US to Ukraine: Get security forces out of Independence Square

posted at 12:41 pm on February 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The deployment and use of Berkut snipers to attack protesters in Kiev got a much swifter reaction from the White House than any other Ukraine development thus far. Jay Carney expressed outrage on behalf of the US over the use of deadly force on demonstrators, and demanded a withdrawal of security forces from the conflict:

The White House on Thursday called for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to remove his security forces from the scene of protests in Kiev — its most forceful statement to date on the quickly escalating conflict. …

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Yanukovych’s forces have gone too far.

“We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people,” Carney said. “We urge President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw his security forces from downtown Kyiv and to respect the right of peaceful protest, and we urge protesters to express themselves peacefully.”

The death toll has risen to at least 50 today alone, after the supposed truce collapsed almost as soon as it was announced. The problem for Viktor Yanukovich might be that recalling his troops will be more difficult than it looks. Dozens have been captured by the demonstrators and are apparently being held as hostages now, while the question of who’s sniping whom may be more complicated, too:

The Interior Ministry said 67 of its troops were captured by demonstrators. The captives were taken to a government building occupied by the opposition, news agencies reported. On a hill south of Independence Square, the protest movement’s epicenter also known as the Maidan, the parliament and cabinet buildings were evacuated.

Although the fighting Thursday morning fell short of developing into a full-scale battle, videos indicated that some protesters have sniper rifles, and police were shown shooting automatic weapons.

The Interior Ministry announced that it was issuing military-grade weapons to the police, while saying they were to be used only in accordance with the law.

Will the Yanukovich government pull its security forces out of the center of its capital? That seems unlikely, to say the least. According to early reports, the police did start to pull back after the truce went into effect, but got charged and fought back. If that’s what happened — and it’s too confusing to know for sure — they won’t try that again without a force behind them to cover their retreat, and that is probably not what Jay Carney had in mind anyway.

Besides, an ultimatum from the US is probably among the least-relevant issues in Kiev at the moment. Last night, Hugh Hewitt discussed the Obama “line” with CNN’s Jake Tapper, who couldn’t believe that the White House would use that kind of terminology after the Syria collapse:

HH: Now Jake Tapper, if people step over the line, I’m almost amazed that he used that language given the red line fiasco in Syria.

JT: Yeah.

HH: And the poker tell, I want to be very clear. I’m sure he said almost exactly that during the Syrian crisis. Does he think we have amnesia?

JT: And we pointed this out in our show today, the use of the term the line, and in fact, I asked Haas if you’re Yanukovych, and you’re sitting there and you hear President Obama talk about that line, how resonant is that? How much does the red line of Bashar al-Assad, the threat that if Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, that would be crossing a red line for the President. How much does that mean? He said it was a fair question. Obviously, you don’t know. The other thing that was interesting was that Haas said that he thought the U.S. options, there were far fewer options in Ukraine than in Syria, and one of the reasons I imagine would be because of Putin and his alliance with Yanukovych. And you don’t want this to be a, it already is a proxy conflict. You don’t want it to be a proxy war. So the options are quite limited, Haas said. But I agree, I was surprised by the use of the term line, and also, I thought what was interesting, what consequences are there? What will they be? Secretary of State John Kerry today raised the specter of sanctions, as did the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine last night. But it’s not clear exactly what the full tool kit as deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes referred to today, what’s in that tool kit, what can the U.S. do. It will be interesting to see what happens when the foreign ministers from Europe come to Kiev and talk to Yanukovych and the other foreign minister there.

HH: It’s almost as though someone said to him right before he went out, whatever you do, don’t use the word lines. And he couldn’t help himself, because it’s, it’s like a heat-seeking missile following the story lede, is Obama threatens another red line. He didn’t use red, obviously, but is he that unaware of the consequences not of the Ukranian knockdown but of his Syrian collapse?

JT: Well, I think, look, I mean, you’re asking me to get into the President’s brain and I can’t do that. But I can say a couple things. One is I think one of the things that the President knows is that there is a tremendous reluctance for the U.S., among the American people, for the U.S. to get involved in another military conflict right now, that that’s something that the nation is war weary. And so I believe that the President and the White House feel that actions that end up not leading to war, whether it’s seen as weakness by some or not, whether it’s seen as backing away from a red line or not, ultimately, that the President will enjoy support for not taking the country to war. I think that that’s one calculation that they make.

HH: But you know what’s interesting, Jake…

JT: And I don’t know that it’s wrong. It might be cynical, but I don’t know that it’s wrong.

Yanukovich has more to worry about in Brussels, where the EU is considering the application of sanctions on his regime:

As new violent clashes erupted in Kiev, the EU is threatening targeted sanctions against Ukranian officials they hold responsible for the violence that has killed at least 28 people and injured more than 200.

EU Foreign Ministers held Thursday in Brussels an extraordinary meeting on the situation in Ukraine while in Washington, the US announced that it had imposed visa travel bans on around 20 senior members of the Ukrainian government as a first step towards a broader package of sanctions.

According to official sources, EU sanctions being considered include further visa restrictions on senior Ukrainian officials close to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich who are thought to be responsible for the violence, as well as the possible freezing of assets.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said EU member states have a broad consensus for a possible decision on the introduction of targeted sanctions against certain officials in Ukraine. He said:”We cannot forget the images of the last few days and the tragic deaths and injuries of so many people. This is why the Foreign Affairs Council will meet today to discuss the adoption of targeted measures against those responsible for violence and use of excessive force… I am happy to see that there is now a broad consensus among our member states in the way to deal with this issue.”

The US is a superpower, but Ukraine has to engage with the EU economically in order to survive. Yanukovich can’t afford to have all ties cut with the West, not politically or fiscally. That’s a much bigger deal to Ukraine than an unrealistic demand to surrender the center of the capital or even the protest of of its Olympic athletes today.


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US to Ukraine: Get security forces out of Independence Square

Don’t make Him reach for his phone or pen……….

BobMbx on February 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Or what? No one in the world respects Obama’s seriousness or his word.

Vladamir Putin will roll his tanks in to prop up his puppet whenever it becomes necessary. Pharaoh Dickless won’t be a factor at all in his decision.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

0bama standing up to Putin? Laughable…

OmahaConservative on February 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Jay Carney expressed outrage on behalf of the US over the use of deadly force on demonstrators, and demanded a withdrawal of security forces from the conflict:

“Bad boys, whatcha want
Watcha want, whatcha gonna do?
When Bammy tells ya what to do?
Tell me whatcha wanna do, whatcha gonna do?

Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when Bammy tells ya what to do?”

hawkeye54 on February 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

0bama standing up to Putin? Laughable…

OmahaConservative on February 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

The only people Pharaoh Obama (and the GOP Establishment) have the balls to stand up to are American Conservatives.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

HH: And the poker tell, I want to be very clear. I’m sure he said almost exactly that during the Syrian crisis. Does he think we have amnesia?

One quarter of Americans don’t know the Earth revolves around the sun, study finds

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/earth-revolves-sun-article-1.1618715#ixzz2tsxYxKqb

workingclass artist on February 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Jay Carney expressed outrage

Next up – a strongly worded memo.

whatcat on February 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Next up – a strongly worded memo.

whatcat on February 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

OH NO! NOT THAT! ANYTHING BUT THAT!!! -Putin

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Shut up, obama.

Pork-Chop on February 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Is President Stompyfoot gonna draw some more red lines?

myiq2xu on February 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Shut up, obama.

Pork-Chop on February 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM

That’s my thought. Since Obama isn’t going add ANYTHING constructive or even slightly helpful to this situation could he PLEASE STFU?

Of course he’s incapable of that. He has to insert himself into ANYTHING that is grabbing headlines.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Internal Ukrainian matter. So not our problem…

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Is President Stompyfoot gonna draw some more red lines?

myiq2xu on February 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Pharaoh Stomyfoot only enforces red lines drawn in from of open air War memorials in the National Mall.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Yanukovich could care less about King Barack the Magnficient’s “outrage”.

Yanukovich has Putin on his side. That’s all he needs.

Perhaps our King will send a ‘sternly worded memo’.

GarandFan on February 20, 2014 at 12:49 PM

We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people,” Carney said. “We urge President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw his security forces from downtown Kyiv and to respect the right of peaceful protest, and we urge protesters to express themselves peacefully.”

Or President Stompy-Foot will do what, exactly?

bigmacdaddy on February 20, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Perpetual foot in mouth syndrome. The world already knows how the weak kneed one operates, why confirm it?

NotCoach on February 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

“Although the fighting Thursday morning fell short of developing into a full-scale battle, videos indicated that some protesters have sniper rifles, and police were shown shooting automatic weapons.”

I’ve seen the pics.

The protesters have pellet guns.

Spade on February 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

One quarter of Americans don’t know the Earth revolves around the sun, study finds

workingclass artist on February 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

That’s obozo’s core supporters who think the world revolves around him.

Flange on February 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

We didn’t do anything about Czechoslovakia or Hungary, back when we had all those troops stationed in Germany. What are we gonna do now?

myiq2xu on February 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Next up – a strongly worded memo.

whatcat on February 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

OH NO! NOT THAT! ANYTHING BUT THAT!!! -Putin

Putin – “You don’t frighten us, Kenyan pig dog. Go and boil your bottom, you son of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called “President of the United States” you and your silly administration.”

hawkeye54 on February 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Or President Stompy-Foot will do what, exactly?

bigmacdaddy on February 20, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Audit some more conservatives and send goons to “monitor” Fox News of course.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

The protesters have pellet guns.

Try pointing pellet guns at our cops and see what happens.

myiq2xu on February 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

One quarter of Americans don’t know the Earth revolves around the sun, study finds

workingclass artist on February 20, 2014 at 12:45 PM

That’s obozo’s core supporters who think the world revolves around him.

Meh, to them, and him, that’s a fact, Jack! And they don’t think. Thinking is too hard. They haven’t the capacity for such an arduous task.

hawkeye54 on February 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

We didn’t do anything about Czechoslovakia or Hungary, back when we had all those troops stationed in Germany. What are we gonna do now?

myiq2xu on February 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Nothing. Not a damned thing…

JohnGalt23 on February 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

This is your future, America.

gryphon202 on February 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

That’s obozo’s core supporters who think the world revolves around him.

Flange on February 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

How does it stay in high enough to not crash into his huge ears twice each orbit?

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

US to Ukraine: Get security forces out of Independence Square

Putin to Obama: Or what?

Ukraine to Obama: What he said.

Blaise on February 20, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Try pointing pellet guns at our cops and see what happens.

myiq2xu on February 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Try having your hands on a SQUIRT GUN and see what our cops do. They’ll fire 50 rounds at you, your dog, etc, and though they’ll probably only hit a couple times that’s all it takes.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

How does it stay in high enough to not crash into his huge ears twice each orbit?

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Those aren’t ears….they are his solar panels.
Energizing the world!

MontanaMmmm on February 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

t some more conservatives and send goons to “monitor” Fox News of course.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

That’ll teach Yanukovych a lessson.

bigmacdaddy on February 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Try pointing pellet guns at our cops and see what happens.

myiq2xu on February 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Try having your hands on a SQUIRT GUN and see what our cops do. They’ll fire 50 rounds at you, your dog, etc, and though they’ll probably only hit a couple times that’s all it takes.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

All it takes is a Wii controller, and all you gotta do is answer the door with it.

Christopher Roupe was unavailable for comment.

gryphon202 on February 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Asset freeze by the US and EU.

In other words, we’ve just now done what should have been done two months ago.

If demonstrators can hold out until 2017, maybe we’ll catch up to six weeks ago and expand that to supplying humanitarian aid.

Gingotts on February 20, 2014 at 12:58 PM

That’ll teach Yanukovych a lessson.

bigmacdaddy on February 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Of course it will. Pharaoh Obama is far more likely to send tanks into Texas or any other Red State that had the AUDACITY to not vote for his divine majesty than he is Ukraine or Venezuela.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Why is anyone worried about this??

Did you forget, it’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

ToddPA on February 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Jay Carney expressed outrage on behalf of the US

…did they pee their pants?

KOOLAID2 on February 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Try pointing pellet guns at our cops and see what happens.
myiq2xu on February 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Try having your hands on a SQUIRT GUN and see what our cops do. They’ll fire 50 rounds at you, your dog, etc, and though they’ll probably only hit a couple times that’s all it takes.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 12:56 PM

All it takes is a Wii controller, and all you gotta do is answer the door with it.

Christopher Roupe was unavailable for comment.

gryphon202 on February 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Nah…You could just be lying in bed.

Eugene Mallory unavailable for comment.

Mallory was 80.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/02/15/yet-another-example-of-why-americas-drug

workingclass artist on February 20, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Why is anyone worried about this??

Did you forget, it’s BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

ToddPA on February 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

No wonder Pharaoh is pissed. This month is only HALF about “Him”.

ConstantineXI on February 20, 2014 at 1:05 PM

if the ukraine government wants obama’s support, they should bring in the muslim brotherhood as partners, and hezbollah as consultants, then Obama would demand the protesters stop acting stupidly.

great-unwashed on February 20, 2014 at 1:05 PM

US to Ukraine: Get security forces out of Independence Square

The Irony escapes most all.

Schadenfreude on February 20, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Meanwhile Up is Down.

Goebbels rejoice. The US and the world are surreal.

Schadenfreude on February 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

This is not about EU membership, it is about much more important issues.

It is about corruption led by Yanukovych and the self-determination of the Ukrainian people.

It’s about a continuation of the Orange Revolution, which the Ukrainian people had every reason to believe would be peaceful.

It is about the jailing of Ukraine’s former president and the questionable “election” of Yanukovych.

Mr Obama, and Mrs. Clinton for that matter, should have seen this coming a long time ago. They own a big part of this disaster.

Marcus Traianus on February 20, 2014 at 1:12 PM

This is your future, America.

gryphon202 on February 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

We have one of two possible futures. This is what I consider the “good one.” The “bad one” is Argentina/Venezuela where the opposition is too weak to seriously threaten the regime.

According to early reports, the police did start to pull back after the truce went into effect, but got charged and fought back. If that’s what happened — and it’s too confusing to know for sure —

I’ve been following the story closely and it appears what happened is the protestors believe the military is being called in to reinforce the police and the “truce” is empty theater by Yanukovich to buy time. If that’s the case, the protestors reacted appropriately.

I get the feeling the protestors may be winning in spite of the casualties they’re taking. For one thing, Yanukovich’s key allies are beginning to walk: http://world.time.com/2014/02/20/ukrainian-presidents-allies-start-to-abandon-him/

Doomberg on February 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Beginnings of a Syria style civil war?

Awful lot of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, might be fractures along ethnic lines, and we’ve seen what Putin did in Georgia.

rbj on February 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

A little late with the outrage, no?

cmsinaz on February 20, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I wonder if he wore his Superman Underoo’s when he delivered his demand to Putin.

/Eunuch.

Key West Reader on February 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Russia and the Ukraine can cut off the natural gas in the pipeline to the EU….

albill on February 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Oh no! Obama tells Ukraine to not use force?

That will make Putin put the hammer down.

Obama is impotent. A real limp dick when it comes to foreign policy.

redguy on February 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Hey Obama, exercise that flexibility you offered to Putin just before the last election. Or are you now aware that is was a straight jacket that Putin was measuring up for you! Stupid Dog Eater!!

Deano1952 on February 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Mr Obama, and Mrs. Clinton for that matter, should have seen this coming a long time ago. They own a big part of this disaster.

Marcus Traianus on February 20, 2014 at 1:12 PM

I would say that Obama & Hillary are more like Yanukovych, so they did not see a “problem”.
Remember in Egypt when the military shut down the Muslim Brotherhood?
Obama was whining about that and Egypt ignored Obama.

This will be the same – Putin won’t even consider what Obama is whining about…..

Now in this case – I would support sending weapons to the Ukrainian people….
But heh, Obama sends Mexican cartels guns and “stands down” when terrorists attack….

Obama is the incredible shrinking President.

redguy on February 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM

US to Ukraine: Get security forces out of Independence Square

Or what? Obama signs an executive order?

No one is madder than Obama about this…

right2bright on February 20, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Deano1952 on February 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

He IS being “flexible”… he’s bending over without his panties on.

Key West Reader on February 20, 2014 at 1:22 PM

John Kerry – Global warming is a “Weapon of mass destruction”

Obama is a weapon of mass distraction.

redguy on February 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

John Kerry – Global warming is a “Weapon of mass destruction”

Obama is a weapon of mass distraction.

redguy on February 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Ha! Good one, add Mass Frustration…

right2bright on February 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Don’t call our bluff!

Cicero43 on February 20, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The protesters have pellet guns.

And the “protesters” are setting the police on fire with Molotov cocktails.

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 1:32 PM

If you like your revolution you can keep it!

Viator on February 20, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Beginnings of a Syria style civil war?

Awful lot of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, might be fractures along ethnic lines, and we’ve seen what Putin did in Georgia.

rbj on February 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

The ethnic/geographic divide is still there but not as pronounced as 10 years ago. Yanik’s approval is 20% – that was last month, before this violence – and even that support is very quiet and weak. Opposition has gone beyond that, so that opinion is mixed in formerly solid blue areas, and rabid anti-Russia in orange areas. There is also a generational divide. Ethnically Russian 20-somethings in Sevastopol are pro-EU.

In other words, President Klitschko can very likely restore normalcy and govern from Lviv to Donetsk. His party will remain a minority in the Southeast, but that happens in democracies. A restored Yanukovych meanwhile could never again possibly regain control of more than 2/3 of the country. Any Putinist regime will face years of continued rebellion from all west of Vinnytsa.

Also Crimean Tatars have pledged to fight against any Russian attempt to annex the region. Nowhere will Putin be seen as a liberator.

Gingotts on February 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Okay, I can see him getting approval for not getting into another conflict but why the tough guy act? Can’t he just stick with his other favorite routine of not seeing anything?

Cindy Munford on February 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

No doubt that in the land of the free and home of the brave, we the people would ever let our government get so out of control that we would have to resort to such measures to try to get our freedom back…

Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile

…No doubt.

Seven Percent Solution on February 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Seems like this is actually a really good opportunity to put those drones to use.

nukemhill on February 20, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Yanukovich: Or what, pansy?

Ward Cleaver on February 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Seems like this is actually a really good opportunity to put those drones to use.

nukemhill on February 20, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Obamacare navigators?

Ward Cleaver on February 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Obama to Putin: Get security forces out of Independence Square

Putin to Obama: Or what? You’ll hold your breath until you turn blue? Look, pal, I got bigger worries than the Ukraine. I’m still trying to figure out how our hockey team got eliminated by Finland when we were playing at home. But rest assured, when I find out who is responsible, they are going to be serving the rest of their puny lives scrubbing the decks of our ships at the Syrian naval base.

CyberCipher on February 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Also Crimean Tatars have pledged to fight against any Russian attempt to annex the region. Nowhere will Putin be seen as a liberator.

Gingotts on February 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

I respectively disagree. A majority in Crimea will welcome Russia. They speak Russian. Their culture is Russian. Many cannot even speak Ukrainian.

Crimean Tartars are primarily Muslim — Wikipedia says about 650,000. Would they join with the Chechens? Another Arab Spring?

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Russia and the Ukraine can cut off the natural gas in the pipeline to the EU….

albill on February 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Russia can anyway…I’m not sure anyone in Ukraine has control at the moment.

You got to the heart of the matter though; this is about who will control the pipelines – the EU or the Oligarchs.

kcewa on February 20, 2014 at 1:51 PM

No doubt that in the land of the free and home of the brave, we the people would ever let our government get so out of control that we would have to resort to such measures to try to get our freedom back…

Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile

…No doubt.

Seven Percent Solution on February 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

The Interior MinistryPresident Obama announced that it he was issuing military-grade weapons to the police, while saying they were to be used only in accordance with the law.

oldsquid on February 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM

“US to Ukraine: Get security forces out of Independence Square”

“…OR WHAT?! You gonna…BACK DOWN and then try to tell everyone that this was not YOUR ultimatum but another one made by THE WORLD?! BWaaaahaaaaa!”

You can bet, however, is this was Egypt trying to force an end to some violent demonstration by the Muslim Brotherhood who has been outlawed in Egypt, and rightly so, Obama would have our military in Egypt helping them out by fighting our ally’s military in a heartbeat!

easyt65 on February 20, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Russia and the Ukraine can cut off the natural gas in the pipeline to the EU….

albill on February 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

ZeroHedge has a map of the oil and gas pipelines coming from Russia, across Ukraine to the West .

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Alright, whose ass should Obama kick?

307wolverine on February 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

NEWS HEADLINES / REPORTS TODAY:
“Ukrainian government deploying snipers?”
“9 More Civilians Dead”

RECENT NEWS:
“Homeland Security to Purchase 141,000 Rounds of Sniper Ammunition

Hmmmmmmm……..

I am sure Obama / the Obama administration would NEVER use snipers / sniper ammo against American citizens who disagree with / disapprove of how he is violating the Constitution, breaking laws, aiding terrorists, etc….. right?!

easyt65 on February 20, 2014 at 2:11 PM

There’s a bigger question: Why do we always think it necessary to stick our thumb in Russia’s eye? The Soviet Union is gone. The Cold War is over. How about a more realistic policy towards Russia. And I’m not talking stupid Reset buttons.

oldennis on February 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I’m pretty sure the outrage of Jay Carney and Obama’s line get nary a rise out of Putin and his thug friends.

tomshup on February 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

There’s a bigger question: Why do we always think it necessary to stick our thumb in Russia’s eye? The Soviet Union is gone. The Cold War is over. How about a more realistic policy towards Russia. And I’m not talking stupid Reset buttons.

oldennis on February 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Russia is an empire in decline. Demographics is destiny. The average life span is shrinking. The population doesn’t reproduce. Why rile them? Let them embrace the decline. We have our own woes to attend to.

307wolverine on February 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

The Ukraine issue is complex and not really that clear. From earlier reading (a month ago) I learned the object was to keep the Ukraine from joining the socialist EU. I am not sure if that is still the issue.

The US has a habit of coming on the wrong side or choosing the wrong faction once they choose sides. Stay out of it.

TerryW on February 20, 2014 at 2:24 PM

From KyivPost:

Feb. 20, 3:23 p.m. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on a working visit to Baghdad, Iraq, said: “While Western European countries demand people of Ukraine to be given freedom of choice, they add that the choice should be in favor of the European Union. Our Western partners in Europe and the U.S. blame only country’s authorities and cannot properly qualify the extremists’ actions. They are threatening [the government] with sanctions, moreover Americans have already imposed them, thereby encouraging the opposition to dismiss any compromises.”

Mr. Lavrov makes three points:

– The EU wants freedom of choice as long as that choice is the EU
– The West blames only the police and does not “qualify the extemists’ actions.”
– By sanctioning the government of Ukraine the West is “… encouraging the opposition to dismiss any compromises.”

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 2:24 PM

As new violent clashes erupted in Kiev, the EU is threatening targeted sanctions against Ukranian officials they hold responsible for the violence that has killed at least 28 people and injured more than 200.

EU Foreign Ministers held Thursday in Brussels an extraordinary meeting on the situation in Ukraine while in Washington, the US announced that it had imposed visa travel bans on around 20 senior members of the Ukrainian government as a first step towards a broader package of sanctions.

According to official sources, EU sanctions being considered include further visa restrictions on senior Ukrainian officials close to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich who are thought to be responsible for the violence, as well as the possible freezing of assets.

EU sanctions against the Ukrainian government, and the Russian government supporting them, will probably backfire if the Russians cut off natural gas supplies to Western Europe through pipelines in Russia or Ukraine.

If we had had an energy-smart Administration in the White House these past 5 years, we would have had lots of LNG terminals built along the East Coast by now, and after the fracking boom in PA, we could tell the Europeans, “Don’t worry about the Russians cutting off your natural gas, we will sell you ours.”

But Green Power in the White House was more worried about Solyndra and electric Kar-ma, and has only recently even considered exporting natural gas, so we’re stuck with our diplomats saying F*** the EU. But there are still no LNG terminals (or even windmills) in the Long Island Sound or Boston Harbor getting in the way of John Kerry’s wind-surfer. Ain’t that awesome?

Steve Z on February 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Why the fake outrage by Obastard? He’d deploy snipers against protesters in this country in a second if he can get away with it. Who’d report it? The nut licking press? Don’t make me laugh.

bbinfl on February 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM

I respectively disagree. A majority in Crimea will welcome Russia. They speak Russian. Their culture is Russian. Many cannot even speak Ukrainian.

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 1:49 PM

This is true for the older generations, but not the younger, the line being around those in their mid 40s. The language difference isn’t even much to the youth. I know a few from Sevastopol, Russians. They barely muddle through when it comes to Ukrainian. They support Euromaidan.

Yanik and Putin rely too much on ethnicity controlling all, but fail to grasp that millions in Eastern Ukraine love Russia but hate the Russian system.

Gingotts on February 20, 2014 at 2:53 PM

“US to Ukraine: Get security forces out of Independence Square”

The Ukrainians might initially be alarmed bt such a bold statement but once they discover its author, after a brief laugh, burp and yawn, they’ll continue with the mayhem.If Obama got into a fight in a bar, he would need three Secret Service agents to protect him from the bar maid. This is what other nations see in our POTUS and it is PFD (pretty f dangerous).

MaiDee on February 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Yanik and Putin rely too much on ethnicity controlling all, but fail to grasp that millions in Eastern Ukraine love Russia but hate the Russian system.

Gingotts on February 20, 2014 at 2:53 PM

I only have antidotal information from relatives on the ground in Sevastopol. The Ukrainian system of corruption is no better, if not worse, than the Russian system of corruption. To some it may be the devil you don’t know is better than the devil you do know.

I would also like to point out that many of the young policeman (18, 19, 20 years old) that are now in Kiev were sent there from Crimea. People do not like seeing their young men being set on fire by what they consider to be the Nazi protestors.

IMHO Putin will never give up Sevastopol, Crimea, to an unfriendly government. It is ethnically Russian. It was part of Russia until Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine for some unknown reason in Soviet times (Khrushchev was part Ukrainian). It still has Russian naval bases in place. Sevastopol is Russia’s access to the Black Sea.

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

RE: “We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people,”

LIES, LIES and nothing but LIES!

Can Carney provide actual images he is referring to?

Cops are not even armed! Watch these videos posted by a local:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEvGkFaC3W4&list=UUpvhkes6df812EpDfmlGlYg

Other videos also show cops in other places in Kiev NOT ARMED.

Only this morning, FINALLY, has the guy in charge of police forces ordered them to get armed, and only AFTER 67 of their guys were kidnapped and almost 30 shot BY ARMED “peaceful protesters”. As he put it: No civilized government would allow their law enforcement personnel be attacked, murdered and injured and NOT respond. We have shown more tolerance than needed:.

One of the commanders stated that “peaceful protesters harm or not return kidnapped cops there will be serious consequences. Now that they are finally allowed to arm themselves this will only get worse.

Other reports from non locals state that roads leading to Kiev are controlled by these “peaceful protesters” and lead to confiscations of personal property, money, whatever else “peaceful protesters” can steal.

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Yanik and Putin rely too much on ethnicity controlling all, but fail to grasp that millions in Eastern Ukraine love Russia but hate the Russian system.

Gingotts on February 20, 2014 at 2:53 PM

What makes you think they fail to grasp it? This is exactly why they are not giving in to a small portion of populace in Western Ukraine who are nothing but radicals and have been for decades. Look up Bandera to understand who is driving the OWS type crowd, and then look up “Right Sector” (“Правый Сектор”) who are really are the ones in charge.

All paid for by our tax dollars, no less. Delivered by McCane last month.

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Not only from Crimea. Odessa as well and most other Eastern Ukraine cities. Reading some posts from locals there they clearly state that “you guys better stay on the left bank of Dnepr (river), people on the right bank will not tolerate you like cops did in Kiev.

This may get turn real ugly and real fast for the radicals.

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 3:51 PM

This may get turn real ugly and real fast for the radicals.

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Agreed. Plus the Olympics are over on Sunday. Sochi is about 300 miles from Crimea straight up the coast road to Kerch, down through Feodosyia — the route is will known. It’s the route the Russians used to displace the Nazis in WWII. There are 30-40,000 Russian troops in Sochi. The Russian Navy is already present in Sevastopol. All the Ukrainian government has to do is ask for assistance from Putin.

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

All the Ukrainian government has to do is ask for assistance from Putin.

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM

They have more than plenty locally. The only thing I could fault Yanukovich with is that he ordered all LE and military to disarm when facing the radicals. Berkut units are now more than raring to go and I hope they are allowed to, they can clear out Kiev in less than a day without any other help. Berkut units are pretty much SWAT on steroids and to be honest they probably don’t even need weapons to clear out the city, they can do a lot just with bare hands and by now they are more than pissed and stimulated to do the job.

Have no idea if you know Russian, but watch the videos link I posted above, shame that cops have to suffer so much due to politicians afraid to act.

I am trying to find a video posted today of radicals wounding a Berkut officer and then openly, on the video, refusing to call an ambulance and watch him slowly die. Would be great for local press to play that video to Carney and ask his opinion on “how cops are killing peaceful protesters”.

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 4:30 PM

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 4:30 PM

I looked up Stepan Andriyovych Bandera on Wikipedia and his links to the Nazis in WWII. I also watched the video you linked to above. Thanks.

I do not understand why the government does not order an end to this as you suggest. They’ve already been sanctioned by the EU and the US. The US would never allow its police to be shot, set on fire, and taken prisoner without deadly force being applied. (Think Waco.)

Do you have any thoughts on this?

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

From Fox News:

Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly is sending an envoy to Ukraine to try to mediate discussions with anti-government protesters – at the request of the country’s president.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has now asked for Putin’s help in negotiations. The camel’s nose is now under the tent.

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Do you have any thoughts on this?

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I think he made the mistake of trying to manage this via negotiations. Against the advice of his cabinet who were telling him to use force back in January. He was bending backwards to reason with them hoping against hope that he is dealing with reasonable people.

As some on local sites have said, Little blood in January was way more preferable to a lot of blood now.

You’re right, and same as Kiev’s top cop stated today, no civilized government would disarm their cops in such situation and not allow them to defend themselves against ARMED radicals. We would be cracking down big time already, then again, we would not let cops being attacked or rather cops would stand for it.

Oh, and BTW, to anyone here and elsewhere who is still arguing that Ukraine is not Russia and Russia should not stick their nose in, look up Kievan Rus’, this is how Kiev was built in the first place. By RUSSIANS, not Ukrainians. Pains me to see not only the city I was born in renamed into Ukrainian manner (Lviv), but see Kyiv, when Lvov was actually named Lemberg and Kiev was BUILT AND NAMED by RUSSIANS.

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 9:35 PM

I think he made the mistake of trying to manage this via negotiations. Against the advice of his cabinet who were telling him to use force back in January. He was bending backwards to reason with them hoping against hope that he is dealing with reasonable people.

That makes sense to me. Having been weak in the beginning it’s now possible that the pendulum will swing hard in the other direction against the terrorist.

And you are right about the history of Ukraine. I have noticed that Russians have a keen awareness of history. Much more so than Americans. Something that happened 800 years ago is as if it happened yesterday to them. It is a different mind set.

Do you feel that to be true?

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Meanwhile, massive protests in Cambodia – last week, over 1,000,000 of a 13,000,000 population and nothing in the news in the US. Communists are forcing people off their land/homesteads, ravaging teak wood forests, murdering some protesters – an awful mess and our media shows nothing?

MN J on February 20, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Do you feel that to be true?

Kaffa on February 20, 2014 at 9:58 PM

In general, I could agree that Soviet educational system does force one to study history, most of European one at least, going back to Mesopotamia, in great detail to boot. You must pass aural exams stating dates, events, outcomes, etc. And they teach that history before jumping to Russian one.

Although lately it seems that Russia now is catching up fast to our own communist led educational system with all its faults.

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Communists are forcing people off their land/homesteads, ravaging teak wood forests, murdering some protesters – an awful mess and our media shows nothing?

MN J on February 20, 2014 at 10:36 PM

I think you have answered your own question :-)

Why would communists report on other communists destroying the world?

When even so called “conservative” news media are obviously misreporting events in Kiev and posting open lies and propaganda why would one expect communists behave any different? Look at Fox News web site right now (Kiev link), they post a lie and stand by it.

riddick on February 20, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Cambodia, North Korea, China, Venezuela, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Ukraine, et al.

What should we do?

I know. Let’s cut our military budget and spend more money on Wind Power, Solar Power, and Unicorns. Oh, don’t forget global warming. Global warming is more dangerous than terrorists. Just ask the traitor Kerry.

Vote democratic! We need more leaders like Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Sheila Jackson Lee. /s

This is NOT funny. This is serious. IMHO Cambodia is where it is today because we pulled out of Vietnam – the Killing Fields were created by the democrats.

Kaffa on February 21, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Putin actually ENJOYS the opportunity to stick his finger in Obama’s eye…AGAIN!!!

landlines on February 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM