Flashpoints

The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction Symposium

HCToday on Flashpoints: We proudly bring you highlights from a symposium that was held at The New York Academy of Medicine on Feb 28- March 1, 2015, put together by author and anti-nuclear activist, Dr. Helen Caldicott. I’m Miguel Gavilan Molina, all this straight ahead on Flashpoints

 

  • Steve Goldfield

    I’m listening to a totally ahistorical and factually incorrect presentation about Ukraine on Flashpoints. It’s very embarrassing to hear such nonsense on KPFA. The only thing accurate in this presentation is that the US government wants to meddle in Ukraine. The rest is totally wrong. First, the people who went into the streets did not go there because Yanukovich did not sign with Europe. They were fed up with a society riddled with corruption. They had overwhelming support, east and west. There was no significant east/west split in Ukraine. To some extent, there is a young/old split, but that’s a different question. Russian speakers were fully involved in the protests in Kiev and other cities. Ukrainians in the eastern provinces had been polled before the uprising, and only 20 percent of them identified with Russia as compared to 10 percent in Ukraine as a whole. Only Crimea had more, and it was about 50 percent who were pro-Russian. The speaker made no mention of the 1990s treaty, signed by Russia, Ukraine, the US, and the UK, which guaranteed Ukraine’s territorial integrity if Ukraine sent all of its nuclear weapons to Russia, which was done. The Russian naval base in Sevastopol was never threatened. After he took Crimea, Putin sent heavily armed Russian troops in and out of uniform into eastern Ukraine. There is no doubt that the Malaysian plane, for example, was shot down by Russian missiles. The biggest flaw of what I call this left chauvinist analysis is to totally ignore what the Ukrainian people want. They have made it obvious that they want a united and independent Ukraine free of corruption with a functioning economy that provides jobs. They do not want to be dominated by Russia, the US, or Europe. Putin did not invade Ukraine because he felt threatened militarily. He invaded because he was threatened politically. If Ukraine had succeeded in building a working economy and political system, that would have been a threat to Putin’s Russia. No way would Putin let that happen. I recommend that you get a speaker who knows something about Ukraine such as Paul Magocsi, who is a professor of Ukrainian history in Toronto. I also recommend that people read the diaries of Ukrainian novelist (born in Russia) Andrey Kurkov to see what was really happening in Ukraine. Kurkov lives a few hundred meters from Maidan (Independence Square) and was traveling around the country during the events of 2013 and 2014 when he wrote his diaries. I have been to Ukraine, studied its history, and talked with Ukrainian friends while these events have been occurring. No Ukrainian would agree with what I just heard on Flashpoints as an accurate description of what happened in Ukraine.

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