US protest against neo-nazis in Ukraine
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Here is some detailed background information on the Ukrainian neo-fascists and a good overall write-up on the situation. Eight neo-fascists now hold ministerial posts within the new, US-supported Ukrainian government. The following quote illustrates their ideology:
To create a truly Ukrainian Ukraine in the cities of the East and South, only one lustration will not be enough, we will need to cancel parliamentarism, ban all political parties, nationalize the entire industry, all media, prohibit the importation of any literature to Ukraine from Russia... completely replace the leaders of the civil service, education management, military (especially in the East), physically liquidate all Russian-speaking intellectuals and all Ukrainophobes... execute all members of the anti-Ukrainian political parties...
It's hard to tell how far they'll get with this ambitious program, but they've already outlawed the use of Russian language and are busy shutting out Russian television. Book-burnings may be next. To understand what this means, consider the following:
The population in the core Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine outnumbers the population in the core Ukrainian-speaking regions by almost two to one. Of the country's ten largest cities, only one, Lviv, is predominantly Ukrainian-speaking. Russian is, by a wide margin, the language of choice in education, commerce, and entertainment. A 2012 study found that over 60% of newspapers, 83% of journals and 87% of books, and 72% of television programs in Ukraine are still in Russian. Even more troubling, from the western Ukrainian perspective, is that the internet has only reinforced this cultural dominance. Russian is by far the preferred language on web sites in Ukraine (80.1%), followed by English (10.1%), then Ukrainian (9.5%), while the Russian version of Wikipedia remains five times more popular in Ukraine than the Ukrainian one. [source]
By banning Russian, Ukraine is effectively lobotomizing itself.

Saturday update:

Rumors are flying that the US has confiscated Ukraine's gold reserves. It would make sense that the Fed would be gold-hungry, given the trouble they are having "finding" German gold that is "on reserve" with them (but has actually been "leased" to China, where it's been smelted down). And the US did confiscate Iraq's and Libya's gold reserves...

Ukraine's defense minister is trying to whip up hysteria, claiming that the Russians tried to invade and were repelled. (Had the Russians wanted to invade Ukraine, they wouldn't have "tried to" - they just sort of would have.) Looks like the Kiev junta is desperate to start an actual war ASAP, for lack of any other options, while the Russian strategy is to let them simmer in their own juices until the meat falls off the bone.

Two good reads: Vladimir Goldstein's "Let Kerry rethink the arrogance of America" and Ryan Faith's "Why Putin will get everything he wants in Crimea."

Friday update:

Unlike what seems like 99.9% of Western media, Michael Cohen of The Guardian gets it right: there is pretty much nothing the US can do about Crimea, beyond John Kerry's endless harrumphing and Botox-impaired frownies.

Former Ukraine security chief speaks out on the mercenaries who massacred people in Kiev. Moscow wants an investigation, Washington's response is "duh."

Germany's opposition leader blasts Merkel for supporting the US-installed junta in Kiev: "They are fascists!" But they are "our" fascists, so that makes it OK, right?

Crimean self-defense forces intercepted a US drone over Crimea, gained control over it and forced it to land almost intact. Russian troops are in Crimea based on a long-standing agreement. And the US drones are there out of sheer respect for Ukrainian territorial integrity. Is there a dead horse in the room, or is that just the rotten stench of American hypocrisy?

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