Putin: No, really, we aren’t going to annex Crimea

posted at 8:01 am on March 4, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Vladimir Putin held a press conference near Moscow today to get a few things straightened out with the media and the world. Some people may be under the impression that Russia has invaded Crimea, what with all of the planes and ships landing there disgorging troops, and with the heavy Russian artillery rolling down the road to Sevastopol. Those aren’t Russian forces, Putin insists, but just Crimean boys looking to secure their homeland against coup plotters in Kyiv. No, seriously:

Russian soldiers have not occupied government buildings and surrounded Ukrainian military bases on the Crimean Peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted Tuesday during a news conference near Moscow at which he gave an account of recent events that contradicts reports from the ground.

Instead, he told reporters that the heavily armed men are “local self-defense forces.”

Well, maybe they’re not all just good Crimean boys defending their homeland:

What’s more, anything Russia has done, Putin said without offering specifics, has been part of a “humanitarian mission” to protect ethnic Russians in Crimea.

But even as he said that no Russian troops have been involved in the latest events in Crimea, Putin drew comparisons that would seem to indicate they had been. “Our actions are often described by the West as not legitimate, but look at U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya,” he said, according to a BBC translation of his comments. “Our actions are legitimate from the point of view of international law, because Ukraine’s legitimate president asked us for help. … Defending these people is in our interests … we do not want to ‘enslave’ anyone.”

You remember “Ukraine’s legitimate president,” yes? He’s the one who had unarmed protesters shot in the street, where 77 or more were killed, and had several opulent palaces with their own private zoos — at least before he fled the country. The request from Viktor Yanukovich to Putin for the assistance came from Rostov-on-Don, the Russian city to which he fled.

Don’t worry, Putin assured the media. Those Russian forces who aren’t in Crimea even though we acted on Yanulovich’s request and are totally focused on humanitarian efforts to imprison Ukrainian military forces will not be the vanguard of an attempt by Moscow to take back Crimea. Trust him!

Russia is not considering trying to make Crimea a part of Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. Only people who live in Crimea can determine their future, he said. …

Putin also said that the shaky new government has destabilized the southern and eastern parts of the country since taking power, and that Yanukovych, who is wanted in Ukraine, did not give orders to shoot demonstrators during the protests that eventually led to his ouster.

Then, turning to the troop buildup in the Russian-dominated autonomous region of Crimea, Putin said Ukraine is a brotherly neighbor of Russia — and that the troops there have much in common. He also said Russian forces have not fired a shot since they crossed into Crimea.

He said any use of military force in Ukraine would be the last resort.

Russian troops have already invaded Crimea, so clearly military force came as a first resort. And it looks like a first resort in other Russian-heavy areas of Ukraine, too:

But if Russian-speaking citizens in the east of Ukraine ask for Russia’s help, Russia has the right “to take all measures to protect the rights of those people,” Putin said.

Military action, he said, would be “completely legitimate” because it was at the request of Yanukovych and in line with Russia’s duty to protect people with historic ties to Russia, both cultural and economic.

This is quite a performance by Putin. It’s difficult to remember the last time a head of state packed so many contradictory and demonstrably false declarations into one appearance. The fact that Putin felt the need to issue a denial at all might be a sign that the accusations from other European leaders might be stinging him a bit, but that’s outweighed by his breezy contradictions of those same denials in the same moment. He’s sending out a blizzard of BS as nothing more than sheer contempt for his opponents.


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t’s difficult to remember the last time a head of state packed so many contradictory and demonstrably false declarations into one appearance.

Maybe he learned this skill from obama.

esr1951 on March 4, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Headfake.

Oil Can on March 4, 2014 at 8:05 AM

Holy Hot Gay Putin Air, Batman!

22044 on March 4, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Merkel is right: Putin has lost it.

Bitter Clinger on March 4, 2014 at 8:06 AM

I’m sure the Chinese are taking notes for their eventual effort to protect the ethnic Chinese in Taiwan.

trubble on March 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Call me an isolationist or any other pejorative; I don’t care. Our own Republic is crumbling to it’s knees and I couldn’t care less about Crimea. If Europe wants to stop the advance of Russia, let them handle it.

BierManVA on March 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Putin: No, really, we aren’t going to annex Crimea

And the old Soviet Union was really made up of a voluntary association of independent SSRs.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:09 AM

It’s difficult to remember the last time a head of state packed so many contradictory and demonstrably false declarations into one appearance.

No it isn’t January 28th was the last time. You might be more familiar with it as The State of the Union.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM

on the Mark Levin show last night, a caller said that he was glad that Obama was finally getting his comeuppance. Mark disagreed with him (that we should be glad), because he reminded us later that Putin is a murderous dictator and listed all his crimes one by one.

Evil men eventually go mad. Obama will be next.

22044 on March 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM

if you like your Crimea…you can keep your Crimea!

KOOLAID2 on March 4, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Ukraine should use this time to handout guns to it’s citizens…put bombs on key bridges and roads.

Oil Can on March 4, 2014 at 8:11 AM

I won

cmsinaz on March 4, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Our own Republic is crumbling to it’s knees and I couldn’t care less about Crimea. If Europe wants to stop the advance of Russia, let them handle it.

BierManVA on March 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Except that the United States pressured Ukraine to disarm with assurances that the West would protect them from Russian agression. Obama, as a junior Senator, was directly involved in the 2005 efforts to eliminate the Soviet Era stockpiles of weapons.

There is a moral obligation not to go “Ron Paul stupid” on this issue.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Just turn off the gas Vlad. That will shut up those pesky Europeans.

thedevilinside on March 4, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Evil men eventually go mad. Obama will be next.

22044 on March 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Nobody is madder than Obama.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Our own Republic is crumbling to it’s knees and I couldn’t care less about Crimea. If Europe wants to stop the advance of Russia, let them handle it.

BierManVA on March 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Except that the United States pressured Ukraine to disarm with assurances that the West would protect them from Russian agression. Obama, as a junior Senator, was directly involved in the 2005 efforts to eliminate the Soviet Era stockpiles of weapons.

There is a moral obligation not to go “Ron Paul stupid” on this issue.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Indeed. We should be able to multi-task. Unfortuneately, we’re stuck with a fraud in terms of intelligence and competence.

Bitter Clinger on March 4, 2014 at 8:19 AM

I’m sure the Chinese are taking notes for their eventual effort to protect the ethnic Chinese in Taiwan.

trubble on March 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

And North Korea is ramping up to protect the ethnic Koreans to the South. India/Pakistan are about to protect the peoples of the Kashmir region……..

The filthy rat-eared traitor has not only killed thousands of US troops in Afghanistan he has so weakened the military that America is a paper tiger at best. Our enemies will hold that against us. Bob Gates and Chuck Hagel should be in jail for the way they have weakened our national security.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:19 AM

At this point, with the current leadership in the US and EU, what difference does it make?

cozmo on March 4, 2014 at 8:20 AM

He’s sending out a blizzard of BS as nothing more than sheer contempt for his opponents.

Just like Obama, although only domestically.

MT on March 4, 2014 at 8:22 AM

This latest Russian military action in Crimea was caused by a video, wasn’t it? Some video on youtube? Obama should give a speech to placate the Russians. Then all will be well. Saint Obama.

jaime on March 4, 2014 at 8:23 AM

…it’s the other side!

KOOLAID2 on March 4, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Wait, so Lie of the Year is now a competition you want to win?

rbj on March 4, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:09 AM

This.

The majority ethnic-Russian population of Crimea will ask to be recognized as a sovereign “independent” entity…same as South Ossetia and Abkhazia were peeled away from Georgia…and the West could do nothing about any of it at the time, and cannot presently as regards Crimea.

coldwarrior on March 4, 2014 at 8:30 AM

It’s difficult to remember the last time a head of state packed so many contradictory and demonstrably false declarations into one appearance.

When was the last time Obama held a press conference?

Flora Duh on March 4, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Just turn off the gas Vlad. That will shut up those pesky Europeans.

thedevilinside on March 4, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Gazprom announced the cancelation of Gas discounts to Ukraine starting April 1

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 8:32 AM

But he spoke well.

OldEnglish on March 4, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Except that the United States pressured Ukraine to disarm with assurances that the West would protect them from Russian agression. Obama, as a junior Senator, was directly involved in the 2005 efforts to eliminate the Soviet Era stockpiles of weapons.

There is a moral obligation not to go “Ron Paul stupid” on this issue.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Perhaps we went stupid when we gave them assurances we shouldn’t have in the first place. My point exactly. This is the danger of continually meddling all over the world.

BierManVA on March 4, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Obama believes in punishing his enemies.

If Obama doesn’t punish Russia, or if he doesn’t classify whatever actions he takes as “punishment“, then we know for sure that Obama considers conservatives in the U.S. more of an enemy than he does Russia.

jaime on March 4, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Extraordinary NEWS: There has appeared information that the former president of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych has DIED in Rostov at 11:00 pm, on March 3rd from the heart attack. This news hasn’t been verified yet. Here is the original text (in russian):

Korespondent shares information about the possible death of Yanukovych. Once again I want to make it clear that this information has NOT been completely verified. However, according to Michael Lebed after being admitted to the hospital on March 3rd at 11:00 pm Yanukovych has died from the heart attack.
#ukraine #russia #yanukovych

From the Facebook page “Ukrainian Revolution 2013 – Live Updates”

Naturally Curly on March 4, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Naturally Curly on March 4, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Heart attack?

Brought on by a sudden massive case of lead poisoning…injected at high velocity?

Yanukovych did prove to be somewhat of an embarrassment to Moscow.

coldwarrior on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 AM

History, does have a way of kicking politicians backsides every now and then.(Ours and theirs.)

flackcatcher on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Our own Republic is crumbling to it’s knees and I couldn’t care less about Crimea. If Europe wants to stop the advance of Russia, let them handle it.

BierManVA on March 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM

Except that the United States pressured Ukraine to disarm with assurances that the West would protect them from Russian agression. Obama, as a junior Senator, was directly involved in the 2005 efforts to eliminate the Soviet Era stockpiles of weapons.

There is a moral obligation not to go “Ron Paul stupid” on this issue.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Interesting column by a Canadian…

“Ukraine crisis: Europe wrings hands as Vladimir Putin checkmates Crimea

Little wonder EU is divided, it’s been misreading Vladimir Putin for years

“The great beast with 28 heads and too many legs looks to be floundering again in the midst of what the British foreign secretary calls “the biggest crisis in Europe of the 21st century.”

In London, there is talk of sanctions. But in Brussels, in the headquarters of the EU, there is only talk of mediation, with the most powerful leader on the continent, Angela Merkel, about to spearhead that effort.

Alas, she came away from her latest conversation with the Russian leader saying “he lives in another world.”

Meanwhile, Putin sits in the Kremlin, pulling the levers, and sending his troops into the firepot that is the Crimea.

Why the surprise and confusion? Because the EU dinosaur doesn’t, indeed can’t think fast. But it is also because of the beast’s contradictory reading of Putin himself.

Many leaders in the EU have seen him as a politician like themselves, a man, in the word’s of Margaret Thatcher, speaking of Mikhail Gorbachev, that “we can do business with.”

Indeed, many EU countries have been doing big business with Putin’s Russia — energy business. Russia supplies one-quarter of the continent’s oil and gas.

But Putin, despite the trappings of elections and a parliament, is not a politician like them.

He controls the airwaves, as we’ve just seen in the onslaught of tendentious propaganda pouring out over Russian television channels about the imperative need to protect Russian lives in danger in Ukraine.

He controls who can run, indeed, who can run against him. He stacks the deck.

Different objectives

But above all, he thinks differently. This is the man who described the breakup of the Soviet Union as the greatest geo-political disaster of the last century.

This is also the man who was willing to spend upwards of $50 billion on the Sochi Olympics. The thought is linked to the act. Putin saw the Games as a signal to the world that Russia, as Mao Zedong said of his country, has again “stood up.”

Europe’s talk of sanctions and mediation is almost certainly wasted. The retaking of Crimea by the Russian bear is another signal that Moscow has stood up.

Monetary losses, stock market losses, the ruble retreating, the threat of personal sanctions on Putin and his senior officials — all that is irrelevant in Putin’s equation.

The restoration of Russia as a great power is the goal, however costly it may be in the short term.

And it may also be costly to the EU if Putin threatens to counter any punitive measures by shutting off the gas or oil to Europe. He has already used the tactic with Ukraine itself. It gets one’s attention.

Putin’s demands

The EU can’t say it wasn’t warned. Russia’s war with Georgia in the summer of 2008 can now be seen as an out-of-town tryout for the big performance. It coincided with the holding of another Olympics, this time in Beijing.

Russia’s armed personnel carriers rolled into the self-declared state of South Ossetia with the Kremlin saying it had no choice: the local Russian population was in danger.

Sound familiar? To ensure the endangered population was big enough, the Russian army arrived in South Ossetia with blank passports to create instant Russians.

Right on cue, Europe reacted in disarray. France’s then-president, Nicolas Sarkozy, led the disordered charge, rushing to Russia to negotiate a ceasefire.

It was “peace in our time,” his loyalists shouted. It was also a document that gave legal cement to the Russian military presence in South Ossetia, where the Russian military remain to this day.

Europe’s leaders, including the French, are more circumspect this time.

Merkel, after dismissing Putin as not in touch with reality in a conversation with Barack Obama, then discussed with the U.S. president the priority for the West — the rapid dispatch of a fact-finding group to Ukraine. Putin must be worried.

As for the French, they’ve already thrown in the towel. Sanctions “would shut the channel of discussion with Moscow,” one presidential adviser told Le Monde. This flows from the conclusion that Putin “is keeping some doors open, but only a few.”

In fact, hardly any. What emerged from Putin’s reported discussions with leaders in Paris, Berlin and Warsaw was a set of Russian demands: the rights of Russian minorities must be protected in Ukraine, the legal status of the Russian fleet in Crimea must be guaranteed, and Ukraine’s new leaders must agree not to do a deal with the EU.

As a French official said, that’s tantamount to putting Ukraine under Russian trusteeship.

But what’s the alternative?

For the European Union, it’s pretty unpalatable. Ukraine was already poisoned fruit, with its finance minister pleading for $40 billion to save it from bankruptcy.

And that was before the Russians moved in. The German electorate has already made plain its distaste for bankrolling the Greece bailout. Can you seriously see it tolerating an even bigger bill for Ukraine?

A fine mess, and this is no comedy….”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-crisis-europe-wrings-hands-as-vladimir-putin-checkmates-crimea-1.2558488

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Unlike Obama, Vladimir Putin has never lied to us before.

myiq2xu on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Naturally Curly on March 4, 2014 at 8:36 AM

I didn’t realize that polonium was that quick-acting!

OldEnglish on March 4, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Extraordinary NEWS: There has appeared information that the former president of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych has DIED in Rostov at 11:00 pm, on March 3rd from the heart attack. This news hasn’t been verified yet. Here is the original text (in russian):

Korespondent shares information about the possible death of Yanukovych. Once again I want to make it clear that this information has NOT been completely verified. However, according to Michael Lebed after being admitted to the hospital on March 3rd at 11:00 pm Yanukovych has died from the heart attack.
#ukraine #russia #yanukovych

From the Facebook page “Ukrainian Revolution 2013 – Live Updates”

Naturally Curly on March 4, 2014 at 8:36 AM

“He also distanced himself from Yanukovich and said retaliation against Russia over Ukraine would be counterproductive, warning that anyone imposing sanctions should think of the damage they would incur.

“There can be only one assessment of what happened in Kiev, in Ukraine in general. This was an anti-constitutional coup and the armed seizure of power. No one argues with this. Who can argue with it?” said Putin, looking relaxed as he sat before a small group of reporters at his residence near Moscow.

“As for bringing in forces. For now there is no such need but such a possibility exists,” he said. “What could serve as a reason to use military force? It would naturally be the last resort, absolutely the last.”

Any intervention, he said, would be “legitimate and within the framework of international law.”

Putin said Russia would not encourage separatist moves in Ukraine, where many people in eastern and southern regions are Russian speakers and have closer ties to Russia than to the leaders in Kiev seeking stronger ties with the European Union.

“We are not going to meddle. But we think all Ukraine’s citizens, no matter where they live, should have the same rights to … determine the future of their country,” he said.

He said Russia was ready to host a G8 summit as planned this year but if western leaders did not want to come “they don’t need to”.

He also said a threat to pull Russia’s ambassador out of Washington over the events in Ukraine, which Putin blames on Western interference, would be a last resort and that he would not like this to happen.

Denying rumors on the Internet that Yanukovich had died of a heart attack, Putin said he had met the ousted leader two days ago in Russia, where he fled following his removal form power by parliament. He also said he had told Yanukovich that he had no political future…”

http://www.jpost.com/International/Putin-Russia-reserves-right-to-use-all-means-to-protect-the-citizens-of-Ukraine-344225

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Would Putin be stupid enough to want the basket case of the Crimea and Ukraine? Keeping the country of 50 million running would take a lot of Russian resources. And if he runs into resistance? Would he want a civil war bubbling over across into Russia?

The Crimea is dependent on the Ukraine for all its electricity and water and 70% of its food. Is Putin going to provide it?

albill on March 4, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Heart attack?

Brought on by a sudden massive case of lead poisoning…injected at high velocity?

Yanukovych did prove to be somewhat of an embarrassment to Moscow.

coldwarrior on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 AM

It’s quite a coincidence, huh?

Naturally Curly on March 4, 2014 at 8:45 AM

It’s not an annexation, it’s an uncontested incorporation of territory into the Russian domain.

Do you KKK’ers ever read a book?

Bishop on March 4, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Except that the United States pressured Ukraine to disarm with assurances that the West would protect them from Russian agression. Obama, as a junior Senator, was directly involved in the 2005 efforts to eliminate the Soviet Era stockpiles of weapons.

There is a moral obligation not to go “Ron Paul stupid” on this issue.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Truth be told we pretty much threatened them into giving up their Nukes. Just like Obama is threatening Israel right now.

Johnnyreb on March 4, 2014 at 8:47 AM

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Yep.

coldwarrior on March 4, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Those aren’t Russian forces, Putin insists, but just Crimean boys looking to secure their homeland against coup plotters in Kyiv.

I hate it when some autocratic halfwit insults my intelligence by telling me a patently obvious lie. Where does this pr!ck get the idea that the American people are stupid enough to believe such obvious nonsense?

“We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with….

“That means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.

V7_Sport on March 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

So, if I understand him, he is saying Crimea will stay as an indivisible part of the Russian province of Ukraine.

Right?

MTF on March 4, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Also keep in mind that many of the people of the Crimea with Russian passports are questionable:
…in September 2008, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko accused Russia of giving out Russian passports to the population in the Crimea and described it as a “real problem” given Russia’s declared policy of military intervention abroad to protect Russian citizens.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimea

and
“Reflecting this, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ogryzko told a German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, that Russia’s consulate on the Crimea peninsula was giving out Russian passports to the population there.

Ogryzko described as a “real problem” Russia’s declared policy of military intervention abroad to protect Russian citizens, given as its casus belli for sending troops into Georgia.”
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j57jsvObBZruGm0n7HhUA7rCG7nA

albill on March 4, 2014 at 8:51 AM

the United States pressured Ukraine to disarm with assurances that the West would protect them from Russian agression

It’s like Obama said, “Words. Just words.”

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1954 as a token of appreciation for the latter’s having joined the Soviet Union. It is historically part of Russia.

Pest on March 4, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Walter Duranty: There is no famine in the Ukraine.

Cliff by the Ford on March 4, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Russia to cancel price discount on gas supplies to Ukraine

Gazprom chief Alexei Miller said Tuesday in televised remarks that Ukraine has accumulated a $1.5-billion debt for Russian gas supplies. He added at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that Gazprom will cancel a price rebate for Ukraine starting April 1.

So they can take the 1 billion from Kerry and they’ll still owe a half a billion to keep the gas on. Kerry’s 1 billion loan guarantee is joke.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Would Putin be stupid enough to want the basket case of the Crimea and Ukraine? Keeping the country of 50 million running would take a lot of Russian resources. And if he runs into resistance? Would he want a civil war bubbling over across into Russia?

The Crimea is dependent on the Ukraine for all its electricity and water and 70% of its food. Is Putin going to provide it?

albill on March 4, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Maybe Putin doesn’t want West Ukraine…But East and Southeast Ukraine including the Crimea makes sense to Russian interests.

Securing the Crimea is essential to protect the Southstream Pipeline and the Black Sea Ports.

The China-Ukraine Grain/Farmland deal is located primarily in Pro-Russian in Southeastern Ukraine.

Map link:

http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5242e88f69beddf9776cd2d2/image.jpg

Heavy Grain production regions in Ukraine are located in Eastern and Southeastern Ukraine.

Map of Winter Grain Production zones Ukraine:
http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2009/02/ukr_12feb2009/wheat_area.htm

data link:
http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2009/02/ukr_12feb2009/

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Where does this pr!ck get the idea that the American people are stupid enough to believe such obvious nonsense?
V7_Sport on March 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

from Nov 2008 and Nov 2012 elections….

dmacleo on March 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Where does this pr!ck get the idea that the American people are stupid enough to believe such obvious nonsense?

V7_Sport on March 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Voting for 2 terms of Obama?

Flora Duh on March 4, 2014 at 9:00 AM

what with all of the planes and ships landing there disgorging troops, and with the heavy Russian artillery rolling down the road to Sevastopol. Those aren’t Russian forces, Putin insists, but just Crimean boys looking to secure their homeland against coup plotters in Kyiv. No, seriously:

Well if I could just go strolling out one night with my mortar and be upset about a video no one had seen, why not have a bunch of good old boys with troop carrying planes, artillery and armored personnel carriers?

I’m starting to like this regime, what with its expanded view of the Second Amendment.

rbj on March 4, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Background in Chinese-Ukraine Farm lease deal.

“Earlier this week there was a report in the South China Morning Post saying that China was planning to farm three million hectares of Ukrainian land.

The Ukrainian agricultural firm involved in the plan — KSG Agro — has issued a statement disputing the news, arguing that it is only a smaller project of around 3,000 acres.

However, as Lily Quo of Quartz notes, such a deal would be part of a global trend in countries scared of food scarcity buying up global farmland…”

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/chinas-disputed-deal-to-farm-5-of-the-ukraine-2013-9

Dated Feb. 24,2014

“China’s leaders are closely watching the political developments Ukraine, following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych. The former leader angered the opposition when he rejected a trade deal with the European Union in favor of aid from Russia. Now with a pro-West interim president, the tug of war between East and West over Ukraine continues, and China seems determined to stay out of the fray.

Investments

The cash-strapped nation will need an economic lifeline. China pledged $8 billion in aid during former President Yanukovych’s visit to Beijing in December. That was in addition to $10 billion China had previously invested in Ukraine.

Ukraine has returned those favors with weapons and land deals favorable to China. In 2012, Ukraine became the fourth-largest arms exporter in the world, with many of those exports going to China. China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was built in Ukraine.

Last year, Ukraine agreed to lease 5 percent of its land to China to grow crops and raise pigs for sale to Chinese state-owned companies. As part of that deal China promised to build highways and bridges in the country.

Lessons learned

Bill Bishop, an analyst specializing in China affairs, says that while China watches the political upheaval in Ukraine for how it will effect its trade deals with the country, it may also be studying the Ukrainian revolution for another reason – to learn how to avoid similar protests at home.

“The other lesson is very clear, which is that you need to have a very robust and strong security service,” Bishop noted, “and you have to basically stamp out anything, the slightest little sprout that crops up you have to crush.”

Among other things, a weak economy and official corruption sparked protests in Ukraine. Chinese leaders have already vowed to bolster China’s economy and have launched a widespread crackdown on official corruption. While those problems still persist in China, Bishop says the Ukrainian revolution may not inspire Chinese citizens to stage mass demonstrations. He said China has allowed uncensored broadcast of the Ukrainian protests.

“So it’s been very interesting how they sort-of allow the coverage to go on and I think part of that is because Kyiv is a mess, and it looks like a mess and I think most Chinese people don’t want to live in a mess,” Bishop said.

Ukraine’s interim leadership has announced presidential elections will be held on May 25…”

http://www.voanews.com/content/china-reassessing-economic-partnership-with-ukraine/1858665.html

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

BBC:

Guigan in London emails: No-one here seems to have taken a close look at the Ukrainian interim government and question why we are so keen to recognise a government largely made up of many individuals with questionable legitimacy and with far right backgrounds.

Let us also consider that so far not a single shot has been fired in this Russian intervention, and no one has been harmed or killed.

This is a far better track record than any recent western peacekeeping mission.

The UK will not be putting sanctions on Russia. This is part of their justification.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:06 AM

It’s difficult to remember the last time a head of state packed so many contradictory and demonstrably false declarations into one appearance.

Then you must have amnesia regarding any of Obama’s speeches about, among other things, the “Affordable” Care Act.

bgoldman on March 4, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1954 as a token of appreciation for the latter’s having joined the Soviet Union. It is historically part of Russia.

Pest on March 4, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I wonder if it had anything to do with compensation for the Red Terror in Ukraine from 1918 through 1928.

Or the soviet-engineered famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933 which killed 7 – 10 million people.

Being butt-boy to Russia seems like it might be worse than having Pol Pot as a dictator.

jaime on March 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1954 as a token of appreciation for the latter’s having joined the Soviet Union. It is historically part of Russia.

Pest on March 4, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I wonder if it had anything to do with compensation for the Red Terror in Ukraine from 1918 through 1928.

Or the soviet-engineered famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933 which killed 7 – 10 million people.

Being butt-boy to Russia seems like it might be worse than having Pol Pot as a dictator.

jaime on March 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

While those crimes are real, it still stands that the region is both historically part of Russia and has intense historical significance for both the Ukrainians and the Russian peoples. Not to mention that Russia has signed a contract with Ukraine to keep the Russian navy in Sevastopol until at least 2045.

Pest on March 4, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Obi-Wan Teh One has taught you well, Vlad……..

antipc on March 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM

“SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — The prime minister of Crimea, the autonomous Ukrainian republic seized by Russian military forces, said on Tuesday that a majority of Ukrainian military units on the peninsula had surrendered and pledged allegiance to his pro-Russian government, and that local officials were working to speed up a referendum on independence.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said that regional officials were in control of the security situation, even as armed standoffs continued between Russian forces and Ukrainian troops at several military installations, including a base near the airport of Belbek near Sevastopol.

“There is no safety threat to human life in Crimea,” Mr. Aksyonov said.

It was not possible to independently verify Mr. Aksynonov’s claims, and even he did not assert that all military units were now aligned with his pro-Russian administration. He did indicate, however, that he believed enough forces were loyal to him to eliminate the threat of armed insurrection within Crimea.

He said that a referendum on independence from Ukraine scheduled for March 30 would likely be held sooner, but he offered no details. He said that he had not been in contact with Viktor F. Yanukovych, the ousted president of Ukraine who fled to Russia but has said he plans to return.

Mr. Aksyonov said that Crimean armed forces were now in a position to ensure the security of the peninsula on their own but that military officials were working with commanders of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Sevastopol under a long-term lease.

“We are coordinating our activists with the Black Sea Fleet,” he said. “But as of today we are in a position to ensure our own security,”

In recent days, soldiers wearing uniforms with no identifying insignia have taken up positions around military bases and other security installations across the peninsula, including outposts and headquarters of the federal border police and some government buildings. They are assisted by self-defense militia groups in plain clothes wearing armbands.

On Tuesday morning, there were plainclothes security guards controlling access to the regional administration building, as well as a group gathered near the regional Parliament in the center of the city, including Cossacks in ethnic uniforms and some older men in green camouflage, along with volunteers cooking food.

Unofficial vehicle checkpoints have also been established throughout the Crimean peninsula, often with the red, blue and white Russian flag flying over the barricades, though the purpose of the checkpoints has not been clear. The people operating them say they are providing security.

At the base near the Belbek airport, several hundred Ukrainian and Russian forces were in a standoff that began overnight. A column of roughly 200 unarmed Ukrainian troops approached the Russian positions on the edge of the airfield singing.

As they neared a Russian Humvee and three Russian soldiers blocking the road, Russian troops took up firing positions on one side of them, and as the column got nearer, a shot was fired in the air above them.

The Ukrainians flinched but then picked up the pace and sang louder. At the second and third shots, they began to run toward the Russian post; one man yelled “We are the masters here!”

The Ukrainian commander called a halt three feet from the Russians and a negotiation ensued. After about 30 minutes, a dozen Ukrainian soldiers were permitted to march through the barrier to take up their usual guard duties.

At a port in Sevastopol’s North Bay, two Ukrainian naval vessels, the Slavutych and the Ternipol, were being blockaded by Russian ships.

Under the terms of Russia’s lease for the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, the location and movement of military personnel and equipment is restricted to designated areas. In recent days, however, troop carriers, Humvees and other military equipment with license plates designating them as part of the Black Sea Fleet have appeared throughout the peninsula.

Since Russian soldiers began deploying late last week, beginning at the two main airports, local officials have sought to convey a sense of threat against Crimea from the provisional government in Kiev. They have denounced the toppling of Mr. Yanukovych as a coup and expressed fears of “fascist” right-wing groups that support the uprising in Kiev.

The anti-Yanukovych protests were supported by a number of nationalist groups popular in western Ukraine, including the Svoboda Party, which controls about three dozen seats in the Parliament, and other, more militant right-wing groups known for anti-Russian rhetoric.

Mr. Aksyonov appealed to President Vladimir V. Putin for help in assuring the security of Crimea and Mr. Putin promptly received authorization from the Russian Parliament to use military force.

Crimea, which has enjoyed a large degree of autonomy since shortly after Ukraine gained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is heavily pro-Russia, and feels close cultural ties to Russia. The majority of people in the peninsula identify themselves as ethnically Russian, with ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars the largest minority groups.

Mr. Aksyonov, at his news conference, said the threat from the new government and its supporters in Kiev was real. “Only the blind do not see that we were threatened during the three months of conflict in Maidan,” he said, referring to Independence Square, the main protest site in Kiev. “Russians were regularly threatened with physical harm….”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/05/world/europe/crimea-ukraine-russia.html?hp&_r=1

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

My take is that Putin blinked. But in doing so, he managed to make all the hand ringers look silly.

He made obama look bad by attempting to take over Crimea. He is making obama look bad in saying that he never intended to occupy Crimea. obama drew a line; Putin says he never intended to cross that line in the first place.

Russia is weak. Its military assets are aging. It does not matter that Russia is still stronger than EU members, if NATO had sprouted a spine Putin would be up the Black River without a paddle.

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Being butt-boy to Russia seems like it might be worse than having Pol Pot as a dictator.

jaime on March 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

You might want to take a look Kiev’s new-government alternative to Russia: “Eurasianism” Ideology Mixes the Best Parts of Marxism, Naziism

Ethnic-Russians in Crimea prefer being “butt-boy” to Russia over being butt-boy to Nazis. Not a much of a choice, I agree.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

My take is that Putin blinked. But in doing so, he managed to make all the hand ringers look silly.

He made obama look bad by attempting to take over Crimea. He is making obama look bad in saying that he never intended to occupy Crimea. obama drew a line; Putin says he never intended to cross that line in the first place.

Russia is weak. Its military assets are aging. It does not matter that Russia is still stronger than EU members, if NATO had sprouted a spine Putin would be up the Black River without a paddle.

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Maybe.

It’s interesting how Putin is using western ideas and tactics to beat the west over the head in the media.

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 9:27 AM

The Guardian:

The Turkish Air Force scrambled eight F-16 fighter jets after a Russian surveillance plane flew parallel along its Black Sea coast, the military said today, amid increased tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Turkey has made some rumblings about supporting the muslim-Tartars in Crimea. I guess this was a little reminder of what could happen.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:28 AM

But how will the press protect the precious? I heard Ju-an Williams whining all over the place about Booosh yesterday, it was really pathetic.

Cliff by the Ford on March 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Crimean War Redux!! Looks like John Kerry was right with that 19th century comment…

Pest on March 4, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Except that the United States pressured Ukraine to disarm with assurances that the West would protect them from Russian agression. Obama, as a junior Senator, was directly involved in the 2005 efforts to eliminate the Soviet Era stockpiles of weapons.

There is a moral obligation not to go “Ron Paul stupid” on this issue.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Truth be told we pretty much threatened them into giving up their Nukes. Just like Obama is threatening Israel right now.

Johnnyreb on March 4, 2014 at 8:47 AM

I’m not sure it will work with Israel:

Netanyahu told Obama that Jewish history taught Israelis that “the best way to guarantee peace is to be strong.”

http://freebeacon.com/bibi-stands-strong/

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:31 AM

“Further, the Xinhua commentary had no criticism for Russia’s decision to send troops to Crimea. “It is quite understandable when Putin said his country retained the right to protect its interests and Russian-speakers living in Ukraine,” the commentary said.

Rather than opposing the move, the West should “respect Russia’s unique role in mapping out the future of Ukraine.”

The Global Times took a realist (and cynical) view of the situation, arguing that “the Ukrainian situation shows us clearly that in the international political arena, principles are decided by power.” The article argued that the Ukrainian opposition and the pro-Yanukovych, pro-Russian elements both only seem to gain legitimacy after they are able to assert their dominance. The article came to a rather strange conclusion: comparing the situation in the Ukraine to the “double standards” Washington applies to U.S.-China relations. “There is no logic” in those arguments (presumably referring to U.S. human rights critiques of China), “only that the U.S. is still the more powerful player.”

The juxtaposition of U.S.-China relations with the Ukraine crisis helps clarify China’s position. It’s hard to see how Russian troops entering Crimea meshes with China’s principle of non-interference, not to mention Beijing’s avowed respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, China is far from the only nation to bend its principles in favor of realpolitik.

Denouncing Putin’s decision to send troops to Ukraine would jeopardize the evolving partnership between Beijing and Moscow. Worse, standing against Moscow would mean China was standing with the West—which could be taken as implicit support for the Ukrainian opposition forces that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

Meanwhile, China is leery of “color revolutions,” including Ukraine’s own “Orange Revolution” in 2004. The Chinese government has long speculated that the “color revolutions” were instigated by Western nations to oust unfriendly regimes—and Beijing itself remains wary that the U.S. is trying to foment another color revolution within China.

Many in China now argue that Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” papered over fissures that are springing to the forefront in the current tensions. To Beijing, Western intervention (both 10 years ago and today) is directly responsible for the current violence.

As a result, China has decided to back Russia—at least according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry. The Voice of Russia, citing a FM statement, said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a telephone conversation Monday wherein they noted “the coincidence of Russia’s and China’s positions on the situation in Ukraine…”

http://thediplomat.com/2014/03/china-backs-russia-on-ukraine/

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1954 as a token of appreciation for the latter’s having joined the Soviet Union. It is historically part of Russia.

Pest on March 4, 2014 at 8:54 AM

let’s face it , Khrushchev lost it in a card game when he was seriously drunk

jaime on March 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

you forgot the ukranian contribution to the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Ukrainian)

or contribution of ukranian nationalists of varous stripes like Petlura, (much admired by the current ukrania cabinet) to the mass murder and torture of innocent people on the territory of ukraine during 1918-1920′s

runner on March 4, 2014 at 9:33 AM

The Guardian:

The Turkish Air Force scrambled eight F-16 fighter jets after a Russian surveillance plane flew parallel along its Black Sea coast, the military said today, amid increased tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Turkey has made some rumblings about supporting the muslim-Tartars in Crimea. I guess this was a little reminder of what could happen.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Posted 2 hours ago.

“Two Russian warships passed through the Bosphorus Strait of Turkey en route to a Black Sea on Tuesday after Russia summoned the two warships over crisis between Kiev and Moscow, private Dogan news agency reported.

The 150 ‘Saratov’ landing ship and the 156 ‘Yamal’ assault ship crossed the strait around 07:30 local time (0530 GMT), the agency reported.

No coast guard boats were seen escorting the warships ships, the Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday. Russia summoned the two warships to its Black Sea fleet after it started to strengthen its military presence in the Crimea.

The Ukrainian crisis, which originated from protests against President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision last November to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union to get Russian aid, took an abrupt turn in the past two weeks following bloody clashes between protesters and police. Yanukovych was ousted by the parliament and had to flee to Russia.

The mostly Russian-speaking Crimea is now the epicenter of the ongoing crisis. Some 50 armed men carrying Russian navy flags took control of two airports in the Crimean capital of Simferopol on Friday, one day after gunmen seized the local parliament and government buildings…”

Global Times

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Where does this pr!ck get the idea that the American people are stupid enough to believe such obvious nonsense?
V7_Sport on March 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

from Nov 2008 and Nov 2012 elections….

dmacleo on March 4, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Winner!

Micah68 on March 4, 2014 at 9:35 AM

And we know who will get credit:

US stocks rebound at the open, a day after a big sell-off, as Ukraine fears ease slightly; Dow gains 120 points – @CNNMoney

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:35 AM

you forgot the ukranian contribution to the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Ukrainian)

or contribution of ukranian nationalists of varous stripes like Petlura, (much admired by the current ukrania cabinet) to the mass murder and torture of innocent people on the territory of ukraine during 1918-1920′s

runner on March 4, 2014 at 9:33 AM

And Stepan Bandera the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator. These collaborators participated in the 8 month siege of Sevastopol in WW II. Crimea remembers.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Russia has agreed to meet with NATO on Wednesday, Italy’s foreign minister says – @Reuters

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Russia has agreed to meet with NATO on Wednesday, Italy’s foreign minister says – @Reuters

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM

LOL. More meetings while Putin consolidates his forces.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Crimea was given to Ukraine in 1954 as a token of appreciation for the latter’s having joined the Soviet Union. It is historically part of Russia.

Pest on March 4, 2014 at 8:54 AM

let’s face it , Khrushchev lost it in a card game when he was seriously drunk

jaime on March 4, 2014 at 9:09 AM

you forgot the ukranian contribution to the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Ukrainian)

or contribution of ukranian nationalists of varous stripes like Petlura, (much admired by the current ukrania cabinet) to the mass murder and torture of innocent people on the territory of ukraine during 1918-1920′s

runner on March 4, 2014 at 9:33 AM

The history fo europe is written in blood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7iRYTfd0Tw

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

The history fo europe is written in blood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7iRYTfd0Tw

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Was it Thomas Jefferson who warned us against getting involved in European wars? I forget.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:47 AM

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

i try not to click on unknown links

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:37 AM

true dat

runner on March 4, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Russia has agreed to meet with NATO on Wednesday, Italy’s foreign minister says – @Reuters

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM

LOL. More meetings while Putin consolidates his forces.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

I really think it’s over. Putin has what he wants, warm weather ports; he knows how Ukraine will respond if he decides later he needs to plant a flag in Crimea; and he knows for sure what he suspected all along, obama won’t do a thing no matter what Putin decides to do in Europe.

I think it has been all along about access to the Black Sea. He’s pretty much got the EU by the short hairs with energy supplies and Merkel told him she won’t resist him if he continues to sell Germany the coal it needs.

Next week we’ll be talking about https://twitter.com/GMA/status/440841913348792320

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I really think it’s over.

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I had that feeling myself when I heard Putin speak this morning. He said that they would not “annex” Crimea, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be a referendum of the people to join Russia. Crimea is the prize. We’ll see.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Putin is pressuring for a partition.

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 10:04 AM

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

The developments within the Russian military over the past five years have been nothing short of astounding. Russia has been spending its cash reserves (and they have a lot) on what they desire most…and an uptodate military is one of their priorities. They were embarrassed how poorly the Russian army (and Spetznaz) did in South Ossetia and Abkhazi not that long ago…they learned a lesson. New leadership, new tactics, looking at western models of organization, communication and combat capabilities….makes it a far cry form what existed ten years ago.

Likewise China…across the board.

Meanwhile…we are cutting our armed forces…because there apparently are no more real threats out there.

And having a large army apparently makes other countries hate us.

coldwarrior on March 4, 2014 at 10:06 AM

It’s difficult to remember the last time a head of state packed so many contradictory and demonstrably false declarations into one appearance.

I know the State of the Union was dull, but so soon we forget…!!

JohnGalt23 on March 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM

I had that feeling myself when I heard Putin speak this morning. He said that they would not “annex” Crimea, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be a referendum of the people to join Russia. Crimea is the prize. We’ll see.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:58 AM

He said that a referendum on independence from Ukraine scheduled for March 30 would likely be held sooner, but he offered no details. He said that he had not been in contact with Viktor F. Yanukovych, the ousted president of Ukraine who fled to Russia but has said he plans to return.

Mr. Aksyonov said that Crimean armed forces were now in a position to ensure the security of the peninsula on their own but that military officials were working with commanders of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Sevastopol under a long-term lease.

Link posted upthread

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM

And having a large army apparently makes other countries hate us.

coldwarrior on March 4, 2014 at 10:06 AM

As does guarding our embassies. A fantasy world indeed.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

The developments within the Russian military over the past five years have been nothing short of astounding. Russia has been spending its cash reserves (and they have a lot) on what they desire most…and an uptodate military is one of their priorities. They were embarrassed how poorly the Russian army (and Spetznaz) did in South Ossetia and Abkhazi not that long ago…they learned a lesson. New leadership, new tactics, looking at western models of organization, communication and combat capabilities….makes it a far cry form what existed ten years ago.

Likewise China…across the board.

Meanwhile…we are cutting our armed forces…because there apparently are no more real threats out there.

And having a large army apparently makes other countries hate us.

coldwarrior on March 4, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Bingo!

Both Russia and China are also upgrading their navies.

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 10:10 AM

The history fo europe is written in blood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7iRYTfd0Tw

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Was it Thomas Jefferson who warned us against getting involved in European wars? I forget.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 9:47 AM

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Wrong one above: “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.”~Jefferson

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Sounds like an exit strategy.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 10:13 AM

“No, we’re really not going to annex the Crimea”.Translation: We’re going to annex the Crimea.

vnvet on March 4, 2014 at 10:14 AM

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

The developments within the Russian military over the past five years have been nothing short of astounding. Russia has been spending its cash reserves (and they have a lot) on what they desire most…and an uptodate military is one of their priorities. They were embarrassed how poorly the Russian army (and Spetznaz) did in South Ossetia and Abkhazi not that long ago…they learned a lesson. New leadership, new tactics, looking at western models of organization, communication and combat capabilities….makes it a far cry form what existed ten years ago.

Likewise China…across the board.

Meanwhile…we are cutting our armed forces…because there apparently are no more real threats out there.

And having a large army apparently makes other countries hate us.

coldwarrior on March 4, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Makes sense especially in light of the fact that Russia is working to develop assets in eight countries ( http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/russia-seeks-access-bases-eight-countries-its-ships-and-bombers ). It would seem they would have adequate resources at home before expanding.

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM

George Washington:

Military Weakness

“There is a rank due to the United States among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure the peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.”

The Constitution:

“If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

I was looking for another quote and ran across these. I guess Obama didn’t study George Washington.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Ukraine situation with China’s Xi Jinping; Kremlin says their positions on the crisis are close – @Reuters

davidk on March 4, 2014 at 10:24 AM

So, Puty did have a Speechy:

This aught to be interesting:

Russia
57s
Russia’s President Putin to make a public address on the subject of Ukraine at 3:30am ET – @lauraphylmills

canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 3:07 AM

canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Sounds like an exit strategy.

Kaffa on March 4, 2014 at 10:13 AM

I guess we’ll know when they vote on the referendum. If it succeeds more pro-russian Ukrainian regions might follow suit?

workingclass artist on March 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Puty Part 1:

The use of force in Ukraine is a choice of last resort, Putin tells reporters in Moscow – @Reuters

4h
Putin: ‘As you know the markets were quite nervous before the situation in Ukraine, it is connected to the policy of the USA’ – live video

4h
Russia’s President Putin says for now no need to use military force in Crimea, but Russia has option to do so – @Reuters

4h
Russia will ‘of course’ provide financial aid to Ukraine’s southern region of Crimea, Putin says – @Reuters

4h
Putin says military exercises were not connected to the Ukraine, were planned for a long time – live video

President Putin says ousted Ukraine President Yanukovych is still legitimate president, even though he has no actual power – @Reuters

Russia’s Putin says Yanukovych fulfilled all condition of Feb. 21 agreement with opposition, effectively gave up all power – @Reuters

Putin: ‘They’ve become accustomed to the fact that one scoundrel is replaced by other scoundrels or conmen’ – @markmackinnon

More: President Putin says ousted Ukrainian President Yanukovych did not give orders to shoot demonstrators – live video

Russia’s President Putin says there has been an anti-constitutional coup in the Ukraine, a military seizure of power – live video

canopfor on March 4, 2014 at 10:33 AM

“These aren’t the droids you are looking for.” — Putin

Dandapani on March 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Schadenfreude

Bmore on March 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Over

Bmore on March 4, 2014 at 10:41 AM

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