A Full Year of Ukraine Crisis


Fifteen thousand casualties, which includes over five thousand dead, and a country in ruins. And it didn't have to be this way.

This week, John and Steve recap the events of the past year and remind everyone of just how disastrous this "revolution" has been for the people of Ukraine. If you have the time this holiday weekend, please give this entire podcast a listen. I know you're busy, though, with family and friends. Therefore, if anything, try to carve out some time to listen to the first 10 minutes.

In just those first 10 minutes, Professor Cohen:

  • Revisits the origin of the crisis
  • Discusses the changes to US/NATO relations
  • Assesses the New Cold War
  • Describes how these events have led to a new Russia/China alliance (which, ultimately, brings us all closer to The End of The Great Keynesian Experiment)

Again, more on Professor Steve Cohen can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_F._Cohen

And more information of John Batchelor's nightly radio program can be found here: https://johnbatchelorshow.com



Nov 27, 2014 - 4:30am

Diverging Interests in Europe

Within the European Union, the interests of the 28 member states are diverging in what are becoming increasingly clear ways. Taking a tough stance against Russia is generally less important to southern Europeans than it is to eastern Europeans. In the past, the German government had sought to serve as a bridge between the two camps. But in Berlin itself these days, significant differences in the assessment of the situation are starting to emerge within the coalition government pairing Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). It's one that pits Christian Democrat leaders like Merkel and Horst Seehofer, who heads the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), against Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the SPD and Social Democratic Party boss Sigmar Gabriel, who is the economics minister.

Map: Russia's Areas of Influence

"The greatest danger is that we allow division to be sown between us," the chancellor said last Monday in Sydney. And it's certainly true to say that this threat is greater at present than at any other time since the crisis began. Is that what the Russian president has been waiting for?

Last week, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier traveled to Moscow to visit with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. With Steinmeier standing at his side, the Russian foreign minister praised close relations between Germany and Russia. "It's good my dear Frank-Walter that, despite the numerous rumors of recent days, you hold on to our personal contact." Steinmeier reciprocated by not publically criticizing contentious issues like Russian weapons deliveries to Ukrainian separatists. Afterwards, Vladimir Putin received him, a rare honor. It was a prime example of just how the Russian strategy works.

United Assessments, Divided Approaches

The German foreign minister is professional enough not to be surprised by the Russian kindness. Even as the chancellor sharply attacked Putin during her appearance in Sydney, saying the West shouldn't be "too conflict averse," Steinmeier struck a far softer tone on the same day in Brussels. Without mentioning Merkel by name, Steinmeier urged for a bit more restraint in public statements, saying the West had to be careful to make sure "that in our use of language in public, we do not eliminate our chances of contributing to the easing of tensions and to the mitigation of conflict."

When he said that, the foreign minister knew that there was a chance he might get a meeting with Putin. As such, one could interpret his statements as an attempt to avoid jeopardizing his possible appointment with the Russian president at the Kremlin.

Still, the statements marked the first time any fissures had become visible in the joint position vis-a-vis Moscow held by Steinmeier and Chancellor Merkel. They are united in their assessment of Russia's actions, but their views differ on the best way to face the Russians in the coming weeks. That, though, has long since become the all-important question.

Merkel considers it to be crucial to make clear to Putin publicly how his conduct is viewed in the West and just what is at stake. She believes that the Russian president will only respond to clear statements -- if he bothers to respond at all.

Her approach is based on the concern that pro-Russian separatists may seek to divide eastern Ukraine for the long run and that the West will have to resign itself to that development. If that happens, then Russia will now have succeeded with its strategy for the third time since the end of the Soviet Union. Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia, breakaway republics that are part of Georgian territory, are under Russian control, as is the Transnistria region of Moldavia. The consequence being that neither country is able to join NATO because the military alliance stipulates that any member state must have previously resolved all border disputes with its neighbors prior to accession.


Nov 27, 2014 - 6:09am

Crimean Tatars reproach Turkey for not imposing sanctions on Rus

Crimean Tatar leader and Ukrainian Parliament lawmaker Mustafa Abdulcemil Kırımoğlu. AA Photo

Turkey should follow the West and impose sanctions on Russia, the leader of the Crimean Tatars has said during a visit to Ankara, reproaching his hosts for continuing trade with Moscow.

“We wish Turkey would join the sanctions imposed by Western countries [on Russia],” Crimean Tatar leader and Ukrainian Parliament lawmaker Mustafa Abdulcemil Kırımoğlu told Anadolu Agency, before his scheduled meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Nov. 25.

“Of course it wouldn’t yield results if only some countries implement sanctions, while others continue trade benefiting from this opportunity,” Kırımoğlu said, referring to Turkey’s moves to take advantage of chilled business ties between Russia and the West.

After the United States and the European Union began imposing sanctions on Russia for its role in the conflict in Ukraine, Russia retaliated with restrictions on the importation of food from the EU and other Western countries in August.

As Turkish authorities rushed to eliminate barriers on trade to boost the exchange of goods between countries, Turkey’s food exports to Russia surged over the first nine months of the year, with white meat exports, poultry and seafood increasing by 447 percent, according to figures announced by Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker on Nov. 24.

Despite reproaching Turkey’s unwillingness to impose sanctions on Russia, Kırımoğlu said he knows that “Turkey’s position is clear, supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”


Nov 27, 2014 - 12:10pm

Russia's Medvedev and Ukraine's Yatseniuk discuss economic ties

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev spoke with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk by telephone, the Russian government's press service said on Thursday.

Medvedev and Yatseniuk discussed financial and economic relations between Russia and Ukraine, the press service added, without elaborating.


Nov 27, 2014 - 12:15pm
Nov 28, 2014 - 9:57am

This oil drop will cause

This oil drop will cause about 6% GDP drop for Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan reducing their ruling clans claims to power and adding to the instability in the region.

They are becoming legitimate takeover targets for Russians.

Nov 28, 2014 - 9:59am

Great! But it won't stop

Great! But it won't stop Russia nor that is the intention. It is posturing to force Russia into conflict that will annihilate it. Putin is a gambler..not 100% rational, so he will play the game against superior force as Hitler did..until its game over. May take 6-7 years.

Nov 28, 2014 - 11:23pm

Fort Carson troops will soon deploy, 'supporting Ukraine'

By Tom Roeder Updated: November 27, 2014 at 5:44 am •

Fort Carson's 4th Infantry Division will lead an American effort to bolster European allies and deter Russian aggression, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.

The post just got a team of soldiers back from Germany where they led a NATO exercise, but the new mission is wider and will last longer.

"This is not going to be a three-week or a month deployment," said a source at the post familiar with the new mission.

The Army hasn't said how long the division troops will be overseas, leaving the deployment indefinite.

U.S. European Command said that a 100-soldier team from the 16,000-soldier division will head to Europe in early 2015 to lead ground forces in "Operation Atlantic Resolve."

"Operation Atlantic Resolve is a continued demonstration of the United States' commitment to the collective security of our NATO allies and support for our partners in Europe, in light of the ongoing Russian intervention in Ukraine," European Command said in a news release. "The operation will remain in place as long as required to reassure our allies."

Russia's eight-month intervention in Eastern Ukraine has heated up this month with reports of increased Russian military activity including more heavy tanks.

European Command boss Gen. Phil Breedlove has been traveling the region in recent days, including a trip to show support for Ukraine.

"The U.S. is committed to supporting Ukraine through this difficult challenge," Breedlove wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. "The international community is imposing ever-tightening economic sanctions on Russia in response to its illegal annexation of Crimea and their destructive military actions and support to forces in Eastern Ukraine."

The Fort Carson soldiers will play a role in deterring Russia by building U.S. ties to allies in the region including former Soviet republics in the Baltic.

Leaders from the division will run a series of training exercises to ensure American forces are ready to fight alongside partners.

Leaders at the post are still developing plans for how they will support the open-ended troop commitment in Europe. Exact dates of when soldiers will leave haven't been announced.

The division has been redesigned in recent years and has fewer heavy tanks and artillery pieces.

The changes, though, left the division well-suited to European war, with infantry troops to tackle tough terrain, tanks to fight on open plains and eight-wheeled Stryker vehicles for urban battles.


Nov 29, 2014 - 5:14am

Excerpt from the speech of

Excerpt from the speech of Hitler on January 30, 1940:

For 15 years, in this democratic Germany, hope was preached, hope for a new world, for new institutions. Every side had its international patron. Some hoped for the international solidarity of the proletariat, others placed their hope in democratic international institutions, on the League of Nations in Geneva. Still others hoped for a global conscience, for a cultural conscience, etc.

All this hope was in vain. We have put a different type of hope in the place of that previous hope: the hope of the only help that exists in this world, help through one's own power. The place that hope occupied is now filled with faith in our German people, in the mobilization of its eternal inner values. Back then , we had very little real tools to help us. What we saw as the building blocks of the new Reich, besides our own will, was firstly our people's manpower, secondly the intelligence of our people, and third that which our Lebensraum has to offer, namely, our earth and soil. Thus we began our work and subsequently witnessed this internal German ascent. This internal German ascent, which did not threaten the rest of the world in any way, which was purely internal German reforms, still instantaneously managed to produce hate in others. Possibly the most tragic moment of this happening was when we proclaimed our Four-Year-Plan, an idea which should have enthused the other world: a people wanted to help itself; it did not appeal to others for aid, it did not appeal for presents, for charity, it appealed to its own creative facilities, its own diligence, its own energy, its own intelligence. And still this other world started shouting, British statesmen cried out: what do you think you're doing, this Four-Year-Plan, it does not fit into our global economy! - as if they had let us have part in this global economy. No, they scented the recovery of the German people - and because of this, because we foresaw this and because we noticed this, we immediately began, parallel to this recovery, to remobilize German power.

You know these years. 1933, so the same year, in which we took over power, I saw myself forced to withdraw from the League of Nations and to leave the ridiculous conference on disarmament. We could not receive any rights from these two forums, despite years of begging and protesting.

1934: German rearmament began on the grandest scale.

In 1935, I instituted the general draft.

In 1936 I corrected the situation of the Rhineland.

1937 was the start of the Four-Year-Plan.

In 1938, the Ostmark and the Sudetenland were annexed to the Reich.

In 1939 we began to shield the Reich against those enemies that in the meantime had removed their masks. The measured introduced in 1939 were to protect the Reich.

All this could have been different, if this other world had, even for an hour, showed understanding for the German claims, for the necessities of life of the German people. So often it is said: we should have negotiated this. You remember, my comrades, did I not on more than one occasion raise the issue of German colonial claims before the world? Did we ever receive an answer to this, except for a no, except for repudiation, indeed almost new hostility? No, in Britain and France the ruling classes were determined to renew their fight against us the moment the Reich recovered. They wanted it so. For 300 years, Britain has followed its goal of preventing Europe to fully consolidate itself, just like France has for many centuries tried to prevent Germany from full consolidation.

Sound familiar, does it not? And quite non-aggressive speech and country , defending itself vs. the picture of Britain and France. This was already after Hitler replaced some ministers, notably, the foreign minister and Defense minister in 1938.

Hitler also had many supporters in British and other democratic societies who perceived him as fighter against global imperialism; may be he even was. But global imperialism was stronger, and will be stronger also this time. Good or bad? What are realistic alternatives given the current number of people on Earth that would avoid extinction type events? I have not heard of any. Only growth via debt can sustain this model-which has immense inertia- until peak debt is truly reached ( and peak oil at the same time) and growth is replaced by gradual decline of Western civilization ( including China who has adopted the model) and raise of Muslim civilization which does not live in the future based on debt.

Nov 29, 2014 - 6:43am

After oil price will bottom -

After oil price will bottom - in few months- with current ruble value or lower, nothing can prevent Russia from turning on printing press to rearm; from history ( French assignats during French Revolution) it is known that government printed money lasts for about 7 years before complete annihilation. This puts a deadline for Putin to compensate - as French tried as well then- this printing and devaluation with asset resource looting by military force. If Russia changes its monetary regime say in early 2015, it has time till about 2020 to compensate it by entering and winning wars. If it does not change its monetary regime soon, it has already lost.

I think this change in Russian monetary regime- showing its intents to increase confrontation and the need for military aggression to keep its NEW monetary system functioning- will mark the bottom in gold.

Nov 29, 2014 - 9:42am

In the end it all summarizes

In the end it all summarizes towards what will be the basis of Russian currency- if it will be nationalization of central bank and , as follows, Russian assets and resources 100% behind a paper currency, as history tells, since this will be spent on arms race, it will have a life time of 6 years , same as assignats that were backed by all property of France. Such printing in turn, demand- in order not to lose value of currency as happened with assignats- increase in currency backing in proportion to military spending- direct proportion, as , in contrast with USD, there is no leverage built in such national currency. USD can last 120-140 years depending on average interest paid on creation of money to bankers- 120 years if its 5% ( 100%/5%=20 , 20*6 = 120 years); This formula was proved already by Thomas Paine, the same, yes.

This 1 to 1 relation between Russian ruble and available, liquid resources of Russian state (backing the currency 100%) will demand that it expands these resources or assets at the pace of its arms spending, which it can only do by occupying other countries costless. First, Ukraine; Second, divide Central Asia with China , taking Kazakhstan; third, occupy Eastern Europe (little value though) and move towards Middle East (and so get closer to the USA involvement in war) ; fourth, and finally-this move will be too expensive- move against China which will end the poker played by Putin.

They -and Putin- should give up now to avoid WWIII, they ( Russians and Putin )- will not. As Hitler, they are not rational and think some miracle may help them even as the economy is as weak as Hitler's ( Hitler basically had engineering knowledge lacked resources, Russia basically has resources but lack engineering/production knowledge) . You need both to wage winning wars.

As soon as Russia will change monetary regime as Khazin recommends, either the crush of Russia or military expansion will be the only choices. And even if they find their own Napoleon later who will be a master of tactical nukes..they will not prevail.

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