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Author Topic: BIRTH CHART FOR PIG PUTIN..DANGER TO WORLD STABILITY  (Read 10538 times)
Rad
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« on: Mar 15, 2014, 09:34 AM »

Hi All,

Given the recent events taking place in the Ukraine, and the country of Georgia before that, it is clear that the greatest danger to world stability is now in the form of Pig Putin. We only need to remember that during World War Two, and the evil of Hitler, that through the prism of geodetics the transit of Uranus was then in Aries which was in the middle of western Europe. At the same time the transit of Pluto was in Cancer squaring Pluto. Cancer is part of the natural grand cross that also correlates to Western Europe. Now the transit of Pluto is in Capricorn which is also part of that grand cross that correlates to Western Europe. At the same time, through longtitude, that Pluto in Capricorn transit correlates to the middle of the USA. And, of course, squaring Uranus again.

Just now the transit of the S.Node of the Moon in Aries is exactly over Ukraine through geodetics. At the same time the transit of Lucifer is conjunct that S.Node. Thus, the 'flash point' that Pig Putin is igniting.

So I have decided to post the natal chart of Pig Putin so that all can see exactly the dynamics of his Soul. It should be clear that when he ignited the fuse of Ukraine relative to the Crimea that the Saturn transit was exactly squaring his Nodal Axis and natal Pluto.

Through the prism of geodetics his N.Node correlates with Washington D.C. His Chiron now the Pluto transit in Capricorn, correlates to wanting to 'wound' the USA because of his perception of the USA wounding the former U.S.S.R. His natal Moon is in Gemini which is conjunct the U.S.A's Ascendant, and also conjunct Obama's own Gemini Moon. These Moon's for both of them are receiving the square from the current transit of Neptune in Pisces.

If anyone wishes to comment on what they see in the Pig's chart please feel free to do so.

God Bless, and godspeed, Rad

*************

Below are various documentaries on Putin, and who this PIG is and what he is about.

Published on Nov 7, 2012

CBC's "The Passionate Eye" presents The Putin System - a point-of-view documentary that presents an ominous view of what Putin is willing to do to ensure Russia regains its position on the world stage.

Click to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5Rkom1RpKA

How Vladimir Putin came to power (full documentary) Russia

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpiZw1R8w-c

The unknown Putin

Click to watch Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCU4C6ajgBI

And Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRSVNPQKDkM

MUST SEE DOCUMENTARY BANNED BY PUTIN

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLXdLMUABvU

Documentary - Alexander Litvinenko, Russian Mafia, Vladimir Putin, Chechnya

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_Zsl_6zVZI

Empire - Putin's Russia

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZcUsdARY6o

CNN Special Report: The Power of Vladimir Putin

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2PU7Hl6W_4


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« Last Edit: Sep 08, 2014, 07:52 AM by Rad » Logged
Daniel
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 15, 2014, 04:47 PM »

Rad,

Frankly I am shocked and appalled at the tone of this message thread. Since no one else seems to have to courage to speak out, I must.

Where is the so-callled spirituality of this forum in this negative and caustic descent into hate and duality? Certainly I do not condone any form of aggressive militarism whomever the perpetrator. However, clearly the time we are passing through, which I know is brightly lit on the radar of this arena, acknowledges the extremes of behavior that are currently being witnessed worldwide. Understanding that Crimea has been a strategic and critical sphere of influence for Russia for over 100 years due to the fact that it is the only available naval route that is not ice-bound in winter, i.e. access to the Mediterranean via the Black Sea, the only means of egress their Navy has in Winter, perhaps sheds some light on the critical nature of the current Russian political landscape.  Nor would I condone our own country's recent series of crusades and military incursions into Afghanistan, Iraq, or Bosnia, not to mention, untold, illegal drone attacks at will at anyone labeled "a national security risk", or certain false flag operations carried out covertly against our our population...
Aren't we supposed to take the high road, find a perspective that reflects a path to unity, or at least accepts the reality of "what is", and frames the future with positive intention? Vladimir Putin clearly has a role to play in the current unfolding of our planet's history. Labeling him as a "pig" can have no positive effect other than to further polarize the world we live in that is begging, nay, pleading...praying so loudly to be healed.

Blessings,

Daniel
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Gonzalo
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 15, 2014, 11:05 PM »

Hi Rad,
Thanks for this warning about what is happening and could happen with and through the Pig Putin, about what you have also posted so much information. In the birthchart Putin has Pluto in Leo conjunct the South Node in Leo, ruled by the Sun in the 11th House with Saturn, Neptune and Mercury all in the 11th House in Libra, and Mars is trine to Pluto. Thus, a very dangerous individual potentially who could be capable of creating extreme traumas for large groups of people. These are also direct symbols of heavy levels corruption-also Venus the ruler of the Libra planets with Neptune/Saturn is in Scorpio in the 12th House, ruled by Pluto in Leo and squaring the Nodes and Pluto, Venus opposed to Jupiter in Taurus in the 6th House. Thus, the underlying interests of economic groups and mobs, linked with hos own self-interest-Mars in the 2nd House, Jupiter in Taurus rules the 2nd House, Venus is square to Pluto. Mars in the 2nd House and the south node of Mars conjuct Venus in the 12th House this correlates to potential direct connections with the military business, among others. With the Sun in the 11th House in Libra he is intensely focused on actualizing an appearance of democracy and rule of Law, and a persona who is consistent with this illusion. He needs to fool the system to have it work for his interests, and those interests are quite big-Pluto Leo trine Mars in the 2nd House. These are further symbols of a Soul who in prior lifetimes has had desires to have power over large groups of people, and that has exerted such power by cruel means-Pluto trine Mars, Mars is the ruler of the 6th House, Mars squares Pallas in Pisces, Mars is trine to the south node of Chiron at 29° Aries in the 6th House. These interests imply a need to create an international persona and to control and manipulate information about Russia, and to present the appearance of democracy-also the Moon is in the 7th House in Gemini, and Mercury conjunct Neptune  in the 11th House which correlates with the media, is the ruler of the natal 8th House which is in Gemini. The Libra planets the Sun Saturn Neptune and Mercury in the 11th, Aquarian House, are square to Uranus in the 8th House, in Cancer, and Uranus is inconjunct to the North Node in Aquarius in the 3rd House. It is a Soul who has experienced extreme traumas in prior lifetimes, and further, relative to the evolutionary condition, a Soul who has created traumas for large ‘minorities’ of ethnic or religious nature in past lifetimes. Given the correlation of Libra with Rome, his Soul could have been a persecutor of Christians-Neptune. Virgo is on the 10th House cusp, and Neptune is conjunct Saturn in the 11th House, thus, there is a structural crisis and ongoing fragmentation within the societies where the Soul has incarnated, which has been induced or accelerated by minorities within the social structure. There are intense levels of stress within the Soul relating to these dynamics which the egocentric structure has tried to detach and alienate from, and a response to suppress or repress-there is an overall orientation and desires to detach and alienate from inner emotional states because of insecurity and existing inner wounds, and this has created desires to willfully assert egocentric will –Mars trine Pluto in Leo rules the 5th House in Aries, as a means to synthesize and integrate the inner fragmentation, equaling desires to be an 'emperor' type. That the Soul has taken many lives in the past is also seen in the Mars in the 2nd House us ruled by Jupiter Rx. in the 6th House in Taurus squaring the nodes and opposed Venus in the 12th House Scorpio conjunct the south node of Mars. There are several symbols that speak of recreation of prior desires and dynamics in the current lifetime. With all the Libra planets in the 11th House, I see a potential of a Soul who, at same time, has an inner conflict which is based on desires to be ‘loved’ by people within his society, to have large societal role in which he serves needs of the social whole and is loved in return. Yet, also a Soul who in varying degrees has experienced  such intense emotional loss which have lead to giving up and detaching from these emotional expectations, values and ideals, with a combined desires for revenge (Pluto in Leo is square the Scorpio Ascendant, ruled by Pluto, Pluto trine Mars, the North Node ruler is Uranus in the 8th House), equaling desires to have its power back as perceived from his egocentric structure and being thus capable of desires to create trauma for other people in large ways. This 9th House Pluto square to Scorpio in the 1st House    Of course his rise to power in this lifetime and the ways he has exerted power within his country points to an ongoing orientation to actualizing the threat contained in the birthchart. Lucifer is also in the 11th House, conjunct the Libra planets. Thus a Soul who could serve or is already serving as a vehicle through his social role, for the light, or the dark.  
God Bless, Gonzalo
« Last Edit: Mar 15, 2014, 11:26 PM by Gonzalo » Logged
Rad
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« Reply #3 on: Mar 16, 2014, 06:15 AM »

Daniel,

My intent in posting about Pig Putin is reflected in the actual words I used that reflects the danger that Pig Putin poses to world stability, as the history that I posed astrologically so reflects.

Pig Putin is no different that then Souls who are just like him through time. Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, Pinochet, and on and on down through patriarchal time. Such Souls are evil. Such Souls give themselves the right to do as they please, finding pretexts, which are themselves lies, to justify what they inner megalomaniac delusions of grandeur are all about. Along the way they kill and destroy how many Souls to serve those ends ? Souls that do such things, to me, are indeed pigs and worse. Pig Putin is not only violating international laws, but standing agreements that he himself made with Ukraine. Ukraine was on the very brink of signing agreements with the EU which would have brought them ever closer to Europe. Pig Putin could not stand this so threatened to raise the price of natural gas, which comes from Russia, three fold. The country could not afford that. He did this of course to make Ukraine 'his', to have them beholding to him and Russia. In essence a satellite extension of Russia itself. So the people of Ukraine then did what they did in revolt and rebellion. And then Putin has done what he has done in order to advance his own delusions of Soul grandeur manifesting as wanting Russia to be the imperial power they once were.  

He is doing exactly what others like him have done before by way of 'appealing' to the 'nationalism' of Russian people. No just with Ukraine but all those other countries that have Russian populations. Thus, other countries with those populations are also beginning to do what the Russian population in doing in Ukraine. This is intentional. It is evil.

The purpose of my post was not to 'take the high road' in some delusive mumbo jumbo about world peace, and all that kind of gibberish which will alter nothing.  My intent was to deal with reality as it as actually is as reflected and symbolized by yet another agent of Lucifer: evil. And to learn from this in our ongoing understanding of Evolutionary Astrology. To learn from it. Hitler, Pinochet, Stalin also had 'roles to play'. Yes. And those roles were the roles of Lucifer: evil. So, indeed, these Souls, like the Soul of Putin, are indeed pigs.

If you feel 'hate' in my tone so be it. I do in fact hate evil. And I will do all I can to point it out to whomever as best I can. To see such things clearly, and take the actions necessary because of, to me, is that 'high road' that you speak of.

In any case you said you piece about this, as I have said mine. Take it no further.

God Bless, Rad
« Last Edit: Mar 16, 2014, 06:25 AM by Rad » Logged
Daniel
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 16, 2014, 06:22 AM »

"Take it no further" sounds kinda vertical to me Rad. How about "Please take it no further?"  Never pass up an opportunity to be kind, right?

Blessings,

Daniel

 

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Rad
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 16, 2014, 06:48 AM »

"Take it no further" sounds kinda vertical to me Rad. How about "Please take it no further?"  Never pass up an opportunity to be kind, right?

Blessings,

Daniel


I don't care how anything 'sound's to you which, of course, become the basis of that which you project. In any case one more squeak from you creating unnecessary agitation on our message board will be meet in the same way that a few others before you who have done the same: you will be banned. This message board is about learning Evolutionary Astrology which, again, is the intent on my post about Pig Putin. It is not about creating agitation among it's members. How does this sound to you ?

God Bless, Rad
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Rad
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« Reply #6 on: Mar 16, 2014, 07:58 AM »

Hi Gonzalo,

Your EA analysis of Pig Putin is so accurate, and excellent. It's interesting that his S.Node of Chiron is exactly where the S.Node of the Moon has been, as well as transiting Lucifer, and how these through geodetic correlations are focused on the Ukraine. His natal Lucifer is indeed conjunct all his Libra planets, including his Sun which serves as the integration point, and creatively self actualized purposes. This Lucifer is also squaring his natal Uranus in Cancer in his 8th which is ruled by his Gemini Moon in the 7th and all the duplicity that this correlates too. And, of course, the ruler of that Moon, Mercury, is conjunct, of course Lucifer.

His evil and megalomaniac desire is to displace the USA and the world power that it is, and to return Russia, thus himself, to the imperial power that it once was. Thus, his Libra planets, including his Lucifer, are conjunct the natal Saturn in the USA chart. Relative to the very nature of his Soul this can only occur through confrontations with any country, or anyone, who he perceives as thwarting or undermining those megalomaniac desires. He is, indeed, a PIG and an agent of Evil itself.

God Bless, Rad 
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Daniel
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« Reply #7 on: Mar 16, 2014, 10:27 AM »

Rad, I am able to admit when I was wrong.  Here is an email that I just received from the author Craig Barnes regarding the situation in the Ukraine:

Blessings,

Daniel

Commentary by Craig Barnes, March 15, 2014

Oh, Please Be Careful!

Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961 have we been this close to war.  This is, further, not an accidental confrontation or one that might be avoided by making a mistake clear, as in some false alert because a flock of geese looks like a nuclear attack on a radar screen. This confrontation is not a mistake.  Putin has been upset about the loss of Ukraine since he came to power. He has sometimes spoken as if he will measure the success or failure of his presidency by whether he has been able to restore the Russian empire.  That dream depends upon Ukraine as the empire's western bulwark.  Further, the Russian president's modus operandi is strictly KGB.  He attacks.  He doesn't reason; he punishes. Violence is therefore as natural to the Russian leader as the search for democratic resolution is to the Americans.  Putin's bravado is no doubt further strengthened by his estimate of the quiet speaking, rational American president as weak.  American history, by contrast to Russian, characteristically promotes diplomacy which depends upon reason. It is hard to find any Russian history that does the same.  As this is written we therefore have a situation of a former KGB officer with nuclear weapons daring the West to take him on.

David Brooks in a recent column in the New York Times warned us that Putin has been sending three books to his governors in various western provinces.  Each book in a different way extols the future of Russia as an imperial power bridging Asia and the West.  This will be a power that defies Western materialism and combines Orthodox spirituality with Russia's messianic mission. That mission is to move beyond the crass materialist democracies of Europe to assert again the natural  order of history which is a combination of hierarchy and privilege for those who are strong and who, incidentally, are blessed by God.  When Obama tells Putin that he is on the wrong side of history, Putin thinks that the opposite is true: the natural order of Russia has always been conquest and greatness lies in the hands of those who seize opportunity.

Now, ironically, on the other hand, the European Union and the United States suddenly find western Ukraine about to fall into their laps like an apple from a tree. The unexpected toppling of president Yanukovich has provided a great opportunity for the West to expand commerce and possibly even some form of democracy.  But democracy in Ukraine is a dagger to the ambitions of Russia's nationalist, messianic leader.  Putin is therefore faced with the realization that If he is to be the messiah of the new empire he must respond with the only power he has against the surprising strength of the people's uprising in Kiev.  He must respond with force.

In 1932, Japan started a war by provoking a border crisis involving Japanese citizens in Manchuria.  The Japanese manufactured the crisis as a pretext and then invaded China.  In 1938 Hitler manufactured a need to protect Germans in the Sudetenland and then seized that territory and thus began the sequence of events that led to World War II. In 2003, George W. Bush manufactured a pretext to invade Iraq, supposedly to protect that country's people from a brutal dictator.  Pretext as an excuse for war is unfortunately a well trod path.  In 2014, Putin has stirred up a crisis in Crimea and appears to be churning up multiple crises further within Ukraine's eastern provinces in Donetsk and Kharkiv.  Unmarked thugs are now marching through those cities and they are being accused of being operatives of "Blackwater," the notorious American mercenaries who were accused of murderous rampages in Iraq.  Crowds appear magically out of nowhere hurling epithets at "Blackwater."  All this seems eerily like 1932 and 1938 and even 2003.  It cannot be long before Putin moves in "to protect" his people. His move on Saturday to seize a power plant inside Ukraine seems calculated to cause a military response from Kiev, thus to give excuse to a full scale Russian invasion.  For the moment the Ukranians are not taking the bait, but clearly Putin will keep trying to manufacture some excuse.

President Obama and Secretary Kerry have reacted as strongly as words will allow but they have no practical way to resist this prospective invasion except with the threat of war.  Economic sanctions will cut almost as hard against the West, and particularly against Great Britain and Germany who will suffer sanctions in return.  Putin knows this.  He knows that his resolve is stronger than either Angela Merkel's or David Cameron's and he estimates that it is stronger than Obama's and Kerry's.  Ukraine is, after all, the foundation of his personally cherished plans for the future and Western resistance is only based in abstract legal principle.  We believe in self determination and the sanctity of national boundaries. But legal principles, unlike personal dreams, do not build the emotional commitment that offsets Putin's messianic intention to recreate the Soviet empire.

That is why this is so dangerous.  Putin does not think that we will engage him in a real war over principles.  For Obama and Kerry it is beginning to look as if they are going to have to either back down or shoot.  Republicans in the Congress do not make it any easier by saying that if we back down we are giving away the world, being outsmarted and outmaneuvered. With that challenge to their backs the Americans are compelled to keep bluffing, puffing, and moving troops into Poland and ships into the Black Sea.

Now this begins to mirror the escalating steps that led to the First World War. The multiple interwoven threats in 1914, just 100 years ago, had to be made good. The bluffs had to be called. A war that no one wanted had to be begun and once begun could not be halted until millions had died and a generation of young men had been wiped out. Those consequences, however, awful as they were, would be chicken feed compared to the consequences of a nuclear exchange should the struggle for Ukraine come to that.

In 1962 Nikita Krushchev backed down and pulled his missiles out of Cuba.  They were in our sphere of influence and too close for us to tolerate. We agreed to pull our missiles out of Turkey which was a face saver for Krushchev.  The point, however, that applies to the current crisis, is that when Krushchev meddled in our back yard, we cried foul and he agreed to leave without destroying the world.  Now we are in Russia's backyard and we will have to find some way to de-escalate without destroying the world.

Santa Fe, NM
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Rad
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« Reply #8 on: Mar 16, 2014, 10:38 AM »

Hi Daniel,

It takes a big Soul to admit when they are wrong: an honest Soul. So my hat is off to you for this. Steve is going to make a post later on about the history of when people do not recognize the reality of the Soul's like Putin's. He will focus on Hitler to do this. His own more recent past life in one in which he experienced first hand the reality of what Hitler did. So his words will be, and are, very, very important for all of us.

God Bless you Daniel,

Rad
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Rad
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« Reply #9 on: Mar 17, 2014, 06:00 AM »

Moscow's Crimea success could lead to it redrawing Ukraine's eastern border

Risk for west is the Pig's ambition to reclaim Russian-speaking majority areas to create a rival counterbalance to the EU

Michael White   
Monday 17 March 2014 11.25 GMT    

Pig Putin is a KGB professional who shows every sign of being a bad man, quite possibly a prodigious thief as well. Offensive though it is to the memory of millions of Russians murdered by Hitler (far more even than his hero Stalin killed), Pig Putin's orchestration of Crimea's defection from Ukraine offers a disturbing comparison with German annexation of the Czech Sudetenland with Neville Chamberlain's connivance in 1938.

But Pig Putin and the joyful Russian-speaking citizens of Crimea do have a case to which outraged western denunciations make little concession despite their diplomatic impotence and military passivity. "We are not talking about military options... this is not a Crimean war," the foreign secretary, William Hague, said on Monday morning. He invoked economic sanctions which will hurt Russia (and us), but he spoke in the spirit of Chamberlain.

Well, that's good. Most wars are more easily started than ended as we should remember in this 1914 anniversary year. The Anglo-French Crimean war of 1853-56 was an ill-conceived shambles, not forgotten locally. So were some of our more recent interventions, notably Iraq and Afghanistan, which many players in the international game of selective moral indignation regard as being as illegal as this month's manoeuvres on the Crimean peninsula.

In a bad-tempered, despairing article in the Guardian last week, Marina Lewycka set out some of the historic context of this troubled region with its hard-to-defend borders, vast and fluid. As a Sheffield-based novelist and lecturer of Ukrainian origins – on both sides of the ethnic divide – Lewycka has earned her right to denounce our petulant ignorance as well as the Pig's cynicism.

As she reminds us all, fearsome and traumatic things have happened in Ukraine well within living memory, which is why some western Ukrainians, Catholics who were once part of west-facing empires and many ethnic Russians in the eastern provinces so mistrust and abuse each other when a political crisis turns bad. Try the Yale history professor Timothy Snyder – or here on Cif for a different voice on the bloody past.

It helps to explain why Moscow's glib claims of a "fascist" takeover in Kiev resonate with so many Russians. It's a familiar theme, the Soviet equivalent of "reds under the beds" in the west, especially in the American heartlands far from oceans and the wider world beyond. Kiev has made enough mistakes and has enough grubby bedfellows – not many, but clearly enough – to make the charge credible. So what happened in the popular overthrow of Moscow hack and klepto-president (both sides agree on that detail) Viktor Yanukovych was a pro-western coup, right comrades?

It's all much more nuanced than that. A Crimean referendum staged under what amounts to Russian military occupation – navy and soldiers – and boycotted by the minority Ukrainians and (12%) Tatars ( expelled and butchered by Stalin) is pretty bogus. But it doesn't change the fact that Crimea is an anomaly, Russian since 1783 and transferred to Ukraine by Nikita Krushchev in 1954 – possibly when the Soviet leader was drunk, says Marina Lewycka.

Steve McQueen, the Oscar winner, might note in passing that up to two million Russians and Ukrainians were sold into slavery in the nearby Ottoman Empire when the Crimea was still under Mongul Tatar control. That's another local bit of folk memory which may help explain deep mutual fears.

Certainly Krushchev's quixotic gesture was an odd one, made in circumstances when the USSR still thought of itself as the wave of the future, when those ethnic divisions not dissolved in blood by Stalin would melt away in the brave new world. As nationalist leaders today – Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond among them – show, nationalism is as potent a brew as ever. Even mature democracies like ours find the issue tricky. Whose side would a Murodch-owned Sunski be on today if it was published in Crimea? Precisely.

Moscow's clumsier versions of the Sun have been in overdrive. No wonder that most ethnic Russians in Crimea have voted this weekend for Mother Russia over the relative freedoms they enjoyed in Ukraine. Germans living on the Saar coalfield between France and the Third Reich did exactly the same in their 1935 referendum: they voted for Hitler.

And that's the real risk the world faces now. President Pig Putin is the sort of leader in the sort of regime which likes to get the advice it wants to hear. The Kremlin must be thrilled with its recent string of diplomatic successes, making the West look even more feeble and divided over Syria than it actually is, staging the Sochi Olympics without those widely predicted (by us) terrorist attacks – and now calling Nato's bluff in Crimea.

The risk is surely that this success will embolden Moscow to redraw Ukraine's eastern boundaries to reclaim Russian-speaking majority areas, Sudeten-style. Not too much we can do about that either. Then what? Pig Putin has ambitions to create a rival counter-balance to the EU, recreating a form of the old Czarist/Soviet multinational empire that crashed after the Berlin Wall, the tragedy of his life.

When Nato and the EU rapidly expanded to fill the vaccum created by the collapse of the Warsaw Pact bloc in the 90s – into Hungary, Poland (etc) and the Baltics, later into Bulgaria and Romania too – I could see the short-term rationale, but feared the long-term consequences. Russia ( "always too weak and too strong" in the old saying) would feel encircled and strike back when it could.

In response, America would not honour its hastily-given pledges, even without a timid president, born in Hawaii, to whom Estonia must be "a far away country of which we know little", as Chamberlain said when selling out Czechoslovakia. The EU can no longer punch holes in a paper bag. Pig Putin must sense opportunity. It is hardly surprising that the Poles (the most successful EU adopters) and the Baltic mini-states are jittery about Crimea. If the west does impose its threatened sanctions it may give the Pig – who fears his internal democratic movement, as the Guardian's editorial points out – an excuse to squeeze vulnerable neighbours.

As in 1914, the risk of miscalculation is huge. US and EU electorates are fed up with costly foreign wars which do not deliver the peace and stability they were supposed to bring. But they will react with alarm if Russia turns off its gas taps without the kind of alternative sources of supply that Berlin is already talking about. Qatar, anyone ?

Moving any pieces on our interconnected global chess board has consequences. Leaders who are seen to be weak (Barack Obama) and those who rejoice in being seen as strong (Vlad the bare-chested) while actually vulnerable economically, are both capable of compensatory error.

Global markets, which dislike uncertainty, are already punishing Russia via falling share prices, suspended investment and a declining rouble. Oligarchs are nervously shifting ill-gotten billions out of banks where their assets may be frozen. It will all unsettle even further a world order that is fragile. Should we stage a referendum to return Kensington to Mother Britain while the local still retain a non-Russian majority there and before un-badged soldiers with snow on their boots start coming off EasyJet flights from Moscow?

Don't laugh. That's what Krushchev probably did when a far-sighted adviser warned him not to give away Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 and found himself locked up for his pains. And that's another thing. Has anyone checked the small print of Washington's bargain of the 19th century – it paid two cents an acre for the Alaska Purchase from Russia in 1867?

At the time, the Czar was strapped for cash (his Crimean war with Britain had been expensive) and sold it. In a fluid, opportunist world, some sharp-suited Kremlin lawyer may be about to suggest oily/icy Alaska is Russia's equivalent of the Parthenon Marbles and ask for it back. Nothing is for ever. Ask them in Crimea.

***************

Crimean referendum: The Pig and the threat of a new cold war

Through a series of interventions in civil liberties, Mr Putin is turning a soft autocracy into a highly repressive state

Guardian G logo
Editorial   
The Guardian, Sunday 16 March 2014 23.17 GMT      

The referendum that took place in Crimea is both irrelevant and deeply significant. Irrelevant because it has no standing in the law of the country to which it applies, and because it took place while the autonomous region was under military occupation. International bodies are unlikely to recognise its outcome: the UN security council voted by 13-1 to condemn it on Saturday, with only Russia voting against. The referendum is significant, however, because it represents a giant step on the road to Russian annexation, and because it reveals a little more of the nature of that country's president, Pig Putin.

Like many a strongman before him, Mr Putin is motivated as much by fear as boldness. He has embarked on the path of dismembering Ukraine in part because he fears for Russia if its neighbour is seen to escape into a bright European future. Ever since the mass protests that surrounded his controversial return to the presidency in 2012, Mr Putin has worked hard to prevent himself being ejected on a wave of pro-democratic sentiment of the kind that ran around the world following Tunisia's revolution in December 2010. Having seen his protege Viktor Yanukovych toppled in Kiev, he has been rolling back the gains of glasnost with renewed vigour.

Just when the Russian people have needed independent media most, the government has been crushing it. Last Wednesday, Galina Timchenko, the editor of the popular independent Russian news website Lenta.ru, was fired and replaced with a Kremlin sympathiser, after running an interview with a member of the Ukrainian nationalist group Right Sector. Many of the website's reporters resigned in protest, saying as they did so: "The trouble is not that we've lost our jobs. The trouble is that you've got nothing to read." The only independent TV station, Dozhd, which had dared to cover anti-government demonstrations in Kiev, was dumped from all major cable networks in February; news websites have been blocked; the general director of the liberal Ekho Moskvy radio station was sacked and replaced with a conservative.

There is opposition to the Crimean intervention – thousands marched in Moscow on Saturday – but, faced with a full-scale assault on the truth, it is unsurprising that many Russians believe in Mr Putin's worldview, in which western-backed "fascists" have created "anarchy" in Ukraine that only Russia can resolve. Unsurprising, too, that the Pig's approval rating has climbed to a three-year high in the past month on the back of his handling of Ukraine and the Sochi Olympics. Almost half of Russians polled in a recent survey thought there was a real threat from bandits and nationalists to Russians in Ukraine, while more than half thought Russian troops could be deployed there legally.

Through a series of crackdowns and interventions in civil liberties, Mr Pig Putin is turning a soft autocracy into a highly repressive state that appears to be run by a small group of the Pig's confidants within the Kremlin and whose character is increasingly nationalistic and paranoid about the west. Vladimir Yakunin, the head of Russian Railways and a friend of the Pig's, expressed this in a recent interview. "We are witnessing a huge geopolitical game in which the aim is the destruction of Russia as a geopolitical opponent of the US or of this global financial oligarchy," Mr Yakunin said. Part of his solution is a plan for a Soviet-style mega-project in the east of the country, as far as possible from the meddling west.

EU foreign ministers meet on Monday to consider action against a list of high-level Russian officials in light of the Crimean referendum. The US will likely follow suit, and further European sanctions are in the offing: the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has warned darkly of "massive" economic and political damage to Russia unless Mr Putin changes course. If the sovereignty of Ukraine is to be defended, there are few other options. East and west appear locked on the path to a new and dangerous divide.

***************

PIG PUTIN'S RUSSIA ...

March 16, 2014, 6:10 pm

Russia Could Still Turn U.S. ‘Into Radioactive Dust,’ News Anchor in Moscow Reminds Viewers

By ROBERT MACKEY
IHT

Video of a commentary on relations between the United States and Russia broadcast on state television in Moscow on Sunday night.

Click to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teZZMrnWUNw

As the United States condemned a referendum on the future of the Crimean peninsula staged by pro-Russian separatists on Sunday, one of Russia’s most influential television hosts appeared on the evening news in Moscow, before a huge mushroom cloud graphic, to remind viewers that Russia is still “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.”

    On Russian state TV: lovely closing ceremony of Sochi Paralympics v. warning that Russia can turn the US into radioactive dust. Good night.

    — Steven Lee Myers (@slmmoscow) 16 Mar 14

Although the saber-rattling comments came from Dmitry K. Kiselyov, a news anchor well known for his “mad as hell” delivery of diatribes on the supposed threats to Russia posed by foreign plotters and native homosexuals, the report still stunned viewers of the state broadcaster’s main channel.

    Киселев продолжает!

    Прямо сейчас: Россия – единственная страна, которая может превратить США в радиоактивный пепел http://t.co/zNTh7imMKz

    — Коробков-Землянский (@korobkov) 16 Mar 14

One reason is that, as the Russian journalist Leonid Ragozin observed, Mr. Kiselyov was the man recently chosen by President Pig V. Putin to lead an official news agency charged with explaining Kremlin policy to the world, a media organization to be called Rossiya Sevodnya, or Russia Today.

    Kiselev is not your average moron. He is Russia’s most senior government media executive, essentially minister of propaganda.

    — Leonid Ragozin (@leonidragozin) 16 Mar 14

Mr. Ragozin noted that the anchor also claimed that President Obama was deeply worried by Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

    Kiselev then talks abt Russia’s ‘dead hand’ system that will destroy America automatically after all Russians are dead.

    — Leonid Ragozin (@leonidragozin) 16 Mar 14

    Kiselev claims a publication about “Perimeter” – the Russian nuclear extermination system – prompted Obama’s frantic calls to Kremlin in Jan

    — Leonid Ragozin (@leonidragozin) 16 Mar 14

A Moscow correspondent for The Associated Press, Laura Mills, reported that the broadcaster had then moved on to attack a “fifth column” of supposedly traitorous Russian dissidents who signed an open letter against the Kremlin’s “de facto annexation of Crimea.”

    Russian state TV anchor lists intellectuals who oppose Crimean annexation, says: “If this isn’t the fifth column, what IS the fifth column?”

    — Laura Mills (@lauraphylmills) 16 Mar 14

Mr. Kiselyov’s appointment, and the shuttering of a more independent state news agency, was described by Russia’s respected business daily Vedomosti as a sign that Mr. Pig Putin had abandoned any hope of persuading educated Russians to embrace his policies, my colleague Serge Schmemann explained. “The Kremlin acknowledged that it has lost the educated community,” the editors of Vedomosti wrote in December, “and has neither the means nor the will to hold a dialogue about values, and therefore instead of culture began to impose ideology, and instead of information, propaganda.”

Virulently anti-gay comments from the Russian television host and executive Dmitry Kiselyov, subtitled by Russian activists.

The instant online reaction to Mr. Kiselyov’s Sunday night riff from Russian bloggers seemed to indicate that they are indeed not the target demographic for his editorial commentaries.

A screenshot of the segment, with a caption suggesting that the host might have a substance abuse problem, was posted on the Twitter feed of Aleksei A. Navalny, an opposition leader currently under house arrest whose blog was blocked by Russian Internet authorities last week.

    Он наркоман конечно http://t.co/xvuh7IPOtb

    — Alexey Navalny (@navalny) 16 Mar 14

Mr. Navalny’s feed, which is ostensibly under the control of his wife until the end of his ban on using the Internet, also drew attention to another opposition activist’s suggestion of how the segment should have ended, with the host being dragged away by men in white coats.

    По логике вещей, эта клоунада должна закончиться так http://t.co/z9abXeb0dW

    — Владислав Наганов (@naganoff_ru) 16 Mar 14

Other bloggers heaped scorn on Mr. Kiselyov’s false claim that Mr. Obama’s hair had turned gray from worry over Russia’s nuclear might.

    Киселев говорит, что Обама резко поседел из-за того, что боится Россию.
    Это, конечно, какой-то КВН,а не журналистика. http://t.co/ZMzXq9rENs

    — Алекс Заборовский (@sazam) 16 Mar 14

As my colleague Ellen Barry reported on Saturday, some influential members of the Russian president’s inner circle “view isolation from the West as a good thing for Russia,” and seem to welcome the revival of Cold War tensions. On Sunday, she noted, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, Dmitri Trenin, told RT, a Kremlin-funded news network that broadcasts in English, that the new standoff between Moscow and the West “closes the books on what I would call inter Cold War period” that began with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

An English-language interview with Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, on the Kremlin-funded channel RT.

Russian bloggers also turned their attention to reworking an Associated Press photograph of a confrontation on Saturday between the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, and her Russian counterpart, Vitaly I. Churkin.

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly I. Churkin, was confronted by his American counterpart, Samantha Power, on Saturday before a Security Council meeting on the status of Crimea.John Minchillo/Associated Press Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly I. Churkin, was confronted by his American counterpart, Samantha Power, on Saturday before a Security Council meeting on the status of Crimea.

    “@Fake_MIDRF: И пусть весь мир подождёт! http://t.co/5aDfr3ciDh” лучшая картинка для 93%

    — Alexey Navalny (@navalny) 16 Mar 14


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« Last Edit: Mar 17, 2014, 06:31 AM by Rad » Logged
Skywalker
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« Reply #10 on: Mar 17, 2014, 07:43 AM »

Hi Rad, Gonzalo, Daniel and all,

What is also interesting to note is that transiting Pluto is squaring his Sun in Libra and, Uranus will also oppose his Libra planets and square his natal Uranus in Cancer in the 8th house after that.

To me this seems to indicate his drive for power in order to amass material resources (Pluto/Cap/2nd house) has created a limitation within his own self expression (Sun/Libra/11th) which is obsolete and in need of innovation.

With Neptune in transit squaring his natal Moon in Gemini in the 7th house it seems to be correlating with the collective being sick and tired of his inequality and duplicity. The people will probably be disillusioned with him as seen by this transit of Neptune. This in turn can lead to him creating all sorts of lies as an attempt to evade what is really going on, relative to the Uranus/Pluto transits over his natal planets and his drive for power and control over resources. These attempts to cover up the truth can also be by the manipulation or distortion of information that comes out in the media.

I agree that it does seem like a very dangerous time as he will probably do everything he can to hold onto as much of his power as possible with that transiting Pluto square his natal Sun, which in combination with Saturn in transit squaring his natal Pluto and S.Node of the Moon, is showing the reality and exact timing of him needing to learn the limits of his own power and leadership abilities. It can also be a time where within his own Soul, there can be the desire for him to stop bullshitting himself and others in order to be in special positions of power and in positions of superiority over others, with that Natal Pluto/S.Node in Leo in the Ninth house.

Gonzalo, it seems so right that he desires to be loved and seen as an iconic figure with Pluto and the South Node in Leo, ruled by the Sun in Libra in the Eleventh house. With Jupiter, which rules his natal Mars in the Second, in Taurus squaring the Nodes and opposite Venus, I wonder if he would ever reach a point where there is enough.

All the best
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Steve
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« Reply #11 on: Mar 17, 2014, 08:12 PM »

I want to add some thoughts to this discussion, because really it is not just about Vladimir Putin and Russia, but on the nature of how evil manifests and spreads in the world.  First we have to identify that there IS such a thing as evil, and how to recognize it. 

All of us who feel we are on some type of spiritual path, whatever the outer forms of it are for any individual, must recognize that within us, every last one of us, coexist along with positive tendencies such as love, compassion, humility, other tendencies like greed, selfishness, anger, lust, envy, hatred, pride, and others.  All of the world’s religions teach in their own  way that these are the temptations inherent in the human condition that we are intended to work towards overcoming. 

We are all familiar enough with how insidious these emotions can be at times, and how much effort it takes to purify our natures from them.  It is a lot of work.  No one is immune from these tendencies – those who have purified themselves enough that emotions like love, sharing, caring, humility, service, respect predominate in their character have worked a long time to develop characters of that nature.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have various Souls in whom lesser qualities seem to predominate.  Among these Souls are the extreme cases that Rad mentioned -  Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Pinochet, and many others, down through time.  As I have pondered this, I have realized that just as it is a great deal of work for spiritually oriented Souls to change their habits and purge their natures of these tendencies, so it is just as much work for Souls who have glorified and oriented themselves towards what we’d consider negative qualities, to make them predominate in their character - selfishness, greed, grandiosity, callousness towards the rights and feelings of others.  Just as it takes many, many lifetimes to spiritualize one’s nature, so it also takes many, many lifetimes to develop a character of a negative selfish nature. Just as the more one purifies their desire nature towards giving and love, those qualities make it more likely to become ever more that way, since that is what that Soul is desiring, so the more one gives in to the allure of selfishness, greed, callousness, the more likely it becomes those qualities will ever more predominate in that person’s nature.

It all comes down to choices, made in the present moment.  Over time choices become habits, and habits become our character.  The point here is, the principles of desire and normalcy in life over time will make those seeking purity purer, and those seeking self-serving ends ever more that way.  This is a principle that many in the spiritual communities do not like and have not come to terms with.  We want to see the potential of goodness in all Souls, and we want to believe that all Souls at heart are good, or at least have the potential to do good.  Unfortunately, we learn over time, the hard way, that although a Soul may have the potential to do good, if the choices they are making, again and again, are lesser choices that are self-serving and uncaring towards the needs of the greater whole, this inherent potential to do good is simply not going to be acted upon.

Every Soul is created with a conscience that knows at some deep level within it whether it is doing right or wrong, those being defined by Natural law –the way That Which Created This Human Reality intended for humans to live within it.  How do we know what that is?  By the way we feel when we act in alignment with it.  When we act aligned with what we in EA call sharing, inclusion and cooperation, there is a certain feeling within our nature, a sense that we are doing that which is right for us to do at that moment, regardless of what anyone else thinks about it.  When we act from self-interest, what appears to be for my good, my benefit, not in context with the overall greater good but simply what is best for me right now – what we in EA call self-interest, we also know that, because it creates unsettled feelings within us.  A dis-ease, a vague sense of guilt.  We don’t like that feeling – it makes us uncomfortable.  Thus we try to avoid it.  We fill up our time, we try to pretend we are not feeling as we are, sometimes we try to put the blame for it on someone else and what they are doing TO me that is making me feel this way.

Souls who have come to operate from this perspective of self-interest as a way of life, their instinctual response, have to override the pangs of their conscience on a minute by minute basis. We know in our heart, in our gut, when we have done something that is not right.  If we insist on repeating such actions over and over, we build up a core of guilt, guilt over what we are doing that we are justifying that really is not justifiable. 

In order to live with themselves, such Souls must remain in a continuous victim state, where they see no connection between what is happening in their life and in their feelings  with various thoughts, intentions, actions that are in fact responsible for creating the feelings and consequences they experience in their lives.  They live in a state of denial of the connection between cause and effect  - what in pop spirituality might be called of their own karma that they are creating by their thoughts, words, deeds.  To rationalize and justify this denial they create a persona within themselves that they are the innocent ones who are misunderstood, persecuted, not understood, for all they are doing for the benefit of others, etc.    They never do anything wrong.  The world does not appreciate them and all they are doing.
As an extreme example, top Nazis involved in creating the Holocaust convinced themselves that the work they were doing was a selfless service of ridding the world of the evil Jews.  They felt they were making vast personal sacrifices to do this necessary yet unpleasant work that someone needed to do.  They created this as their inner reality to be able to go on carrying out evil tasks that were seen as obviously wrong and crazy to any clear headed person.  In essence they were convincing themselves that what was inherently wrong and truly evil was actually virtuous.

Whatever one thinks of Rad’s choice of word to describe Vladimir Putin’s Soul, the truth in the points he makes seem self-evident to me. 

Nowadays Hitler references are a dime a dozen.  None the less, sometimes there are germs of truth in some of them.  And this is the part that concerns Rad, and it also concerns me. 

I want to discuss some of the events in Hitler’s life because I see many potential parallels in the rise of Vladimir Putin. No one is saying that it’s 100% certain that he is going to carry out this exact scenario.  What is being said is the nature of Putin’s Soul – its desire nature, how it sees itself – make it clear that he has ambitions of the sort that a number of major despots have had, despots who unleashed havoc that affected the lives (and deaths) of tens of millions of people.  What is being said is, THIS IS SERIOUS.  This guy is not fooling around and he has the potential to create terrible havoc.  Thus the best plan would be to stop him, to hold him in check as much as possible, before he gets too emboldened.  And also, that we get people educated that this is potentially significant.

First I want to point out that in his early years in power, many people in the non-German world admired Hitler for how they perceived he was uniting and reinspiring the German people, who had been deeply defeated during World War 1.  This includes Americans such as Charles Lindbergh the aviator, President John F. Kennedy’s father Joe Kennedy who was the US ambassador to Germany at that time, and Henry Ford who was awarded and accepted the the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal/honor that Germany offered to foreigners.  My point is not that these people were pro-Nazi and supported the Holocaust. Hatred of Jews was indeed sanctioned by the German government, but at that point there was not yet a Holocaust. My point is that these people did not see the madness that Hitler was capable of.  They looked at the good points of what he talked about and ignored the darker sides of his philosophy, seeing them as idiosyncrasies that he would get over, until it was too late. 

And this is precisely the point I feel that Rad is making about Putin.  People do not realize what that Soul is capable of.

Just because someone is capable of something doesn’t mean they will actually do it.  It does mean the more certain circumstances occur the more likely it is they will go down that path.

After Germany lost World War 1, a nation of proud Souls was emasculated in defeat.  The depression was occurring and Germany was in a shambles.  Hitler rose to power by saying the words many Germans wanted to hear, that Germany was the superior race that was destined to be the leader of the world, and he was the one to reinstate Germany back to its intended glory.  It was a con that he believed in, and he sold much of his country on it.

Hitler’s his first “conquest” was sending the German army back into the Rhineland, which was a violation of the Treaty of Versailles, as it was made a demilitarized zone, the German land between Germany and France.   He was petrified that the former Allies might call his bluff and crush his attempt as Germany was not yet at full military strength.  He gambled the Allies were sick of war and would do nothing.  And he was right.  My point is, if the Allies had taken action then, he potentially would have been stopped and that might have been the end of European conquest.  But they did not stand up to him, and this raised him to prophet and hero in the eyes of the majority of Germans.

Since as Rad has pointed out, confirmed by German leader Merkl, that Putin’s dream is to reunite the old Russian empire, it is quite obvious to me that Crimea is sort of Putin’s version of the Rhineland, the first step.  If he gets away with this, he will be greatly emboldened and is quite likely to raise the bar on what he attempts to get away with next.  That is why it is important that the world stop him now.  (I am not talking about with military force.  AT THIS POINT there are many economic and political pressures that can be placed on him.  Later on that may no longer be the case).

After the Rhineland, Hitler than took over Austria, then Czechoslovakia (which he swore would be the end of his demands), and finally Poland.  An important part of this is to remember that the reasons that he gave that these conquests were necessary was that German nationals in those regions were being mistreated and provoked by the non-German populations.  There was next to no evidence of any of this actually occurring yet lies in his propaganda newspapers convinced the German people this was true, and he convinced them to go along with his plans to “protect” their fellow Germans.  Trumped up acts of violence were even committed to drive this point home. 

The take away point here is that Vladimir Putin is using the EXACT SAME pretext, telling the Russian people that Russian nationals in Crimea are being mistreated, while there seems to be no serious evidence of any of that.  And, if he later expands his conquest into more parts of the Ukraine, the same pretext will undoubtedly be given as the cause of that.

Putin is creating a scapegoat in Russia, called LGBT people, just as Hitler created a scapegoat called Jews, on whom he can blame things that are going wrong.

On Sunday a referendum was held in Crimea on whether the people wanted to unite with Russia.  It passed, with 97% of the vote.   Somehow, about 30,000 armed Russian troops were circulating around Crimea, a part of the Ukraine, which is a separate country unrelated to Russia, during the voting.  It turned out there was no way on the ballot to vote no.  There were two statements about two different methods of uniting Crimea with Russia.  The two statements were worded as “I support….(referendum points).”  THERE WAS NO WAY TO VOTE NO.  This entire referendum idea was completely supported by, if not dreamed up by, Putin.  Does he think the people of the world are going to believe his 97% to 3% victory on this Crimean referendum?  If he is so out of touch with reality that he thinks he can pass this off as valid to the rest of the planet, what else is he capable of, in his deluded state?  And remember, Russia is a major nuclear power, something Hitler did not have available in World War 2.

I believe this is the nature of Rad’s concerns, that this man needs to be stopped before this escalates.  I feel these concerns are not fear mongering but valid possibilities.  And, again, NOT certainty.  But the probabilities are significant enough, given the nature of this Soul that we and the world should take this seriously.  The world did not stand up to Hitler until it was too late.  The leaders did not take him seriously.  Hopefully the world learned something from the death of one hundred million people, worldwide, during World War 2, that sometimes someone arises that needs to be dealt with quickly, for the collective good of the whole planet. 

In the context of this, how significant is it that someone used a word in describing this individual that some of us would not have chosen ourselves?  To me its really missing the focus of the discussion to get sidetracked on that small issue.  What about what was written about Putin?  That is what really matters.
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JJ
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« Reply #12 on: Mar 17, 2014, 09:17 PM »

Thanks to everyone for bringing clarity to this important issue!!

Many US newspapers are reporting that Crimea voted to join Russia, without any explanations of what that actually means. No quotation marks are being used around the word "voted." This is followed by the reports of the international sanctions towards Russia.

In response, people online are confused and posting that the US should just leave Crimea alone because they voted to rejoin Russia and we should respect that. And people are of course blaming Obama for "interfering" with another country's elections. This is another mess of the press trying to obfuscate the real issues and lazy journalists just repeating inaccurate stories.

We need to see clearly now more than ever. So thankful for this community.

JJ

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Rad
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« Reply #13 on: Mar 18, 2014, 05:49 AM »


Russian propaganda over Crimea and the Ukraine: how does it work?

Pig Putin has put boots in the ground – over the airwaves, he is taking the west on a tour of the propagandist’s playbook

• The Crimea referendum: how did it come to happen?

Alan Yuhas   
theguardian.com, Monday 17 March 2014 18.21 GMT   
   
The occupation of Crimea by pro-Russian forces has been accompanied by a remarkable propaganda push by Moscow – an effort that has infiltrated western media and helped redefine the debate in Russia’s favor. On Sunday, a referendum in Crimea decided the peninsula’s fate.

Media pressure has mounted. By shutting down independent press, Russia controls more of the story; by spreading half-truths and rumors, the Kremlin not only confuses opponents but also sows unwitting support for its cause; finally, by pushing the boundaries with its version of events, Moscow’s leadership can force other countries to play by its own very pliable rules.

Win the “information war”, as one Russian MP calls it, and you can gain the upper hand without ever firing a shot.

1. Muzzle the press

Page one isn’t too original, but it’s proven. Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has been silencing independent voices one at a time for months, effectively dismantling the press. In December, Putin ordered the “restructure” of the state-owned but historically independent RIA Novosti – liquidating most of the outlet, merging its remains with Russia Today and installing as editor in chief Dmitry Kiselyov, a TV presenter notorious for saying gay people’s hearts should be incinerated and playing up how Russia can turn the US into “radioactive ash”.

RIA was just the first. Dozhd, the country’s last independent TV channel, was “pushed off a cliff” right before the Winter Olympics. Then the radio station Ekho Moskvy had its director replaced by its owner, the state-controlled energy company Gazprom. Most recently, the editor-in-chief of Lenta.ru, a highly respected, independent news site, was suddenly replaced with a pro-Kremlin editor, a move apparently made through back channels with the site’s conglomerate owner. Though 69 employees and correspondents wrote an open letter protesting “direct pressure” from the government, even resignations would do little but scatter already disparate independent journalists.

The Kremlin’s tighter grip on the media has coincided with the rise of Russia Today, which unapologetically skews news in Putin’s favor. After a news anchor had an on-air meltdown apropos of propaganda last week, the station’s head simply issued a statement reading: “American propaganda … is so strong that it is capable of brainwashing even the brightest and most ardent people.”

2. Rebrand the revolution

Putin, for whom recent events in Kiev have been not only unfavorable but a threat, wants to rebrand history in such a way that it protects him. To that end, a constant theme spouting from Russian sources has been the Ukrainian revolution’s alliance with “fascists” – a vague word that’s become a catchall for anti-Semites, terrorists, insurgents, anarchists and thugs.

Though there were nationalists and far-right nationalists among Kiev’s protesters, and there are some in the new interim government, there decidedly weren’t and aren’t many – if any – bona fide fascists. This line has been both taken up and debunked (thoroughly), but any discussion of fascists at all is a Kremlin win. If you’re busy trying to decide how anti-Semitic Ukraine’s right wing is, then you’re not busy watching Russian soldiers slip across the border. (Ukraine’s chief rabbi is stalwartly pro-Kiev, by the by, and has taken up propaganda-busting, pointing out that the diverse anti-Yanukovych coalition is now anti-Putin.)

Fear of fascists goes a long way in Ukraine, which suffered in the second world war. By definition, fear (“Fascists are coming for your family!”) and confusion (“Fascists? Are there fascists? What’s a fascist?”) matters much more in propaganda than truth (not so many fascists). It doesn’t have to make sense – in fact it’s better if it doesn’t. Incoherent theories of a gay, Jewish, Muslim fascist conspiracy in Kiev don’t matter so long as they’re riling someone up, like a man in Simferopol who told the Guardian: “I mean, I am all for the superiority of the white race, and all that stuff, but I don’t like fascists.”

    Referendum advertisements are popping up in the Crimea. "March 16, we decide!" Go Russian or go Nazi? pic.twitter.com/FQ7dplCP9n
    — Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) March 9, 2014


Putin has also insisted that Yanukovych’s ouster was not just illegal but a coup, and he has pointed fingers at the west for orchestrating and backing the culprits. Again, slivers of truth work in Putin’s favor: Kiev’s parliament removed Yanukovych on constitutionally murky grounds, though everyone else has now accepted them; because Senator John McCain and European leaders visited Kiev, it looks like the west really did back those obstreperous radicals. Considering Russia’s control over media, this alternate version of events – it wasn’t a revolution, but a coup – is not only not absurd, but a direct appeal to skepticism toward the west and its history of meddling.

3. Sound furious, signify nothing

Skewed facts, half-truths, misinformation and rumors all work in the propagandist’s favor. By playing up a law that would diminish the Russian language’s official status, Kiev looks like it’s persecuting Russian speakers (though the vetoed bill does not ban Russian). By reminding everyone of a real military agreement, you can profess innocence while having military “exercises” overstepping their bounds. By removing insignias from Russian uniforms, you can pretend as long as you like that soldiers with Russian guns and vehicles, speaking Russian and occasionally admitting they’re Russian, are merely local “self-defense” bands.

The one thing the Kremlin loves more than misinformation is when the western media pushes oversimplified stories. The idea that Ukraine is evenly split between a pro-European west and a pro-Russian east actually fits with Putin’s preferred version of events; saying there’s any “one map” you need to understand Ukraine’s crisis” risks unwittingly spreading the Kremlin’s story. Peter Pomerantsev explains:

    The big winner from the conceptual division of Ukraine into ‘Russian’ and ‘Ukrainian’ spheres may well be the Kremlin. The idea that Russia is a separate political and spiritual civilisation, one which is a priori undemocratic, suits the Kremlin as it looks to cut and paste together an excuse to validate its growing authoritarianism. So every time a commentator defines the battle in Kiev as Russian language v Ukrainian, a Kremlin spin doctor gets in another round of drinks.

4. Bend the rules

When talking about Ukraine, Putin has insisted that Russia will have a security presence until the situation “normalizes”, though he hasn’t said what constitutes an acceptable “normal”. Putin’s first press conference after Russian troops moved into Crimea was a masterclass of saying everything and nothing: he placated the west (“We won’t go to war”); insisted he would use force “to protect Russians”; he rambled, mocked, waxed grave, brave and a little insane. Given this kind of performance, it’s no surprise that German chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly said Putin is “in another world”. But this kind of incoherence is useful.

Lilia Shevtsova brilliantly dissects these strategies as “Putin’s trap” – considering all the ways they undermine convention and work for the Kremlin. In short, it forces others – like Merkel or US secretary of state John Kerry – into engaging in a sparring match in which no rules exist that can’t be bent or broken. The more boundaries Putin pushes and lines he crosses, the more the west will accept a more extreme version of “normal”.

5. Follow your script

By spreading talk of fascists, of gangs of unknown armed men, of coups and self-determination and persecution – while sending armed men into Ukraine, egging on real and staged protests, bribing politicians and blocking the media – the Kremlin is enacting and realizing its propaganda on the ground. The Ukrainian government and military has shown remarkable restraint in not falling for the ploy, but Putin appears prepared to increase the pressure, especially as protester clashes grow more violent.

James Meek sums up the motives:

    The revolution on Maidan … is the closest yet to a script for [Putin’s] own downfall. In that sense the invasion is a counter-revolution by the Pig and his government against Russians and Ukrainians alike.

Timothy Snyder explains the goal:

    Propaganda is thus not a flawed description [of reality[, but a script for action … the invasion of Crimea was not a reaction to an actual threat, but rather an attempt to activate a threat so that violence would … change the world.

Despite the obvious dangers of carrying on this way, the Kremlin looks committed to its path. But as any actor, propagandist or politician should remember, the law of unintended consequences means that not even Moscow can know where this ends.


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« Reply #14 on: Mar 18, 2014, 05:51 AM »


Crimea's referendum was a sham display of democracy

The vote in Ukraine was rushed through to confuse voters and outwit rivals, and a key choice was notably absent from the ballot

Ian Birrell in Simferopol, Crimea
theguardian.com, Monday 17 March 2014 17.30 GMT   
       
Almost before they had cleared up the vodka bottles in Lenin Square, scene of the party to celebrate Crimea's reunification with the motherland in Moscow, the well-planned moves kicked into place. There was, of course, no doubt about the verdict of Sunday's vote in the referendum. So with the speed that has been typical of this incendiary crisis, the new political masters in Simferopol proclaimed that their citizens were shifting to a new monetary system and time zone as they rushed to become the 84th region of the Russian Federation.

For many Crimeans, this is a dream come true. Touring the polling stations, voter after voter said they were returning home to Russia. One elderly woman told me she was preparing to live in her fourth nation without moving home once, underlining the fluidity of borders on this desirable peninsular. Yet, as even a man doing market research for the government in Moscow admitted, it was obvious that the old and poor were the ones most seduced by President Putin's propaganda. "The younger people are, the wealthier they are, the more they seem opposed," he said.

But it is astonishing to see how many people outside the region have been transfixed by these smokescreens from Moscow – or, less charitably, simply cannot escape the prisms of their own prejudices. Thus we see Tory MPs, so hostile to Europe they fail to support people wanting to share our most basic freedoms, asking on Twitter whether there is any evidence the vote was rigged? Or there are those still so angry over Iraq that they weirdly refuse to condemn the shameful invasion of another sovereign state. Everywhere people discuss the future of Ukraine as a helpless pawn of either Moscow or Washington, with no consideration given to the right for self-determination among the country's own citizens.

Pause for a second. There is a puppet government in Crimea that seized power at the point of a gun and is run by a party that won 4% of the vote at the last election. The streets are filled with menacing militia given arms but no training, supported by a variety of lethal-looking paramilitary groups and thousands of Russian soldiers who can be seen even on rooftops. Meanwhile events are dictated quite blatantly by Moscow; visitors to the Crimean prime minister's office say even his private secretary and press aide are from Russia, along with other advisers telling him what to do.

Throw in the closure of critical television channels, the beating of a few journalists, the intimidation of opposition activists, the lies about "provocations", and you get some of the backdrop to Sunday's vote. The referendum, forced through as fast as possible to confuse voters and outwit opponents, failed to offer Crimeans the status quo choice of remaining loyal to Kiev. Given such circumstances, it was little surprise it was boycotted by fearful Tartars and Ukrainians, who comprise more than one-third of the population. Indeed, not one person I spoke to over the past week who opposed the ballot intended to vote.

So the results and turnout claims should be treated with extreme caution. Yes, in Crimea there is a majority of ethnic Russians – albeit not a big one. But among them are some who would have preferred genuine independence; others say they prefer the uncertainties of Ukraine to the repressive regime in Moscow. It is worth noting also that the official observers for this sham display of democracy were a motley collection of Putin apologists and – ironically given all the fury over "fascists" in Kiev – members of far-right parties.

Before anyone rushes to accept this vote, they might also like to note the most recent poll in Crimea – published last month – showed just 41% wanted unity with Russia. This was a rise of five points in a year, and was taken as the violence flared in Kiev, but it makes it impossible to assume a majority really wanted to join Russia – let alone 97% of the population. It is also worth recalling that when the Soviet Union collapsed, a majority in Crimea endorsed Ukrainian independence – although its economic performance has been disastrous and millions have moved away these past two decades.

My suspicion is a majority of Crimeans in a fair vote might have opted for independence, quite possibly under the loose wing of Russia. Instead, we have witnessed a facade of democracy over the fascistic takeover of a slice of Europe, met with the usual tough words backed by the mildest of deeds from the west's weak leaders. The Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski has talked emotively about an "anschluss". Watching from the ground, it is certainly shocking to observe all these people rush to rubber-stamp Putin's putsch in Crimea.


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