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Eastern Europe News

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
I plan to put some news and speculations about this area of the world that happen to catch my interest, since it normally has low exposure in the Anglosphere.
Speculations included because that's much of the fun, but I'll make an effort to separate it from substantiated facts.

If anyone else has some stuff that catch their eye, they're very welcome to post it here.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
Why did Lukashenko leave China?

A bunch of nonsense is going on, and only one thing about it is clear: prison season seems to be returning to Belarus, possibly due to current events and possibly due to the upcoming elections.

On 26 Apr 2019, Lukashenko suddenly left the One Belt One Road summit in China, thereby missing official meetings and the events scheduled that Saturday [Channel 97; GTrans]. According to radiojournalist Sergei Dorenko on his Telegram Channel, this is due to a disagreement Lukashenko had with Putin. This is not implausible given the recent Russian moves to prevent Belarus from reselling Russian oil they currently get a large discount compared to market prices, but is very unclear why Dorenko is in any position to know the reasons for this specific incident.

Well, bluntly he just isn't; though again it is not an implausible guess—but it is still just some guess with nothing concrete behind it. A few days later, on 30 Apr, Putin recalled the ambassador to Belarus [pdf], Mikhail Babich (regarding whom Lukashenko and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus took significant exception to as of late), which could be interpreted as some kind of olive branch to Lukashenko.

On 29 Apr, news broke that Andrei Vtyurin, former chief bodyguard of Lukashenko and the Deputy Secretary of State of the Security Council, and formerly one of the most powerful people in Belarus, has been arrested by the KGB on a bribery charge of nearly $150k [NN; GTrans]. However, his family has been detained and his property seized, making the corruption charge smell quite fishy, and if that's so, the timing information may also be wrong. Though the arrest warrant was officially dated 24 Apr, it did not appear until the night of 30 Apr [BBC; GTrans], leading to some speculation of being back-dated.

The strangeness of the KBG story led to speculation that the actual reason may be connections to the FSB being perceived as politically unreliable in the current political climate.
BBC said:
“I do not believe it!”, Political scientist Roman Yakovlevsky exclaims about the essence of the accusation against Colonel Vtyurin.

Yakovlevsky reminds: in the days when rumors about the arrest of Vtyurin spread across Minsk, Moscow recalled Ambassador Mikhail Babich from Belarus.

Some Russian telegram channels linked these events, claiming that Vtyurin allegedly transmitted information to the FSB and actively cooperated with Moscow.

“And if you believe the KGB reports about Russian bribe givers, then Russian citizens disappeared in Minsk - those who allegedly gave a bribe to Vtyurin and the head of Beltelecom Sivoyedov detained a couple of days later. The Russian embassy in Minsk admits that they know nothing about these detainees that looks strange. And this raises a lot of questions about the true reasons for the detention of Colonel Vtyurin," says Yakovlevsky.
On one end, Russian Monitor advances the version that Vtyurin was preparing to assassinate Lukashenko. There's no basis for this, though.

Speaking of telegram channels, some Minsk ones claimed to receive information that Vtyurin and some generals were involved in a plot to oust Lukashenko [Trykatazh]. According to them the conspiracy wasn't specifically toward orienting West or East, but rather ousting Lukashenko personally by provoking Russia to pressure a regime change—and that Lukashenko learned of this from the Russian security services. This is also very poorly substantiated, but not entirely implausible, being basically a repeat of the Erdoğan situation in 2016. However, a bunch of other news sources immediately took some issue with this, especially the page photo provided by Trykatazh, since it doesn't at all read like something seized by conspirators.

Also [Rosbalt; GTrans]:
“Vtyurin is one of Lukashenko’s oldest and most loyal supporters, he worked as his security guard since 1995. No less important is the fact that for the last 25 years, Andrei Vtyurin has been entrusted to Lukashenko’s closest circle of friends, to his family. “So much so that the younger son of the president, Kolya, literally grew in the hands of my father’s guard,” a source in the Belarusian special services tells Rosbalt. “But such a bribe looks ridiculous for the circles in question.” There such calculations are the norm. So the real reason for the arrest is another. They talk about the conspiracy, but I think that the matter is still in too close relations between Vtyurin and the Russian special services. ”
...
Another source of Rosbalt in the Belarusian power structures also supports the latest version: “Andrei Vtyurin was detained for repeated and numerous information plums by the Russian FSB and FSO. He is not a spy in the usual sense, his connections are inherited from the past. He is a Russian himself, he studied, worked and was friends with colleagues from the Russian special services. In a situation when there is a big conflict between Moscow and Minsk, such behavior is unacceptable for a person from Lukashenka’s inner circle. So they removed it. ” By the way, at the same time, the Russian ambassador Mikhail Babich was “removed” - this is hardly an accident.
...
[According to one version] the conspirators (allegedly) saw an alternative to the current president in his eldest son Viktor. He is considered the "engine" of the whole undertaking. However, it was he who “merged” in the end information about the conspiracy. There is, however, a version that the plot was deliberately inspired by Alexander Lukashenko and his closest associates. The consequences of what is happening - strengthening the KGB, despondency in the leadership of the army and the police, increased pressure on the Russian Federation.
On the other hand, there's also the possibility that it is a fake conspiracy planted by the Lukasheko's own people, which Trykatazh also acknowledges elsewhere. In other words, these can be pretexts to remove people Lukashenko considers inconvenient.

Well, the bottom line is that there are arrests of powerful people on flimsy official reasons, and so far everything else is currently unsubstantiated rumours.
 

IndyFront

Yokkiziikzekker
Author
On the other hand, there's also the possibility that it is a fake conspiracy planted by the Lukasheko's own people, which Trykatazh also acknowledges elsewhere.
When in doubt they simplest explanation is always the safest route. Its how I keep myself from going too crazy following geopolitics.
 

Vashon

Active member
Banned
Oh boy intrigue!
Lukashenko's Belarus is and was about the only post Soviet Russian state that wasn't over run with either jihadists or mafiya or oligarchs. Say what else you want, but there wasn't a collapse of society or other crap in Belarus. He runs a tight ship, and while that hasn't lead to wealth and happiness for everybody, he at least kept things stable and decently run and prevented the worst of the excess corruption. Most difficulties Belarus has faced wasnt from catastrophic mismanagement or looting but from intermittent sanctions from western govts. Belarus is basically a snapshot of "what if the USSR hadn't been looted and mismanaged to death".

He hasnt lept any high bars, but given what he was dealt with, hes done the best out of everyone that didnt run to NATO asap. I guess Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan would be competing for 2nd.
 

Baron Steakpuncher

Proletarian Puncher of Steaks
Author
Lukashenko's Belarus is and was about the only post Soviet Russian state that wasn't over run with either jihadists or mafiya or oligarchs. Say what else you want, but there wasn't a collapse of society or other crap in Belarus. He runs a tight ship, and while that hasn't lead to wealth and happiness for everybody, he at least kept things stable and decently run and prevented the worst of the excess corruption. Most difficulties Belarus has faced wasnt from catastrophic mismanagement or looting but from intermittent sanctions from western govts. Belarus is basically a snapshot of "what if the USSR hadn't been looted and mismanaged to death".

He hasnt lept any high bars, but given what he was dealt with, hes done the best out of everyone that didnt run to NATO asap. I guess Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan would be competing for 2nd.
I have heard Lukashenko described as "waiting for the Soviet union to reform" and honestly he seems more akin to Alabamas state government outlasting the USA than a truly independent minded state.
 

Vashon

Active member
Banned
I have heard Lukashenko described as "waiting for the Soviet union to reform" and honestly he seems more akin to Alabamas state government outlasting the USA than a truly independent minded state.
A knock on my home state huh? Fair. I think he may have had that mindset for a while, but now has given up on it. Possibly doesn't trust Moscow and its friends enough. I mean, maybe if the Chechnyan War had a different outcome than paying a Jizya tax and Moscow had had the strength and balls to smash the Baltic countries the moment they looked like they were trying to join NATO, then maybe the Central Asian states, many of whom wouldn't have strongly opposed a reunification, Turkmenistan and Kazahkstan being the most obvious.

But after Putin stopped short of really going after the oligarchs and mafiya, and after Ukraine continued to degenerate with Moscow waiting so long to really do much, and everyone apparently ignoring the Baltics joining NATO, I'm pretty sure everyone outside the Russian Federation realized there was no hope of resurrection. And every had carved out their own "territories" as it were, and had no desire to bother with fussing about if all that changed was who got the loot.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
I have heard Lukashenko described as "waiting for the Soviet union to reform" and honestly he seems more akin to Alabamas state government outlasting the USA than a truly independent minded state.
I have a hard time seeing in what way those comparisons are appropriate. Really not sure where this kind of Alabama comparison is coming from.

Though Lukashenko is commonly viewed as having formed the Union State project out of two reasons: the economic necessities of his country and personal ambition, in that he probably hoped to become the head of the common structure, which when he was dealing with CPRF, was plausible. A lot of his belligerent episodes make a lot of sense from that lens, and they're tightly correlated with economic spats or his need to extract more loans, as well as a general fear of being sidelined from power by the continued development of the same Union State. Another contributing reason is the need to act like a tough guy for internal consumption, which in RF seems to be mostly ignored.

I mean, maybe if the Chechnyan War had a different outcome than paying a Jizya tax and Moscow had had the strength and balls to smash the Baltic countries the moment they looked like they were trying to join NATO, then maybe the Central Asian states, many of whom wouldn't have strongly opposed a reunification, Turkmenistan and Kazahkstan being the most obvious.
I really can't imagine how that'd help anything. How does Russia hypothetically smashing the Baltics help Belarus, their elites, or Lukashenko personally? At best, it sends a signal that Russia went moron and will smash them if they don't bend the knee, exactly contrary to their own ambitions. At worst, ... well, nevermind the worst. On Central Asia, I don't really see anyone but possibly Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan being all that friendly to USSR Mk II, and in some ways that's a stretch too. And conversely, Russia seriously doesn't want most of it.

Internally, Russia was sold the pseudo-nationalistic narrative that every other republic are basically economic parasites and Russia would be better off without them, and conversely most other got sold the analogous thing about Russia. And Putin inherited the power structure of those that sold that story; this later got merged with other parties and realignments, but it does make this kind of about-face extremely awkward in regards to internal politics, even without the obvious external factors of why it's a bad idea.
 

Baron Steakpuncher

Proletarian Puncher of Steaks
Author
I have a hard time seeing in what way those comparisons are appropriate. Really not sure where this kind of Alabama comparison is coming from.

Though Lukashenko is commonly viewed as having formed the Union State project out of two reasons: the economic necessities of his country and personal ambition, in that he probably hoped to become the head of the common structure, which when he was dealing with CPRF, was plausible. A lot of his belligerent episodes make a lot of sense from that lens, and they're tightly correlated with economic spats or his need to extract more loans, as well as a general fear of being sidelined from power by the continued development of the same Union State. Another contributing reason is the need to act like a tough guy for internal consumption, which in RF seems to be mostly ignored.
I chose Alabama at random, my point is that Lukashenko isn't, or wasn't, leading Belarus for Belarus's sake, he was one of the only people to vote against leaving the SU, in fact, a rare true believer. His rule of Belarus is more akin to a state government in the USA outlasting the USA as a union of states, and I imagine if the SU was reformed tomorrow as it was in the 90's, note, the SU, not Russia, then Lukashenko might attach Belarus to it under the old Belarussian Socialist Republic label.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
I chose Alabama at random, my point is that Lukashenko isn't, or wasn't, leading Belarus for Belarus's sake, he was one of the only people to vote against leaving the SU, in fact, a rare true believer. His rule of Belarus is more akin to a state government in the USA outlasting the USA as a union of states, and I imagine if the SU was reformed tomorrow as it was in the 90's, note, the SU, not Russia, then Lukashenko might attach Belarus to it under the old Belarussian Socialist Republic label.
That's fair enough, though Lukashenko's too canny to be waiting for the Soviet Union to reform. Chances of that have sailed off long ago and for all his eccentricities, he's smart enough to see that clearly. But's it's certainly true that he wanted for the Union State to be on Belarus' terms, which internally it preserves Soviet institutions.
 

Wakko

Well-known member
Speaking of telegram channels, some Minsk ones claimed to receive information that Vtyurin and some generals were involved in a plot to oust Lukashenko [Trykatazh]. According to them the conspiracy wasn't specifically toward orienting West or East, but rather ousting Lukashenko personally by provoking Russia to pressure a regime change—and that Lukashenko learned of this from the Russian security services.
This seems to me as the least defective of all the currently floating theories. Putin wanting to get rid of Lukashenko seems completely insane, especially since the Ukraine dumpster fire hasn't been put out yet. And IMO the relations between Minsk and Moscow haven't worsened significantly lately. Lukashenko huffs and puffs for domestic audience, but when he's with Putin all seems just fine. Sacrificing a close friend when it's not really necessary, thus scaring all other friends and associates, that seems too dumb for Lukashenko. And if he would plan to do it, why do it so that Lukashenko has to leave a trade summit that is very important for Belarus?
 

Vashon

Active member
Banned
I have a hard time seeing in what way those comparisons are appropriate. Really not sure where this kind of Alabama comparison is coming from.

Though Lukashenko is commonly viewed as having formed the Union State project out of two reasons: the economic necessities of his country and personal ambition, in that he probably hoped to become the head of the common structure, which when he was dealing with CPRF, was plausible. A lot of his belligerent episodes make a lot of sense from that lens, and they're tightly correlated with economic spats or his need to extract more loans, as well as a general fear of being sidelined from power by the continued development of the same Union State. Another contributing reason is the need to act like a tough guy for internal consumption, which in RF seems to be mostly ignored.


I really can't imagine how that'd help anything. How does Russia hypothetically smashing the Baltics help Belarus, their elites, or Lukashenko personally?
It'd mostly just have shown that Moscow was honestly interested in keeping the whole thing together, and that Yeltsin was just a traitorous drunk.
At best, it sends a signal that Russia went moron and will smash them if they don't bend the knee, exactly contrary to their own ambitions. At worst, ... well, nevermind the worst. On Central Asia, I don't really see anyone but possibly Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan being all that friendly to USSR Mk II, and in some ways that's a stretch too. And conversely, Russia seriously doesn't want most of it.

Internally, Russia was sold the pseudo-nationalistic narrative that every other republic are basically economic parasites and Russia would be better off without them, and conversely most other got sold the analogous thing about Russia. And Putin inherited the power structure of those that sold that story; this later got merged with other parties and realignments, but it does make this kind of about-face extremely awkward in regards to internal politics, even without the obvious external factors of why it's a bad idea.
Turkmenistan was the only other state, other than Belarus, to vote in the majority to keep the Soviet Union/stay in. Thats why I mentioned them.

EDIT: The other think Lukashenko has going on is trying to make his position inheritable, and by a son from a mistress.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
Ukrainian Sailors and Political Circus

Last November, three Ukrainian ships were arrested by the Russian Federation in the Kerch Strait, following a series of bizarre actions. Russia alleges an illegal crossing of state borders, for which criminal proceedings have been opened against 24 sailors. However, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors, in Order of 25 May 2019 [ITLoS]:
118. Having examined the measures requested by Ukraine, the Tribunal considers it appropriate under the circumstances of the present case to prescribe provisional measures requiring the Russian Federation to release the three Ukrainian naval vessels and the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and to allow them to return to Ukraine in order to preserve the rights claimed by Ukraine.
119. The Tribunal does not consider it necessary to require the Russian Federation to suspend criminal proceedings against the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and refrain from initiating new proceedings.
On 25 June, the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs communicated the following to its Ukrainian counterpart and ITLoS [AntiKor] [UkrInform]:
...
Criminal proceedings are continuing in the Russian Federation against 24 detainees of Ukrainian soldiers in connection with violations of Russian legislation on November 25, 2018, the legality and validity of which are not disputed by the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea of May 25, 2019.

Considering the above, the Ukrainian side is invited to provide, in accordance with the criminal procedural legislation of the Russian Federation, written guarantees for the participation of each of the 24 Ukrainian sailors after their release from custody in the preliminary and judicial investigation, as well as written guarantees for the preservation of physical evidence — the Berdyansk naval ships Berdyansk, Nikopol, and Yany Kapu, after their transfer to the Party before a judicial judgment is rendered.

Nothing in this note can be interpreted as detrimental to the position of the Russian Federation on issues affecting its rights and obligations under international law, including the unlawful nature of the actions of Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait area on November 24-25, 2018, as well as non-applicability to this situation of the dispute settlement procedures provided for by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in particular, by virtue of statements made by the Russian Federation and Ukraine when signing and ratifying the Convention.
...
Basically: they'll be released to Ukraine if Ukraine promises cooperation with a trial. Though considering their participation does not seem to require their physical presence in Russia (since that is rather trivial to arrange), Russia would have no means to enforce any judgment without cooperation of Ukrainian authorities anyway. I think it's pretty clear that Russia is more interested in a criminal judgment itself much more than a physical imprisonment of the sailors.

Foreign Minister Klimkin interpretation of this is as follows [FB] [UkrInform]:
... Russia does not conceal that it does not want to comply with the decisions of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Instead, she: a) requires us to acknowledge that our seamen could commit a crime, b) incline us to the recognition of the legality of the trial on them under Russian law, c) invites you to bend before the Criminal Procedure Code of the RF, and at the same time indirectly recognize the occupation Crimea.
Hmm... I thought Ukraine and Russia already had a treaty to recognise each others' criminal courts (though maybe Ukraine repudiated it and I don't remember). I'm not sure where the last part especially comes from, since IIRC some the territorial waters were on the Kuban side, i.e. before 2014, and in any case Ukraine would not be shy about about telling Russia to go to hell if a hypothetical future ruling hinges entirely on Crimea's waters. Though frankly, I'd be surprised if Russia seriously counting on Ukraine keeping any written consent to these conditions—the mere existence of written consent is probably more important.

Alright, so Klimkin interprets this as some sort of trap, but the circus starts with the fact the Klimkin made such a decision unilaterally, and not only did not consult the president, who has a constitutional responsibility for international relations, but did not even inform him of it [Liga] [UkrainaRu]. Some quotes from President Zelensky:
“I remind everyone, especially Mr Klimkin, that I am the President of Ukraine. I never saw our answer to the note of the Russian Federation. Mr Klimkin does not consider is necessary to discuss such issues with the President of Ukraine. This is a question of the security of the country, the life of our citizens. Something that is the priority of any president, whether someone likes him or not. As my assisants, diplomats, explained to me, such actions could jeopardise the return of our sailors.”
Although Klimkin insisted that he acted within his competence, Zelensky had this to say:
“Yesterday was the last day when our sailors were to return us. We have everything—the right is there, the ruling is there, but there are no sailors. I am ready and willing to cling to anything to bring those guys home. I propose that the Foreign Ministry send a note to the parents of the sailors. I think it will be very interesting for them to read in terms of rights, laws, and virtuoso diplomacy.”
This is not an outlier. The Rada and people connected with the previous administration have kind of informal war with the new president. Despite Zelensky's insistence that the Rada dismiss or punish Klimkin (more than once feuding with Klimkin, even), PM Groysman suggested that Zelensky ask Klimkin to go on a few-months vacation instead [Liga]... following which Klimkin went on vacation on his own initiative.

Russia's side reacted with something like ‘are you sure? you can rewrite your response if you want’, according to Grigori Karasin, Deputy Head of Ministry of Foreign Affairs [RIA]:
“A negative response was received instantly. If the Ukrainian side considers it necessary to change its attitude to this proposal, it is free to do so.”
It looks like Zelensky may want to make use of this opportunity.

Meanwhile, there is some possibility of indicting ex-president Poroshenko on treason charges [DBR]:
On 21 May 2019, investigators of the Central Office of the State Bureau of Investigations, at the request of Portnov AV, entered into the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations information on the possible commission by officials who occupy a particularly responsible position in the organs of state power of Ukraine, criminal offenses under Art. 109 CCU (actions aimed at violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order or the seizure of state power), art. 111 KKU (state betrayal) and 426-1 KKU (exceeding the military official's authority or official authority).

These are the events of 25 Nov 2018, related to the transition of the ship's navy group from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea in the Kerch Strait. Pre-trial investigation has begun.
I wouldn't count on this actually sticking Poroshenko with anything, though it's just one of at least six criminal proceedings against Poroshenko, and it's not without some basis because the events in the Kerch Strait don't make much sense unless one assumes that someone wanted the ships to be fired upon from the start. But while Poroshenko is a big enough fish, I wonder who will protect Klimkin when the Rada is replaced soon.

...

Some vaguely similar but better news, though: On 27 Jun, there was meeting between leaders of separatist republics (Pushilin of DNR and Pasechnik of LNR) and Medvechuk, one of the leaders Ukrainian opposition party For Life, in which the return of four Ukrainian prisoners were successfully negotiated as a good-will gesture to Ukraine [UkrainaRu]. But more of a silver lining on an overall cloud of worsening situation there.
 

Wakko

Well-known member
Alright, so Klimkin interprets this as some sort of trap, but the circus starts with the fact the Klimkin made such a decision unilaterally, and not only did not consult the president, who has a constitutional responsibility for international relations, but did not even inform him of it
I've read some articles about Zelensky's problems - he is the president, but he has no competent people to manage his agenda, so he was forced to keep Porky's staff. His foreign affairs administrator is Klimkin's wife, IIRC. Well, we'll see how many points it will cost him in the Rada elections (less than 3 weeks now, yay :) )
 

Wakko

Well-known member
Ha, this is very interesting - it seems that in the agricultural year that just ended on June 30th, Ukraine has managed to snatch the place of top exporter of grain from Russia!
bne IntelliNews - Ukraine takes “world’s large grain exporter” title from Russia
Russia has been the global grain exporter top dog for the last three years, but as the agricultural marketing year ended on June 30, it looks like Ukraine has snatched the title back from its rival.

Thanks to a bumper 70mn tonnes of grain harvest, Ukraine was able to push exports up to just shy of its official target and sold 49.7mn tonnes to other countries. The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food had predicted that exports would reach 50mn tonnes this year.

That should pip Russia to the post, though Russia is also on track for a good harvest this year that is forecast to reach 118mn tonnes. While Russia’s final export numbers for this agricultural marketing year have not been released the official forecast for exports was only 46mn-48mn tonnes this year and the harvest will be down slightly on last year's.
I don't think it will "pip Russia to the post." Russia easily exports all the grain that it doesn't want to keep, and Ukrainian agriculture is almost completely fueled by Russian oil. But otherwise this is interesting news, and I'm glad that Ukraine can do at least something right.
 
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Wakko

Well-known member
The Chinese have renewed their attempts to acquire modern jet engine technology in Ukraine: Chinese company in bid to buy Ukrainian aeroengine giant - Global Times
A Beijing-based aviation industry investment company reportedly renewed its attempt to acquire stakes in a Ukrainian aircraft engine manufacturer and the application is being reviewed by the Ukrainian antitrust authority. The Ukrainian company, which has built engines for the world's largest transport aircraft the An-225, could help China boost its aeroengine industry if the deal materializes, Chinese analysts said on Sunday.
...
But the US is unhappy about Motor Sich's dealings with China, saying there might be national security risks from foreign investment transactions, the Washington Post reported in May. The Ukrainian company lost its Russian clients when relations between the two countries broke down, according to the report. Established in 1907, Motor Sich is considered one of the largest advanced aircraft engine manufacturers in the world and produces engines including turbofans, turboshafts and turboprops.
There have been previous attempts by China in the post-2014 Ukraine to acquire Motor Sich, but Poroshenko has outsourced foreign relations and national security to the US State Dept, so they were not successful. Now times have changed, State Dept is losing its influence in Ukraine by the day (though it's still holding onto Naftogaz) and it is much more likely that this time China will be successful. This will in the end mean that China will finally acquire the capability to produce highly efficient and durable jet engines. There will be either a 'technology transfer' which will make Motor Sich irrelevant (it has lost its Russian customers, and by giving its technology to China will lose the Chinese too) or an outright relocation of manufacturing (including some work force) to China.
Oh, unintended consequences...
 

Inquisitor Solarion

Active member
The Chinese have renewed their attempts to acquire modern jet engine technology in Ukraine: Chinese company in bid to buy Ukrainian aeroengine giant - Global Times

There have been previous attempts by China in the post-2014 Ukraine to acquire Motor Sich, but Poroshenko has outsourced foreign relations and national security to the US State Dept, so they were not successful. Now times have changed, State Dept is losing its influence in Ukraine by the day (though it's still holding onto Naftogaz) and it is much more likely that this time China will be successful. This will in the end mean that China will finally acquire the capability to produce highly efficient and durable jet engines. There will be either a 'technology transfer' which will make Motor Sich irrelevant (it has lost its Russian customers, and by giving its technology to China will lose the Chinese too) or an outright relocation of manufacturing (including some work force) to China.
Oh, unintended consequences...
I wonder how many of the skilled staff they have already lost to China or Russia already. It's probably almost bare bones now.
 

Inquisitor Solarion

Active member
Motor Sich isn't the only company to go this way. Antonov is now practically just a transport company...
Which is funny how the US wanted to "buff" Antonov up so as to maybe make it a legit competitor to Russian military industry but they really have got to do a lot better especially considering Ukrainian military industrial complex was coupled to the Russian one right at the hip.
 
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Wakko

Well-known member
Which is funny how the US wanted to "buff" Antonov up so as to maybe make it a legit competitor to Russian military industry but they really have got to do a lot better especially considering Ukrainian military industrial complex was coupled to the Russian one right at the hip.
Well, nothing has been "buffed up" and Antonov hasn't sold a single plane since 2015 (when it produced one An-148 and one An-158). I've been watching the situation since 2014, and it's really sad. In the end, all the US has done is to give Ukraine some weapons. Ukraine has basically destroyed large parts of its hi-tech industry by cutting connections to its main customer, but it didn't get any US orders in return. By now the situation is not reversible, Russian companies have been able to substitute everything their MIC lost in Ukraine, and they'll never go back. Commentators in Ukraine openly speak about the US using Ukraine as a battering ram against Russia, and Ukrainian policy under Poroshenko being dictated from Washington.
I've also seen two respected Ukrainian energy experts (Yushkov and Zemlyansky) stating in TV interviews that Naftogaz (Ukrainian state gas enterprise), via its CEO Kobolev, is on purpose complicating transit talks with Russia and EU, so that there's no transit via Ukraine to EU in 2020. That would increase gas prices in EU to the level where it would be profitable to sell large amounts of US LNG in Europe. Kobolev is also known to frequently visit Washington, and because of the way Naftogaz is managed (CEO being appointed by an "independent" international board) it's not simple to replace him.
So, Ukraine is the battleground of economic war between the US and Russia.
 

Wakko

Well-known member
For what it's worth, I edit Russian scientific articles for a living, and a lot of what I deal with does come from Ukraine. Though it is telling that they are publishing in a different country.
Isn't it about the journals? Maybe there are too few cc, impact rated journals in Ukraine.
 
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Wakko

Well-known member
For people who are interested in the complicated relationship between US sanctions, Russian government and Deripaska, here's an actually good article at NI:
Why U.S. Sanctions on Russia’s Automotive Industry Might Not Work
The whole article is worth reading, but one comment summarizes it very well:
"For example, state-run agency Rostec increased its control over the car-producing companies like Kamaz and AvtoVaz during times of struggle, and that venture proved to be quite successful."
Yep, and Deripaska's other businesses were picked up by VTB Bank, state operated and under sanctions to boot. Basically, those sanctions just make ordinary Russian people angry at US, and let Russian government pick up good business on the cheap.
Also, i frankly don't understand why is US Treasury after Deripaska - the man is practically a US agent. He used to work for FBI a decade ago, for Robert Mueller of Mueller Report fame, trying to save a life of an American hostage in Iran. That's some gratitude from US Treasury.
Seeing as OFAC is still unwilling to put sanctions on GAZ, it seems it's actually capable of learning from its own mistakes...
 

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