John Chuckman



“Russia-Ukraine crisis – live: Kiev declares martial law as world powers call emergency meetings after Putin’s forces seize ships near Crimea”


Poroshenko is pathetic. Declaring martial law is a very serious matter in any society, and doing so just because a neighboring country stopped a group of ships off-course in a sensitive region makes no sense at all.

This declaration is really about the coming election in Ukraine and the likelihood, from polls, that Poroshenko is going to lose it badly. He is very unpopular, as we might expect with the basket-case his government has made of Ukraine since the coup.

Nothing like a good dose of fear to make people less likely to vote for change.

This was clearly a created incident.

The Ukrainian ships went where they knew they were not supposed to go.

They did not follow instructions of Russian Border Services.

Now, what kind of reaction will that earn you anywhere, most certainly including Britain?


Response to a reader who said “The West, by supporting this scumbag either out of natural stupidity or prejudice, plays right into his hands”:

Well, “the West” has behaved stupidly from the start.

First, by even going along with the American-induced coup against an elected government in Ukraine.

We know from ugly big-mouth, Victoria Nuland, American Neocon figure and former State Department official, that the US spent $5 billion on the project to destabilize Ukraine.

And “the West” completely tolerates the open displays of fascism in Ukraine by a number of ugly outfits – things like torch-light parades with Nazi-like symbols and some terrible words.

This whole American project was for the purpose of threatening Russia on a major border, a simply downright stupid act against a nuclear super-power.

This Ukrainian government has sent its own country into a tailspin, too. There have been major out-migrations of Ukrainians to other countries willing to accept them. The Ukrainian economy is in decline. Its trade is in decline. Civil War was needlessly started over language and cultural rights, resulting in the separation of regions. Everyone inside and outside the country is aware of large-scale corruption. There has been complete government paralysis in moving even an inch forward with the internationally-agreed Minsk Accords for peace in the country. I don’t think it would be possible to create a worse government.


For some perspective on this incident in the Kerch Strait, let’s remember what unarmed people – even women and children – receive just approaching the Israeli fence around Gaza.

A bullet in the head. A shattered leg. A blown-off foot.

More than 200 have been killed by Israel’s cowardly snipers, and many thousands wounded.

None of them armed. None of them ever setting foot on Israeli territory.

By contrast, here near Crimea, there were actually minimal problems despite the facts that the Ukrainian ships were well-armed and were definitely in the wrong location.


Additional notes.

At least one Ukrainian official has claimed Russia used a missile from a fighter plane on one of the ships.

Well, first, we have quite a number of photos of the incident, and no missile damage is to be seen.

And there is no evidence of large numbers of crew members being hurt or killed, as there very much would be from a modern anti-ship missile. Instead, we have reports of just a few Ukrainians sustaining injuries in resisting Russian Border Services and receiving medical treatment.

Of course, the ships were brought to port by the Russians, something that wouldn’t be possible after a missile attack.

I think the bizarre nature of such a claim, despite much contrary evidence, tells us a good deal about the chaotic nature of Ukraine’s current politics and internal affairs.

Russia also reports that at least one Ukrainian intelligence service member was on board one of the ships. Just what you’d expect to find on a ship innocently straying off-course, is it not?

Readers should keep in mind that the Russians are very much on-guard for the Kerch Strait Bridge. Some idiotic Ukrainian politicians have actually openly advocated attacking it with explosives.

And it is a magnificent piece of engineering which provides daily testimony to Russia’s determination and creativity in a difficult situation.

Since Ukraine – whether individuals or the state, we don’t know – employed many deliberate obstacles and instances of sabotage against people on the Crimean Peninsula after their votes to leave Ukraine and join Russia, the bridge has become far more than just a symbol too.


I see in this morning’s CBC News the headline: “Canada condemns Russian aggression in clash with Ukraine.” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland condemned Russia’s seizing three Ukrainian naval vessels near Crimea. The article offers no opportunity to comment.

Freeland has been an embarrassment as Foreign Minister on a number of files, and she has always been ready to jump with both feet into Russian affairs she likely doesn’t even fully understand.

She’s proven a genuine Russophobe which I suppose is understandable given her growing up in a Ukrainian-Canadian family, the kind of families I know from experience often display narrow hostility towards Russia.

Well, that’s a shame, Russia being an increasingly important country and one trying as it never did in the days of the Soviet Union to be open and ready to do business with everyone, but it’s her own business so long as she’s not Canada’s Foreign Minister.

But she is Foreign Minister, and she has no business making statements like this, whose only purpose is to serve the Russophobia insanity gripping the United States. She makes Canada look petty and small and not well-informed.


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