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Split country: understanding how West, East Ukraine actually differ

In a previous text about Ukraine, I would talk about the country as a single entity. It was the ultimate cradle of Russia and due to its orthodox religion, it belongs to the cultural East of Europe.

But the largely geographic tension between its two halves has been around for decades and it is apparently getting more serious and the "divorce scenario" starts to be discussed as a possibility which is why some "more divided, regional" perspective may be appropriate. Much of the information we are reminded of by the intelligent Czech media is arguably unknown to the typical people in the West who are being brainwashed by the idea that the "West Ukraine folks" must be the good ones (they're not told that they are the pro-Nazi, anti-Semites, homophobes etc.) while the East folks must be bad (they're not told that it's where the main industrial powerhouse is located, among other things).



Most of the polarization in the recent decade goes along this border between the official Ukrainian regions that could belong to the West Ukraine and to the East Ukraine; the particular map above shows the 2004 presidential elections. So I think (or propose) that the hypothetical division of the country would respect this boundary. However, I would argue that the historical border dividing Ukraine to two parts is very different, pretty much orthogonal to this one – and I mean that literally.




Fine. So what are the natural historical borders within Ukraine?



Well, the most natural intra-Ukrainian border is the Dnieper River (which goes from Kiev to the Black Sea), see the "cruise map" above. If you compare it with the previous map, you will see that the lines is almost exactly perpendicular to the previous one, so they don't really coincide. The Dnieper River divides the Ukraine into different two halves, the left-bank Ukraine and the right-bank Ukraine.




This division became very important in 1654 (I will ignore older history in this text): the left-bank Ukraine was merged with Russia. The right-bank Ukraine became a portion of the Russian Empire only in 1793 and 1795, i.e. 140 years later, when Poland was being divided. And this difference has implications.



This map has been relevant since 1654



The map as of 1793. See also 1795.

So it's largely true that the right-bank Ukraine roughly corresponds to the more pro-Russian regions of Ukraine but the border doesn't really coincide with the Dnieper River i.e. with the border relevant since 1654.

Except for the recent 2 decades, Ukraine was only independent of Russia once, in the early 20th century. Since the late 1920s, Ukraine was being devastated by the collectivization of agriculture, famine (Stalin killed 7 million Ukrainians in this way; some Russians were relocated there as a "replacement"), extermination of their elite, and other common left-wing policies that were being performed by the USSR in that case.

In the early stages of the war, much of Ukraine would be looking for help against this Stalinist terror in Germany. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists which had existed since 1929 and which is usually associated with Mr Stepan Bandera had a new strategy. They became allies of the Third Reich at the beginning of the war. When Hitler was celebrating some successful operations in the USSR, they would be viewed as friends but they were officially dismantled and incorporated to the Nazi power structure. However, they were de facto realizing the orders of Hitler on their territory. As soon as in 1943, they decided that Hitler is doomed and redefined themselves as warriors against all foreign forces including the Germans.

Various developments in the war would lead to the incorporation of several other historical regions, namely Czechoslovakia's Subcarpathian Rus', mostly Poland's Galicia, Romania's Northern Bukovina, and Romania's Southern Bessarabia (now mostly Moldova) into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic which is what Ukraine morphed into after the war again. In 1954, the last modification of the borders materialized when Nikita Khrushchev "donated" Crimea (the Peninsula) to Ukraine as a gift to the 300th anniversary of annexation of Ukraine by Russia (see above).

As I have said, the liquidation of the Ukrainian elites began in the late 1920s. It was only stopped during the era of destalinization in the early 1960s or so. However, in the 1970s and 1980s or so, there was a new era of brutal russification which ended sometime under Gorbachev. In 1991, Ukraine declared independence.

The Western regions mentioned above that used to belong to Romania and Czechoslovakia have strong links to Central Europe. On the other hand, the Eastern parts of Ukraine are more industrial and sort of wealthier but they have no emotional or other links to Central Europe. Sometime in three weeks, FC Viktoria Pilsen will play against Shakhtar Donetsk, also an Eastern industrial town (the team is much richer than ours, too). The industrial East plus Crimea is also the area that has backed Yanukovich, the current president. In fact, Crimea's officials recently urged Yanukovich to declare the martial law and if things go wrong for them (i.e. "orange"), they will probably try to declare autonomy i.e. independence of Ukraine.

The poorer, agricultural, and more nationalistically oriented West of Ukraine prefers to see its future within the EU. To some extent, this is just a historical repetition of their "forced alliance" with the Nazi Germany. Most of the "gastarbeiters" in the EU come from the Western Ukraine; the Eastern folks don't want to emigrate much.

The Eastern part of the Ukraine is the one where the Russian-speaking population is at least substantial; the West is predominantly culturally Ukrainian. 17% of the citizens of Ukraine consider themselves ethnic Russian but 30% of the citizens consider Russian to be their mother tongue (quite a difference).

The nation prefers the Orthodox Church which is internally split in some complicated ways, too; about 5 millions of citizens (over 10%) almost entirely located in the Western regions believes in the Greek Catholic Church's values.

This modern separation of Ukraine became obvious in the 2004 elections. The pro-Western side would win but it was soon crippled by internal disagreements (Yushchenko vs Tymoshenko) which allowed Yanukovich to legitimately return to power a few years ago.

Split: who wants it

Voice of Russia argues that Hungary and Romania began to promote the split of Ukraine. It may be just some fog, however, because it is generally expected that Russia would be the greatest winner if the country were split because the East would become de facto if not de iure a part of Russia.

If you said that this should mean that the Eastern Ukrainian politicians therefore want the country to be split, you would be wrong. They don't really want it because they would lose influence to the "real" Russians. ;-)

Well, there are persistent polarizing problems in Ukraine and a divorce is a possible solution (or next step). If it were done, it would be good if people tried to do it in the "velvet way". The folks should surely hire Václav Klaus who was the true mastermind behind the velvet character of the Czechoslovak Velvet Divorce (that was otherwise imposed on him and us by some historical facts and inevitable mood swings in much of Slovakia). The new countries should negotiate the best possible conditions. Maybe, a temporary stage of a "loosened coexistence" that would resemble Czechoslovakia before 1993 could be helpful.

At any rate, people should have an idea what the split would actually mean and how the parts would differ when it comes to their opinions, emotions, values, economic strength, and dominant portions of the economy. I feel that many people in the West are being deliberately misled about all these points.

And that's the memo.

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snail feedback (45) :


reader John Archer said...

"Be the first to comment."

I am. Whooppee!


reader bellwether3 said...

Some incisive comments, Donald Kines.

Now I see "pop culture" as a degenerate oxymoron that has transmogrified the traditional aim of culture (especially as once conveyed by American higher education in the humanities) as a refinement of the intellectual, aesthetic, and moral faculties in students.

However, what we have now are whole bogus university departments like "ethnic," "gender," "peace," "media," etc. "studies" that are little more than social and political advocacy clubs of intellectually nugatory value. These faculty clubs of pseudo-academic losers--often staffed by the thin-lipped, clipped-haired virago, the shameless race hustler, and the superannuated, silver-pony-tailed hipster are not only embarrassments to our system of higher education, but also perpetual refuges from which their embarrassing pseudo-intellectual denizens can avoid any retraining as useful citizens.


reader John Archer said...

Very informative, Luboš. Thanks for that.

"I feel that many people in the West are being deliberately misled about all these points."

Oh, since the EU is involved you can be damned sure of that.

Just a minor though. I see we have different ethnicities occupying the same country here. So why aren't they all out jumping for joy and 'celebrating their diversity'? I don't understand.

Hey, maybe the place is not quite diverse enough for them. Yeah, that's probably it. Do you think we should arrange for a massive influx of wogs to get the party going? Haven't they heard about the benefits of having lots of pakis, for instance, grooming their young girls for sex and living off state benefits?


reader Gene Day said...

My formative years were spent in a racially segregated society, Bob, including such segregated educational institutions. It was horrific beyond description and any desire to return to those days is just insane. Later, several of my colleagues and teachers were gay and I owe a great deal to them. I think your comment must be a put-on but if it is not then you are a homophobic moron.


Anyway, most of our engineers and scientists soon will not be white heterosexuals. Non-latino whites are no longer even a plurality among University of California applicants and very far from being the majority. As you probably know, we non-latino whites are already a minority in California as a whole. And, as California goes, so goes the nation. Just watch.


reader Gene Day said...

My financial advisor actually got his degree in Environmental Studies but found that he could not get meaningful work. It took years but he finally established himself as a Certified Financial Planner. Needless to say, if he were not excellent at his profession I would not be dealing with him.

I think this story is inevitably repeated amongst people who depend on such non-academic courses in order to get a college degree. The real world out there provides a much-needed corrective mechanism. Real companies have no need for non-productive employees although a few will inevitably get government jobs.
I, personally, would reduce the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by about 80 percent. That would help but similar actions are needed at the state level, especially in California.


reader bellwether3 said...

Some incisive comments, Donald Kines.

Now I see "pop culture" as a degenerate oxymoron that has transmogrified the traditional aim of culture (especially as once conveyed by American higher education in the humanities) as a refinement of the intellectual, aesthetic, and moral faculties in students.

However, what we have now are whole bogus university departments like "ethnic," "gender," "peace," "media," etc. "studies" that are little more than social and political advocacy clubs of intellectually nugatory value. These faculty clubs of pseudo-academic losers--often staffed by the thin-lipped, clipped-haired virago, the shameless race hustler, and the superannuated, silver-pony-tailed hipster who are not only embarrassments to our system of higher education, but also who are occupying perpetually tenured wing-chair refuges in which their embarrassing pseudo-intellectual denizens can avoid any retraining as useful citizens.


reader Gordon said...

Hmmm, I generally support a modicum of socialism, but a 75% "wealth" tax?? That is a wonderful way to see an exodus of productive, hard-working small business and professional people, along with innovative entrepreneurs, and to destroy the economy...even Sweden learned its lesson.
Here in Canada, the NDP (socialist party) is always talking about how they are the protectors of the "working people of Canada". This is a code---"working" means either union members, or is newspeak for the non-working people. Small business owners and professionals are not included in this definition, although they work a damn sight harder than the "workers" in general. Now
government "workers" are their especial love. I had an acquantaince who worked for the govt in its lands and forests ministry and it was his job (and his co-workers) to print aerial maps of areas of the province. He told me that for months at a time, they had zero direction--read books, played games, and occasionally put together an aerial map of someplace or other that they more or less chose using the darts method :)


reader John Archer said...

There's a little irony here.

Norman Levitt, one of the co-authors of Higher Superstition (the Werner von Brauns of the Science Wars) and the spur to Alan Sokal's hoax, is (was?) a Rutgers mathematician.

He's probably not too happy with the progress the retards have made there in the last 20 years.

P.S. Definition:
derrida [dɛrɪda] n. The brown streak found on used lavatory paper, and sometimes on your underpants if you aren't quick enough.


reader Buzz said...

Some incisive comments, Donald Kines.

Now I see "pop culture" as a degenerate oxymoron that has transmogrified the traditional aim of culture (especially as once conveyed by American higher education in the humanities) as a refinement of the intellectual, aesthetic, and moral faculties in students.

However, what we have now are whole bogus university departments like "ethnic," "gender," "peace," "media," etc. "studies" that are little more than social and political advocacy clubs of intellectually nugatory
value. These faculty clubs of pseudo-academic losers--often staffed by the thin-lipped, clipped-haired virago, the shameless race hustler, and the superannuated, silver-pony-tailed hipster, are not only embarrassments to our system of higher education, but are also occupying perpetually-tenured lecture-hall and wing-chair faculty lounge refuges in which these embarrassing pseudo-intellectual denizens can avoid all retraining as useful citizens.


reader John Archer said...

"Non-latino whites are no longer even a plurality among University of California applicants and very far from being the majority. As you probably know, we non-latino whites are already a minority in California as a whole. And, as California goes, so goes the nation. Just watch."

How do you feel about that, i.e. the demographic of California now and the trajectory for the rest of the nation?


reader BobSykes said...

American hydrologists usually determine right bank and left bank by facing downstream. So above an American hydrologist would write "left-bank Ukraine roughly corresponds to the more pro-Russian regions." European or Czech usage might be different.


Be that as it may, you discussions of the Ukrainian situation are just about the only intelligent, informative ones on the internet. Walter Russell Mead's Via Media blog seems to have been captured the the old Nazis.


Partition either along the Dnieper or along the Presidential vote boundary would be preferable to a civil war.


reader bellwether3 said...

Some incisive comments, Donald Kines.

Now I see "pop culture" as a degenerate oxymoron that has
transmogrified the traditional aim of culture (especially as once
conveyed by American higher education in the humanities) as a refinement
of the intellectual, aesthetic, and moral faculties in students.

However, what we have now are whole bogus university departments like
"ethnic," "gender," "peace," "media," etc. "studies" that are little
more than social and political advocacy clubs of intellectually nugatory
value. These faculty clubs of pseudo-academic losers--often staffed by
the thin-lipped, clipped-haired virago, the shameless race hustler, and
the superannuated, silver-pony-tailed hipster are not only
embarrassments to our system of higher education, but also occupying
perpetual tenured refuges in which their embarrassing
pseudo-intellectual denizens can avoid any retraining as useful
citizens.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Hi haelfix, I don't think that the diagram ignores any backreaction whatsoever and I don't think that the apparent horizon may agree with the event horizon in any situation perhaps except for some trivial static ones - and this one is not an example - so it's hard to find something in your comment that doesn't seem completely wrong to me.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Andreas, after the black hole evaporates, there can't be anything left. That's why the diagram on the picture above looks like the empty Minkowski space Penrose diagram in the very upper portion of it.


Something left would be a "black hole remnant" and we know from the spectrum of QG that such objects don't exist. Hawking himself also agrees that there can't be black hole remnants, so by claiming that there are black hole remnants, you are surely not defending the current Hawking's viewpoint. ;-)


I don't believe that the right Hawking diagram for the evaporating Schwarzschild black hole's spacetime may look any different than the picture above. It has a spacelike singularity, draw it. Some spacetime before it. Some r=0 point of the collapsing star before the singularity is formed - that's the left vertical line. The space is Minkowski after the singularity is gone - that's why there's a vertical line up from the right end of the singularity. How would you ever want to modify it?


And I don't think that our previous discussion had anything whatsoever to do with the speculative "final state" proposal. I am just saying that the diagram is the right one for the evaporating black hole spacetime and it has an event horizon. I am not talking about the detailed physics near the singularity and I am surely not attributing any supernatural properties to it! ;-)


reader Albert Zotkin said...

Black holes do not exist and cannot exist in nature at all, because nature prevents their formation by means of a clever mechanism called quantum tunneling. Hawking was clever too when he proposed that "black holes" evaporate (Hawking radiation is also a quantum tunnelling of a sort).


reader Mr nobody said...

Not bad overview, bud sadly many black/white stereotypes about Stalin and Russia, which are rather part of Western brainwashing


reader Dilaton said...

Hi Lumo thanks for this great review article :-)

Seems it is unfortunately just getting attacked on Physics SE by a user who dislikes correct physics explanations, such as given here, and is looking for alternative wrong opinions instead :-/

http://physics.stackexchange.com/q/96387/2751

Voted down and to close as "primary opinion based" ...


reader Eugene S said...

Would some kind soul -- not Luboš who is busy enough already -- care to give an Explanation for Dummies of the Penrose diagram in this article?

What am I supposed to see there. Wikipedia is only a little helpful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_information_paradox

At least it tells me that in its simpler version of the diagram, "[t]ime [is] shown on vertical axis from bottom to top; space shown on horizontal axis from left (radius zero) to right (growing radius)."

But this diagram is more complex. The yellow line is the surface of a star. Okay. So looking from bottom to top, the yellow line marks the lifecycle of a star? From being an accidental region in space at which dust begins to accumulate, to ignition, to collapse into a black hole? Why does the yellow line not recede all the way to the left (radius = 0)?

What does the orange line signify? The "horizon" -- is it the hypotenuse in the right triangle? The various colors -- pink, red, yellow, orange, purple, green, light brown -- are they arbitrary or do they signify anything? Why is the purple line at the singularity sawtoothed? What significance do the relative lengths, angles and areas in the diagram possess?

What is the long-form "story" of this diagram, in 200 words or less?


reader BMWA1 said...

The Ukraine in west was 'ruled' by Poland officially, but since the Early Modern Polish state was so weak, the Hetman in Kiev was an effective independent ruler, and the habit of autonomy even at the village level was developed at this time, the divide is the rough boundary of the ex-Polish Lithuanian commonwealth. More recently (post WW2), the Lviv and Zakarpaty regions were seized from Poland and Slovakia, these are the main Catholic regions. The depth of the Orthodox history is much greater, and that area really extends up to the territory of Galichnya (that resisted Kiev in the early part of Middle Ages, ultimately absorbed, it is worth noting that the Regional Museum in Lviv tends to celebrate even the anti-Kiev leaders of this early Galichnya period, a name related ultimately to Celts like the Boii!). I would put the strongest fault-line much further west, as in a cultural as opposed to Political sense. Oddly enough, the EU itself considers the west three provinces (Lviv, Ivano-Franco and Zakarpaty, that you indicate as Uzhgorod) as part of the Central European zone, and in Prague there are students from these regions on EU scholarships. For complex reasons, I think it a very, very bad idea to divide the Ua as proposed.


reader de^mol said...

Yes, good article and informative. Thanks.

May I add that in my opinion, (a bit off topic, since you are concentrating on a split) looking at the map, a total incorporation of Ukraine into the EU is not viable.

Simply because of the strategic importance of the eastern Ukraine for Russia. Consider the ports of Sevastopol where the Russian black sea fleet is based and Odessa, and the total Krim with Jalta. I don't think that Russia would accept such a scenario.

So maybe a split, yes. That would be the only possibility in case the western part does not accept the status quo, that is, a Russian oriented Ukraine.


reader BMWA1 said...

One last note, about the provisional Ukrainian Govt. of early 20th century, it spent its first year under guard of the German Army after 1917, switching protectorship again to Poland after 1919, there is probably one year or so of true independence by multiple unstable governments. Poland, in typical Polish fashion, actually invaded the Soviet Union at this time with a view to restoring old borders (and establish a non-Russian state on its SE border, i.e., Ukraine Provisional Govt.). This did not turn out so well, but Russian forces were defeated in an epic battle in front of Warsaw in 1920, saving Poland (with smaller land-mass than planned). One lasting achievement of the Ukrainian Provisional Govt. was aid in transit of a certain Pan Masaryk whose CZ legion had been fighting against the Central Powers on the Galicia-Lemberg section of front. This is celebrated in the Kiev Historical Museum (where largest collection of uniforms from Masaryk unit can be found on top floor). These 20th Cent. events, compounded by the state-induced famine in early 1930's, are the main elements in the anti-Russian feeling, but the situation is complex, as these are not 'cultural' Central Europeans, and present economic links make production in Donbas region also important for the social welfare of west. If EU 'gets' the West Ukraine as you suggest, it will be an impoverished basket case.


reader Andreas Karch said...

In your standard Penrose diagram space inside the black hole ends by encountering the cosmic (spacelike) singularity and after that only flat space is left. Clearly the region near the singularity is modified by quantum corrections and those can qualitatively change the picture. If the spacelike singularity survives, you have to worry about boundary conditions (and yes, this is very speculative. But you are the one who advertises the Penrose diagram with the spacelike singularity). If the spacelike singularity gets replaced by a core of quantum matter (which frankly is what I think PR are telling us has to happen, otherwise we could not get state dependence. If all the infalling matter disappears in the singularity and so the inside of the black hole is just empty after a very short time it is hard to understand why the creation operators inside the black hole should depend on the details of the matter distribution that formed the black hole to begin with) you would get a very different Penrose diagram and presumably no real event horizon. The full causal structure would be more that of a star. But without understanding exactly what happens to the spacelike singularity in your picture, there is no clear statement about whether the full Penrose diagram has a true event horizon or not.


reader Haelfix said...

Hey Lubos, I think i'm just saying what Andreas is saying. Namely that the event horizon in the above diagram, is only an absolute horizon b/c there is a singularity (guarenteed classically by Hawkings singularity theorems) and that a geodesic that passes through it is guarenteed to stop (geodesic incompleteness). However in the approximation where quantum mechanics is taken into account, by hypothesis something smooths that singularity out in some way and the horizon in the diagram is no longer absolute (a 'geodesic' will pass through it to reach scri+ in some way).

Therefore for some observer I think its not wrong to say that the horizon was only apparent (this is a highly coordinate dependant statement of course and we don't quite know what happens to him/her exactly at the singularity).

With what part of this do you disagree?


reader Luboš Motl said...

I disagree with the part which starts at the beginning and ends at the end. ;-)


The singularity just can't be "smoothened" so that the Penrose diagram is qualitatively changed. If it were possible, you would probably draw a Penrose diagram that isn't obviously wrong. But such a diagram doesn't exist.


Quantum corrections only affect the region that is depicted by the very thin vicinity of the singularity, the horizontal teeth, and none of the modifications can really blow up completely new parts of the diagrams that would change something about the topology of the Penrose diagram.


As long as the causality of the propagation of the field degrees of freedom is respected, Hawking's proof of the information loss is completely robust against quantum corrections. String theory etc. only preserves the information because the information carried in the Hawking radiation completely circumvents all the causal restrictions one would expect from any classical background similar to the black hole spacetime.


reader Luboš Motl said...

I disagree that when we/I draw a final spacelike singularity, we are obliged to define the boundary conditions.


The normal causal story is that the future evolves from the past according to the laws of physics, so whatever it is right before reaching the Planckian or effectively infinite curvature is what is there, and the spacetime cannot be extrapolated further simply because quantities start to be ill-defined near the singularity. So whatever is there, is there, but there's no reason why the final state should be universal or should obey any universal boundary conditions.


It's just a speculation due to Maldacena and Horowitz that one may ignore the logic of causality and constrain the final state as well. It has some attractive features but many more problems and I currently think it is not a a sensible paradigm to understand what's going on near the singularity.


And again, I don't think that quantum corrections may change something about the fact that the singularity - region where the curvatures inevitably rise above 0.001 times Planck curvature, for example, which is a very large curvature - is inevitably formed by the star collapse. I don't think that quantum corrections may qualitatively change the Penrose diagram for the spacetime, as long as by "spacetime", I only mean the regions where classical GR is a good approximation. It's pretty much by definition. When classical GR is a good approximation, quantum corrections are negligible. When and where quantum corrections become important, it becomes illegitimate to draw classical pictures of the spacetime and Penrose diagrams. Do you disagree?


If you do disagree, could you please show us what your original and clever modification of the Penrose diagram by quantum corrections looks like?


reader BMWA1 said...

No, Ukraine is not for east or west to split, best to go with Russia today and re-assess situation in several years time. Trajectories of Russia vs. EU over past 10y suggest that Russia may be the better way for Ua.


reader timothy sorenson said...

In the vein of replying to other's published views perhaps a few of the articles from "The edge's annual question" will pique your interest Lubos.

http://www.edge.org/annual-questions


reader Curious George said...

Lubos - thanks. A very nice article. However, it misses the main point completely, as exemplified by BMWA1's comment "best to go with Russia today". Does he really believe it would be possible to reverse the decision tomorrow?


The point is that while the ties with Russia are undeniably strong, and if Russia were a normal country, it would be natural partner. Unfortunately, it is not a normal country, and not a possible partner; rather a possible - and probable - ruler. I am not sure if the Ukraine still has a luxury of determining its own destiny; but this may be the last chance.


You are correct that Yanukovich was democratically elected, partly on an EU-partnership platform. Then he made a sudden U-turn. What options do citizens in any state have? I am actually surprised how democratically the opposition behaves.


reader anony said...

If we take his weather analogy seriously, I would venture to say that unitarity of the universal wave function is fully restored at the horizon. So prior to the horizon, knowledge about classical observations that emerged due to decoherence has to be undone. Classical precision has to be less and less possible. The black hole micro states must appear to be nearly coherent near the horizon and perfectly coherent at the horizon. We can't really observe the black hole to collapse it's state function. It would seem then the apparent horizon is a type of boundary layer which contains the entropy of the system since hawking appears to be saying that is what radiates. A slowly evaporating black hole is effectively undergoing a very slow state function collapse.


reader BMWA1 said...

has it been possible for France or UK to readily revoke their EU status? That question goes both ways, but with respect to the physical plant of the country, which is to say Donetz basin, the region that takes in about 8 Billion USD per annum, and subsidizes West Ukraine incl. Kiev with the majority of this, it is a further argument against EU integration, from US eyes, 8 Billion USD may not be a lot (QE amounts to about 80 Billion monthly), but to Ua, with reserves of less than 20 Billion, this is critical income, and cannot be structurally replaced over long-term by temporary aid programs like those being discussed at present. Finally, to reiterate, EU stagnates, and Russia has made big strides over the last decade, and judging by its 13% flat tax rate, is considerably better run. Politically authoritarian atmosphere, yes, more actual personal freedom, perhaps yes, lower unemployment, by a factor of 5-10.


reader Curious George said...

Dear BMW1: Please don't contradict yourself. You wrote: "best to go with Russia today and re-assess situation in several years time."


I don't put my trust in a country led by a successful KGB agent (even though I may not be much better off in a country led by a brilliant orator).


reader Curious George said...

Kevin Allred is obviously a Vulcan (look at his ear). A most un-Vulcan course. Must be an interesting personality.


reader de^mol said...

I do not really disagree with you, so I don't really understand where your no is coming from. All I said that there are 3 options: 1. EU, 2. Russia, 3. Split. EU I don't see as a realistic option, so we are left with 2 and 3. Then I said that although a split could be a possibility, it is only then if the western part really doesn't accept the Russian option. In the latter case it doesn't accept the only logical outcome is either a split or civil war, whether you like it or not. To make myself clear, in this situation I think that the Russian option is the best option for now, so hopefully the western part does accept the current situation.


reader BMWA1 said...

If you consider the characters at the non-elected EU Commission, you would count yourself lucky to have Putin, but there will be more data in 72 hours, see if Ashton and co. have plans for Ua's long-term industrial integration with Europe, I would give 20:1 odds against it.


reader BMWA1 said...

Yes, the idea of split is nonsense.


reader Curious George said...

You have a good point. But I won't move to Russia yet.


reader D said...

'B' is sounding more and more like a 'wannabe' lately ;)


reader Andreas Karch said...

Ok, Lubos. Thanks for some refreshers of things I am supposed to know. I sent you 2 emails with some more thoughts on why I want to mess around with the classic picture. But on this public forum, let me just simply admit that I agree with you ( for now). Andreas


reader Luboš Motl said...

Thanks, Andreas, I hope to read them soon today, Monday.


reader Kimmo Rouvari said...

Contemporary black holes are not the biggest blunder in physics. Once again, old truth about solid foundations hold http://www.toebi.com/blog/theory-of-everything-by-illusion/biggest-blunder-physics/


There is some redoing ahead guys! :-)


reader NumCracker said...

I am not sure why, but Hawking has assumed that BH are living in
asymptotically flat AdS space (instead of physical, dS ones), so he uses
AdS/CFT + CPT arguments to conclude that no BH can exist. Well, the
whole trouble concerning physical BH is that they are embedded in dS
spacetimes not in AdS ones. This simply throws the baby out with the
bath water …


reader Haelfix said...

Ok I think I see what you are getting at. You are assuming a complementarity type of scenario regarding the interior degrees of freedom.


I'm still a little worried about the final state of the hole in this idea but ok.


reader Luboš Motl said...

I don't think that I am "assuming" complementarity here (these are just solid Yes/No questions about classical GR, I believe) although, it's clearly right, too.


reader woodnfish said...

Lubos, the reason the media is not telling us that the western Ukrainians are the anti-semite nazi homophobes is because they are kindred spirits with the media.


reader Art said...

v helpful series of posts. Thx.