Crimea sets referendum on Russian annexation for March 16th

posted at 8:01 am on March 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Two days ago, Vladimir Putin assured the world that he had no intention of annexing Crimea. Why, those Russian-speaking armed forces who seized government buildings and airports were just local boys protecting the peninsula from an illegal regime in Kyiv, the Russian strongman insisted. (Oh, and those pieces of heavy mobile artillery rolling down the highway to Sevastopol? Boys will be boys.) But annex Crimea back into Russia? No, no, no, no, no.

Maybe:

MPs in the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea have voted to formally become part of the Russian Federation.

Parliament said the decision would be put to the Crimean people for their verdict in a referendum on 16 March.

Fox News has more on the suddenly-rogue province:

Rustam Teemirgaliev told the Russian RIA newsagency as saying that the referendum would be held March 16. The agency reported that the referendum would consist of two questions. The first would ask whether voters wished to join Russia “as a subject of the [Russian Federation].” The second question would ask whether voters wished to remain a part of Ukraine as laid out in the country’s post-Soviet 1992 constitution.

“This is our response to the disorder and lawlessness in Kiev,” Sergei Shuvainikov, a member of the local Crimean legislature, told the Associated Press Thursday. “We will decide our future ourselves.”

The parliament in Crimea, which enjoys a degree of autonomy under current Ukrainian law, voted 78-0 with eight abstentions in favor of holding the referendum. Local voters will also be given the choice of deciding to remain part of Ukraine, but with enhanced local powers.

Originally that was the only question on the referendum, and it was set for later in the month. After a few revisions, the date got moved up and the horizons got pushed out. The only reason they’re not asking for full independence is because they know they can’t sustain it. Crimea needs either Russia or Ukraine in order to survive economically.

Putin said he wanted Crimeans to choose their own path, and that’s what Crimeans claim to be doing. However, plebescites under occupation have a long and inglorious history of producing whatever outcome the occupying power wants them to produce. To extend the analogy offered by everyone up to Hillary Clinton, the Anschluss had a plebescite following the arrival of Nazi troops, too. The people of the newly-renamed Ostmark approved by 99.7%, similar to what one usually sees when dictators hold “elections.”

There isn’t much to be done to stop Russia from forcibly taking Crimea from Ukraine, though. The West will not go to war with Russia to stop it, and so far can’t even agree on economic sanctions to punish Putin for his adventurism. That is a bad sign for the new government in Kyiv, a city which might soon find itself on the western border of Russia after a couple of more plebescites.


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The West will not go to war with Russia to stop it, and so far can’t even agree on economic sanctions to punish Putin for his adventurism

…g r e a t !

KOOLAID2 on March 6, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Anyone’s best guess on if it will be Lurch or Obumbler who does the “peace in our time” ceremony?

Rogue on March 6, 2014 at 8:06 AM

PUTIN IS GAY

discojoe on March 6, 2014 at 8:06 AM

So let me get this straight. They’re going to be able to ramp up and run a free and open referendum about annexation in ten days?

Yeah, right. This is simply going to give political cover for what is already an accomplished fact.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:09 AM

On obama’s watch.

hawkdriver on March 6, 2014 at 8:10 AM

On obama’s watch.

hawkdriver on March 6, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Obama isn’t watching anything. Too busy playing golf, going on vacations, and lecturing Americans about why they are racist if they don’t support his radical socialist agenda.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:14 AM

On obama’s watch.

hawkdriver on March 6, 2014 at 8:10 AM

C’mon now, surely House Republicans are to blame because they’re not spending enough on food stamps or something.

trubble on March 6, 2014 at 8:15 AM

PUTIN IS GAY

discojoe on March 6, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Obama is Gay…you point being?

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Wow, Russians are about to steal part of a country.

rubberneck on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

If you like your Mother Russia, you can keep your Mother Russia.

Bitter Clinger on March 6, 2014 at 8:17 AM

PUTIN IS GAY

discojoe on March 6, 2014 at 8:06 AM

So is your comment history.

hawkdriver on March 6, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Upcoming comment from SecState: “I’m shocked — shocked– that this was all a ploy to let Russia annex the Crimea.” (“Your winnings, sir.” “Thank you.”)

apostic on March 6, 2014 at 8:19 AM

So let me get this straight. They’re going to be able to ramp up and run a free and open referendum about annexation in ten days?

Yeah, right. This is simply going to give political cover for what is already an accomplished fact.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:09 AM

It’ll be interesting to see if any other Ukrainian provinces declare autonomy.

Crimean parliament votes unanimously to become part of Russia

“Crimea’s parliament unanimously voted in favour of becoming part of Russia on Thursday, RIA news agency said, citing the text of the decision.

It was agreed “to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation”, the text said.

A bill on simplifying the procedure for “parts of foreign states” to join the Russian Federation could be adopted next week, a politician who crafted the bill was quoted as saying on Thursday.

Itar-Tass news agency quoted Sergei Mironov as saying: “Speaking plainly, this bill was introduced by me for the sake of Crimea.”

http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/06/crimean-parliament-votes-unanimously-to-become-part-of-russia/

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Ukraine’s economy minister says referendum on Crimea’s status planned by region’s recently installed pro-Russian leaders would be illegitimatePro-Russian authorities plan to “nationalise” state property in

Ukraine’s Crimea Region – INTERFAXRussian RIA Novosti Agency reports Russian Foreign Ministry says expects the EU not to freeze talks on visa-free regime with Russia over Ukraine

USA: Obama orders sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for undermining democratic institutions in Ukraine (White House via Reuters)Ukrainian acting President Oleksander Turchinov says Crimean authorities are illegitimate, working under the barrel of a gun (Reuters)Ukraine’s economy minister says referendum on Crimea’s status planned by region’s recently installed pro-Russian leaders would be illegitimatePro-Russian authorities plan to “nationalise” state property in Ukraine’s Crimea Region – INTERFAXRussian RIA Novosti Agency reports Russian Foreign Ministry says expects the EU not to freeze talks on visa-free regime with Russia over Ukraine
Breaking News

http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/06/crimean-parliament-votes-unanimously-to-become-part-of-russia/

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Hmmm. I wonder if the voters will have to show an ID.

NavyMustang on March 6, 2014 at 8:23 AM

pleb·i·scite
[ plébbi s̄̀t ]

vote of all citizens: a vote by a whole electorate to decide a question of importance.
expression of public will: a public expression of the will or opinion of a whole community
common people’s law: a law enacted by the plebs or ordinary citizens of ancient Rome gathered in assembly

K. Now I’ll go read it again. :)

Axe on March 6, 2014 at 8:25 AM

OT- CPAC Speakers over the next three days. Jeb Bush and Scott Walker not speaking due to scheduling conflicts. It will be interesting to see if the fat man comes in a spirit of unifying conservatives to whatever the hell you call the left of center “moderates.”

John Bolton, who speaks this morning was just on local talk radio. Had lots of good things to say about national security and the fecklessness of this administration. It will be interesting to see his comments coming out of this speech.
——-

Among those addressing the crowd this year are nearly all the major names among the potential 2016 Republican White House contenders. They include Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee. Also speaking are Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, who ran for the Republican nomination in 2012, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey, who wasn’t invited last year because he wasn’t considered conservative enough.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who also ran for the White House in 2012, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who made a bid for the nomination in 2008, are addressing the audience. And don’t forget about former Alaska Gov. and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, who seem to be flirting with 2016 bids.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Wow, Russians are about to steal part of a country.

rubberneck on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Not true. They’re going for the whole enchilada. This is just the first step.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Dr. Kissinger penned an excellent article in the Washington Post. That is the way forward. All other noise, emanating from the state department, the white house, the MSM, and some blogs is silliness.

His assessment of the situation is spot on. One of my favorite bits ?

“Ukraine has been independent for only 23 years; it had previously been under some kind of foreign rule since the 14th century. Not surprisingly, its leaders have not learned the art of compromise, even less of historical perspective. “

runner on March 6, 2014 at 8:28 AM

It’ll be interesting to see if any other Ukrainian provinces declare autonomy.

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Exactly. Crimea is a done deal. Putin would like to have Odessa because of the port. I’m not sure what strategic value the other provinces have.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Obama orders sanctions over Ukraine, citing threat to US

The White House on Thursday moved to impose economic sanctions and visa restrictions on those responsible for or supporting the Russian incursion into Ukraine.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the State Department was moving to put in place visa restrictions on “a number of officials and individuals” responsible for or complicit in actions that threatened the sovereignty of the former Soviet republic.

President Obama has also signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against those who have threatened “the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Carney called the order a “flexible tool” that would allow the U.S. to target those directly responsible for the incursion, but warned further sanctions were possible if the situation deteriorated.

“We call on Russia to take the opportunity before it to resolve this crisis through direct and immediate dialogue with the Government of Ukraine, the immediate pull-back of Russia’s military forces to their bases, the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and support for the urgent deployment of international observers and human rights monitors who can assure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected, including ethnic Russians, and who can support the Ukrainian government’s efforts to hold a free and fair election on May 25,” Carney said.

Flora Duh on March 6, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Live Updates on the Ukraine at Euronews link:

“US destroyer heading to Black Sea on a “routine visit”
According the US website Stars and Stripes, “a U.S. guided-missile destroyer is bound for the Black Sea in what the Navy calls a routine visit unrelated to events in Ukraine. The USS Truxtun, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer with about 300 sailors on board, departed Greece early Thursday, said a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa in Naples”.

http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/06/live-updates-crimea-moves-to-autonomy-as-eu-leaders-meet-in-brussels/

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Hmmm. I wonder if the voters will have to show an ID.

NavyMustang on March 6, 2014 at 8:23 AM

More likely it will be one of those third-world ballots where the state helpfully pre-votes for you and all you have to do is stick the ballot in a box.

It isn’t going too far out on a limb to predict now that the results will be overwhelming in favor of Crimea becoming part of Russia. This, of course, gives Putin even a greater stranglehold on Europe’s energy needs- which was the point of this invasion from the beginning.

Thank you Obama for pressuring Ukraine to disarm.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Anschluss, German: “Union”, political union of Austria with Germany, achieved through annexation by Adolf Hitler in 1938. Mooted in 1919 by Austria, Anschluss with Germany remained a hope (chiefly with Austrian Social Democrats) during 1919–33, after which Hitler’s rise to power made it less attractive.

In July 1934 Austrian and German Nazis together attempted a coup but were unsuccessful. An authoritarian right-wing government then took power in Austria and kept perhaps half the population from voicing legitimate dissent; that cleavage prevented concerted resistance to the developments of 1938. In February 1938 Hitler invited the Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg to Germany and forced him to agree to give the Austrian Nazis virtually a free hand. Schuschnigg later repudiated the agreement and announced a plebiscite on the Anschluss question. He was bullied into canceling the plebiscite, and he obediently resigned, ordering the Austrian Army not to resist the Germans. President Wilhelm Miklas of Austria refused to appoint the Austrian Nazi leader Arthur Seyss-Inquart as chancellor. The German Nazi minister Hermann Göring ordered Seyss-Inquart to send a telegram requesting German military aid, but he refused, and the telegram was sent by a German agent in Vienna. On March 12 Germany invaded, and the enthusiasm that followed gave Hitler the cover to annex Austria outright on March 13. A controlled plebiscite of April 10 gave a 99.7 percent approval.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/26730/Anschluss

. . . K, now I’ll go read it again.

GOOD GRIEF

Axe on March 6, 2014 at 8:30 AM

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

You’ve been all over this with your links and posts. Thanks for all of it.

And it’s not hard to see them welcoming the annexation. Putin’s people reminding them the West and obama will do nothing for them. That obama supported terrorists in Syria. That obama started wars in Egypt, Libya and Syria and when the going got tough he blamed a Youtube video.

Germany splitting in two and begging to go back to Russia wouldn’t surprise me.

Thank you President obama.

hawkdriver on March 6, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Pic of the Day: Crimea River

Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

O, ty God, for this quoting opportunity.

Axe on March 6, 2014 at 8:32 AM

It’ll be interesting to see if any other Ukrainian provinces declare autonomy.

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

The news is saying that, even after the referendum, it would take an act of the Ukrainian parliament for any change. Somehow I don’t think Putin is too concerned about acts of parliament.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Pic of the Day: Crimea River

Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

A sincere and heartfelt, welcome back. You’re much missed and needed here.

hawkdriver on March 6, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Pic of the Day: Crimea River

Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Now that’s funny, I don’t care who ya’ are.

Bitter Clinger on March 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Exactly. Crimea is a done deal. Putin would like to have Odessa because of the port. I’m not sure what strategic value the other provinces have.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Putin would like to partition the Ukraine…and Odessa holds a mythic place in Mother Russia.

From the euronews update link:

More than 100 women took part in a rally March 6 in the Crimean town of Strohanivka, which is populated largely by Crimean Tatars. According to Radio Free Europe, the women were protesting Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and calling for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. This footage shows the women chanting “We are for peace! We are for peace!”.A woman interviewed says, according to a translation supplied by Radio Free Europe, “I want to ask Mr Putin to withdraw his troops from Crimean territory. We don’t need his protection. Who is he protecting us from? It looks like he’s protecting us from our own people.”

The flag’s “battle” continues in Donetsk
Ukraine flew its flag over the government headquarters in the eastern city of Donetsk on Thursday and ejected pro-Moscow demonstrators that occupied it, ending a siege that Kiev had seen as part of a Russian plan to create a pretext to invade. Police said they had taken more than 70 people into custody for questioning after clearing out the regional administration headquarters and another government building.
UN envoy, Robert Serry, chased yesterday in Simferopol by pro-Russian protesters is returning to Kyiv today.

Russian sunken ship at Donuzlav lake in Crimea. According several reports the vessel was deliberately sunk to block the access of Ukrainian warships to the area.

The EU leaders should not issue any final conclusions from today’s summit in Brussels, according some sources. Debate on Russian sanctions could be postponed for another meeting in two weeks.

Ukrainian Frigate Hetman Sahaidachny Entering Odessa

The Ukrainian Navy’s frigate Hetman Sahaidachny has entered the port of Odessa after completing exercises near Aden with EU naval forces. It is expected to return to the naval base in Sevastopol. Russia reportedly suspects it is carrying NATO intelligence equipment.

In Crimea, the leader of the Tatar assembly calls for a boycott on March 16 referendum.

Crimea votes to join Russia. Referendum unconstitutional for Kyiv
Ukraine’s economy minister said on Thursday a referendum on Crimea’s status that is planned by the region’s recently installed pro-Russian leaders would be illegitimate. “My position is that this referendum is unconstitutional,”
the minister, Pavlo Sheremeta, told reporters in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, reiterating the government’s stance following a
decision by Crimea’s new leaders to bring the referendum forward by two weeks to March 16. The deputy speaker of the regional parliament in Crimea said the referendum would ask voters whether they want to be part of the Russian Federation.

A group of “Femen” woman protesters was arrested today in Simferopol after a protest in the city.

Another photo of Femen protester dragged off just now outside Crimea parlt to shouts of “Western whore” and “junkie”

http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/06/live-updates-crimea-moves-to-autonomy-as-eu-leaders-meet-in-brussels/

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

Makes perfect sense.

After all (according to the Wikipedia page), the motto for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is “Prosperity in unity”.

dissent555 on March 6, 2014 at 8:40 AM

From my limited knowledge of the region,most Ukrainians would gladly let the Crimea go if that was all Putin wanted.They fear from my conversations that they(Russians) want a piece of Eastern Ukraine.

I will be going back to Lviv this weekend, so I hope to get a better feel for what is happening.

celtic warrior on March 6, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Pic of the Day: Crimea River

Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Brilliant!

Welcome back, RWM. You were sorely missed!

Naturally Curly on March 6, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Pic of the Day: Crimea River

Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

:-) Welcome back Sophie.

Flora Duh on March 6, 2014 at 8:45 AM

European deliberation…

“Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are pushing for harder language on sanctions. The wording on Georgia and Moldova is important for them as a warning to Russia that it will not be allowed to pick off countries wanting closer links to EU.

Diplomats tell me that the demand for “quick steps towards the dissolution of any paramilitary structures” could be dropped because it would also apply to Kiev groups, particularly the far-Right nationalist groups that are the backbone of the new government there.”

i guess the “far-right nationalist groups” or as they are called in the real world “neo-nazis” are now in vogue. disgusting. eastern part of the euro union is scared. prhaps they should reconsider their affinity for the “far-right nationalist groups”.

runner on March 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM

There isn’t much to be done to stop Russia from forcibly taking Crimea from Ukraine, though.

If Ukraine hadn’t given up its nuclear weapons, this wouldn’t have even begun to happen to them at all.

Everyone in the world can see the lesson here. There are two kinds of ‘countries.’ Ones that have nuclear weapons and ones that do not.

Those that do not have nuclear weapons are not true sovereign nations any more. They are just territories to be controlled and dominated and eventually parceled up at the convenience of the sovereign nations that have the basic ability to defend themselves.

The end of Pax Americana is the beginning of the age of nuclear proliferation. The world is going to become a very dangerous place.

fadetogray on March 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM

I will be going back to Lviv this weekend, so I hope to get a better feel for what is happening.

it’s like going to NY for perspective of what is going on in Dallas

runner on March 6, 2014 at 8:49 AM

My Gazprom Southstream links aren’t being posted.

South Stream gas pipeline design capacity: 63 billion cubic meters per annum.
Total length of the offshore pipeline section: 900 kilometers.
Maximum pipeline depth in the Black Sea: 2,250 meters.

Russia signed intergovernmental agreements with:

Bulgaria – January 18, 2008;
Serbia – January 25, 2008;
Hungary – February 28, 2008;
Greece – April 29, 2008;
Slovenia – November 14, 2009;
Croatia – March 2, 2010;
Austria – April 24, 2010.

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:50 AM

The end of Pax Americana is the beginning of the age of nuclear proliferation. The world is going to become a very dangerous place.

fadetogray on March 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM

IMO Japan will change their constitution and develop nuclear weapons if they don’t already have them. The US (i.e. Obama) cannot be trusted to protect them from China.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Why would you assume a plebiscite under occupation by troops loyal to the coup-installed Maidan government would be any more fair? Is it their well-demonstrated respect for due process and the electoral system? lol.

pauljc on March 6, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I’ll say it again. Russia will annex the Crimea. Only unanswered questions in my mind is whether or not Chesty will extend his taking, er, referendum,of the Crimea to include a western extension in order to cut off the remaining country from the Black Sea, and establish hegemony over the eastern provinces.

vnvet on March 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM

fadetogray on March 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM

nuclear weapons, in Ukraine ?

it’s like introducing nukes into the norther Ireland conflict….during The Troubles

runner on March 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM

The EU abandoned the Nabucco Pipeline 2 years ago.

http://www.iefimerida.gr/sites/default/files/imagecache/node_image660/south-stream-660.jpg

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM

it’s like going to NY for perspective of what is going on in Dallas

runner on March 6, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Sorry I don’t get it.I live in eastern Poland.

celtic warrior on March 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

The end of Pax Americana is the beginning of the age of nuclear proliferation. The world is going to become a very dangerous place.

fadetogray on March 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM

IMO Japan will change their constitution and develop nuclear weapons if they don’t already have them. The US (i.e. Obama) cannot be trusted to protect them from China.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

And Japan will build up their navy.

There’s a lot of stuff join on in that area…squabbling over fishing and oil/gas development amongst the neighbors..

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 8:57 AM

European deliberation…

“Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are pushing for harder language on sanctions. The wording on Georgia and Moldova is important for them as a warning to Russia that it will not be allowed to pick off countries wanting closer links to EU.

Diplomats tell me that the demand for “quick steps towards the dissolution of any paramilitary structures” could be dropped because it would also apply to Kiev groups, particularly the far-Right nationalist groups that are the backbone of the new government there.”

i guess the “far-right nationalist groups” or as they are called in the real world “neo-nazis” are now in vogue. disgusting. eastern part of the euro union is scared. prhaps they should reconsider their affinity for the “far-right nationalist groups”.

runner on March 6, 2014 at 8:47 AM

The media plays it as an offshoot of the immigration thingy.

On the one hand you have people like Wilders who sees a legitimate security/cultural crisis…and on the other hand you have a rise in Fascist groups.

The media in both the EU and America conflate the two…kinda like the US media does conflating the Tea Party with the KKK.

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Crimean parliament votes to join Russia, hold referendum in 10 days on ratifying

Crimea’s authorities have meanwhile announced that they are ready to nationalize all Ukrainian state enterprises and introduce a ruble zone in the region in case the referendum decides in favor of joining Russia, according to Interfax.

Crimean authorities denounced the self-proclaimed government in Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them. The majority of troops in Crimea switched sides in favor of the local authorities.

They’re moving fast. Crimea will be voted part of Russia and the troops will be their before Kiev has their elections in May.

Possession is 90% of the law, whoever has the guns makes the rules, might makes right, etc.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 9:05 AM

pic of the Day: Crimea River Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 Am

You’re back????

RIGHT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wolly4321 on March 6, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Sorry I don’t get it.I live in eastern Poland.

celtic warrior on March 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

disparate parts of the country with completely diverging positions on matters of federalism, civil society etc. one compete opposite of the other.

runner on March 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

nuclear weapons, in Ukraine ?

it’s like introducing nukes into the norther Ireland conflict….during The Troubles

runner on March 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Ukraine had nukes when the Soviet Union broke up. They gave them up in exchange for an agreement between the UK, the USA and Russia to defend Ukraine’s borders.

Now we see how well those kinds of solemn words work in the absence of Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.

fadetogray on March 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Dated October, 2013

“Poll backlash expected amid hostility to migrants in EU

Hostility to EU migrants seeking work and benefits is now entrenched in the bloc’s biggest economies, according to a poll for the Financial Times that presages a popular backlash against integration in next year’s European elections.

Eurosceptic calls for greater immigration curbs, tighter welfare rules and fewer powers for Brussels are gaining ground with voters in five countries making up more than half the EU’s population, the Harris survey finds.

In one of the most striking conclusions, national restrictions on EU migrants’ rights to benefits were backed by 83 per cent of Britons, 73 per cent of Germans and 72 per cent of French respondents. Around three out of five also disapproved of Romanian and Bulgarian citizens securing, from January, one of the main freedoms of the union: the right to work in any EU member state.
At the same time David Cameron, the UK prime minister, wins broad support for his demands to repatriate some powers to member states. The EU would be better with fewer powers, according to two-thirds of Britons, more than half of Germans and Spaniards, 44 per cent of Italians and 43 per cent of French respondents.

The results highlight a stark shift in political sentiment across the bloc, which is weathering a painful economic crisis that has fractured political consent for greater integration and stoked discontent over immigration.

Senior EU officials fear these frustrations will be vented in next year’s European elections, handing a big block of seats in the EU’s main legislative chamber to fringe anti-immigration parties opposed to its existence.

About a quarter of British and French respondents and 19 per cent of Italians said they were likely to vote for a eurosceptic political party in forthcoming elections, while less than half said they were unlikely to do so. It underlines the rise of parties such as the UK Independence Party and France’s far-right National Front, which are vying for top slot in their respective elections.

More surprising is the extent of dissent in traditionally pro-EU member states: 18 per cent of Germans and 12 per cent of Spaniards said they would vote for eurosceptic groups. The anti-euro Alternatif für Deutschland came close to gaining seats in the Bundestag last month.

More surprising is the extent of dissent in traditionally pro-EU member states: 18 per cent of Germans and 12 per cent of Spaniards said they would vote for eurosceptic groups. The anti-euro Alternatif für Deutschland came close to gaining seats in the Bundestag last month.

Deep public unease over immigration is one of the political currents buffeting governments across the union, a trend that some EU officials fear will prompt a rethink of the rights of EU migrants. It is one of the few policy areas where the interests of London, Paris and Berlin could converge.

The UK government was forced on the defensive on Friday after text messages were sent on its behalf by subcontractor, Capita, to 40,000 people asking them to leave Britain if they were in the country illegally. At least 14 British residents who received the text, including an anti-racism campaigner and an immigration adviser, have complained that they were wrongly targeted…”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/945b9c46-3810-11e3-8668-00144feab7de.html#axzz2vBvF504O

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

pic of the Day: Crimea River Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 Am

That was terrific!

ladyingray on March 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM

So when does California vote to become part of Mexico?

And when will the Mexican government try to annex parts of the US because of the millions and millions and millions of Mexicans living in the US?

albill on March 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Why, those Russian-speaking armed forces who seized government buildings and airports were just local boys protecting the peninsula from an illegal regime in Kyiv, the Russian strongman insisted.

And now it seems that poor Vlad is about to be man-raped by Crimean legislators, hellbent on imposing their will on him and forcing Vlad to let them into Mother Russia.

C’mon, comrades, nyet means nyet!

Still, Vlad kinda egged them on by whipping off his shirt all the time, reducing them to a state of crazed Russo-lust. I know, I know, we can’t blame the victim…

Toocon on March 6, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Sophie, missed you here and on Twitter. Welcome back.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 6, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Putin gets now gets the tab of taking care of the basket case known as Crimea.
They have no water, no electricity and no food.
It all is imported from the Ukraine.

And a bunch over very independent, Russian-hating Tatars and Chechnyans…

albill on March 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

So when does California vote to become part of Mexico?

And when will the Mexican government try to annex parts of the US because of the millions and millions and millions of Mexicans living in the US?

albill on March 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Ok I’ll bite.

Let’s say Latinos in LA vote to make California an autonomous region and Mexico says Yeah…we got your back.

1. California is broke.

2. Mexico is damned near broke which is why they have voted to change their constitution to open up foreign investment in Pemex…They need the money badly.

3. Mexico is reliant on US co-operation in the Drug Cartel Wars…which involves a lot more than Drug Trade…including siphoning off gas to sell on the black-market to China.

4. Mexico is being invaded by OTM’s which they funnel up north.

5. Just because people speak spanish…doesn’t mean they are united as a culture.

6. The rhetoric coming from Mexico is the same ol’ BS.

That said…

Gov. Perry was right when he said Border Security would most likely extend to Guatemala…and suggested a New Monroe Doctrine applied to our hemisphere…paritculary our southern neighbors.

It’s coming and Americans need to pre fare for it…imho..

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Kinda O/T, but what the hey…

Did Rand Paul just call for terror acts against Russia interests in Ukraine?

Maybe flexing muscle may impress maidens in Sochi but perhaps not the 14-year old men of the Maidan. A Ukrainian teenager with $200 of explosives and a burning desire to thwart the Russian bear can disrupt a pipeline. 80 percent of Russia’s oil and gas traverses Ukraine.

Before Putin commits further aggression in Ukraine, he should take the time to peer into the eyes of Ukrainian teenagers with bandaged and bloodied heads and ask himself if he is really up to the task.

JohnGalt23 on March 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

[Live updates] Ukrainian PM says Russia “reluctant to hold real negotiations”

Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.

The decision came as European Union leaders gathered for an emergency summit to seek ways to pressure Russia to back down and accept mediation.

EU leaders had been set to warn but not sanction Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine after Moscow rebuffed Western diplomatic efforts to persuade it to pull forces in Crimea back to their bases. According to EU sources the leaders gathered in Brussels delayed the discussion on sanctions to Russia to a new meeting in two weeks.

The United States has said it is ready to impose sanctions such as visa bans, asset freezes on individual Russian officials and restrictions on business ties within days rather than weeks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov refused to meet his new Ukrainian counterpart or to launch a “contact group” to seek a solution to the crisis at talks in Paris on Wednesday despite arm-twisting by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and European colleagues. The two men will meet again in Rome on Thursday.

Tension remains high in Ukraine’s southern Crimea region, where a senior United Nations envoy was surrounded by a pro-Russian crowd, threatened and forced to get back on his plane and leave the country.

http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/06/live-updates-crimea-moves-to-autonomy-as-eu-leaders-meet-in-brussels/

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM

isparate parts of the country with completely diverging positions on matters of federalism, civil society etc. one compete opposite of the other.

runner on March 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

It doesn’t matter what part of the Ukraine you are in to get a read on the rest of the region. It’s really not a big country,but maybe map reading is difficult for you.

celtic warrior on March 6, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Ukraine live: EU leaders to postpone debate on sanctions to Russia
* Crimea parliament votes to join Russia, referendum March 16 * Divided EU to warn, not sanction Russia at summitn* Moscow says OSCE, NATO efforts not helpful *Kerry, Lavrov to meet again in Rome * Rouble weakens despite central bank intervention

As Ukraine’s acting PM is giving a press conference in Brussels, in Syria, President Bashar Al Assad decided to announce his position on the crisis, saying that he supports Putin. Not really a surprising position.

In Crimea, OSCE observers have been stopped this afternoon at a checkpoint by armed units.

Yatsenyuk at press conference in Brussels. The new acting PM urges Russian to pull back forces from Crimea, criticizes as “illegitimate” the referendum in the region and repeats that Kyiv is ready to sign an Association Agreement with the EU.

http://www.euronews.com/2014/03/06/live-updates-crimea-moves-to-autonomy-as-eu-leaders-meet-in-brussels/

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Kyiv? Really? What’s next, Pahkeestahn?

Putin is not interested in Ukraine, he is interested in Crimea, which is not the same thing. The Russians gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, so I see no reason why they can’t take it back.

Were Texas to vote to return to Mexico, the U.S. government and its citizens would rightly resent any Russian interference in the matter. Moreover, Putin did not provoke this crisis, the Ukrainian nationalists and the West did. Moreover, anyone with a lick of sense could have foreseen how Putin would react. The latest round of excuse making, that Putin is “unpredictable”, and therefore impenetrable to rational analysis, is just horsesh*t. Putin is a rational actor. Would that our weak, deluded leaders and their adnoidal minions were the same.

Joseph K on March 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

So let me get this straight. They’re going to be able to ramp up and run a free and open referendum about annexation in ten days?

Yeah, right. This is simply going to give political cover for what is already an accomplished fact.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:09 AM

What? It doesn’t take long to deploy troops at major intersections, to assure that only those interested in returning Crimea to the motherland show up to vote.

Hill60 on March 6, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Kinda O/T, but what the hey…

Did Rand Paul just call for terror acts against Russia interests in Ukraine?

Maybe flexing muscle may impress maidens in Sochi but perhaps not the 14-year old men of the Maidan. A Ukrainian teenager with $200 of explosives and a burning desire to thwart the Russian bear can disrupt a pipeline. 80 percent of Russia’s oil and gas traverses Ukraine.

Before Putin commits further aggression in Ukraine, he should take the time to peer into the eyes of Ukrainian teenagers with bandaged and bloodied heads and ask himself if he is really up to the task.

JohnGalt23 on March 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

That’s why Putin is building Southstream Pipeline under the Black Sea.

The overland pipelines currently in use are in pretty bad shape.

If you look at a map of Southstream the overland pipelines bypass Ukraine completely…and go to select EU countries that have signed agreements with Gazprom.

The EU has been doing what they can to stifle it since they abandoned the Nabucco overland pipeline through Turkey.

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Kyiv? Really? What’s next, Pahkeestahn?

Putin is not interested in Ukraine, he is interested in Crimea, which is not the same thing. The Russians gave Crimea to Ukraine in 1954, so I see no reason why they can’t take it back.

Were Texas to vote to return to Mexico, the U.S. government and its citizens would rightly resent any Russian interference in the matter. Moreover, Putin did not provoke this crisis, the Ukrainian nationalists and the West did. Moreover, anyone with a lick of sense could have foreseen how Putin would react. The latest round of excuse making, that Putin is “unpredictable”, and therefore impenetrable to rational analysis, is just horsesh*t. Putin is a rational actor. Would that our weak, deluded leaders and their adnoidal minions were the same.

Joseph K on March 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

I don’t think Comrade Putin would mind a Ukraine Partition.

East Ukraine and Southeast Ukriane are the heavy wheat producers of Europe…and China needs wheat.

The Crimea is the warm ports,Russian bases and the south stream pipeline.

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:34 AM

celtic warrior on March 6, 2014 at 9:24 AM

if the country is not that big, perhaps you should go to Donetsk, just to complete your tour, widen your horizons.

runner on March 6, 2014 at 9:34 AM

So let me get this straight. They’re going to be able to ramp up and run a free and open referendum about annexation in ten days?

Yeah, right. This is simply going to give political cover for what is already an accomplished fact.

Happy Nomad on March 6, 2014 at 8:09 AM

What? It doesn’t take long to deploy troops at major intersections, to assure that only those interested in returning Crimea to the motherland show up to vote.

Hill60 on March 6, 2014 at 9:29 AM

This has been brewing for a while…despite our Media’s shock.

The Ukrainians made a big mistake saying they’d outlaw the Russian language…gave Putin his impetus to act.

Putin was prepared…The EU and the US were caught flat-footed.

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Pic of the Day: Crimea River

Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Where’s Miley?

*snicker*

workingclass artist on March 6, 2014 at 9:47 AM

So Crimea’s parliment voted to become art of Russia…while Russian troops control their entire penninsula.

I get it – there are a lot of Russians there in Crimea, and they want to become part of Russia again. Somehow I don’t think they remember what life was like in Russia and why they left to begin with…but I digress. Their decision/vote, however, does not take away from the fact that Russia made up an excuse to INVADE a sovereign nation, ignoring their borders, and seizing a significant part of that country for their own. This is a direct violation of international law and is behavior that MUST be condemned. Russia MUST be held accountable by the WORLD to reinforce this is unacceptable behavior. This can not simply be allowed to go unpunished, the only response the appeasement of aggression. WWII/Hitler should have taught us what such appeasement leads to.

easyt65 on March 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

That’s why Putin is building Southstream Pipeline under the Black Sea. – workingclassartist

He opened the new pipeline that runs via Finland in 2011. It can carry much of the gas for northern Europe.

Notice that both pipelines avoid Ukraine and central Europe. In 2009, Russia shut down the pipeline because the Ukrainians were in arrears on their bill and were stealing gas to boot. Ukraine then shut off gas to Europe. If Ukraine couldn’t have any, neither could Europe.

All of a sudden, there’s a new Finnish pipeline completed in record time and now this new one under the Black Sea.

Vlad doesn’t like to be blackmailed with pipeline shutdowns.

I noticed a recent article that described how one of the large Ukrainian pipelines was being used in reverse, to import gas back from Europe. This is gas that passes through Ukraine to Slovakia and into the open gas market. The gas was then purchased at spot price by a German energy company and sold to Ukraine. And one of the old existing pipelines was run in reverse to pump it back from Slovakia to Ukraine.

This natural gas market Russia has generated is truly a Byzantine empire.

Toocon on March 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Lawmakers ready to pass bill allowing acceptance of Crimea into Russian Federation

Several Russian parliamentarians have voiced their readiness to fast track a new bill on accepting new regions into the Russian state, and made it clear that the move was caused by fears over the fate of ethnic Russians in the Crimean Republic.

They say that it’s about Crimea. However, it reads “new regions” which could mean not only Crimea.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM

At least Putin is taking the democratic route. So there’s hope!

Buck up, Latvia and Lithuania! Just because you are in way of greater Russia and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and you have a bunch of ethnic Russians living within your borders, you guys have the votes to stay independent!

Nomennovum on March 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

No worries! Obama can be ‘flexible’.

GarandFan on March 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM

“Thanks. I just had it stuffed.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvWfbIe4X_4

Nomennovum on March 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Nomennovum on March 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

yikes.. wrong thread … but still funny as hell.

Nomennovum on March 6, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Pic of the Day: Crimea River

Resist We Much on March 6, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Very clever RWM and welcome back. Hope you continue in good health!!

bluefox on March 6, 2014 at 11:12 AM

The Guardian:

Nomincal Crimean prime minister Sergey Aksenov has shut down a Ukrainian TV channel and allowed the frequency to be taken by a Russian TV channel, Rossiya, Roy Greenslade (@GreensladeR) reports for the Guardian:

Taking over communications in Crimea.

Kaffa on March 6, 2014 at 12:03 PM

In order to protect the Crimean voters, they will be accompanied in the voting booth by a Russian soldier. Voters making the wrong choice will be escorted to a crematorium.

Expect an overwhelming margin not seen in an election since the death of Saddam Hussein.

Steve Z on March 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM

I’m going out on a limb here and saying that all Putin wanted in the first place was the Crimean peninsula – all those threats about invading the greater Ukraine were just bluster.

Obama and all the other Socialist dopes in Europe fell for it, but they’ll still claim victory that Putin didn’t invade Ukraine.

First rule of negotiation: Ask for the stars when all you really want is the moon.

Lance Corvette on March 6, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Coming soon to some counties in California. What will we do?

slickwillie2001 on March 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM