Putin issues declaration recognizing independent Crimea

posted at 4:41 pm on March 17, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

As Brit Hume acidly observed, those sanctions applied this morning didn’t do much to deter Vladimir Putin. Just a few hours after both the US and EU imposed sanctions on several Russian and Ukrainian political figures over the occupation of Crimea, Putin issued a declaration recognizing the province’s independence:

Russian President Vladi­mir Putin formally recognized Crimea as an independent state Monday, defying new U.S. and European sanctions imposed on Russian and Ukrainian officials, including some of his top aides, in response to Moscow’s moves to take over the region.

A statement posted Monday evening on the Kremlin Web site said Putin signed an order recognizing Crimea’s independence, effective immediately. Crimeans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to secede from Ukraine, a first step toward what pro-Russian leaders in the autonomous region hope will become accession to the Russian Federation.

“Given the declaration of will by the Crimean people in a nationwide referendum held on March 16, 2014, the Russian Federation is to recognize the Republic of Crimea as a sovereign and independent state, whose city of Sevastopol has a special status,” the Kremlin statement said. Sevastopol, Crimea’s main port, hosts the principal base of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The reference to it as a city with a special status means that Russia considers it a separate administrative unit.

The Post’s reporters add a cautious note:

The recognition of independence does not automatically mean that Russia will annex the peninsula, although it could be a step in that direction, analysts said. Russia also recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which broke away from the republic of Georgia in 2008, but never absorbed them as a part of the Russian Federation although it supports them financially.

That’s true, but it’s probably not a completely analogous situation, either. The Crimean peninsula has considerable strategic value to the Russian military, which isn’t really all that true of the breakaway Georgia provinces. Plus, annexing those two provinces would reignite the Georgia conflict all over again, while the Ukraine situation is about as bad as it’s going to get.

Assuming, of course, that Russia doesn’t cross over the eastern border of Ukraine next.  And that is a very large assumption, given the levels of unrest in those Russophile areas:

With reports of Russian military amassing on the country’s western border with Ukraine, fears that the Kremlin could move into the east have grown. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, reserved the right to deploy throughout the country in war powers he sought from Russian lawmakers late last month. And early Friday, the Russian foreign ministry issued a harsh statement and flipped Thursday night’s events on their head, claiming that the fatal attack — the first in this city — had been initiated by “right-wing groups” against a peaceful pro-Russia side. The statement concluded with a warning: “Russia is aware of its responsibility for the lives of compatriots and fellow citizens in Ukraine and reserves the right to take people under its protection.”

As in much of Ukraine’s east, there are close ties to Russia here — in language, in culture, in business and in extended family. The fear is that Russia will use the same pretext to send in troops — that of protecting the locals said to self-identify with it — as it did in invading Crimea.

The fears extend beyond Russia and Ukraine. A senior diplomat based in the region for a NATO power said he believed Russia could stir tensions or send troops into eastern Ukraine if the crisis continued much longer. “It’s not a chess game — it’s more like a game of chicken,” the diplomat said. “Both sides are trying to pressure each other into stepping back.”

So far, Ukrainian officials in the eastern part of the country remain optimistic, despite having government building in Donetsk seized by pro-Russian demonstrators. Newly-appointed governor Serhiy Taruta doesn’t think that a Russian intervention would be very popular in the area, even though people in his region tend to prefer Russian ties to those with the West:

Angelina Kariakina, Euronews: “What is currently happening in the Donets Basin region? How strong is the public desire for a referendum or even for joining Russia?”

Serhiy Taruta, Governor of Donetsk region: “That is rhetoric that is being used to destabilise things here. I understand that scenario was made up for Crimea. The strongest part of Crimea’s scenario was ‘we must vote on rejoining Russia’. But this is not something the Donets Basin needs. People here do want more autonomy, they want power decentralised. The Party of Regions and President Yanukovych gained lots of support exactly because they promised decentralisation. He promised lots of other things but unfortunately didn’t deliver. People here wish to make their prosperity with their own hands. That is obvious, and, I believe, right. But we should act within the law. The law says that holding a referendum is decided at state level.”

euronews: “Do you believe that Russia could intervene in eastern and southern Ukraine?”

Taruta: “I don’t believe in such a scenario. I believe in common sense. This is not Crimea. More than nine out of ten local people realise that any intervention is really dangerous and will destabilise life in the region. It will lead to a long-term conflict. I believe the Russian side realises this as well. I also believe that suggesting scenarios of this sort is a kind of psychological attack on people, to provoke them. I don’t see a threat, but the information I have tells me we can protect our region.”

Let’s hope Taruta is correct, because so far the West isn’t convincing Putin to slow down, let alone stop.


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Comment pages: 1 2

In 12 months Poland will be a satellite country again.

Oil Can on March 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

First step in reassembling the USSR…

OmahaConservative on March 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

I don’t see a threat, but the information I have tells me we can protect our region.”

With what? Did Barack give you a strongly worded letter in case things really get out of hand?

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

In 12 months Poland will be a satellite country again.

Oil Can on March 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Poland is a NATO country.

Do you really think Putin is going to invade a NATO country…?

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Russia
1h
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk tells CNN ‘we offer peace, and Russia offers war’ – @*nnbrk
read more on www.*nn.com
========================

Crimea, UA
2h
Russian President Putin signs decree recognizing Crimea as sovereign state, Russian news agencies report – @Reuters
read more on yahoo.com

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/ukraine-protests-over-eu-agreement-delay/

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 4:48 PM

And, so,…it is done!!

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Retweeted by Ukrainian Updates
Gregory Feifer ‏@gfeifer 2h

MT @juliakarmo: Reaction from Kremlin to US sanctions via @alexbubliy: pic.twitter.com/3tUSBmkljg
===========================

https://twitter.com/alexbubliy/status/445567569815019520/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

This situation is just made to order for an executive order fix. Like Obamacare.

butch on March 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Lets all have a guessing game as to why Putin suddenly feels empowered to the point where he’s thinking whatever he says will be taken to heart and respected by the entire world.

It’s a one word answer, and it’s a name…come on, you can do it…..

Diluculo on March 17, 2014 at 4:50 PM

First step in reassembling the USSR…

OmahaConservative on March 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Yep, only Obama and the idiots in W Europe (minus Germany) don’t realize it yet (their stance: better burry the head as deep in the sand as possible, than face reality) and haven’t seen it coming…what they don’t realize yet either is what kind of psycho Putin is…he will stop at nothing…

jimver on March 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

The USSR is the only country that can reduce America To Radio-Active
Dust!!

Retweeted by Ukrainian Updates
Olexander Ivanitskyi ‏@olexanders Mar 16

Russian journalist Dmitry Kiselev is gonna turn US and EU into nuclear ash. Psychiatrist is urgently needed. #Russia pic.twitter.com/jrKV9KaT4X
Embedded image permalink
Expand
========

https://twitter.com/olexanders/status/445265775092183040/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 4:53 PM

If nothing else, we’re providing the Rooskies with some belly laughs. Barry and Kerry. Abbott and Costello

butch on March 17, 2014 at 4:53 PM

The US and EU pull off a coup in Ukraine, Putin don’t like it one bit at all, at all, and does something about it.

Apparently no one anticipated the “does something about it” part.

Had there been no western-sponsored coup, we wouldn’t be thinking about this; the state run news media would be having us think about something else.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Do you really think Putin is going to invade a NATO country…?

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Didn’t we guarantee Ukraine’s protection?

Yes, NATO is a paper tiger know.

Oil Can on March 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

First step in reassembling the USSR…

OmahaConservative on March 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

OmahaConservative: You have that,….el correct!:)

Retweeted by Ukrainian Updates
Joze Biscak ‏@JozeBiscak Mar 16

Who’s next after #Crimea? (via @OShumyloTapiola) #crimeainvasion #ukraine #poland #kyiv #euromaidan #tussia #latvia pic.twitter.com/rfKbuFzrIw

https://twitter.com/JozeBiscak/status/445233494428360704/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Time for some teamwork with the EU. First up….Victoria Nuland!

butch on March 17, 2014 at 4:56 PM

First step in reassembling the USSR… OmahaConservative on March 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Wow. Did you intercept a cable or something?

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Putin knows he has nothing to fear from the West. These sanctions are merely a way for the Europeans and Obama to basically say “We don’t like what you’re doing!” and “We’ll harm you!”. They won’t amount to anything, and Putin knows that. Europe still depends on the supply line from Russia and therefore will keep such steps from being effective in any way. It is really a save face motion, nothing more.

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 4:58 PM

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Sorry can, I didn’t notice you had a board game proving everything!

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

His ultimate aim, I believe, is to restore the whole former Soviet Union.

And who is going to stop him? Bambi?

We’re downsizing. Everything is getting smaller except handouts to the poor, the cost of living and Obummers vacation budget. That is ever expanding.

JellyToast on March 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Yes, NATO is a paper tiger know.

Oil Can on March 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Oil Can: Ya, us Canadians are practising imaginary Rooskie Invasion with the
Nords!!:)
===================

Retweeted by NATOSource
Canadian Forces ‏@CanadianForces 1h

Canadians land in Norway – Approximately 350 Canadian soldiers are in Norway as part of a massive NATO cold-weathe… http://ow.ly/2EN3MU

https://twitter.com/NATOSource

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.” – Putin

Putin is no fan of socialism. He wants a stronger Russia and wants the Ukraine within that sphere of influence.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 5:01 PM

I simply don’t see NATO or any of the participating countries, including the USA, Great Britian and Germany actually having the stones to draft their young men and women into uniform and drive tanks into Poland to repel the Russian invader.

Seriously- they will dither and dodder and hopey hope, but sacrifice? No. I don’t think so.

Pless1foEngrish on March 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

It’s been an ongoing rumor in administration circles that Carney is quietly lobbying to replace former Ambassador Mike McFaul as the next U.S. Ambassador to Moscow

What??!!

Aplombed on March 17, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Maybe Obowma could give another speech…

… or attend a fundraiser, or go golfing, or jog around the White House, or fill in the NCAA Basketball brackets, or throw a lavish party, or take another vacation?

Well, I’m all out of ideas…

Seven Percent Solution on March 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Sorry can, I didn’t notice you had a board game proving everything!

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Aww, got your panties wet, day dreaming, alas, again, about how your commy friends might rule that part of the world (an arm pit otherwise) once more :)…heck, what about the JOOS…you haven’t posted anything anti semitic on this thread yet, or is the wrong one :)…come on now, the JOOOS must be behind this Ukraine mess somehow, think again, harder :)…

jimver on March 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Poland is a NATO country.

Do you really think Putin is going to invade a NATO country…?

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Let me ask a question in return. Suppose he invaded Poland. Heck, let’s go one step further and suppose he invaded Germany. Whose positions would change? Who that says “Ukraine is not our problem” would then say “… but Germany is our problem?”

Nobody would.

So NATO is essentially worthless, because most of the other members have little better than parade troops excepting the US and possibly the British.

Wow. Did you intercept a cable or something?

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

It is very well known that Putin thinks the breakup of the USSR was a mistake. It’s not at all big leap of logic to see this in the broader context of attempting to re-assemble parts of the Soviet Empire.

Doomberg on March 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Seriously- they will dither and dodder and hopey hope, but sacrifice? No. I don’t think so. Pless1foEngrish on March 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

And on the other hand you have A-10 pilots. Relax.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

“Given the declaration of will by the Crimean people in a nationwide referendum held on March 16, 2014, the Russian Federation is to recognize the Republic of Crimea as a sovereign and independent state,

After all, Putin has just demonstrated how much he cares about sovereignty and national borders. /

whose city of Sevastopol has a special status,” the Kremlin statement said.

Yeah, and I bet the people of Sevastopol believe that Putin really, really loves them and that the city’s ‘special status’ doesn’t have anything to do with it being the base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Speaking of Sevastopol…

What a Turnout! 123% of Sevastopol, Crimea Voted for Merger With Mother Russia

I’m sure Ron Paul considers that to be an ‘honest’ election. /

Resist We Much on March 17, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Aww, got your panties wet, day dreaming, alas, again, about how your commy friends might rule that part of the world (an arm pit otherwise) once more :)…heck, what about the JOOS…you haven’t posted anything anti semitic on this thread yet, or is the wrong one :)…come on now, the JOOOS must be behind this Ukraine mess somehow, think again, harder :)… jimver on March 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM

What a tool.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM

But Sandra Flunk is being denied free condoms by a Catholic institution!

Whitey Ford on March 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Sorry can, I didn’t notice you had a board game proving everything!

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Akzed:

This whole Crimea/Ukraine Power Grab,..is a Boinking crock of sh*t,
if the GutLess one,..would of Armed up Ukraine,…or sent in a more
show of force, maybes Puty would see the light!

Now,..since the West are all Talk, (yes,Canada Too),the dominoe
affect/effect will go down!

And to think, the Rooskies T-95 are patrolling the North,…
and, buzzing GAUM’s US B-1, B-2 Bomber Base with Nuclear tipped
cruise-missles!!

And Hopey/Changeys on the #$$%^&*()(*&*^&%^%$#$%^&*&(*)(*(&*^&%$#%^&*(
@#$%^&*()_)()*&^%^%#$%$^%&*&()_(*&^%%^$%^&*(),

Boinking golf course!!!———————–:0
=================================================

US scrambles jet fighters after Russian nuclear bombers circle American airspace over Guam

By Helen Pow

PUBLISHED: 18:15 GMT, 16 February 2013 | UPDATED: 20:20 GMT, 16 February 2013
******

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2279699/Russian-bombers-US-scrambles-jet-fighters-Russian-nuclear-bombers-circle-airspace-Guam.html

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Obama would have loved to challenge him on that if he had seen those comments that day.

rogerb on March 17, 2014 at 5:10 PM

MeanWhile tho,…………..

Libya
25m
Militia leader Jadran in statement claims the US military ‘blatantly violated international maritime laws’ by boarding the ship in international waters – @Jomana*NN
====================================

Cyprus
13h
US Navy SEAL team boarded and took control of seized oil tanker ‘Morning Glory’ off Cyprus – @DeptofDefense
read more on defense.gov

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:11 PM

….so!….when is JugEars going to “speak” again?

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Do you really think Putin is going to invade a NATO country…?

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Why not? Between the weak American President and all the Paulbots willing to give him Sudetenland Crimea Ukraine, what’s to stop him? The German Army?

Adjoran on March 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Ukraine is rich in natural resources: coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel and uranium, and others. The reserves of sulfur are the largest in the world, the reserves of mercury ore are the second largest. Also more than 5% of world reserves of iron ore are concentrated in Ukraine.

There are oil and gas deposits but their reserves are not significant (the reserves of these fossil fuels were partly depleted during the Soviet period).

Coal is the main fossil fuel of Ukraine. It is mined in the Donetsk and Lviv-Volyn basins. Donetsk Basin (Donbass) is the largest in Ukraine. It is located on the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts.

The area of the basin is about 60,000 sq. km. (50,000 sq. km. within Ukrainian border). The eastern part of the Donetsk Basin is located in Rostov oblast of Russia. Industrial coal mining began in 1795.

This region, in east-central Ukraine, is industrial heartland of the country and one of the major heavy-industrial and mining-metallurgical complexes of Europe. The region is the most urbanized, and russified area of Ukraine. The key cities are Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Donetsk.

Besides its basic mining industries, Donetsk Basin has highly developed ferrous-metals industries that produce iron and steel in large quantities. Durable goods manufactured in Donetsk Basin include mining and metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives, and tractors.

Along with coal Ukraine has rich deposits of iron ore (about 46% of all of the former USSR). Uranium ore that is used in nuclear power plants, is mined in Dnepropetrovsk and Kirovograd oblasts.

Ukraine is rich in building materials (granite, marble, labradorite, chalk, marl, sandstone). The largest reserves of granite and labradorite are found in Zhitomir oblast.

In the volume of Ukrainian industrial production mining industry accounts for 11,1%.

Ukrainian chemical industry produces large amounts of coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid. Ukrainian food-processing industries yield granulated sugar and meat, fruit, and dairy products.

Light industry and consumer goods sectors of Ukraine are underdeveloped in comparison to its heavy industry and agriculture.

Emphasis mine.

thatsafactjack on March 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Putin issues declaration recognizing independent Crimea

Obama: “What’s that mean?”

Russian diplomat: “How’s my *ss tast, roughly speaking”

WisRich on March 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

What a tool.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Coming from a certified deranged/disturbed one :)… Comedy gold…

jimver on March 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Taste

WisRich on March 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Putin issues declaration recognizing independent Crimea

Yeah, next week’s meetings when these dudes meet are going to be interesting.

Europe says that the map didn’t just change even though it did. Granted it was a bloodless coup and not the Toledo Wars but it was a shift back to the old Soviet Union.

And BTW, when I was in the former Yugoslavia this past summer it became clear that some folk longed for the good old days of Tito.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Wow. Did you intercept a cable or something?

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Nope, just stating the obvious…

OmahaConservative on March 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

It is very well known that Putin thinks the breakup of the USSR was a mistake. It’s not at all big leap of logic to see this in the broader context of attempting to re-assemble parts of the Soviet Empire. Doomberg on March 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

It was a mistake like an old man dying is a mistake. He said it was a tragedy, not a mistake, as if there was a choice. It collapsed under the weight of its own absurdity.

Ukraine basically has no military to speak of. Germany, Poland, different stories. Not to mention US troops in Europe. Russia couldn’t afford to invade Europe.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:19 PM

…Reset!

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Were they Bear Bombers B-29 ripoffs? This must be the 1,000th time they’ve done this.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia’s always on my mind

I’m back in the U.S.S.R
You don’t know how lucky you are boys
Back in the U.S.S.R

Electrongod on March 17, 2014 at 5:24 PM

…Reset!

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

…Recharge!

Which goes to the heart of why Obama “transformed” the map of Europe.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 5:24 PM

It is very well known that Putin thinks the breakup of the USSR was a mistake. It’s not at all big leap of logic to see this in the broader context of attempting to re-assemble parts of the Soviet Empire.

Doomberg on March 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

He better stop defending the Eastern Orthodox Church, then.

vlad martel on March 17, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Let me ask a question in return. Suppose he invaded Poland. Heck, let’s go one step further and suppose he invaded Germany. Whose positions would change? Who that says “Ukraine is not our problem” would then say “… but Germany is our problem?”

Nobody would.

Doomberg on March 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Yeah, I would.

The Ukraine isnt our business because we have no treaty obligations there. We just suddenly made our business what simply wasnt our business and gave our word post-facto. We had no intention to be serious about it, had no reason to be serious about it and no means to be serious about it. We tried to guarantee spilled milk, which was stupid.

If Putin tries a stunt like that with a NATO member it means war and thats not a matter of choice. And for that we have still assets in Europe.

Valkyriepundit on March 17, 2014 at 5:25 PM

From the Daily Beast…

Exclusive: Russia Will Sanction U.S. Senators

Sen. John McCain, who traveled to Kiev last weekend to meet with Ukrainian leaders, told The Daily Beast that he expects to be on the list and is happy about it.

“You think I’m not going to be on it?” McCain said. “I would be honored to be on that list.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/17/russia-will-sanction-u-s-officials.html

He’d be honored to be on the executive bathroom list at the senior center.

Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Nope, just stating the obvious… OmahaConservative on March 17, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Ok. You should play the MegaMillions. You sound like the kinda guy who knows the future and all.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:26 PM

If Putin tries a stunt like that with a NATO member it means war and thats not a matter of choice. And for that we have still assets in Europe. Valkyriepundit on March 17, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Careful, apparently reason and facts make you an anti-Semite on this board…

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

I guess this is an astounding revelation, but Russian history did not begin and end with communism.

vlad martel on March 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

I like his chair…Can I get a chair like Putin’s? – Obama

workingclass artist on March 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Were they Bear Bombers B-29 ripoffs? This must be the 1,000th time they’ve done this.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Akzed: Japanese AirSpace too, for the Japanese, its 105 times!!
Oh,..and B-52 comparable!!
=================================

Russia Flies Strategic Bombers Close to Japanese Airspace (Again)

Two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers flew the length of Japan’s airspace this weekend.
ankit-panda
By Ankit Panda
November 19, 2013
*****************

The Japanese Air Self-Defence Force (ASDF) was placed on high alert and scrambled jets after two Russian long-range Tu-95 strategic bombers (comparable to American B-52s) flew the length of the Ryukyu Island chain on Sunday. According to Ria Novosti, the bombers did not violate Japanese airspace.

The Japanese reaction to this sort of Russian activity has been observed for a while now. The ASDF has scrambled jets 105 times between July to September 2013 due to close-proximity Russian fly-bys.
(More….)
==========

http://thediplomat.com/2013/11/russia-flies-strategic-bombers-close-to-japanese-airspace-again/

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Putin issues declaration recognizing independent Crimea

Yeah, next week’s meetings when these dudes meet are going to be interesting.

Europe says that the map didn’t just change even though it did. Granted it was a bloodless coup and not the Toledo Wars but it was a shift back to the old Soviet Union.

And BTW, when I was in the former Yugoslavia this past summer it became clear that some folk longed for the good old days of Tito.

Happy Nomad on March 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Don’t know which part of the former Yugoslavia you went to, but Serbia has always been pro-Russia and looked up to the Russian leaders…their ‘change of direction’ towards the West is a somewhat recent development and a result of a younger generation of politicians getting in charge, but the ‘golden’ Tito era probably still feature prominently in their collective psyche… But I doubt though that can you find more than a handful of nostalgic of the old Tito era in Croatia or Slovenia (very old people, maybe)..

jimver on March 17, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Didn’t we guarantee Ukraine’s protection?

Yes, NATO is a paper tiger know.

Oil Can on March 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

The Ukrainian Parliament, elected in what everyone agreed at the time was a reasonably free and fair election, voted against joining NATO. So, Budapest punchline notwithstanding, we did not guarantee Ukraine’s protection.

That’s what NATO is for…

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Putin is no fan of socialism. He wants a stronger Russia and wants the Ukraine within that sphere of influence.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 5:01 PM

IMO he envisions Tsarist Russia not the USSR. They’re calling him Vlad the Great. I’m sure he likes that.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Let me ask a question in return. Suppose he invaded Poland. Heck, let’s go one step further and suppose he invaded Germany. Whose positions would change? Who that says “Ukraine is not our problem” would then say “… but Germany is our problem?”

Nobody would.

So NATO is essentially worthless, because most of the other members have little better than parade troops excepting the US and possibly the British.

Doomberg on March 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM

I’m sure the Germans and the Turks appreciate the sentiment.

But your lack of respect for our NATO allies aside, there’s a big difference b/t going into Ukraine, and going into Poland. There is an actual Russian history in Ukraine, whether Ukrainians like it or not. It’s kind of like Germany going into the Rhineland or Sudetenland. Had he stopped there, nobody would have said boo, and there likely would have been no WWII.

Putin goes into a place where Russia is clearly not welcome, like Poland/Germany, do you really think the rest of Europe isn’t going to sit up and take notice? They sure as hell did in 1939…

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 5:39 PM

IMO he envisions Tsarist Russia not the USSR. They’re calling him Vlad the Great. I’m sure he likes that.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

I would agree and he seems to want it united through Christianity, so much closer to a Czar than a Soviet.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 5:41 PM

If Putin tries a stunt like that with a NATO member it means war and thats not a matter of choice. And for that we have still assets in Europe.

Valkyriepundit on March 17, 2014 at 5:25 PM

I don’t like it. But I think you are absolutely right…

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 5:41 PM

But wait, wasn’t there an agreement back in 1997 between Ukraine and NATO concerning security assurances, especially from all five “official” parties of the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, in return for removing it’s nuclear weapons? So much for that. I’m sure Ukraine is still thinking that agreement was wonderful…right.

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Didn’t we guarantee Ukraine’s protection?
Yes, NATO is a paper tiger know. Oil Can on March 17, 2014 at 4:55 PM

No, and for good reason, but the Napoleon wannabes around here wish we had so somebody else’s kids could be jammed into the meat grinder for nothing.

Please someone, sketch for us your battle plan to dislodge Russia from Crimea. Start with logistics, and don’t bother with nukes. I have the funny feeling that you may as well try and plan for the Russians dislodging the US from Puerto Rico.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Metaphorically this is a grainy old black and white western drama where the new kid in town, proud of his imagined ability draws a line he carves into the floor with a Bowie knife, daring anyone to cross it. EVERYBODY including a blind old-timer, dying of tuberculosis, gleefully call his bluff and with slumped shoulders and hung head, the new kid slinks out the swinging doors. Real men back up their threats, community organizers show their backs to the world. Heaven help us all!!!!

MaiDee on March 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Retweeted by Mark Knoller
CBS Evening News ‏@CBSEveningNews 2h

Russian President Vladimir Putin signs order recognizing Crimea as a sovereign state: http://kremlin.ru/acts/20596

http://kremlin.ru/acts/20596
============================

Executive Order on recognising Republic of Crimea

March 17, 2014, 22:30

Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Recognising the Republic of Crimea.

The Executive Order reads, in part:
***********************************

“Given the declaration of will by the Crimean people in a nationwide referendum held on March 16, 2014, the Russian Federation is to recognise the Republic of Crimea as a sovereign and independent state, whose city of Sevastopol has a special status.”

The Executive Order comes into force on the day of its signing.

March 17, 2014, 22:30

News map: in the Russian regions / in the world

http://eng.kremlin.ru/acts/6884

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

But wait, wasn’t there an agreement back in 1997 between Ukraine and NATO concerning security assurances, especially from all five “official” parties of the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, in return for removing it’s nuclear weapons?

NO.

So much for that. I’m sure Ukraine is still thinking that agreement was wonderful…right.

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM

It only applies if nuclear weapons are used and it only calls for going to the international community.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I would agree and he seems to want it united through Christianity, so much closer to a Czar than a Soviet.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Strange isn’t it. For some 80 years religion was outlawed and now it is being used to unite the country.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 5:50 PM

But wait, wasn’t there an agreement back in 1997 between Ukraine and NATO concerning security assurances, especially from all five “official” parties of the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, in return for removing it’s nuclear weapons? So much for that. I’m sure Ukraine is still thinking that agreement was wonderful…right.

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM

What part of “they voted ‘No’ on NATO membership” did you not get?

Had they voted “Yes” on membership, we would be having a very different discussion right now…

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 5:53 PM

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 5:48 PM

If so, that wasn’t made clear within the charter, unless renouncing nuclear weapons is the same as refusing to use them, which seems wrong considering how agreements with Syria and other countries have gone.

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_25457.htm

Excerpt:

NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, economic prosperity and its status as a non-nuclear weapon state, and the principle of inviolability of frontiers, as key factors of stability and security in Central and Eastern Europe and in the continent as a whole.

NATO and Ukraine will develop a crisis consultative mechanism to consult together whenever Ukraine perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence, or security.

NATO welcomes and supports the fact that Ukraine received security assurances from all five nuclear-weapon states parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT, and recalls the commitments undertaken by the United States and the United Kingdom, together with Russia, and by France unilaterally, which took the historic decision in Budapest in 1994 to provide Ukraine with security assurances as a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.

Ukraine’s landmark decision to renounce nuclear weapons and to accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state greatly contributed to the strengthening of security and stability in Europe and has earned Ukraine special stature in the world community. NATO welcomes Ukraine’s decision to support the indefinite extension of the NPT and its contribution to the withdrawal and dismantlement of nuclear weapons which were based on its territory.

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM

JohnGalt23 on March 17, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Despite that, that doesn’t remove the fact that the Ukraine was screwed over by the international community. The state gave up it’s nuclear weapons in return for security assurances by the members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and got snake eyes in return now. Really sucks to be them. Then again, the international community has always been selective when it comes to what treaties they will adhere to, so not really surprising. And then we wonder why guys like Putin and Assad thumb their nose at us.

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Strange isn’t it. For some 80 years religion was outlawed and now it is being used to unite the country.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 5:50 PM

It is far more difficult to eliminate human nature than the Utopian leftists imagined.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Strange isn’t it. For some 80 years religion was outlawed and now it is being used to unite the country.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Tell that to Father Mykola Kvych and the other ‘Vatican spies’ in Crimea.

“Get out Vatican spies.”

- Sign left on apartment door of Greek Catholic priest, who was kidnapped by pro-Russian armed forces

Resist We Much on March 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.

So if Kiev is vaporized in a nuclear fireball the United States is committed to going to the United Nations.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 6:05 PM

If nothing else, we’re providing the Rooskies with some belly laughs. Barry and Kerry. Abbott and Costello Dumb and Dumber

butch on March 17, 2014 at 4:53

VorDaj on March 17, 2014 at 6:09 PM

So if Kiev is vaporized in a nuclear fireball the United States is committed to going to the United Nations. sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Some lessons can only be learned the hard way.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 6:11 PM

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 6:05 PM

True, but the agreement was also contingent on that the Ukraine disarmed itself of it’s arsenal, hence being a “non-nuclear weapon state”. I haven’t heard how effective it was, but all talk seems to be that it was so.

I’m sure such a presence would have really been useful in deterring a certain power hungry despot, but so much for that.

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 6:12 PM

pure speculation here but I expect the ukraine to be absorbed in next 2 months.
then, as I stated weeks ago, poland becomes the wild card and possible trigger point.
the ukraine is lost (in a manner of speaking) to russia and there is nothing we can do about it.
and since the politicians in this country have not had the balls to actually declare war in the past 80 years or so anything we try to do regarding poland will be another korea type conflict.
I hope i am wrong but so far everything I have expected has happened.
boy I would LOVE to be wrong.

dmacleo on March 17, 2014 at 6:14 PM

It is far more difficult to eliminate human nature than the Utopian leftists imagined.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Indeed.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 6:14 PM

IMO he envisions Tsarist Russia not the USSR. They’re calling him Vlad the Great. I’m sure he likes that.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Vlad the Great crushes Barry the Pharoah. Ha, ha, ha!

PootyPoot on March 17, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Sharrukin…

Did you do a happy dance when the voted results came in?

Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 6:16 PM

I’m sure such a presence would have really been useful in deterring a certain power hungry despot, but so much for that.

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 6:12 PM

We should send this to the Ukraine.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Zeke Miller ‏@ZekeJMiller 1h

Russia Will Sanction U.S. Senators http://thebea.st/Owkejh via @thedailybeast
View summary
==============

Washington Bureau
03.17.14
Exclusive: Russia Will Sanction U.S. Senators
*********************************************

Putin is set to respond to Obama’s sanctions of Russian officials with his own list. Several U.S. Senators and officials will be banned from visiting Russia, including Sen. Dick Durbin.

U.S. senators, congressmen and top Obama administration officials are sure to be on Vladimir Putin’s sanctions list; a response to the Obama Administration’s announcement on Monday that 7 Russian officials and 4 Ukrainian officials would be barred from holding assets or traveling to the United States.
(More…..)
===========

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/17/russia-will-sanction-u-s-officials.html

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 6:20 PM

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Lmao indeed

zacmidnigh on March 17, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Next up, Putin declares the sale of the Alaska territory to US in 1867 for $7.5 million a mistake and wants it back.

Illegal aliens in California vote to make southern California a part of Mexico. Mexico invades Disneyland.

albill on March 17, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Obama Schedule || Monday, March 17, 2014
MARCH 16, 2014
10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing 10:55 am || Meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 3:15 pm || Visits with wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center All times Eastern Live stream of Carney briefing at 1:00 pm

EMPTY. CHAIR.

Key West Reader on March 17, 2014 at 6:29 PM

boy I would LOVE to be wrong. dmacleo on March 17, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Then embrace it.

Poland is NATO. We’re conducting joint exercises in the region. We have people and assets there for a reason, and it ain’t to defend Ukraine. It’s to defend NATO. Ukraine opted out of NATO. Sucks for them I know.

Sharrukin… Did you do a happy dance when the voted results came in? Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Would you and Bill Kristol do a happy dance if the Russians killed my son in Crimea?

Please draw us up a plan of battle for dislodging Russia from Crimea. Funny thing is, I keep asking, and dopes keep calling names and all – but they never present their battle plans.

Never mind, what the hell, I’ll do it for you.

1. Get a lot of Americans killed.

2. Something.

3. Free Crimea!

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Retweeted by NATOSource
Canadian Forces ‏@CanadianForces 1h

Canadians land in Norway – Approximately 350 Canadian soldiers are in Norway as part of a massive NATO cold-weathe… http://ow.ly/2EN3MU

https://twitter.com/NATOSource

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Maybe you should keep them in Canada so you can hold onto Quebec, ay?

slickwillie2001 on March 17, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Retweeted by NATOSource
Canadian Forces ‏@CanadianForces 1h

Canadians land in Norway – Approximately 350 Canadian soldiers are in Norway as part of a massive NATO cold-weathe… http://ow.ly/2EN3MU

https://twitter.com/NATOSource

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 5:00 PM

At’ll show em!

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 7:02 PM

I must say, if they are the same caliber men that landed on Juno we’re in good stead!

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Please draw us up a plan of battle for dislodging Russia from Crimea. Funny thing is, I keep asking, and dopes keep calling names and all – but they never present their battle plans.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 6:55 PM

They have no plan and no intent to do anything whatsoever. Its all bluster from the getgo, and its offensive to them if everyone doesn’t join in on the empty posturing.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 6:55 PM

I spent years training for defending fulda gap, and if you think nato will do much of anything now you’re wrong.
no politician around now has the guts to actually declare war and do anything more than an eyewash action.
if the crazy bastard decides to take poland nato will play war, plenty of people will die, and poland will fall.
todays society does not have the stomach to actually fight a war. the politicians will sing kumbaya while circle jerking themselves and making soldiers pay with blood while tying their hands.
the prior policy of the US carrying most of nato policies in that region is biting us in the ass now, we no longer have the coverage there we had in the late 80′s and the european countries themselves never really prepared to deal with anything w/o us being there.

dmacleo on March 17, 2014 at 7:04 PM

They have no plan and no intent to do anything whatsoever. Its all bluster from the getgo, and its offensive to them if everyone doesn’t join in on the empty posturing.

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Don’t matter. One thing I know is when I smell a shill for Putin. Working overtime this evening?

Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Would you and Bill Kristol do a happy dance if the Russians killed my son in Crimea?

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 6:55 PM

I have people in Sevastopol and I have a son in the US Army who just returned from his second tour in Afghanistan. I do not want the two to meet in this way.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 7:25 PM

I spent years training for defending fulda gap, and if you think nato will do much of anything now you’re wrong.

Did your MOS involve predicting future political realities?

no politician around now has the guts to actually declare war and do anything more than an eyewash action.

We’ve gone from Crimea, which has been Russian since 1783 but for Kruschev ceding it to Ukraine on a whim in 1954, to the full on Russian invasion of Europe! Please people get a grip! Giving Crimea to Ukraine was like the US giving DC to Maryland!

if the crazy bastard decides to take poland nato will play war, plenty of people will die, and poland will fall.

He just took Crimea, now he can prance and preen on the world stage as Vlad the Great. Why would he want to throw all that away by getting his arse kicked in Poland? The most expensive army in the world is the second best, which is what he has.

todays society does not have the stomach to actually fight a war. the politicians will sing kumbaya while circle jerking themselves and making soldiers pay with blood while tying their hands.

Today’s society will swallow whatever Fox and CNN et al toss into its yap.

the prior policy of the US carrying most of nato policies in that region is biting us in the ass now, we no longer have the coverage there we had in the late 80′s and the european countries themselves never really prepared to deal with anything w/o us being there. dmacleo on March 17, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Well, the Russians don’t have the same military in place they did then neither. The plan is, as I’m sure you know, that Europe has military forces to fight with ours to protect them. If they don’t fight to protect themselves, like, you know, Ukraine didn’t fight to protect itself from the Russians, then they’ll deserve whatever they get under the Russian boot heel.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 7:30 PM

sharrukin on March 17, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Don’t matter. One thing I know is when I smell a shill for Putin. Working overtime this evening?

Walter L. Newton on March 17, 2014 at 7:08 PM

“…shill for Putin…” When one runs out of logic and facts only name calling is left.

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Kaffa on March 17, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Good LORD, deliver us.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Putin is set to respond to Obama’s sanctions of Russian officials with his own list. Several U.S. Senators and officials will be banned from visiting Russia, including Sen. Dick Durbin.

U.S. senators, congressmen and top Obama administration officials are sure to be on Vladimir Putin’s sanctions list; a response to the Obama Administration’s announcement on Monday that 7 Russian officials and 4 Ukrainian officials would be barred from holding assets or traveling to the United States.
(More…..)
===========

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/17/russia-will-sanction-u-s-officials.html

canopfor on March 17, 2014 at 6:20 PM

And Rand and Ron Paul will be on the welcome list.

rlwo2008 on March 17, 2014 at 7:33 PM

“The 1980s called and they want their foreign policy back”. Frigging moron.

Jack_Burton on March 17, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Did your MOS involve predicting future political realities?

yes, to a point. dealt with military intelligence a lot and tracked incursions.

Well, the Russians don’t have the same military in place they did then neither. The plan is, as I’m sure you know, that Europe has military forces to fight with ours to protect them. If they don’t fight to protect themselves, like, you know, Ukraine didn’t fight to protect itself from the Russians, then they’ll deserve whatever they get under the Russian boot heel.

Akzed on March 17, 2014 at 7:30 PM

they don’t need the same one in place as the only that could stop them is no longer there.
and I agree, if they don’t protect themselves they deserve it. the EU forces cannot stop him, so thats sort of a moot point anyways. this is why I say our prior policies of carrying nato are biting us in the ass.
if he is crazy enough to try to take poland we cannot stop him. he has the upper hand here no matter what anyone thinks.
so we need to make some decisions about how we deploy. either we augment nato or we carry nato or we get out. the EU countries will not step up their military spending and take care of themselves so augment discussion a waste of time.
so that leaves carry nato.
and todays political climate won’t allow that. people want welfare more than strong military.
which leaves getting out of nato. and that also has a lot of risks.
IOW we are screwed, there is no right answer. and I don’t have any answers either, and I am worried.
putin has the upper hand and can do pretty much anything he wants.

dmacleo on March 17, 2014 at 7:43 PM

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