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  1. #406
    Quote Originally Posted by SukaShalava  [View Original Post]
    Fortunately for me, their gang was still waiting downstairs, thinking that the pepper spray would be enough to subdue me.
    This is very strange. One person can be that stupid to think she or he can knock a adult guy down with a shot of spray, ok. But this was a GROUP of people as you describe, somebody at last one there must have known that it is impossible for a female or even two to subdue a normal built (doesn't have to be strong) man with just a spray in the hand. This is at least stupid in a collective. Even more interesting is the fact that the same event happened a while ago in Kiew with another post. Something is weird here.

  2. #405

    More Language Matters

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake993  [View Original Post]
    Sorry to disagree with you BB, but it WAS a rookie mistake. Unless of course, President Turchinov was deliberately trying to provoke a civil war and invite Russia to come and protect the linguistic freedom of Russian speakers. By attempting to pass this law, he drove wedge between hardline Ukrainian nationalists in the West and the Russian speakers in the East. This issue is a tinderbox that has been sitting near an open flame for many years. IMHO if he was the least bit interested in national unity, he would have steered clear of this contentious issue.

    I AGREE with you that a very large percentage of Western Ukrainians never want to hear the Russian language spoken in Ukraine again. That is quite clear. But as a national leader, Turchinov fucked this one up. Mind you, he may not have had a choice in the matter and was forced to support a wave of anti-Russian sentiment. Who knows? But I am afraid that the situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
    Jake, I agree with the overall point you're making but I think you've slightly misread the detail. It was the new government that passed that law but Turchinov used his presidential powers to veto it, literally a day or two later.

    I think BB's difference with me is a language issue in the sense that he thinks that I mean that they just made this decision erroneously rather than deliberately...

  3. #404

    Ethnic Matters

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake993  [View Original Post]
    I am only being a little sarcastic. I just assumed that the native Russian speakers in Eastern Ukraine would, if given the chance, gravitate towards Russia and vote for separation from the rest of Ukraine and perhaps union with Russia. I think what Gergiev is saying is that many native Russian speakers who were born and live now in Ukraine would actually FAVOR staying as part of Ukraine. I find this a little surprising.
    That's about the gist of it, Jake. Don't forget that language is not always the badge of ethnicity, in the same sense that in the north of Ireland both nationalities there speak English but, of course, the majority of one side consider themselves Irish and want to break the union with England.

    Likewise in Ukraine, approx half of the Russian speaking population consider themselves Ukrainian and also give their allegiance to the Kiev Patriarchy of the Orthodox Church, while the Russians cleave to the Moscow Patriarchy, so closely aligned now with Putin. If you recall last month, then you had both Patriarchs preaching on the opposing sides of the Crimean developments.

    Also, don't forget that in the original 1991 referendum, over 90% voted for Ukrainian independence and not just along crude 'language lines'...

  4. #403
    Quote Originally Posted by Bimbo Boy  [View Original Post]
    No it was not an error. People in Western Ukraine have been demanding that Ukrainian be the only official language for years. They slogans are "One language, one nation, one country" and "hang the Russians". See here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go4Wwjuzm-s
    Sorry to disagree with you BB, but it WAS a rookie mistake. Unless of course, President Turchinov was deliberately trying to provoke a civil war and invite Russia to come and protect the linguistic freedom of Russian speakers. By attempting to pass this law, he drove wedge between hardline Ukrainian nationalists in the West and the Russian speakers in the East. This issue is a tinderbox that has been sitting near an open flame for many years. IMHO if he was the least bit interested in national unity, he would have steered clear of this contentious issue.

    I AGREE with you that a very large percentage of Western Ukrainians never want to hear the Russian language spoken in Ukraine again. That is quite clear. But as a national leader, Turchinov fucked this one up. Mind you, he may not have had a choice in the matter and was forced to support a wave of anti-Russian sentiment. Who knows? But I am afraid that the situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

  5. #402
    Quote Originally Posted by YummyPL  [View Original Post]
    Jake, I can't tell if you are being sarcastic. Apparently several reports and formal polls show that a (small) majority of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine see themselves as Ukrainian and support a unified Ukraine. This is not to say they don't prefer ties with Russia over ties with Europe, just that they support the sovereignty of Ukraine.

    Of course there are many conflicting reports.
    Yummy,

    I am only being a little sarcastic. I just assumed that the native Russian speakers in Eastern Ukraine would, if given the chance, gravitate towards Russia and vote for separation from the rest of Ukraine and perhaps union with Russia. I think what Gergiev is saying is that many native Russian speakers who were born and live now in Ukraine would actually FAVOR staying as part of Ukraine. I find this a little surprising.

  6. #401

    Trying to ban the Russian language in Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Gergiev  [View Original Post]
    Strav, it was a dreadful and indeed almost juvenile error. At least acting president Turchinov had the good sense to veto that language law a day or two later.
    No it was not an error. People in Western Ukraine have been demanding that Ukrainian be the only official language for years. They slogans are "One language, one nation, one country" and "hang the Russians". See here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go4Wwjuzm-s

  7. #400
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake993  [View Original Post]
    Wow. This is an issue that seems to be getting less and less clear with each passing day.

    Are telling us that just because a person who lives and the eastern part of Ukraine speaks Russian as his (or her) primary language, it does not necessarily mean that he considers himself Russian?
    Jake, I can't tell if you are being sarcastic. Apparently several reports and formal polls show that a (small) majority of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine see themselves as Ukrainian and support a unified Ukraine. This is not to say they don't prefer ties with Russia over ties with Europe, just that they support the sovereignty of Ukraine.

    Of course there are many conflicting reports.

  8. #399
    Quote Originally Posted by Gergiev  [View Original Post]
    Strav, it was a dreadful and indeed almost juvenile error. At least acting president Turchinov had the good sense to veto that language law a day or two later.

    The Russian language in the east of Ukraine is no guarantee of ethnicity as approximately 50% of those speakers would consider themselves Ukrainian.
    Wow. This is an issue that seems to be getting less and less clear with each passing day.

    Are telling us that just because a person who lives and the eastern part of Ukraine speaks Russian as his (or her) primary language, it does not necessarily mean that he considers himself Russian?

  9. #398

    Language of Love

    Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsky  [View Original Post]
    It was a major mistake for the new government in Kiev to allow itself to be coerced by the nationalists into the position of declaring Ukrainian the only official language. Yetsenyuk has taken every opportunity to make it clear that anyone in the Ukraine my speak any language they want. Apparently his wife is Russian and they speak Russian at home.

    It's fascinating how elemental language can be to a person's identity. If cooler heads will prevail and the government in Kiev will allow Russians to live like Russians, then that may be the salvation of the Ukraine.
    Strav, it was a dreadful and indeed almost juvenile error. At least acting president Turchinov had the good sense to veto that language law a day or two later.

    The Russian language in the east of Ukraine is no guarantee of ethnicity as approximately 50% of those speakers would consider themselves Ukrainian.

  10. #397

    United Mongers defending ourselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Suka Shalava  [View Original Post]
    Monger fends off attempted murder / robbery perpetrated by vicious bloodthirsty bandit tramps and their gang of hooligans!
    Wow, that was a hell of a dangerous situation. You are lucky that they just have a spray with them. There are some soft weapons (or or white weapons or whatever is called) which uses an kind of gas to blind the opponent for few moments, similar to Pepper but kind of more effective.

    I am also a foreigner living in Russia, but thanks god I never caught myself in a similar situation. Of course I am cautious and use my common sense, but we can never know what will come out of a devushka, so basically I was lucky until now.

    So what happened afterwards, did you report them to the cops? Anyways be careful, some people doesn't accept defeat for long time and someday seek vendetta.

    San

  11. #396

    Speaking in tongues

    Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsky  [View Original Post]
    It's fascinating how elemental language can be to a person's identity. If cooler heads will prevail and the government in Kiev will allow Russians to live like Russians, then that may be the salvation of the Ukraine.
    I agree. We live with this in Canada. Whenever the government of Quebec is in trouble they pick a fight over English language rights (I. E. Suppressing them). We (the Rest Of Canada) could put up with all the rest of their bullshit (socialism, nationalism, corruption, incompetence, economic suicide) but creating phony linguistic wars really gets us angry!

    This also ties into something else Jake (I think) was saying. It used to be that everyone seemed to speak Russian in Ukraine, it wasn't until my fourth visit in 2010 that I came across a situation where Ukrainian was dominant. And now I find that my feeble attempts to speak Russian are not necessarily welcome,"Why don't you speak Ukrainian?" But who wants to invest time and energy into learning a niche language like that?

    I understand the reaction of Ukrainians who feel their language and culture were suppressed for so many years, and their desire to be Ukrainian, not wannabe-Russians. But seriously, if a large fraction of your population already speaks (some) Russian, don't turn your back on that. Again, to go back to the Canadian example, it is like the government making sure that French in the dominant (or exclusive) language in business and school. Sure it makes you feel good in a nationalistic sense, but all those people would be a lot better off in life if they learned more English. Of course, all the elites speak English, but are happy to keep the peasants prisoners of their language.

  12. #395
    Quote Originally Posted by Gergiev  [View Original Post]
    Not sure that referendum will offer the option of the eastern provinces transferring to Russia; greater autonomy is the more likely question, I would say.
    G,

    I agree. Vladimir Vladimirovich was uncharacteristically "warm and fuzzy" during his telethon last week. He is obviously feeling very full of himself and can afford to be generous.

    It was a major mistake for the new government in Kiev to allow itself to be coerced by the nationalists into the position of declaring Ukrainian the only official language. Yetsenyuk has taken every opportunity to make it clear that anyone in the Ukraine my speak any language they want. Apparently his wife is Russian and they speak Russian at home.

    It's fascinating how elemental language can be to a person's identity. If cooler heads will prevail and the government in Kiev will allow Russians to live like Russians, then that may be the salvation of the Ukraine.

  13. #394

    Strav's Progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake993  [View Original Post]
    I have to agree with Strav on tis one.
    Yes, another excellent contribution from Comrade Strav.

    Not sure that referendum will offer the option of the eastern provinces transferring to Russia; greater autonomy is the more likely question, I would say.

  14. #393
    Quote Originally Posted by Stravinsky  [View Original Post]
    The situation in Ukraine is truly tragic, but I have to confess, all this hand-wringing over Transdnistria is simply laughable.
    I have to agree with Strav on tis one. Transdnistra to Putin is like your mother's half brother who shows up unannounced for Thanksgiving every three years. You don't dare invite him because he's an embarrassment, but if you tell him to "fuck off" you look like an asshole front of the rest of your family. So you shrug your shoulders, set another plate and welcome him in hoping that he just go away.

    My Moscow land-lady (a very sophisticated entrepreneur) came by yesterday so that I could re-sign the lease on my flat. Yeeees, I am going to stay in Moscow for another year (sigh) and she could not HELP but ask me what I thought of what's happening in Ukraine. I gave the usual perfunctory "tap dance" around the subject and while she was initialing all 45 pages of the agreement, I asked her what SHE thought. She put down her pen, gave me a stern look and said,

    "I'm glad that I Crimea is part of Russia again. As a child I spent every summer in Crimea and I have not been back since 1991. This summer I will go back to Crimea and I hope to buy a flat there before prices get too high. But I think that if one Russian soldier sets foot in "Ukraine proper", Mr Putin will be making a serious mistake that will threaten all that we have struggled to achieve over the past 20 years".

    This woman is not part of the Russian elite. She is part of the small (but growing) middle class that were well educated during Soviet times. They work hard, stay out of politics, pay their taxes and try to make a better life. She and her husband are nice people, both fluent in English who take calculated business risks and understand how Western business works. Just when I think Russia can't get any more fucked up, I think of my land-lady and realize that maybe there's hope for Russia yet.

  15. #392
    Quote Originally Posted by gentleman travel  [View Original Post]
    but it is far from over.
    gt,

    i think it is significant that jackson has waived his long standing ban on political discussions and allowed someone to create a thread in the ukraine forum for "ukraine politics". even jackson understands that you can't meet women for sex in the ukraine without understanding the politics.

    i have no superior knowledge--all i know is what i read in the papers. is the ukraine a wildcard? absolutely. no one has any special understanding of the situation there and no one can predict what will happen. what is happening there is tragic. you are talking about a land with cultural, social and linguistic differences that have existed for centuries. in this environment, i don't think putin needs to do much of anything. all he has to do is stand by and let it happen.

    it should be pointed out that putin has not actually traveled to the ukraine and stood up in front of its people and advocated for revolution, as john mccain did. this was irresponsible and reprehensible. but then, he's an american and we americans can't resist a good revolution. we like to go in with our six-shooters drawn, guns blazing and sort it all out after the smoke has cleared. we then return to the comfort of our lives and let someone else clean up the mess.

    so, neither side is free from blame.

    yatsenyuk has proposed a referendum, during the election in may, to allow the people in eastern ukraine to decide if they want to be a part of russia or ukraine. so, the borders may in fact be re-drawn, hopefully without a shot.

    but, back to your concern about containing soviet expansion in the west...

    could putin decide to send russian troops and tanks across the border of eastern ukraine? yes, of course, that is his decision to make. but this would be a de facto declaration of war; not only against ukraine, but also against europe, and that would unleash a completely new set of circumstances that even putin could not predict or control. and there is nothing more important to putin than being in control.

    instead of speculating, i urge you again to read putin's speech of march 18th. normally putin keeps his cards pretty close to his vest, but in this speech he lays it all out there on the table. of course, there is a lot of bs and double talk, just as there is when any political world leader speaks, but there are also some excellent insights into how he thinks and what motivates him.

    this is the link: eng.kremlin.ru/news/6889

    the situation in ukraine is truly tragic, but i have to confess, all this hand-wringing over transdnistria is simply laughable. it is a tiny little sliver of land sandwiched between moldova and ukraine. there is absolutely nothing there that putin could want, aside from the ethnic russians and maybe the kvint factory (which makes excellent cognac-btw). it's only hope is to become a kind of disney-style theme park for the soviet union. bring the family, thrill to the harassment and insults of the border guards as they pick through your documenti, marvel at the accurate reproduction of a genuine third-world culture from days gone by, have your picture taken in front of lenin's statue, ride in a t34 and buy a bottle of kvint, before boarding your luxurious marshrut and chugging back to chisinau.

    where do i sign up!!

    the moscow times has an excellent article here: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/beyond...ase_id=4430803

    no one can predict what will happen in ukraine, but i guarantee you: absolutely, positively, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die, putin will not annex transdnistria.

    what i cannot guarantee is that merkel won't decide to annex kaliningrad. :d

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