Kherson Oblast: The Ice Is Starting To Crack?

Freedom-loving people like to believe, that in the history of every tyranny there comes a time when, in the words of Ostap Bender (not to be confused with Stepan Bandera), “the ice starts to crack”; when people are not afraid any more.  Dissent, Resistance, and Liberty break out all over.  People inside are just yearning to be free of the tyrant, and just waiting for the right spark to rise up.

 

I’m not sure these memes are even valid.  Nazi Germany, for example, was not brought down by internal factors:  There was no dissent.  No dissent was possible, and the Hitler regime enjoyed almost 100% support among the population, as far as one could tell.  The system was brought down by external forces:    Mostly these big nasty things called tanks and Red Army soldiers.

On the other hand, Ukraine is not Germany, and there is some cause for hope that ordinary Ukrainians are getting sick and tired of the excesses of neo-Nazi militias.  Today, for example, I saw this piece ,  it is a 3-minute TV news package from the Ukrainian channel “Ukrainia”, repackaged with commentary by Russian InoTV channel.  Here is my summary/paraphrase of the content:

 

People in Kherson Oblast Are Starting to Create Self-Defense Militias Against the “Blockaders of Crimea”

 

As the TV channel “Ukraina” reports (correspondent Angela Slobodjan):

Sometimes the people need to arm themselves.

Residents of the town of Kalanchak (Kherson Oblast, Ukraine — it’s to the SouthWest of Odessa, almost near the Romanian border) are forming “peoples militias”.  This is their spontaneous attempt to defend themselves against the “Crimea Blockaders”, especially the neo-Nazi “Aidar” Battalion.  The residents say that the Blockaders are running wild:  shooting, robbing, beating people, not only with full impunity, but with the full cooperation of the police!  In response, the local residents promise to deal with this lawlessness using “partisan methods”.

The residents of Kalanchak met in a “veche”, an ancient Russian form of council meeting.

The result was to form a “narodnaya druzhina”, a people’s militia.  Also an ancient Russian thing.  In American terms, this would be like a “neighborhood watch”, only armed with guns.  Or axes.  Or whatever the current technology be.

Sound Bites from Local Residents

:20 seconds in:

Valentina Plotnikova (owner of a cafe):  “They threatened to kill me.  To be honest with you, I said goobye to my life at that point.”

Valentina shows the results of a visit paid to her cafe by armed people wearing camouflage.  The hidden surveillance camera in her cafe recorded the fight.  Valentina uploaded the tape to the internet, and that’s when the threats against her began.

Valentina:  “My husband was hurt.  They broke his jaw.  Then they came at me (in a car).  They blocked the road, I took a photo of their license plate, in case I needed evidence.  They took out automatic weapons and chased me into the local police station.”

Correspondent:  “Did the police help you?”

Valentina:  “They did.  There were female officers who hid me in one of the offices.  The men were too afraid to help me.”

:58 seconds:

Local residents assert that the “Crimea Blockade” activists have the entire town in the grip of fear.  Allegedly they (the activists) control all the roads by day, and at night they break into people’s houses, and drink and carouse in the local bars.

1:10 minutes in:

Loris Kushnir (a doctor at the Kalanchak City Hospital):  “It’s the patriotic club Aidar.  They are the ones who are wandering about and doing all of this.  They don’t have any shame, even in broad daylight they walk around with weapons and engage in disorderly conduct.  One young man was shot in the stomach, he had a bullet in his stomach, we had to operate on him, he was just a kid, an orphan.  I don’t know what to say – they’re just animals, that’s all I have to say about them.”

The police claim that they have the situation under control.  They know who the guilty parties are who attacked the locals.  It’s just that they are not able to detain them.

1:37 minutes:

Andrei Tretiak (Chief of Police):  “They call themselves veterans of Aidar Battalion.  They have no documents, carry no ID confirming that they belong to some kind of military unit or battalion.  We just have their word for that.  But in order to detain a person and deprive him of his liberty, we need serious proof.”

1:58 minutes:

The residents of Kalanchak complain that they have been abandoned and left to deal with this problem by themselves.

2:00 minutes:

A Man:  “We are going to create partisan units.  We’ll catch them ourselves, and we’ll shake them up so much, that their feathers will fly off.  That’s what we need to do.”

2:10 minutes:

At the veche, almost a hundred villagers have already enrolled in the ranks of Self-Defense Militia.  The veche also passed a resolution appealing to the President (=Poroshenko), with a demand that he stop the outrageous activities of the Crimea Blockade activists.

2:20 minutes:

Correspondent (Angela Slobodjan):  “Armed with the decision of the veche, the local residents approached the activists and demanded that they punish the guilty.”

But the Blockade activists demand more proof.

2:29 minutes:

Dilyaver Seitumerov (Blockade Coordinator for the towns of Kalanchak and Chaplinka): “If it turns out that he is guilty, then we’ll hand him over to the police, and he can give his testimony.  Nobody can escape justice, if he has done something wrong.  But I don’t believe in empty words, or rumors.  Only facts.  And the facts must be presented by the criminal investigation units.”

Crimea Blockade activists at the town of Chonhar

2:46 minutes:

The local government is well acquainted with the situation on the border with the annexed peninsula (=Crimea).  The Deputies of the Kherson Oblast Soviet are demanding that the police and SBU get involved in the case.

“From Kherson Oblast, this is Angela Slobodjan reporting.  Along with Oleg Slobodjan, Channel Ukraina News.  27 December 2015.”

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21 Responses to Kherson Oblast: The Ice Is Starting To Crack?

  1. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    This is bound to be at Poroshenko’s instigation – those bovines wouldn’t so much as clear their throats without a by-your-leave from somebody with an official seal and a Swiss bank account.

    Like

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Well, how does an utterly reviled President stay in power? He makes sure that none of his enemies hate him more than they hate each other.

        The alternative explanation is the Ukrainians have finally found the fortitude to stand up to tyranny, and if that is so, the next Winter Olympics will be hosted in Hell.

        Like

  2. Jen says:

    There was some dissent in Nazi Germany to the extent that in 1943 alone there were several attempts by various people to assassinate Hitler. What’s remarkable about these assassination attempts is that many of them were carried out by people of aristocratic birth, to judge from their surnames (beginning with “von”).

    One significant difference between Nazi Germany and Ukraine is that Nazi Germany was subjected to constant attacks from the Allies, like the aerial bombings on civilians that amounted to war crimes in themselves, and these attacks would have had the effect of rallying the public around Hitler’s government. Recall that Iraqis behaved in a similar way when Iraq was subjected to economic sanctions during the 1990s: they rallied around Saddam Hussein. By contrast, Ukraine has not been under invasion from Russia so Ukrainians have been able to see how inept their government has been without being able to blame Russia for anything (except for not invading when it should have). With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that was a brilliant ploy by Russia not to invade but to sit patiently and watch Ukraine destroy itself.

    Doubtless there are other possible explanations as to why people in Nazi Germany didn’t rebel: Hitler did do some good for the country in the 1930s by undertaking large-scale public infrastructure works that mobilised unemployed people, and the Germans remembered that; his government studied American PR methods to use in disseminating propaganda effectively; and by deporting all undesirable people to death camps located in the most remote rural parts of Poland, Hitler ensured the German public would not be able to find out what was being done in these camps and protest against the mass killings.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Yeah, Hitler and the Nazi government were fairly competent in a lot of ways, they rebuilt the economy, ended unemployment, etc. I guess Hitler’s biggest mistake was to invade Russia – he just couldn’t leave well enough alone. And it was certainly not true that the Germans needed “Lebensraum”, they had more than enough productive land for their population. The main reason for invading Russia was probably just an irrational urge to kill all the Russians and Jews. There wasn’t really any rational reason for it. A “rational” Hitler would have continued the Russo-German alliance against France/England.

      Also, the later plots to assassinate Hitler were mainly, I think, because he was losing the war. Not because the elite assassins were really opposed to Nazi policies. They just thought Hitler was a madman who might lose the war for them. Which he did.

      The only real dissidents that I know of, aside from Communists, Socialists and Jews, were a group of German students who formed an underground cell. They were called The White Rose Resistance Group. There were only a handful of them. They were all arrested and executed in 1943.
      Aside from them, everybody else was pretty much okay with the regime!
      Despite what they later claimed to Allied soldiers attempting to de-Nazify them. (“Oh no, we were all in the Resistance!” – uh huh!)

      Like

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        http://www.white-rose-studies.org/The_Leaflets.html

        Take note of what even these not very well connected student hippie types knew. ‘Are you not ashamed?’ they ask. No, the German people were not ashamed. They were proud of their murderers, looters and rapists. They thirsted for genocide, and wallowed in luxury while the rest of Europe was pillaged and starved so that Gretchen could stay fat.

        Germans knew and shared Hitler’s goals, and they’re only sorry they lost.

        I continue to be amazed at the suicidal idiocy of Russians who want closer cooperation with these hellspawn. Let the American occupation continue until the last judgment – Germany is a wellspring of evil and Uncle Sam never did a better service to mankind than blocking it with his big fat arse.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Well, I don’t think most modern Germans think of themselves as Nazis, or approve of what their forefathers did. Most modern Germans are pretty cool people, as far as I know.

          Plus, the Americans are no saints. They may have helped to defeat the Nazi menace, but very quickly they flipped and started helping the Nazis and their collaborators. And within just a few years took over Hitler’s geo-political role, of being the “bulwark against Bolshevism”.

          Like

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            No indeed, most Germans consider themselves either good liberals, proper Christians, devout Greens or savvy Free Democrats (in the case of my Bavarian cousin who didn’t think the Holocaust happened and presumably still doesn’t).

            But where Der Iwan is concerned, their drippy, self-flagellating anti-racism goes up the chimney and it’s not einigkeit und recht und freiheit but AUSROTTEN AUSROTTEN AUSROTTEN MARSCHIERT IM FEINDESLAND!

            No doubt this is not immediately obvious – one doesn’t usually find out Germans are really like unless one has a German extended family. But the signs are there, if you know where to look. Germans grovel before Israel and open their wallets for anybody in a yarmulke because Washington demands it, but where Greece or Serbia or Russia is concerned? Well the Greeks are a shiftless lot, they’ve had it too easy for long, mein herr. Serbia? Bloodthirsty savages, as bad the Nazis themselves. The Russians? Well they raped all those poor, defenceless women and they were probably planning to attack us anyway.

            They don’t feel guilt – they never have, but they’re well aware that Iwans, Tommies and Amis do, and that’s why we are forever assailed with weepy complaints about bombed cities (Belgrade? Minsk? Never heard of them mein herr!) and the besmirched honour of Prussian ladies and all that. The one thing they really seem to believe is that the rest of the human race must behave with perfect chivalry to the German people, whatever the German people might have done. Germans are free to level cities and massacre whole populations by gunfire, gas and hunger, but if Germany loses the victors must not entertain any question of reparation or collective punishment! Oh no, the German people must be spared any kind of suffering, their surviving soldiers must be allowed to go back to their undamaged homes and back to work in their undamaged factories, so that Germany stays pristine and prepared for her next savage onslaught against the peoples of the East (helpfully been depleted to the tune of a few tens of millions thanks to the last German occupation). This must be allowed to continue until Germany extends from the Atlantic to the Urals, and the Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Balts and Tatars have gone the way of the old Prussians, and the Wolga is as German as the Rhine. Progress, mein herr, was kann man tun?

            Uncle Sam broke this cycle just as it was beginning – their puppet Bundesrepublik did more damage to German military power than the Red Army could have done with a hundred Stalingrads. The damned Soviets cobbled together a repainted rehash of the Wehrmacht in their zone, and there was a terrible danger in 1990 that it might serve as the nucleus of a new German war machine – but Bog was kind, and the NVA was disbanded, her officer corps cast into retirement and unemployment lest their Red Prussian mettle put the Bundeswehr jackanapes to shame.

            Are they all like this? Of course not, and that’s where the trouble comes from. We see folk like Sophie Scholl and Sara Wagenknecht, and we think that there is another Germany we can reach. There is not – the likes of Scholl and Wagenknecht are decent people, but Germany has no use for decency. They are voices crying in the wilderness, and the only good they will ever accomplish is to be martyred when Germany finally grows fed up with tolerating them.

            Like

            • Cortes says:

              A relative took part in the cleanup of mine fields around Stanley following ceasefire in The Falklands/Malvinas. The locals were a simple bunch used to sheep raising and a little fishing and had a lifestyle familiar to UK people of the 1890s. Military personnel referred to them as “The Bennies”. The original Benny was a semi retarded character in a then popular afternoon TV soap “Crossroads ” which the islanders received about three months after UK transmission. The locals were outraged when they became aware of their nickname and petitioned the CO for action to be taken. Prohibition was duly declared, but squaddies started using the term “Stills” as in ” they’re still fucking Bennies”.

              Same applies to Germans.

              Like

            • 3oka says:

              They just cannot put their right arm down no matter what.
              Poor Serbs have seen and experienced that three time in last century, last time in the last decade of the XX century.

              Like

            • The Last Fenian says:

              I’m a little late to the feast, so to speak, but whatever: I’m an Irishman who has lived in Germany for 16 years, and I have just one thing to say: Pavlo Svolochenko is absolutely right. It takes time to learn what he and I have learned, but once learned, it seems so obvious…

              Like

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              Sad when one comes to the realisation, isn’t it?

              Like

      • Jen says:

        If the reason to invade Russia was an irrational urge to eliminate Untermenschen, why would so many people from all sections of society in Germany have supported it? I submit that there were pragmatic and strategic reasons, not the least of which was access to the Caspian Sea and the Middle East for their oil. Hitler would not have invaded the USSR unless he and his government saw the opportunity to hit several birds with one stone.

        Some of the worst fighting (if not the absolute worst) between the Soviets and the Germans was in south-eastern European Russia: think Stalingrad (Volgograd) which is in a very convenient spot halfway between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and also located on the Volga River, up which the German army could have sailed as far as Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod) and been able to sneak up on Moscow from the east. The most bitter fighting was in Stalingrad and the Soviet victory was a true turning point in the war, because it meant that the Germans and their allies would never be able to advance to the Caspian Sea and beyond.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Yes, of course, you and Lyttenburgh make a very good point, that a lot of the German war against the Soviet Union was about conquering strategic ports, routes, and oil fields.
          For the German people, this probably made total sense: If you want or need something, then just take it by force.

          I think my point was that the Germans could have gotten the oil that they needed from the Soviet Union by simply asking for it; i.e., trading for it. But maybe that thought didn’t occur to the Germans.

          So, I think we all agree that the Nazi attack against the Soviet Union had geo-strategic causes and aims. In the course of the war, however, a lot of resources were “irrationally” diverted from the “legitimate” war effort and the “rational” goals to the “other” task, of, e.g., killing Jewish civilians. Holocaust historians have documented how trains were diverted, etc.
          I am guessing that the bulk of the German elite and ordinary Germans supported the Nazi war machine when the goal was to seize other people’s property and resources, like oil. Ordinary people may not have been quite as indulgent if they knew that their soldiers and military resources were used for a secondary and completely unnecessary project of ethnic extermination. On the other hand, it might not have bothered them that much either, provided in the end they won the war. Which they didn’t.

          Like

          • Jen says:

            Well, from a Nazi German point of view, diverting resources away from the war effort to enslave, torture and kill millions of people in concentration camps was not necessarily irrational, if two of the aims of the war against the Soviet Union were to defeat and eliminate Communism, and to wipe out the people who were held collectively responsible for originating, developing and spreading Communism, and those people being the Jews. Asking the Soviets for oil and being willing to trade for it would have been the irrational alternative: one doesn’t stoop to the level of Untermenschen. The alliances that Nazi Germany signed with the Soviets – in particular, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – were just a way of buying time: the Nazis needed to tie down the French and the British on their western side, and ensure manpower and supplies from central and southeastern Europe (this is why they crushed Greece and looted the country) before leading a multinational military into the USSR.

            How deeply brainwashed German people were at the time against the Jews and others, and how much they knew of the atrocities that the Nazis and their collaborators committed, I don’t think we can fully know. We forget that Nazi Germany was a paranoid psychopathic police state in which to question the government or express a contrary opinion, even if mild, could get not just the perpetrator but that person’s family into trouble. How much notice people took of Nazi German propaganda might be difficult to measure because resistance against propaganda can take very passive forms that are not easily distinguishable from robotic obedience and conformity. Examples of passive resistance might have included working to rule (that is, doing enough work to meet minimum quotas but not doing any more), attending compulsory rallies and meetings but not offering any ideas or help, and just withdrawing from Nazi German society as much as possible: in effect, doing what many people in the US and other Western countries are already doing, as a way of protest against their governments.

            Like

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “The alliances that Nazi Germany signed with the Soviets – in particular, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact”

              Once again – it was NOT an alliance. It was a treaty of “Non-agression and friendship”. And before the war Germany signed such treaties with vitrually all of its neghbours – including France and Poland. When Poland got itself a tasty bit of partitioned Czechoslovakia (and held a joint military parade with the Germans a day after the “Kristalnacht”) did it became Germany’s ally?

              In the West some people like to claim that “Stalin and Hitler were allies”. That’s not true. There were no international or binding treaties that proclaimed Soviet-German alliance – at all. When the USSR entered Polish territory on Sept 17 (a few days Polish government ran away) did France and Britain declare war on the Soviet Union as well? Or when Hitler on his “shopping spree” in 1939-40, did the SU participated in joint invasions and war against all those countries? No – but, for example, Italy did take part in invasion of France – and was uncharacteristically successful.

              Like

            • yalensis says:

              Totally agree.

              Dishonest Western historians and “philosophers” have always used the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty (which was a completely normal and humdrum event) as a propaganda meme in their quest to draw a bogus equivalency between Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. As in the “convergence of two totalitarian systems”, etc. ad nauseam.
              This is simply more dishonest B.S. from the people who developed the bogus theory of “totalitarianism” as a way of excusing Baltic and East European ethnic groups (for example, Ukrainians) for their collaboration and actual alliance with Nazi Germany.
              A prime example of such bogus thinkers is, e.g., Czesław Miłosz, but alas, he is only one among many.
              To this day, people keep repeating this ancient bullshit as if it is god’s truth.

              Like

  3. Lyttenburgh says:

    “A “rational” Hitler would have continued the Russo-German alliance against France/England.”

    yalensis, there were NO Russo-German alliance. Period.

    And Hitler needed absolutely secure (and ideally – free) sources of gasoline/petroleum for his army. By 1940 due to various embragoes the Third Reich got only 56 200 000 barrels (159 litres per barrel) of oil per year. A number clearly insufficient for the “well-oiled” Wermacht, which (the number of barrels) was also decreasing yearly from 1940 onward.

    The irony of Hitler’s “auto-bahns”, these big super-duper highways criss-crossing Germany just for the sake of employing thousands of people – they were largely unused afterwards. People still couldn’t afford to buy lots of cars and there was no gasoline for “civillians” to feed their oil-hogs (8 litres per 100 kms), products of the “twillight German genius”(tm) of Stadt des KdF-Wagens (Kraft durch Freude-Wagens) bei Fallersleben. Germany spent 8 blns of Reich-marks on these highways. That’s about… 32 blns Euros. Yeah… So much “ordnung”.

    As a “light holiday’s reading” I’m currently reading diaries of knyazhna Mariya Illarionovna Vasilchkova, Russian nobel-woman whose family ran away from the Revolution into Lithuania, and which had to ran again in 1940 but this time – to Nazi Germany. She got herself a rather cushy job in Reichs Ministry of the Foreign affairs and her diaries from 1940 to 1945 present some rather interesing reading “from the other side”. For it it the equivalent of participating in the real, not phony, autopsy of the alien – digusting, unbelievable but really breathtaking.

    Being an outsider (albeit – a privileged one) princess Mariya provides rather scathing narrative descibing the day-to-day life of the “civilians” suffering both from the war (yeah…) and the much hyped German ORDNUNG which, in theory, should have helped the people and insure the vitory of the “1000-years Reich”.

    Instead in 1940 Germany had to ration toilet paper (entry at April 28, 1940). For months ordinary workers of the ministries were stealing “state-issue” TP for their needs, and NO ONE in the higher ups was capable enough to explain such “disappearances”. Only later a special comission managed to determine that no, that was not some epidemic of diarrhea, and ordered to ration TP even for Ministerial workers. Oh, and hot water was also rationed. In the “victorious” 1940.

    [Diaries are awalible to read online on militera.lib.ru]

    As for the subject at hand – IMHO – Ukraine suffers from the exact opposite – the lack of any order. I respectfully disagree with Pavlo here – I think that we have just a text-book example of “Makhnovchina” and “atamanshina” and refer all interested to re-watch Soviet cult-classic “Svad’ba v Malinovke”. I think that Kiev can’t control these gangs of Right Sektor “activists”, Crimtatar “patriots” and the brain dead “vets of ATO” from various NatzGuard battalions. They can’t and they don’t want to control them. But they are surely always ready to capitalize on clear “peremogas”, like when – suddenly! – Kievan government decided to proclaim Crimean “blockade” as state sanctioned.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Dear Lyttenburgh:

      By “Russo-German” alliance, I should have specified the agreements and treaties (some of them very secret) which existed between the early Bolshevik government and the outcast German state, prior to the ascendancy of Hitler.

      Seems like I spend about half my time on the blogosphere defending Lenin’s “tilt” towards Germany during WWI, and why that was a rational policy and not treason (pace Solzhenitsyn). Tsar Nicky made a HUGE mistake, IMHO, when he threw in his lot with his blood kin, the English, instead of a more rational alliance with Germany, which could have benefited Russia. Of course, there were a lot of other factors, like Serbs, etc. And all of this is of course armchair quarterbacking after the fact.

      Anyhow, after the war, the two “outcast” (from POV of the Western victor alliance) nations, Russia and Germany, helped each other quite a lot, and it would have been beneficial for both to continue that “friendship”, I think. Except then Hitler came along, and it became impossible, due to his rabid hatred of Bolshevism and his relentless preparations for war.

      But it always seemed to me that, even today, a German “tilt” is a logical foreign policy for Russia to have, most of the time. It’s just a geo-political reality. Mostly to counter England/America. Is Schroder the one I am thinking of, who had very good relations with Putin, before Merkel came to power?

      Aside from that point, – yeah! I actually have a hard-cover copy of the Vasilchikova diary sitting on my bookshelf, but never got around to reading it. But maybe I will this time!
      Yeah, maybe she will debunk some of my perceptions regarding the “orderly and efficient” Nazis.

      Like

  4. Cortes says:

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/65458.Defying_Hitler

    Haffner does some special pleading but I thought the book has merit.

    Like

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