back to article Rejoice, Russians! The annexation of Crimea is complete and legitimate – Google Maps proves it

Google appears to have sided with Vladimir Putin in the current sovereignty dispute over the Crimean Peninsula – at least as far as residents of Russia are concerned. The online ad giant has made an update to its Google Maps of the region that denotes the border between Crimea and Ukraine as a bold, black line – seemingly …

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  1. Cliff

    Scottish version of Google maps misses England off altogether.

    Must be one heck of a data problem though to do this stuff, as an engineer you think you've designed a good data structure for a map only for messy humans to spill it all with their bickering over who owns what bit of land.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Which cliche works here....

    It's either "when in Rome do as the Romans do" or "if you take the King's shilling, you do the King's bidding". I suppose that if China declared Japan to be a part of China that the Chinese version of Google maps would reflect that?

    1. frank ly

      Re: Which cliche works here....

      Google will do whatever it thinks is best for it's own future interests.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which cliche works here....

        "Google will do whatever it thinks is best for it's own future interests."

        Yep, and they don't seem to care about how slimy and money grabbing that appears to be back in their home country. Then again, with Google one has to ask where exactly is that home country?

        Quick thought: does Apple Maps even know where Crimea is?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Which cliche works here....

          So exactly the same as organisations like the BBC do when showing India/Pakistan maps in India/Pakistan or middle-east maps outside Israel

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Which cliche works here....

            "So exactly the same as organisations like the BBC do when showing India/Pakistan maps in India/Pakistan or middle-east maps outside Israel"

            Yes, exactly like that and equally slimy and self serving.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Which cliche works here....

              > Yes, exactly like that and equally slimy and self serving.

              Or alternatively, a frank admission that particularly in things like this, political realities are largely dependent on one's point of view with neither side being necessarily right or wrong in an absolute sense.

        2. TheOldGuy

          Re: Which cliche works here....

          "does Apple Maps even know where Crimea is?"

          In a word, yes.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Which cliche works here....

            "does Apple Maps even know where Crimea is?"

            "In a word, yes."

            They have it marked in the south-east part of Greenland.

          2. Psyx
            Pint

            Re: Which cliche works here....

            "In a word, yes."

            But that's four!

        3. fearnothing

          Re: Which cliche works here....

          > Then again, with Google one has to ask where exactly is that home country?

          Of course, it's the country where their overall profits are directed to and taxed.

          So that would be... uh...

          Little help here?

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Which cliche works here....

      Well it's not unprecedented for Google. A few years ago they renamed the Persian Gulf the Arabic Gulf for residents in Saudi Arabia (and a few other countries with nasty regimes, I think). Note: this isn't simply a language thing. It's been called the Persian Gulf for over a thousand years including in the Arabic language.

      These sorts of things are worrying because when a power wants to extend its grasp, it very often takes the initial step of renaming an area. Germans only popularly began calling Sudetenland (western parts of Czechoslovakia) that in the early 20th Century which was followed by invasion. Japan and China bicker over the name of the Sekaku / Diaoyu islands. Many pro-Israeli people will insist there was no such country as "Palestine" despite there being plenty of pre-Israel maps with a large region marked exactly as such (queue incoming justifications why it doesn't count).

      In short, when you see a power renaming a region, or as in this case Google renaming it to please Russia, you worry.

      As to Crimea itself? Well if the people want to be part of Russia they should have that right - I believe in self-determination. But it's not what I would choose if I were them!

      1. Ryleh

        Re: Which cliche works here....

        Or Falklans / Las Malvinas :P

      2. Psyx

        Re: Which cliche works here....

        " Many pro-Israeli people will insist there was no such country as "Palestine""

        I'm sure I have a really old book which mentions Palestine a few times.

        I'd have thought the first half of it at least would have some traction, even amongst the most hard-core of pro-Israelis (*especially* amongst them, even)...

  3. pompurin

    Go and check the Chinese google Maps and you'll see they control parts of India, Kashmir, Taiwan and the South China Sea. This is not new.

  4. Ralph B

    gMegalomania

    Where's my personal version of Google Maps that shows everything everywhere* belonging to me? Just Me! Bwahahaha!

    * Yes, including EE.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: gMegalomania

      That's the version of Google Maps used internally at Google. No borders at all. No tax regimes. No Governments.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: gMegalomania

        > No borders at all. No tax regimes. No Governments.

        I would be quite willing to give that world a go.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: gMegalomania

          Me too, so long as it applied to everyone and not just the big multi-nationals, i.e. those who currently move production, purchasing, profits etc around the world to cut costs but won't allow consumers to choose which part of the world to purchase from. (DRM, "grey" imports, warranties etc.)

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Mushroom

    GOOD!

    A rollback to 1953 or so.

    Can the Americans now go and look after their own problems before this gets really out of hand?

    And please take the stupid NATO general secretary with ya. Time for a visit to the Fletcher Memorial Home.

    Amateur Hour in Ukraine

    President Putin keeps bringing up history to justify his assertive policies towards Ukraine and Crimea. This annoys Americans, who know little about history and refuse to accept Russia as a great power- and certainly not as an equal.

    Recently, Sen. John McCain, the voice of America’s ignorant right, sneered that Russia was merely “a gas station masquerading as a country.” Gas stations do not produce the likes of Tolstoy, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, or the very smart Vlad Putin. They do, however, produce puny intellects like McCain.

    The US and NATO are now trying to impose a second Brest-Litowsk on Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia can not return to being a world power. Stalin undid Brest-Litowsk. Vlad Putin is determined that the punitive eastern version of the “Versailles Treaty” will not be again imposed on Mother Russia. Pity the poor Ukrainians caught between the crushing millstones of East and West.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: GOOD!

      Surely you meant 1954? If memory serves me right, Krushev made himself a birthday present after getting shitfaced off his tits in 1954, not 1953 (that is the _ENTIRE_ basis for Ukraine territorial claim to Crimea, there is no other).

      In any case, the issue is simple. Is there the right to self-determination or not?

      We have allowed Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo and we are now allowing Scotland to decide which way they go (though quite clearly some people in Westminster have some second thoughts about the last one). We have supported them and even forced the issue by any means necessary. Why is the population of Crimea any different?

      In any case, people in glass houses should not throw stones. If the newly unelected hunta in Kiev did not revoke all minority rights as their first act of power Crimea would have probably been still in Ukraine.

      As far as the "gas station". If it was indeed a gas station it would not make our Etonian graduates look like dummies every time they sit at the negotiation table. First Syria, now the "remove all illegal occupations clause" in the Geneva agreement. The Ukrainian government signing an agreement that mandates it to remove itself from power and having it countersigned by the EU and USA. I was laughing madly when I read the news for half an hour (and quite rightly too).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: GOOD!

        If it was indeed a gas station it would not make our Etonian graduates look like dummies every time they sit at the negotiation table.

        Don't let the spineless nature of our politicians fool you into thinking Russia's anything more than a gas station. Look at the state of the Russian economy, which was fragile before Putin starting going all Stalin once again, but has since taken a right battering. Yup, it's mineral rich, but without the foreign capital to get the minerals out of the ground Russia's buggered.

        The Ukrainian government signing an agreement that mandates it to remove itself from power

        No it didn't. The current government in Kiev was voted for by the parliament, within the existing laws. As for Russia, it broke the agreements under which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in return for an assurance of the inviolability of its borders. Since Russia's ignored that, the Ukrainians are entitled to ask for nuclear assistance from NATO. That would put the shit up Putin, since the only answer he'd have to that is putting nuclear weapons into Kaliningrad which he's unlikely to do since he can't ship them overland (NATO could ship such weapons overland to Ukraine).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: GOOD!

          "The current government in Kiev was voted for by the parliament, within the existing laws."

          Voted for by parliament under the eye of armed right wing thugs who had chased out the democratically(ish) elected government. And certainly not voted for by the wider population of Ukraine. The government in Kiev was forced out by a bunch of extremists and agitators actively supported and coerced by US government funded bodies like the "National Endowment for Democracy", part of a serious shadow foreign policy organisation whose purpose is to interfere for US benefit in foreign parts. The ousted leader Yanukovych may have been a weak, undemocratic tyrant. But so are all the other pretenders to power in Ukraine, and at least Yanukovych had been elected.

          This is why the Russians took action, because the US government were actively seeking to harm Russian interests by destabilising the elected regime. Imagine the response if Russia were caught re-handed trying to overthrow the government of Canada? As a form of provocation the US interference is sufficient that I think the Russian response has been positively laidback.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: GOOD!

            "This is why the Russians took action, because the US government were actively seeking to harm Russian interests by destabilising the elected regime. Imagine the response if Russia were caught re-handed trying to overthrow the government of Canada? As a form of provocation the US interference is sufficient that I think the Russian response has been positively laidback."

            Can you provide us all with this evidence of the US sending troops into Ukraine? Because the BBC is reporting on proof that the Russians are in eastern Ukraine (i.e., Russia has invaded Ukraine) and Putin himself has confirmed that Russian troops were operating clandestinely in Ukraine before the election. These concerned locals that Putin talks about in Ukraine look an awful lot like the concerned locals in Crimea, and the concerned locals in Georgia.

            Russia has violated the 1994 treaty. End of.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: GOOD!

              "Can you provide us all with this evidence of the US sending troops into Ukraine? "

              Do try and read what was written, not what you wish to read. Nowhere did I claim that the US were using troops (not that I'd put it beyond them). The US role has been agitation through NGO's to exploit the fractured nature of Ukrainian society, and the active involvement of the US state has been publicly revealed by the Pyatt-Nuland call.

              The Yanks meddled to get a pro-Russian leader forced from power, probably in response to the persistent loss of face to Russia in dealing with Syria and Iran. Unfortunately for them they were caught, and that forced Putin's hand: Stand up to US interference on your borders, or cravenly surrender. I've no love for Putin, but I think he's responded well to this crisis.

              The acting Kiev government have no democratic mandate, no competence, and no power, and if the US doesn't like how things have turned out, perhaps it's the mirror they should be looking at, not the map.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: GOOD!

                > The US role has been agitation through NGO's to exploit the fractured nature of Ukrainian society

                Those of us with knowledge of the land have seen our (EU/US) hand in there since day one of the demonstrations in Kyiv, what with all those nicely printed, matching placards. If you want to do a quick experiment, compare pictures of the February demonstrations with those of previous protests in Ukraine, see if you can spot the difference--nice budget and organisation this time, and it all looks so media-friendly. :)

                I feel sorry and ashamed for what we (that means EU/US, as above) are doing to the Ukrainians. They're fantastic people and they're the ones who last deserve any of this. And no, I'm not blaming the Russians. Their hands are not clean, but it was not them who forced the situation.

              2. Psyx

                Re: GOOD!

                "The US role has been agitation through NGO's to exploit the fractured nature of Ukrainian society, and the active involvement of the US state has been publicly revealed by the Pyatt-Nuland call."

                Which I guess isn't as bad as sending hundreds of un-uniformed special forces into the place to seize government buildings, sabotage infrastructure and paving the path for invasion and annexation. Which is exactly what Russia has been doing, while that cock-gobbling sack of pus Putin says "it's not us, and nations who use their army internally can expect and invasion from us, despite the fact we do it to our own population regularly".

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: GOOD!

              DavCrav, what the other AC has posted above is, sadly, a pretty accurate depiction of the situation.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: GOOD!

          > Look at the state of the Russian economy

          Look at the State of the EU's!!!

          There is a reason why the Visegrad countries, despite hating the Russians with a passion, are turning their back on their EU partners and looking East for trade.

      2. Fihart

        Re: GOOD!

        @Voland

        I'm not sure you know your history prior to 1954. Crimea was Tartar territory until Stalin deported most of them in cattle wagons on a 23 three day rail journey without food. More died on arrival. The now partly vacant land was then ready for Russian colonists. It is they, who now slightly outnumber the remaining Tartars and Ukranians in Crimea, who are amenable to a military re-conquest by the Putin regime.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: GOOD!

          @Fihart

          First of all Tatar, not Tartar. Tatar are people, Tartar is sauce. Crimean tatar may actually have a claim to an independent state which is _NOT_ a part of Ukraine, sauce definitely does not.

          Second, Tatar Crimea existed as a independent state for ~ 400 or so years. From ~ 12th century to 16th. After that it was an administrative entity in the Ottoman Empire until the 18th century when Russia cleared the Turks off the Black Sea coast all the way out to today's Romania in the West and Caucasus in the South East.

          Prior to that it was part of Khazar empire, greek colonies - you name it. The Tatars assimilated these by the 14 th century with not trace. So we will not go further back in time as there is nothing back besides tombs, skulls and bones.

          Based on historical precedent Crimea can be (in chronological order without implied claim to validity):

          1. Russian Province

          2. Turkish Province.

          3. Tatar Independent State.

          All of these have viable and valid claims to it. Ukraine is not on the list. A birthday present by a dictator is not really a valid claim to ownership.

          In any case, back on topic Google is reflecting reality same as it reflected reality on the Balkans long before most of the world formally acknowledged it. C'est la vie.

          1. Fihart

            Re: GOOD! @Voland

            No sir.

            The sauce is Tartare.

            And according to the Oxford English Dictionary Tatar and Tartar are interchangeable.

            I am a professional writer and you are not.

            1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

              Re: GOOD! @Voland

              Ahem, "Tartare" is a dish of minced raw meat which is called a "steak" so as not to frighten uninitiated customers. The sauce is called "Tartar". And it's all tatar to me...

              1. Fihart

                Re: GOOD! @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                Ahem, yourself.

                Another one who tries to correct others without checking the facts.

                The sauce is called Tartare -- see the bloody OED !

                To be fair, smaller edition of the dictionary suggests that either Tartar or Tartare are correct.

                1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                  Re: GOOD! @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                  OED!? Oh, yeah, you can always trust that lot to put a French word directly into an English dictionary!

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: GOOD! @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

                  > Another one who tries to correct others without checking the facts.

                  Fihart, as a professional writer I trust you are aware of the difference between descriptive and prescriptive language norms?

              2. Agincourt and Crecy!
                Flame

                Re: GOOD! @Voland

                It is only called Tartar sauce in American, in English it is Tartare Sauce. Then again, you'll probably start trying to change that in the same way you forced us all to spell sulphur............

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: GOOD! @Voland

              > I am a professional writer and you are not.

              Your argument would be more compelling if you were a professional proofreader or editor. I've seen what some writers do to language before the aforementioned get involved. :)

          2. Hit Snooze

            Re: @ Voland

            All of these have viable and valid claims to it. Ukraine is not on the list. A birthday present by a dictator is not really a valid claim to ownership.

            Only recent history has any meaning and that recent history is that Russia gave Crimea to Ukraine. End of story. It doesn't matter who conquered Crimea hundreds of years ago, or who had control of it up to it was gifted. It was LEGALLY gifted away by the then current "owners".

            Crimeans have every right to separate from Ukraine and join whomever they want, but you cannot do it by use of force like the Russians did without consequences.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Voland

              > Only recent history has any meaning and that recent history is that Russia gave Crimea to Ukraine. End of story.

              Well, even more recent history is that the Crimeans went back to Russia. End of (hi)story. :-)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: GOOD!

          > Crimea was Tartar territory until Stalin deported most of them

          To note that the above statement does not give Ukraine more of a claim to the peninsula than anyone else except the Tatars (who themselves have been under Russian rule or influence for their entire modern history).

          To note also, btw, that I have a significant number of Ukrainian friends and acquaintances, both Russian and Ukrainian speaking, and they all seem to care a lot less about Crimea than the Western powers and media would like them to.

      3. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: GOOD!

        @Voland - Agree 100% in self-determination and if Crimea's residents want to be part of Russia, so be it. However, what just happened there was hardly a 'free and fair' referendum was it? First of all, there wasn't even an option to keep the status quo, the options were further independence or join Russia. Secondly, gangs of masked armed men controlling the streets surely are giving people some food for thought to vote the 'right' way. Thirdly, I'm a bit suspicious on the logistics of it getting done so quickly, with no international observers as at most elections in modern open democracies. Are we sure the announced result was the real result?

  6. Casca

    Hello, Sweden here. Can we get a google map that show our true borders from 1658. No need to tell rest of Europe...

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Sweden is the best comparison actually

      If memory serves me right Finland (which is within the 1658 borders) treats its Swedish minority as equal, Swedish is a valid language and most signs are double-language.

      The previous government in Ukraine voted a similar regime to take place.

      The hunta currently in power revoked it as its first act after staging the putch. If it did not we may have had a second example of the Swedish (from Finnish perspective) solution in Europe. Now we do not.

      1. kiwimuso
        Headmaster

        Re: Sweden is the best comparison actually

        @Voland

        WTF is a hunta? I suspect you mean junta - pronounced "hunta", as it is originally (and probably still is) a Spanish word.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_junta

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

    Fact is Russia now owns Crimea with troops, its theirs now. Whether we agree or not is irrelevant as the map should show the reality of current borders no matter our feelings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

      Meanwhile, 80 odd years ago ...

      "Fact is Germany now owns Czechoslovakia with troops, its theirs now. Whether we agree or not is irrelevant as the map should show the reality of current borders no matter our feelings."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

        if you want to go to war with a nuclear power to take it back go ahead. Enjoy annihilation.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

        >>"Fact is Germany now owns Czechoslovakia with troops, its theirs now"

        Not a good enough equivalent. As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong), most people in Western Czechoslovakia did not want to be part of Germany. Whilst I dislike the way Russia has behaved (lies, annexation, disregard for international law) and I think the people in Crimea are making a terrible mistake and have been manipulated as well, they do overwhelmingly want to be governed by Russia rather than the Ukraine, I believe.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

          Not a good enough equivalent. As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong), most people in Western Czechoslovakia did not want to be part of Germany.

          The Sudetenland was overwhelmingly populated by ethnic Germans, and there had been considerable discrimination against them by the Czechoslovak government. US president Woodrow Wilson had promised self-determination for all - victors and losers - at the close of the Great War, but he hadn't stood his ground and let the French in particular dictate a harsh treaty that gave large areas populated by ethnic Germans (and Hungarians) to the states formed from the dismembered Austro-Hungarian empire. British Prime Minister Lloyd George privately acknowledged this as a mistake, but he had just won an election on a populist platform that called for a very harsh peace treaty. Later, the League of Nations gave another German populated region, coal rich Upper Silesia, to Poland - despite a referendum in the region that voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining part of Germany. This discredited the League in the eyes of many Germans and was further exploited by Hitler to whip up support.

          1. h4rm0ny
            Pint

            Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

            I stand corrected. Thank you for a really informative reply. That's changed my views on some events and I can't ask for more than that!

            Cheers.

          2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

            Very true, Chris. I heartily recommend people go to the Sumava region of the Czech Republic (part of what was called the Sudetenland). First of all, it is lovely. Second, spend a bit of time wandering around the graveyards - almost all names are Germanic, not Slavic. If there had been a referendum at the time, there is little doubt that the area would have become German, not remained Czech (even my Czech wife admits that).

          3. Desidero

            Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

            Oh yes, the Czechs had so discriminated against Germans by... uh... harrumph.... not bailing them out of the depression! (Sudetens trading with Germany to the west had obviously suffered more when trade went tits up - but things turned rosy in 1938, you betcha).

            Germans having 24% of the Czechslovak population should have been granted self-determination - so they could have been voted by the majority back into Czechoslovakia. As guest workers under some old Czech/Böhmische king, these Germans had come to be rather ungrateful - one even ran off to St. Louis to start making a diluted form of Czech beer with fermented rice in it, while claiming he owned the name.

            Note the final straw that made the Germans invade Sudetenland (and then since they had poor brakes, keep marching into Prag and Slovakia): the League gave Upper Silesia to Poland! Naturally Hitler was incensed, and if only his Apple maps had functioned properly, he would have invaded the right country. He corrected that in Blitzkrieg 2.0 by partnering with Stalin to do a geographical mashup / splitsies down the Vistula.

            Next week we explain how Mexico discriminated against Texans, and why the Alamo was justified.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

              @Desidero - my post is in no way condoning Hitler's expansionist policies. It is the facts though, as the ethnic Germans in Bohemia had been there for hundreds of years and were discriminated against in the inter war years. Hitler just used the Sudeten German situation as a stepping stone on his way to annexing the entirety of Bohemia / Moravia and turning Slovakia into a puppet state.

              1. Desidero

                Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

                If it's a "fact" that they were discriminated against, please explain how - what were those awful discriminations?

                Were they told to stop speaking German, as the Habsburg ruling class had suppressed the Czech language? Or did Germanic Czechs simply have trouble not being the master class for 20 years when they had been for 400, and had to suddenly start hiring Czechs?

                I imagine in the same year the SA carried out Kristallnacht, Germany was able to invent some "atrocities" in Sudetenland to avenge. Despite the Czechoslovak government accomodating Sudetens after initial problems in 1919, by 1935 much of Sudetenland had effectively become Nazi, with Heinlein & the SdP carrying on Hitler's programs and methods in that territory with secret ties to Germany (despite significant opposition to Heinlein from more liberal Germans - but they were outvoted - imagine, those repressive Czechs/Slovaks letting Sudetens vote and share power and have much regional autonomy).

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

                  If it's a "fact" that they were discriminated against, please explain how - what were those awful discriminations?

                  Get hold of any number of in depth history books on the inter war politics of the region. The parent university to the college I attended had plenty of them in the central library (Senate House, University of London - I studied at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies).

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

                  > If it's a "fact" that they were discriminated against, please explain how - what were those awful discriminations?

                  Do the words české národní obrození say anything to you? If not, I suggest you start there. Be aware though that you'll be wading through a part of European history which is far from simple to grasp, especially without having already a good knowledge of the region.

                  There is no dispute in the Czech Republic about the occurrence of discrimination against those who self-identified as German (saying "ethnic" Germans would be too inaccurate), and little dispute as to the extent of it. A very sad episode of history for everyone concerned, but that's how things go sometimes.

            2. Maty

              Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

              "Next week we explain how Mexico discriminated against Texans, and why the Alamo was justified."

              I'll look forward to that. As I understand it, Mexico objected to Texans using slaves which was illegal in Mexico at that time, and Texas was part of Mexico. This led to the Alamo thing.

              However, I do not have the advantage of having been educated in the USA so I'm sure someone there will explain it to me properly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Recognise it or not, its the reality on the ground!

      > Fact is

      Pro-tip my friend: never start a forum post with those two words.

      (unless quoted)

  8. John Savard Silver badge

    K2

    I remember reading about a climb of K2, and the account noted that like Everest, it was on the border with China. I looked in an atlas, and found it nowhere near Pakistan's border with China.

    Later, I found that Pakistan, in a 1965 agreement, ceded a lot of territory to China, but atlases show the boundaries set by Britain and recognized by India.

  9. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Why was the last Ukrainian president ousted ?

    1. He was bribed by Russia

    2. He led innocent political rivals captive on fake charges

    3. He sold his country to Russia allegiance and servitude

    Imagine, a majority of the Crimean really want to live under a Russian flag, why would one need to rig an election if that were the case ? Why are Russian forces deployed in Crimea and Ukraine in great numbers, yet, they have removed all insignia ? (I am not talking about the Russian fleet that are legally in Sevastopol harbour)

    I do not know enough about all this, I am simply putting down all I know.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Oh, dear. I was going to keep out of this discussion but I just could not resist...

      1. He was bribed by Russia

      No, he was bribed by other Ukrainians. Incidentally, by those who are now supporting the "interim" government and those who have been appointed by that government to rule over cities and regions as the payback for that support (read on recent appointments of key cities' mayors).

      2. He led innocent political rivals captive on fake charges

      If you are talking about that woman - her treatment was harsh, unnecessarily so, but she is no innocent Cinderella. When she was released and paraded in front of the "Maidan" protesters the crowd shouted for her to "go back to her prison". No one wants to touch her with a barge pole.

      3. He sold his country to Russia allegiance and servitude

      He did not sell his country to Russia, his country has been dependent on Russian subsidies from the moment it left the USSR. Ukraine is not in Russian "servitude", there is very little of cross-ownership between Russian and Ukrainian businesses. Russia was spending billions every year (in soft loans and heavily discounted gas) to prop-up otherwise bankrupt Ukrainian economy in the hope of not letting it dissolve in a civil strife.

      In retrospect, it would have probably been better if Russia just let the Ukraine go completely bust and then rebuild itself from the ruins but it takes a bold politician to allow a bomb the size of Ukraine to go off next to his own country's borders.

      This is something, though, that the EU will now have on their borders, because they either have to step in where Russia withdrew and finance the Ukraine's economic black hole or push for reforms, which will make average Ukrainian long for the good old times, at least for several years. In a country as divided as it is, there will likely be a bloodbath in the process.

      And, yes, Putin will not rush to make it any easier for the West, if it comes to that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Why was the last Ukrainian president ousted ?

      Errm... He wasn't ousted. He was deposed by a coup d'Êtat. At least that's what it is called when it is not backed by the West.

      A manoeuvre the idiocy of which makes Bush's inva... sorry, liberation of Iraq pale in comparison. :-(

  10. steward

    The Google spokesman's comment is a bit disingenuous...

    especially if one looks off the coastline at https://maps.google.com.ar/ - which shows "Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)".

    If Google really conforms their maps to the country code being used, shouldn't those islands only show as Islas Malvinas?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Google spokesman's comment is a bit disingenuous...

      > If Google really conforms their maps to the country code being used, shouldn't those islands only show as Islas Malvinas?

      Possibly because Argentina does not insist by force of law that they be called Malvinas? They are very partial to that name, but to my knowledge is not actually illegal to call them something else. I don't recall what name the Buenos Aires Herald uses though.

      Also, they are not under Argentina's effective control.

      Having said that, maps printed in Argentina must by law include a depiction of both the Falk... Malvinas and the country's claim to Antarctica. They are usually shown in an inset.

  11. Ramazan

    the matrix

    you can use TOR and specify geoIP-based exit policy -- this way you can see the matrix from any viewpoint, including viewpoint of your fella merkins

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