Division in Ukraine election is an overstated concern

Apologies for the shameless plug for forth but this story may be of interest to Sluggerites:

Western ‘Russophobia’ distorts understanding of Ukraine election

As the Ukrainian presidential election goes to round two, candidates’ “pro-Western” or “anti-Western” leanings are not what actually matters, says NATALIA ANTONOVA reporting from Ukraine

  • Jason Walsh

    I bring it up because, being a fan of the inimitable Mark Ames I’ve been long aware of misreporting of Russia-related news in the West. It makes me think of two things:

    Firstly, I remember reading an appallingly incorrect NYT report on a dissident attack – the journalist couldn’t distinguish between the various IRAs.

    Secondly, plenty of countries are divided: Ukraine, Belgium, Switzerland etc. Sometimes it doesn’t matter, sometimes it does.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Jason, just as it took several generations to overcome Germanophobia its going to be the same with Russia, and it is much more complicated there too with large Russian populations still living in many other independant countries, of ten treated as second class, so its not just a Ukrainian problem.
    As to your other examples, Switzerland should never be used as an example for anything, it is a strange anomily that has developed in its unique setting over centuries, and Belgium is a mess in many ways but because of its location and hosting of the EU HQ a worst case senario was never that threatening to anyone else.
    Ukraine on the other hand is a large country by european standards, and an important buffer between east and west, important enough for both camps to seek to have it “onside” but to be blunt not important enough to actually care what goes on internally, so long as they are on “ourside” the west is happy enough to play along. A terrible short term policy I agree but thats how things work, I guess if the west no longer feared Russia as a threat its a non issue then, but much as I want too Russia remains a threat in my mind and the mind of many others.

  • Jason Walsh


    Busy but will respond more later. Agree on Switzerland.

  • Jason Walsh

    Delays, delays… Where was I?

    Belgium has seen it’s share of violence, though much of it remains shrouded in mystery. You’re right, though, it’s position as central to the EU institutions guarantees it will continue on quietly for the most part.

    The East-West thing on Ukraine I just don’t buy, I’m afraid. There is no question, in my opinion, that since Putin rescued Russia from the brink of disaster (using crude and often vicious tactics that I do not for one minute agree with), the country has been the target of Western belligerence, remonstration and lies. The stupid poxy proxy war started by Georgia being a primem example. The Western press uniformly pinned the blame, falsely, on Russia.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Jason, Putin was a darling of the west at first, and most welcomed the stability he brought. However it is now the extent he will go to to stay in power and to have the power as virtually absolute that is worrying many, maybe im a victim of media spin but I dont like what I see. As for the Georgia issue, the government there stupidly overstepped the mark and responded to the Russian taunting that Ossetia has been for years, remember Russia is basically controlling 2 large part of another soverign state! and that is not the only place it is happening, what about good old Transdinetira? (forgive spelling) what ever the rights and wrongs of “independance” for these areas I think its more obivious the Russia is more interested in maintaining their dependance on it and thereby using them as some sort of “outposts”. Remember Russias claim to much of Crimea is just sitting ready to brought into play when it suits, when is the Black Sea Fleet due to leave?