Sanctions And Shutouts: Gaming In Annexed Crimea

You can add your own hilarious POLITICAL SATIRE caption okay cool

When we think about how politics tends to affect video games, it tends to be along the lines of ratings, censorship, and bans. The effects of economic sanctions don’t often come to mind. After Russia annexed and took control of the Ukranian peninsula of Crimea in 2014 – which the United Nations General Assembly doesn’t recognise – the USA put many sanctions on the area. In short, a lot of US businesses pulled out. This included game companies, impacting everything from League of Legends to Steam for folks in Crimea.

A fascinating article on Kotaku UK goes over the situation and how it changes games for folks. It’s a good read.

Look, here’s a quote from one person (though I’m not sure where they get their numbers from):

“Since January, Valve ceased operations of Steam in Crimea. There are 2.3 million people in Crimea and approximately 20-30,000 of them are using Steam. Now we can’t buy any more games or use our accounts for selling things that we’ve earned in-game. I have my money left there which I can’t use! But we can still play the games which we had bought before; some of my friends have bought virtual IP addresses to get around the sanctions; they can use all internet services easily, including playing games.”

Some folks pay for a proxy server, letting them appear to online services like they’re in another country, but it’s a messy situation and technically against the terms of service for many online things, so the threat of a ban does hang over them. Or they can buy from key resellers, which aren’t without problems. Or simply pirate games.

Anyway, yes, do go read. There’s plenty more, including how it affects games business. I certainly hadn’t thought about this before. No, video games are not the biggest issue in annexed Crimea but oh gosh I’m trying to not create a political mess as I write this I’m going now bye.

120 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    One would hope that they’d treat country-spoofing the same way Netflix treats it — acknowledging it, not officially condoning it, but also knowing it’s an important part of their business and not trying to clamp down on it unless someone uses it for nefarious purposes.

    It’s frustrating how, in an online world without borders, we’re still repeatedly reminded (via obstructive licensing and legal issues) that we must physically live in a world that most certainly still has borders. I guess we can add sactions to that list, too.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      I should clarify: One would hope they’d treat it that way in this particular case, i.e. with some understanding of the issue and circumstances.

      (We’re never getting the “edit” button back, are we? Did we anger the hivemind? Is this our punishment?)

      • mtomto says:

        Not sure I understand, but it sounds like you want the sanctions lifted? I don’t really know if sanctions are helping, but something needs to be done.

        Putin seems more and more like a carbon copy of the early 30’s Hitler. It did not help to isolate Germany after the 1st world war, and I doubt it will help to isolate Russia now. Either way is good for Putin though personally… not good for Russia. Seems like the media is controlled by Putin, so he can spin good and bad news in his favor gaining more support internally.

        I doubt anything changes before Putin is gone. Stick to 2 terms in office max, and then find a new President. It’s healthy to let the President serve the country, and not let the country serve the President. Change is good… mostly.

        • Fushigi says:

          Yep, I’m sure Putin looks like that to masses in the western countries. I’m actually surprised they didn’t make him even more monstrous by now. Same goes for Obama here in Russia. It’s an informational war, mate. I’m not in the mood for political or historical conversation right now but please, either do some historical research (not on google, in the library), or at least take all the shitty information thrown at you with grain of salt. Thank you.

          • mtomto says:

            If Obama is portrayed like that, then doesn’t that prove my point? Obama hasn’t exactly annexed anything or threatened with nuclear war.

          • EhexT says:

            This isn’t a “oh he’s like hitler!” propaganda thing though. He has been literally quoting Hitlers reason for invading the Sudetenland. Obama doesn’t write Putins speeches. That’s not a subjective experience. He’s literally said that everyone who speaks russian is russian and that means wherever those people live is part of russia and he can invade at will (as he’s done in Crimea). That’s not hitler-adjacent, that is Hitler-plagiarism.

          • DodgyG33za says:

            @mtomto

            Maybe not Obama, but the Cuban missile crisis and Bay of Pigs demonstrates that yes, the US would be prepared do act exactly like Russia did, and indeed has done in the past.

            It sucks to be a small country next to a big one I guess.

          • jrodman says:

            Bay-of-pigs is indeed shameful, and imperialist. But even when it occurred, it was not with intent to annex Cuba. And it’s certainly not representative of the current regime’s foreign policy.

          • DodgyG33za says:

            What word would you use to describe Guantanamo Bay if not annexed?

            From Wiki:
            The government of Cuba argues that the base is a constant affront to its sovereignty [because]
            the base was taken under duress
            the base is maintained under the threat of atomic force

            Strong parallels with Crimea from where I am sitting.

          • jrodman says:

            Guantanamo bay was not a result of the bay of pigs. It dates to the prior regime of Cuba and was leased in a treaty in 1903. Conflict over the pressence in Guantanamo Bay occurred after the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s, where the subsequent regime no longer welcomed the presence of the US Military. Essentially the US has simply retained an occupation force on the land without any ongoing treaty authorizing it to do so. Imperialist for sure, but not an invasion to annex.

            The Bay of Pigs was an attempt to overturn the government of Cuba which failed in 1961. It was a fairly transparent attempt to misdirect the origin of a new revolution from within. Underhanded and imperialist, but really an expression of the ongoing Monroe Doctrine interpretation in which Washington would attempt to instill governments in Central & South America and the Carribbean favorable to the US. Frequently these regimes served the people of their countries poorly, and it has taken a heavy toll on the region, but no sovereign territory has been annexed as a result of invasion since the Spanish-American war, to my knowledge.

            So I stand by my view that these two situations whlie both imperialistic, are not directly comparable.

            If the world, however, took a stand that the US had better get out of Guantanamo Bay just as well as Russia should get out of Georgia, Crimea, then I don’t care if the situations are exactly comparable, it would be obviously for the good.

          • His Divine Shadow says:

            true, the US doesn’t annex countries. instead it overthrows governments, destroys economies, basically turns entire nations into festering wounds of unending tribe wards, drug trafficking and slave trade. surely, that’s way more noble and just than taking control over territories and trying to rebuild them, with almost unanimous support of the local population.

          • joa says:

            Didn’t know this site was popular with Ruskie twats.

        • Goodtwist says:

          Whenever someone on the Internet describes Putin as a “Carbon Copy Hitler” I know that the Internet is democracy. Where else would you stumble upon piles and piles of inane Opinions. Because hey, everybody has one.

          • EhexT says:

            That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact. He’s been cribbing from Hitlers speeches and justifications. Take it up with Putin if you don’t like it – or whoever writes his speeches.

          • Goodtwist says:

            @EhexT

            Your “fact” sounds to me rather like a lazy piece of propaganda of Putin’s political adversaries.

        • DmUa says:

          Looks more like western propaganda becoming more and more Cold War’esque.

  2. CobraLad says:

    The sad part is that Russia is generally extremely hostile business environment and many game developers going to persevere silently through the bullshit believing its temporal inconvenience, created by other countries.
    Recently i knew that one big indie doesnt even have bank account. I dont know if he was scared of bureocracy and hostile banking culture. but googling revealed that, for example, you need to pay small fee for a debit card. One that allows you to pay in internets is premium.

    • Fushigi says:

      What in the hell are you people talking about? Premium card to pay for internet? :) You can pay for electronic services with any card, same as everywhere in the world. You really think Russia is some kind of dictatorship don’t you? I always thought that internet is the place for thinking people, who don’t rely on news channels for their world view.. Maybe I was wrong?

  3. Duke of Chutney says:

    Interesting article. I’ve played at least one person claiming to be from Crimea in Wargame Red Dragon (its popular with eastern block and Russian players in general) so i figured they could still use steam in some way.

    Pity that the US idea of putting political pressure on the Kremlin is to hammer normal people in Crimea.

    • Fushigi says:

      Well, IP block is nothing more than a nuisance in today’s world of proxy providers, VPNs, anonymizers etc. Thank god internet freedom movement is going strong.

    • nld says:

      Game companies being prohibited to do business in Crimea is a side effect, possibly not even intentional. It’s just that no US company can do business there. For ordinary citizen, I’d say, Visa not working is much more noticeable than inability to buy hats in Steam Store. The target, however, is not people, but businesses, investments etc.

      • Niko says:

        The target might be businesses and investments, but the prices raise affects citizens directly.

      • Frosty Grin says:

        It’s the people who suffer anyway. Aren’t they already victims of the regime, forcibly annexed at gunpoint? Well, they aren’t, but if they were, it would be cruel to punish them even further.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      That’s generally going to happen in the case of sanctions. It’s a way one hopes to create pressure on a nation to change their ways. If that pressure is felt that’s because people feel it. Usually common folk moreso than multimillionaires and the like.

  4. Goodtwist says:

    Sanctions against Russia. Yeah sure.

    However, it’s also absolutely ok to attack and invade in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, incite a coup d’etat in the Ukraine with disastrous results, to spy on everybody, to abduct people all over to world in order to imprison/torture/kill them. It’s fine to kill brown people from distance with drones without even really knowing who they’re killing and making “collateral damages”. That is just the recent past. There’s more of that since WW2.

    Because enforcing the interests of the West and upholding its Way of Life seems to justify any means.

    • Sakai says:

      I live in Moscow, Russia. And you’re my friend full are of shit.

      • DmUa says:

        And i live in Odessa, Ukraine, no he is not full of shit, you are.

        • Sakai says:

          Хаха, небось тяжело при хунте то жить? :) Что ты тогда в Одессе делаешь? Переезжай в славную Россиюшку, где в тюрьму сажают за танцы. Тут духовные скрепы, путин, все дела. :) Не то что гейропа.

          • DmUa says:

            The official language of this site is english, please use it. And yes, it is hard to live under totalitarian fascist dictatorship. And no, why would i leave my home and my family, desire to leave is more appropriate for liberasts like you, паравалить, так что вали. I will leave ukr only alongside with whole south-east part of it.

      • Goodtwist says:

        @Sakai
        For all I know you could be living in your ma’s basement. However, I don’t care where you live.

      • Stevostin says:

        He makes some points. Answer the points with points of your own (which are absolutely not about Russia BTW) or don’t pollute the discussion.

    • levictus says:

      Coup D’etat? Have you ever been to Ukraine?

      Oh, I forgot, you’re paid Russian troll…

      Enjoy living in the Soviet Union!

      • DmUa says:

        And you are? Free ignoramus?

      • Machinations says:

        Classy. Yes, everyone who disagrees with your conclusions on Ukraine is a Russian troll.

        Have you checked under your bed? Those damn Reds could be anywhere…

      • RanDomino says:

        “MY dick is painted yellow and blue!”
        “Oh yeah? Well MY dick is painted entirely different colors!”

    • EhexT says:

      “It’s ok to invade foreign countries because other people did bad things too”
      Great logic there. Not that arguing is going to do any good – how much does the Kremlin pay again for commenters? Pretty decent money in those unassuming office buildings, isn’t it?

      • melancholicthug says:

        I find amusing that you’re doing pretty much the same as him/her. “Has a different opinion than me, has to be paid to do so”.

        • EhexT says:

          He’s following the work sheet. That’s not an ad hominem, that’s a literal fact. The Kremlin commenter offices have been documented (and they’re not a new idea either – China has been paying people to leave pro-china messages everywhere for years, they’re just paying a lot less).

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            Working from home has never been easier! ;)

            /please don’t ban me

          • Reefpirate says:

            It’s still ad hominem because you managed to completely avoid his ideas completely.

            It doesn’t matter if the Kremlin is paying him or not, really. There’s plenty of critics out there who’d say the same thing without being paid by Moscow. It’s not like the Ukrainian situation is so black and white… Unless you’re going to spout Western propaganda for free like most people seem to.

            If what you say is true, at least this guy is smart enough to get paid to be a mouthpiece.

          • jrodman says:

            No, the ideas were not avoided in full. The core logical argument was “the US is worse” was addressed as being a red herring.

            Ad hominem means that your ideas are wrong because you are stupid, etc. In this case the feedback was: your ideas are wrong AND you are stupid, etc.

            As for fully engaging on whether the US has a lot of shitty things it does, one could argue that just supports the attempt at derailment. Personally I would reply with “yes. What’s your point?”

          • Goodtwist says:

            @EhexT
            The Literal Fact is that you’re Sherlock Holmes. The Chinese government made me a billionaire by now. Thank you, PR China :p

          • Goodtwist says:

            @jrodman
            You got that wrong: I didn’t claim “the US is worse”. What I was pointing at (and the comments section of a gaming blog is hardly the right place for elaborate discussions) was that the West is bad – and not worse than XXX.

            The West is on its moral high horse and the current sanctions against Russia are just one of its cold war-like means in enforcing its interests.

          • joa says:

            Typical postmodern leftist bullshit. “Everyone is equally bad — if you don’t agree you’re racist” Maybe I should not expect any more from this site.

          • jrodman says:

            “The west is bad too” in this context implies exactly the same thing. That it’s terribly relevant.

        • aepervius says:

          I am not sure I agree that he is a “paid troll” but boy oh boy, make a thread about Ukraine, Crimea, or the shot down malaysian airplane and you get a lot of people defending Russia or Putin.

          • DmUa says:

            And alot that will accuse Russia or Putin, even thou investigation is not finished yet.

      • Nafu says:

        1. They hardly needed to “invade” Crimea. Their Black Sea fleet was already stationed there.
        2. Crimea is/was technically part of a foreign country, but its population is mostly Russian, and it was in fact a part of Russia until Khrushchev shuffled it into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954.
        3. In 1989, Gorbachev agreed to the unification of Germany and its membership in NATO, a hostile military alliance. In exchange, Bush promised that NATO would not expand “one inch to the East”. Of course, they immediately did just that, and last year supported a coup in Ukraine (Our guy “Yats”, remember? Or was everyone too focused on “F the EU” to notice?), a neighbouring country of vital strategic importance to Russia. I’m not going to argue that the annexation was legitimate, but the US certainly forced Putin’s hand.

        More to the point, you have arrogantly dismissed Goodtwist’s legitimate points with the crudest of ad hominems. Yes, the Kremlin pays shills. I’m willing to bet that Washington does, too, and the Western “mainstream” corporate media are just as cowardly as any of their Russian counterparts. That doesn’t give us licence to dismiss out of hand anything we disagree with, instead of actually reading, thinking and engaging.

        • levictus says:

          Oh yeah, just like Russia provided self determination for Chechnya in 1994…. That worked out so well for the people who live there.

          Please tell me, what has Russia got to do with foreign policy of other sovereign nations? Do you see Estonia telling Russia how it can or cannot interact with China?

          More to the point, I think behavior of the Russians (this is not only Putin, his play works because Russians actually think like that) has proven exactly why it was a good decision for Poland and the Baltics to join NATO.

          You’re acting like a typical Russian chauvinst or a paid internet troll; cherry picking facts to create confusion and doubt.

          • Nafu says:

            Are you implying that Russia is brutally repressing the people of Crimea like they did in Chechnya? Neither action was legitimate (and the latter of course was horrific), but they are two quite different situations. One similarity I can think of is that both actions combat the US strategy to encircle Russia.

            Russia interferes with other sovereign nations as much as it can get away with, just the same as everyone else does; the examples are endless. Goodtwist pointed out some comparable crimes the United States has committed over the last few years, and was called a shill for it. I pointed out that not everything is black and white, and we should seek to understand each position before laying blame, and now apparently I am also a shill.

            Neither side has any credibility; all we see is arrogance, hypocrisy, and jingoistic finger-pointing, serving thinly-veiled self-interest. Anyone who disagrees with the official narrative is either shouted down or studiously ignored. It seems our world is becoming increasingly polarised, with people now speaking of a new Cold War (not to mention China). I don’t know about you, but it disturbs the hell out of me.

          • crueldwarf says:

            >Oh yeah, just like Russia provided self determination for Chechnya in 1994…. That worked out so well for the people who live there.

            In fact, yes. Russia provided self-determination for Chechnya in 1991. Soviet of Chechen Republic declared sovereignity in november, 27 1990. Chechen national congress declared independence in june, 9 1991. Russia did nothing about that.

            But you know – a civil war started. Among the chechens themselves between more moderate and radical wings. And this war was waged until 1994 when the radicals won. After that Russian state indeed interfered because you know – having a terrorist and freaking slave-trading enclave on its border is not very healthy thing for any country. And yes, radical chechens were engaged in literal slave-trading and slave-raiding. There were slaves in many chechen villages and households in the period of 1993-2000 or so.

            Also I very much advice to look for numbers – how many russians lived in Chechnya in 1988 and how many of them survived to 1995. Off hand it was 270 thousands and 40 thousands respectivly.

            Perfect example of ethnic cleansing campaign, isn’t it? But where was glorious NATO which was so eager to protect the suffering peoples of other countries by bombing the hell out of the offenders of human rights? Nowhere to be seen. Why? Because russians of course. When you ethnic cleanse the russians it do not count.

          • Goodtwist says:

            @ Nafu
            I briefly explained myself above: I didn’t point out “comparable” crimes because there are no comparable crimes of Russia to those committed by the USA and its vassal-like allies. Instead, the USA are in a constant struggle securing and expanding its supremacy. They thereby terrorise the rest of the world.

            Here’s just a brief list of recent wars with the USA:
            Korean War (1950–1953)
            Bay of Pigs (1961)
            Vietnam War (1961–1973)
            Dominican Republic (1965)
            Lebanon (1982–1984)
            Grenada (1983)
            Panama (1989)
            Gulf War (1991)
            Somalia (1993)
            Bosnia (1994–1995)
            Kosovo (1999)
            Global War on Terror (2001– )
            Afghanistan (2001–2014)
            Iraq War (2003–2010)
            War Against the Islamic State

            What I miss here is Lybia and other, not-open-war actions, like the destabilisation of Syria and, of course, the Ukraine.

          • levictus says:

            I love how all you can talk about is how “US did this, US did that”, as if that makes Russia’s behavior ok. So stupid….

          • airmikee says:

            @Goodtwist

            “I didn’t point out “comparable” crimes because there are no comparable crimes of Russia to those committed by the USA and its vassal-like allies.”

            You’re joking, right? Please tell me you’re really, really joking. Please?

            The Holodomor during the famine of 1932-33 leaving 7.5 million Ukrainians dead at the hands of Stalin. That’s more dead at the hands of one Russian leader in one campaign than the entirety of all the deaths in every single war you listed. But just for grins, giggles, and fairness, I’ll make a long list, like you did.

            The occupations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from 1940-1991.
            Red Army invasion of Poland in 1939 that eventually removed the Nazi’s, but left the Polish people under the exact same tyrannical, oppressive rule at the hands of the Russians.
            Red Army invasion of Finland from 1944-45.
            The mass rape campaign of women and children by the Red Army in 1945 throughout Eastern Europe.
            The mass killings of civilians throughout Eastern Europe and even Russia itself, as written about by the commander of one unit, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in his book, The Gulag Archipelago.
            The invasions and occupations of Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Azerbaijan, and Afghanistan.
            You list the Bay of Pigs, and you think Russia is blameless in that situation?
            You list the Vietnam War, and you think Russia is blameless in that situation?
            And Russia is still fighting in Chechnya, the Ukraine, while committing incursions into the airspace of everyone nation it borders (and even some further away.)

            I’m not saying the US is innocent of wrongdoing, or that America isn’t on the precipice of becoming an evil empire, I’m saying your ignorant claim about not being able to find anything significant in Russia’s past is a result of your lack of education on the topic and nothing else.

          • His Divine Shadow says:

            You are aware that Russia is not the USSR, right? Not to mention that it’s not clear if “hodomor” was artificial, and mass raping is now being recognized by many as a wild exaggeration. Also, newsflash: Chechnia is now one of the most loyal republics in Russia. I suppose incursions into someone’s air space *is* a good point though; a truly heinous crime indeed.

          • airmikee says:

            RE: His Divine Shadow

            Yeah, Russia isn’t the USSR, both nations have/had their capital in Moscow, the current President of Russia also once led the USSR’s secret police, both nations happen to exist on the exact same part of the globe, both nations happen to share most of the same people (aside from the satellite nations that were freed.) But they’re totally different in the same way that you’re a different person each time you change clothes.

            If you don’t think the Holodomor was a man made disaster, you haven’t researched the Holodomor (at least not enough to spell it correctly.) The name ‘Holodomor’ is used specifically to remind people that it was a man-made disaster, using the naturally caused famine at the time to kill off political opponents and people Stalin thought might by denying outside aid from other countries (Yep, totally natural and the fault of mother nature for humans to deny help from foreigners in a time of need), the confiscation of household foodstuffs (Was it done by tornado or another powerful gust of wind? Cause it’s pretty unnatural to send people into homes to steal food from the citizens), and travel restrictions that kept people in place to prevent them from moving to an area that might be capable of producing food (because, ah hell, I’m sick of trying to point out the stupidity in your fact-free opinion.)

            And yep, the most loyal Russian republic has fought two civil wars against Russia in the last 25 years. That’s the very definition of loyalty, isn’t it?

            Don’t let anyone ever accuse you of using facts or evidence to form your opinions, His Divine Shadow.

          • His Divine Shadow says:

            Holodomor (was just a typo last time) was of course artificial in the sense that it was a result of the Soviet government heavy-handed tampering with the economy. But where it was a deliberate genocide is still debated. Only some countries recognize it as such (notably, the UK is not among them). But I’m by no means denying that the USSR was very unscrupulous in its politics. My main point is that Russia in not the USSR. The USSR is gone for 25 years now, and its ideological collapse started well before that, so it’s safe to say that people up to 35 years old are no longer “soviet” (considering the average life expectancy in Russia, that’s a significant percentage). Putin never was a head of KGB, he was just a low-ranked agent. And his specialization was counterintelligence, not torturing dissidents. In fact, he spent 5 years in Germany, so he saw more of Europe than most Soviet people. Yes, Moscow and most of Russia’s territory is indeed the same. Well, sorry about that.

    • Kollega says:

      I’m going to go out of my way, break the sacred rule of “don’t feed the troll”, and put forth the one and only proper counter to whataboutism that I could find: saying things like “our enemies are bad, so why should we be good?” and “do unto others before they do unto us!” does NOT make you an example of moral high ground. You don’t go out to rob and murder people just because professional criminals do that, now do you?

      Bottom line: if you think that what the US does is bad, you can’t do the same thing and then go “but we’re still good because they did it first!

      • Machinations says:

        The US started this whole thing with EU complicity.

        Care to tell me why Nafu is a troll? For expressing a contrary, well informed I might add, opinion?

        You may need to drop your assumption that the western media is telling you the truth, because theyre not.

  5. xfstef says:

    hmmm
    So let me get this straight. Russia brutally and forcefully annexes (according to our western political view) those poor guys and so the best thing to do is impose sanctions on the Crimeans themselves ???

    • Reefpirate says:

      It’s pretty standard I think… Winning hearts and minds by denying access and starving people until they write angry letters to their dictators.

    • jrodman says:

      Sanctions are controversial.

    • Jesrad says:

      They did something Mordor didn’t like so they’re being punished for it. It’s how they react to basically everything.

    • Stevostin says:

      Well I guess we can all agree that depriving Crimea people from their game is a very dumb move not matter what’s the perspective (as long as it’s not, again, totally dumb).

  6. Ejia says:

    Hopefully Russia doesn’t have access to the Prose Portal, and thus plasma rifles.

  7. Reefpirate says:

    Kudos for the ‘Skimming over politics like an idiot’ tag. I’m pretty sure that’s how most people should feel when looking at Western-Russian relations these days.

  8. Fushigi says:

    Guys, please! Let’s stay fellow gamers, not politicians throwing shit at each other. I completely understand all your points of view and I am aware that there’s nothing I can or would do to prove mine or someone else’. I’m just asking you to think for yourself for once. These current tensions between regular people from Russia and western countries is nothing more than a byproduct of informational war (fueled by both sides!).

    • Kollega says:

      ^ This. It’s all very fun to call eachother names because it’s “in” right now, but most people tend to forget that wars and hostilities in general are an equivalent of having a drunken bar fight, and the resulting hangover will be utterly merciless. So even if this isn’t going to happen, I’m all for paying less attention to “who’s at fault?” and more attention to “what to do?”, if that makes any sense. In this case, that would mean the discussion of how to effectively play games in Crimea (hint hint: the easiest way, as always, is to make like Long John Silver and go “Yarr, me hearties!”)

    • klops says:

      “These current tensions between regular people from Russia and western countries is nothing more than a byproduct of informational war”

      That’s not true.

      Tension grew in the west because Russia annexed part of Ukraine and it grew in east because NATO and US influence grew in the areas that Russia did not want it to grow. Calling that nothing more than informational war is a huge underestimation.

      On the “who’s right” debate you’re absolutely right.

  9. Monggerel says:

    THAT’S WHY YOU DON’T POST ABOUT POLITICS
    HUMANS MIGHT NOTICE AND ENTER A FRENZY STATE
    LOOK IM DOING IT RIGHT NOW
    RAAAAAAA

  10. Delicieuxz says:

    Crimea was not annexed per the legal or literal definition and meaning of the term. Annexation means to take by force. Crimea legally seceded from Ukraine by holding a referendum, and then acceded into Russia after submitting a formal application, which Putin accepted with the stroke of a pen – not military hardware. So the penultimate opposite of an annexation occurred regarding Crimea, but it makes the propagandists happy when a people are simple-minded enough to repeat a line simply because they unanimously wish it were true for the sake of sitting behind at least some justification for their hostile sentiments, even if that justification is imaginary.

    For the rest of people, it’s worth being cognitive of the realities that Crimeans are mostly Russians, Crimea having been handed over to Ukraine in the 1950’s, a move which Crimeans themselves hated, and Crimea has not wanted to be a part of Ukraine or have affiliation with Ukraine consistently since their unwilling departure from Russia. Prior to reuniting with Russia, Crimea operated itself independently of Ukraine, including running its own infrastructure, policing, schooling, education, and in Crimea Russian was the primary language, and Russia was where most Crimeans’ families lived. Most all Crimeans had Russian passports, and most all Crimea favoured being closer integrated with Russia, as opposed to the European Union – and it was in response to East Ukrainians’ overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected government, which Crimean-region was strongly support of exactly because it had favoured increased Russian ties, that Crimea chose to secede from Ukraine.

    The outcome of the Crimean referendum saw a 95.5% consensus of Crimeans being in favour of seceded from Ukraine (a nation they never wanted association with), and joining Russia (a nation they had never wanted to become disassociated from, and had maintained their true identity to be with during the time they were a part of Ukraine). Crimea’s move to rejoin Russia made use of the international law and UN-recognized right to self-determination of a peoples, and is probably about the most genuine, most holistic instance of democracy on planet Earth that we can reference from out modern history.

    So if any want to mention the word annexation in combination with Crimea’s self-determined return to Russia, know that it’s without substantiation, legal reality, moral justification, or nondumbf*ckery, and is contributing to dishonest propaganda that will only be used to justify further illegitimate hostile acts and sentiments against parties that didn’t earn them through acts recognized within reality – such as, for instance, an annexation.

    • aepervius says:

      You realize the annexation came before the referendum , right ? making your whole effing rant really funny ?

      Here is what hapened in chronological order :
      1) Ukraine population throw the president away
      2) Putin decide they want Crimea back
      3) a few protest suddenly happen at the same time
      4) russian troup annexe crimea
      5) shortly after a “referendum” is organized. I put scary quote because I trust russian to organize proper voting the same way they did in soviet union era.

      De facto the annexation occurred *before* and was widely condemned. And the referendum was not only suspect but unconstitutional by Ukraine standard. In all history report and the few book I rad, all political entity and historian I see speaking about this, speaks about annexation. Live with it.

      So excuse me if I read your diatribe and think “rewrite of history” and laugh.

      • Delicieuxz says:

        What twisting take on reality do you live in? There was no rejoining of Russia ahead of Crimea’s referendum. Go laugh with that pacifier you clearly still have in your mouth. And once you’re old enough, use a dictionary and learn the meaning of Diatribe.

        • Delicieuxz says:

          * rejoining of Crimea to Russia.

          “. And the referendum was not only suspect but unconstitutional by Ukraine standard” – No, it was claimed suspect by political entities who saw it in their interest to claim it suspect. Go tell the Russian majority that lived and live in Crimea that they didn’t really want to be reunited with Russia and their families – a stance they held long before Crimea’s referendum.

          And Ukraine’s constitution had already been rendered null and void, by the coup that overthrew Ukraine’s democratically-elected government (which was an illegal act by Ukraine’s constitution). The people of Crimea were within their national and international right to secede upon the nullification of Ukraine’s constitution, which occurred with the US/EU backed coup of Ukraine’s government.

          Get a clue before your next post, maybe stop believing whatever propaganda your internet buddies tell you.

      • DmUa says:

        Why you lying? I am ukrainian and live in Ukraine the crap you posted have no basis in reality.

        Your “points” debunked by order :
        1) Ukraine population did not “trowed” the president away, radical nationalists from western ukraine led by political powers that would never won election by legal means and backed by The West overthrew legal government.
        2-3) After coup d’etat people from south-eastern ukraine that did not supported it begin to organize their protest against illegitimate overthrow and pro federal reform. In the wake of this, attacks on on ruling party supporters, communists and anti maidan activists began as was long promised by ukrainian nationalists.
        4) Crimean parliament orders referendum on issue of what crimeans want – to stay in Ukraine but under old pre 1994 constitutuion ( constitution that was in 1994 illegitimately overruled by kievan parliament ) or secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. Crimean people voted for secession.
        5) Fun fact: US officials get re-elected more often than officials in Soviet Union.

        And all your other ramblings just show that you are ill informed and just dont understand what you talking about. Referendum was fully legitimate because here were no constitutional field in ukraine, it was destroyed when nationalists and radicals illegitimately usurped power. Annexation happened when legitimate government of Crimean Republic petitioned Russian Federation for joining and Russian Federation satisfied this petition. If you are american just try to remember how you got Texas.
        As for condemnations and other BS, it is just politics it is does not matter, if president Yanukovich would have done what “new ukrainian autorities” did in the south-eastern ukraine West would condemned him and sanctioned Ukraine. But apparently Yanukovich were unlike “new ukrainian autorities” not bloodthirsty enough for this task, because even when some of the western ukrainian officials started to threat him with unconditional seccesion from ukraine he did not jailed them. But you probably never even heard about it dont you.

        From Ukraine without love.

        • Machinations says:

          Good luck to you and yours. To think I happily game with people who have been being shelled with the blessing of my government is disturbing. More disturbing is how many people lap up the US good Russia bad propaganda.

    • typographie says:

      Everyone knows who those unmarked, unnamed soldiers were. Everyone was meant to know, their presence was a threat. The Ukrainian military in Crimea didn’t simply lay down their arms for a bunch of unorganized hooligans, they laid them down because they knew they were risking war with Russia if they did anything else. If that isn’t force, what is? The tactics used here are obvious, Russia has been relying on plausible deniability throughout the entire Ukrainian crisis.

      • Frosty Grin says:

        It may be “force” – but this force isn’t the reason why Crimea is part of Russia now. The real reason is that Crimeans wanted it – and the force merely defended them from the Ukrainian military.

  11. Delicieuxz says:

    Comparing Putin to Hitler is what happens when a group of people have fallen so far beneath intelligence that they’ve become a parody of themselves as parodies of themselves while parodying something incredibly stupid.

    For a shockingly accurate fascimile of Hitler mindset and 1930’s Germany political maneuvering, look towards Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper. His actions are at times right out of the manifesto that transformed Germany into a war-for-evil nation.

    Putin is one of the world’s more, even most smart leaders, and most of the BS surrounding him is projected from the delusions of sociopathic media from stupider nations.

    When a people will swallow any “annexation” accusation they here, you know there’s little hope they’d be bright enough to form an honest perception about most other things.

    • Delicieuxz says:

      *hear

    • aepervius says:

      He used the same justification Hitler used to annexe smaller countries. If you want to avoid the comparison, you should tell Putin to stop using the same justification.

      • Delicieuxz says:

        He used the same justification to accept the submitted application by the Crimean people, who also happened to be Russian people, as Crimea is populated by Russians as Crimea was a part of Russia until 1954 and wanted to rejoin Russia since that time?

        I’m pretty sure Hitler didn’t have territories willingly apply to join the Nazi alliance and yet still do all that killing just coz and for kicks.

      • Delicieuxz says:

        “He used the same justification Hitler used to annexe smaller countries. If you want to avoid the comparison, you should tell Putin to stop using the same justification.”

        I’ve got one more thing to point out regarding the overly-simplistic-mindedness of this statement: Crimea used to be a part of Russia, and is largely populated by Russians. The whole world shares in common with Putin that this is historical and present-day fact. So I guess the whole world is on equal grounds as Putin in being comparable to Hitler in the sense that you referenced.

        Of course, as I already noted, the similarities end there, as Putin didn’t invade, slaughter, nor force any nation in an act of military conquering and war. So to compare on the ground that two territories used to be part of one nation is pointless, because you’ve removed all meaningful context that makes that historical fact mean one particular thing or another regarding the actions that accompanied that recognition by a national leader.

        Hey, Hitler spoke words and you probably do to (whether or not you understand them is a different matter) – you’re Hitler reborn, aren’t you!

        • 3Form says:

          Your historical ownership arguments are WORTHLESS.

          Sure Crimea was once part of the Russian Empire. So was ALL of Ukraine. So were the Baltic states, so was Finland, so was much of Poland, so was Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan ETC.

          Using past imperialism to justify current imperialism is just utterly ridiculous. People like you that claim to be against imperialism see it only in the West, and refuse to see Russian imperialism when it smacks you in the face.

          Criticise the West by all means (I am a complete critic of Western interventionism and meddling) but PLEASE apply the same standards to other countries. Open your eyes.

          • Machinations says:

            Crimea was always quasi independent. In the 90’s, around the time Ukraine shot down an airliner by accident, the had a referendum on soverinity, and it passed. Ukraine, at the time led by the communistlite part, the party of regions, tore up the constitution Crimeans had voted for.

            Crimea was annexed to Ukraine by Krushev, himself a Ukrainian, during the time of the USSR. There is a lot of nuance and history to these conflicts. If one plans to do an article o. Them it behooves us to do our research.

          • 3Form says:

            Surely you can come up with more than just the Khrushchev fact, you are pretty patronising if you assume I don’t know this already?

            Sod off and behoove your own research TY!

          • Alexius says:

            Kruschev wasn’t Ukrainian.
            The plane above Black Sea was shot down in 2001.
            Crimean attempt for independence was in 1995.
            Party of Regions was created in 1997.

            Please, get your facts straight before lecturing other people.

          • Delicieuxz says:

            “Your historical ownership arguments are WORTHLESS.”

            A historical ownership argument to justify the position of a larger nation was not made. The people of Crimea decided who they wanted to belong to.

  12. Kempston Wiggler says:

    For gawd’s sake, RPS! I don’t come here for politics I just want to talk about the GAMES, FFS!!!!

    …oh, wait…that’s gender politics. Sorry, my mistake. As you were.

    • Fushigi says:

      Sheesh. We need some sort of moderation in these threads.

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        Everything in moderation. :)

        I just thought it noteworthy that only gender-political issues seem to attract the kinds of comments we always see about “just wanting to talk about games”. But RPS discusses any other kind of socio-political context around gaming and nobody bats an eye. I felt that needed highlighting.

    • DmUa says:

      To be fare, RPS did not talked about politics per se. It is “not very smart people” who started to derail conversations by their putinhitler BS. Hell i even registered here because of them. Prior to this i was just silent RPS reader for about 3 years. =)

  13. Thurgret says:

    I came here solely to comment on some of the commentators. Articles like this have a way of drawing out all sorts of people who never have a thing to say about games or gaming.

    • Niko says:

      You can already see a comment in Russian mentioning “Gayrope”, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s ironical or not. Downward spiral.

      • DmUa says:

        Hilariously that comment were made by pro west russian. Who before that used ad hominem towards other commenter. Kinda shows who are real baddies here. =)

  14. Machinations says:

    Probably not the best subject for drive by articles on RPS.

    I encourage the generally well read audience to read widely on what has been going on in Ukraine.

    I for one do not consider the actions of our governments .. Im Canadian as people who play games with me well know..as legitimate. My take is that we have been the aggressors, instigating a coup led by far right types and supporting an abhorrent government.

    So please dont parrot the mainstream western media without at least doing your homework, its tacky and crass. Lets hope that both sides pull back because as much as I love me some fallout I dont want to live it for reals, ya dig?

    • 3Form says:

      Conversely, don’t parrot Russia Today or Fort Russ without doing your homework first.

  15. Stevostin says:

    Wait, so let me recap.

    Official narrative says Russia took control of Crimea. It doesn’t recognise the vote of the people there so it means they can’t be held for responsible of this, being neither a loosing army or a recognise decision making entity.

    So they sanction Crimea, but not Russia with sanctions. Russia BTW is the 2nd country for Steam. It would be interesting to see what happen if Russia has to removed from there either.

    But so far it’s not. Except for Crimea, now a part (de facto) of Russia. Where according to the punishing entity live the victims, not the enforcer of the behaviour that’s being punished.

    It’s so dumb it’s wonderful.

    Also it’s an awesome signal to send: “buy games on US platform, and if ever US antagonize with your country, loose them all. After all, it’s not as if US was constantly antagonizing with other countries.”

    • Niko says:

      Could you clarify by what you mean by “Russia is the 2nd country for Steam”? Two years ago Russian territories constituted around 5% revenue. I doubt everything changed drastically since then.

      • Stevostin says:

        I am surprised you have any stats on revenue, per country or gloabal. But from the language stats, Russia is high. Don’t remember but above 20% I’d say. Then of course there are F2P, price are lower on russian territory and russian language isn’t spoken only in Russia. But I was surprised to see Russia being so big.

        I don’t know if those were public stats. I have a product on steam so maybe that was one of the tools from Steamworks.

    • Alexius says:

      It’s not about punishment, it’s about severing all financial ties, so that there’s no precedents of aknoweledging Russian juridistiction over Crimea.

  16. kud13 says:

    Huh, sure is fun to see RPS turn into veritably pretty much every other corner of the Internet I frequent… not.

    Right, before we go any further: I was born in UA, I live in Canada, I supported the Maydan, I continue to support Ukrainian govt (though that doesn’t mean I don’t criticise them) and army volunteers to this day, including financially. “Russian Worlders” can feel free to start frothing, since I’m apparently their classic idea of a boogieman “Banderite” (and I’m from L’viv to boot). Nevermind the fact both Russian and Uki are my native languages.

    I’m not here to make the argument about who is right and who is wrong: at its core, the Revolution was a values debate, layered on top of geopolitical confrontations, and it’s damn near pointless to try to convince a the other side their values are wrong, so I have no intention of trying.

    From a legal perspective, however:
    Crimea is now a “grey zone”. Same as Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabalh (look them up)–other pieces of “Soviet Heritage”. The only difference is, Crimea is
    A) bigger, with a more sizeable population than the rest combined
    B) the only one that was directly annexed (or, I guess, the proper term would be Anschlussed into a different sovereign state.
    C) one which become subject of mass public hysteria about how “sacral” to the Russian identity it is.

    From the point of view of International law (elective as it is), only B) has any relevance. I always particularly enjoy the hypocrisy of Russian MFA, tossing Kosovo into the West’s face… .while not formally recognising Kosovo’s independence.
    Anyhow, the point here really is, until Crimea gets any type of legitimacy, it’s going to remain a legal “grey zone”. Meaning, although it is de-facto part of Russia, no international org will really acknowledge that fact, and as such, no international business will go to work there, especially since the moneyed powers of the West do not wish it.
    There’s a ton of things I like to criticise the West’s foreign policy for. Crimean sanctions aren’t one of them. For Crimean gamers, yeah that means VPN. Which is a risk they take.
    And incidentally, there are ways to do self-determination right. Take a look at Scotland, that had 2 years of debate. Crimea was (arguably) de-facto occupied first, and THEN had a referendum (fast-tracked 2 times), without any kind of an actual measured debate possible.
    Even still, if the end result of this wasn’t Russia visibly growing on a map (I.e., if Crimea remained an “independent Russian puppet state”), I doubt the West would’ve reacted this harshly. Really does suck for the people of Crimea (as it would for the people in occupied Donbas), but it was a choice they made, without thinking about the repercussions.

    • crueldwarf says:

      >From a legal perspective, however:
      Crimea is now a “grey zone”. Same as Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabalh (look them up)–other pieces of “Soviet Heritage”. The only difference is, Crimea is
      A) bigger, with a more sizeable population than the rest combined
      B) the only one that was directly annexed (or, I guess, the proper term would be Anschlussed into a different sovereign state.
      C) one which become subject of mass public hysteria about how “sacral” to the Russian identity it is.

      As far as googling goes google please Goa affair between India and Portugal. Goa was forcefully annexed by indian troops in 1961 or so. Portugal recognized it only in 1974 after government change. So this shit is far from unprecendented and examples aren’t limited to “Hitler did it too!”

      • kud13 says:

        Ok, so by your own logic, in 12 years Crimeans will officially have Steam and such back, hooray.

        I mean, nevermind that one example is a few colonial enclaves held by a former colonizing empire, in another case we have a stark opposite (which is a former colonizing empire “taking back” it’s former colony). Three waves of ethnically cleansed Crimean Tatars say hi, btw.

        And the reason I used Anschluss is because, quite frankly, i’m sure that at least 60% percent of Austrians were genuinely overjoyed to join the Third Reich. Just as Crimeans were happy to “come home”, and afterwards “let rocks fall from the sky”. I mean, who gives a damn that all you power, water and 90% of your commodities come from mainland Ukraine, it’s much more important to be terrified of Ukrainian nationalists Russian State TV is showing you, right?

        Lookit, I don’t like the situation anymore than the Russians do. I’d have preferred a Scotland-type solution, where both sides could discuss the pros and cons for a lengthy time, prior to deciding things, preferably with limited meddling by west and Russia (China strikes me as a nice neutral-ish arbiter). But that’s not how things happened. As such, we live with what we have. And what we have is a grey zone.

        • crueldwarf says:

          >I mean, nevermind that one example is a few colonial enclaves held by a former colonizing empire, in another case we have a stark opposite (which is a former colonizing empire “taking back” it’s former colony). Three waves of ethnically cleansed Crimean Tatars say hi, btw.

          Sorrym but russians have the majority of population in Crimea since 1860s or so. So russians have about as much rights for this land as americans had for Midwest or California.

          In fact Crimea happened in Ukraine precisely because a “colonizing power” (USSR) decided to redraw administrative borders inside itself and attach a russian territory to Ukrainian republic (by the way – in the same way current Eastern Ukraine was attached to Ukraine a two decades earlier).

          So what is currently happened is just “decolonization” process as arbitrary decisions by authoritarian soviet government (which were made without any real consent of the citizens of the country) are reviewed.

          >And the reason I used Anschluss is because, quite frankly, i’m sure that at least 60% percent of Austrians were genuinely overjoyed to join the Third Reich.

          So? As far as I can remember – nazi leadership wasn’t tried in Nurneberg for Anschluss.

          >. I’d have preferred a Scotland-type solution, where both sides could discuss the pros and cons for a lengthy time, prior to deciding things, preferably with limited meddling by west and Russia

          This variant is the best possible one. But there was a slight problem. There were several attempts to hold a referendum by crimeans in the 90s. They all were squashed by Kiev government with the help of already mentioned ukrainian nationalist. In fact Kiev revoked the autonomous status of Crimean Republic, cancelled its constitution and revoked the right to elect their own leadeship. All this shit happened in the 90s under Kravchuk and Kuchma governments. When first Maidan happened in 2004 Crimeans also were ready to secede but a political solution to a crisis was found and no violent coups happened. If ukrainian opposition accepted the deal brokered by freaking three EU foreign ministers – none of this would happened. But radicals decided that the might makes right and apparently forget that Russia have a bigger toys.

    • 3Form says:

      Can I just say excellent post. Very succinct!

  17. Carlos Danger says:

    Maybe Russia can shoot down a couple more passenger planes till they turn people’s video games back on.

    This deserves some form of Inception like facepalm.

    • Frosty Grin says:

      Do you have any proof that Russia shot down a passenger plane?

  18. drewski says:

    That “not starting anything political” thing went well, then, eh Alice?

    Interesting read though.

  19. Fushigi says:

    Woah, haven’t been here for couple hours and look at this! Political bullshit does seem to be theme of the day!

  20. NukeWithG says:

    Here’s my stance on the whole Ukraine thing:
    I don’t know if the whole thing in Ukraine was an annexation. I do know that all the media here (Finland) calls it an annexation, and so does every single other outlet of information that I have seen other than Russian. I do know that Russian media tells lies, as I recently went to Russia on a work trip and in the news there were major lies about the Finnish government. I do know that there was a convoy of supposedly empty vans going over the border to Ukraine as well as some Russian troops found on Ukrainian land, which Russian government denied as being hostile action when it quite obviously was hostile action. I do also know that the Russian people have a nasty habit of trying to invade their neighbours, and that the number of Russians supposedly living in Georgia back when that was a bigger thing than now was inflated by Russians giving out Russian passports to any Georgian and then using that amount as their reason.

    Why I’m against Russia in anything that in any way increases their power in Eastern Europe; they have a nasty habit of trying to either take over Finland or trying to control the Finnish government and media. Recently a Russian news station tried to establish a Finnish part to it that would broadcast in Finnish, but they couldn’t get any Finnish speaking hosts because everyone they tried to get didn’t agree to blatantly lie. On the other hand, western countries have allowed Finland to stay sovereign ever since we gained independence.

    Also in that Crimean “freedom” celebration thingie in Moscow there was a large group of people yelling “Give us Finland and Poland next!”. So yeah, that’s a thing. Poles, if any of you are here, we should have a lil’ talk about alliances ’cause Finland cannot join NATO anymore, it’s not an option for us with Russians being as hostile toward us as they are right now. (I live in a city near both an airbase and the border, and there has been way too many Russian planes that have “on accident” flown over the border. The airbase is also in a constant state of alert and has a lot more patrol runs than it used to just a few years ago.)

    • His Divine Shadow says:

      Well, I don’t know, does Finland have an illegitimate government of murderous nationalistic US sock puppets, and regions with 90+% pro-Russian population that hate their guts and desperately want to joint Russia? If not, I think you’ll be ok.

      • kud13 says:

        *deep breath* I solemnly swear this will be the last post I make on the topic *deep breath*

        right let’s break this down, bit-by bit. I already wrote out a VERY long answer to crueldwarf, but RPS gods felt my comment was too long. So, ok, i’ll try to recall the last part of that comment here.

        “illegitimate”. You know, it astounds me how many people don’t even bother to get the chronology right, so let’s recap.

        February 20, 2014. “Bloody Thursday” in Kyyiv, when most of the Heavenly Hundred lose their lives. That very day, the Rada (UA parliament) meets, and the opposition (who had about 180 seats out of 450) cobble together about 235 votes, meaning pro-President MPs (who were elected on a pro-Russian platform, by pro-Russian voters) switch sides. so together they adopt this “declaration”, issuing an order to all security forces and riot cops to go back to their barracks outside the city.

        Night of February 20 tot he 21st-intense negotiations take place between the opposition and the Pres, brokered by EU and Russia. Russian rep refuses to sign the compromise agreement, considering it “unworkable”. Nevertheless, the compromise is as follows: Rada reverses teh constitution so that Pres loses power in favour of the Parliament again; new election in December 2014, instead of March 2015. Pres has to sign these into law withing 48 hours.

        Friday, February 21: The rada duly votes all the parts of the compromise, sacking the old Cabinet in the process. More “defectors” pop up, as the pro-President, pro-Russian Party of Regions sheds MPS like it’s going out of style. In the evening, the opposition takes the deal to Maydan, gets booed off the stage. Some people voice threats about storming the Pres’ residency–it’s important to note, that NO SINGLE OPPOSITION LEADER, or the head of the “Right Sector” nationalists Yarosh, actually endorsed such a course of action.

        Saturday, February 22
        Nevertheless, the President “flees” to the city of Kharkiv, where a meeting of the “Russian Front” organization is supposed to take place–layign the groundwork for a separatist “Russian Ukraine”. As it stands, majority of the delegates from the local councils of the South and Eastern regions decide not to show up, and the meeting amounts to squat. Oh, and there are about 10 thousand pro-unity supporters holding a rally outside their meeting hall.

        The President never shows up to the meeting. Instead he publishes a video of himself accusing the opposition of a “military coup”, and saying that his life was in danger and he had to flee. (Curiously, none of his fellow party members, whom he said were targets of the same assassination attempt collaborated his story). He then say he will not sign anything the Rada passed into law–RENEGING ON THE DEAL HE MADE WITH THE OPPOSITION A DAY BEFORE.

        Left with a vacuum, the new Rada majority (which includes the opposition AND the supposedly Pro-Russian “turncoats” declares the “president of the run” to be “unfit to carry on his duties on the basis of him relinquishing his responsibilities”, and scheduled a new election for May. According with the constitution, the Speaker of the Rada became temporary acting president.

        For the record, the problems in Crimea started about a week and a half later.

        While it’s not 100%-free from political improvisation, I don’t see this decision as amounting to a “coup” especially considering there wasn’t a single army officer or security officer among the so-called “conspirators” which makes the whole idea of a “military coup” ludicrous.
        Incidentally, the Ukrainian parliament continued to function the exact same way it did before teh revolution up to April, when due tot eh whole Crimean “referendum” 12 MPs for Crimea and Sevastopol stopped showing up.

        Sure, Russian sympathisers have every right to be angry at the “supposedly pro-Russian” reps of big business whom they voted in and who “sold out to the West”–but that doesn’t make it a “coup d’etat”, no matter how many times you scream it.

        As for the rest of your diatribe (murderous… nationalistic.. (I’m almost willing to grant you sock-puppets, but find me a moderately successful politician in the FSU who isn’t someone’s sock puppet, be it a crime syndicate, big business or foreign agents)… as for regions with 90%+ being desperate to join Russia– see my earlier comment about how Scotland did it–the way it was done in UA was just cramming an idyllic picture of Russia thru people’s TVs.. without ever mentioning any of the possible drawbacks. )… yeah, i would have to spend hours refuting each point, and when I really feel wasting time, I’ve got “censor . net”, for that, and I don’t want RPS turning into yet another place I gotta spar with Ruscists (that’s Russian + fascist )

        • His Divine Shadow says:

          Oh, I know what happened there very well. Yanukovich did flee because he was going to be murdered. I don’t see why he would have done it otherwise. But I suppose even if he had been murdered you’d still have argued that ousting him on the grounds of being “unable to fulfill his duties” had technically been legal.

          Yes, the new government is murderous. They started a war in Donbass that already costed at least ten thousand lives, they’ve been *routinely* shelling civilians just to terrorize the new republics (even EU observers grudgingly admit that), they staged several fake incidents to blame them on “the separatists” (Volnovakha, MH-17 – yes, there’s *abundant* evidence that it was shot down by a war plane, if you are willing to look). And I would really like to see how you’d “spend hours” trying to refute that they are nationalistic. I suppose one way would be to admit that they *are* US puppets, but that wouldn’t change the fact that they are using nationalism to make people hate Russia. Generally, regarding every politician being someone’s puppet, that’s probably true to an extent, but there’s a problem when the entire government is completely controlled by a single foreign power with the sole purpose of waging a proxy war.

          Scotland is fine and all, but it does work better when the central government tries to convince you to stay by having the PM plead and shed tears instead of shelling cities with high-caliber MLRSs.

      • NukeWithG says:

        Oh, Russia hasn’t needed a reason like that to try and invade us before, I doubt they’d bother to look for one now.

  21. Fenix says:

    This is how gaming in Iran has been since like, 2008.