(03-07-2014 03:28 AM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote: The "geopolitical disaster" comment is common knowledge and above dispute. Google it yourself. Not only is it widely written, but I've watched dozens of interviews where that gets brought up, including one with Henry Kissinger the other day.
You're literally the only person I know who has challenged that comment. Scholarly journals, periodicals, even books cite Putin's comment and interpret it exactly the way I describe. Plenty of Russians and Russian speakers heard and read the same comments yet don't reach your conclusion.
Because of that reality, which is somehow lost on you, the onus is on you to come up with a source saying otherwise, and don't just refer to some Russian translation of the text. I want an actual article from a credible source saying that his comment was taken out of context.
As for the "personal humiliation" comment, I already posted the source for that in an earlier post in this thread.
The "geopolitical disaster" comment is always brought up by the American side. There are plenty of analysts who point out that it's a misquote and, in fact, the Tampa Bay Times article you linked to includes such analysis by a US-based political analyst.
Quote:That’s not the only view of Putin’s remarks, however. Other scholars we consulted say there is more nuance in the meaning of Putin’s words.
Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin, a 2013 book by Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy of the Brookings Institution, addresses the "often misquoted line" about the demise of the USSR:
"Most references to this line have suggested that Putin was bemoaning the loss of the communist economic and political system," the book reads, "but Putin has since frequently underscored that he was talking about the collapse of the Russian state itself."
The original speech was made in Russian, so you've got it around the wrong way - the English version is a translation.
Here's the original address to the Federation Council: http://archive.kremlin.ru/appears/2005/0...7049.shtml
And the official translation: http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/2...7086.shtml
And a more complete quote of the English translation, not taken out of context:
Quote:I consider the development of Russia as a free and democratic state to be our main political and ideological goal. We use these words fairly frequently, but rarely care to reveal how the deeper meaning of such values as freedom and democracy, justice and legality is translated into life.
Meanwhile, there is a need for such an analysis. The objectively difficult processes going on in Russia are increasingly becoming the subject of heated ideological discussions. And they are all connected with talk about freedom and democracy. Sometimes you can hear that since the Russian people have been silent for centuries, they are not used to or do not need freedom. And for that reason, it is claimed our citizens need constant supervision.
I would like to bring those who think this way back to reality, to the facts. To do so, I will recall once more Russia’s most recent history.
Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.
Individual savings were depreciated, and old ideals destroyed. Many institutions were disbanded or reformed carelessly. Terrorist intervention and the Khasavyurt capitulation that followed damaged the country's integrity. Oligarchic groups – possessing absolute control over information channels – served exclusively their own corporate interests. Mass poverty began to be seen as the norm. And all this was happening against the backdrop of a dramatic economic downturn, unstable finances, and the paralysis of the social sphere.
Many thought or seemed to think at the time that our young democracy was not a continuation of Russian statehood, but its ultimate collapse, the prolonged agony of the Soviet system.
But they were mistaken.
That was precisely the period when the significant developments took place in Russia. Our society was generating not only the energy of self-preservation, but also the will for a new and free life. In those difficult years, the people of Russia had to both uphold their state sovereignty and make an unerring choice in selecting a new vector of development in the thousand years of their history. They had to accomplish the most difficult task: how to safeguard their own values, not to squander undeniable achievements, and confirm the viability of Russian democracy. We had to find our own path in order to build a democratic, free and just society and state.
Moreover, it was a speech to Russians and for Russians, not a bunch of dickwads in Washington and New York looking for opportunities to misquote. For Russians, the Great Patriotic War (known as the Second World War to you) is not considered a catastrophe because Russia won
. They still celebrate it every year and the nation's main holiday period surrounds its anniversary date.
The "personal humiliation" rubbish that you quoted came from the following Business Week article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/201...er-ukraine
If it's the one you linked to, then it is not a "memoir." It's a second-party biography based on some interviews he gave fourteen years ago
upon being appointed the interim President of Russia. The word "humiliation" does not appear anywhere in the Russian text: http://lib.ru/MEMUARY/PUTIN/razgowor.txt
Have you actually read it, in either language?
Since you think the reviews on Amazon are so great, here's a quote from the first one:
Quote:One might say that the KGB officer would not be the best person to head a new and democratic Russia. But Putin served in the foreign intelligence and that is the big difference. As he admits in the book, the foreign intelligence officers in the KGB due to many years they spent abroad, were the group most critical towards the Soviet system, because they were able to compare the living standards, economic growth etc.
Soviet foreign intelligence as this type of organization in any other country used to hire the best people, whose tasks included gathering and analyzing information and feeding it back to Moscow. KGB officers saw very vividly the growing gap between the West and the East.
(03-07-2014 03:28 AM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:
Quote:How is the creation of a trade pact in any way related to an attempt to recreate a Communist state? Why don't you try to explain that in non-rhetorical terms? Repeating headlines from the Washington Post doesn't prove your point.
By the way the EU's expansion plans are simply Furher Merkel's effort to recreate a Nazi-dominated Europe to the extend she can. Without Ukraine in the mix, it wouldn't be complete.
-- Sounds ridiculous? That's what you sound like to someone with a balanced understanding of the current conflict.
It's an attempt to keep neighboring countries out of the West's sphere of influence and under Moscow's orbit - prolonging the survival of Russia's current regime (oligarchic rule).
Notice how Russia all of a sudden instigates a country's affairs as it seeks to enter an agreement with the EU (i.e. Armenia)?
This is, again, common knowledge. Balanced view on the conflict? You sound like a Kremlin spokesperson to me. But that's cool. If you're from or live or have lived in Russia and feel loyal to the place, whatever.
But don't pretend you're balanced. I don't think I've seen a single critical post of Russia from you. I've actually had plenty of posts looking at the conflict from that pov and even being understanding of it.
Ukraine has been hoping to go EU for a long, long time, even before EU was ready or interested in any association with Ukraine. Fuhrer Merkel is not remotely the case, in contrast to Russia's aggression towards its neighbors.
The EU association agreements would have placed Russian businesses which trade in those countries at a significant disadvantage, so of course they will respond. Do you think Russia is going to give Armenia and Ukraine preferential access to their markets if it doesn't get the same in return?
If you knew the first thing about Ukraine, you would know that its policy for a long time has been non-alignment. The push toward the EU comes from the West of the country, not the South/East.
There are plenty of my posts which are critical to the way business works and the quality of life in Russia and Ukraine. I've been in the region for almost a decade and know how it works it inside out. It's you
trying to pass yourself off as someone with a balanced opinion, when you've never visited the region in question.
(03-07-2014 01:25 AM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:
Quote:He won't even claim many of the Russian soldiers in Crimea as being Russian (unmarked, etc) in order to save face in the event he has to order his troops (the ones that were already on base) to retreat.
That's basically what he's amounted to in recent months - a determined troll of the United States.
Quote:I think it's a good strategy as it removes the possibility of Kiev declaring an act of war.
Most naive comment ever. It's a tactic to save face in the event of a withdrawal. That's all. Everyone, even the press, knows who the Russian soldiers are.
If everyone knows they're Russian soldiers, then how is it going to save face? Your premise is illogical.
I can only surmise that sending unmarked soldiers and not confirming who they belong to is a legal move. Everyone knows they're Russian based on the equipment and number plates.
(03-07-2014 03:28 AM)Hencredible Casanova Wrote:
Quote:I don't mind disagreeing with uninformed rants by someone who has never even stepped foot in the countries in question.
That's a red herring. There's clearly millions of Ukrainians and Russians both inside their respective countries and in the diaspora (some of whom I know personally) that disagree with everything you're saying. Would you call them uninformed?
Further, we are talking about not just Ukraine and Russia but also the EU and the US (where I'm from), both being places I have more than stepped foot in actually. That's immaterial to the discussion we're having anyway. I'm not dropping data sheets on Ukraine or Russia, I'm observing political events from a distance, just like you. I've followed these events closely and discussed them with trusted people I respect and who I agree with in regards to other places I've been and issues I follow.
I would call the diaspora biased. They obviously didn't like the country if they were prepared to leave it. Under the Soviet Union, it was a permanent move. The Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, for example, is fanatical and disconnected from real events in the country. They emigrated in a different era and thus have no connection (not even language) to half of today's Ukrainians.
There are also millions of Russians and Ukrainians who disagree with everything you
are saying - that's political discourse. I don't see how that justifies your argument any more than mine.
News for you: USA and the EU are not Russia and Ukraine. Your experience in those countries doesn't mean a thing. Following the news from another continent in a foreign language doesn't make you an expert. Unlike you, I am not observing political events from a distance... I'm actually on the ground and speak the language.
Continuing our tit-for-tat: You sound like John McCain to me. But that's cool. You're from the US and feel loyal to the place, whatever.