Protesters rally outside number 10 Downing Street in London over Ukraine ‘invasion’

By Marcus Brooks,  March 4th 2014

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This afternoon I decided to hop onto the underground and head towards Westminster and interview some  British-based Ukrainians gathered outside number 10 Downing Street  to protest against the build-up of troops in the Crimea region.

The demonstrators chanted and held banners demanding “Hands off Ukraine”.

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Picture courtesy of Marcus Brooks (that’s me in the middle) 

Many of them waved placards accusing President Vladimir Putin of being the “Russian aggressor” and they sang: “Putin is a murderer” and “stop the occupation”.

The protest was non-violent and the demonstrators remained behind  barriers on the opposite side of the road from Downing Street

Many cars sounded their horns in support as they drove past the-strong crowd.

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Stan Maksak a 69 year  retired  former Major in the old Soviet Army, who moved from Ukraine to London 15 years ago, insisted that Russian-speaking people in his homeland do not need “protection” by Russian troops. He said that it’s important that the newly formed Government of Ukraine should make joining NATO its top priority above anything else and that the US and Great Britain should seek to intervene in Ukraine by military means if necessary In light of Russia’s military moves in Crimea, there was quite a bit of talk about the so called “Budapest Memo”. This memo was signed in 1994 by the UK, Russia, the US and Ukraine as part of the deal the removed the nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union from the territory of the newly independent Ukraine (aside, I bet they wish they had kept them now).

So does this memo obligate us to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine? Nope.

Here’s the memo:

1. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

2. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

3. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.

4. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

5. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm, in the case of the Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a state in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state.

6. The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.

The relevant portions of the memo are points 1 & 6. All signatories to the agreement are “to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine”. Should something happen (like the Russians ignoring point 1) that upsets this agreement, we are obligated to “consult” with the rest of the parties covered by the agreement.

I’m sure the Russians will be happy to abide by point 6 and “consult” about how they have flagrantly violated point 1 and then head off to a nice lunch somewhere in Geneva, Vienna or wherever they agree to laugh at us, I mean consult with us.

Bottom line…the Russians are going to get Crimea and if they want the rest of Ukraine because no one cares enough about it to start World War III over it.

No US President is going to stop this and no amount of tough talk or financial sanctions is going to stop Putin. Besides when you think about it  NATO has been rather naughty and has continued to expand towards Russia’s borders,  despite the Warsaw Pact  being disbanded over two decades ago.

The only real question left is what happens to the new Ukrainian government when they run out money? Neither did any of the protesters have any answers to this $64,000 question, most of them are expecting some sort of fast track access into the European Union, which I personally believe is rather wishful thinking, after all just look at how long its taking Turkey to become a member of European Union . Not only does Ukraine face a volatile political crisis, it is also in the midst of a dire economic emergency. As Kyiv’s foreign exchange reserves dwindle, the country’s public debt continues to rise. Ukraine’s political crisis has brought the country to the edge of the abyss.the country’s impending bankruptcy was the reason why Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych rejected the EU association agreement last year and instead accepted a multi-billion dollar loan from Moscow.
As a consequence, Ukraine’s public debt is soaring because a large portion of the loans taken out were in foreign currencies.

Below, everything you need to know about Ukraine crisis courtesy of The Fred in The Hunt for Red October.



Categories: News mix, Politics, Ukraine Crisis

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