Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends

Uncle Volodya says, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, prepare to die. Ha, ha; I'm just kidding - can't you lighten up?"

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends; we’re so glad you could attend – come inside, come inside“. Sticking with the recent musical theme for the moment, let’s kick things off with the intro to British progressive rockers Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s, “Karn Evil 9“.  And indeed, the show never ends; not really – when you live in the Fun House, the laughs just never stop, you might say. So I was moved to comment, upon reading Mikhail Loginov’s highly entertaining, “Mikhail Prokhorov: Gilt-Edged Whipping Boy for the Russian Elections?”, for the stubbornly partisan revolutionaries at Open Democracy Russia.

I must say, Open Democracy Russia has a fascination with poets and novelists, and insists on portraying them as political adepts. From Elena Fanailova to Yulia Latynina to, now, Mikhail Loginov. A sometime novelist like Latynina, Loginov penned the doubtless thrilling “Battle for the Kremlin”. I don’t want to spoil it for you, because you were probably just on your way out the door to buy a copy; so we’ll be content with the teaser that was featured alongside another Loginov classic, “The Navalny Effect“. The part that interested me, though, was Open Democracy Russia’s account of what makes a great political analyst.

Mr. Loginov, they tell us, was “a skilled crafter of political brochures, campaign leaflets and election manifestos”. Although Mr. Loginov is from St. Petersburg and what Open Democracy Russia describes as a “metropolitan Russian”, crafting political brochures and campaign leaflets seems to have provided “rich experience” which transformed Mr. Loginov into a “real expert in Russian regional affairs”.

Do tell. I daresay I could write a killer political brochure on somebody I’ve never met. Try me; make up a politician, tell me where he’s from, where he grew up and the name of the region where he’s running. Give me a snapshot bio of his background, especially past military or public service, and a few folksy anecdotes that will lend heartwarming human interest. Just brief bullet points will be fine. Tell me who his opponent is, and what that opponent’s political philosophy appears to be, judging by his performance. You don’t have to go into eye-glazing detail – just enough so I can craft an opposite position for my mythical Renaissance Man. I promise you I can make you wonder why you never noticed how great this guy is, and I’ll never have to leave this chair. Because it will be one hundred percent bullshit. In fact, if you took all the bullshit out of politics, there’d be so little of whatever it was left that they’d have to call it something else.

Needless to say, writing inspirational political brochures wouldn’t make me an expert in regional affairs in the country it describes, although I don’t doubt Mr. Loginov traveled a good deal. But it apparently provided him with the “campaign experience” he needs to write political thrillers (featuring heroes who, presumably, have only modest incomes). Maybe that’s what I’ll do when I get tired of mocking people who talk like they’re crazy, or like they think you are.

But wait, wait!! You haven’t heard the best part. The editors of Open Democracy Russia assess that, based upon his rich campaign experience, the brochure-writing manifesto-slinging Mikhail Loginov is “uniquely placed to explain the phenomenon and enormous popularity of Alexei Navalny.”

I don’t want to make this about Alexei Navalny, because we were going to talk about Mikhail Prokhorov. But I think we can agree the “Navalny Effect” as described by Mikhail Loginov was a big fat zero. Just three months before Mr. Loginov swooned dreamily that Navalny – with his “imaginative campaigning” and “Obama-style presentation” – (you can so visualize this guy writing campaign leaflets, can’t you?) had “emerged as the unifying figure for anti-government sentiment [and]…transformed the country’s political landscape forever”…a Levada poll of self-identified Internet users (Navalny’s biggest audience) found that both Medvdev and Putin (who more or less ignores the internet) pulled in better than double the votes Navalny did, which is still pitiful considering a staggering 95% did not pay attention to any political figure on the Internet. Pardon me if I’m unable to reconcile that with transforming the political landscape forever. Although if his objective really is “…for the oil export market to belong to our Russian companies, and not to a Swiss offshore company”, it’s hard to disagree.

Anyway, enough about Navalny. Mr. Loginov wants to talk about Prokhorov. According to Mr. Loginov, the fact that Mr. Prokhorov is Russia’s third-richest man makes his sudden interest in politics “puzzling”. He’s got a point, hasn’t he – after all, wealthy people almost never go into politics. Oh…wait. Yes, they do. According to none other than Open Democracy, there was nothing at all puzzling about Russia’s richest man pondering political ambitions. Nope – sorry, Mikhail; politics is lousy with rich folks. The leaders of Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the United States…..all very, very wealthy. Not to put too fine a point on it, but politics and personal fortunes are far from mutually exclusive.  You’d think a crafty old political campaigner with rich experience would know that.

For the record, I agree that Prokhorov’s precipitate entry into politics is curious, but not because he’s rich. He strikes me as a dabbler in politics, who is trying it on because being ridiculously rich means you have a lot of spare time; kind of boring, really. I don’t think he aims ever to lead the nation, and nobody should really enter politics at the party leader level with a lesser aim than that. But the notion that Putin personally dragged him into the political arena as a foil, a hate-magnet who would make United Russia look good, is about as farfetched a proposal as suggesting Putin paid Saakashvili to attack Russia just so Russia could smash him and get the people swept up in a fever of national pride. After a while, you get so you see conspiracy under every rock. Seriously, I’m sure there are figures Russians love to hate more than Prokhorov, who appears to be at heart a fairly nice guy. How about Anatoly Chubais? Ramzan Kadyrov? What about Sergei Mavrodi, who hoodwinked thousands out of their money? Yury Luzhkov, who rushed to look after his bees while Moscow was virtually uninhabitable because of choking smoke, and demanded the right to vacation time when people asked why, you know, the mayor wasn’t around when there was a crisis? Come on, you can’t tell me if you seeded a startup opposition party with one of those individuals, it wouldn’t generate more hate votes than Prokhorov.

Besides, Prokhorov is more or less in agreement with Putin’s policies, and simply recommends a little liberal tinkering that is more window-dressing than high political drama. If anything, he might attract votes that would otherwise go to United Russia, splitting the vote and putting the Communists in striking distance. But the instinct to say, “something wicked this way comes with Vladimir Putin written all over it” at every surprise seems to run deep indeed in certain quarters.  We don’t understand it, so Putin must be doing it to somehow simultaneously screw us and benefit himself. Vladimir Putin is a clever manipulator, but even he must shake his head sometimes, and marvel at the Machiavellian plots for which he receives attribution.

Well, let’s see what other conspiracy comestibles Mr. Loginov has to tempt us with, shall we? Oh, here’s a good one –  Vladimir “the Dragon” Zhirinovsky pounces on a governor’s race in a “certain southern region”, and by dint of running a complete arsehole campaign, causes the incumbent governor (who was about to lose to the Communists) to look good by comparison, and he won, presumably because of Zhirinovsky the ridicule-magnet’s intervention. This is offered for context, to show how clever strategic interjection of a dumbass can make the most unsavory politician look like a saviour.

There are a couple of things wrong with this. One, Zhirinovsky has been in politics for 21 years, all of it with the same party. The governor’s election described took place in 2001 – eleven years is a long time to hold a sleeper agent in reserve to wreck a single governor’s race. His purpose accomplished and the rotten incumbent governor reelected, why did he hang around for another ten years? Why didn’t he get out of politics, once he had discharged his presumably Kremlin-managed mission? For another, the governor in question was involved in a tight race. Putin (or Medvedev) could start appearing in public in a dress, or pretend to be possessed by the ghost of Keith Richards (I know, I know, he’s not dead yet, but he looks like he is), and still win. United Russia’s popularity may have slipped – and who cares, the election’s still a year away and a lot can happen in a year  – but it hasn’t slipped to the point that any liberal opposition has a serious chance. That’s not because the election is rigged; it’s because not anything like enough voters are interested in seeing a liberal opposition run the country, which is pretty much the essence of democracy. What does United Russia need with a spoiler party, led by a non-controversial rich guy, which basically agrees with the way United Russia runs the country and proposes only minor adjustments?

Now, where did I put those internet statistics?

Sliding smoothly from proposing nutty theories that have no basis in reality to simply making things up altogether, the experienced writer of political thrillers tells us that United Russia won’t be content with just winning – it needs a Saddam Hussein-style landslide if it is to hold up its head around other dictators. And that won’t happen, because the majority of the population gets its news from the internet, and sees United Russia as “the party of thieves and swindlers”.

Quite apart from being a transparent effort to set the bar high enough that a not-so-dramatic win by United Russia will look like a loss, that’s not even in the same room as true. A muscular majority of about 8 in 10 people gets its news from television and, as established in the Levada poll cited earlier (which came from this website), an overwhelming majority of internet users do not find the message of any politician or blogger particularly compelling. Despite the gritty and determined efforts of democracy-activist button-men like Loginov to help “the party of thieves and swindlers” gain traction as a catchphrase, it is not anything like as popular as he describes – outside the western press, which loves it.

At the point where Loginov says, “Throughout human history very rich people have never been universally loved or admired. In Russia, thanks to its Communist past, this dislike has turned into uncontrollable hatred”, I stopped reading; it was just getting too silly. If Russians truly are driven into transports of uncontrollable hatred at the sight of rich people, why would Open Democracy advocate a pardon by Russia’s president of Russia’s richest man? Under what turquoise sun does that make sense? We’re supposed to believe Russians who drool foam and stagger at the sight of rich Prokhorov would just shrug and say, “Hey – that was pretty fair” on receiving the news that Medvedev had pardoned rich Khodorkovsky?

Is a little consistency in the asylum too much to ask?

This entry was posted in Alexei Navalny, Government, Khodorkovsky, Law and Order, Politics, Russia, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends

  1. Misha says:

    The oD venue appears keen on playing up certain kinds of imagery.

    Another recent example:


    • marknesop says:

      That’s all right – making out that other people are so terribly oppressed helps some people sleep easier in their fool’s paradise. And I don’t know that access to the media is the great blessing democracy activists make it out to be, either. Perhaps in countries where the media isn’t simultaneously obsessed with celebrities and puffed up like toads with its own importance, it might be. But that rules out North America.

      • Misha says:

        The reverse Lucas would attempt to research and ? the background of the author of that piece and his media outlet. Not that I’m into a suggestively McCarthyite like approach. Prefer sticking to the raw facets at issue.

        Politics aside, the Donbas region doesn’t appear to be one of the more pleasing of places to visit in Ukraine. At the same time, it would be appropriate to provide specifics on matters like voter fraud and corruption.

        “The show that never ends” relates back to some of the coverage of the so-called “Orange Revolution”.



        A war of attrition of sorts is at play. A certain line gets regurgitated at relatively prominent venues – which aren’t as open towards some other views with validity. This manner can eventually tire out the ombudsmen like activity with less means.

        Taking periodic breaks and diversifying is good for the long haul. The latter can include approaching the same subject from another angle. This is what motivated me to post online statements like the anti-Russian Washington Times letter of the early 1980s, wriiten by Yushchenko’s present wife, when she headed the Captive Nations Committee and Pavlo Skoropadsky’s 1918 edict for an “All-Russian Federation”. These endeavors included follow-up commentary.

        Adding input not previously in cyber as opposed to rehashing some questionable (put mildly) views:


        • marknesop says:

          That’s exactly it – the storyline isn’t any righter the second or tenth or five-hundredth time around, but there’s always a fresh ideologue eager to repeat it. I maintain also that no other country has been the object of such an unremitting campaign of ideological attack. Libya and Gadddafi are the flavour of the month, but a similar neverending skirmish line has been pecking away at Russia for decades.

          • Misha says:

            A timeline of sources stating faulty views versus what some others said is a technical way of determining who has been more accurate. That kind of overview doesn’t appear to be particularly encouraged at the more high profile of venues maintaining a certain status quo.

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  6. yalensis says:

    Poetic interlude: here is the original Russian for Mayakovsky verse (1917, part of larger epic poem “Vladimir Ilyich Lenin”) mentioned in Loginov’s article.

    Ешь ананасы, рябчиков жуй,
    день твой последний приходит, буржуй.

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  8. yalensis says:

    On Libya war:
    In this game of chicken between Gaddafi and Sarkozy, looks like “le petit napoleon” might have been the one who blinked first.
    According to this Reuters account, Sarkozy has ordered his pet rebels in Benghazi to negotiate with Gaddafy’s forces. Gaddafy’s son, Saif, who is leading the negotiations on his father’s behalf, confirmed to an Algerian newspaper that his side was in direct negotiations with France. According to Saif:

    “”France said: ‘When we reach an agreement with you (Tripoli), we will force the council to cease fire’,” he was quoted as saying.”
    , referring to the “rebel council” in Benghazi.
    No doubt this will come as a bitter disappointment to the rebels, who continue to delude themselves with hope for total military victory over the Gaddafi forces.
    And on the ground the rebels are, in fact, making incremental gains: a meter here, a meter there. Rebels are desperate to take 2 towns: Guarian (in the western mountains), and a town called Zlitan (west of Misurata). Rebel propaganda claims that if they can only take these 2 hamlets, then Tripoli will fall before them like a house of cards. To this end the rebels have been throwing dozens of untrained teenagers (wearing t-shirts, flipflops, and carrying ancient misfiring rifles) into the maw of the front lines to face Gaddafy’s Grad rockets. The hospitals in Misurata are said to be so full of mangled and wounded bodies that there is no more capacity. But this is not what is slowing them down. It is NATO starting to balk. They are spending too much money and using too many bombs, for diminishing returns.

    • Misha says:

      Look for some neocon backlash against not backing down from tyranny. In the past, the Munich reference has served as a reference for such a position.

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, neo-cons will blame Obama for “losing Libya” and scold him for not sending in ground troops!

        • marknesop says:

          If you’re fond of comedy – which is what it is when pompous pundits sermonize about Gaddafi getting his Grads from wicked Russia, the armament candy store for crazy dictators – check this out.

          • marknesop says:

            I had to do a separate comment to finish off – something funny with that link that highlights all the text after it, too. Anyway, I stress I haven’t verified any of that information, it was supposedly dug up by someone named Dan O’Huiggin, who I’ve never heard of. But The Guardian seems to have caveatted it correctly. Interesting stuff, although hardly surprising if it’s true. Google “Guardian EU exports to Libya who armed Gaddafi”. Every time I try to paste in the link to the article, it pastes in the string for the spreadsheet I already linked.

    • marknesop says:

      This might just blow up in Sarko’s face – if a sense of “bitter disappointment” turns into a sense of betrayal (remember, although these rebels are portrayed as salt-of-the-earth downtrodden freedom-loving farmers and peasants, you know and I know that they are radicals, many of whom appear to be missing a good-sized chunk of their attic insulation), France might find it does not exercise the degree of control over them it thought it did. This is just Sarko trying to achieve the whole objective another way, so he won’t be embarrassed by losing. NATO will likely cut him a lot of slack, since if France loses, NATO loses, but their patience is evidently limited. Bear in mind a number of offers to negotiate from Tripoli have already been swatted aside, probably on the assumption that victory would be easily achieved and Gaddafi would be humiliated.

      He’s wise to have his son negotiate in his behalf, because I’d expect the initial offer to negotiate was as much about finding out where he is located than any genuine interest in reaching a settlement. Terrible to have to say that about my own side, but there it is.

        • marknesop says:

          What a model of stupidity. Why would Gaddafi “take the message that it’s time to go”? Would that prevent him from being prosecuted? Hardly. So he’s got nothing to lose by holding firm, has he? You just have to laugh. And I imagine that was his reaction. I can’t believe there are still people supporting this.

          • Misha says:

            Heard American SOS HRC quoted saying that Assad lacks legitimacy, with the US not feeling any commitment to him.


            Upon hearing this, it’s suggested that Assad should pack his bags and seek some kind of deal.

            The arrogance of power includes a non-recognition of the limits of that power’s clout and how some others on the world stage might be suspect about such an attitude.

              • Misha says:

                Re: http://counterpunch.org/lamb07112011.html

                The French position to openly recognize the rebels was a diplomatically aggressive move and something in line with neocon advocacy. On the other hand, neocons don’t appear so willing to admit to a foreign policy goof.

                • marknesop says:

                  Yes, and an aggressive move looks, in retrospect, like Napoleonic vision only as long as it is successful. If it is not, it just looks like your big mouth got your ass in trouble, and it is exactly such a perception Sarkozy is trying to avoid. The old story about victory having a thousand fathers, while defeat is a bastard child.

            • marknesop says:

              At some point, you have to be aware of the optics in the example you’re setting. The west expects doglike loyalty to its policies and foibles from other nations under its foreign-policy umbrella, but discards leaders or sometimes whole countries at a whim. I have no doubt it serves a policy position somewhere, but from the viewpoint of the leader or country that gets thrown to the wolves, the lesson is clear – the west is not trustworthy. It’s always, “what have you done for me lately?”

              I saw a video clip not long ago of some “protesters” burning flags in Syria – maybe it was even in this forum, sent to me by a commenter, I don’t remember. Anyway, the flags had obviously been supplied to them by someone else, because they coudn’t get them to light and were holding them over a garbage barrel while they kept trying to get them to burn (with newsies standing by to film the “angry grassroots movement”, of course) . Comical, but you can bet there will be a large audience that believes without question.

      • yalensis says:

        Gaddafi’s son Saif is an interesting character in his own right. He is western-educated: PhD from London School of Economics – ironically his thesis was entitled “The role of civil society in the democratisation of global governance institutions: from ‘soft power’ to collective decision-making?”
        In other words, Saif was/is a “reformer” and apparently had a lot of influence in pushing Papa towards westernization/democratization reforms. Some say it was his influence and negotiating skills that led to the “nuclear” break-through and détente with the Bush Jr. administration. He may have also had something to do with the Lockerbie reparations, a role which he now probably regrets.
        Then everything changed. That is, France went to war and started to bomb Libya without any provocation. And Saif changed too. From a mild-mannered westernizing reformer, he became the fiercest champion of his father’s traditional methods and allies and has stood firm against NATO bombs and bullying. Thus proving that, like his dad, he has True Grit. In this sense, Saif could turn out to be this century’s version of Prussia’s Frederick the Great (who also started off in life as a sissy flute-playing intellectual and then became a fierce cynical warrior).
        Many pundits believe that in the inevitable peace talks between the two major protoganosts of this war (Libya vs. France), Saif will represent all the Arab tribes and factions (=majority of Libyan people) who have traditionally supported his father. If there are nation-wide parliamentary elections, Saif will probably stand for election and may end up with a significant role in the new government, maybe even Prime Minister. Keep your eyes on this guy.

        • marknesop says:

          A lot will depend on tacit support during the negotiation phase for Libya from nations that were too chicken to speak up when the no-fly zone was being “negotiated”. France will try to engineer the talks to make it appear Gaddafi capitulated and the rebels were just being generous by allowing him to live – although of course he must answer for his crimes. That, obviously, is no deal at all for Gaddafi. Again, if France insisted Gaddafi himself be present for negotiations, I suspect an “accident” might befall Gaddafi.

          It’s just a guess on my part, but I think the Arab League will also maneuver – in the event these negotiations actually take place – to make itself relevant again after its disgraceful pandering to NATO in another war of choice. I hope Gaddafi will refuse to negotiate in any capacity with the Arab League until all its principals have resigned and been replaced. When you have nothing to lose by holding your course, you’re kind of in the driver’s seat, aren’t you?

  9. Kozakov says:

    An interesting article, full of the sarcasm and wit that I’m learning to expect at this venue. Glad to see that Mark has left Alice Cooper behind and is luminously hurling forward at the behest of Emerson Lake & Palmer!

    • marknesop says:

      Hello, Kozakov – good to see you again. Say, have you visited Odessa Blog? I added it to my blogroll not long ago – actually, on the occasion of that dust-up with Democratist (and stay tuned, because another is coming shortly). It’s an extremely interesting venue, with up-to-the-minute items from the viewpoint of an Englishman living in Ukraine. It’s on my list to visit, as it sounds such a lovely country and many of the photos of Kiev are gorgeous. On that note, I also recommend Neeka’s backlog, again from the blogroll. Haunting photos of Eastern Europe, sometimes odd but always striking.

      • Misha says:

        D’s attempt at even-handedness are nevertheless slanted aliong the lines of what’s preferred at oD and RFE/RL:


        Excerpt –

        Ukrainian nationalism and culture flourished in Galicia in the second half of the nineteenth century. This occurred while a process of russification was continuing (especially after the 1876 Edict of Ems) in the Ukrainian territories to the East which had become part of the Russian Empire. However, the basis for the Habsburgs’ indulgence of the Ukrainians – including some representation in the Galician Diet after 1861, and the development of their own political parties, civil society and newspapers – was not liberalism, but rather imperial calculation: Vienna sought to build up Ukrainian national consciousness as a bulwark against rebellious Polish nationalism – to balance the Ukrainian peasantry in the countryside against the Polish landowners in the town.


        In point of fact, there was a noticeable 19th century Russophile element among the ancestors of Ukrainians and Rusyns in the Habsburg ruled empire. The Habsburgs were likely not so happy with how some of these subjects responded to Russian troops around the mid-1800s:


        Excerpt –

        The Austro-Hungarian monarchy controlled the Carpathians from 1772 to 1918. In the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire became a favored destination for educated and intellectual Carpatho-Russians.7 The nineteenth century also saw the spread of pan Slavism in Europe, and a pro-Moscow view became popular. The Russian military campaign of Tsar Nicholas I through the Carpathians in 1849 had significance for the local Carpatho-Russian population, who came into close contact with an almost 200,000 man Russian army. This interaction had an impact on the rising national consciousness of that time.8 Aleksander Dukhnovich (1803-1865), who wrote the unofficial Rusyn National Anthem (“I was, am, and will be a Rusyn”), and who is considered to be the ‘George Washington’ of the Rusyns, reminisced that when he saw the Russian Cossacks on the streets, he “danced and cried with joy”.


        Note that during the Russian Civil War, the Galician Ukrainians for the most part agreed to come under the command of the Russian Whites, who favored former Russian Empire Ukrainian territory and Russia as part of the same state – while tending to treat the Galician Ukrainians as a foreign entity. In contrast, the Poles supported a pro-Polish Ukrainian state of former Russian Empire territory, with eastern Galicia as a part of Poland.

        The referenced “Edict of Ems” was motivated by Ukrainian separatist leaning material coming from Austria-Hungary into the Russian Empire. A follow-up point concerns the actual extent of that edict being implemented. The Ukrainian language in Ukraine appears far more vibrant than Gaelic in Scotland and Ireland. While not excusing linguistic crackdowns, including material premised on some dubious notions: for clarity sake, it’s important to observe what the world was like back then. BTW, is an authentic writing of the edict in question available?

        The above excerpt hyperlinks the Edict of Ems to a Wiki piece on the subject.

        On the matter of Habsburg treatment of the ancestors of present day Rusyns and Ukrainians, the above linked piece makes no mention of the Habsburg run concentration camp at Talerhof:


        Offhand, I’m not vouching for everything stated at the link directly above. At the same time, a repressive political act was definitely committed.

  10. Kozakov says:

    Hi Mark – yes indeed, I did visit the Odessa blog, a few weeks back when you first recommended it. I found the article to be quite interesting, filled with a lot of information. As for Neeka’s backlog, I’ve been an intermittent follower for several years. Her article’s are indeed written from the heart and I too enjoy her accompanying photos. By all means visit Ukraine, a beautiful place by any standards. Kyiv is full of lots of interesting things to see and do. I’ve not been to Odessa yet, but plan on visiting on my next trip. The Crimea is too filled with many interesting sights and sounds. When you return, they’ll be singing about you too: ‘Oh, what a lucky man he was’…
    (As to your upcoming duels with the Democratist, I look forward to reading about them!)

  11. Kozakov says:

    Mike – Notwithstanding all of your dubious claims, Mr, D’s statment above about the Hapsburg indulgence of the Ukrainians was for the most part accurate. What went on in Zakarpattya had little influence as to what went on in Galicia, for they were two separate administrative entities.
    His article after all was about the process in Galicia and not Zakarpattya?. As to your assertion that the majority of Galicians somehow voluntarily came under the command of the Russian Whites, I can wonder if you’ve taken up smoking cannabis, or if is a ‘normal’ form of your ‘thinking’ process?

    The Western Ukrainian army (initialy trying to establish the Western Ukrainian Republic in Galicia), which in its homeland reached numbers as high as 75,000 was eventually beaten back by the Polish army. A part of the original formation moved its base of operation to central Ukraine, Initially, fighting along side the forces of the Ukrainian National Republic. The remnants of this army that now found itself in central Ukraine for a short time decided to cooperate with the anti-communist whites against the Bolsheviks. Later, this motley crew decided to switch sides and cooperate with the bolsheviks. To try to somehow point to this ragtag group of soldiers, caught in the ever changing tide of revolutionary history as somehow indicative of a ‘pro-russian’ sentiment, in something that only Mike Averko is capabale of trying to do.

    • Misha says:

      You don’t appear to know what you’re talking about while posing a bogus bravado.

      Subtelny and others confirm what I said about the Galician Ukrainians. When did they ever cooperate in a similar manner with the Reds?

      In the 1800s, a Russophile element was noticeable in Galicia as well.

      I’ve not been proven wrong in my follow-up to that link at D’s blog.

  12. Kozakov says:

    ‘When did they ever cooperate in a similar manner with the Reds?’ See Magocsi: ‘Galicia: a historical survey and bibliographic guide’ page 175. 🙂

    • Misha says:

      You aren’t able to relay it over?

      So, there’s no misunderstanding, the issue is Galician Ukrainians during the Russian Civil war period.

      Besises Subtelny: Kenez, Lehovich and if I’m not mistaken Brinkley and Luckett confirm my views.

      On such a geopolitical issue, Magocsi doesn’t appear more well versed. I’m interested in knowing what he actually says.

      I’m aware that after the Russian Civil War period, Konovalets is said (by Andrew Wilson) to have visited the USSR for the purpose of feeling out the Ukrainian situation in that country and that the 1939 Soviet move in western Ukraine wasn’t badly received in the initial phase.

    • Misha says:


      With the Whites in decline, the Galician Ukrainians (at least some of them) went over to the Reds as opposed to siding with Petliura, who in return for Pilsudski’s support agreed that all of Galicia should be Polish. BTW, a number of Whites decided to remain in the former Russian Empire/USSR.

      Would like to see more on this matter. The author omits that some Galician Ukrainians openly considered the idea (a hypothetical one in circumstance) of a union with Russia.

      • Misha says:

        Geopolitically, the going over from White to Red nevertheless meant being affiliated with folks who supported some form of Russo-Ukrainian togetherness.

        BTW, I’ve come across several sources saying that Konovalets regretted going against Skoropadsky in favor of Petliura. Two leading supporters of Petliura were to go over to the Soviet side (Hrushevsky and Vynnychenko), only to eventually fall on bad terms with that choice.

  13. Kozakov says:

    As there are really no active political parties in Ukraine that emulate either Konovalets, Petliura or Skoropadsky, why do you continually bring these historic figures up in any discussion of contemporary Ukraine? I realize that they are all important figures in their own right that had an impact on Ukrainian political thought, especially of their own day, but their real relevance today? The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians are not living in the same time warp that you inhabit, Mr. Averko, an era that ended close to a century ago.

    • Misha says:

      Time warp applies to the subject D took up at his blog, as well as your follow-up comments here.

      You two aren’t the only ones doing such. In contrast, I give follow-up insight to what has been presented.

      My approach to history is to try to be as accurate as possible. On the other hand, you’ve made some (put mildly) questionable claims. One example is your characterization of a 1550s Cossack situation discussed at another thread at this blog.

      How terrible to second-guess such manner.

  14. Kozakov says:

    Your ‘follow-up insights’ always leaves me in a ‘second-guessing manner’…:-)

  15. Misha says:

    Unlike myself, I realize that some others aren’t as able to better separate their personal preferences with reality.

  16. Kozakov says:

    Mike – I applaud your shrink, for the progress that he’s been able to promote in your uncanny abilities to separate your ‘personal preferences from reality’. I can see that you still have a long way to go however… keep it up! 🙂

  17. Misha says:

    You’ve an uncanny way of transferring your shortcomings unto others where it’s not applicable.

    Some prior instances:

    Kozakov says:
    June 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm
    Don’t you get it? The battle of Konotop was squarely directed towards the unwanted hand of Muscovy in Ukraine only 5 years after Khmelnisky’s pact. Ukraine spent another 100 + years seesawing back and forth between Muscovy, Poland, Moldavia and Turkey looking for the most advantageous terms for itself. The Cossack leaders didn’t parade around Ukraine with an eternal hard on for Moscow, as you seem to indicate and have develped yourself!

    Misha says:
    June 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm
    Don’t you get it? That battle is over-dramatized relative to 1654 and what happened to Mazepa later on.
    Where was the Ukrainian opposition to Russia in the Napoleonic and Russo-Japanese wars?
    Why is Gogol honored in Russia and Ukraine?
    Poland, Turkey and Moldova don’t feel related to the Rus period.

    Misha says:
    June 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm
    Tack on the previously mentioned (at this thread) Crimean War as well.

    Misha says:
    June 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm
    Pardon the oversight in not adressing a point mentioned about what Vygovski did a few years after the 1654 coming together.
    Philip Longworth describes him as a Cossack, with a disdain for the lower classes, who became pro-Polish, while using Tatar and German mercenaries in an attempt to crush a popular revolt against him.


    The Cossacks

    Philip Longworth

    Kozakov says:
    June 11, 2011 at 4:15 am
    I suppose if Vyhovsky had developed a disdain for the upper classes and had become pro-Russian and had used husar and Circassian mercenaries he wold have been esteemed as a ‘real heroe’ in your book? Your search for heroe worship transcends modern sensibilities. You must be in line for a Russian double eagle yourself, for all of your very loyal pro-Russian propaganda?

    Misha says:
    June 11, 2011 at 5:01 am
    Appears more accurate than your anti-Russian/Ukrainian nationalist propaganda.
    Some of the Cossacks of that era fought among themselves and used others to gain an upper hand within their grouping.


    Kozakov says:
    June 14, 2011 at 4:26 am
    Things is what they is Averko! I see you find my often critical views of your nonsense as some form of ‘disrepect’. Not suprprising from one who is used to toeing the party line. Get real man, you live in the west, more specifically the USA.

    Misha says:
    June 14, 2011 at 7:56 am
    If I’m not mistaken, you live in the US. Redirecting your suggested logic (not mine) back at you: if you love Ukraine so much, then go live there.

    In the US and the world over, it’s not uncommon for people to show an interest in a foreign country. This sentiment can include open disagreement with some official American policies. Recall how some Americans of Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian origin didn’t like Bush I’s “Chicken Kiev” (sic) address against what he termed as suicidal nationalism.

    Russia and the US have a track record of good relations. During the American Revolution, Russia didn’t openly side with Britain. George III’s request for Cossacks was denied. Whereas France and Britain leaned towards the Confederacy during the American Civil War, Russia made clear its preference for the Union.

    The US and Russia were allies during two world wars – the latter war when Russia was part of the USSR.

    Geopolitically, the “West” is often way too broad a term. Russia joined Britain, Prussia and Austria in defeating Napoleon. BTW, the ancestors of today’s Ukrainians exhibited considerable loyalty to Russia in that war and others.

    For all the right reasons, I oppose the bigoted nonsense of the anti-Russian/Ukrainian nationalist dominated Captive Nations Committee, while having pleasant experiences with Ukrainians who don’t share your misguided views.

    Overall, I regret a good deal of what happened during the Soviet period. The pre-Soviet and and present situations have involved unfortunate instances as well. My approach is to have a constructively objective understanding of the past.

    At this thread you’ve made a series of questionable (put mildly) comments on a number of issues. Facts and fact based opinions countered what you said. Instead of coming up with substantive counter-replies, you resort to off topic chatter.

  18. Kozakov says:

    Mike – My ‘shortcomings’ are only your own unwarranted ‘victories’ where you’ve ‘thoroughly demolished’ my observations (not!). I’m glad that you feel good about your ‘thoroughly victorious’
    replies…but you may want to have your shrink review them too! 🙂

  19. Misha says:

    Your points were successfully rebuked with reference to a very credible and neutral source in Longworth, as well as reason on the faulty suggestion that’s in America’s interests to side with nationalist anti-Russians.

    Like I said, I’ll try to follow-up on the not so detailed claims of Magosci on the Galician Ukrainians joinging the Reds. I seek to establish how great that figure was.

    As to what I said about them, this link is in agreement with Subtelny, Brinkley and Lehovich:


    Your Magosci source doesn’t mention why the Galiacian Ukrainian went over to the Whites (Petliura willing to sell them out to the Poles) and his comment on the Galician Ukrainian government doesn’t note any condemnation of their act.

    Feel free to divert with off topic personal banter.

  20. Kozakov says:

    Mike – Your inability to transcend the revolutionary Ukrainian war period is funny. I’ve already
    mentioned earlier that ‘ As there are really no active political parties in Ukraine that emulate either Konovalets, Petliura or Skoropadsky, why do you continually bring these historic figures up in any discussion of contemporary Ukraine?’ And I should add Russia too. I admit that it’s a little difficult at times to follow Mark’s ‘thesis’ :-), but in this case I think it’s somewhat about Navalny, Loginov or perhaps Prokhorov? So why in the world are you trying to engage me in some extremely esoteric conversation about the exact number of Galicians that went over to the bolsheviks? Is it true, that outside of your very demanding schedule as an ‘Independent Foreign Policy Analyst’ you really do not have a life?? 🙂

  21. Kozakov says:

    My ‘trolling’ seems a little closer to the subject at hand, than your ‘blog drift’…I don’t see how
    any comments made referencing the Demiocratist, would prompt you to expound on how the Galicians in 1919-1921 first joined up with the Whites, and then with the Reds?? But then again,
    has anybody been able to follow the clever machinations of a ‘foreign policy analyst’ of the stature of Mike Averko?? An ‘independent’ one at that! 🙂

    • Misha says:

      Dimwitted types like …. will have a tougher time in contrast to more erudite others.

      On the matter of a convoluted reference that relates to the past:

      Kozakov says:
      June 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm
      ‘potentially beneficial option’?? Are you kidding? 5 centuries of Russian domination over Ukraine has left plenty of concrete examples of the benefits of colonialism. It’s time for this ‘beneficial relationship’ to be reassessed.


      What originally thought out views have you proposed on former Communist bloc issues? What panels have you appeared on? What academic references have been made to your commentary?

      Based on what you’re thread contributions, you lack a good deal between the ears.

      Your Magosci link is indicative of an incomplete and questionable historical accounting:

      This link is more acurate than the fuzzy history you provided:


      No mention of why Galician Ukes went over to the Whites, having to do with Petliura’s betrayal (selling out all of Galicia to Poland for Polish support, needed to prop Petliura’s weak position). Note Magosci’s spin on the Galician Ukrainian army not having the consent of the Galician Uke government. They didn’t oppose the move either, with some of them not against union with Russia.

      There’s numerous accounting of western Ukrainian commander Konovalets later recanted going against Skoropadsky. On top of that, following Petliura’s defeat, two of his prominent allies (Vinnichenko and Hruschevsky) went to the Soviet side.

      Without substantiation, Magosci says the Galician Ukrainian army then went over to the Reds. I wonder about what the extent of that actually was? First time I heard of this. He doesn’t give any reference to check.

  22. Kozakov says:

    ”Without substantiation, Magosci says the Galician Ukrainian army then went over to the Reds. I wonder about what the extent of that actually was? First time I heard of this. He doesn’t give any reference to check.’ Perhaps the next time that you’re requested to take part in a panel that Magocsi is present at too, you can ask him to elaborate? Then, I’d suggest for you to write an article about this pressing problem, and include it within your blog, alongside the other never read articles, like your recent one about Skoropadsky. By the way, I’m sure that the world is waiting for you to take off the kid gloves, stop wasting your time writing commentaries to other people’s blogs, and finally write a book (every real ‘Independent Foreign Policy Analyst’ has at least one!) . You could finally weave together all of your incoherent ideas into one grand masterpiece, something along the lines of ‘Russia-Ukraine, Eternal Union, Eternal Bliss’.

  23. Misha says:

    Second submission as the first didn’t go thru.

    Under “Pavlo Skoropdasky” that article is within the ten lead Google search results.

    Your feeble replies take the form of snide diatribes that divert away from academically addressing the raw issues.

    Based on your performance at this and some other threads, it’s clear that you aren’t one to be considered for any kind of academic referencing.

    In contrast (seeing how your bring up such matter):

    Footnote number 44 on page 12 of this white paper on Ukraine


    Another such referencing on page 6 of this paper:


    Another article referenced on page 6 of this paper:


    and page 6 of this one:


    Other activity includes making available online the anti-Russian Washington Times letter of the early 1980s, wriiten by Viktor Yushchenko’s present wife, when she headed the Captive Nations Committee and Pavlo Skoropadsky’s 1918 edict for an “All-Russian Federation”. These endeavors include follow-up commentary.

    The effort to seek other thoughts is further evidenced by my settlement proposals for the disputed former Communist bloc territories.

    Additional interests include sports:





    There’re also well received BBC and and World Russia Forum appearances.

    So much for your hypocritical and not so bright trolling, which includes a more carte blance approach to Democratist.

  24. Kozakov says:

    ‘Your feeble replies take the form of snide diatribes that divert away from academically addressing the raw issues.’

    Mickey, my feeble replies are directed towards a feeble minded ‘academic’. If, I’m in the need of real, authentic academic knowldege, I would pursue it through books or articles written by real academics, published in scholorly journals. Not from a bona fide megalomaniac like you, who
    posits himself to the world as a self professed ‘Independent Foreign Policy Analyst’ and now, it seems as a ‘scholar’ too. I hate to be the one to break the news to you Mike, but in reality al that you really seem to be is a ‘proessional bloggee’, nothing more, nothing less! (I may be the same, but at least I have no pretensions of being anything else, like you do!) 🙂

    • Misha says:

      You aren’t competent to make such a judgment. I can academically point out where Magosci isn’t complete. I provided the details. In turn, your MO is to hurl out insults, away from the topic, which isn’t academic. Hence, you don’t come close to matching what I do.

      Eurasian Home, Global Research, among some other venues include academically written material.

      So much for your idiotic trolling.

  25. Misha says:

    BTW, self professed idiocy includes passing negative judgment of others based on insults, minus a substantive rebuke of what the targetted individual has said on the subject.

    Individuals and orgs more well established and intelligent than yourself have described me in a certain way that you’ve problems with. Too bad.

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