist Soviet Union, then Khrushchev’s Soviet Union, then Brezhnev’s (and his successors), and finally Gorby’s. Each one was a bit like a different country.

  59. silviosilver says

    But you googled that which, if I’m following his logic correctly, means it can’t be true or isn’t permissible as evidence.

  60. So come down off the fence, nitwit, and tell me whether or not you yourself think Vatutin ever held the rank of marshal.

  61. Most likely typo, albeit your pointing this out is a legitimate reference. David Glantz is, definitely, one of the most important American and, as funny as it sounds, him being the Actual Member of Russian Academy Of Sciences, Russian military historians. In fact, in Anglo-sphere there are nobody (with the exception of Glantz’s brilliant partner Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan House) with the grasp he has of the Great patriotic War. Vatutin, however, was an Army General, the same way he is referred in Glantz and House seminal “The Battle Of Kursk” (I own one). Come to think about it, I don’t remember any Vatutin’s photos with him wearing Marshal’s epaulettes.

  62. Yes, Vatutin was a general rather than a marshal. But he is frequently mentioned as a marshal, even in a book co-authored by Glantz. I was pointing out that such a mistake is hardly a mark of idiocy as the idiot 5371 implied.

  63. silviosilver says

    Vatutin’s rank isn’t an issue so I can’t be sitting on the fence about it. At actual issue here is your tiresome tendency to attempt to discredit people on the basis of trivial details. And on this issue I am in fact on the fence, for while on the one hand it is, as I say, tiresome, but on the other hand it does a great job of inadvertently discrediting you.

  64. As a supporter of the junta you have no standing and no credibility to criticize any past or future government anywhere on earth of corruption. Whatever Yanukovich’s level of corruption was, the junta’s oligarchs are worse.

  65. 5371 was right on a point of fact and AP was wrong, yet you still blame 5371. All that tells us is which side of this political argument you’re probably on.

    And the point of fact isn’t entirely trivial. AP was trying to tell us how hard-core WWII-era Ukro-Nazis were – they even killed a Marshal of the Soviet Union. Actually they didn’t. I missed that inaccuracy but 5371 cought it because he knows WWII history better than I do.

    I think that knowing a lot of history is cool and I’m on the same side of this argument as 5371, so this doesn’t seem trivial to me.

  66. Erik Sieven says

    @ SmoothieX12
    “Will there be bribes? Absolutely but they always existed, yet, for the STEM sector it was still possible to produce a world-class engineers and scientists”
    from a HBD perspective I would say that no matter which educational system they have they will always produce world class engineers and scientists. For the simple reason that the Russian (excluding minorities) IQ distribution is the same as in other european countries, but the population is far bigger than in any other european nation.

    1. I don’t support a junta. Of cours,e you don’t know what a junta is, but that’s okay.
    2. Corruption in Ukraine has declined since Yanukovich was thrown out. Not much, and not enough, but it has declined. It’s Transparency International score was 1 point improved. Corrupt schemes are aried out in the media much more than before, which is progress.

    The idea that corruption has gotten worse is rubbish.

  67. I don’t trust Transparency Internstional.

    The Ukraine’s economy is falling roughly as fast as all post-Soviet economies were falling in the 1990s, with the same kind of people in charge, using the same kind of rhetoric. The 1990s are being re-run in the Ukraine. I know what that means with regard to corruption. They’re stealing everything that moves.

    They’re saying that the economy is falling off a cliff because of the war but a) they started the war b) if there’s anything their US owners will pay for, it’s the war.

  68. The production of science and new technologies in that whole part of the world plummeted with the fall of the USSR. The successor states stopped paying for science. Scientists and engineers became businessmen, salesmen, went into marketing, etc. Many went abroad.

    What remains is a tiny fraction of what was. By the way, I think I remember reading a news item about the Kiev junta pulling the financing of what little science remained in the Ukraine.

    Genetic potential isn’t enough. Pure research always had to be financed by governments.

  69. So your evidence that corruption has gotten worse is because GDP fell?

    GDP collapsed most (around 50%) in the regions that have war. Whoever started the war is irrelevant; the war exists and the war accounts for much of the drop in GDP. Decreased trade with Russia accounts for another large chunk.

    BTW, did you know that GRP actually rose in a few oblasts? In your opinion, does that mean there was not much corruption in those oblasts?

    You mistrust Transparency International but you have no counter-evidence other than wishful thinking.

  70. I wrote that Vatutin was a marshal because he was described as much in many respectable sources, including one co-authored by one of the West’s greatest experts on World War II, David Glantz.

    Although not a marshal, General Vatutin was the commander of the 1st Ukrainian Front during World War II. His rank, general of the army, was immediately below marshal and the second highest in the Soviet military:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_of_the_army_(USSR)

    Compare this trivial and understandable repetition of legitimate scholars’ mistakes, with your beloved liar Buzina’s outlandish claim that in the Austrian army Ukrainians “became junior officers, at best” when in reality there was a Ukrainian Rear Admiral, a Ukrainian Major General, and a Ukrainian Lieutenant field-marshal, the second highest possible rank in the peacetime Austrian military.

    Funny how you didn’t complain about that. Sadly, I suspect this fact reflects a lack of your integrity.

  71. silviosilver says

    5371 was right on a point of fact and AP was wrong, yet you still blame 5371. All that tells us is which side of this political argument you’re probably on.

    I’m blaming for him acting as though being right on a trivial point of fact fatally undermines AP’s position. In the other thread he blew his lid over “googling,” as though that’s fundamentally worse than reaching for a dictionary or some other tree-based reference material. (Goddam that attitude reminds me of prideful commie-era students who’d think they’re better than you for being able to store formulas in their heads rather than looking them up.)

    As for which side I’m on, the truth is I’m torn. I want to think well of the Soviet Union. To get down to the brass tacks, that state saved my bacon (well, my predecessors’, but you follow), and I really can’t think of any more important considerations in this life. But (a) you can draw an almost straight line between the shit sandwich we’re all being served up on racial issues and the (over)reaction to the events of WWII, and (b) the rehabilitation of the Soviet era is being used to fuel Russian nationalism – state nationalism rather than ethnonationalism, but that’s just as bad or even worse.

  72. silviosilver says

    with your beloved liar Buzina’s outlandish claim that in the Austrian army Ukrainians “became junior officers, at best”

    That remark exists in the grey area between outright falsehood and inflated claim. I don’t think carrying on about it, in isolation, helps your case very much. From what I could gather in that debate, the evidence really does seem to indicate that Ukrainians were sidelined somewhat by the Austrians.

  73. silviosilver says

    from a HBD perspective I would say that no matter which educational system they have they will always produce world class engineers and scientists.

    I don’t like that line of argument. Sure, everyone here knows what you mean. But if you don’t know much about HBD and you read something like that, you rub your eyes in amazement and walk away muttering to yourself about the kinds of loons that exist out there; the last thing that it occurs to you to do is begin to seriously take into account distributions of difference-making heritable traits.

  74. Ukrainians were certainly underrepresented but probably not sidelined or discriminated against. The Ukrainians from the part of Ukraine that Austria annexed were about 95% serfs, with the other 5% being village priests and their families, or petty gentry (gentry and priest families tended to intermarry, and to avoid marriage with serfs). None of these groups would be capable of immediately or quickly producing generals, although the gentry would and did provide officers and eventually generals, and even the descendants of serfs were eventually producing officers.

    Buzina’s claim would be like someone dishonestly stating that some hospital system discriminates against blacks because there are no black doctors in that network, the best they can do is be nurses, when indeed there are black doctors. The fact that there are fewer black doctors relative to the general population doesn’t vindicate the liar.

  75. You’re a prostitute who comments here for money under a variety of pseudonyms. Anything you have to say about integrity will be taken in the same spirit as a Bruce Jenner ode to manliness.

  76. Good education is a “bit” more than just IQ and its distribution. Ethics comes into it, among many other factors, big time. Knowledge and information are not the same. And while IQ matters, other things do too.

  77. silviosilver says

    Yeah, I just reread that thread. My recollections of it were badly mistaken. There wasn’t very much in the way of evidence provided regarding Ukrainians’ standing in either Austria or the period of Nazi rule.

    It may be of interest to you that Buzina wrote in that article “The word “Waffen” meant “weapon” and was added to those units of the SS that were formed from foreigners, not true Aryans.” That sentence was in parentheses so I thought it might be an editorial comment by the translator, but I checked the original Russian, and yep it was there too, so it was Buzina’s.

    Well now, if mistaking Vatutin for a field marshal is the mark of an idiot then I wonder what this truly egregious blunder makes Buzina? The Waffen-SS was the combat arm of the SS, and its name had nothing to do with the fact that non-Germans made up such a large proportion of its troops. And if you want to twist the knife you could also point out that being a foreigner was not synonymous with being non-Aryan.

  78. A guy who felt more sympathy for the football-hooligan stranglers of a little old lady than for the woman herself says I lack integrity. Thank you for the compliment.

  79. I’m sorry that you feel such humiliation at your reliance on artificial aid and inferiority in actual knowledge (even with respect to “commie-era students” – poor baby!)

  80. The Soviet Union saved my bacon too. I’m ethnically Jewish.

    I’m going to try to explain why I’m pro-Putin.

    The thing I root for the most in politics is civilization. And after that humanitarianism. And I don’t think that these two things have to be in conflict with each other often at all, if ever.

    Like everyone of my age group who grew up in the USSR I know that there was more civilization (science, high culture, wholesomeness of all sorts, honesty in government, etc.) in the late Soviet Union than in its successor states in the 1990s. The 1990s were a disaster for civilization in that part of the world. Putin is trying to return some of the good things that were lost in the 1990s and he’s adding Orthodoxy to the mix.

    In this he’s mostly opposed by the neocons. The neocons do what they do because they think it’s good for the Jews. I suspect that they’re wrong on that but they would argue otherwise. I’m absolutely sure though that their activity is bad for civilization, for humanity.

    I’m not nationalistic. I don’t have anything against honest, non-violent nationalisms in other people, but I’ve never been into it myself.

    Sorry if this is sketchy and disjointed. I could write more on this but I should be working now instead.

  81. I’ve got a few free minutes.

    AP, why do you think Galicians were underrepresented in every prestigious occupation in the Austro-Hungarian Empire? You’ve already denied that they have low IQ. And you’ve just denied that Austrian authorities discriminated against them. Can you come up with a third explanation? “They were serfs” isn’t enough. Why were they peasants at a higher percentage than Poles, Germans, Little Russians in the Russian Empire, Great Russians, etc.?

  82. AP, to expand on this:

    You said there was no discrimination against Galicians in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. That means that competition for prestigious jobs was open to all comers. Then why weren’t Galicians getting these prestigious jobs?

    Would you say there was discrimination in inter-war Poland? I know there was no ethnic discrimination in the post-war USSR, but just for the record, do you assert that there was any in general and against Galicians in particular? Do you think there’s been any discrimination against them in independent Ukraine?

    If the answer to those questions is no, why have they stayed in agriculture at a higher percentage than surrounding peoples? Why has this persisted through many changes of political regimes? Outside of the French wine country and the like rural life is low in pay and prestige.

    Another question: why do you think the Ukrainian language hasn’t cought on in most of the Ukraine despite almost 100 years of support by governments?

    I say that it hasn’t cought on for the same reason that Irish Gaelic hasn’t cought on in Ireland after independence. What is your explanation?

    For decades now in Ireland Gaelic has been tought in state schools. I think they require some knowledge of it if you want to get a government job. After independence the plan was for the whole country to switch to Gaelic.

    This plan failed because Gailic-speakers have low prestige. They’re rural and backward. They live in the part of Ireland that experienced the least colonization from Britain in historical times. They’re physically less English and Scottish than other Irish people.

    People want their children to learn prestigious languages, to gain entry into prestigious cultures. When I was a kid in Moscow all upwardly-striving parents wanted their kids to go to schools where most of the classes were taught in English. French and German were also thought to be valuable. My parents tried to get me into a school like that but failed. There was too much competition.

    No one has ever wanted his kids to switch to a lower-prestige language, to a lower-prestige culture than the one he grew up with. Why does Ukrainian-speaking culture have such low prestige? I know a lot of people who understand Ukrainian because they were taught it in school but who do not speak it in daily life. All of those Soviet and indelendent-Ukrainian efforts to make these people speak Ukrainian came to nought. Why?

    I say that it’s because speaking Ukrainian in daily life is associated with low IQ, backwardness and rural uncouthness. It’s associated with the qualities possessed by the people who speak Ukrainian. Ukrainian is to Russian what Appalachian English is to standard American English.

    It’s cruel to say this, but I think it’s true. You support a government that has engaged in the cruelest sorts of repression, a government that shells civilians as a matter of policy, so why should I make any effort to smooth over the rougher parts of the truth when speaking to you?

  83. So now you have debased yourself further by lying about me. How unfortunate.

  84. You defended men who very likely strangled a helpless old woman. She cried for help. You defended them because they waved a Ukrainian flag and because according to you the woman was a separatist. Others have said she was just a cleaning lady working in the building. You did not provide any evidence that she was a separatist, and even if she was, she was unarmed. And an old lady.

    You said that it was all an accident (you really used that word). Another commenter dug up a video of Maidanite scum finishing people off with bats. I found a video where people outside the building can be heard asking for the crying woman to be killed because she’s a separatist.

    And you didn’t drop the subject after that. Video evidence that it wasn’t all an accident. When I described the bats and the rest of it later you linked to some “Ukrainian version” of events. What Ukrainian version? We showed you the real, video version. And it agreed with my description.

  85. You said there was no discrimination against Galicians in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. That means that competition for prestigious jobs was open to all comers. Then why weren’t Galicians getting these prestigious jobs?

    Why do you claim they weren’t? As we have seen there was a Galician rear admiral, major general and a lieutenant field-marshal. There were Galician Ukrainian university professors (including rector of Lviv University and a rector of the Higher Technical School in Prague, sort of Austria-Hungary’s MIT), etc.

    They were underrepresented in such fields, sure. Perhaps you can state why the fact that 95% or so of them were serfs when Austria annexed Galicia is not a suitable explanation for you? Do you expect a serf’s son to become a professor, or a general, just like that? It can happen in extremely exceptional cases of course. But Austria certainly didn’t practice affirmative action, so this process took time.

    Why have they stayed in agriculture at a higher percentage than surrounding peoples? Why has this persisted through many changes of political regimes?

    Galicians have stayed in agriculture in a higher % than surrounding peoples? Galicia, population about 4 million, has Lviv, with about 750,000 people. Slovakia, population, 5.5 million, has Bratislava, population 500,000. Lithuania, population 3 million, has Vilnius, population 550,000.

    I say that it’s because speaking Ukrainian in daily life is associated with low IQ, backwardness and rural uncouthness

    Depends on region. Galicia is among the most educated parts of Ukraine. Lviv oblast has the second highest % of population with a university education of any oblast (only Kharkiv beats it). It is behind Kiev and Kharkiv in terms of top-ranked universities in the country despite being half of Kharkiv’s size. Lviv is Ukraine’s per capita leader in IT jobs (and in second place, behind only Kiev, in raw numbers of such jobs) and start-ups. It has produced the world’s current female world chess champion Mariya Muzychuk , former # 3 world junior chess champion Yuri Kryvoruchko, and the former #2 ranked male chess player Vassily Ivanchuk, who had once defeated Kasparov (there are a number of lesser Galician chess grandmasters). Galicia is also a well-organized place, enjoying the country’s highest quality of life, lowest urban and near-lowest overall crime rate, etc. You once provided a graph showing academic publications per capita; Galicia is tied with Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa and in the middle on that one measure. That’s the worst that it does.

    Your idea that Galicans have low IQs is perhaps the most stupid thing you have written, sorry.

    Elsewhere in the country the dynamic is different: Ukrainian-speakers there, are rural people. Why is this true of Ukrainians in the Soviet world and not those in Galicia, or Czechs, Finns, Latvians, Slovaks, etc.? The reason is that, in the other cases as the the cities were populated by villagers moving in, local government provided schools in the incoming villagers’ language. So German-speaking Prague became Czech-speaking as Czech peasants moved into the city and dominated its population, similar story in Slovakia, the Baltics, Finland, etc. In Ukraine outside Galicia this natural process began in the 1920s but was then cut short by Stalin, and the villagers instead were taught Russian when they moved to the cities, and their descendants were thus Russian-speakers. Galicia was different because many of the incoming villagers were already literate in their own language and because unlike in the rest of the country the Soviet government promoted Ukrainian schools in the city because the alternative was Polish – which was worse from the Soviet POV.

    I suppose that in those non-Galician areas Ukrainian-speakers may have lower IQs but that is secondary to rural-urban and due to the special historical processes I described.

    That being said, a villager may have a lower IQ than an urban university-educated person, but I’m not sure if urban people such as coal miners or lumpenproles have lower IQs than farmers.

  86. Glossy – you wrote: “A guy who felt more sympathy for the football-hooligan stranglers of a little old lady than for the woman herself ”

    This was a lie. And you debased yourself by becoming a liar.

    “You defended them because they waved a Ukrainian flag and because according to you the woman was a separatist…You said that it was all an accident (you really used that word). ”

    This is what I wrote: “We cannot even be certain of what happened in the building. Molotov cocktails were thrown by both sides. If a Molotov cocktail thrown by the pro-Maidan crowd started the blaze, it was more like an accident (manslaughter, in American legal understanding) rather than murder. ”

    Manslaughter is, of course, a crime and those responsible by throwing the cocktails are indeed criminals. Please stop implying that I wrote otherwise or that I was showing sympathy for the this act.

    I also wrote, ” The Ukrainians claim that someone inside the building tried to throw a Molotov cocktail through a closed window. I have not seen proof of that. At any rate, this tragedy seems to have an accident caused by reckless violence, ultimately caused by anti-government thugs attacking and killing people in a pro-Kiev march. ”

    UN report itself supports what I had been saying.

    Nowhere did I see that it was “all” an accident. The guy beating people with a bat was committing murder. Someone shooting was also.

  87. Why do you claim they weren’t?

    I made the same mistake that Buzina seems to have made – I spoke in absolutes when I should have made comparisons instead.

    There was an underrepresentation. You did not really explain where it came from, how it developed. I don’t know when serfdom was abolished in that part of the world but it must have been long before WWI. Without looking it up I’m going to guess that it was even before 1861. Once the legal restraints tying people to the land and to their landlords are gone, ability is king. And even before that it must have been very important. People became landlords and serfs for a reason.

    I know that in the last few decades of the Soviet period in the Ukraine instruction in schools was mostly in Ukrainian. In other words, the Soviet state was promoting Ukrainian to a large number of people who did not speak it. Without looking it up I don’t know if that was true during the Stalinist period.

  88. The guy beating people with a bat was committing murder.

    It’s moral and humane of you to acknowledge that. It would also be moral and humane if you acknowledged that the video with the woman crying and the Maidanites waving their flag as well as the topology of the building (the floor, the particular wing) make it very likely that the flag-wavers killed her.

  89. There was an underrepresentation. You did not really explain where it came from, how it developed. I don’t know when serfdom was abolished in that part of the world but it must have been long before WWI. Without looking it up I’m going to guess that it was even before 1861.

    It was in 1848 in Galicia.

    Once the legal restraints tying people to the land and to their landlords are gone, ability is king.

    Not really. Someone with two illiterate parents and zero capital is not on an equal footing with some with two literate parents and capital. Yes, with legal restraints extraordinary people can indeed emerge, but this is not typical. Someone with the former background doing nothing will remain illiterate, someone with the latter doing nothing will not be. The USSR pursued a policy of aggressively providing affirmative action to peasants. Austria did not. Yet, it did not repress them.

    People became landlords and serfs for a reason.

    At least 80% of Russians were serfs of one kind or another. Among Poles it was probably around 90%. This was simply the nature of societies in that part of the world.

    I know that in the last few decades of the Soviet period in the Ukraine instruction in schools was mostly in Ukrainian. In other words, the Soviet state was promoting Ukrainian to a large number of people who did not speak it.

    Really? In 1991 45% of Ukrainian schools were in Ukrainian, 54% in Russian.

    According to the tsarist census of 1897, over 80% of Kiev guberniya’s population spoke Ukrainian and only 6% Russian (there were a lot of Polish and Yiddish speakers). Kiev guberniya was about as Russian as Warsaw region. So-called New Russia – Ekaterinoslav guberniya was 70% Ukrainian-speaking and 17% Russian-speaking. So becoming Russian-speaking was a Soviet-era phenomenon for these regions.

  90. It was in 1848 in Galicia.

    Not very much later than in Germany. The Wikipedia: “In German history the emancipation of the serfs came in 1770-1830, beginning with Schleswig in 1780. Prussia abolished serfdom with the “October Edict” of 1807, which upgraded the personal legal status of the peasantry and gave them ownership of half or two-thirds of the lands they were working.”

    In 1991 45% of Ukrainian schools were in Ukrainian, 54% in Russian.

    I did not know that.

    According to the tsarist census of 1897, over 80% of Kiev guberniya’s population spoke Ukrainian and only 6% Russian

    Before mass litearcy the linguistic map of the world consisted of dialect continua. In 1897 the census takers at that particular part of that particular dialect continuum were essentially given a binary choice – Little or Great Russian. That produced a simplified picture. It would be interesting to know at what points on the map the actual living language of that time began to resemble modern standard Ukrainian more than modern standard Russian. I’m sure there were ethnographers recording that info. There must be isoglosses online. Shevchenko was from what’s now the Cherkasy Region and his language is difficult for modern Russian speakers to understand. But the part of the old contimuum that corresponds to the modern southeast need not have spoken that.

  91. Not very much later than in Germany. The Wikipedia: “In German history the emancipation of the serfs came in 1770-1830, beginning with Schleswig in 1780. Prussia abolished serfdom with the “October Edict” of 1807, which upgraded the personal legal status of the peasantry and gave them ownership of half or two-thirds of the lands they were working.”

    Interesting. However, serfdom was much less widespread in Germany (other than perhaps Polish areas of Prussia) than in Poland/Galicia/Russia. It was also much “lighter” in Germany, with serfs having more rights. It would take a lot of time to research this, but I wonder what became of German serfs’ descendants in the 19th century.

    Before mass litearcy the linguistic map of the world consisted of dialect continua. In 1897 the census takers at that particular part of that particular dialect continuum were essentially given a binary choice – Little or Great Russian. That produced a simplified picture.

    Sure. Kiev guberniya’s 6% Russian speakers, clustered mostly within the city of Kiev, probably did not have much of a linguistic influence on the 80% Ukrainian speakers. But things might have been a bit different in 17% Russian-speaking Dnipropetrovsk.

    Shevchenko was from what’s now the Cherkasy Region and his language is difficult for modern Russian speakers to understand. But the part of the old contimuum that corresponds to the modern southeast need not have spoken that.

    Here is an excerpt from Kotlyarevsky’s Eneida, written in the 18th century. Kotlyarevsky was from Poltava:

    Еней був парубок моторний
    І хлопець хоть куди козак,
    Удавсь на всеє зле проворний,
    Завзятійший од всіх бурлак.
    Но греки, як спаливши Трою,
    Зробили з неї скирту гною,
    Він взявши торбу тягу дав;
    Забравши деяких троянців,
    Осмалених, як гиря, ланців,
    П’ятами з Трої накивав.

    Він, швидко поробивши човни,
    На синє море поспускав,
    Троянців насаджавши повні,
    І куди очі почухрав.
    Но зла Юнона, суча дочка,
    Розкудкудакалась, як квочка,
    Енея не любила — страх;
    Давно вона уже хотіла,
    Щоб його душка полетіла
    К чортам і щоб і дух не пах.

    Here it is, spoken:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-vwF4E3EbY

  92. Dmitriev says

    But note that despite all these things Ukrainian troops didn’t just run away like Georgians or Arabs do.

    Run away from what? At the beginning of the conflict and until around Minsk-1, their advantages in equipment and manpower were ridiculous. And it’s not like they faced the brunt of the Russian air force either.

  93. Dmitriev says

    “At least 80% of Russians were serfs of one kind or another.”

    Certainly not at the time that serfdom was abolished – at that time, it was well less than 50%. In the Great Russian regions with the highest proportion of serfs (Smolensk and Tula governates), about 70% of the ethnic Russian population were serfs, but this is not representative of the population as a whole. In the Moscow and Tambov governates, for example, it was about 40%. Furthermore, some Russian regions, such as the North, practically didn’t know serfdom at all. Thus, in the Vyatka governate, it was was only about 3%, and practically 0% in the Arkhangelsk governate.

    This is actually one of the interesting differences between ethnic Russian and Ukrainians in the past. In the central/western Ukrainian regions of the Russian empire, about 75-80% of the ethnic Ukrainian population were serfs at the time of abolition. It was even more in Galicia. I don’t have exact numbers, but from the “indirect” numbers that I do have, it was at least 85%. I’ve seen the figure of 90% given by some Ukrainian-Canadian authors and that’s probably pretty accurate. It’s just kind of funny that it is these western and central Ukrainian regions that now cry the loudest about how they are “козацького роду” when, in reality, they have nothing to do with any Cossacks.

  94. Erik Sieven says

    @ silviosilver: I understand your point, and of course there are other factors than HBD which determine the number and qualification of STEM-guys. Instead of relying on HBD I just wanted to highlight how big the russian population is compared to other european countries. It is just natural that in such a big population you have more outliers and it is not hard to get good scientists and engineers out of such a big pool

  95. Are you including state peasants in addition to those privately owned?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom_in_Russia#The_extent_of_serfdom_in_Russia

    It looks like about 80% of Russians were peasants; about 37% of the total population were privately owned serfs but a slightly larger number were state serfs who were legally personally free but who also had labor and other obligations:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_serf

    Also, per wiki, significant numbers of factory workers were serfs: 52% in 1825.

    It’s just kind of funny that it is these western and central Ukrainian regions that now cry the loudest about how they are “козацького роду” when, in reality, they have nothing to do with any Cossacks.

    Most of the elite in central Ukrainian lands – the ones who mainly created the Ukrainian National Idea – were from Cossack officer families. Historians Maksymovych and Doroshenko, Panteleimon Kulish who standardized the Ukrainian language,the writer Kotlyarevsky wjho first used the vernacular Ukrainian language, revolutionary leader Symon Petliura, even Dmytro Dontsov (who moved to Galicia and became the fascist ideologue who inspired Bandera) were all from Cossack officer families. Also some of the serfs themselves were descendants of enserfed rank-and-file Cossacks. I’m not sure how many, or how much this was a myth of once being free warriors but were forced into serfdom by the Russians.

  96. Immigrant from former USSR says

    I believe
    it is hard to get good scientists and engineers
    out of any pool. Look at the USA: pool is almost twice as large as Russia’s.
    Do you claim it is easy in the USA?
    Why an American student would want to go into science and engineering?

  97. Dmitriev says

    “It looks like about 80% of Russians were peasants; about 37% of the total population were privately owned serfs but a slightly larger number were state serfs who were legally personally free but who also had labor and other obligations:”

    It’s just a stupid misnomer or mistranslation in that Wikipedia article – it should be “government peasants”, not “serfs”. The whole article is basically a bad translation of the Russian article, which itself is garbage. Government peasants were not serfs by any means, at least the ones I’m referring to, i.e. the Great Russian government peasants (I’m not talking about the ones in Poland and the western governorates – these are completely different groups with different situations). Government peasants were not attached to the land, they could move around. They could become мещане (townspeople). The government peasant category of odnodvortsy [buffoonishly mistranslated as “single homesteaders (servant people on the border area adjoining the wild steppe)”] could legally own serfs themselves. Odnodvortsy were служилые люди (literally, “serving people”, as in “servicemen”, such as the стрельцы and дети боярские) of the state – i.e. soldiers, not servants. Some of my ancestors were from this group. Also, government peasants included such groups as German, Greek, and Bulgarian colonists, as well as “Malorossian Cossacks”. The point is, government peasants should not be considered serfs, they are mentioned separately for a reason.

    “Most of the elite in central Ukrainian lands – the ones who mainly created the Ukrainian National Idea – were from Cossack officer families. Historians Maksymovych and Doroshenko, Panteleimon Kulish who standardized the Ukrainian language,the writer Kotlyarevsky wjho first used the vernacular Ukrainian language, revolutionary leader Symon Petliura, even Dmytro Dontsov (who moved to Galicia and became the fascist ideologue who inspired Bandera) were all from Cossack officer families. Also some of the serfs themselves were descendants of enserfed rank-and-file Cossacks. I’m not sure how many, or how much this was a myth of once being free warriors but were forced into serfdom by the Russians.”

    Dude, most of these people talking about Cossacks this and that, and calling Russians “slaves”, have nothing whatsoever to do with any Cossack nobility or any other nobility. Nothing. As for Cossacks being enserfed, I’m not really buying that – at least not in any substantial numbers. Some people who joined Cossack uprisings were probably enserfed, although it’s not like they weren’t serfs before that.

  98. It’s just a stupid misnomer or mistranslation in that Wikipedia article – it should be “government peasants”, not “serfs”. The whole article is basically a bad translation of the Russian article, which itself is garbage. Government peasants were not serfs by any means, at least the ones I’m referring to, i.e. the Great Russian government peasants (I’m not talking about the ones in Poland and the western governorates – these are completely different groups with different situations). Government peasants were not attached to the land, they could move around….Also, government peasants included such groups as German, Greek, and Bulgarian colonists, as well as “Malorossian Cossacks”. The point is, government peasants should not be considered serfs, they are mentioned separately for a reason.

    The term “state serf” is not used that infrequently. Britannica uses it. Here’s an article published by Yale, written by Russian economists, referring to them interchangeably as state peasants or serfs, with further explanations:

    http://economics.yale.edu/sites/default/files/markevich_paper.pdf

    “…A one standard deviation increase in the share of state serfs in a province before emancipation led to a 14 percentage point increase in grain productivity post emancipation…”

    State peasants were the second most numerous group of rural labor force, constituting 40% of rural population in the European Russia in 1858. Formerly, state peasants were free landless individuals living and working on the land belonging to the state. By law, they could change their occupation and place of living. The required administrative procedure for moving was so complicated, however, that few actually did this. Importantly, the tsar often granted state lands with state peasants living on these lands to nobility as private estates in exchange for military service; in this case, state peasants acquired the status of private serfs. Thus, even though the state peasants were formerly free, de facto they were the property of the state. State peasants had to pay quit rent to the state in the amount fixed by the law in return for the ability to cultivate the land. The magnitude of the quit rent as well as the actual agricultural activities allowed on the land were regulated by a special ministry and were changed only rarely.

    Historians agree that, on average, state peasants were treated better than private serfs.

    Emancipation of state peasants occurred in 1866, when the state initiated the transfer of state land into the communal peasant ownership in exchange for the obligatory redemption. The amount of redemption was lower on average than for private serfs.

    The third group—free agricultural laborers with or without land titles—constituted 12.6% of rural population of the European Russia in 1858. This group consisted of Cossacks with commune land title, colonists, who cultivated land under various land arrangements, local non Russians in Astrakhan and Bessarabiya provinces without land, as well as all largely landless peasants in three Baltic provinces after 1819.

    Dude, most of these people talking about Cossacks this and that, and calling Russians “slaves”, have nothing whatsoever to do with any Cossack nobility or any other nobility

    Sure, but those ideas mostly came from Cossack officers’ descendants.