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Ukrainian soldiers among top victims of the fascist terror

Update: Yulia Kharlamova, a Russian "agent", is claimed to be the driver behind the uprising of the Kiev soldiers. Good job, děvuška, and I must say that this and other images suggest that the Ukrainian soldiers' reaction was totally appropriate! ;-)

Last night, hundreds of soldiers from the Ukrainian National Guard – which was founded (again) half a year ago – gathered in front of the president's office in Kiev. Russia Today.

I have watched the rally for some time. Some of the bitches who would scream at the soldiers that they are obliged to risk their lives for her bogus pride were disgusting. Why doesn't the fascist lady go to fight over there instead?

They demanded demobilization, compensation, and winter gear, among other things. Many of them protested that they have to work long after their contracts have expired. It is very clear that most of them consider the civil war to be a stupid enterprise. Their material conditions are really stunning; some of them have been getting less than $12 per month for half a year.

(Update on Tuesday: you may watch tough battles between police and thousands nationalists in front of the Kiev parliament now: live. The demonstrators throwing stun one stun grenade each 3 seconds are upset that the deputies won't recognize anti-Soviet nationalist warriors as war veterans.)

The total number of active personnel in the Ukrainian Armed Forces is below 130,000. Because something between 1,300 and 13,000 soldiers – between 1% and 10% – have paid with their lives after 6 months (when the total compensation was about $72), it is not hard to calculate that the current Ukrainian regime quantifies the value of the human life to be between $720 and $7,200.

The standard "international price of [formally priceless] human life" is between $50,000 and $130,000, depending on some details in the methodology, and it's pretty clear that the value is much higher in the wealthy Western countries. And even Russia is providing its soldiers with much better conditions.

Current rulers in Kiev claim that they are leading their country towards the goal of joining the family of Western nations but these figures describing the treatment of the troops seem to tell a very different story. The very bad conditions of the soldiers are troubling; on the other hand, they are understandable, too. Ukraine is a nearly failed state that simply can't offer them a better deal. It is a country whose leaders are currently amplifying all kinds of hatred and looking for scapegoats instead of managing the business.

Life is very different for the Ukrainians just a few hundred miles to the West. Czechia differs from a paradise in many respects; however, the differences from the paradise are minor if one compares both with Ukraine.

The Ukrainians are actually the largest ethnic minority in Czechia, with about 120,000 legally registered Ukrainian nationals plus several tens of thousands of Ukrainians (the number is not known accurately) without all the expected paperwork. With these numbers, Ukrainians even beat Slovaks (70,000) and the Vietnamese (60,000) who are, for certain historical reasons, the largest non-Slavic (and non-European) minority in Czechia. All these three top minorities are problem-free.

Most of these Ukrainians come from Western Ukraine and they seem more educated than the Ukrainian average. Many of them have college degrees and boast some experience as physicians etc. in Ukraine. However, they mostly work as construction workers here. Some employers like to talk them down because it's fashionable in some corners – and of course, no one is successfully trying to impose political correctness over here. On the other hand, if you listen to a representative number of managers, especially in the construction business, you will become very sure that the Ukrainian workers are almost essential and many companies could close their business if those people left. The Czechs are just too lazy and expect too many extra advantages in the job package, some managers would tell you. The Ukrainians have minimal problems with assimilation and the language barrier is significantly reduced due to the shared Slavic cultural roots.

And indeed, they are leaving. It is still often imagined that the Ukrainian workers are great because they are much cheaper – like the Mexicans in the U.S. and Turks in Germany and so on. But statistics shows that this is a hugely oversimplified picture. Many of these Ukrainian workers actually earn much more than the average Czech workers – sometimes twice as much. The average monthly salary is $1,200 or so but they may be getting $2,400. But maybe the amount of work they do is three times the average, who knows.

Many of those Ukrainians recently received a recorded delivery letter from the Ukrainian authorities telling them that they were drafted. Some of the clever ones have refused to pick the letter at the post office, pretending that the delivery process has failed. In that case, they have some chance to remain "innocent" when they avoid the suicidal-murderous business of the Ukrainian army. Numerous Ukrainian people have left in order to be with their loved ones, others came to fight on the side of Novorussia. The chaos that the construction companies have to swallow is substantial.

On the other hand, lots of other people want to flee Ukraine. This is also true for many families of the Volhynian Czechs. Those are descendants of 16,000 Czechs who emigrated to the Russian Empire sometime in the mid 19th century (1868-1880) because the tsar would promise them extraordinarily good conditions if they became farmers. It may sound counterintuitive today but the motives powering this emigration weren't too different from the emigration to America. Now, the Russian Empire doesn't officially exist and those ethnic Czechs are citizens of Ukraine where Volhynia belongs, after many random twists of the history.

So far, there have been two waves of repatriation to the Czech lands, after 1945 and after 1989. Now, about 250 Volhynian Czechs asked President Zeman – who is understanding their situation – to convince the other Czech authorities to quickly repatriate them. They think that the current nationalist regime in Ukraine doesn't treat them as full-fledged citizens and they're simply afraid of the war and misery, too. Zeman has criticized our embassy in Ukraine that seems to have bad relationships with the compatriots in Ukraine. The minister of foreign affairs, Mr Zaorálek, is a distasteful social democratic jerk who has declared to prefer any help to the fascist regime in Kiev over any action that would help the Czechs. He literally doesn't want to help the Czechs because it could "suggest" that he has doubts that the life under Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko is a paradise on Earth.

Well, it's surely not a paradise. It's close to hell.

Meanwhile, some "limited civil war" is continuing in Ukraine. Thank God, the fights got reduced after the September 5th ceasefire which is really just a "flavor of a ceasefire", not a full-fledged ceasefire, but it is still helpful. Aside from the basic civil war, there is a lot of infighting in both camps – Western Ukraine as well as Novorussia. The minister of defense in Kiev Mr Geletey (who was previously claimed to have said that Russia had already nuked Ukraine) was fired two days ago and replaced by Stepan Poltarak who is probably an even tougher guy. The pro-Kiev "governor" of the Donetsk, Mr Sergiy Taruta, was also fired, perhaps just because of a satirical (but not really loyal) letter he sent to Putin; he was replaced by a hardline general. Meanwhile, someone attempted to kill Mr Pavel Gubarev, the Novorussian governor of the Donetsk region, in his car. Gubarev is in serious condition – avoided the bullets but not the car crash. The fights around the front lines may explode every minute; they often did after an important U.S. official visited Ukraine and Victoria Nuland just returned from her Ukrainian trip.

The winter is coming and Ukraine may find itself to be without gas. I hope that this extra pressure will make the Kiev rulers behave more sensibly. Russia clearly isn't obliged to sell gas to Ukraine under any conditions, especially if Ukraine were a country that is both hostile and nearly insolvent. Like sex, trade depends on two consensual sides. It seems pretty clear that Russia is willing to reduce the delivery even to much less hostile countries such as Czechia and Slovakia if those help Ukraine to get the gas from the Western side (Czechia has enough gas for the winter). I sincerely hope that the Ukrainians will start to behave as poodles in coming months and thousands of people won't have to freeze to death (a thermodynamic phase transition) before this political phase transition takes place.

A song about soldiers who don't like to fight in a civil war:

orig. Czech country song by Michal Tučný and George Fallada,
version by The Taxmen

When the North is fighting the South and the country is going to war,
and thistles instead of cotton are growing on the fields now.
In the shadow next to the road I see soldiers from the South,
they are slacking with their rifles and cracking the peanuts.

Hey how, hey how, why go to war?
It's better to sit at home and crack the peanuts.
Hey how, hey how, why go to war?
It's better to sit at home and crack the peanuts.

The colonel sitting in the saddle screams: the Yankees are coming.
However, the troops are still lying and whining that they can't go on.
The colonel turns his head and what he sees at a distance:
His famous militia is cracking the peanuts.


When this war ends and we will live again,
we will kiss our lovers and wives again.
They will ask you: Hero, what did you do during the war?
I was cracking with a rifle and cracking the peanuts!


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snail feedback (26) :

reader Michael said...

Yeah, that's a warning flag,sure. The study it reports about is the one reported about in scientific american too. The study is the important part, and interesting because its actual recordings. And the study clearly showed crappy parenting, which is what I mean with slippery slope. That parents who endorse hitting overdo it. Say whatever you want. A quick bite from a fellow animal is not the same as the whole process of bending you over and hitting you. You are a fucking giant in their eyes, and its scary and you can fuck up the entire relationship, although the child will do everything to see you as good, so it might ^*seem* undamaged to the non-careful eye.
And we are pack animals, basic moral instincts start to manifest at two, they may need some guidance, but they don't need bullying from a parent.
The entire mindset of approaching parenting with "how can I best control my child" is ultimately misleading. Just look into their fucking eyes, communicate, bond and treat them as tiny people (who still have a lot to learn, sure), not some lesser being.
And your criticism of the site, well yes but it only refers to the study, of course I hate feminism too, its a vile attack on the value of men (and women actually, because it removes their personal responsibilities), and it has been a very destructive movement.
Gene never hit his children. He apparently is not against it but he didn't even do it. I respect him for that.

reader Michael said...

Before two, actually*

reader etudiant said...

If memory serves, the song was from the US civil war and the troops involved are 'The Georgia militia, eating goober peas'.
The lyrics are here: http://www.americancivilwar.com/Civil_War_Music/song_lyrics/goober_peas_lyrics_civil_war.html
Peanuts were an American import to Europe, so the inventive Czechs probably were using their rifle butts on hazelnuts, an equally tasty but much harder local growth.

reader David Nataf said...

Do you think they stopped fighting because they reached a desirable equilibrium or because certain powers were distracted by ISIS?

reader kashyap vasavada said...

@lukelea: Assuming that Lubos may not get time to answer this very good question, let me try to answer the question the way I understand it. If Lubos or someone corrects me that is perfectly OK with me. On shell particles are (real) particles which sometime leave a track in various devices.If the decay is fast they may not be able to travel a distance equal to their own wavelength during that time. In that case you will not see any track. On the other hand "virtual particles" is actually a misnomer. They are just field disturbances which propagate a distance allowed by uncertainty principle. Typically they will be exchanged "particles" in a Feynman diagram.

reader JollyJoker said...

Matt Strassler has been writing articles for laymen.


"The best way to approach this concept, I believe, is to forget you ever saw the word “particle” in the term. A virtual particle is not a particle at all. It refers precisely to a disturbance in a field that is not a particle. A particle is a nice, regular ripple in a field, one that can travel smoothly and effortlessly through space, like a clear tone of a bell moving through the air. A
“virtual particle”, generally, is a disturbance in a field that will never be found on its own, but instead is something that is caused by
the presence of other particles, often of other fields."

reader Uncle Al said...

"Like sex, trade depends on two consensual sides." The difference between seduction and rape is salesmanship.

Imagine a world wherein Russia boasts of its soldiers' affluence. The war is already won. America could have conquered Afghanistan in a month by air-dropping millions of swag bags of soap, deodorant, razors, nylon stockings, lipstick, and hand mirrors. When the swag was exhausted, the men would suddenly find it in their best Lysistratan interests to knock it the Hell off.

reader Dilaton said...

I tried to post this comment without reading the nonsense or descending into the comment section ;-):

"WTF is this …?!

I thought this blog is supposed to be a climate blog and now I see it
featuring a rant of a pompous arrogant layman who has not the slightest
technical clue about fundamental physics but who feels entitled do rant
about it and insult people who work on such topics anyway? And of
course the comment section is dominated by the corresponding usual
ignorant lynch-mob.

Fundamental physics is not arts or literature, where it is legitimate
for everybody to have his own opinion. Fundamental physics is about how
nature works and not about “opinion”. Good physicists understand the
laws of nature, the laws of natures are unique, and not a matter of
taste, preferences etc…

So that physicists in the know agree with each other has absolutely nothing to do with any “Groupthink” etc …

Is it really needed that such nonsense pops up even at placese where it is completely off-topic?"

Unfortunately, he has turnded on moderation so I do not expect my comment to appear ...

reader Gordon said...

"Of course though the scientific method should be strictly followed by all researchers..."
And yet you believe in homeopathy. Kudos to Feynman for his "Cargo Cult Science" talk.

reader Gordon said...

Well, Gene, now there is experimental mathematics too!
But it is sort of theoretical experimental...:)

reader Jamie said...

Just a comment regarding the WW excess. Although ATLAS don't draw attention to this, the excess is still there in the data set. If we look at Table XIX, we see that the WW cross section has to be multiplied by 1.22 to agree with the standard model. This is in complete agreement with the previous excesses found.

reader Luboš Motl said...

An interesting and strange claim. Does it agree with the 1.08 +- 0.16 comment in the abstract?

reader kashyap vasavada said...

@lukelea: I should add: on shell particles satisfy the special relativity eqn: E^2=C^2. P^2 + M^2. C^4. Off shell virtual particles do not.

reader Kiril said...

There are already theoretical papers around claiming that previous calculations were slightly wrong and at the end the WW channel is also fine. 'will see...

reader BMWA1 said...


reader Peter F. said...

"The difference between seduction and rape is salesmanship".

Not quite right!

It is, rather, an at least one-sided state of lust successfully marketed toward the goal of mutual lust and mating. ;-)

reader Peter F. said...

If the latter, might we in a future hindsight view ISIS as having been a blessing in disguise?

reader Jamie said...

The point is the Higgs measurements all 'agree' if you normalise the dominant WW background by 1.22. This normalisation essentially removes the WW excess from the analysis but it is still there in the data.

However, I agree with Kiril that this may be solved by various NNLO and resummation effects.

reader Alex said...

I'll be going to a world championship next week in Hungary. A veterans event. I will be curious about the reactions of Ukrainians and Russians competing there.

reader ny-ktahn said...

I just went through all her pictures. Then returned to the post to see what it was even about. Yes, a few hundred photos or so, *one after each*(Not one after another which is the wrong way of saying it). I took a break and went to the gym, then thought it appropriate to enlighten the followers of the blog about how much I appreciate the link. Yes . . . . . . .yes . . . . . yes.

reader ny-ktahn said...

wow, that girl


reader Edwin Steiner said...

I just found a recording of a QM lecture by Sidney Coleman that may be interesting for other readers, too: http://media.physics.harvard.edu/video/index.php?id=SidneyColeman_QMIYF.flv

The title is "Quantum Mechanics in your Face". :) I have watched half of it now, and it's very nice. Coleman's statements about QM are practically word for word identical to Luboš' statements in recent QM articles. For example that classical mechanics should be interpreted in terms of QM, and not the other way round, or that people get confused about what they call the "nonlocality" of QM because they secretly still think classically.

BTW: The great Coleman lectures on QFT are also online: https://www.physics.harvard.edu/events/videos/Phys253

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, I only watched the nice talk relatively recently but it's still 4 years ago, see


reader vn joy said...

Hi Lubos,
I would love to know if you have any thoughts (a post hould be lovely if you find it worth) about the new findings in classical fluid dynamics using oil droplets that interact with a vibrating fluid and that have been shown to reproduce many behaviors that were previously thought to be impossible to be observed in a classical system (such as double slit self interference and quantized orbits). Do you find this work could be interesting or relevant to the interepretation of QM, or that idea is just a hype?

reader Luboš Motl said...

Hi, last time I got exposed to that, it made me pretty upset:


reader Maureen said...

Dear Luboš,

I just read your post and I´m wondering in what way probability could lead to a similar discription of thermodynamics and information theory (like suggested in articles such as http://www.nature.com/articles/nature10872.epdf?referrer_access_token=G_acz11olMsngCKInqrindRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0P2lKW4a88lPoSlrSGIbKCu_9LyhuqI4RH2IicBuTGDTULw9Z_fUzyvHY6AtQf81vSu5j76o1N6WpsjUUUCmnEt)

Do you maybe have an idea about this?

Thank you in advance, also for the insightfull post,

Kind regards maureen