Ukraine government fades

Government is a shared pretense. We imagine governments into existence. Blatant puppetry can puncture the illusion.

The NY Times tells us

One of the armored columns stopped when a crowd of people, many of whom were drinking or yelling taunts, gathered on the road before them. Later in the day its commander agreed to hand over the soldiers’ assault rifles to the very separatists they were sent to fight.

Another column from the same unit, the 25th Dnipropetrovsk paratrooper brigade, surrendered not only its weapons but also the tracked and armored vehicles it had arrived in, letting militants park them as trophies, under a Russian flag, in a central square.

A pro-Russian militant climbed into the driver’s seat of one of the vehicles and spun it around on its tracks, screeching and roaring, to please the watching crowd.

The events on Wednesday underscored the weakness of the new Ukrainian government as it begins critical talks about the country’s future with the United States, Russia and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday. Officials unable to exercise authority over their own military seem increasingly powerless to contain a growing rebellion by pro-Russian militants.

The core function of government is to enable the army and the police to act as one. An army needs something outside itself to give it cohesion – the gods, the spirits of real or mythical common ancestors, the man born to rule, the mandate of heaven. Failing that, the will of the people. What has the Ukraine government got?

18 Responses to “Ukraine government fades”

  1. Leo Fuchs says:

    The Mandate of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is what, chopped liver?

  2. B says:

    The Ukrainian govt spent 20 years turning the Ukrainian army into an operetta, a funny African military, assured by the agreement they signed with the Russians 20 years ago where they gave up their nukes in exchange for Russian promises of territorial integrity. Surprise, surprise, promises you can’t hold a govt to by force turn out useless at the worst possible moment.

    There are a few promising signs, like Mariupol, where the Ukes lit up Russian “protesters” trying to storm their base, and the fact that they have Krutov running things now. If the Ukes survive, the first thing they will do is start rebuilding their military. Of course, that assumes they survive as a nation, meaning, not federalized, because that way lies the Bosnian Army, which is a joke on purpose.

    • jim says:

      They have guns, they have armored personnel carriers. That is not an operetta army. You cannot blame Putin’s Russian plotting for the fact they do not have the will to use them, for the fact that they are disinclined to obey orders.

      During Occupy, there were time and time again incidents where a handful of rentacops, government police being mysteriously absent, held back a mob of occupiers, revealing the astroturf lacked genuine motive. Here you see the reverse phenomenon – the mob turns back the soldiers.

      • B says:

        An operetta army has nothing to do with equipment. The Saudi military is much better armed, yet is an operetta. All it takes is for everyone serving to know the military is gay, alright pay, but pointless work, and will never fight a real war, so why bother.

        The troopies were not prepared to shoot up a mob, and paid the price. C’est la vie.

      • peppermint says:

        What you said earlier about the occupiers and the rentacops is that rentacops had the authority to act on the basis of a clearly defined chain of responsibility while occupiers had to have a debate on the progressive stack and twikle up or twinkle down. At Occupy, I assumed that the uselessness of the stack and twinkle decision structure was a feature, because the protesters should not be making decisions, they should make noise and get photographed; the fact of having x hundred people running around is the message.

        This time, the soldiers march out to surrender to Napoleon, but Napoleon isn’t there, only a mob. I wonder what becomes of their units? They probably did it because they expect to be able to join the Russian army if this goes badly.

        • B says:

          They did it because they’d spent the previous month wandering the countryside aimlessly in response to conflicting orders subject to instant change from their superiors who were answering to a fucked up political chain of command, being poorly supplied with food and getting an hour of sleep a night. This tends to demoralize soldiers. Having a crowd of “enemy” people around you offering you food and kind words in your own language also tends to demoralize you. Russian troops tend to react badly in situations where they are demoralized and face ambiguity-see Grozny, 1994.

  3. giganticfaggot says:

    Government is a shared pretense.

    So are any private property rights you don’t personally defend. If the security guards at the Louvre surrender to a gang of thieves…

    An army needs something outside itself to give it cohesion

    What exactly do modern (or historic) mercenaries have? They seem to be able to build large armies, and act in a unitary way.

    • jim says:

      Government is a shared pretense.

      So are any private property rights you don’t personally defend.

      It was not the government that defended various symbols of capitalism from occupation during the Occupy movement.

      An army needs something outside itself to give it cohesion

      What exactly do modern (or historic) mercenaries have?

      Some males are loyal to their salt. Those, you make rentacops. In a mercenary army, you make them officers, and the rest are loyal to the regiment.

      • giganticfaggot says:

        It was not the government that defended various symbols of capitalism from occupation during the Occupy movement.

        If both the police and private security lost their belief that private property exists, the NYSE could be burned to the ground.

        Private security is more honest and efficient that government security. The USG enforces property rights according to the ideological demands of it’s masters. Private security enforces property rights according to customer desires, since it’s usually for-profit.

        The USG is just a corporation that owns a lot of land.

        • peppermint says:

          yeah, no, police aren’t merceneries and would be insulted if you called them it. They are there to protect the innocent, serve the public trust, and uphold the law. Protecting one family and community, and legitimacy, matter a great deal to soldiers and police. They’re interested in the passion for honor, not the appetite for cash.

          You don’t understand because you’re a gigantic faggot without any passion; just appetites and reason.

          Even the Mafia saw itself as protecting the interests of Italians. And at its height, it did. Italian areas were safer for longer into the time of integration when African-American rapists like Eldridge Cleaver were treated with kid gloves by the WASP elite (rape culture).

  4. B says:

    The most interesting thing I’ve heard about the Ukraine in the last several days is this: the governor of Dnepropetrovsk (a Russophone region in the East, always had lots of Jews, produced Timoshenko,) Kolomoyskiy (one of the top Ukrainian oligarchs, a Jew) has set up a system of rewards for captured separatists and his own local “spetsnaz” (read: militia.) He has also called Putin a midget schizophrenic, to which Putin responded by calling him a crook. Rinat Ahmetov, Kolomoyskiy’s somewhat richer Tatar peer from neighboring Donetsk, has steered a much more pro-Russian line, as has Serhiy Taruta, another (ethnically Ukrainian) oligarch who is the governor of Donetsk appointed by Kiev’s current govt, and has presided over the whole mess with Russian SF and separatists in the region.

    Now, according to the Russian party line, Kolomoyskiy is a crook and an American agent, and Ahmetov and co. are honest Ukrainians looking out for their country’s best interests. According to the Cathedral, Kolomoyskiy is pro-democracy, etc., and the Russians are oppressing an emerging democracy. Me, I think all the personages here are crooks (no other way to get rich and survive in the post-USSR,) but the only one of them who is actually objectively playing for a sovereign and independent Ukraine is Kolomoyskiy, who’s been alleged to be financing Tyahnibok (who belongs to Svoboda and is alleged to be a Nazi by both the Russians and the Cathedral, but rather seems to be something like one of the leaders for Generation Identitaire.) If there is hope for the place, it’s that guys like him take it over and run it for a while. He also said something in a recent interview that struck me-that given a chance to live his life over again, he wouldn’t have spent it making money. That’s something you will not hear from a typical oligarch, or from Bloomberg or an American pol. It suggests a certain depth and integrity.

    Overall, I like the Ukraine and the Ukrainians. On one hand, they had the ballsack to keep their country from being overrun by Muslim mafias in the 90s, unlike Russia. On the other, they are pretty tolerant-because of historic ties, there are many pilgrimage sites there which huge volumes of Jews travel to constantly, and I haven’t heard of any real antisemitism. They’ve had a real hard run over the last 100 years, and I think they deserve to actually run their own country for a while. Who knows, it could be the first modern nationalist state in Europe

    • giganticfaggot says:

      Now, according to the Russian party line, Kolomoyskiy is a crook and an American agent, and Ahmetov and co. are honest Ukrainians looking out for their country’s best interests. According to the Cathedral, Kolomoyskiy is pro-democracy, etc., and the Russians are oppressing an emerging democracy.

      These don’t seem to be contradictory claims.

    • jim says:

      It is only going to be the first modern nationalist state if Right Sector get to run the West. Federation is a carrot to keep Right Sector out of the fight in the East. It is intended to be a wedge between Maidan and Right Sector.

      • B says:

        I am still not clear on the exact relationships and structure of the Right Sector, Svoboda and the Ukrainian nationalists. Everything is very murky. It’s also hard to break things down geographically in a precise way-Dnepropetrovsk is in the East, and yet…

  5. A while back, I predicted that the upcoming conflict would be a civil conflict; whether it’s Canada, the US, Ukraine, or Singapore, the tensions are intra-state, not inter-state (despite Obama’s sabre rattling).

    Glad to see that it’s peaceful thus far – and I’m not surprised that the military is siding with the Good Guys (I’m not expecting that many Kent State incidents).

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