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Nolte

Putin looking towards Kazakhstan

So, in our attempts to make this forum a hardcore political forum (scotland last years political thread started, now a thread on kazakhstan), here is a thread about Putin posturing over kazakhstan.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/...putin-chilly-nationalist-rhetoric

Quote:
Putin said there had never been a country called Kazakhstan, that the republic was purely the product of the current president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"I am confident that a majority of its population supports development of close ties with Russia," said Putin. "Nazarbayev is a prudent leader, even the most prudent in the post-Soviet space. He would never act against the will of his country's people."

Kazakhstan, he said, was "part of the large Russian world that is part of the global civilisation in terms of industry and advanced technologies. I am confident that that's the way things are going to be in the medium and long-term."

Nazarbayev had "done a unique thing. He created a state in a territory that had never had a state before. The Kazakhs had no statehood."

When the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, it left 25 million Russians in new countries on Russia's rim, what Moscow calls the "near abroad". Putin, who has called the USSR's collapse the 20th century's greatest tragedy, although it was seen in most of the "captive" countries as a liberation, has played the ethnic card to stir up trouble, justified his actions in the name of the defence of Russians, and generally displayed a proprietorial attitude towards Russia's neighbours, using trade and energy as weapons to get them to toe the line.

-----
Nazarbayev was unimpressed by Putin's views on Kazakh statehood and threatened to loosen ties with Russia, which could provoke a forceful Kremlin reaction.

"Our independence is our dearest treasure, which our grandfathers fought for," Nazarbayev said. "First of all, we will never surrender it to someone, and secondly, we will do our best to protect it Kazakhstan will not be part of organisations that pose a threat to our independence."


these words come after kazakhstan threatened to withdraw from the 3 country customs union with russia and belarus.

it is really due to the kazakh government involvement in cycling that i bring it up here

how many astana, astana continental and vino4ever riders will be called up for this?
pantanifan

Interesting post, Nolte, I guess it has parallels with Ukraine, where Russia seems to have a problem with Ukraine being a sovereign country, especially in the areas where native Russians live. Some of these issues are much more complicated than we'd like to imagine (for example, why did Kruschchev give Crimea to Ukraine as a present in the first place?)...

There is a lot of historical baggage in Eastern and Central Europe, which goes back at least to World War II - just look at what happened in "Yugoslavia". A fair number of Hungarians regard the Trianon Treaty (end of WW1) as a betrayal and actually admire Putin for regaining lost territories (dreaming they could do the same).

I guess the question of what constitutes a country is not just part of the Scottish independence debate...

edit: I think Vino is actually an ethnic Russian (I seem to remember Mrs J Murphy mentioning this at some point)
Bartali

Does Russia have a problem with Ukraine being a sovereign country ... or have the EU deliberately poked a hornets nest that culminated in the over throwing of a democratically elected government by a pro west mob who immediately set about alienating the Russian speaking East?

Lest not forget that the annexing of the Crimea was far more democratic and blood free than the western supported coup that started this whole sorry mess.

Scots wanting independence = good .... Ethnic Russians wanting independence = bad?  Not sure how that works?

Like you say ... a lot of baggage
pantanifan

Bartali wrote:
Does Russia have a problem with Ukraine being a sovereign country ... or have the EU deliberately poked a hornets nest that culminated in the over throwing of a democratically elected government by a pro west mob who immediately set about alienating the Russian speaking East?


I guess the answer is we don't know (unless we're on the ground in Ukraine), but who would you rather meet by chance in a dark alley late at night - Merkel/Barroso or Putin? The EU gets blamed for a lot (sometimes rightly) but I wouldn't trust Putin as far as I could throw him...

Bartali wrote:

Scots wanting independence = good .... Ethnic Russians wanting independence = bad?  Not sure how that works?


I'm not sure whether the ethnic Russians actually want independence or to join Russia? The equivalent would be Scotland wanting to join forces with Ireland or one of the Scandinavian countries?
SlowRower

Bartali wrote:
Scots wanting independence = good ....


I think this depends on who you ask.

It's 50/50 in Scotland and perhaps surprisingly, the majority in England and Wales want Scotland to stay.

I think most countries (particularly those with separatist movements of their own they want to discourage) want the UK to remain as it is, if for no other reason than there being enough uncertainty in the world at the moment as it is, without adding more.

The likes of Brazil and India who have eyes on the UK's pemanent seat at the UN are probably quietly in favour, though only as they see this as ammunitition in their quest to unseat the UK rather than because Scottish independence is good per se. (Though as the UK's permanent seat is enshrined in the UN treaty, there is no mechanism for the UK to be forced to give up its seat.)

It seems widely accepted that for any democratic country or organisation (e.g. EU) to not recognise an independent Scotland following free and fair elections and negotiations with the UK government would be a retrograde step, but that doesn't mean there's widespread support for independence.

As an aside, I agree with your observation that the Russia/Ukraine thing is not such a clear cut "Putin bad, Putin's enemy good" scenario.
Nolte

pantanifan wrote:
Interesting post, Nolte, I guess it has parallels with Ukraine, where Russia seems to have a problem with Ukraine being a sovereign country, especially in the areas where native Russians live. Some of these issues are much more complicated than we'd like to imagine (for example, why did Kruschchev give Crimea to Ukraine as a present in the first place?)...

There is a lot of historical baggage in Eastern and Central Europe, which goes back at least to World War II - just look at what happened in "Yugoslavia". A fair number of Hungarians regard the Trianon Treaty (end of WW1) as a betrayal and actually admire Putin for regaining lost territories (dreaming they could do the same).


i've read a number of books i have found interesting on history, some that stand out and are in relation to national boundaries and countries being "vanished kingdoms: europe's half forgotten countries" by norman davies, "danubia: a history of habsburg eyrope" by simon winder. just gazing through the maps and differences of boundaries to todays world was fascinating. it was eye opening experience.

lviv comes up as being prussian, austro-hungary (lemberg), polish (lvow), german and now ukrainian

Quote:

edit: I think Vino is actually an ethnic Russian (I seem to remember Mrs J Murphy mentioning this at some point)

i think stalin used kazakhstan as a place to export people, particularly from ukiraine and poland

i am sure there is a ukrainian track cyclist whose name is extremely similar to vinokourovs apart from some slight changes of y and i's

sehiy honchar one season (1999?) changed the spelling of his name from russian to ukrainian, or other way round (i think first is right)

SlowRower wrote:


It seems widely accepted that for any democratic country or organisation (e.g. EU) to not recognise an independent Scotland following free and fair elections and negotiations with the UK government would be a retrograde step, but that doesn't mean there's widespread support for independence.


well yes, the uk would recognise an independent scotland so by right other countries should share the same thing as scotland would be seceeding from the uk so if the uk recognises it, there would be no problem

this is different to kosovo which serbia do not recognise as independent so 80 or 90 other countries follow serbia in this (including spain)

21 countries still recognise the koumintang (the taiwan government) as the government of china
mr shifter

Nolte wrote:


this is different to kosovo which serbia do not recognise as independent so 80 or 90 other countries follow serbia in this (including spain)

While reading this debate I kept thinking about Yugoslavia and it's breakup when Tito died.
In the first weeks of the breakup there was a BBC2 program at about 2300 hrs where a guy who had fought in Yugo land (WW2) was able to give his assessment of the trouble that had started.  
He said that Slovenia & Croatia were mainly Pro German in WW2 and it was this connection and resources that caused the movement for Independence.

The BBC never again offered this point of view about the Germans leading the E.U. to support those States. (Now Countries within the E.U.)
His point (which proved to be correct) about the Hatred from WW2 came on show during the breakup of Yugoslavia with Religion also playing a part in all those deaths.

PS I know it seems I have a thing about Germany but as I have said many times when I worked there that, "It's a Funny Little Country" and as a reply they have said that, yours is also. "Yes your right but we know we are, on our little Island"

With the Soviet Union and Stalin was born in Georgia which now is a separate country.
Mrs John Murphy

pantanifan wrote:
Interesting post, Nolte, I guess it has parallels with Ukraine, where Russia seems to have a problem with Ukraine being a sovereign country, especially in the areas where native Russians live. Some of these issues are much more complicated than we'd like to imagine (for example, why did Kruschchev give Crimea to Ukraine as a present in the first place?)...

There is a lot of historical baggage in Eastern and Central Europe, which goes back at least to World War II - just look at what happened in "Yugoslavia". A fair number of Hungarians regard the Trianon Treaty (end of WW1) as a betrayal and actually admire Putin for regaining lost territories (dreaming they could do the same).

I guess the question of what constitutes a country is not just part of the Scottish independence debate...

edit: I think Vino is actually an ethnic Russian (I seem to remember Mrs J Murphy mentioning this at some point)


Putin is on record as saying that he does not accept Finnish independence (won in 1918).

The Russian economy is in trouble and there is a strong argument that Putin's current approach in the near abroad is about shoring up domestic support.

Also, Putin knows that frozen conflicts and hot wars are a way in which he can secure leverage in the domestic politics of those states - this doesn't just go for Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia etc.

We've also seen Russian jets flying over the Baltics and the kidnapping of an Estonian intelligence officer by the Russians.

Vino is indeed an ethnic Russian and these communities that are present across the former Soviet Union and even into states such as Romania, are a legacy of Russian and Soviet ethnic nationalisation policies.

BTW - Hungary under Orban is a scary place as well.
Nolte

Mrs John Murphy wrote:

Also, Putin knows that frozen conflicts and hot wars are a way in which he can secure leverage in the domestic politics of those states - this doesn't just go for Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia etc.


another thing about the russian troops in south ossetia, abkhazia, transdneistr and those who spend their holidays in donetsk, the presence of russian troops in these regions have a blocking effect on closer ties for these countries to NATO and such.
Mrs John Murphy

That is the theory, although it has made some in those states feel that they need to join sooner rather than later.

However, it makes countries such as the UK, France and the US less likely to support them joining NATO because it potentially means a NATO state could be attacked and as such the west would be forced to respond rather than just using 'soft power'.

The problem for Putin is that these frozen conflicts are a massive drain on Russian resources and unsustainable in the long run.
Nolte

Mrs John Murphy wrote:

However, it makes countries such as the UK, France and the US less likely to support them joining NATO because it potentially means a NATO state could be attacked and as such the west would be forced to respond rather than just using 'soft power'.


it reminds me of the issue of the carve up of the kingdom of poland and lithuania at the end of the 18th century by prussia, russia and habsburg empire.

what the results did was give all 3 a border with each other while before that, poland-lithuania was essentially a buffer state separating all 3 from going to war with each other

at the height, the kingdom-duchy of poland-lithuania spanned from danzig to odessa, the addriatic to smolensk circa 1500 (taking in moldova duchy, bohemia crown and hungarian crown). the carve up of the late 18th century was how russia gained control of most of ukraine, belarus, lithuania
pantanifan

Nolte wrote:

i've read a number of books i have found interesting on history, some that stand out and are in relation to national boundaries and countries being "vanished kingdoms: europe's half forgotten countries" by norman davies, "danubia: a history of habsburg eyrope" by simon winder. just gazing through the maps and differences of boundaries to todays world was fascinating. it was eye opening experience.

i think stalin used kazakhstan as a place to export people, particularly from ukiraine and poland


If you drive around Hungary today you'll see plenty of stickers on the backs of cars with a map of Greater Hungary (i.e. pre-1918 borders). This is meant to show sympathy with Hungarians living outside Hungary, who had their "nationality taken away from them". Interestingly, however, this includes parts of "Hungary" that never had a Hungarian majority in the first place (e.g. the north Croatian coast), as well as those areas which at one point were majority Hungarian. A bit like an Englishman (Briton) pining for the return of the empire...

Re. Stalin, etc.: have you read any Solzshenitsyn? - Great writer. Those who say Putin is not all that bad should remember that he describes the break-up of the Soviet Union as the greatest disaster of the 20th century, which presumably includes the Stalinist era...
pantanifan

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
BTW - Hungary under Orban is a scary place as well.


Sorry - too frightened to comment  Wink
Mrs John Murphy

When Ro is looking better than Hu, then there is a problem.

Although the upcoming elections fill me with gloom.

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