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What's good (and bad ) about Russia?


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Hello all,

 

I'd like to start a thread here about the Russian Federation and maybe the old Soviet Union as well. Credit goes to Bruce for the idea due to recent posts in another thread, so thanks Bruce, I'll finally get off my a*se and do it. I've been down the rabbit hole with the country for a long time, and due to my known sympathies and political persuasions, I often come across differing views on this forum and in private life.

 

Very few people I meet here in Australia have any sort of positive attitude toward the Russian Federation. That's understandable considering our upbringing in the thick of the Cold War. And let's face it, the Western press makes more money demonizing Russia than they would publishing anything positive about it. And that's the way the US State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA, NATO, some elements in the EU, and even our comedians (sorry, politicians) like it. Nobody likes opposition.

 

The fact is, Russia is a parallel universe these days; everything we do, they do too, but in a slightly different way. They have the same problem we have in trying to get their kids to put the smart phone down and go outside and kick a ball. The same issues that are important to us are important to them. They love their children just like we do. The only real difference is that we drink beer and they drink vodka. And they eat much more cabbage than we do.

 

Over some time, I can post up some videos and things that might give an insight into life in the current day Russian Federation, covering life, culture, politics and anything else. I'm certainly not in the league of Noddy or Alice and don't see it through rose coloured glasses, so please feel free to post the good, the bad and the ugly about the Russian government, my mate Putin, the excesses of the Soviet Union or anything else that floats the collective boat. As you might guess, most of my posts will probably be pro Russian, but I would really welcome objective criticism and posts from the other angle as well. Maybe most forum members wouldn't be interested in the subject, but if 10% find something interesting or educational, then the thread will be worthwhile.

 

Cheers, Willie.

 

 

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All this is wider than the Russia aspect of our media. For as long as I can remember, our 'news' has been majority sourced from America. As an aside, I wonder how much we have paid for such a bia

The treatment the Brits got was from their own government. not the Yanks. The war cost them an awful lot but the thinking of the government was always that the average Brit was just there to provide p

Thanks Marty, you don't often see them on Gumtree, mainly eBay. It's an ShL-78 helmet and judging by the condition, is reasonably priced at 75AUD. They are a typical Russian bit of gear - designed for

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I'll kick off the thread with patriotism which is a lot stronger in Russia than here.

 

This is a real anthem:

 

 

Here's the original lyrics:

 

Australia's sons let us rejoice,

 

For we are young and free;

 

We've golden soil and wealth for toil,

 

Our home is girt by sea;

 

Our land abounds in Nature's gifts

 

Of beauty rich and rare;

 

In hist'ry's page, let ev'ry stage

 

Advance Australia fair.

 

In joyful strains then let us sing,

 

Advance Australia fair.

 

When gallant Cook from Albion sailed,

 

To trace wide oceans o'er,

 

True British courage bore him on,

 

Til he landed on our shore.

 

Then here he raised Old England's flag,

 

The standard of the brave;

 

"With all her faults we love her still"

 

"Britannia rules the wave."

 

In joyful strains then let us sing

 

Advance Australia fair.

 

While other nations of the globe

 

Behold us from afar,

 

We'll rise to high renown and shine

 

Like our glorious southern star;

 

From England soil and Fatherland,

 

Scotia and Erin fair,

 

Let all combine with heart and hand

 

To advance Australia fair.

 

In joyful strains then let us sing

 

Advance Australia fair.

 

Should foreign foe e'er sight our coast,

 

Or dare a foot to land,

 

We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore,

 

To guard our native strand;

 

Britannia then shall surely know,

 

Though oceans roll between,

 

Her sons in fair Australia's land

 

Still keep their courage green.

 

In joyful strains then let us sing

 

Advance Australia fair.

 

We had to shorten it so the world would think we were some sort of proud independent nation, and not British lackey's.

 

Even our shortened and sanitized version is a national embarrassment. ' With golden soil and wealth for toil, our home is girt by sea'. Crikey, what were we thinking. At it's best it's a really bad song. Anybody who thinks this is an anthem should visit their GP and get some tablets straight away. I don't think the rest of the world would give a stuff whether we were girt or got paid to do some work. I have a question - can anyone provide an example of a worse national anthem in the world of nations? If there is one, it must be a shocker.

 

To prove my point, how many Australians know the words and genuinely want to sing it out loud with national pride in their heart. Most of us are like the footy players. If we really have to, we'll wiggle our lips a bit and pretend we like it. It's embarrassing to the max. We deserve a national anthem.

 

As far as I'm concerned, they can stick this really bad song up their clacker. My home's not girt by anything and it's a given that I earn wealth for toil. We have industrial relations laws that ensure that. So what does one of the world's worst songs masquerading as a national anthem mean to most Australians? Sweet FA really. Most of us embarrassingly go along with it in the hope someone one day will have the balls to push for a real anthem.

 

Why not have a stirring anthem that truly reflects the Australian nation and our people as it is today. Forget the British, gallant Cookie, girt, wealth, yellow sand etc., why can't we have an anthem that all Australians, no matter their background, can be proud of. One that all footy players know the words to. Let the footy players sing out aloud. At the moment, when they try to lip sync to our shocking excuse for an anthem, they have the same embarrassed and awkward look on their faces as our dogs do when you catch them having a crap.

 

Rant over and no apologies for being opinionated. I've noticed when we suppress our opinions and be too politically correct, this forum runs the risk of being like a lot of others that are dead boring. So if you like our stupid song, fire away. I'm all ears.

 

 

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And on to politics.

 

This clip is Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a function dancing to Kalinka. She's one of the most powerful non elected people in Russian politics. If you don't know of her, don't be fooled by this clip. She's the hardest nosed political spokesperson on this planet. The politician or journalist that can beat her doesn't exist as yet. In Russia, PC hasn't come up with the person tag at this point in time. Men are men and women are women, hence her title spokeswoman (shock, horror. Sexist Russian bastards).

 

It's common knowledge that Putin loves women and women love him. But this is no dolly bird appointment. The fact is that out of 145 million Russians, she's at the top of the game. Nobody in the country can do the job as well as her. In other videos in her job capacity, she comes across as hard with a capital H.

 

Maria's background is in that horror decade in the 90's after the Union had collapsed. The former Soviet Union was bankrupt and the newly formed Russian Federation was under virtual total American control due to the foreign grants given to them to survive. Every Russian government department had American advisors embedded writing the new laws of the RF ( the yanks called it guiding them to democracy). But the fact was that the original Russian laws and constitution were drafted by the Americans thanks to the drunken traitorous fool Yeltsin. The laws were designed to line American pockets.

 

During that time, most Russians were struggling with the fundamentals, like how to get food to feed the family. Maria Zakharova grew up in that period, and being a bright student, was lucky enough to get a scholarship to attend university. At the time they had an incentive system at the universities. If you could achieve certain high standards of study, you were given food stamps. So that's how Maria, who was living with her parents and siblings, fed her family. With hard work and dedication. And it got her where she is today. The toughest and most astute non elected political representative in the world.

 

 

 

Later, I'll post some of her press conference clips. It's an interesting comparison with our milk sop pollies with the standard noddy or two in the background bobbing their heads incessantly with every idiotic word the fools utter. And our press should shoulder some of the blame. Why can't they just tell the idiot politicians to piss the noddies off. A real genuine politician doesn't need a clown or two standing behind them nodding their heads. In Russia, they don't lower themselves to crap like that. If a pollie wants to say something, they'll man up and say it straight out. No noddies, no minders, just straight talk. It's their culture.

 

 

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I'll kick off the thread with patriotism which is a lot stronger in Russia than here.

This is a real anthem:

 

Nope I hate it too & the other thing I can't stand is that pathetic chant "Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi". What the hell is that all about?

 

Anyway written by Bruce Woodley of the Seekers many years ago & recently revived for ABCs self promotion video clips this is a far better and more accurate anthem for Australia. AAF is crap.

 

I am Australian

 

I came from the dream-time

 

From the dusty red-soil plains

 

I am the ancient heart

 

The keeper of the flame

 

I stood upon the rocky shores

 

I watched the tall ships come

 

For forty thousand years I've been

 

The first Australian

 

I came upon the prison ship

 

Bowed down by iron chains

 

I bought the land, endured the lash

 

And waited for the rains

 

I'm a settler, I'm a farmer's wife

 

On a dry and barren run

 

A convict, then a free man

 

I became Australian

 

I'm the daughter of a digger

 

Who sought the mother lode

 

The girl became a woman

 

On the long and dusty road

 

I'm a child of the Depression

 

I saw the good times come

 

I'm a bushie, I'm a battler

 

I am Australian

 

We are one, but we are many

 

And from all the lands on earth we come

 

We'll share a dream and sing with one voice

 

"I am, you are, we are Australian"

 

I'm a teller of stories

 

I'm a singer of songs

 

I am Albert Namatjira

 

And I paint the ghostly gums

 

I'm Clancy on his horse

 

I'm Ned Kelly on the run

 

I'm the one who waltzed Matilda

 

I am Australian

 

I'm the hot wind from the desert

 

I'm the black soil of the plains

 

I'm the mountains and the valleys

 

I'm the drought and flooding rains

 

I am the rock, I am the sky

 

The rivers when they run

 

The spirit of this great land

 

I am Australian

 

We are one, but we are many

 

And from all the lands on earth we come

 

We'll share a dream and sing with one voice

 

"I am, you are, we are Australian"

 

We are one, but we are many

 

And from all the lands on earth we come

 

We'll share a dream and sing with one voice

 

"I am, you are, we are Australian"

 

"I am, you are, we are Australian"

 

 

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Nope I hate it too & the other thing I can't stand is that pathetic chant "Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi". What the hell is that all about?

Anyway written by Bruce Woodley of the Seekers many years ago & recently revived for ABCs self promotion video clips this is a far better and more accurate anthem for Australia. AAF is crap.

 

I am Australian

 

I came from the dream-time

 

From the dusty red-soil plains

 

I am the ancient heart

 

The keeper of the flame

 

I stood upon the rocky shores

 

I watched the tall ships come

 

For forty thousand years I've been

 

The first Australian

 

I came upon the prison ship

 

Bowed down by iron chains

 

I bought the land, endured the lash

 

And waited for the rains

 

I'm a settler, I'm a farmer's wife

 

On a dry and barren run

 

A convict, then a free man

 

I became Australian

 

I'm the daughter of a digger

 

Who sought the mother lode

 

The girl became a woman

 

On the long and dusty road

 

I'm a child of the Depression

 

I saw the good times come

 

I'm a bushie, I'm a battler

 

I am Australian

 

We are one, but we are many

 

And from all the lands on earth we come

 

We'll share a dream and sing with one voice

 

"I am, you are, we are Australian"

 

I'm a teller of stories

 

I'm a singer of songs

 

I am Albert Namatjira

 

And I paint the ghostly gums

 

I'm Clancy on his horse

 

I'm Ned Kelly on the run

 

I'm the one who waltzed Matilda

 

I am Australian

 

I'm the hot wind from the desert

 

I'm the black soil of the plains

 

I'm the mountains and the valleys

 

I'm the drought and flooding rains

 

I am the rock, I am the sky

 

The rivers when they run

 

The spirit of this great land

 

I am Australian

 

We are one, but we are many

 

And from all the lands on earth we come

 

We'll share a dream and sing with one voice

 

"I am, you are, we are Australian"

 

We are one, but we are many

 

And from all the lands on earth we come

 

We'll share a dream and sing with one voice

 

"I am, you are, we are Australian"

 

"I am, you are, we are Australian"

Yep - I reckon we'd have the coolest national anthem on Earth if we picked that one.

 

 

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I don't find the current anthem particularly offensive and I think we are right up our own posteriors if we think any people from other countries give a toss about it. In anycase, at the Olympics, Comm Games and the like, it is only an instrumental rendition that is played and I see many athletes who have earned the right to have it played while they are up on the podium sing it out. Would I sing it with national pride? Definitely - have done in London in one of the Walkabut pubs and in the Church on Aussie Day - along with around 150 other Aussies on each occasion (well, I claim to have sung it - but trust me - I can't sing). And your land has to be girt with something, using the Old English definition, of which one of its meanings is encricled. Yes, it is going to be a bit embarressing if you allow the singer of the quality in the clip you posted sing it.. and the players were probably looking pretty uneasy about it more than the anthem itself. And on other national anthems, I would assert most people (except the yanks) don't know the second verse to their anthem. God Save the King/Queen only has two verses - but even at the Proms, they only sing the first one.

 

As for Russia - you are entitled to your opinion. When I was a teenager in the very late 70s/early 80s, my best mate was a Russian immigrant. Through him and his family, I met many other Russian immigrants and their families and I cannot recall one of them longing to go anywhere near the place. The stories his family told be, even if embelished was that of a regimented life with little real freedoms.. outward corruptions and continually looking over ones shoulder. My stepmother was Latvian (at the time part of the USSR) but lived in Moscow before she moved to Aus. Her memories were a little fonder, but she always compared Australia and its way of life favourably..

 

There are many good things about Russia. I can say the fairer sex are quite fair on average... The education is excellent; the people are fantastic (but most people are fantastic). And yes, the press is somewhat not entirely fair witrh Russia. I was reading an article of a Scottish bloke flying his permit aircraft across Russia - apart from the bureacratic red tape, his recollection was distinctly different from the mainstream press' reports of an issue he was havijng in which they reported the locals here hostile and at best unhelpful. His recollection was markedly different.. But it was a case of who you know to get some basic things like avgas and even he admitted that. And they are far more patriotic than we give them credit for. @willedoo - you are entitled to your opinion - Australia is a free country and you can criticise it all you want and providing it doesn't incite or vilify (or slander/libel), you will be tolerated.. Something that even today is not a freedom enjoyed by our Russian comrades. And, while I am sure the British and Aussie intelligence get themselves caught up in shennanigans on foriegn soil, they aren't quite so blaze (blah-zay) about it as the Rouskis...

 

They are but a part of the rich tapestry that makes up this world..

 

(p.s. the seekers song is good, but it is still very long... I would vote for Guns & Roses - We can't be beatn.. now that would be a good national anthem!! spacer.png)

 

 

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Looks like it is no a particularly safe place for a journalist. List of journalists killed in Russia - Wikipedia

It doesn't look like a very safe occupation. Particularly in places like Dagestan and Chechnya.

 

Statistics are interesting. In 1994 there were six journalists murdered if you don't factor in four killed by crossfire in the Chechnya war. With a total murder figure of almost 48,000, that's around .015% of the population. I'd have a wild guess that based per occupation, many more bricklayers would have been murdered that year. Then in 1995 the figure jumps to 26 killed (14 in Chechnya), which is more than double the non war deaths of the year before.

 

It seems to be getting a bit better. The overall homicide rate is steadily dropping, with 8,844 in 2017, or 6 per 1000, down from a peak of more than thirty. That's still six times our rate for overall homicides. 2017 lists four journalists killed in Russia; still not an ideal job to have.

 

 

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Jerry, on the subject of the Scottish aviator, I've always found it odd that avgas has been in short supply and hard to get in recent years in such an oil rich country. Apart from fuel economy and range, inconsistent avgas supply was one of the factors behind the plan to convert regional transport An-2's to turbines. There's plenty of jet fuel.

 

You're right about freedom of expression in Russia. Most Russians can have a fairly good life these days as long as they stay away from politics and expressing strong views publicly.

 

 

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My only personal experience with Russia was in 1974 when it was part of the Soviet Union. I travelled with 3 friends in a Combi van where we went through Scandinavia & into Russia via Finland to St Petersburg, then called Leningrad to Moscow & back via Poland. It took about 6 months to get visas & we were provided with a female chaperone who travelled with us in the van & went everywhere with us. We had a specific itinerary with designated stops and accommodation.

 

I found the people very warm and welcoming but very frightened of getting too engaged especially when our guide was watching which was most of the time. We fooled her a few times and once decided to call in to a village that was not on the route saying one of the girls felt ill & needed to stop. Within minutes the police arrived and we were escorted out again. The young people then were desperate for information about the west, were totally apolitical & loved the Beatles, Rolling Stones & almost any other Rock band of the era. Moscow was fantastic. I loved the underground with its crystal chandeliers etc. Food was crap and there were queues for most things.

 

The iron grip of the Soviets was showing cracks & I believe it was largely the younger generation that was responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. We only had 2 weeks & were glad to leave but paid for most of the trip by selling all our Levi jeans. It was pretty easy as one of us would distract out chaperone while the others did the deals getting the equivalent of about a hundred pounds in roubles per pair that cost 10 pounds in London.

 

One very memorable moment was crossing the border into Poland where our official chaperone got off. The Russian side was all very strict & they checked everything in the van. We trundled across no-mans land to the Polish side where the border guard was asleep & we had to toot the horn. He woke up with a start, tidied himself up, put on his hat & came out the the van & with both arms stretched out wide and a broad smile on his face yelled in very bad english "Welcome to Poland". He then gave us food and coffee & wanted to hear stories. He even forgot to check our passports till the last moment when one of the girls asked him if he was going to check the visas & stamp them. It wasn't until a while later that I recalled that I could not remember any Russians actually smiling.

 

On a historic level my wifes mother was from Ukraine and her great grandfather was shot dead at point blank range in front of her at a very young age during the revolution. They were White Russians. Then in her early 20s she was taken away by the Germans to a labour camp where she met her husband & they came to Australia as refugees after WW2.

 

Of course Russia is a very different place today. The people are pretty smart & savvy but their violent history still shows in the attitude of the government today. It is hardly surprising given that they have been invaded several times and also from within. They lost at least 11 million soldiers in WW2 & 20 million civilians during the Stalinist era.

 

 

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Talking about Russia.

 

Greg, the SydneyRecreational FlyingClub, instructor's father was in a Australian RAF squadron that flew to Russia during the war,

 

He has a book about this episode, for sale,written originally by his father, then with further information by Greg.

 

spacesailor

 

 

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It wasn't until a while later that I recalled that I could not remember any Russians actually smiling.

 

They had less to smile about in the Soviet days, but even today there's not much smiling in public. It's more of a cultural thing. It's ok among family and friends, but smiling to strangers without good reason is not the done thing. I'd say if a Russian makes a joke to you, it's ok to smile, or if a shopkeeper smiles at you, it's ok to smile back. I think as another example, smiling at a cute baby would be acceptable. But to walk around randomly smiling in that country is seen as a sign of stupidity. When foreign tourists get about Moscow smiling all the time, most locals think they're dills. Not all locals thankfully, just most.

 

 

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Talking about Russia.Greg, the SydneyRecreational FlyingClub, instructor's father was in a Australian RAF squadron that flew to Russia during the war,

 

He has a book about this episode, for sale,written originally by his father, then with further information by Greg.

 

spacesailor

spacesailor, I remember reading a review on a book written by someone who's father served in 455 squadron based in Russia for a few months, but I can't remember the name of the book. I'd like to read it if I can find out where to get it.

 

When I was a kid, our next door neighbour was ex RAAF and flew Lancasters during the war. On one mission, they landed in Soviet territory to refuel for the return trip back to Britain. The crew were keen to get out and stretch their legs, but on landing, were surrounded by armed Soviet troops and not allowed out of the aircraft. When he related the story he said " and I thought they were supposed to be on our side!".

 

 

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Big news about the russians taking over ukrainian navy ships , as they tried to go through the passage between the crimea and russia. Whats going on willedoo? is there going to be a war or is the ukraine going to lose out? or what?

 

 

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I've been following it Bruce, but it's a bit early to figure it all out.

 

Interestingly enough, yesterday I listened to ABC radio interviewing a professor from one of our bigger universities (Sydney, I think). He specializes in Russian/Ukrainian geopolitics. He gave a few possible reasons behind it. One scenario he gave was that as Ukrainian President Poroshenko is up for election on March 31st., he was doing this as an excuse to impose martial law. Poroshenko's approval ratings have been plummeting and it's almost a given he would lose the election under normal conditions.

 

The interview with the professor was a few hours before Poroshenko did just that, applied to the Parliament to introduce martial law. As the professor said, under martial law, all political electioneering is banned. Poroshenko has imposed martial law on all Ukrainian regions bordering Russia, Belorussia (Belarus), and Moldova. One point to make is that Belorussians are almost defacto Russians in their loyalties. I'd suggest opening up Google maps and zoom in on the region to get a better understanding. As you would see, Belarus is nowhere near any of the troubled regions, and extends all the way to western Ukraine, bordering on Poland. Why would he do that?

 

The reason is simple when you look at the map. There is always an ethnic buffer zone on the borders, eg. ethnic Russians live in the Ukrainian border regions. Just like ethnic Poles live in Ukraine and Ukrainians in Poland. Starting with the map on the top left section of Ukraine is Belarus at the intersection of the Poland/Ukraine/Belorussian border. So you have Belorussians (Russian sympathies), moving around to to the Kharkov region (slightly more Ukrainians than Russians), then down to the Donbass regions where the civil war was (majority ethnic Russian), then around the Azov Sea coastline (slightly bigger Ukrainian %), across the top of Crimea to the Odessa region (slightly bigger Ukrainian %), then up the Moldovan border. The eastern sector of Moldova (Transnitria) is an ethnic Russian, semi-autonomous region of Moldova, but the same people spread over into Ukraine.

 

The common thread here is that all the regions under martial law have either majority ethnic Russians, of close to it. They would nearly all vote against Poroshenko. Bearing in mind, after the 2014 coup, the first legislation introduced by Poroshenko's government was to ban the use of the Russian language in Ukraine, which is spoken by about 30% of the population. So that's a lot of votes, and Poroshenko has effectively shut down the opposition's election campaigns in those regions. If Poroshenko is a well meaning dude, why has he imposed martial law all the way over in the west on the Polish border?

 

On today's news, he's wound back the original 60 day martial law to 30 days to keep NATO happy, and promised them it has nothing to do with the election. His next move will be to back down or engineer a false flag to keep extending martial law out to the election date. Under martial law, he can also postpone elections. It's quite different from here, if we had the case of an unpopular PM desperately trying to keep his job. In Ukraine, and possibly Russia as well, a powerful group of oligarchs surround that person, so it's a group thing and not an individual attempt at survival. So he risks, not only losing his position, but probably getting bumped off by rivals as well. Bumped off as in bumped off the planet. Basically he needs a lot of drama and anti-Russian sentiment in his country between now and March, to retain his job, and that of his mates.

 

Another thing to consider is that even post coup, and all during the Donbass conflict that killed 10,000 people, martial law was never declared in Ukraine. I might be biased, but I smell a rat. Tonight, the Ukrainian UN rep, speaking after the security council meeting that Putin called for, said they have so called intelligence that Russian ground troops are about to invade Ukraine and seize Mariupol and Berdyansk. If that happens without good reason, I'll suck a boil and take back everything I've ever said in Russia's defence. It's bordering on delusional.

 

As far as the ships go, that's another thing. Russia claims they had every right to do it based on international maritime law. Russia and Ukraine signed a treaty years ago (2004, I think) guaranteeing freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait. But neither side could just sail through as authority rested with the Kerch Port Authority. You still had to have all the paperwork, approval etc., and be up for inspections, the usual stamping of papers etc..

 

That prorocol was in place when Ukraine controlled Crimea, and now that Russia does, the Kerch Port Authority stills runs it. The reason for the treaty was that as the two peninsulas are so close, their maritime boundaries overlapped. Since the Crimean re-unification in 2014, Russia claims the Crimean side of the Kerch straight as their waters, meaning in their eyes, Ukrainian vessels are transiting through solely Russian waters to go through the straight.

 

Ukraine said that they informed Russia they would be sailing through the straight. Russia says they did not. The fact remains that the Ukrainian ships attempted to transit the straight in a non conventional, possibly provocative way. Look at it this way, those ships would no doubt regularly transit the straight with all the correct paperwork and approvals. The Russian Navy and Coast guard would regularly let them through. If the Ukrainian Navy crews knew that they had approval to transit, why would they take evasive maneuvers and try to do a runner when the Russian Coast Guard approached them? Normally, a Navy Crew who had all the papers and approvals, when approached by the Coast Guard, would stop. The fact that they tried to do a runner suggests strongly that the whole thing was a possible political setup, or a bit fishy at least.

 

The sticking point is that Russia considers both sides of the straight to be their territorial waters, and most of the international community consider the Crimean side to be Ukrainian waters. Hypothetically, if the international community recognized the waters as Russian, then the Russian Navy and CG behaved exactly as ours would if Indonesian or PNG naval vessels entered Sydney Harbour without permission, and then tried to avoid interception. The Russian Navy and Coast Guard did their job, just as our's would. If anything is wrong, it would only be their interpretation of who owns the waters.

 

 

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And here's one for the conspiracy theorists.

 

Petro Poroshenko doesn't take a cr*p without American permission. So is the good ol' unintelligence agency poking him along on this . Maybe not.

 

He's made billions from selling chocolate and obviously a good enough businessman, but politically, he's as thick as two short planks. It's questionable whether he's got the brains or imagination to think this one up on his own. But combined with his fellow stooges, maybe they could figure it out between them without American help. I can't remember who it was in the US government who described him as a 'useful idiot', but it's a fair description.

 

I'd be very sceptical of this report about a detained Ukrainian officer fessing up. More likely Sputniknews propaganda.

 

Detained Ukrainian Naval Officer Admits Provocative Actions in Kerch Strait

 

 

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On the subject of the Naval incident, I watched the two UN Security Council meetings. The first was called by Russia, and their agenda was voted down, as they really only have China on their side in the council.

 

The second was called on behalf of Ukraine and the agenda was passed. They gave the Russian rep a hard time, and all banged on about their perception of Crimea being illegally annexed by Russia. The Russian UN Security Council rep was trying to remind them that they were there to discuss the Naval incident, but as usual they wouldn't listen to him. A lady ( I'm not sure what country she represented ) made a statement calling on Russia to uphold the Minsk agreements.

 

The Russian rep was gobsmacked and asked her if she'd ever read the Minsk agreements, or had any clue what they were about. The Minsk agreements cover the cease fire in the Donbass and have no mention or relativity to Crimea. It's scary to think that UN representatives of certain countries are so incompetent and ignorant of simple, easily verifiable facts and yet get up on the world stage and proceed to espouse verbal diarrhoea.

 

I think the reason they do it is either inherent stupidity and incompetence, or the fact that they know most of the world's baa lambs will believe anything they're told if it fits the status quo narrative. We're fully in the age of illusion these days.

 

 

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