EDITORIAL: Yanukovich to Putin — Drop Dead!

EDITORIAL

Yanukovich to Putin — Drop Dead!

“I have never recognized Abkhazia, South Ossetia or Kosovo as independent states. This is a violation of international laws and norms. According to international law, any violation of the territorial integrity of any state is forbidden.”

If you think that was the President of Georgia talking, or some other ardent Russophobe, think again. It was Russia’s so-called “friend” in Ukraine, Victor Yanukovich.

Oops!  Just when the Russophile hoards were sure they had won a major victory in Ukraine with Yanukovich’s elevation, he bursts their bubble with a highly sharpened pin.

And let’s be perfectly clear:  The President of Ukraine has called the Prime Minister of Russia an international criminal. His words might just as well have been spoken by Mikheil Saakashvili!

If even so-called “Russophile” Yanukovich has such a negative attitude towards Russian aggression against Georgia, then surely  no more final condemnation of Putin’s barbaric policies could be imagined.

Yanukovich’s statements put the Putin regime’s foreign policy failure into stark relief.  Neither the Kremlin nor the people of Russia yet fully appreciate the abject horror with which the whole world — the whole world — viewed Russia’s naked bullying and aggression against tiny Georgia.   Even those, like Yanukovich, who has previously been inclined to be supportive of Russia were appalled and turned away.

But the braying lunatics of Russian nationalism go on defending the action rather than apologizing.  They do not care, and perhaps do not even see, how Russia has been utterly isolated by this action, with nations from China to Ukraine refusing to accept Russian aggression. The price Russia has paid to annex two tiny, meaningless slices of additional territory is prohibitively high, especially since Russia already had the largest land mass on the planet. The world can only see Russia as a pig at the trough, never satisfied with any amount of territorial ambition.

And how about the hypocrisy?  No reasonable person can be anything but disgusted as Russia simultaneously claims that Chechnya must remain part of Russia while Ossetia and Abkhazia must be free.  Even as Russia has alienated every nation on the planet, it has created a clear precedent for regions in the Caucasus who despise Russian rule to demand freedom.

This much is clear:  Putin’s blunder in Georgia is the worst foreign policy gaff made by Russian leaders in the past 100 years. Russia will pay dearly for this error for at least a hundred more.

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22 responses to “EDITORIAL: Yanukovich to Putin — Drop Dead!

  1. …or maybe he’s just telling Putin he needs to be bribed to “recognise the independence” too.

    • Maybe but it’ll be hard for it to suddenly become not a violation of international law just because he’s been bribed.

      • Voice of Reason

        No problem. Many countries have “recognised the independence” of Kosovo, and nobody has sued them yet for the violation of international law.

        My prediction is that in the long run, both Abkhazia and Kosovo will be recognized by the UN.

        • Your comment is utterly demented. NOBODY who said the liberation of Kosovo was a violation of international law has then recognized it, and you offer NO evidence to the contrary.

          You’re babbling like an ape, and your “prediction” is utterly vacuous. What the hell does “the long run” mean?? It’s a cowardly and pathetic, childish cop out.

          Your comments get more and more meaningless and laughable. You’re turning into a court jester.

        • Voice of Reason

          Dear LR,

          Could you please remind me which particular international law is violated by Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia? What is its exact wording?

          And why is this same law not violated by USA’s recognition of Kosovo?

          Thank you in advance.

          • Well, lets see, Russia violated the OSCE charter to which it is a signatory, that states that borders cannot be changed by force.

            In addition, Russian recognition was described by the IFFC report as a fundamental violation of international law, including the UN charter.

            And as for the opinions of the international community:

            REACTIONS — Russia recognizes South Ossetia, Abkhazia

            Russia has recognized the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent, President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday. Here are the first reactions to Russia’s decision. (UPDATED)

            ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)
            “The recognition of independence for South Ossetia and Abkhazia violates fundamental OSCE principles.

            “Russia should follow OSCE principles by respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. Russia should immediately withdraw all troops from Georgia and implement the ceasefire agreement… The international community could not accept unilaterally established buffer zones.”

            “Russia should follow OSCE principles by respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. Russia should immediately withdraw all troops from Georgia and implement the ceasefire agreement,” the Finnish foreign minister said.

            FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY
            “Russia’s recognition of the separatist Georgian is a regrettable decision.

            “We consider that this is a regrettable decision and we reiterate our commitment to the territorial integrality of Georgia.”

            ANGELA MERKEL – GERMAN CHANCELLOR
            “The Russian decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia was absolutely unacceptable.

            “This contradicts principles of territorial integrity as a fundamental right… Dialogue should be maintained with Russia, in a form to be decided at a European Union summit to be held on Monday.”

            DAVID MILIBAND – BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY
            “Today’s announcement by President (Dmitry) Medvedev that Russia will recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia is unjustifiable and unacceptable.

            “I am holding talks today with international partners and will be visiting Ukraine tomorrow to ensure the widest possible coalition against Russian aggression in Georgia.

            “Today’s announcement further inflames an already tense situation in the region. We fully support Georgia’s independence and territorial integrity, which cannot be changed by decree from Moscow.”

            BRITISH GOVERNMENT’S FOREIGN OFFICE
            “We reject this categorically and reaffirm Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

            “This is contrary to obligations that Russia has repeatedly taken on in (United Nations) Security Council resolutions. It does nothing to improve the prospects for peace in the Caucasus.”

            FRANCO FRATTINI – ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
            “The move does not apply in an international legal framework… An ethnic-based balkanization of the Caucasus is a serious danger for all.”

            MATTI VANHANEN – FINNISH PRIME MINISTER
            “Russia is a member of the OSCE and in it has committed to honor the territorial integrity of the member states… This action is in contradiction, total contradiction, with OSCE’s principles.”

            CARL BILDT – SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER
            “Russia’s decision to recognize the rebel Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states was a “deliberate violation of international law.

            “Medvedev now dramatically escalated the crisis between Russia and the rest of the world. The decision is also a deliberate violation of international law and basic principles for stability in Europe.”

            FOREIGN MINISTRY OF CZECH REPUBLIC
            “We recognize all of Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of it… Russia is not an impartial player in this conflict.”

            http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/home/9752373.asp?scr=1

          • 4. The Assembly condemns the recognition by Russia of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and considers it to be a violation of international law and of the Council of Europe’s statutory principles. The Assembly reaffirms its attachment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and reiterates its call on Russia to withdraw its recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and to fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, as well as the inviolability of its borders.

            5. The Assembly is seriously concerned that the escalation of tensions and provocations along the administrative borders of the break-away regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are undermining the stability of the region and could lead to renewed clashes or an outbreak of hostilities. It deplores in particular the recent attacks on Georgian police officers in the areas close to the Abkhaz and South Ossetian administrative borders. It considers that the full access of international monitors to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as the establishment of a new internationalised peacekeeping force in the region, are essential to guaranteeing stability and security and should not be made conditional on the status issue. The Assembly therefore:

            5.1. deplores the continued refusal of Russia and the de facto authorities to allow access to OSCE monitors to South Ossetia and to European Union monitors to both South Ossetia and Abkhazia;

            5.2. deeply regrets the closure of the OSCE mission in Georgia as a result of Russian objections over its exact mandate and calls upon all parties, and especially the Russian authorities, to accept a formula for the mandate of the OSCE mission, including its military monitoring operation, in Georgia, that would not prejudice the status of the two break-away regions;

            5.3. welcomes the continued access of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) observers to Abkhazia and calls upon all parties not to take any actions that would endanger the renewal of the mandate of UNOMIG by the United Nations Security Council on 15 February 2009;

            5.4. condemns the Russian non-mandated military presence and the building of new military bases within the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as in Akhalgori, Perevi and Upper Abkhazia and in villages controlled by the central government of Georgia before the breakout of the conflict.

            6. The Assembly reaffirms its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, as well as the inviolability of its borders. In this respect, it regrets the unanimous ratification by both houses of the Russian Parliament of the “Friendship and Co-operation” treaties between Russia and the two break-away regions, in violation of these principles, as well as of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008.

            7. The Assembly condemns the ethnic cleansing and other human rights violations in South Ossetia, as well as the failure of Russia and the de facto authorities to bring these practices to a halt and their perpetrators to justice. The Assembly reiterates that, under international law, Russia bears responsibility for violations of human rights and humanitarian law in these areas which are under its de facto control.

            9. With respect to Russia, the Assembly:

            9.1. takes note of the expressed intention of the Russian authorities to engage in a constructive and open dialogue with the Assembly in relation to the conflict;

            9.2. welcomes the readiness expressed by the Russian parliamentarians to engage in dialogue with their Georgian counterparts under the aegis of the Assembly;

            9.3. urges Russia to fully and unconditionally implement all requirements of Resolution 1633 (2008) of the Parliamentary Assembly, including the withdrawal of the recognition of the two break-away regions of Georgia, the implementation of the European Union-brokered ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, allowing OSCE and European Union monitors into South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and to work towards the creation of a new peacekeeping format and an internationalised peacekeeping force, with the active participation of Council of Europe and European Union member states;

            9.4. specifically requests Russia to withdraw from the Akhalgori district, Upper Abkhazia, the Georgian enclave around Tskhinvali and Perevi village, and to reduce its military presence to pre-conflict levels;

            9.5. calls upon Russia to implement fully and unconditionally all points of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008;

            9.6. calls upon Russia to agree to renew the mandate of the OSCE mission in Georgia, including its military monitoring operation;

            9.7. calls upon Russia not to create any obstacles for the renewal of the UNOMIG mandate in Abkhazia;

            9.8. calls upon Russia to allow, without further delay, the full access of all international monitors to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and especially to allow OSCE monitors access to South Ossetia and European Union monitors access to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, without making it conditional on the question of status;

            9.9. calls upon Russia and the de facto authorities of South Ossetia to ensure that there are no more acts of ethnic cleansing and other human rights violations, which continue to occur in South Ossetia, and bring the perpetrators promptly to justice;

            9.10. calls upon Russia and the de facto authorities of both regions to bring to an immediate halt the provocations and attacks from the South Ossetian and Abkhaz sides of the administrative border and to refrain from any actions that could provoke or increase tensions along the administrative borders with South Ossetia and Abkhazia;

            9.11. calls upon Russia and the de facto authorities to fully ensure the right of return of all internally displaced persons to the areas under their effective control;

            9.12. in the light of the overwhelming evidence to the effect that both Georgia and Russia violated human rights and humanitarian law in the course of the war and in its aftermath, regrets that the Russian Prosecutor’s Office has not yet started any investigation into alleged human rights and humanitarian law violations committed by Russian and allied South Ossetian forces. The Assembly calls upon Russia to initiate such an investigation without further delay and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

            10. With respect to the de facto authorities in South Ossetia, the Assembly notes that they have generally complied with the demand to exchange prisoners of war but regrets that they have failed to co-operate with international monitoring missions and are placing unreasonable restrictions on the access of humanitarian organisations to South Ossetia.

            11. The Assembly calls upon both Russia and Georgia to:

            11.1. allow unhindered and unconditional access of humanitarian organisations and humanitarian aid to the areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia;

            11.2. sign, without further delay, the United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions;

            11.3. implement the interim measures ordered by the European Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice, as well as any forthcoming judgments of these courts concerning alleged violations of human rights in the course of the conflict, and to co-operate fully and unconditionally with any possible investigation by the International Criminal Court;

            11.4. work constructively towards the creation of a new peacekeeping format and internationalised peacekeeping force.

            12. The Assembly welcomes the ongoing efforts by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to protect human rights and humanitarian security in the region. It calls upon both Russia and Georgia to ensure that the six principles he formulated in this respect are fully and effectively implemented.

            13. The Assembly is especially concerned about the human rights and humanitarian situation in Perevi, Upper Abkhazia, and in the Akhalgori district, as well as about the status of the Akhagori district which, while technically a part of the former autonomous region (oblast) of South Ossetia, was never under the control of the de facto authorities and has always been mainly populated by ethnic Georgians. In this respect, it takes note that the Akhalgori district was occupied by Russian forces on 15 August 2008, three days after the signing of the ceasefire agreement.

            14. The Assembly considers it unacceptable that persons residing in Abkhazia and South Ossetia should not be effectively covered by the human rights protection mechanisms granted to them as citizens of a Council of Europe member state under the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as other relevant Council of Europe conventions, as a result of the consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia. Such a human rights protection black hole should not be allowed to exist within the Council of Europe area. The Assembly therefore invites the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to develop a comprehensive action plan to ensure that the rights guaranteed under the Convention are effectively secured for persons residing in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This could include the establishment of a field presence in the two break-away regions, as demanded by the Assembly in Resolution 1633 (2008), including an ombudsperson who could examine individual applications in cases of human rights violations. In the absence of other credible investigations, this field presence should also investigate and document human rights violations committed during and in the aftermath of the war.

            15. The Assembly reconfirms its conviction that the establishment of a genuine dialogue is the only way forward for the resolution of any conflict and to secure long-term stability in the region, provided the minimum conditions for meaningful dialogue as defined in Resolution 1633 (2008) are met. It therefore tasks its Bureau to set up in due course a special ad hoc committee, in which both Georgian and Russian parliamentarians will be invited to participate, to discuss their differences and develop concrete proposals to address the consequences of the war, in line with Resolution 1633 (2008). The Assembly would also welcome the possible participation of representatives of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian communities, from both the de facto authorities and those that favour integration with Georgia, in the work of the committee, subject to an agreement on the format of their participation.

            16. The Assembly calls upon the European Union to continue to seek effective ways for the peaceful resolution of the Georgian-Russian conflict, including the strengthening and extension of the mandate of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) to cover protection and peacekeeping functions on both sides of the de facto borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and other parts of the former conflict zones that are presently occupied.

            http://assembly.coe.int/mainf.asp?link=/documents/adoptedtext/ta09/eres1647.htm

        • @Many countries have “recognised the independence” of Kosovo, and nobody has sued them yet for the violation of international law.

          :)

          World court: Kosovo’s independence was legal

          http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9H45GK80.htm

          The United Nations’ highest court said Thursday that Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia did not break international law.

          The judges voted 10-4 to pass the nonbinding opinion, setting the stage for Kosovo to renew its appeals for further international recognition.

          Kosovo sparked sharp debate worldwide when it seceded from Serbia in 2008, following a bloody 1998-99 war with Serbia and nearly a decade of international administration.

          Kosovo’s statehood has been recognized by 69 countries, including the United States and most European Union nations. Serbia and Russia lead others in staunchly condemning it.

  2. These are sure signs of the decline of the Putin regime. The Georgia election was a real bombshell. There is absolutely nothing that the Russians can do about it and idiot Obama matters not at all.

    • Voice of Reason

      These are sure signs of the decline of the Putin regime. The Georgia election was a real bombshell.

      Absolutely, Ron. The Georgia election has shown that Putin has no chance of becoming a President of Georgia. He has little support there and will lose to all opposition candidates.

      • It has shown that Putin and Russia have no public support in Georgia, as the candidates backed by Putin (Burjanadze and Noghaideli in particular) were rejected by voters.

    • Francis Smyth-Beresford

      You’d probably be hard-pressed to find any individual who had a more profound effect on modern Conservative political thought than Ayn Rand. Espousing a philosophy called Objectivism, she emphasized individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism; her defining work , “The Fountainhead” has been eagerly devoured over the years by Conservative seekers after an echo of their own beliefs.

      You’d probably think from her name that she was from somewhere in Scandinavia. Well, she wasn’t. She was born in St Petersburg and educated in Russia before emigrating to the U.S.

      Republican politicians are eagerly waiting for the United States to come around to a more Russian way of thinking.

  3. There have been many favorable developments of late.

    (1) The Obama administration is on the rocks. (See Roger L Simon at pajamas).

    (2) The left wing internationally is recognized as a bunch of losers.

    (3) Putin is having a series of reverses. I think he will be struggling just to survive.

    (4) Energy (shale gas) developments have been smashingly favorable.

    If the Putin crowd loses their grip the end result could even be a better life for the Russian people.

  4. “And let’s be perfectly clear: The President of Ukraine has called the Prime Minister of Russia an international criminal”

    Would you like to quote your source on that declarative statement? Yanukovich apparently doesn’t support either the creation of double standards or the independence of Kosovo. Russian troops stationed in South Ossetia were killed by Georgian forces hence the Russian response and legit pretext. Putin certainly would have waited until after the olympic games if he planned to attack and certainly would have taken control of the BTC pipe away from BP and I wonder if Americans would really care all that much right about now for BP’s loss or for some foreign policy obsession Dr. Zbig has for supposed Euro energy security or screwing the useless eater slavs running Russia.

    • Actually Don, the IFFC found no evidence that Georgian troops either deliberately targeted or killed Russian “peace keepers” (though that should really be spelled “piece keepers”), and that every single one of the actions taken by Russia was illegal under international law, and that every justification given by Russia was unsubstantiated with no basis under international law.

      Try and get an education Don.

      • @Actually Don, the IFFC found no evidence that Georgian troops either deliberately targeted or killed Russian “peace keepers” (though that should really be spelled “piece keepers”)

        Yes. Prior to the moment they openly entered the hostilities on the SO side, when they became regular combatants because peacekeepers’s status was to be impartial.

        The same applies to the Georgian peacekeeping battalion, who also took active part in the hostilities, but on the Georgian side. Ceased to be peacekeepers and became combatants, too.

  5. Everywhere you can name conservative freedom fighters are on the march. The movement is accelerating almost minute by minute. The left is in a state of disintegration.

    Obama and his cheap styrofoam pillers contributed. Sarah contributed. Putin and his horrible acts contributed. People in Hong Kong lit 150,000 candles on cue.

    Everywhere you can name freedom is on the march.

    • Francis Smyth-Beresford

      Gee……freedom is on the march..mmm. sounds familiar. I’m sure there was somebody who used to like using that catchphrase in his speeches and radio addresses. Don’t tell me: don’t tell me……he was president once, for pretty much the most destructive eight years in American history…

      Oh, never mind. I’m sure it’ll come to me.

      • @Don’t tell me: don’t tell me……he was president once, for pretty much the most destructive eight years in American history…

        Civil War and WWII?

  6. Voice of Reason

    Yanukovich: “I have never recognized Abkhazia, South Ossetia or Kosovo as independent states. This is a violation of international laws and norms. According to international law, any violation of the territorial integrity of any state is forbidden. And let’s be perfectly clear: The President of Ukraine has called the Prime Minister of Russia an international criminal.

    Has he also called the US President an international criminal fro recognizing Kosovo?

    His words might just as well have been spoken by Mikheil Saakashvili!

    Yes, Saakashvili too doesn’t recognize Kosovo.

  7. Tatarstan, for example, is de facto an independent state,well run, with russian minority well treated by the muslim majority – – THIS IS A MATTER OF TIME THAT THE RECOGNITION OF TATARSTAN WILL TAKE PLACE….AS NUMEROUS OTHER STATES WITHIN RUSSIA.. THIS IS CALLED A DEMISE OF THE EMPIRE…..

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