What is Going on in Ukraine? [Updated]

The question, “What is Going on in Ukraine?” is still quite relevant after the revolution there has succeeded in taking power. Therefore, I update this posting with links to some relevant articles on the subject. Readers with thoughts of their own on the issue, or links to well-reasoned articles on the subject, are encouraged to put them in the comment box.

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Original posting on the morning of February 20, 2014:

The question is a serious one. As an American, I do not trust our own government officials,1 who want to impose their agenda on Ukrainians. (Just ask Blessed Emperor Karl about the United States’ bad habit of remapping the rest of the world.) As a Catholic, I sympathize with Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the spiritual Father of the world’s 4.2 million Ukrainian Greek Catholics. (From what I know, the Catholics are generally on the side of the protesters.) Weary of socialist, leftist, secularized, and decadent Western Europe as epitomized in the EU, I also know that Russia — whatever her appearances — is unconsecrated (as per the Virgin of Fatima’s request), unconverted, and therefore still very dangerous.

Can anyone with informed opinions weigh in here, in our comments? Provide links to good commentary, please.

Above all, let us pray for Ukraine, and for the ending of the violence, and for the ending of the schism that separates many of the baptized there from the Holy See of Saint Peter.

Our Lady told us that “war is a punishment for sin.”

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

  1. Think Obamacare; the de-Christianization of Iraq and Syria; inflicting abortion, contraception, and homosexual “rights” on poor nations, many of them Catholic, etc.
  • GeneDe

    As a starting point, this post on Information Clearing House may help. It is the latest (20th of Feb.) rundown on the various reporting venues. More here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37700.htm.

    Personally, I feel there is a combination of elements that combined together, equal a mess. I know that is an understatement, but once the snowball starts rolling down hill, it is very difficult to stop.

    There is now an estimated 5,000 well-armed foreign fighters that are now in this witches brew of instability.

    From our experience here in the US over the last decade, for instance, who can say that black ops are not at work here. As Brother points out, who can trust our own government these days?

    For those who attempt to explain the situation using demographics, I would look elsewhere (as hinted above).

  • schmenz

    http://rt.com/news/ukraine-street-warfare-firearms-658/

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/02/01/us-and-eu-brazen-intervention-in-ukraine/#_edn3

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/why-does-ukraine-seem-so-much-like-syria/

    http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2014/02/17/diplomacy-is-a-four-letter-word/

    From a Very Polish and Very Skeptical About Russia perspective:

    http://risu.org.ua/en/index/expert_thought/authors_columns/asorokowski_column/54715/

    Regardless of the motivations of the religious leaders who are sympathetic to the protestors (which sympathy could merely be a natural Christian desire to help those in distress) we would be extremely naive Americans if we thought that this suddenly-out-of-nowhere uprising was not orchestrated by Washington.

  • Thank you GeneDe and schmenz. These links are helpful.

  • Bonifacius

    It’s very difficult to say. My primary concern is that American traditionalists will view this entirely through the lens of American neoconservative/leftist interventionism, as though the only relevant factors were the identity and goals of the American actors. From what I understand, the Ukrainian government had a pending trade deal with the EU that was abruptly abandoned in favor of a bail-out from Russia. Many Ukrainians viewed this as subservience to Moscow. Regardless of how bad the EU is in many ways, does Ukraine have the right to deal with whom it wishes without Moscow vetoing it?
    I’m sure that any attempt on the part of Ukraine to join the “Atlantic(ist) world” (NATO, the EU, etc.) would involve attempts to secularize the place, impose a “human rights” regime, etc. Those are the vices of Europe, Russia’s vice being a more despairing, intensely cold (as in calculating) and brutal mentality inherited from Alexander Nevsky’s preference for the Tatar yoke over union with Rome. (Sadly, Nevsky may have been right that Church union might have entailed domination of Russia by the Teutonic Knights.)
    But those simply aren’t the only factors involved. You could look at the American Revolution and point out how Bourbon France and Spain supported the Americans, and how the British penal laws against Catholicism were abolished fairly quickly, and a hierarchy was established in 1789, and say that “clearly” the Revolution was a Catholic conspiracy! Or, 180% opposite that, you could count up the Freemasons among the revolutionaries, and you could conclude that the very concept of republicanism is evil (even though numerous city-states in Italy had republican governments in the Middle Ages).
    Steve Sailer makes the brilliant case that although the George Soros-type NGOs want young, idealistic liberals to show up, the most vigorous protesters are right-wing nationalists. This might not be the Illuminati-vs.-Truth-and-Goodness, it might be Ukrainians against a government that is beholden to Russia. In other words, it might really be what the Ukrainians see it as, not what the Obamas and the Nuland-Kagan axis see it as. Just as the Arab Spring installed Islamists, regardless of Western intentions, the riots in Ukraine might bring about something that Major Archbishop Shevchuk wants, in which case it wouldn’t be so bad that the secularist governments of the West supported it. Just as Bourbon France and Spain paid for America’s revolution and didn’t gain much for it, or as Poland’s Marshall Pilsudski “took the streetcar Socialism as far as the station Freedom and then got off.” As Sailer observes, it’s struggles like this that forge national identity: http://takimag.com/article/nationalism_is_a_blast_steve_sailer#axzz2tueqjAjG For nations as for individuals, childbirth is often painful and ugly, and reason must prevail over the “yuck factor.”

  • Bonifacius

    On a related point, what do we think of Franco and the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War for accepting aid from the Nazi regime in Germany and the Fascist regime in Italy? At the time, some Catholics thought that this alliance completely tainted the Nationalist cause, and some Basque Catholics supported the Republic. Yet Catholic traditionalists have usually excused or defended the alliance as expedient for Spain’s liberation from the Communists, Anarchists, and Freemasons. So, apply the same principles when analyzing any alliance between the Western liberal powers and the Ukrainian protesters: alliance does not identification make.

  • A valid point, Bonifacius. And thank you for your earlier comment.

    When Europe was being torn apart by one kind of Anti-Christian Socialism fighting another (Nazis versus Communists), people caught in the middle had often to make bizarre alliances, or at least to cooperate with evil people in order to avoid worse evils. Franco played a tricky game of brinkmanship and frustrated the heck out of Hitler, who told Mussolini, “I prefer to have three or four of my own teeth pulled out than to speak to that man again!”

    In certain situations — where Catholics are a minority, for instance — truly undesirable alliances are practical ways to avoid worse evils, such as in India, where Catholics were forced into an alliance with the Communist party so as to avoid a rabidly anti-Christian Hindu party from gaining control in Tamil Nadu.

    The Zionists corralled the Maronite Lebanese Phalangists into supporting them against their Arab Christian brethren (as well as non-Christian Arabs) who were anti-Zionist. The horrific massacre of Sabra and Shatila — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabra_and_Shatila_massacre — was one of the bloody fruits of this alliance.

    Ukraine is a geopolitical pawn right now. It looks to me as if the West (US and EU) are trying to humiliate Putin. I don’t want to be sensationalistic, but this is just the kind of flash-point that could set off a series of Fatima-related events. If the West challenges Putin too much, it could get very ugly. What’s now a proxy war could escalate.

  • schmenz

    I don’t think Russia “vetoed” anything, but merely offered Ukraine a better deal, financially and politically. In addition, Russia is not unnaturally concerned that the USA is essentially surrounding them, militarily and financially. The USA is continually poking the Russian bear in the eye which I don’t think is a very good idea.

  • Bonifacius

    Read here: Russia imposed trade restrictions on Ukraine in the lead-up to this — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromaidan#Initial_causes Russia did not “merely” offer Ukraine a better deal. And Ukraine is not unnaturally concerned that Russia tries to dominate their foreign and domestic affairs.

  • schmenz

    Large swaths of the Ukranian population are, as I understand it, anti-Russian, a viewpoint which goes back hundreds of years. I have no doubt that some of that is well justified. But there are also many Ukranians who are in the opposite camp. And that is only one factor is this complicated story. Russia imposed trade restrictions on Ukraine you say, according to Wikipedia. My answer would be, well what of it? You don’t seriously imagine that EU/USA/NATO/IMF are not doing the same thing? They most certainly are and their veiled threats became a little more visible the other day when our cut-rate Diocletian in Washington threatened sanctions against Ukraine if they don’t kick out their current president. How do mere trade restrictions compare with all-out sanctions? Ask Madeline Albright who nursed the sanctions against Iraq resulting in 100,000 dead Iraqis.

    Daniel McAdams is always worth reading on this subject because he is very well informed. You may find this helpful: http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/why-does-ukraine-seem-so-much-like-syria/

    I believe we have to ask ourselves why our malignant masters in DC are so hell-bent on intervening in this thing. I will not canonize Mr Putin; but I will say he has made the right enemies.

  • GeneDe

    Here is another take from “boots on the ground.”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37729.htm.

  • Bonifacius

    ” I will not canonize Mr Putin; but I will say he has made the right enemies.”

    And a lot of Ukrainian Catholics will say, “I will not canonize Mr. Obama; but I will say he has made the right enemies (Putin).” Well, what of it? This is what I mean. Even if we do intervene somehow, there’s no saying that this will ultimately prove to be, in itself, A Bad Thing. But it’s clear where you stand, and why, so further conversation is unlikely to shed any light. American foreign policy wrong by default; Putin right by default because he opposes American foreign policy. It’s the sort of sad unreflective reaction Pat Buchanan (whom I voted for) has cultivated in certain quarters on the Right. We are to always be “understanding” Russia, never the countries that actually border Russia and wish they didn’t.

  • schmenz

    I’m not sure that putting words into your “opponent’s” mouth is conducive to a helpful give-and-take exchange of ideas. To apply your phrase “alliance does not identification make” would seem to be useful in this instance.

  • GeneDe

    “Even if we do intervene somehow, there’s no saying that this will ultimately prove to be, in itself, A Bad Thing.”

    SOMEHOW? Do you realize what one possible implication is?? Do you? You once commented to me some time back that you were not a military man. I was a military man — twice! And that includes Vietnam. My son is now in the Marines and is now in Afghanistan, you know, the hell-hole that WE helped to create. Would you like for my son — and many other sons — to become a bulwark in or near the Ukraine and against whom, may I ask? To support whom, may I ask? To safeguard whom, may I ask? When will those bookworms finally realize that it takes blood — BLOOD — and lots of it when we insert ourselves into other countries for whatever reason, good or bad? Most of the miscreants that are in this tyrannical administration have never worn the uniform and could care less about the boots on the ground and the families that anxiously wait to see if an officer will come knocking on their door bringing devastating news of the loss or seriously wounding of their son, husband, brother, uncle… WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR US TO STAY THE H… OUT OF OTHER COUNTRIES AND LEAVE THEM TO THEIR OWN DEVICES?

  • schmenz

    “Even if we do intervene….” I must have missed that remark that you caught, Mr deLalla. What does the gentleman who wrote that think the US has been doing all these months and years in Ukraine? Certainly not just baking cookies for the protesters.

  • GeneDe

    I know my comment was sort of strong, but I dread — DREAD — the knocking at the door of an officer and non-com telling us the bad news.
    War is something that one can only relate to by watching it on the six-o’clock news, or hearing the reports on the radio. These media are cold, non-personal, and superficial. I have seen it first hand. My Marine and Army brothers much more so than I. I have mentioned this before, but I was the machine-gunner on the escort jeep that helped to protect the Vietnamese nationals as we took them back to their “homes.” Every building on the main drag was full of bullet holes and worse. I witnessed battles from my bunker as well as from the observation towers. Some nights when the firefights were right up on the perimeter I had experienced so much fear that I could feel the knots in my stomach. Fear and uncertainty were my constant companions not knowing what would happen next. Both my books relate just that. War is the last — last — option for any civilized nation to take against another, and, I feel, is a chastisement for our sins and lack of faith.

  • schmenz

    Apparently this is all academic now since the events over the weekend, as reported, show that the USA and International Finance (or do I repeat myself?) have carried the day for now. That was probably inevitable once Washington began secretly arming, financing and training the violent among the protesters. As has normally been the case for the last several hundred years the forces of usury have won, and so we must pity and pray for the Ukranians who about to receive the gentle embrace of the big bankers.

    They may have got rid of one small time kleptocrat but they haven’t seen anything yet.

  • schmenz
  • Alyosha Karamazov

    This is quite germane to the issue, is it not? “Russian and Ukrainian Catholics implore for the Consecration of Russia” http://allanlopesdossantos.com/2014/03/13/russian-and-ukrainian-catholics-implore-for-the-consecration-of-russia/

  • Alyosha Karamazov
  • Alyosha Karamazov

    From RISU (“Religious Information Service of Ukraine”), we get this headline:

    Greek Catholic Priest abducted by pro-Russian armed forces in Crimea

    Here are the first three paragraphs:

    The abduction occurred on Saturday March 15, between 10:00-11:00 AM,
    in Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine. Pro-Russian armed
    forces abducted Fr. Mykola Kvych, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest,
    directly from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish of the Dormition of
    the Mother of God, located on Silska Street 5 (near kilometer 5 of the
    Balaklava highway).

    Fr. Kvych was seized by two men in uniform and four men in civilian
    clothing. The young chaplain for the Ukrainian Navy was taken to an
    undisclosed location where he is being held captive. A parishioner who
    called Fr. Kvych’s cellular phone heard abusive language on the line
    directed at the priest before the call was cut short. Sources confirm
    that Fr. Kvych is alive.

    Earlier this week at the direction of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic
    hierarchy Fr. Kvych and other Greek Catholic priests in Crimea evacuated
    their wives and children to mainland Ukraine. The priests themselves
    returned to their parishes to be with their faithful in a time of crisis
    and moral and physical danger.

  • GeneDe

    Here is an updated, and good analysis of the situation from Mr. Buchanan.
    http://cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/putin-irrational-one.

  • Alyosha Karamazov

    Israel Shamir, the Russian-born Jew who converted to Orthodox Christianity, has published a worthwhile article that includes a lot of behind-the-scenes information:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/07/the-ukrainian-pendulum/

    Warning: In writing about and quoting Victoria Nuland, he drops the “F-Bomb” twice in the article.

    If what he says of covert U.S. involvement is true, the Americans should be outraged at their Government. (They probably should anyway.)

  • Alyosha Karamazov

    This appeared today on “The American Conservative”: A Coup in Crimea—or
    in Russia? By Scott McConnell • March 19, 2014
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-coup-in-crimea-or-in-russia/

  • I hardly need to warn anyone here, but just to ease my (perhaps scrupulous) conscience: ‘Information Clearing House’ occasionally posts some anti-Christian content.

  • GeneDe

    Yes, absolutely. I see it all the time, but they also have folks that have been to those countries and have seen first hand the “spontaneous” “Arab springs”, so-called, all around this globe. The info on that site will never be seen on the “six-o’clock news.” And that’s one of the points that must be made here: the msm are the lap dogs of this and most administrations, whether Democrat or Republican (one and the same, actually). St. Augustine said that if we can get some iota of truth even from a heretic, and use it for the good, then so be it (a paraphrase, of course).