Breaking: Putin asks Russian parliament for approval to use military force in Ukraine; Update: Gets unanimous approval

posted at 9:57 am on March 1, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Looks like the pretense has been dropped in Moscow. According to NBC News, Vladimir Putin has asked the Russian parliament to approve a plan for military intervention in Ukraine:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked parliament for approval to use the country’s military in Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement Saturday.

Putin said the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine’s strategic region of Crimea. …

The statement said: “Due to the extraordinary situation in Ukraine and the threat to the lives of Russian citizens and compatriots, and the personnel staff of Russia’s military forces based in Ukraine (Crimea), according to international agreement … I submit a request to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation for the use of military forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine until the social and political situation in the country normalizes.”

This sounds a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. The request comes after Putin has already sent as many as 6,000 troops into Crimea:

Ukraine accused Russia of sending 6,000 additional troops into Crimea Saturday, deepening a crisis in which both sides accused each other of trying to destabilize the region.

Russia defended this move by claiming that the government in Kyiv tried to retake its Interior Ministry building in Crimea by force. Essentially, this boils down to the “Mom, he hit me back!” argument:

The situation on the ground became even murkier when Russia claimed that Kiev-backed gunmen had attempted to take over the Crimean Interior Ministry. There was no confirmation of such an action from other sources. Russia’s foreign ministry said people had been wounded, but gave no details.

“With decisive actions by self-defense groups, the attempt to seize the interior ministry building was averted. This confirms the desire of prominent political circles in Kiev to destabilize the peninsula,” it said in a statement Saturday.

Accusing the native government of a region of destabilizing a situation by attempting to push foreign troops off its soil is about the epitome of chutzpah. Putin’s claim is that ethnicity trumps sovereignty, a rather dangerous argument for him to make in the context of the Caucasus, for instance. That’s the pretext that practically everyone saw coming, though — or everyone except Christiane Amanpour and American intelligence.

What will the Obama administration do? As it turns out, one reason why Russia finds this such a low-risk scenario is because the US and UK convinced Ukraine to give up its leftover Soviet-era nuclear weapons in 1994. In exchange for its unilateral disarmament, the US and UK pledged to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity against any aggression in a pact known as the Budapest Memorandum:

A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country.

Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war. …

Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said that war could be an option ‘if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.’

It promises to protect Ukraine’s borders, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

Kiev has demanded the agreement is activated after insisting their borders had been violated.

In response Mr Brenton said in a BBC radio interview: ‘If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia’.

This twenty-year-old treaty is getting a fresh look in the UK media … but so far, American media seems to have either forgotten about it or are ignorant of its existence. Until a reader e-mailed us the details, I didn’t recall it either. However, this is uncomfortably similar to the situation in Europe during the 1930s, when Western security assurances failed to keep another empire-builder from forcibly acquiring new territories — on the basis of ethnic and linguistic continuity, too.

Enforcing the Budapest Memorandum would be a nightmare, pitting the US and UK against Russian troops in eastern Europe all over again (which the Clinton administration should have considered at the time). A failure to enforce the Budapest Memorandum might be a bigger nightmare, though. If the West fails to meet its security obligations to Kyiv, then the rest of eastern Europe (and the Baltic states in particular) will know that the West won’t lift a finger to help them, either. Don’t expect the West’s writ to run far in the event of that kind of collapse.

Update: The Russian parliament unanimously approved Putin’s plans for military intervention.

Update: Apparently, the Crimean peninsula has a third interested party — Turkey. A late-eighteenth-century treaty gave Crimea to the Russians, but only under certain conditions:

In an article in last week’s Russian Pravda, it was noted that if Ukraine was divided, then the status of the Crimean Peninsula – returned to Ukraine in 1954 by Nikita Kruschev, would be open to discussion, and that would include Turkey having a say in the future of Crimea.

The reference to this claim is the “Küçük Kaynarca” (Karlowitz I) signed 230 years ago. As per this agreement, signed by the Russian Tsarina Catherine II on April 19, 1783, the Crimean Peninsula was taken away from the dominion of the Ottomans and handed over to Russia. However, one of the most important provisions of this treaty was the debarment of independence for the Peninsula and outlawing its submission to a third party: Should any such attempt be made, then Crimea would automatically have to be returned to the sovereignty of Turkey.

When Ukraine appeared as an independent nation following the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, Turkey acquired the right to claim the Peninsula back based on the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca; however, this was not brought up by the Turgut Ozal administration of the time. Turkey was content with advocating for the rights of the Tatar minority living on the Crimean Peninsula.

If the Russians are suppressing the Tatars, which is the general impression at the moment, then Turkey might get a lot more interested in pushing Putin out of Crimea, too. There’s some history there that will fuel those passions:

On top of that, for the majority of Turkish people who are well-read in history, the Crimean land has a distinct place when compared with other Turkic Republics, because similar to Hitler’s “holocaust” against the Jews, Stalin carried out atrocities against the Crimean Turks. Stalin’s campaign of forced ethnic cleansing and the relocation of the Crimean Turks is still well-remembered.

The Turks have a few such episodes in their history, too, but since they refuse to acknowledge those, don’t expect them to humbly watch as Russians push Tatars under their wheels again.

Update: The Tatars reject the idea that the Crimean seizure of buildings came from a natural uprising of native Russians:

Asked whether it had been Russian military forces who had seized Crimea’s parliament and executive administration early Thursday morning, Refat Chubarov, the Tatar leader and deputy in the parliament, said it had been organized by military forces.

“If there are still people who still think that the building of the Crimean Council of Ministers and the building of the Crimean parliament were seized by either some form of self-organized militia or some other civilian group, I have no time for these people,” Mr. Chubarov said at a news conference.

“These buildings were seized by specially trained people acting on military orders,” he said.

Update: James Joyner has a good post up on the crisis:

Some smart hands are calling for taking this to the UN Security Council to force Russia to cast an embarrassing veto. I don’t have a strong opinion on that, even though I think Russia’s national interests here are going to outweigh such considerations. Further, even if Russia didn’t have veto power, I’m not at all persuaded that a united Ukraine—much less one that’s being held together despite the wishes of a geographically compact and easily separable minority nationality—is something worth American blood and treasure.

Additionally, this highlights my longstanding opposition to further NATO expansion. The closer we get to Russia’s borders, as with Georgia and Ukraine, the more likely confrontation exists. And I’m not prepared to consider the use of military force against either of those countries an attack on the United States.

Well, the Budapest Memorandum requires either the US or UK to take this to the UN, so that should be happening anyway. I agree on the rest of his points, but the problem is that we’ve already left the impression that we have guaranteed sovereignty and security in this region, NATO membership or not. This is what comes out of well-intentioned efforts to put denuclearization ahead of long-term strategic interests. The collapse of the Soviet Union was not the end of history, as this very clearly demonstrates.

I don’t want to see Americans going off to war to keep Crimea Ukrainian, either. But we shouldn’t make those promises without that kind of will and interest, and this demonstrates that our promises probably don’t mean much if met by force. Don’t be surprised to see others take this demonstration into account.

Update: In 2010, the Obama administration explicitly re-endorsed the “security assurances” of the Budapest Memorandum:

Both sides reaffirmed their shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons and pledged to work together to prevent proliferation and to realize the Nuclear Security Summit’s goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials. The U.S. recognized Ukraine’s unique contribution to nuclear disarmament and reconfirmed that the security assurances, recorded in the Budapest Memorandum with Ukraine of December 5, 1994, remain in effect.

That’s why Kyiv is asking the question today.


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Not Over

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 10:41 AM

If Ukraine had just waited a year and removed the elected government peacefully, via the democratic process- or for that matter abided by the February agreement for early elections- they’d still have Crimea.

Jon0815 on March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Could they have waited a year since Yanukovych apparently absconded with the entire treasury?

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

How full do you think chuck hagels depends are right now?

Murphy9 on March 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Inkblots on March 1, 2014 at 10:21 AM

If I ever get my hands on your eyeball I will put it in my cross cut sled and…

Ok I might be kidding too.

SparkPlug on March 1, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Palin gave Putin the idea! None of this would have happened if Caribou Barbie had kept her pig mouth shut!

Inkblots on March 1, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Azzwipe…

OmahaConservative on March 1, 2014 at 10:24 AM

I “think” he was being sarcastic but I’m not certain.

Key West Reader on March 1, 2014 at 10:43 AM

nothing is going to happen about that piece of paper, and Turkey won’t do a bloody thing. that “treaty” is not a treaty but a memorandum, and no one is going to go to war with russia over some wackos in Kiev when half the country don’t want them in the first place. inserting yourself into a civil war ? thanks, been there done that. egypt and syria send their regards.

runner on March 1, 2014 at 10:44 AM

I “think” he was being sarcastic but I’m not certain.

Key West Reader on March 1, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Yeah, Hawk already said that. She just gets so much unwarranted abuse so I reacted in haste…

OmahaConservative on March 1, 2014 at 10:44 AM

“He’s that unique public servant who is at home in a bar in Cedar Rapids and the corridors of the Capitol; in the V.F.W. hall in Concord,

and at the center of an international crisis.

canopfor on March 1, 2014 at 10:38 AM

And that is why thye went to happy hour after the speech.

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Crimea tensions in Ukraine
3m
Photo: Armed men guard Crimean parliament building – Getty image via @elanazak
see original on twitter.com

https://twitter.com/elanazak/status/439765445113966594/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 1, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Maybe all the study of the Fulda gap will be needed, but not by this administration. I feel sorry for all of the former soviet satellite states now.

Mini-14 on March 1, 2014 at 10:45 AM

About the only thing we can do is arm the Ukrainians and other eastern states. But the truth is America is not in a military position to directly help right now, and not in a political position to help.

Several lessons:

(1) Don’t sign treaties you have no intention or ability to honor.

(2) If you have nukes or have the ability to build them, do it. If Pakistan can have nukes why can’t Ukrainian, Poland, Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea, etc. America needs to get out of the nuclear disarmament business. If we are not going to stop the bad guys from getting nukes, at least allow the other good guys to have their nukes. It is just like gun control, the only people it disarms is the law abiding folks.

William Eaton on March 1, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Turkey acquired the right to claim the Peninsula back based on the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca

If they do so, NATO could be pulled in via Article V.

blammm on March 1, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Crimea tensions in Ukraine
2m
Photo: Armed men in Crimea as Russian parliament approves President Vladimir Putin’s request to send military to Ukraine – via Instagram user gzhygalov
see original on instagram.com

http://instagram.com/p/lAT0f-Kj_X/#

canopfor on March 1, 2014 at 10:45 AM

I wonder if Victoria Nuland still has her job? Who am I kidding? It’s Washington!

Punchenko on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

It also looks like the Senate never approved this treaty.

NotCoach on March 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

That doesn’t let the UK off the hook, though.

Ed Morrissey on March 1, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Then by the princes of Poland we may all be soon screwed.

onomo on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

If Ukraine had just waited a year and removed the elected government peacefully, via the democratic process- or for that matter abided by the February agreement for early elections- they’d still have Crimea.

Jon0815 on March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Agreed. A leader ordering snipers to shoot civilians would of course go peacefully.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Putin asks permission? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…It’s like O’ asking ‘pubs for the OK to raise taxes.

vnvet on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Crimea tensions in Ukraine
42s
Russia Senate roll call approving use of force in Ukraine; vote is unanimous – via @RT_com
see original on twitter.com
=============================

https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/439784666845822976/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Hi Bmore.

Sarah Palin called it again.

/HT hawkdriver

SparkPlug on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

How full do you think chuck hagels depends are right now?

Murphy9 on March 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Rumor at the Pentagon is he goes full commando, so it’s not pretty right now. But he does get to be called an elite commando.

msupertas on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Crimea tensions in Ukraine
56s
Proposal on possible use of Russian troops in Ukraine may not be used quickly, says Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigory Karasin – @Reuters
end of alert

canopfor on March 1, 2014 at 10:47 AM

If Ukraine had just waited a year and removed the elected government peacefully, via the democratic process- or for that matter abided by the February agreement for early elections- they’d still have Crimea.

Jon0815 on March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

How long should we wait?

http://www.saveamericafoundation.com/2014/01/04/open-letter-to-all-americans-across-the-united-states-from-colonel-harry-riley/

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Baking special “Tell Vladimir, after the election, I will have more flexibility” cookies over here.

Cookie?

famous amos on March 1, 2014 at 10:47 AM

inserting yourself into a civil war ? thanks, been there done that. egypt and syria send their regards.

runner on March 1, 2014 at 10:44 AM

There weren’t any treaty obligations which required us to enter into those conflicts. They would have been motivated by sheer humanitarian impulse.

blammm on March 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

We don’t have a Reagan in the office. Therefore, this. It’s crazy to think that could have been prevented with Oblummer, but it’s also crazy to think we can or should involve ourselves further. Neo-cons are missing their war stock return for certain, and are salivating at the moment.

LaughterJones on March 1, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Well certainly, there is nothing that obama could have done to prevent this, he is simply too limp and impotent, and absolutely no one takes him seriously on international matters. AND, it doesn’t look like we can avoid involvement – especially if the UK is drawn in …

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2570335/Former-British-Ambassador-Moscow-warns-Russia-invaded-Ukraine-difficult-avoid-going-war.html

Pork-Chop on March 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

There’s not a lot that can be done. back in the early 80s even Ronald Reagan was at a loss as to options when Jaruszelski declared martial law, outlawed Solidarity and jailed Walesa.I remember his TV speech and all he could muster was for Americans to put a candle in their windows at Christmas to show support. Not exactly an effective reaction. Problem was, short of war there was nothing to be done. We’re not going to war for Ukraine so they are on their own to make the best possible deal.

xkaydet65 on March 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Here’s an exclusive image of the historic Upper House vote. That was a close call!

http://punditfromanotherplanet.com/2014/03/01/breaking-russian-upper-house-votes-on-use-of-force-in-ukraine/

PunditFaP on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Can’t seem to get a straight answer from any of the hawks (or hawkish sounding) here to what bold moves the US/Obama should be doing.
Maybe there’s some example of Bush’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia you’d like to cite?

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

I am so glum, either team Obama is going to acquiesce or entangle us in a war they have no spirit to fight. It’s a recipe for calamity.

rob verdi on March 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

How full do you think chuck hagels depends are right now?

Murphy9 on March 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Rumor at the Pentagon is he goes full commando, so it’s not pretty right now. But he does get to be called an elite commando.

msupertas on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Great. Bully on the playground and we’re lead by poopie pants and his leader mr. bow down to all and be inspired by my momjeans and ruffled panties.

onomo on March 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

canopfor on March 1, 2014 at 10:38 AM

And that is why thye went to happy hour after the speech.

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 10:44 AM

davidk:No sh*t,..and why the WH is in this perdictament ,..ZERO
EXPERIENCE!!:)

canopfor on March 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I’m sure the Crimeans are comforted knowing Dear Leader “has their back”. Oy Vay.

drewinmass on March 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

This is just the beginning. The world has figured out that Obama is WEAK.

pearson on March 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

i’m sorry did someone just reference the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca ? the one from 1774 ? mkay. i got one her between the United States of America and the sachems, chiefs, and warriors, of the Wyandot, Ottawa, Chippewa, Munsee, and Delaware, Shawnee, and Pattawatamy nations, from 1805.

runner on March 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

All I’m seeing is nonstop snark. Almost all enjoyable. However, I was hoping someone might be able to suggest a realistic response to Putin.

Aplombed on March 1, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Western oligarchs hold a great deal of (stolen) money in Western banks. Seize it. Don’t threaten to seize it. The war has already been declared. Just seize it.

Work closely with Turkey. They have an interest in the welfare of Crimean Tatars. Erdogan has his own domestic issues so they can’t do much, but it can make control of the Black Sea easier for the US Navy, and harder for Russia.

By the way, the US navy should have a formidable presence in the Black Sea. This is war. Putin declared it. Western inaction changes nothing, except to put us in a weaker position when our government wakes up and realizes we’ve been at war for several years. Better to meet the enemy crossing the Dnieper than crossing the Rhine.

Gingotts on March 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Baking special “Tell Vladimir, after the election, I will have more flexibility” cookies over here.

Cookie?

famous amos on March 1, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Mooch has entered the room…..

/just kidding!

Key West Reader on March 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Red China is watching this unfold, taking the measure of President Kickass McStompypants, and making their plans.

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Hey wait a minute…reset button….smart power…bwahahahaha. Limp wristed butt pirate Obama against Putin, do you really wonder how this will turn out.

Doomsday on March 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

The hunter-gatherer part is not mine, I got it from a link through Insta, don’t remember who wrote it.

Basically it’s a take on Russia being a 3rd world nation with a 1st world military, the question being “Name something produced in Russia that doesn’t either explode or have the letters ‘AK’ somewhere in its nomenclature.”

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Scratch me and you will find many things, and one thing you will find is a person who has no problem making money honestly. I say that for a reason as sometimes I look at every day events and wonder how I can turn a buck on what I am seeing.

I was lucky? enough to spend some time there. What was the first I noticed on the trip from the airport to my Hotel. Not a darn sign of advertising. NOT A SINGLE SIGN. I knew right then that I was in the wrong place. Only way for the individual to survive was to become as corrupt as the government.

Terrible place.

HonestLib on March 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Baking special “Tell Vladimir, after the election, I will have more flexibility” cookies over here.

Cookie?

famous amos on March 1, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Give one to verby AKA Juan Bob. :)

22044 on March 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

I am fully convinced Obama wouldn’t use military force if China invaded the west coast, so he sure as hell won’t get involved with the Ukraine – unless he can do so with a few drone strikes and covert weapons shipments.

Putin knows damn well the West doesn’t have any kind of serious foreign policy or resolve with an incompetent like Obama in the White House. He’ll do what he damn well pleases, and we’ll like it or lump it. As long as he steers clear of saying anything mean about gays, he should be fine.

DRayRaven on March 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

About the only thing we can do is arm the Ukrainians and other eastern states. But the truth is America is not in a military position to directly help right now, and not in a political position to help.

Several lessons:

(1) Don’t sign treaties you have no intention or ability to honor.

(2) If you have nukes or have the ability to build them, do it. If Pakistan can have nukes why can’t Ukrainian, Poland, Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea, etc. America needs to get out of the nuclear disarmament business. If we are not going to stop the bad guys from getting nukes, at least allow the other good guys to have their nukes. It is just like gun control, the only people it disarms is the law abiding folks.

William Eaton on March 1, 2014 at 10:45 AM

http://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2014/02/28/obama-approves-123-agreement-with-vietnam

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

This is just the beginning. The world has figured out that Obama is WEAK.

pearson on March 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Weak, impotent, a eunich, a fluffer, a wannabe, an Urkel Imposter, effete, lilly livered, unabashed gheh, totally incompetent affirmative action ninny.

Key West Reader on March 1, 2014 at 10:53 AM

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Previous page.

Although it might mean the Fanged Blowfly known to carry diphtheria and plague might have its breeding grounds disrupted, so there would be some terrible societal costs involved.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I’ll reiterate. Chesty annexes the Crimea, places Eastern Ukraine under their ‘orbit’, and O’ sucks his thumb while playing one-handed golf…

vnvet on March 1, 2014 at 10:53 AM

At least now we know how WW III starts.

portlandon on March 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Looks like at a minimum Putin is forcing a partition?

Руки прочь от моей трубопровода … Суки!

(Hands off my pipeline…B*tches!)

http://www.gazprom.com/f/posts/44/270918/southern-corridor-2-en.jpg

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 10:55 AM

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Not to worry, even people who are hawks don’t think that Obama should get us into a war that he would have no intention of winning. He’s proven his foreign policy bonafides both diplomatically and militarily and the consensus is that he sucks.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 10:55 AM

The truth is that Putin could take over the entire Ukraine and the U.S. would not respond with military action. That’s true no matter who is President. Helping the Ukrainian resistance is an option, but a lot of that assistance will have to be covert.

Now, there are certainly ways to respond economically. And on that front, a President Romney would be a million times more forceful than the current piece of trash in the White House. Too bad the stupid Americans voted for four more years of hell.

DisneyFan on March 1, 2014 at 10:56 AM

That’s because she watched the invasion happen from her back yard.

bayam on March 1, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Tina Fey…. crickets

Wade on March 1, 2014 at 10:56 AM

canopfor on March 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

The SarahCudian Republican Guard is on high alert. What is our defcon commander canopfor?

SparkPlug on March 1, 2014 at 10:56 AM

How full do you think chuck hagels depends are right now?

Murphy9 on March 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM

I didn’t sign up for this!

thebrokenrattle on March 1, 2014 at 10:56 AM

That’s because she watched the invasion happen from her back yard.

bayam on March 1, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Still the best you f*ckwits have, eh?

Midas on March 1, 2014 at 10:58 AM

HonestLib on March 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Been a lot of places in my life, mostly courtesy of the US Navy, but never visited Russia. I did visit Mombasa, Kenya and Karachi, Pakistan which were experiences that curled my hair; the poverty and the crowding were something else. But at least they were busy, producing, and the places felt alive.

Russia just seems dead. Did you see the Olympic story about the US para-olympian who was adopted from Russia, and she went back to see her birth mother? Man, the house looked like it was built of random pieces pulled from construction sites, the entire hood looked like that, and the road was dirt.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Would this have happened if Obama hadn’t shafted Poland on missile defense?

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Can’t seem to get a straight answer from any of the hawks (or hawkish sounding) here to what bold moves the US/Obama should be doing.
Maybe there’s some example of Bush’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia you’d like to cite?

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Of course President Obama has many actions he could take; show of force, strong public statement to the world laying out a solution to the problem or keeping the tone in public light and playing hard ball behind the scenes. It appears number three is the path being taken and we shall see. I am being very general here as my posts need to get shorter.

With that said it does look like Romney was right about Russia, but I don’t remember him giving any specifics on how to deal with the problem he perceived.

HonestLib on March 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Tweet Of The Morning: U.S.S. Obama On The Way To Confront Putin

http://weaselzippers.us/177694-tweet-of-the-morning-u-s-s-obama-on-the-way-to-confront-putin/

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Remember that missile defense shield that Bush & the west almost had done, before President pussy took over?

That was Putins nightmare. Obama collapsed it, an this is why we are at this point. That missile shield would have guaranteed this from happening in Ukraine.

Obama is worse than jimmy carter because his weakness is by design. He wants the west weakened. His daddy issues are going to get millions killed.

portlandon on March 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

portlandon on March 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Who would have ever thought that it would be a military hating peacenik who would start the next “big one”? //

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM
Not to worry, even people who are hawks don’t think that Obama should get us into a war that he would have no intention of winning. He’s proven his foreign policy bonafides both diplomatically and militarily and the consensus is that he sucks.
Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 10:55 AM

And just who had the bonafides before…Bush? Reagan?
I know where I am, but the Obama snark that greets every situation…and from so many still recovering from their Putin mancrush.
But yea..even the hawks think Obama is doing just what can and should be done.
It shouldn’t be so hard to be supportive.

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Ed said:

Accusing the native government of a region of destabilizing a situation by attempting to push foreign troops off its soil is about the epitome of chutzpah. Putin’s claim is that ethnicity trumps sovereignty, a rather dangerous argument for him to make in the context of the Caucasus, for instance.

No, his claim is that the “native government” installed by the Molotov-cocktail throwing mob is not legitimate. He didn’t invade after the ’05 Orange Revolution because that happened at the ballot box, so there was no excuse. If Ukraine had just waited a year and removed the elected government peacefully, via the democratic process- or for that matter abided by the February agreement for early elections- they’d still have Crimea.

Jon0815 on March 1, 2014 at 10:20 AM

The irony being the Bolshevik Revolution…

But carry on…

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM

What should be the US response?

Aplombed on March 1, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Ask Sarah Palin. She’s been right about everything else.

That’s because she watched the invasion happen from her back yard.

bayam on March 1, 2014 at 10:32 AM

10. “I can see Russia from my house!” – Sarah Palin

It was actually comedian Tina Fey, who was impersonating Ms. Palin on Saturday Night Live, who uttered the line that is now widely attributed to the former Alaska governor.

The basis for this line comes from a September 2008 interview with ABC News’s Charles Gibson, who asked Palin what insights she had from her state being so close to Russia. She responded: “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”

But you go on Mr Serious Liberal Commenter.

Sarah Palin called it and you know it. Your imbecile president and doofus vice-president said Iran was a little country and they still confound his administration with end arounds in diplomacy at every turn and are helping to destroy the terrorists obama helped to raise in the so-called Free Syrian Army. That in itself is making Iran look like good guy in the world over us. You might want to get your head out of your fourth point of contact and check out the news from something besides your talking point sources.

This is without a doubt, the worst president, nay, worst administration in US History.

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM

There weren’t any treaty obligations which required us to enter into those conflicts. They would have been motivated by sheer humanitarian impulse.

blammm on March 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

my humanitarian impulse does not extend to muslim bros in egypt, al-queda in syria and neo-nazis in ukraine

runner on March 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

All we or Turkey needs to do is blockade the Bosphorus Strait. If Putin wants to break treaties, we can too.

rbj on March 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

“It depends on what your definition of territorial sovereignty is.”
Bill Clinton

exhelodrvr on March 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

This is without a doubt, the worst president, nay, worst administration in US History.

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM

It’s not that bad, homophobe, Dog Eater inherited this invasion from Dubya.

Read a history book sometime, ‘winger.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Maybe there’s some example of Bush’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia you’d like to cite?

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Things must be tough on you right now verbaluce. Looking to Bush is living in the past. Yours is in charge. If that is indeed what you call it. Perhaps you will inform us all of 0′s plan. Or lack there of. Sense even considering that is overdue.

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Nope. It’s Obamas fault. Worst president ever.

SparkPlug on March 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Can’t seem to get a straight answer from any of the hawks (or hawkish sounding) here to what bold moves the US/Obama should be doing.
Maybe there’s some example of Bush’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia you’d like to cite?

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

An announcement that the U.S. is clearing away every hurdle standing in the way of massive development of our energy sources, specifically natural gas.

That our energy trade agreements with Europe will be reviewed with a close look taken at increasing natural gas shipments.

That the Preznit is going to be calling and directly talking to every national leader in Europe about reaffirming our defense agreements.

That the missile shield in Poland will not only be put back in place but upgraded substantially.

That every trade agreement with Russia will be reassessed with particular attention paid to how necessary they really are.

That every other ally we have throughout the world has our full support in case some other thug decides to make a move somewhere.

This would be a start. Russia has a hunter-gatherer economy and can be critically damaged if we only had the seeds to actually do anything, and not single bullet would need to be fired.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Now as far as wiping your a$$ is concerned you will have to find someone else to help you with that.

NotCoach on March 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Can’t seem to get a straight answer from any of the hawks (or hawkish sounding) here to what bold moves the US/Obama should be doing.
Maybe there’s some example of Bush’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia you’d like to cite?

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

He should stay the hell out of it, which is what he should have done from the beginning if all he intended to do was draw imaginary lines and make threats about “costs” that he knew was just his usual faux bravada

Flora Duh on March 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

I am getting the impression that nobody here truly cares about the events unfolding in the Ukraine and are only using them either to score political points on the domestic front or just to talk about something interesting. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue stopped receiving HotAir posts by next month, as everyone gets bored and moves onto the next exciting political outrage-of-the-month.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Sorry verbaluce, iPad, since. ; )

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

But what about ghey marriage? What’s all this Ukraine fuss?

SparkPlug on March 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

So how can the Chinese look at this and not think it’s time to start taking some islands?

Mark1971 on March 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Russia just seems dead. Did you see the Olympic story about the US para-olympian who was adopted from Russia, and she went back to see her birth mother? Man, the house looked like it was built of random pieces pulled from construction sites, the entire hood looked like that, and the road was dirt.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Most of my travel has been business related and I lived in those places up to a year and learned to go “native”. The Russian people are very educated, especially in their history and arts, but the spark we in America have had almost been snuffed of them. Been to many third world countries and there always seemed to be a ray of hope, except for parts of Africa. I now understand some of your background and I employ a bunch of squids….thus nothing but respect from me.

Now, who did I vote for last time? Chuckle!!!!

HonestLib on March 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

I know where I am, but the Obama snark that greets every situation…and from so many still recovering from their Putin mancrush.
But yea..even the hawks think Obama is doing just what can and should be done.
It shouldn’t be so hard to be supportive.

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Are you trying to be funny this fine morning?

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Well perhaps a purple line?

Pegcity on March 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Who would have ever thought that it would be a military hating peacenik who would start the next “big one”? //

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I don’t think that will happen…

That said it’s obvious that Obama is the worst disaster (domestically and internationally) occupying the oval office this country has ever had.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 11:05 AM

I’ve never had a crush on Putin, I have never doubted who he is. Never could understand W’s infatuation. I’m old, I have no good will for bringing communists back to power. That said, he makes Obama look stupid on a daily basis. I’ll be honest, if the Ukraine comes out of this whole, it will be because some leader from another country will come up with a plan. This guy is a light weight, threatening not to go the G8 in Russia and sending proponent LGBT to the Olympics as the American representation. So very very childish.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Hmmm…… Let me first consider all your previous posts at this site. Yeah, no………….

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

@federati

Wipe off your chin after coming out of Obamas office.

portlandon on March 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

The Obama butt snorkeling freaks have clogged face masks today for some unknown reason.

Could be the Ukraine thing.

SparkPlug on March 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM

It’s not that bad, homophobe, Dog Eater inherited this invasion from Dubya.

Read a history book sometime, ‘winger.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I was this close to hitting the “send button” on your “Help Clean My Driveway” webpage.

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Flexibility…….

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

I was this close to hitting the “send button” on your “Help Clean My Driveway” webpage.

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

You already hit the send button 5 times whether you know it or not.

I have a friend in the NSA who arranged it.

Thanks for the five grand, chump.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Russian troops spotted outside Crimea yet?

forest on March 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Flexibility…….

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Yep. “Look Mr. Putin! Look how far I can bend over!” – barky the dog eater

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

All I’m seeing is nonstop snark. Almost all enjoyable. However, I was hoping someone might be able to suggest a realistic response to Putin.

Aplombed on March 1, 2014 at 10:33 AM

1. Search Youtube for anti-Putin/Russian video
2. Justify Putins actions as a response to video.
3. Arrest Steven Crowder (publicly)
4. Susan Rice to make Sunday talk show tour, saying no one knew about it.
5. Unleash Biden during speech at Tulsa home for disabled children
6. Relax.

Oh, you asked for a realistic response. Not sure what that is. Since we live in a progressive world now, I think the correct course of action would be to convene the UN Security Council and lodge a complaint, with the threat of a stern letter as leverage.

BobMbx on March 1, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Can’t seem to get a straight answer from any of the hawks (or hawkish sounding) here to what bold moves the US/Obama should be doing.
Maybe there’s some example of Bush’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia you’d like to cite?

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

he and his cohorts have done enough – hey they got maidan ! hey…they lost crimea

runner on March 1, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Hmmm…… Let me first consider all your previous posts at this site. Yeah, no………….

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Hey, judge me on my next post…..please. Any of my other posts are past history and subject to change!!!

HonestLib on March 1, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Well Putin certainly thought long and hard on Obama’s stern words from yesterday.

Reporter: “Mr. Putin, do you have any comment on President Obama’s speech on this issue from yesterday?”

Putin: “Who?”

Reporter: “The President of the United States.”

Putin: (laughing) “Oh, her… yes, yes..” (chuckles to himself) “Yes, she is very pretty…”

Reporter: LAUGHS

BigWyo on March 1, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I added additional transcripts I found online….

Fathom on March 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Red China is watching this unfold, taking the measure of President Kickass McStompypants, and making their plans.

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Yep

Russia and China signed an economic pac. China is financing the Siberian Oil Production and Pipeline. Russia is assisting China with offshore operations.

Both have stepped up their naval upgrade production.

Japan is nervous and discussing amending their constitution to build up their own defensive military….that whole region in Asia is nervous…

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

You tell us what is the sense in caring? We cared about Iran and Egypt, how did that work out? The best we can hope for is some leader with a brain, probably Merkel, can get Obama to drop the tough guy act and come up some sensible solutions.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/28/did-sarah-palin-predict-russia-invading-ukraine-if-obama-got-elected/

This one has her own words from today.

pambi on February 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

“Yes, I could see this one from Alaska. I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did, despite my accurate prediction being derided as ‘an extremely far-fetched scenario’ by the ‘high-brow’ Foreign Policy magazine,” she wrote. “Here’s what this ‘stupid’ ‘insipid woman’ predicted back in 2008.”

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 7:30 PM

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Can’t seem to get a straight answer from any of the hawks (or hawkish sounding) here to what bold moves the US/Obama should be doing.
Maybe there’s some example of Bush’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia you’d like to cite?

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

And another one.

Man, you guys need to be more subtle when the OFA/DNC talking points memo comes out – don’t all show up at once bleating the same f*cking thing ad nauseum. Way obvious.

Midas on March 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Think of what the US would be if there were major disturbances around a military base in a foreign country. There is no doubt US troops would be given permission to use force in and around the military base.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Who would have ever thought that it would be a military hating peacenik who would start the next “big one”? //

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Pick out the “big ones” in history, and learn about the ideology of those in power when the shooting started.

It won’t take long to notice a pattern.

BobMbx on March 1, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I know where I am, but the Obama snark that greets every situation…and from so many still recovering from their Putin mancrush.
But yea..even the hawks think Obama is doing just what can and should be done.
It shouldn’t be so hard to be supportive.

verbaluce on March 1, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Oh, you don’t like fellow American’s looking to political adversaries abroad to make cheap political points.

Code Pink delivers more than 600K to Fallujah insurgents.

51 US Marine who died in Fallujah were unavailable ….

Well, you know.

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Now as far as wiping your a$$ is concerned you will have to find someone else to help you with that.

NotCoach on March 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Warhawks one, but major problem? Oblummer. Do you think he has the spine to do any of that?

I am getting the impression that nobody here truly cares about the events unfolding in the Ukraine and are only using them either to score political points on the domestic front or just to talk about something interesting. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue stopped receiving HotAir posts by next month, as everyone gets bored and moves onto the next exciting political outrage-of-the-month.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

No we care. Just don’t want to send young southerners to fight a battle they have no need to be in. Oblummer might get us involved inadvertently anyway, who knows.

my humanitarian impulse does not extend to muslim bros in egypt, al-queda in syria and neo-nazis in ukraine

runner on March 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

+1

LaughterJones on March 1, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Marine(s) …

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:18 AM

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