Tag Archives: Ukraine

Russia to Quit Eurasian Economic Union?

30 May

After Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan inked the Eurasian Economic Union treaty in Astana yesterday, observers have started to question whether the treaty is valid by raising concerns over territorial issues.

Lord Venal told kazaxia that Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in March, widely condemned by the international community, could result in complications for the fledgling economic union.

And then there were two?

“Kazakhstan has insisted that Armenia will be allowed to join this exclusive club only if it does so within its internationally-recognised borders thus excluding the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Lord Venal told kazaxia.

“This decision could have serious implications for Russia as it has illegally-occupied sovereign Ukrainian land. This could mean Crimea being excluded from the Union or even Russia having to leave the bloc,” he continued.

This would leave Belarus and Kazakhstan as the leading lights of Eurasian integration. The possible inclusion of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan would be unlikely to make up for the loss of Russia’s economic clout.

Abkhazia, a largely unrecognised breakaway region of Georgia, has also been mooted as a potential member. Doctor Gött, of the Gött Institute of Serious Thinking (GIST) thought it highly improbable that Abkhazia would be able to join the union.

“It’s not even a real country, is it?” he told kazaxia. “The actual details of the [Eurasian Economic Union] treaty have not been made public but I’m sure there’s no provision for including pretend countries”.

Doctor Gött suggested that if Russia were to be kicked out and these other countries (even pretend ones) were allowed in then KABAK (marrow or courgette) could be a suitable acronym for the grouping.

The Sevastopol Shit Sandwich

23 May

With the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine, kazaxia has concocted this piece to celebrate Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Sevastopol, occupied Crimea.

Legend has it that when Queen Margherita of Italy visited Naples in 1889 a pizza was prepared for her in the colours of the Italian flag using tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. Recently this tradition was revived in Crimea following Vladimir Putin’s triumphant entry to Sevastopol on May 9, with a local entrepreneur creating the Sevastopol Shit Sandwich in honour of the visit and the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

The sandwich consists of chunks of tushonka, canned stewed meat, topped with horizontal stripes of mayonnaise, a Crimean blue sauce made from blue cheese, blueberries and sour cream, and tomato ketchup, representing the Russian flag, placed between two slices of bread.

Kazaxia is sure that this delicacy will be on offer to Russian holiday-makers this summer all over Europe and beyond as a reminder of the illegal annexation by Putin and his cronies of another country’s sovereign territory. 

Moscow: Eurasian Economic Union Name Dispute Rumbles on

8 May

More top-level meetings are taking place in Moscow as the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan talk with other possible member states about the expanding Eurasian Economic Union project. The sides are believed to be trying to come up with an acronym for the regional grouping.

Kazakhstan is said to favour KRB while Belarus is said to be leaning towards BRK. Russia has proposed Armenia be fast-tracked into the fledgling economic union to bring a much-needed vowel to the possible acronyms. Kazaxia likes the sound of BARK, other observers are keen on KRAB.

This ‘A’ is a significant development as ‘U’ is currently off the agenda as it doesn’t look like Ukraine or Uzbekistan will be joining any time soon, and Azerbaijan won’t join anything that involves its arch rival Armenia.

Further complications could be on the horizon as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are possible contenders for membership. It is not clear where these letters would go. Syria is an outside bet for inclusion in this intercontinental economic club – an ‘S’ is always useful, as any scrabble player knows.

Kazakhstan: Sparks Expected to Fly at Astana Mediafest

23 Apr

This year’s edition of the Eurasian Media Forum, to be held in Astana April 24-25, has attracted an eclectic range of guest speakers including America’s Newt Gingrich, Egypt’s  Mohamed El Baradei, Israel’s Ehud Barak, Russia’s Vladimir Pozner and Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Cemiliev.

With topics to be debated including ‘The Middle East Tinderbox’ , the ‘Ukraine Crisis: What do Ukrainian  People Expect and Fear?’ and ‘Eurasian Integration’, kazaxia is expecting some sparks to fly at this year’s forum.

Mustafa Cemiliev, an outspoken critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, was recently barred from visiting Russia for five years. Vladimir Pozner is known as a spokesperson for the Soviet Union during the First Cold War.

The media forum is the brainchild of Dariga Nazarbayeva, eldest daughter of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayeva recently hit the headlines for making disparaging remarks about disabled people in Kazakhstan, labelling them as ‘freaks’. The forum brings together a range of figures from across the globe and is now in its eighth incarnation.

Vladimir Putin’s Neo-Colonial Can of Worms

18 Apr

Lord Venal has shared his thoughts with kazaxia on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Q&A on April 17.

In this Q&A Putin called into question the status of Ukraine, referring to parts of the threatened country as ‘Novorossiya’.

Here’s what Putin had to say:

I would like to remind you that what was called Novorossiya (New Russia) back in the tsarist days – Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa – were not part of Ukraine back then. These territories were given to Ukraine in the 1920s by the Soviet government. Why? Who knows. They were won by Potyomkin and Catherine the Great in a series of well-known wars. The centre of that territory was Novorossiysk, so the region is called Novorossiya.

Let’s apply this Putinlogic to some other cases:

1. Orenburg

Orenburg, now in the Russian Federation, stradles Europe and Asia and once functioned as the capital of the Kirghiz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic – present-day Kazakhstan. It served as the capital from 1920-1925, after which the republic was renamed the Kazak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and Kyzylorda was made the capital, while Orenburg joined mother Russia.

So the question here is should Orenburg rejoin Kazakhstan as Putin proposes for Novorossiya?

2. Calais

Following the annexation of Calais, in northern France, by England’s King Edward III in 1347, the area was a territorial possession of England until the perfidious French captured it in 1558. In fact, the very first of the Venal line fought in the ultimately doomed defence of Calais (on the English side).

There are reports that representatives of England’s elite blue-rinse brigade have been landed in Calais as a vanguard for any operation to annex the port. My cousin saw a number of grannies in the hypermarkets of Calais stocking up on cheap booze and cigs. They were speaking English with distinctive regional accents.

[Editor’s note: When kazaxia contacted Britain’s Ministry of Defence to verify if these grannies were indeed linked to the UK government, it received no answer as the Ministry is taking a day off for Good Friday.]

Pro-England separatists stocking up on cheap booze in Calais

If England were to invoke its territorial claims, following Putinlogic, and re-take Calais – as Russia has annexed Crimea, then I would hope to be able to reclaim the ancestral Venal seat in the Pas de Calais.

Finally, I could return the impoverished Venal legacy to its former glory and not have to grub around the world looking for election observing handouts.

By the way, if anyone in Orenburg or Calais wants a referendum, I would be only too pleased to observe the legitimacy of the process.

 

 

Kazakhstan: Project Verny Unmasked

10 Mar

Project Verny, the sinister operation that may see Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states being annexed by the Russian Federation, is gaining momentum after secret meetings in Moscow last week.

Russian nationalist troublemaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky started the Project Verny ball rolling on February 23 when he called for called for the establishment of Russia’s “Central Asian Federal Region,” with “Verny” – the Russian Tsarist-colonial era name of Almaty, as its capital.

Following Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, a part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine, the initiative has picked up speed with incumbent Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev summoned to the Kremlin on March 5 to discuss the project with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

It is believed that President Nazarbayev will be allowed to stay on as a figurehead president, with Zhirinovsky, who was born and raised in Alma-ata, the Soviet-colonial era name of Almaty, pulling the strings. This role is a reward for Zhirinovsky’s decades-long service as a faithful lackey to the Kremlin.

Karaganda in central Kazakhstan could be used as the transit point for Russia’s bully boys. Local self defence units and whip-toting Cossack thugs can be flown into the city via a recently-initiated Aeroflot flight from Moscow. Karaganda has a sizeable Russian-speaking population and is just three-hours journey for Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

The catalyst for flying in local self-defence forces could come from a bizarre incident involving a pensioner and a lift in Astana. Olga Matvienko, a 74 year-old from Astana, told kazaxia that she was left befuddled after riding in a Kazakh-speaking lift recently.

The lift’s automated voice read out numbers such as “bir,” “tort” and “besh”, leaving the life-long resident of Kazakhstan, who has no knowledge of the Kazakh language, stranded as she tried to find the third floor.

“This voice kept on saying “tort” [cake in Russian] and I was very confused,” Matvienko told kazaxia. “I implore Vladimir Ilyich to protect my rights as a Russian-speaker in Tselinograd.”

[Editor’s note: the pensioner seems to have muddled up her Vladimirs; she probably means Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] here rather than Vladimir Ilyich [Lenin]. Also, no-one appears to have informed her that Tselinograd – the Soviet-colonial era name – is now known as Astana].

Could this strange case be the casus belli that Vladimir Vladimirovich and Vladimir Wolfovich [Zhirinovsky] have been waiting for to grab  land in what they see as their Central Asian backyard?

“F**K Detroit:” Forgotten US city on the verge of joining Putin’s Customs Union

7 Mar

The Spektator, Kyrgyzstan’s  finest “rarely published guide to what’s happening in and around Bishkek”, has kindly contributed the following piece on the escalating crisis in Ukraine. Is Detroit set to be the next  Crimea, despite what Martha Brill Olcott thinks … 

DETROIT, March 7, (The Spektator) – The mood on the streets in Detroit, Michigan, is tense. After pitch battles waged in industrial scrap yards between pro-Union and pro-Eurasian Union paramilitary forces, interim Mayor Dave Bing announced today that Motor City will be holding a referendum on joining the Moscow-inspired trade bloc comprising Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in the coming weeks. President Barack Obama’s administration in Washington has registered its “relative concern” at the news.

The announcement of the referendum, which most agree will see Detroit secede from the United States and become a puppet state of the Russian Federation, is being portrayed by international media as yet another victory for Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin over his geopolitical foes on Capitol hill. Municipal officials in Buffalo and Allentown were rumored to be considering their options when Kazaxia went to press, while William Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh caused waves on Thursday after telling journalists he wanted his city “to be the next Donetsk”. Peduto denies the comment showed “separatist intent”.

With Russia standing accused of parachuting Slavic grandmas into Detroit in order to vote ‘yes’ in the upcoming vote, the White House released a weakly-worded statement via a spokesperson today, reminding Vladimir Putin that “Detroit is not the Crimea. This is a city located fairly close to cities we consider under our protection, such as Chicago. The United States government is committed to resolving the political crisis in its former industrial heartlands through wishy washy diplomacy and empty bluster.”

Meanwhile, the benefits of annexation/integration for Detroit’s struggling economy are questionable. Immediately after the referendum announcement, Russia’s state-owned manufacturing giant RustBelt pledged to spend “several thousand rubles” revamping Detroit’s disused steelworks, while President of KrapKar, Vladislav Aragonov, has promised similar sums to revive the city’s decrepit auto industry. In comments reminiscent of Henry Ford, Aragonov told citizens of Detroit they would be able to have “any car they want, as long as it’s a Zhiguli classic.”

But despite the Eurasian Union’s seeming lack of appeal, Dave Bing, an NBA Hall of Famer now serving as the city’s mayor for the second time since retiring from professional basketball in 1978, has emerged as an unexpected Kremlin ally. “President Putin is a judo black belt. I want to get Detroit’s kids off the streets and back onto the basketball courts,” Bing told Kazaxia today by telephone. “President Putin tells me Russia doesn’t have a drug problem. That is why I am urging citizens to vote ‘yes’ in this referendum.”

As worried Americans made calls for the US army to get off its ass and do something about the situation, Eurasian Affairs commentator Frederick Upstarrt moaned to Kazaxia that the lack of response to the Detroit crisis was “yet another sign that President Obama is prepared to abandon parts of the world he doesn’t care about to Moscow’s aggression.”

Upstarrt’s reference to U.S indifference may have more than a grain of truth to it. In an FSB-intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the governor of Michigan, Jack Snideman March 5, Nuland is alleged to have said: “This is a city the UN should be helping glue back together, and, you know, f**k Detroit.”