KyivPost

Russia, Ukraine relationship going sour, say polls

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Oct. 2, 2008, 3:15 p.m. |
More Russians say they have a bad attitude about their neighbors The attitude of Russians and Ukrainians toward each other has deteriorated in recent months, according to parallel public opinion polls conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and Moscow-based Levada-Center.

The significant attitude change is the outcome of Russia’s propaganda campaign against Ukraine, some say. The bigger fear is where all of this bad blood is leading.

“Russia spends millions on a propaganda of hate toward Ukraine among its citizens and Russia doesn’t do anything without having a plan,” said Taras Berezovets, director of Kyiv-based Polittech political consulting company. “This all has the clear aim to prepare society for more radical actions.”

It’s no surprise, say experts, considering the war of words that has broken out in recent months over many issues.

Moscow, for instance, is vehemently opposed to Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko’s attempts to have the nation join the NATO military alliance. The Russian government also objects to Ukraine’s attempts to have Stalin’s Great Famine of 1932-33 recognized as genocide against the Ukrainian people. And Russia’s five-day war in August with Georgia became a flashpoint after Yushchenko sided with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili over the Kremlin.

To add fuel to the fire, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is quoted as having made condescending remarks about the divisiveness of Ukrainian politics and the viability of its statehood.

The comments of the leaders are having an effect on the people they represent, especially in Russia’s case, where most of the major media outlets are subservient to the Kremlin.

“Public opinion is the same as state policy,” said Oleg Savelyev, the spokesman for Levada-Center.

The results of the Levada-Center poll held Sept. 12-15 show that only 2.5 percent of Russians have a “very good” attitude toward Ukraine, while another 34.8 percent called their attitude “good.” However, 36 percent have a “bad” attitude toward Ukraine and some 16.6 percent answered their attitude is “very bad.”

That is a sharp deterioration over Russians attitudes in April.

At that time, “very good” had 5.5 percent support, “good” won 49.2 percent, “bad” got only 27.3 percent and “very bad” registered in single digits at 6.2 percent.

Ukrainians’ attitudes to their northern neighbor also worsened, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology poll indicated, but not by as much.

Currently, some 42.8 percent say they regard Russia as “very good,” another 44.9 say their attitude is “good,” while 6.8 percent have a “bad” attitude to Russia and only 2.2 percent say “very bad.”

By comparison, in April, some 47.3 percent said their attitude to Russia was “very good,” 40.7 percent said “good” and only 4.5 percent had a “bad” and 2.3 percent “very bad” attitude to Russia.

Pollsters say the results show that a deliberate campaign by Russia is succeeding in turning its population against Ukraine.

“Mass media [in Russia] is the main reason. Alternative points of view are not presented to the public,” Savelyev said. “So the conclusion is that the attitude toward Ukraine is a result of state propaganda.”

Savelyev said that the change in Russian public opinion between April and September was caused by several developments related to the military conflict between Georgia and Russia, including renewed tensions over the stationing of the Russian Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol until 2017.

But Russian anti-Ukrainian propaganda isn’t limited by slams on Ukrainian politics.

“Even pieces on tourism in Crimea on Russian TV channels are presented disparagingly,” Berezovets said.

Berezovets expects the propaganda to be accompanied by a more aggressive policy towards Ukraine, just as in Georgia. Before the Georgian-Russian military conflict, Russia started a domestic propaganda campaign against Georgia, Berezovets said.

Russia’s strategic aim is to spread influence over the separate territories of the former Soviet Union. By the war in Georgia, Russia gained influence over South Ossetia and Abkhazia, he said.

“Russia’s strategy in Ukraine is to bring some of Ukraine’s territories out of its jurisdiction”, Berezovets said.

Russia has informational influence in Ukraine and economic influence related to Ukraine’s energy problems. Russia’s aim in Ukraine is to cause Kyiv’s government to lose support and, simultaneously, to provoke a referendum in Crimea to separate from Ukraine, he said.

Another victim of Russia’s negative propaganda was Estonia, he said. The Estonian government’s decision to dismantle the monument to the Soviet unknown soldier in Tallinn in 2007 caused Russians to protest in Estonia.

Ukrainians, in turn, are reacting to this Kremlin propaganda with animosity of their own.

“Russia’s national idea…is a policy of expansion, while most of its attention is paid not to establishing [domestic] order, but to spreading influence,” said Iryna Bekeshkina, head of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, the Kyiv-based think tank.

Ukrainian attitudes, in turn, are influenced by statements from Russian officials such as "Crimea doesn’t belong to Ukraine." Ukrainians also have ongoing fears of Russian “gas blackmail” because of the nation’s dependence on energy supplies from the eastern neighbor. In 2006, a pricing dispute led to a temporary 2006 gas shutoff.

Overall, however, Ukrainian public opinion has not changed as dramatically as Russia’s.

“The attitude toward Russia is determined by Russia itself,” Berezovets said. “And if Ukrainian citizens will hereafter feel that Russia is unfriendly to Ukraine, the attitude toward Russia will become worse not only among people from western Ukraine, always skeptical about Russia, but even among those whose attitude is traditionally good or neutral.”
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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 12:40 a.m.    

It's time for Ukrainians to get serious about the potential threat posed by Russia. In 1917 Ukrainian "socialists" thought it inconceivable that Russia would attack their newly-independent fellow socialist state. They believed Bolshevik rhetoric about "proletarian solidarity", freedom to nations, and class warfare. Consequently they deferred the formation of a Ukrainian army until it was too late to stop Muraviev's onslaught.

There is no greater guarantee of a nation's security and independence than a capable and potent defense force. Ukraine must do everything it can to ensure that such a force would never have to be used. But, if all else fails, Ukraine must ensure that the price of aggression against its territory would be too high for even a superior force to contemplate.

Ukraine must rid itself of its "polyannish" attitude toward its northern neighbor.

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 7:10 p.m.    

From the States,

From what I know so far, I would say Putin is worse than Bush in that he is following in the tradition of past Russian leaders to use both psychological and physical force to control the Russian people.

In contrast, Bush follows the tradition of past American leaders who use psychological and monetary influence to control the American people. For example, there is a struggle right now between average Americans (Main Street) and the corrupt capitalist elites that are trying to loot the treasury to the tune of $700,000,000,000 as a down payment with another $500,000,000,000 soon to follow in a few weeks. Main Street wants a bailout that will actually help the economy, generate jobs, and not merely absorb the massive losses the "fat cat" bankers of Wall Street took with their stupid derivative games linked to declining real estate values resulting in the fiasco which is the (and soon to be global) financial crisis.

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Anonymous Dec. 31, 2008, 2:58 p.m.    

No comment.

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 2:01 a.m.    

There are only 4 state run channels in Russia and about 100 independent. There are planty of oposition voices in Russia. Echo of Moscow takes shots at Putin every day on radio and TV.

There are more people with higher degrees of education in Russia than in any country in Europe. I think Russians are capable of looking beyond propoganda. This condescending opinion of author is most defenitely affected by anti-Russian propoganda.

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 5:29 a.m.    

That is the true sorrow from the Western point of view, since education means they see a bigger picture, but instead, Russians are rather myopic to the wealth of riches that come when they see opportunities to improve their own status, and not spend so much wasted energy going after the external peoples that do not wish them harm, but want their own independence. It was clear that Russian tanks were already in the tunnel before Georgia tried to rein in it's South Ossetia province. This is the reason the west considers Russia aggressively out of self control. It took months of planning to do such a thing, widening rail heads and developing newer ways to get bigger trains to travel at night out if view. Does Russia not see we can see them? But, the energy wasted could have provided Russia with better transportation for civilians and that didn't happen! Cold steel seats for the common man, but plush seating for two for Putin! We see that also. Who is more spoiled? Putin or Bush? Gregor S.

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2008, 5:17 p.m.    

You are mis-informed -- phonecalls don't prove anything, as OSCE accused Georgian government of producing fake videos of terrorist acts in the past. I'm not aware of a railroad going from Russia to S.Ossetia. On the other hand we know that Saakashvili is a Nationalist, campaigned on a promise to reclaim the two provinces, and have been very involved in building up his military, plus, everyone in the world community, except for Georgian government agree that Russia responded to Georgian offencive. So, what are you somking?

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2008, 5:47 p.m.    

Saakashvili did all he could to provoke the Russians, and he got still a mild answer. And who gave this guy the right to display a European flag next to the Georgian one? It is not only a copyright infringement, but an insult to Europe and to the Georgian citizens.

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 3:02 p.m.    

A Lie is a lie you can repeat again and again - and they russian mayority feed on neofascist propaganda....Eurojo

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 3:49 a.m.    

In Russia,Putin's Kremlin used a state-controlled company to take over the only independent television network, NTV. When the ousted NTV journalists took over a different channel, TV-6, the state shut it down. When they tried again with a network called TVS, Putin's press minister yanked it off the air and replaced it with a sports channel.

The general manager installed at NTV after the Kremlin takeover was later fired when his coverage of the Moscow theater siege in 2002 angered Putin. Then NTV's most independent remaining hosts, Leonid Parfyonov and Savik Shuster, were taken off the air after the government bristled at their talk shows. Shuster's show was called "Freedom of Speech."

Just another example of Russian "opposition voices". If you want to see Shuster's show - go to Ukraine. Its the most popular show there.

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 4:08 a.m.    

None of the NTV or Shuster were ever as critical of Putin as Echo of Moscow comentators. So, my question to you is: Echo of Moscow stays open how?

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 4:52 p.m.    

Even Putin needs token "proof" of a free press. The Echo of Moscow is controlled by Gazprom Media, a subsidiary of Russian state-owned oil and gas giant Gazprom.

Do you honestly believe that a government media subsidiary is left free to oppose the government accidentally? Or maybe because Putin believes in "free speech" and wants to employ both advocates and opponents of his program?

He has stifled any truly independent voice of opposition and, instead, has set up his own "opposition" voice. Get real.

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 9:18 p.m.    

According to you if a journalist's career goes sower it must be because of their political views. I got news for you: many journalists in Russia get fired and don't succeed even if they praise administration. Unfortunately, people only notice those that are critical of governement as they blame terminations on political motivations. Just like Khodorkovki blamed his procecution on politics. Nevermind the fact that he only got in to politics after he found out that his company is being investigated for tax fraud, so he could get political refugee status in the West.

Gazprom is not only State owned, its a public company and many people around the world own it. Perhaps it is you who should wise up.

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 2:14 p.m.    

I must agree with Putin's assessment of Ukraine's internal political situation. After all, Ukraine, for all its faltering steps, has had to endure an attempt at building a democracy. A 'managed democracy', as Putin has created, is inherently much more stable. Allowing people to vote and simplifying their realistic choice avoids some of those democratic inconveniences like close votes and unstable coalitions. Unpopularity and mistrust will stalk Russia until Medvedev grasps two things: (1) you cannot run foreign policy according to the dislikes of your predecessor; (2) running a country is different from running Gazprom. Perhaps what we are seeing from Putin, in his increasingly strident and unpleasant comments about everything, is a subconscious understanding that his political influence will inevitably wane. The pessimisitc view might be that a lot of international damage can be done during his slow decline. Optimistically, maybe Medvedev is better than first impressions suggest.

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 5:42 p.m.    

Because pootin and the entire world thoroughly understand that the mockal federation faces the same future as the sunken submarine kursk, moscow is more desperate than ever. Just in the last 48 hrs, 5 russian officers were killed outside of Chechnya. Too bad....that's what happens when a 4th world 'army' attempts to invade the republic of Chechnya. Within 10-15 years, russian federation's territory will shrink by 73%. The world is changing....but russia will be changing beyond their wildest imaginations. The destruction of the decrepit soviet union was only the beginning...

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 8:12 p.m.    

Ukraine is doing everything it can to sour the relationship.

So please do not wonder it you get back what you created (a bad relationship).

It is clear in these comment that there is clear acism against the Russians.

I am not Russian, not Ukrainian. BUT needs to be said: Putin has his country in order. Ukraine/the Oranges not, to say the least. The Oranges are however good at their main task: be the agressive poodles of the USA. The way the Holodomor story is handled, is designed to piss off the russians.

Should they still be in love with you when you keep on coming up with historical grievances?

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 2:52 p.m.    

Putins Neofascist order....wonderful ............

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2008, 1:33 a.m.    

Mike, you are just a Russian stooge. Yes Putana has his country in order. What a great democracy, where all you are fed is state propaganda on state owned media. Where you are stopped 4-5 times a day to have your documents checked. Why don't you go and try living there?! Ukraine has it's problems, but their insistence on running the country without interference from Russia is understandable.

Ukraine is for Ukrainians!

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 11:11 p.m.    

If the price for Russian "love" is to keep quiet on "historical grievances", then all I can say - to you and the Russians - is to "bring it on". Why don't you tell Jews to keep their mouths shut about the Holocaust lest the Germans won't "love" them?? Are you for real? The Holodomor was Ukraine's Holocaust and it should be shouted from every rooftop in Ukraine in memory of the millions who were starved to death.

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2008, 11:43 p.m.    

There is no consensus between historians on whether the Holodomor was engineered by Georgia's favorite son Stalin or was an unintended consicuence of Soviet policies.

As my grandmother survived the event in Ukraine, I'm looking at this objectively. Please, answer this question: How can Ukraine claim "genoside" against Ukrainian people, as these events also took place in other parts of USSR -- Urals, Caucasus, etc?

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2008, 1:21 a.m.    

Recognizing there were pockets of famine in other parts of the Soviet Union in no way takes away from the fact that what happened in Ukraine can be easily classified as a genocidal famine.

Even moderate estimates of the human toll, indicate that 15% of Ukraine's population starved to death. Certain areas outside Ukraine that suffered heavily - such as the Kuban - were primarily populated by Ukrainians. While it is true that Kazakhstan and the lower Volga were also affected, the heaviest losses fell on Ukraine.

There is a great deal of evidence that Stalin considered the rural population of Ukraine to be the backbone of the nation and that he intended to deal "a crushing blow" against Ukrainian national resurgence. In his own words "the national question is in essence a rural question".

In addition to Jews, many others were targeted by the Nazis. Yet we all recognize the legitimacy of Jewish charges of "genocide". Why do you think Ukraine's claim should be treated differently?

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 11:46 p.m.    

Stalin had his country in order, Hitler had, Pinochet had, Franco had, Mussolini had - Putin has ....great - is#nt it ???

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2008, 12:47 p.m.    

Ok Ok, thanks for the interesting replies.

1) "Why don't you tell Jews to keep their mouths shut about the Holocaust lest the Germans won't "love" them??"

.... the jews have the intelligence not to shout and offend the Germans about the holocaust. They cooperate on research etc. Why because the approach is - non offensive and - clear :It was clear the policies were ANTISEMITIC. In the case of the famine, the victimsare being politicised: PEASANTS were targeted, many PEASANTS were UKRAINIANS.

2) "Bring it on"....

.... the question is not about LOVE or HATE, to be FOR or AGAINST someone. This is the plight of today's Ukrainian ploitical class: They look at the US for inspiration. This will kill Ukraine in the long run. The first world war came after years of vexations between the parties. Today's Europe is about putting the historical grievances aside. To "bring it on" attitude will cost Ukraine dearly in the future.

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 2:51 p.m.    

MIKE another russian hate monger - the democratic Ukraine has no need for Holodomor Deny

as well as the world has no need for deny of the Holocoust...

Russia has no right to do so, as Germany has no right to do so ....

Same story - different outcome....well Russia is still a state of hatred and lie ........

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 3:29 p.m.    

Stupid coment Eurojo

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 9:16 p.m.    

Well in the eyes of a Moskali for sure - traitor against a free Ukraine...

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2008, 12:53 p.m.    

"Recognizing there were pockets of famine in other parts of the Soviet Union in no way takes away from the fact that what happened in Ukraine can be easily classified as a genocidal famine."...

... that is the point! It was a crime, who would oppose that? Now, a clique tries to exploit this crime for political reasons. This by twisting some details. Your hate for what happened is so strong that it blinds your judgement. This makes out of you a perfectly manipulative object. Your decision to let it happen or not.

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2008, 1:12 p.m.    

And now the best..............

"Common Sense : Mike, you are just a Russian stooge."...

... let me guess: you have bathed in the US culture for a while. Bash the ones who disagree with you, they must be agents of the BAAAD. No, i am paid by no-one, am doing business and charity in both countries, have sympathy for both cultures. Thank-you.

"Yes Putana has his country in order."

... you get equally stopped in both countries. The difference is, in Ukraine the police stop you just to be able to feed themselves.

Look, don't try to push me into a position of defending Russia. I am giving you the opinion of the average Joe and is either Russian nor Ukrainian. So you don't like Russians, ok, your right. I think Ukraine is now polluted by a new plague: the radical US mentality Ukrainian immigrant bathed in for decades. This mentality maybe works in America but is a nuisance in Ukraine now. Plus it is the perfect troyan horse for US interest: bother Russia and divide Europe.

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2008, 9:29 p.m.    

Michael- I don't like name calling and ad hominem attacks, but I must agree with the previous writer that your comments (or at least the ones I've seen) generally support the Russian position.

For example, why would you want to fall on your sword in supporting the Russian position concerning Holodomor when 19 countries (including the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) have all recognized the validity of the Ukrainian position? At the least, the truly objective, neutral individual would acknowledge that the matter is still in dispute and leave it at that. But you support the Russian position to the extreme....accusing Ukrainians of a "romantic view". (See Putin Spin)

The same is true for the language issue. (See Yatsenuk and Crimea's Status)

There's nothing wrong with your siding with Russia on issues involving Ukraine. You are not the only benighted correspondent out there. But spare us the moralizing and the references to your objectivity.

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Anonymous Oct. 4, 2008, 1:32 a.m.    

US, Canada, Mexico, etc.- are quick to recognize the validity of the Ukrainian claim but discard their own history's of colonizing and genoside of native population. How far back do you want to go? A bit hipocritical, don't you think?

Georgia's favorite son Stalin was a thug during Soviet times. There is no question about it, although question still stands on weather the Holodomour was designed to kill people or was and unintended consiquence of a bad policy. After all Ukraininas had their own Bolshevik party who also participated in enforcing these policies.

Trying to score political points based on Holodomor are nothing more than Nationalistic propoganda designed to breed hate against Russians. This is dengerous. Georgia is a crear example of how dengerous Nationalism can be if it turns in to violence.

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 2:46 p.m.    

From USA with love is the typical russian hate monger against all who not want to be dominated by Russia - and yes small pox was the same crime than slaughtering Cossaks of the Zapporishan Sich under Catharina the "great" yes Great Slaughteress....

the ethnocid concerning the "Bad Emser UKAS" banning Ukrain languages, the Holodomor

yes always played down by its responsibles and their breed ....go back to Moscow and shut up

hatemonger !

Eurojoseph - Ukrain - western patriot - antiimperialist not catholic -(Buddhist) living in Austria

RUSSKI DAWAI DO DOMU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!Фак ю !!!!!!

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Anonymous Oct. 4, 2008, 1:08 p.m.    

Ok, so i am being moralistic? Maybe, i don't know. So let's try mathematics. Mathematics have the advantage of being objective.

Take: A as the word CRIME, B is FARMER, C is UKRAINE

Here we go:

CRIME against FARMERS= A against B

Majority of FARMERS were UKRAINANS= Majority of B were C.

This makes: A against B, and Majority of B were C. And we'll try to put the two phrases together. Result:

1) A against C ?

2) A against Majority of C?

Answer 1) is a mathematical nonsense. Answer 2) is mathematically correct.

The ones who push for answer 1) to be the oficial one are falsificators who have an agenda. Remember, the truth in history always comes out.

Again, you are trying to push me in a corner, portraying me as "pro Russia". I am pro-truth and pro-respect. I just dont like when people ask me to swallow a lie.

As to the "recognition" by other countries: Which countries? The Usa, you mean the Neocons who have an agenda. Canada? Huge expat west-ukraine community=votes etc.

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Anonymous Oct. 4, 2008, 5:45 p.m.    

It's obvious (to me at any rate) that you're a jerk and my time is too valuable to waste on jerks. Go back home (to Moscow or wherever), have your mother wipe your nose, and do some reading and research before commenting on matters you know nothing about. There are far more polished and clever propagandists in the Kremlin who can do a much better job than you can.

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Anonymous Oct. 4, 2008, 10:05 p.m.    

You are drunk with Nationalism (no wonder you don't identify yourself in any way as you don't want a pattern to be seen). You shamelessly dismiss the fact that US committed atrocities against Indians (see Indian Wars), and the fact that many non-Ukrainian people died during Holodomor in other parts of USSR, and portray Ukrainian claim and your version of events as somehow superior to others simply because there were more casualties in Ukraine. Such a view is pathetic and lacks any perspective. You only see events the way you want to see them to drive your Nationalistic agenda.

I got news for you, nationalistic approach to achieve goals never succeeded anywhere. It is simply Stupid. If Nationalism spreads in Ukraine, it will most definitely fail there too and your opinion will mean a big round ZERO.

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Anonymous Oct. 4, 2008, 10:10 p.m.    

I haven't read the answer to my question in your reply. Answer 1) or 2) ?

"Go back home (to Moscow or wherever)"... Ukraine is not a democracy, discussion not allowed? Please explain

"have your mother wipe your nose".... Sorry, what's the point of this?

"and do some reading and research before commenting on matters you know nothing about"... if i wrote something wrong, please tell me what.

"There are far more polished and clever propagandists in the Kremlin who can do a much better job than you can"... ??? I am not paid by anyone. I was by the way helping out the Orange team during the "revolution".

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Anonymous Oct. 4, 2008, 5:19 p.m.    

You obviously haven't read much about the U.S. There are plenty of history books that lament the tragedy of American Indians. The majority of deaths were due to epidemics (e.g. smallpox) to which the Indians had no immunity. In Ukraine we're talking about an engineered holocaust.

If there is any "question" as to whether it was engineered or unintended, then there's not much room for discussion, because you lack a fundamental knowledge of the events. When we have archival documents signed by Stalin ordering the sealing of borders to prevent starving peasants from leaving their villages and when we have Russia selling Ukrainian wheat abroad at the time of the starvation, we're talking "design". The Ukrainian Bolshevik party was largely decimated by Stalin as being "unreliable".

You Russians should stop masquerading yourselves as peace-seekers with stupid names like "From USA with Love" and do a little research so as not to betray your ignorance (or wanton disinformation).

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 2:58 p.m.    

THX for your comment

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 2:05 a.m.    

were the "Kyiv International Institute of Sociology" poll held in Sevastopol only?

seems like a joke to me

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 4:05 a.m.    

Yes, huge numbers of Red Indians indeed died of small pox. Bu would you care to reveal how it happened? The Red Indians were given blankets infected by American (English) small pox victims. This was done deliberately and with callous neglect, almost as if the British settlers considered the Red Indians no better than cattle.

The Red Indians died like flies.

Remember the Russian elections held under Boris Yeltsin? TIME magazine called him the "handsome" Yeltsin. But we all know, he was uglier looking than Stalin. That's the kind of propaganda dished out by the western media and the Ukrainians are swallowing.

Look what happened to Sri Lanka. It had European standards of living in 1970s. In 1981 it allowed the CIA to install a powerful transmitter just 50 miles from India. New Delhi hit back.

What did Sri Lanka get from its friendship with the US? Insurgency and poverty.

What will Ukraine get from it's dalliance with the US? My guess is western Ukraine will have to go it alone.

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 7:57 a.m.    

Smallpox originated in Egypt or India and had caused numerous epidemics for centuries throughout the world. In the 20th century alone 300 million died of smallpox. There was simply no way to avoid the carrying of smallpox or its easy transmission. It first came to the New World with the Spaniards.

The intentional use of infected blankets by the British is part of your little black bag of fairy tales that Indians and other anti-European extremists like to bandy about. There is no historical evidence to support it.

Well, to be honest with you, I never looked closely to see whether Yeltsin or Stalin was more attractive. I'll leave that to you Indians. To each his own.

As regards Sri Lanka, the insurgency is due to a civil war between the majority Sinhala and the minority Tamils. It has nothing to do with the CIA. As long as the British Navy was in Sri Lanka, the island enjoyed prosperity. They should be invited back.

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 10:10 a.m.    

The British should be invited back :-) One example of how successful British interventions are: Irak. Huge success over there. But the local population does not seem to get it.

As we are talking about colonialism, what about slavery?

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 2:56 p.m.    

Krisnan, stay in India and end the caste system and after that start to talk about european issues...you have even a hindu name or nick - so what you wanna tell us ??? Clean your mess, than we start to talk...Eurojo

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 8:20 a.m.    

Historicaly, Nationalist platform only helped the ruling government's popularity to stay in power for relatively short term. It caused a huge number of deaths around the world and ruined many states. Can anybody explain to me why Ukrainians resort to this?

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 7:59 p.m.    

That all depends on what you mean by "nationalist". The definition I find in dictionaries is: "supporting one's country and culture". It is frequently used interchangeably for "patriot".

The only time "nationalism" in Ukraine has resulted in violence is when Ukrainians sought to support their country and culture while other countries (i.e. primarily Russia, but at times Poland) hoped to subvert and destroy it. Ukrainian nationalism has never posed a danger to other countries, because it has always been used for self preservation, never for aggression.

Feel free to call us supporters of a free, independent, pro-western, anti-Russian Ukraine as "nationalists" any time you chose. It's a badge of honor. I only hope Ukrainians can live up to it.

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 8:19 p.m.    

You obviously don't get it. It is fine to be patriotic and support your own culture, but at the same time being "anti" other colture, as being anti-Russian, or anti-Jewish, anti-German, anti-Kazakh, is the kind of Nationalism that I'm talking about. I'm sorry, but your views are pathetic, and I'm sure you will realize it with time. You don't know what being free is, and you don't know what honor means as you are completely removed from these notions by your hate fueled by your stupidity. I feel sorry for you, but the good news is, you will most definitely change with time.

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 9:55 p.m.    

Is that the best rebuttal you can offer....that my views are pathetic and will change with time? Sounds to me like you ran out of steam.

Then let me clarify - in as much as you leave very little food for thought.

Nationalism does not mean "anti" anything except "anti" those who threaten your country and your culture. Russians have spent over 300 years doing so, and show every intent to continue Hence, being anti-Russian is nothing more than self-preservation. If and when the Russians show a desire to accept Ukrainians at full value and to deal with Ukraine respectfully as an immutably sovereign state, my sentiment will change.

I'm not aware of any imminent dangers from the Jewish, German, or Kazakh communities but if that should happen, then -of course - a nationalist should resist.

Try to define your terms precisely and not jump to any knee-jerk conclusions. That's the problem in this age of "political correctness". People react emotionally.

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2008, 10:56 p.m.    

You are just spitting out propoganda without any facts to back it up. Russians don't have any intent on conquering Ukraine, close down Ukrainians schools, or destroy Ukrainian culture. I don't know if you really believe that, or just write that to advance your agenda. If you do really believe that please explain why?

If you insist on looking back 300 years, which I feel is not a good way to assess today's situation as Russian Federation is only 17 years old, and is no longer a Tsarist country or Soviet Union, I could argue that Russia contributed to preservation of Ukrainian culture and language. If it wouldn't be for Russia, it is likely that you would be a Polish speaking Catholic (may be you already are).

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 5:24 a.m.    

Putin, in his recent meeting with George Bush, made it very clear that he views Ukraine as little more than a non-state whose very existence was a historical accident. His threats to Ukraine and continuing interference in Ukraine's domestic affairs as well as threats of dividing Ukraine leave little to the imagination. In addition, Putin-controlled media has been systematically building up hostility among Russians towards Ukrainians. Only a completely naive person would fail to take note and draw the appropriate conclusions.

It takes a very long time for a people to change. Governments change, but the deeply ingrained belief among average Russians that Ukraine should remain "part of Russia" is still very widespread and permeates the Russian elite.

You, obviously, know very little about Ukrainian history if you fail to recognize - that from the time of the Pereyaslavsky treaty - Russian policy has been to assimilate Ukraine fully and destroy its sense of national identity.

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 6:06 a.m.    

Again, just propoganda without any factual back up. Putin never suggested that Ukraine was a non-state or made threats of dividing Ukraine. Site your sources. I bet that you will not be able to site one source that would support your opinion.

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Anonymous Oct. 9, 2008, 2:31 p.m.    

What are you a russian 5.columnist .???...Russia wants dominate all its neighbur - even to genozide - once and again....what a BS again and again ' Russia is as imperialistic as it was in the past, only fools cannot see...

Russia do not allow anything for their own ukrain minorities by the way....

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Anonymous Nov. 4, 2008, 2:43 p.m.    

Russia preserved the Ukrainian culture and language???...are you serious in what you wrote? which history book are you reading one that was printed in Russia/ because you my friend need to check your history they did everything but preserve...that included attempted total genocide....who needs Friends... Brothers...or any other name you care to mention to describe the treatment to Ukraine from its neighbour...

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Anonymous Nov. 9, 2008, 9:26 p.m.    

Around 300 years ago Ukraine's Cossac's under leadership of Bogdan Khmelnitsky asked Russia for protection from Poland. Russia agreed to help. How do you feel about that?

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 6:17 a.m.    

USA with Love: I'll give you more than a cite. I'll give you the quote. Now please shut off the computer and get some sleep. I'm getting a little annoyed with your crude argumentation.

Путін: ти ж розумієш, Джордж, що Україна — це навіть не держава!

http://images.unian.net/photos/2008_03/1205830246.jpg

Президент Росії Володимир Путін на закритій зустрічі Ради Росія - НАТО в Бухаресті 4 квітня дав зрозуміти, що в разі вступу до альянсу Україна може припинити існування як єдина держава, стверджує "Коммерсант" (http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?DocsID=877224).

За даними "Ъ", Володимир Путін повідомив колегам, що Москва сприймає наближення НАТО до російських кордонів як реальну загрозу інтересам держави, і пообіцяв адекватні заходи. Зокрема, президент Росії натякнув, що якщо НАТО надасть план дій щодо членства (ПДЧ) в НАТО Грузії, то Росія визнає Абхазію і Південну Осетію, спираючись на косовський прецедент, і тим самим створить буферну зону між силами НАТО і своїми кордонами.

"

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 6:36 a.m.    

I don't read Ukrainian, and I prefer links to actual reports. None of your links work. Is that all you got?

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 6:52 a.m.    

OK- here's one in English. But the Ukrainian version is more extensive.

http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2372968

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 7:27 a.m.    

Are you kidding me? You are quoting an opinion piece and trying to pass this as facts.

The report of threats against Ukraine during Bush meeting is coming from unidentified "witness" and can not be confirmed. Bush never confirmed it. It's the usual propogadna. You don't have any facts of Putin saying anything like that.

Although, one could argue that Crimea doesn't belong to Ukraine as it was assigned to Ukraine by communists in 1954. And as for all former Soviet Republics pre-Molotov Rebintrop boarders were recognized by the West, Crimea's were not. If the same logic applied to other former republics would be applied to Ukraine, Crimea would belong to Russia.

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 7:48 a.m.    

No I'm not kidding. Did you think that comments like that would be made on the record and for official attribution? Of course these type of exchanges are made under circumstances assuring both parties complete confidentiality (as noted in the Kommersant report). Are you naive enough to think that either party would "confirm"? When leaked, they are, of necessity, leaked by un-named witnesses.

I suggest - if you have any doubts as to its authenticity - that you contact the Russian publication Kommersant and ask for the original. You have the cite. I'm not going to do your research for you.

It's quite obvious where your "logic" on Crimea comes from. And I'm sure you know that you can stick it where the sun don't shine.

Cheers and sweet dreams.

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 8:01 a.m.    

Yea, thats what I thought. The usual: propogandist waiving the Nationalist flag, without any regard to facts, logic, or common sence.

X

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 1:31 p.m.    

Note that the self branded nationalists always end their comments with scatoligic insults. This is like a signature, their brand. Like an animal marking territory. This is the way they rule a country when they come to power.

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 3:30 p.m.    

I'm glad that both you gentlemen have been sufficiently provoked to disclose yourselves.

Instead of the impartial, detached commentators you make yourselves out to be, you are an Abbott and Costello comedy team intent on ferreting out those evil "nationalists" so that Putin can sleep a bit more soundly.

I know there's a third one here somewhere and as soon as I find him, we can all drink "sto hramiv" and go see a "three stooges" movie.

You guys simply don't have enough firepower.

Michael- here's my mark....so please don't cross the line ....X :)

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 5:36 p.m.    

You just decided to put on your white suit, like Goebbels. And please explain what you claim was disclosed? Conspiracy theory?

What do you mean by not crossing the like, the Mark? Is this a warning? You'd like to scare someone? Ohooo, talking about showing one's real face.... So these are the democratic forces in Ukraine 2008?

Still, you don't give answers to the questions, and either ridicule, insult or threat.

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 10:38 p.m.    

What are the questions, Michael?

Did Goebbels wear white suits? That's interesting. I never knew that.

Relax, Michael....(as Americans say "chill out"). I wasn't threatening you. I was simply having some fun. You had stated that "nationalists" mark out their territory "like animals". And in a prior comment your fellow traveler "from USA with love" had ended his note with a mark ("X"). So, I thought it would be a good idea for me to make a mark as well. And since animals make "marks" to stake out the boundaries of their territories, I simply (jokingly) suggested that you not cross any of the boundaries that I have "marked". Comprende?

I really don't mean to "ridicule, insult, or threaten", Michael. It's just that you and Mr. USA-with- love are just so predictable and your self-righteousness so amusing, that I occasionally pull your and his leg.

Sorry if I caused any consternation.

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Anonymous Oct. 6, 2008, 11:28 p.m.    

Thanks for the explanation, because explanation it needs. Seems to me you are used of telling degrading jokes, then be the only one to laugh, and the others look away.

It seems you have an issue, if you spend energy on this. I'd prefer to get intelligent answers to issues that are being discussed. We come here to exchange views and hear about another angle of the story.

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Anonymous Oct. 7, 2008, 12:49 a.m.    

My comments are fully supported and always include more (verifiable) information than most of the notes I read on this website.

Don't be too quick to accuse others of "degrading jokes". Read your own comments and you'll understand why they do not require an intelligent response. They are highly propagandistic, anti-American, and generally side with Russia. I have little patience with repetitive agitprop.

You have an obsession with "nationalists". I suggest you go to Russia and share your sentiments with the "Nashi" crowd and Mr. Zherenovsky and the 10% of the Russian electorate that voted for him. Then, come back and get on your soap box denouncing Ukrainian nationalism.

You will never "hear about another angle" because your mind is closed. You are here to push your anti-nationalist, pro-Russian propaganda...not to exchange views.

My "issue" is to expose the vapidness and emptiness of your argument.

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Anonymous Oct. 25, 2008, 3:30 p.m.    

Oi Guest,

I suggest you take care to spell the names of Indians, Chinese and Russians because we will rule the planet in a few years. Whatever you are - Brit, Yank or Tank - you and your children will have to live in the shadow of Russia and Asia.

Let me tell you why Russians are liked worldwide. Russians saved the world against the biggest menace in history - they fought and ground the Nazis to dust. They suffered greatly yet they remain such a happy, friendly nation. They are brave.

They don't export tanks to regions where there's an arms embargo. They don't contemplate nuking Indian cities - like Nixon and Kissinger did.

They don't pretend to preach democracy while being friends with the most corrupt regimes in the world - Saudis, Pinochet, Somoza, Pakistan.

Russia helped India when we were weak. Now we are about to become a superpower and Russia has an excellent friend. While Russia has India, the US has Poland, Balts, Ukraine. You do the math.

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Anonymous Oct. 27, 2008, 12:23 a.m.    

Rakesh Krishnan, India and fromUSAwithlove are both the same person employed by FSB to spread pro-Russian sentiment

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Anonymous Oct. 29, 2008, 4:21 a.m.    

LOL.....how did you come up with that idea, genius?

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Anonymous Nov. 10, 2008, 11:09 a.m.    

Ukraine needs to start the war with Russia as soon as possible to enforce a inevitable decision. If one does not fight for its rights, one will be decided about. That's why it is needed, that Ukrainians arm themself, from child to grannies to make the first step against a Russia which was never easier to beat than now!

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Anonymous Nov. 10, 2008, 11:11 a.m.    

Yeess! You are absolutely correct!! Yes, we cannnn!!

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Anonymous March 24, 2009, 9:32 a.m.    

( http://putin.ru) Prime Minister Vladimir Putin threatened to review ties with the European Union over gas supplies should Russian interests be ignored and called a plan presented by Kiev on Monday "ill-considered and unbefitting."

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