Saturday, March 1, 2014

More on Ukraine

This post has been a work-in-progress for a few days. I therefore apologize if it does not flow terribly well, as things have changed so fast, I've had to make many revisions.

Ukraine finally has a new government.

There are two new political parties in the Parliament of the Ukraine. From what I can gather, in terms of policy, they are the same; but have different people and personalities.

The first, founded earlier this week, is the Economic Development party. They want to develop the economy by creating links with Europe. The second, founded earlier today a few days ago, is the European Ukraine party. They want to create links with Europe to spur economic development.

A new government coalition was officially put in place today. The Parliamentary breakdown is as follows.

New Government:
88 - Fatherland - 19.6% (of seats)
42 - UDAR - 9.3%
37 - European - 8.2%
36 - Freedom - 8.0%
36 - Economic - 8.0%
239 - Total Government - 53.1%

New Opposition:
122 - Party of Regions - 27.1%
32 - Communist - 7.1%
57 - Independents and Others - 12.7%
211 - New Opposition - 46.8%

122 is far less members than the Party of Regions had only a few weeks ago. Their peak was 210. As I did with Montreal, I'd like to examine where people went.

There were 210 PoR members, and 12 supportive (pro Russian) Independents.

The new Euro party seems to have all 12 of those Independents, plus 25 PoR members.
The new Economic party is 36 members formerly in the PoR.
An additional 21 former PoR members now sit as Independents.

Note that the Russian-Ukrainian population is 17% of the country, not 27%, the share of Parliament still held by the PoR.

There are, approximately, 24 members in Parliament from Crimea. Only one or two Crimean members of Parliament are from outside the PoR. Thus, the full breakdown of Parliament is as follows:

100 - Party of Regions
88 - Fatherland
42 - UDAR
37 - European
36 - Freedom
36 - Economic
32 - Communist
32 - Pro-West Independent (estimate)
25 - Pro-Russian Independent (estimate)
24 - Crimean

So what does this all mean?

That's hard to say. Parties can come and go quickly in places. What this seems to mean in reality is that a good portion of the Party of Regions has realized that they need to be more pro-Europe if they intend to get re-elected. Regardless, things are still fluid; so this serves more as an update of what's going on than it does as a review of what's happened.

More to come, as always.


  1. I don't believe in armed military intervention but in this case I think that PM Harper should set an example and promote Canadian democracy in Ukraine. PM Harper talked a good talk when he gave the shoulder to shoulder speech many years ago and now he has his chance to actually do some good and liberate the people of the Ukraine. Ever since the USSR fell and became the Russian Federation, people have been subjected to class warfare because of capitalism. President Putin has been a pawn for big business and organized crime. Russia should return to the socialist nation it once was where everybody was equal and had equal opportunity.

  2. Jeremy,

    Under the USSR there was a very distinct class system and social, political, economic and military hierarchy, the equality of individuals within the system is debatable although it is possible a higher degree of equality of opportunity existed. I have not come across any information to suggest people today are subject to "class warfare" because of capitalism, however, class warfare is nothing new in the former Soviet Union. In the early days of the USSR until about 1940 the Kulaks were severely persecuted and the the definition of the word enlarged to create state enemies of any farmer who refused to hand over grain to Moscow. Although Kulaks were only slightly better off (I don't think a modern person would describe them as wealthy) peasants they were labelled state and class enemies of poorer peasants. Lenin described them as " "bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers, who batten on famine". The irony being that Lenin's successor Stalin introduced a program of farm collectivisation that caused agricultural production to decrease significantly and famine ensue. The famine did not spread equally but was most severe in the Ukraine for a host of reasons. Some Ukrainians describe this time in their history as a Holodomor which translates into holocaust.

    I doubt there is much Canada can do except through diplomatic pressure and economic and political sanctions. The Russian Armed forces are several times larger than Canada's and Canada does not have the offensive capabilities to attack or sustain an invasion. In the end any intervention by the West will be confounded with the same problem Napoleon and Hitler faced; unmanageably long supply lines and difficult geographic and meteorological conditions. In the end such events would likely precipitate a war.

    I can well understand Ukrainians distaste at Russian "meddling" in Ukrainian affairs but, it should be remembered that Yanukovich was elected democratically and any resolution will need to involve compromise and reconciliation through negotiation. At the moment Russia holds a number of leases relating to military installations in the Crimea that were negotiated by an independent Ukraine. Hopefully, peace and democracy will prevail, both sides will need to compromise to avoid war.

  3. Russia really wants the province of it holds far more strategic value for them, especially considering pipelines.

    I thus say give them Crimea. Tell them they can have it and no more.

    It would put them in the impossible position of having to accept what we want, and not being able to press for more.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. In 1939 Neville Chamberlain demonstrated appeasement doesn't work.

    3. By that logic we should nuke Russia now.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. No Teddy, it means your proposal of appeasing Russia by giving them the Crimea is a very bad idea.

    6. There is no appeasement. They will take it if they want it. It's saving face for the west. Frankly, we should force them to accept this:

    7. There seems to be this false assumption among some that had we told Hitler "no, you can't have Sudetenland" that Hitler would have resigned, never invaded Bohemia, or Poland, and the world would be a better place.

      No. If we had said no, Hitler would have invaded Bohemia and WW2 would have started then and there. Some know this.

      Among them, there is this presumption that such a WW2 would have been over quickly. This is also false. In 1939, it was known there would be war and everyone was at least partly ready. In 1938, Germany was the only country ready.

      There is no evidence that going to war over Sudetenland would have resulted in a WW2 that is terribly different from going to war over Poland.

      In fact the ONLY way you get a better alternate history is to pre-empt, and invade Germany before it can try to attack Bohemia.

      Thus, unless you want to let Russia start a war with us, you are either suggesting that we should start a war with them, or, that you have no idea what you are talking about.

  4. The New Teddy wrote: "I thus say give them Crimea. Tell them they can have it and no more"

    Your statement above recommends a policy of appeasement! The meaning of appeasement according to the OED: placate (someone) by acceding to their demands.

    No Teddy, Hitler took the Munich agreement as a carte blanche to do as he liked in Eastern Europe. It encouraged him to forge the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, rather than prevent war appeasement encouraged and convinced Hitler that if he invaded Poland and Czechoslovakia (Bohemia ceased to exist by the Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919) Britain and France would not act to stop him. Appeasement paved the way for war!

    Your attempt to re-write history is laughable and demonstrates the weakness of your argument; an argument that only works if one creates alternative histories; it is not worth commenting on except to point out that stopping Hitler's occupation of the Sudenteland would have prevented a major foreign and domestic policy triumph for the Nazis suspending their populous momentum and demonstrate to the German people that Hitler and the Nazis were fallible and able to be defeated. Wise men of the time such as Churchill understood this.

    I categorically deny the hate filled accusations of your last two lines. I must conclude that you hold pro-Putin sympathies. Only an uneducated and bellicose person would see a zero-sum outcome to this crisis, as you do. Your lack of historical understanding is worrisome as is your defence of Nazi Germany and their tactics. You should read history before you comment on it!