Historic Context Of The Referenda In Ukraine

Source: Moon of Alabama.

The referenda now taking place in Ukraine is of interest due to the consequences should the four oblasts vote to join the Russian Federation. If they do, then any military actions against Russian forces within the oblast borders would — technically — be an act of war against Russia proper.

Some may argue, as does Ukrainian President Zelenski, that the referenda are shams, but illegitimacy will be hard to prove if the outcome is consistent with historical trends, such as those the instant article documents.

Over the next few days we’ll be hearing eyewitness reports about the referenda from Ukraine. Some are already showing up on YouTube:

31 thoughts on “Historic Context Of The Referenda In Ukraine

  1. The simple fact of the matter is that ethnic Russians have never been the majority in the Donbas. No phony referendum is going to change that no matter how many pretty but treasonous Russia girls Russian propaganda lines up to support the war monger.

    This idea that an attack on the enemy occupying their own territory is an attack on Russia is transparently absurd. However, if Russia wants to say that it is, then there is no reason for Ukraine to hold back from attacking key points on the other side of the legitimate border.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “This idea that an attack on the enemy occupying their own territory is an attack on Russia is transparently absurd.”

      That’s a nice fantasy, but the reality on the ground doesn’t comply. Ukraine no longer possesses a military of its own and Russia will double the size of its forces in the country over the next three months to secure the four oblasts.

      Realistically, the only thing that matters now is whether the US/Nato wants to go to war with Russia directly in Ukraine.

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      1. “Ukraine no longer possesses a military of its own and Russia will double the size of its forces in the country over the next three months to secure the four oblasts.”

        No military of its own? Is there no limit to your nonsense? There is no other military in action against Russian aggressors. Successful action that has pushed Putin towards a politically disastrous mobilization of 300,000 men in Russia. Realistically they cannot be trained or equipped in less than many months but will undoubtedly be deployed long before that can happen. How long will Putin remain in power when these non-volunteers taken from their families get sent home in body bags by Ukraine’s battle-tested, capable, and highly motivated army?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. RE: “No military of its own?”

        That’s right. The equipment and personnel Ukraine started with have been wiped out. It is now fighting with US/Nato supplied equipment (for which it is not trained) and without qualified personnel. Scott Ritter makes this very point in the video below, posted today:

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        1. The fact that Ukraine has suffered losses and expended equipment in the fight does not support the nonsense claim that “Ukraine no longer has a military of its own.”

          Sure, Ukraine is getting material support, weapons and training from NATO that also does not support the nonsense claim you are defending. It is Ukrainians who are picking up those weapons and fiercely attacking the invader – not us, not NATO.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. RE: “Sure, Ukraine is getting material support, weapons and training from NATO that also does not support the nonsense claim you are defending.”

          My claim is based on simple accounting:

          • Ukraine used to have an air force; now it doesn’t.
          • Ukraine started the war with 5,000 tanks; now it has none.

          • Ukraine started the war with 300,000 troops; now it has lost a third of its trained fighters.

          RE: “It is Ukrainians who are picking up those weapons and fiercely attacking the invader – not us, not NATO.”

          Ukrainian militias in the Donbas have also been fighting, but against Ukraine, so your point is somewhat meaningless.

          When Russia completes its partial mobilization in a couple of months it will have a fully equipped standing army of 500,000 troops with which to defend the newly established Russian border. Without US/Nato support, Ukraine doesn’t have the capacity to fight such a superior foe. And if the US/Nato decide to try, WW III is certain.

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          1. You can shuck and jive all you want. Your claim is still nonsense. Ukraine DOES have its own military and it is damned effective.

            Once again you predict an inevitable Russian victory based on this latest “mobilization.” You ignore the fact that a modern army needs far more training than a couple of weeks in boot camp. You ignore the fact that Russian weapons are mostly obsolete and in short supply. You ignore the fact that Russia is desperately short of ammunition after its typically brutish scorched earth attacks and, of course, its leaving in Ukrainian hands massive amounts when it ran away.

            And most importantly, you leave out that war is between countries not just armies. Ukraine has the will to fight. Russia doesn’t. There are no traffic jams of young people fleeing Ukraine. There are no security police blocking access to airports by young people in Ukraine. People in the thousands are not being rounded up and conscripted for protesting in Ukraine.

            Putin has already lost this war and everyone knows it except his most obsequious and fearful supporters in Russia and his running dogs in this country. His friends in India and Turkey have turned against him. China is playing him. NATO is standing strong and Europe is ready for a tough winter. He is reduced to seeking help from North Korea. He has reason to be desperate. Removing him from the scene has become a necessity for any kind of agreement to end the war. And by removing, I mean removing with extreme prejudice.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “Ukraine DOES have its own military and it is damned effective.”

            Yes, it is damned effective at suffering 20,000 casualties a month, at least five times the casualty rate of its adversary.

            Apart from that, you entire assessment of Russian military readiness is wrong. I have given you the data many times, but you refuse to see. For example, you say “a modern army needs far more training than a couple of weeks in boot camp.” That’s true, but Russia is mobilizing troops that have already served its army and seen combat.

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          3. “Yes, it is damned effective at suffering 20,000 casualties a month, at least five times the casualty rate of its adversary.”

            Made-up “facts” are so convenient. Nobody has reliable data on casualties on either side. Only you.

            You can tout the strength of Russia’s military all you want. On the battlefield they have failed badly. Their initial assault was defeated. Then they switched to a brutish scorched earth strategy such as they did in Chechnya. That strategy worked against ragtag resistance and civilians. It was a bust in Ukraine where skilled and determined soldiers made them pay dearly for every inch of scorched earth they took. And now, their answer to a Ukraine’s hard hitting offensive has been to run away abandoning equipment and ammunition. Russia is a corrupt and fearful society and it shows in the performance of its military.

            Putin will be doing well to still be alive by the time his new conscripts are even remotely ready to be thrown into the meat grinder. IMHO.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. We all know the referendums will pass. Anyone who challenged the Russian invaders has already been shot. Dead people don’t vote (unless they have Republican relatives to vote for them). But let’s say, for the sake of argument, the referendums pass. Suppose the people say they want the invaders to leave. Do you seriously think Putin would even announce such a vote, much less leave?

    Let me see if I can put this in a context you will understand.

    Suppose Mexico had an army bigger than ours and they decided they wanted Texas and California back. Both states used to belong to them, so they invaded to claim what they said was rightfully theirs. They occupied both states for six months and killed anyone who disagreed with their claims. Then let’s say NATO sent us new and better arms than the Mexicans had and we fought the invaders to a standstill. They weren’t going to claim any more of our land, but they refused to give Texas and California back. They knew they couldn’t beat us in a fair fight so they held a referendum letting the people in the occupied states vote to stay with Mexico or return to the United States. Would you accept that vote? Suppose Mexico said, “If you don’t accept the vote, we’ll take it personally and we’ll nuke you.” Would you accept the vote on those terms and assume that would be the last demand Mexico would make? Or would you take your new and improved army and whip their ass?

    That’s the position Ukraine is in right now. And if we refuse to back Ukraine, no matter what it decides, shame and eternal shame on us!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “Would you accept that vote?”

      I’d need a good reason not to.

      Your analogy has a number of flaws. The most important is that California and Texas have not been subject to military aggression from Washington D.C., aggression that has been sponsored by a foreign adversary of Mexico.

      I have opposed the war in Ukraine since Russia invaded, because I believe it is morally wrong for the U.S. to use the Ukrainian people to fight Russia. A negotiated settlement that preserved Ukrainian territory was possible a few months ago. Now, if the four oblasts vote to join Russia, the only possible negotiated settlement will be based on their subtraction from Ukraine.

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      1. You have opposed it for the wrong reason. Belligerent attacks on a sovereign nation that has been NO threat to you, has no basis in reality and should not be supported in the manner in which you have.

        And Putin was offered a deal negotiated by one of his own with Ukraine in mid-February. He invaded his peaceful neighbor anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know what you would consider as a good reason not to accept the referendum, but for me, the fact it was held in an occupied place, with armed soldiers of the occupying army collecting the ballots, would be reason enough. I find it amusing you can accept ballots collected by armed soldiers as a fair election, but think ballots delivered in person by voters to polling places are suspicious.

    Also the fact Putin feels it’s necessary to threaten nuclear war if the vote count is not accepted is more than enough reason to believe the vote count will be rubbish. He already knows no sane person is going to believe it, otherwise why make threats?

    As for those flaws, you do realize this analogy is hypothetical, right?

    Also, the Hispanic populations of Texas and California might disagree with you that there has been no aggression from Washington, D.C. And they are Spanish speakers, so just like Russia is claiming parts of Ukraine to be theirs because the population speaks Russian, Mexico could claim Texas and California and Florida are theirs.

    The US is not fighting Russia. Neither is France or England or Israel or Germany or Finland or Japan or any other country that is sending aid. Ukraine is fighting Russia. And they’re whupping ass!

    And, as someone on another blog pointed out, Russia had better be careful about claiming the territories they invaded are Russian territories and they’ll defend them with nukes. Because if that’s the way they want it, then the Russian “border” has already been crossed and there is no reason not to take the war straight into Moscow. Nuclear war is a threat to the entire world and a first strike from Russia would be declaring war on the entire world. Every nuclear armed country in the world would rain nukes on Russia until it glowed in the dark.

    Ukraine didn’t start this war. The US didn’t start this war. NATO didn’t start this war. Russia started this war. Russia can start WWIII if it wants. But what Russia can not do is win.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “But what Russia can not do is win.”

      Neither can Ukraine, or the US/Nato, if it comes to nuclear war. I’m fascinated by the concept that we should destroy ourselves because we are morally correct. Is that what you believe?

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  4. No one “wins” a nuclear war. And no one except Russia is threatening to start a nuclear war. And if Russia makes the first strike, Russia will lose a nuclear war.

    It would be Russia, not us, not Ukraine, nobody but Russia doing the destruction.

    And, yes, being morally correct is a thing I believe in. It’s a thing our soldiers have died for in many wars. Giving in to immoral authoritarians NEVER works. Nothing you do will ever be enough to satisfy them. You fight or you die.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. REL “And if Russia makes the first strike, Russia will lose a nuclear war.”

      What makes you think so? Surely you know that Russia has more nuclear bombs than any other country.

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      1. There are no winners in a major nuclear war.

        So the logic defending Putin is that he should be allowed to invade sovereign countries because he might start a major nuclear holocaust.

        (Extortion 101. Right up there with “if indicted, America will have problems like never before”. Birds of a feather.)

        If Russia’s nuclear arsenal is as well maintained as their conventional forces, then the threat might not be very effective.

        We learned the folly of invading Iraq based on lies about its threat to us. Then we sent in men ill equipped, both in size and capabilities, to occupy a sovereign nation.

        “You fight with the army you have, not the one you wish you had.” Paraphrasing the ignorance of Rumsfeld about fighting an elective war. Well, this lesson seemed to bypass Putin.

        He wrongly figured he had all the chips and the rest of the West would just shrug its shoulders. So now he is resorting to prison inmates, mercenaries, and a mobilization.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Your point about the maintenance requirements for nuclear weapons is a very important one. They cannot just sit on the shelf. They require constant replenishment of their nuclear materials. Doing that is the principle function of our Department of Energy. It is a very major expense. In a corrupt kleptocracy such as Russia it is entirely possible that – just like for their conventional weapons – the maintenance has been short-changed by thievery.

          Hopefully our intelligence services have some insight on this subject and hopefully Trump did not share that insight with Putin.

          Liked by 3 people

      2. Russia will lose a nuclear war because in a nuclear war EVERYBODY loses. Putin has been using the threat of nuclear attack for at least 15 years. We cannot let such empty threats dictate our response to criminal aggression. MAD is still operative and the military in Russia knows that as well as we do. Putin issuing such an order would very likely lead to his death. Russians love their families too.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. RE: “We cannot let such empty threats dictate our response to criminal aggression.”

          So which is it? Is “MAD is still operative, or is MAD an empty threat that we can and should ignore?

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          1. “So which is it? Is “MAD is still operative . . .”

            Of course it is still operative. It restrains us and it restrains Russia. It is Putin’s threats of a nuclear attack that are empty. Because of MAD.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “It is Putin’s threats of a nuclear attack that are empty. Because of MAD.”

            I won’t take your word for it.

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          3. “I won’t take your word for it.”

            It is not a question of my word.

            But fine, it is clear. You would rather give in to the threats and throw forty million people to the tender mercies of a murderous fascist than stand with them for democracy and liberty.

            Liked by 2 people

      3. RE: “So the logic defending Putin is that he should be allowed to invade sovereign countries because he might start a major nuclear holocaust.”

        It is not about “defending Putin.” It is about us (US/Nato). Should the oblasts vote to secede from Ukraine, do we declare war on Russia to take them back?

        RE: “If Russia’s nuclear arsenal is as well maintained as their conventional forces, then the threat might not be very effective.”

        Are you willing to risk it?

        RE: “So now he is resorting to prison inmates, mercenaries, and a mobilization.”

        You should be aware that Russia has 25 million reservists to draw from. The current mobilization represents only 1% of that resource base.

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  5. John, when I said “no one wins a nuclear war,” that NO ONE includes Russia.

    And Russia may or may not have more nuclear weapons than any other country. That is up for debate. What is not up for debate is whether or not Russia has more nuclear weapons than ALL other countries. Because every nuclear armed country in the world will see a first strike as an attack on them and will respond accordingly.

    Also, I think I remember you saying something about being a military contractor. I don’t know what field you were in as a contractor, but every military contractor I ever worked with knew and understood that the United States military has MANY weapons that don’t get bragged about on the front page.

    The military invented the internet. PLRS/JTIDS was the forerunner of GPS. The Signal Corps was using fiber optics before the civilian world had heard of it. In the early 90s, the military was already deep into robotics. The Blackbird had been spying for years before anyone knew it existed. The US military is the best trained, best equipped, most efficient fighting force on the planet. No brag, just fact. When we get hypersonic weapons, we don’t go around making international announcements, waving our CENSORED in the air like Putin. That’s what losers do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: ” The US military is the best trained, best equipped, most efficient fighting force on the planet.”

      I used to believe that, but the list of wars we have fought and lost against inferior opponents is quite long and sobering.

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  6. John, believe it still. Our military has never lost a war. Our civilian governments have lost several occupations. They are two different things entirely. Wars are fought. Occupations are managed. If you don’t win the hearts and minds of the country you occupy, you will eventually get kicked out. Eisenhower and the Generals of WWII knew that. That’s why we still have bases in Germany and Japan and they are both our allies today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Our military has never lost a war.”

      I don’t accept that. It is inconsistent with Clausewitz and Lao Tsu. Both of them would say we lost in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

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  7. I’ve read many translations of the Tao Te Ching and I don’t recall anything that would say we were defeated in battle in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, or Afghanistan.

    Again, wars and occupations are NOT the same thing.

    Liked by 2 people

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