Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Ukrainian crisis is becoming worse - violence leads to greater violence


Protesters are those folks who gather publicly to speak out against something they don't like or feel is wrong.  Protests can be peaceful or violent. When protesters attacked police in the city of Kiev, earlier this year, and illegally took over government buildings, the US government did not demand that the protesters give back the buildings and wait for elections that were going to occur in under one year.

Now that protesters in the eastern part of Ukraine have done the same thing as the protesters in Kiev, the US government is demanding that these folks leave the government buildings. This is called a 'double standard.' A double standard is when you expect certain people to behave in one way, in a situation, but then expect other people to act differently in the same situation.

Indeed, the US government, basically, encouraged illegal and violent activities in Kiev, which led to the removal of an elected president within one year of presidential elections.  This was done purely because the Obama administration believes it is necessary to engage in Cold War era politics in a post-Cold War world.  To Obama, Russia is still the chief 'enemy' of the United States.

The refusal of the US government to support democratic processes in Ukraine and the decision to support protesters who merely wanted to remove an elected president have led to a continually violent and escalating (rising) situation.  

Now the un-elected government in Kiev is threatening to attack the protesters in the eastern part of Ukraine and Russia is threatening to invade the eastern part of Ukraine in order to protect these folks from Ukrainian aggression and violence.

If the folks in Kiev had shown good judgment and merely waited for the elections that were coming up later this year, none of this nonsense would be occurring now. Basically, this is what happens when you throw democracy down the toilet and resort to violence.  You create a vicious cycle of more and more violence.

An article about the situation in Ukraine:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27138300?ocid=global_bbccom_email_24042014_top+news+stories

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

exercises - military exercises are drills or large-scale activities by military units to, basically, practice fighting in a real war

to move on - to attack.  Many 'western' news sources are anti-Russian.  This 'journalist' uses the term 'to move on' as a nice way of saying 'to attack.'

separatists - people who wish to separate from one group or area to join another group or area or to be independent

commandos - special soldiers who are trained to act quickly and forcefully

a stronghold - a place which is powerfully controlled

to defy - to refuse to do what one is told to do

manoeuvres - practice drills or practice actions by the military

blackmail - this is when you threaten to harm someone if the person doesn't do what you want him to do

to spin out of control - if a situation spins out of control, it can no longer be controlled and becomes wild and unpredictable.  Unfortunately, this situation began to spin out of control a long time ago. Ban Ki Moon should have tried to resolve this situation months ago and should have called for peaceful action and democratic processes.  Basically, he has failed at his job of peace-keeper.

to tee something up - this is a term from the sport of golf.  If you tee up the ball, you place the ball in a position to be hit.  To tee something up means to get something ready.  Obama is threatening more 'sanctions' - economic punishments against Russia.

the outskirts - the outer areas

a checkpoint - a place in the road where soldiers try to stop traffic from coming through

to oust someone - to remove someone or get rid of someone

militants - fighters.  In kiev the militants were called 'protesters' but the Russian protesters are being called 'militants'

an armed contingent - a group with weapons

a regime - an illegal government. The current government in Kiev was not elected by the people and only took control after violent action taken to remove the elected president

flouting a deal - openly refusing to follow up on a deal or an agreement.  Of course, in Kiev the current regime flouted several deals with the elected government and continually resorted to violence.

to foster - to encourage

abducted - taken, kidnapped

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