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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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

And our scumbag politicos scurry about worrying about environazis and gay marriage. Oh and let’s give felons the right to vote!

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:19 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

Something about vacuums…

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:21 AM

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

Because I like you, something to watch as this all unfolds. ; )

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:21 AM

I’m wondering here… in the midst of the upheaval, or at least the beginnings of it, in the Ukraine.. did our glorious defense secretary give the go ahead to a Russian invasion by telling the world (I’m paraphrasing here).. “The US needs to downsize it’s military and nobody can expect us to dominate or fight large scale ground wars like we have in the past.”

Now… with all their intelligence gathering and NSA capabilities… you’d think they would have an idea what Russia was up to. Was that really the time to go out and announce to the world.. “We’re not big enough to fight you any more. Those days are over.”

JellyToast on March 1, 2014 at 11:22 AM

The people who give Obama his orders are very pleased with the way this situation is unfolding…..

Fathom on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 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

A great first step would be to stop using this as an excuse to attack Obama. Some of the commentators here believe the world revolves around America and everything that happens is in one way or another caused or affected by Obama. You pose a good question: what is the solution? I am not sure of what, but I do know the where is not in HotAir’s comment section. Compare the excellent and well-researched posts of Ed, AP, et al. to the comments and you’ll see what I mean.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I’ll be at the Home and Garden show later today, I wonder if it will be like the old days when actual bomb shelters were displayed.

Lean Forward!

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Russian troops spotted outside Crimea yet?

forest on March 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Yes. Tanks in Kherson Oblast.

Gingotts on March 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Putin asks the Russian Parliament to use force. Obama goes into Libya after asking… (sound of crickets chirping).

rhombus on March 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM

It’s too bad Barry can’t see the Crimea from his house.

Might inspire him to pay a little more attention.

dissent555 on March 1, 2014 at 11:26 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

And if Russia and China decided to surround the USoA with military assets and told obama to step down and that they were going to put in place their own ruler, just what could we do?

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM

In what universe would Chuck Hagel’s announcement, and the timing of that announcement to downsize our military and proclaim we no longer care to fight large scale ground wars not be a positive signal to Russia to go ahead and invade the Ukraine.

JellyToast on March 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Because I like you, something to watch as this all unfolds. ; )

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Thanks!

On another topic. Think little more south…..think of snobs in golf carts. Well not really snobs, but I bet you get the hint.

HonestLib on March 1, 2014 at 11:27 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

And our scumbag politicos scurry about worrying about environazis and gay marriage. Oh and let’s give felons the right to vote!

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

We’ll have to wait and see I guess.

The strategy seems pretty clear as a response to new developments in terms of ME resources and conflicts…and EU weakness coupled with China’s bottomless need for rare earth metals and energy to fuel their economy.

Looks to me like Putin is forming his own counter part to the EU. (Iran was added to the economic pac)

Looking at the Gazprom Blacksea Pipeline map I’ve posted upthread the european pipeline has some interesting destinations…One would almost think Putin is seeking an economic way to divide the EU?

Meanwhile Merkel needs Coal…And the Ukraine has the largest deposits in Europe.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM

A great first step would be to stop using this as an excuse to attack Obama. Some of the commentators here believe the world revolves around America and everything that happens is in one way or another caused or affected by Obama. You pose a good question: what is the solution? I am not sure of what, but I do know the where is not in HotAir’s comment section. Compare the excellent and well-researched posts of Ed, AP, et al. to the comments and you’ll see what I mean.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

The leader of the free world usually has some sway or influence on world events. The world knows what a weak and useless “leader” obama is and are acting accordingly.

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM

In what universe would Chuck Hagel’s announcement, and the timing of that announcement to downsize our military and proclaim we no longer care to fight large scale ground wars not be a positive signal to Russia to go ahead and invade the Ukraine.

JellyToast on March 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM

In Banyams, I suspect….

Fathom on March 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Russian troops spotted outside Crimea yet?

forest on March 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Yes. Tanks in Kherson Oblast.

Gingotts on March 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Armored vehicle videos, too: http://tomohalloran.com/2014/02/28/shocking-videos-russian-troops-helicopters-moving-crimea/

davidk on February 28, 2014 at 7:41 PM

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Where is President Flexibility today, golfing or jogging in his white shirt and tie? The real line in the sand is if the Russians refuse to photograph or bake cakes for Gay weddings.

Hening on March 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

HonestLib on March 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM

; )

Bmore on March 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Relax there, Citizen, you actually believe people here think Dog Eater is really hiding under his bed?

These are some funky times with spooky historical antecedents and so we’re throwing things out there. If you’re honest with yourself, we have good cause to ridicule and attack Dog Eater because we’ve been told for five years running that the man could move the stars simply by talking.

So, move the stars.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I’m a bit leftist

Federati on February 6, 2014 at 3:23 PM

At least you defend obama from an objective position. tell me one thing. I get confused when liberals vacillate between how much influence obama has depending upon how well it’s going.

War on Terror
Egypt
Libya
And 136K dead in Syria he helped to orchestrate.
(well, in Syria the UN stopped counting so …)

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Russian troops spotted outside Crimea yet?

forest on March 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Yes. Tanks in Kherson Oblast.

Gingotts on March 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Thanks. I suspect it’ll move fast, Odessa next? I wonder what’s going on at the border near Kharkov? I have a feeling it’ll go soon. These updates are pretty good, but I don’t think anybody can keep up right now.

forest on March 1, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Breaking:

Ukrainian political crisis
3m
Dozens hurt in clashes when pro-Russia activists stormed regional government’s headquarters in eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and raised the Russian flag, local media reports – @Reuters

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:32 AM

And if Russia and China decided to surround the USoA with military assets and told obama to step down and that they were going to put in place their own ruler, just what could we do?

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I think it’s more likely that Putin will work his way up…through an unstable southern half of our hemisphere.

He hasn’t got his military upgrades yet…But he’s building and so is China and both could fund Iran’s desire to upgrade their Navy with Petro dollars.

Whoever controls the seas…controls the trade.

Puts us in a difficult situation…especially with a strong isolationist sentiment growing in the country which fuels the demand to shrink our military.

I’ll bet the UK starts budgeting for a navy upgrade soon.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Wow, relax. President Boyfriend can take care of himself.

Dry those eyes and …maybe go change your underwear.

BigWyo on March 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Some of the commentators here believe the world revolves around America
Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

I did edit the above post. Just FYI.

And some like President Obama and I….we think the world revolves around us. Guess we make some of the commenters around here look like Mother Teresa. Chuckle! Naw, nothing wrong with folks loving their country and putting the US first. That don’t bother me at all. Carry on my friend.

HonestLib on March 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

A great first step would be to stop using this as an excuse to attack Obama.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

And you know George Bush himself dressed up like a prison guard and was flown to Abu Grahaib, Iraq every night to screw with those poor prisoners.

pffft

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

A perfect example of why Bibi will NEVER sign any treaty with any Arab that has as its basis security guarantees backed by Dog Eater. Bibi and members of the kineset know that any document with Dog Eater’s signature on it is as worthless as used toilet paper.

Franklin100 on March 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

The Russian parliament unanimously voted to grant President Vladimir Putin permission to mobilize the country’s military in Ukraine and asked that the country’s ambassador in Washington be recalled after earlier statements by President Obama.

All is well. Pot is now legal in a couple of states and gay marriage is all the rage. Oh, and the nfl is going to take the “N” out of Nfl. All is well.

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

I got nothing, so I’ll suck up to the Hot Air management.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Edited for accuracy. :)

22044 on March 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Well I guess they can take off those masks, and put on their Russky insignia.

That did not take long, did it?

Sting on March 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Kaharkiv, second largest city in Ukraine, is in the mortheast:

Russian flag seen atop building in Kharkiv, Ukraine

- via Instagram user vz10

http://instagram.com/p/lAXqJ6Lufw/#

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Why so much attention to this anyway? It’s none of our business.

“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. ”

Well if you don’t want to see us going off to war then STFU and let them sort there own problems out.

jephthah on March 1, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Putin vs Obama = Bruce Willis vs the gimp

ElectricPhase on March 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

I got nothing, so I’ll suck up to the Hot Air management.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Edited for accuracy. :)

22044 on March 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Pretty much.

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Russian troops spotted outside Crimea yet?
forest on March 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Yes. Tanks in Kherson Oblast.

Gingotts on March 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Thanks. I suspect it’ll move fast, Odessa next? I wonder what’s going on at the border near Kharkov? I have a feeling it’ll go soon. These updates are pretty good, but I don’t think anybody can keep up right now.

forest on March 1, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Just remember that Kiev is pressuring the EU,UK and the US to become directly involved…like in assurances of military intervention?

so maybe check multiple sources for tracking events?

Poland might have good source info?

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Dry your eyes poser

Obama is the weakest of all Presidents, now watch as china moves in to take Taiwan , what is he going to do when they have all our debt

He has left this country weaker, it’s status weaker, and our influence weaker, but I’m sure your happy about that anyways

Conservative4ev on March 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Well if you don’t want to see us going off to war then STFU and let them sort there own problems out.

jephthah on March 1, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Therein lies the problem. Community agitators are taught to agitate and dog eater is a trained community agitator.

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Dozens hurt in clashes when pro-Russia activists stormed regional government’s headquarters in eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and raised the Russian flag, local media reports – @Reuters

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Thanks. I suspect it’ll move fast, Odessa next? I wonder what’s going on at the border near Kharkov? I have a feeling it’ll go soon. These updates are pretty good, but I don’t think anybody can keep up right now.

forest on March 1, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Kharkiv is paid goons. Similar attacks have occurred in several eastern cities with remarkable coordination.

In Donetsk a rally of pro-Russan citizens emerged, then suddenly dispersed a couple of hours later. Astroturf. They were all paid 200UAH (~$22) to play the role of concerned citizens.

Gingotts on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:30 AM

What is the difference between blind praise and blind blame? You have a solution to the crisis that Obama’s not going with, let’s hear it.

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues, unless you think things such as “nuke ‘em” are valid options.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

A great first step would be to stop using this as an excuse to attack Obama.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

How can we NOT?! This is quintessential Captain Kicka$$

DrStock on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Look, if he doesn’t want the United States to be what “the world revolves around” or even a super power, than he needs to shut up and stop his big man utterances. And I’ll criticize him all day long and twice on Sunday because he sucks.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:44 AM

UN Security Council to hold meeting on crisis in Ukraine at 2 pm ET – @Reuters

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

And, yeah, AP’s thread on “uncontested arrival” was awesome.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Russian Helicopters darken the sky as they fly over Ukraine

libfreesMom on March 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

So this is what he meant when he said he will have more flexibility after the election. Flexibility of doing nothing, so that missile defense shield for Poland was a bad idea how?

Conservative4ev on March 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Reagan giveth, and Obama taketh away.

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Kaharkiv, second largest city in Ukraine, is in the northeast:

Russian flag seen atop building in Kharkiv, Ukraine

- via Instagram user vz10

http://instagram.com/p/lAXqJ6Lufw/#

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Sits close to the Russian border.

Map link:

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/europe/ukraine_adm93.jpg

If Putin stays close to the Russian border…He may be forcing Merkel’s hand in a Partition Solution.

Stabilization to prevent a civil war…Protecting Russia’s border region.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Russian Helicopters darken the sky as they fly over Ukraine

libfreesMom on March 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Your son thinks that is racist!

22044 on March 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Photo: Armed men escort caravan of vehicles streaming into Balaklava, Crimea, Ukraine – via Instagram user unicornpopcorrn

http://instagram.com/p/lAal9bKe6q/#

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues, unless you think things such as “nuke ‘em” are valid options.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Are you serious? The man has sent arms and aid to the FSA, used the CIA to train them and even had a redline that was a trigger to unilaterally attack Syria. Start with that one Captain Hot Air Conservatives are Stupid Commenters.

And you find a comment of mine where I said to nuke anyone.

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Your son thinks that is racist!

22044 on March 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

I tried to talk to my son about the trouble in Ukraine, but all I could get out of him was “There enough blacks or Gays in Ukraine to care”.

libfreesMom on March 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

I for one do not want to see this incompetent administration going anywhere near a war. He!! Obama wouldn’t even try to save our own people in Benghazi.

Kaffa on March 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

You are not nearly as smart as you think you are. His weakness and ineptitude has brought this onto us and folks like you say “what can he do, he’s only the President of the little ol’ united states”. Fvck off creep.

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

This sets up a worldwide free-for-all for land grabs.

Hold onto your hats folks. Buy stock in map-makers.

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

If Putin stays close to the Russian border…He may be forcing Merkel’s hand in a Partition Solution.

Stabilization to prevent a civil war…Protecting Russia’s border region.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

I was thinking the same thing last night after reading your comments.

Merkel tells Putin leave the coal-fields alone and we won’t oppose your take over of Crimea.

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Your son thinks that is racist!

22044 on March 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

I tried to talk to my son about the trouble in Ukraine, but all I could get out of him was “There aren’t enough blacks or Gays in Ukraine to care”.

libfreesMom on March 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

He!! Obama wouldn’t even try to save our own people in Benghazi.

Kaffa on March 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Save them? He sent them unprotected into an unsecured location on the anniversary of 9/11. Maybe he didn’t hear about that, it was all the way back in 2001 but I hear the Muslims were pretty psyched about it.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

That’s what we pay him for. He failed.

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM

This sets up a worldwide free-for-all for land grabs.

Hold onto your hats folks. Buy stock in map-makers.

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/02/28/MSNBC-Map-of-Ukraine-Features-Czechoslovakia

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM

What is the difference between blind praise and blind blame? You have a solution to the crisis that Obama’s not going with, let’s hear it.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

First page, near the end.

The Dubya days are not going to be forgotten or forgiven, you have 8 years to pay penance for so get used to it.

What…you thought all the leftist tripe and hyperbole would be brushed off as “you crazy goofy kids”?

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Federati 2000-2009: President Bush drinks the blood of Iraqi Children & tortures Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the point of death! He is the evil in the night! He rapes the world!

Federati 2009-Present: Stop picking on our President! We stand United! You are saying inflammatory rhetoric because Obama!

libfreesMom on March 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Save them? He sent them unprotected into an unsecured location on the anniversary of 9/11. Maybe he didn’t hear about that, it was all the way back in 2001 but I hear the Muslims were pretty psyched about it.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM

He’s going to be so pissed off when he hears about that next week.

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

libfreesMom on March 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Please tell your son to not use the microphone when he is chanting. We can hear him 2 blocks over from his basement lair.

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Photo: Armed men escort caravan of vehicles streaming into Balaklava, Crimea, Ukraine – via Instagram user unicornpopcorrn

http://instagram.com/p/lAal9bKe6q/#

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Site of what used to be a Russian submarine base.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Federati 2000-2009: President Bush drinks the blood of Iraqi Children & tortures Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the point of death! He is the evil in the night! He rapes the world!

Federati 2009-Present: Stop picking on our President! We stand United! You are saying inflammatory rhetoric because Obama!

libfreesMom on March 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

“You are just saying that because he’s black”
*yourson

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Putin’s cause is just.

Ok Obama, leader of the free world – Putin called your bluff like I said he would yesterday and not only that, he did it through a “democratic” process. What are the consequences?

Skywise on March 1, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Maybe Federati is libby’s boyfriend

22044 on March 1, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Putin invited Obama to war. Obama went to a fundraiser.

FACT.

The bad part is that when Obama is impeached for dereliction of duty, John Boehner will stand in his shoes. Biden is certified retarded.

What. A. Mess.

Key West Reader on March 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Something else to blame W for.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

At least the world is watching… the #1 Twitter tag is #HappyBirthdayJustinBieber

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Nice picture of the Rooski choppers flying over the Ukraine which does kinda looks like Iowa. Maybe this is a preview of coming attractions. Dear Leader has the plane gassed and ready to go and Hagel looks like someone who’s one pill away from a long nap, we’ve got nobody watching our backs or fronts.

Kissmygrits on March 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

This is why Obama’s appointments as Ambassadors are important.This is why our lack of reaction in Benghazi is important. This is why our lack of reaction when Syria used chemcial weapons is important. This is why Obama’s abandonment of Iraq and Afghanistan is important.
Oprah and MSNBC and the geniuses in Hollywood might be just so impressed with Barry, but the rest of the world isn’t. The time to stop Russia from invading Ukraine was five years ago when Barry first started showing the world who he was. They know now, and they know their actions have no consequences.

bagger1956 on March 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Well, it is Saturday./

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

That’s what we pay him for. He failed.

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM

And yet in 2011 when it hadn’t totally turn to shit and yet reached the point that exceeded even the media’s ability to paint a good face on Arab Spring, Huffington Post lauded obama as Wile E. Coyote Super Frackin Genius.For his Middle East foreign policy. Now, I know liberals hate us using Conservative sites like HuffPo to prove our points.

But then again all of that is immaterial. federati’s disappointment with our baseless critiques are his entire point for being on this thread.

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues, unless you think things such as “nuke ‘em” are valid options.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Barry is a doormat. Elections have consequences, sadly.

Punchenko on March 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Photo: Civilians march with Russian flag in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine – via Instagram user mew1ab

http://instagram.com/p/lAaWGIuDwb/#

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Here are some ideas. Post them at OFA for quick action.

So will Obama now move beyond affirmations to actions? Will Obama get Brussels, Berlin, Paris, and London to begin to isolate the Putin regime diplomatically, politically, and economically? Will Obama lead our allies to move the G-8 meeting from Russia, disinvite Putin, refuse visas to Putin’s cronies to travel abroad, and expose and tie up bank accounts he and his buddies have in the West? Will Obama expedite the admission of Georgia to NATO, and begin to move toward a security relationship with Ukraine? Will Obama canvass his administration to discover the many other things that could be done to begin to undermine Putin at home and abroad? Will Obama act so that the Russian people and Russian elites see that Putin’s actions have costs—real costs, not the affirmation of the possibility of costs?

Or will we be all talk, no action?

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Don’t you wonder what we will find out in twenty years? To think Clinton had a direct line to bin Laden, good to know.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

If Putin stays close to the Russian border…He may be forcing Merkel’s hand in a Partition Solution.

Stabilization to prevent a civil war…Protecting Russia’s border region.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

I was thinking the same thing last night after reading your comments.

Merkel tells Putin leave the coal-fields alone and we won’t oppose your take over of Crimea.

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

That’s my theory…for what it’s worth.

The EU has been pouring money into the Ukraine for a while…kinda a bidding war and Yukanovich decided he wanted to go for Petrodollars and that led to his prompt ouster.

Putin isn’t quite ready to re-establish the Glorious Fatherland…But if he can buy up alliances to counter the EU while America is weakened…He will.

New Technology coupled with New Players has resulted a lot of Geopolitical re-alignment?

The need for the energy has increased particularly with China…and some of the new players like Israel have energized the market? The Arabs are a bit upset over the Leviathan.

And just about every country in the region is squabbling over China’s offshore claims.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

The time to stop Russia from invading Ukraine was five years ago when Barry first started showing the world who he was. They know now, and they know their actions have no consequences.

bagger1956 on March 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Exactly. And to that point, a missile defense shield in Poland would be nice right about now.

Kaffa on March 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

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

Actually I would not mind if Vietnam got nukes. They would aim them at their traditional enemy to the north…China. That will not make the CCP happy. Considering Russia is the biggest supporter of Vietnam that would also put stain on the Russian-Chinese relationship.

The world today is not bi-polar like in the days of the cold war. It is multi-player and it is important for America to realize this new reality and play the game to benefit America. This is important because if the U.S. is going play the game right, it needs to stop viewing the world in the old communist vs. capitalist dynamic. Communism is dead, except it appears in America where it is alive and well. It is now a game of nationalism, old hatreds, natural resources, and various alliances.

For example:
Russia and China seem to be friendly, yet Russia and China are competing for influence and power in the old Soviet states in the east, Mongolia, in places like Afghanistan (once we leave). Russia has also has reached out to Japan which has not made China happy, and Russia has refused China’s request to jointly deal with territorial disputes with Japan. Russia is also arming the heck out of Vietnam, including supplying submarines, and anti-ship missiles and building a anti-ship missile factory in Vietnam. This will give AD capability to Vietnam in the SCS mostly against the Chinese Navy in disputed areas claimed by both countries. Vietnam and Russia also have a joint oil and energy deal that will give Russia access to energy deposits in the SCS which China claims as their own. Russia is also nervous about mass Chinese immigration into their eastern territories, where the vast majority of Russia’s energy production is. China is energy hungry, and the Russians fear that China will do a “Crimea” on Russia by claiming ethnic majorities in those areas. So both sides are playing each other, and they don’t trust each other at all.

It is not a simple world anymore. This is why I disagree with McCain’s vision of foreign policy and with the Axis of Evil mentality. I don’t agree with Obama’s vision either, which is also simplistic and naïve. In a multi-player game if you over extend yourself, or get into too many disputes with too many countries at once you will form alliances against yourself. Every move you make has to take into account how this will effect our country in other places in the world. America is not a world hegemon, and we never have been. We are a regional hegemon, and the only regional hegemon on earth which allows us to project power more aggressively than any other nation, but it is not unlimited power.

So Vietnam getting nukes would not hurt America, but would put pressure on one of our biggest competitors, China, and that is a good thing. So far the Russians seem to have played the game better than the U.S. and China. Give them their due, they have taken advantage of our distractions in the Islamic world, and at home, made good for themselves. We need to learn to play just like them.

William Eaton on March 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Photo: Armed men escort caravan of vehicles streaming into Balaklava, Crimea, Ukraine – via Instagram user unicornpopcorrn

http://instagram.com/p/lAal9bKe6q/#

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Site of what used to be a Russian submarine base.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Russian navy vessel at Crimea’s Port of Balaklava

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

So I guess Putin approved Putin’s request to use force? What could go wrong here? I remember another dictator doing the same thing in Kuwait, and the UN was all up in arms. Here, nothing but crickets

Brock Robamney on March 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Maybe Federati is libby’s boyfriend

22044 on March 1, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Libby said “his guy” was the smart one of the two, so, –no.

slickwillie2001 on March 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

http://rt.com/news/kiev-clashes-rioters-police-571/

The City Council of Donetsk, a city in the eastern Ukraine, capital of the coal-rich Donbass region, to hold an urgent referendum in Donetsk area on Donbass future. The council urged the local parliament to set the date immediately. The move is set to “protect the citizens from possible violent actions on the behalf of radicalized nationalistic forces,” the council said in a statement.

The council also refused to recognize the new self-imposed authorities in Kiev and said Russian and Ukrainian are both the official languages in Donbass.

The Kiev government banned Russian as an official language of the Ukraine.

Donetsk is one of the cities where Russian flags are now showing up.

http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/BhpdSs_CcAEF8oN.jpg

sharrukin on March 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Putin’s claim is that ethnicity trumps sovereignty…

Another parallel to the invasion of Czechoslavakia by Hitler and the Nazis.

…a rather dangerous argument for him to make in the context of the Caucasus, for instance.

Meh. Consistency is the hobgoblin of small-minded dictators.

novaculus on March 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues

……………………
Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM
…………….

Obama is simply stupid. If Obama were a competent UrkelOTUS, he’s have headed this off at the pass. But, alas! He’s fu**ing stupid.

Key West Reader on March 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Obama had little to no influence over most of those issues

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Because people like you exist, is why these things happen.
Small, cowardly little leftist Neville Chamberlains, that REFUSE to open your eyes to the fact that there are bad people in the world that will not just go away if you be nice to them, and shut your eyes to their aggression.

Obama not only had influence on these actions, his infinite ass-kissing of the leaders of every nation large and small…caused this.

Then again…this is what you leftists pray for, and you’re getting it…America on it’s knees in front of the whole world.

What is the difference between blind praise and blind blame? You have a solution to the crisis that Obama’s not going with, let’s hear it.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

That’s the point: He HAS no solution. He never did. The world saw immediately that this child was over his head, and eager to sell his country down the river. They know he’s impotent beyond compare, so there is NOTHING he can do. You elected an empty suit during a pipe dream.

a5minmajor on March 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Russian navy vessel at Crimea’s Port of Balaklava

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Looks like Putin is consolidating mostly along the Russian Border and the Crimea (Protecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

If he ventures past the Dnieper or goes for Odessa…Then that means Merkel lost control of the negotiations with Kiev/Kyiv ?

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

a5minmajor on March 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Standing Ovation

Key West Reader on March 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

hawkdriver on March 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

The President’s only option to overthrow Assad is through military force, which is not an option. So, as I said, he has no influence.

Cindy Munford on March 1, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I agree. I think president throw around empty threats and ultimatums in the hopes that foreign leaders stop what they’re doing without realizing that it’s a bluff.

VegasRick on March 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Again, this world doesn’t revolve around America or its president. This would have happened regardless of who was president, or have you forgotten Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

faraway on March 1, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Nope, America simply doesn’t that much influence.

Bishop on March 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

If the best you have is “what about Bush?!”, you’re no different than liberals.

libfreesMom on March 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

I’m sure you have evidence for such claims.

Federati on March 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

It looks like the Crimeas are welcoming the Russians:

Photo: As night falls in Crimea, Ukraine, civilians continue to mass in streets among armed men and vehicles – via Instagram user isstep

http://instagram.com/p/lAeMJsL7AW/#

davidk on March 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

The Kiev government banned Russian as an official language of the Ukraine.

Donetsk is one of the cities where Russian flags are now showing up.

http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/BhpdSs_CcAEF8oN.jpg

sharrukin on March 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

The demographic split in Donetsk is close…Even the ethnic Ukrainians speak primarily Russian.

The ethnic russians dominate give or take a few thousand.

workingclass artist on March 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

I think it’s the Chinese’ turn to move, isn’t it?

claudius on March 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

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