World View: Russian Troops in Ukraine Raise Fear of 'Abkhazia Scenario'
- Russian troops in Ukraine raise fear of 'Abkhazia scenario'
- Ukraine's president invokes the 1994 'Budapest Memorandum'
- Burma accuses Doctors without Borders of bias towards Rohingyas
Russian troops in Ukraine raise fear of 'Abkhazia scenario'
With Russian warplanes and over 2,000 Russian troops now invading
Crimea, Ukraine's acting head of state, Oleksandr Turchynov, said:
They're playing the Abkhazia scenario...
I am personally addressing President Putin to stop the provocation
and call back the military from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,
and work exclusively within the framework of the signed
The "Abkhazia scenario" refers to Russia's 2008 invasion of Georgia,
after which Russia annexed two of Georgia's provinces, Abkhazia and
South Ossetia. Indeed, Russia appears to be following exactly the
same pattern that it followed prior to the Georgia invasion.
President Barack Obama made a totally meaningless televised statement
late Friday afternoon:
However, we are now deeply concerned by reports of
military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of
Ukraine. Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine,
including cultural and economic ties, and a military facility in
Crimea, but any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial
integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the
interest of Ukraine, Russia, or Europe.
It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be
determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violation
of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty
and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws. And just days
after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, it would
invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And indeed,
the United States will stand with the international community in
affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention
It's fair to say that Russia's president Vladimir Putin, who is guilty
of war crimes every day by shipping arms to Syria's president Bashar
al-Assad who's using them for crimes against humanity against his own
people, could not care less that Obama is "deeply concerned" or that
Russia might be committing "a clear violation" of international laws.
Putin may well also believe that he's a better judge than Obama of
what is and is not "deeply destabilizing." However, President Obama
didn't take the opportunity to set any more red lines. Politico
Ukraine's president invokes the 1994 'Budapest Memorandum'
At the same time that Ukraine's acting head of state, Oleksandr
Turchynov, accused Russia of "playing the Abkhazia scenario," he also
alluded to a 1994 treaty:
I also remind that the United States, Russia and
Great Britain are also guarantors of the national security of
Because of Verkhovna Rada's [the parliament's] and my personal
appeal, the United Nations Security Council is having a session
right now. The whole civilized world supports Ukraine.
We demand to stop the provocation, we demand to normalize the
situation. We're sure that Ukraine will preserve its territory,
Ukraine will defend its independence and any attempts of
annexation, intrusion will have very serious
The reason that the United States, Russia, and Great Britain are also
guarantors of the national security of Ukraine is because they all
signed the 1994 "Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances."
This memorandum was signed shortly after the breakup of the Soviet
Union. The breakup left a collection of Soviet nuclear weapons in
Ukraine, and there was international concern about the proliferation
of nuclear weapons. Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove
all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory and send them back
to Russia. In return, Russia and the Western signatory countries
essentially consecrated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
Ukraine as an independent state.
Turchynov's point is that this agreement is now being violated.
Here's a philosophical question: Do treaties and memoranda between
nations ever mean anything? Or are they just political appliances to
be discarded by one side or the other as soon as they become
Burma accuses Doctors without Borders of bias towards Rohingyas
The government of Burma (Myanmar) has ordered the humanitarian agency
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF - Doctors Without Borders) to cease
operations because of bias towards Rohingyas. The context is that in
the last three years, large mobs of Buddhists have massacred entire
neighborhoods of Muslims in various regions of the country,
mutilating, raping, and killing hundreds and displacing thousands from
their homes. ( "3-Oct-13 World View -- Buddhist violence against Muslims in Burma/Myanmar continues to spread")
The massacres originally targeted Muslim Rohingyas in Burma's Rakhine
State in 2012, near the border with Bangladesh. There have been
recurrences, most recently in January, when Buddhists are alleged to
have massacred Rohingyas, killing 48. Burmese authorities have been
denying that there's any problem at all, and they particularly denied
that any massacre occurred in January. However, MSF confirmed that
their medics had treated 22 patients near the site of the alleged
attack, infuriating Burmese officials. This led to the demand that
MSF cease operations, presumably so that further massacres can occur
Since the violence erupted in June 2012, MSF has provided care in
northern Rakhine, home to more than 1 million Rohingya, and they are
also present in more than a dozen camps for the displaced people
elsewhere in the state. For many of the sickest patients, the
organization offers the best and sometimes only care, because
travelling outside the camps for treatment in local Buddhist-run
hospitals can be dangerous and expensive.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, these kinds of ethnic
hatreds often spring up during generational Crisis eras, and they
eventually lead to a massive crisis war.
Nonetheless, some analysts try to find root causes for these genocidal
urges. According to one analyst, Burmese Buddhists have a "siege
mentality" stemming from a scripturally unsupported but widely
believed "prophecy" that Buddhism will disappear 5000 years after the
Buddha’s passing. As 1956 is considered the halfway point, the belief
is that Buddhism is now declining irreversibly.
In addition, the "siege mentality" is further supported among Burmese
Buddhists from being surround by large, populous countries -- China,
India, Bangladesh -- with a combined population of over 2.7 billion,
with a large-scale influx of migrant workers from all of these
countries. So between the disappearance "prophecy" and being
encircled by huge foreign populations, it takes little imagination to
construct a narrative where these three populous countries are
scheming to swallow up the country through demographic pressure.
AP and BBC and RSIS
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Ukraine,
Oleksandr Turchynov, Abkhazia, Georgia,
South Ossetia, Vladimir Putin, Budapest Memorandum,
Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF, Doctors Without Borders,
Burma, Myanmar, Buddhists, Rohingyas, Muslims
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