Russia hit with new Western sanctions as unrest grows in eastern Ukraine

posted at 8:01 am on April 28, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The US and EU finally escalated sanctions on Russia as unrest expands in eastern Ukraine. Instead of going after the Russian economy on a broad front, though, the new round of sanctions still mainly targets individuals and a few Russian corporations. Will this incremental approach work? Not even Barack Obama is sure:

President Obama said his administration will today impose a new round of sanctions on Russia, targeting an “expanded list of individuals and companies,” with particular focus on some high-tech defense exports.

The president, speaking during a joint press conference with President Benigno Aquino, said the sanctions will “remain targeted,”  applied in coordination with European allies, though will not hit Russian President Vladimir Putin directly.

The “goal is not to go after Putin personally, the goal is to change his calculus,” Obama said, “and encourage him to walk the walk and not just talk the talk when it comes to diplomatically resolving the crisis in Ukraine.”

Obama said he wants Russia to support free and fair elections in Ukraine next month but that Putin has not embraced that path.

“These sanctions reflect the next stage in a calibrated effort to change Russia’s behavior,” he said. “We don’t yet know if it’s going to work.”

The US has led on sanctions from the beginning — but that’s not saying much. The incremental approach leaves room for further escalation, but that kind of approach was more suited to prevention when the crisis remained localized in Crimea. It’s clear that the seizures of buildings and the violence within eastern Ukraine has been directed from Moscow, and now Latvia says that Russia has started a similar campaign there. The time for narrowly-targeted sanctions has passed.  Will these incremental increases in sanctions work? No. Next question?

To be fair to Obama, though, the EU has been very reluctant to move forward with any sanctions. The US doesn’t have the kind of leverage on its own that Europe does in trade with Russia, which is why Obama has had to push the EU to do much of anything in response to Vladimir Putin’s resurgent imperialism. This was probably as far as Obama could get European leaders to go.

In a sign of how effective we can expect this to be, the mayor of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine got shot in the back last night, a wound that may be mortal:

The mayor of Ukraine’s second-largest city was shot and wounded Monday amid spiraling unrest in the country’s eastern regions, according to his staff.

A Ukrainian news agency said Mayor Gennady Kernes of Kharkiv was undergoing emergency surgery for a bullet wound after being shot in the back, according to the Reuters news agency.

“The doctors are fighting to save his life,” the mayor’s spokeswoman Tatiana Gruzinskaya told the Ukrainian agency, according to Reuters.

In Slavyansk, the rebels who abducted Western observers from OCSE put them on display for the media overnight. The rebels released one of their hostages, but then seized a television station in order to force the broadcast of uninterrupted Russian propaganda in the area:

Seven European military officers and a translator being held hostage by pro-Russia separatists were paraded before the news media on Sunday, hours after another group of captives, three Ukrainian security agents, were shown on Russian TV huddled in a room, blindfolded and bloody, without pants, their arms bound with packing tape.

Later in the day, pro-Russia activists took control of the state TV center in this regional capital without firing a shot. Members of a separatist movement called the Donetsk People’s Republic, aided by a fight club from the eastern city of Kharkiv, stormed the broadcast facility, saying they were sick of watching news aired through the prism of their enemies in Kiev and demanding an undiluted stream of Russian programing.

The day’s events showed eastern Ukraine slipping further into chaos, with armed separatists openly defying state authority and local police either folding in sympathy or admitting that they felt too intimidated to stop the pro-Russia groups.

One would think that Europe might consider a little stronger action after Russia’s proxies kidnapped their observers, but apparently the trade issue is more important to them than this kind of lawlessness. Are the Baltic states taking a lesson from this flaccid Western response? I’d bet on it.


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Boy,…this ought to really get Puty good!!

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:09 AM

We all see how well sanctions work in Iran, Iraq, blah blah blah. Weaksauce

Mini-14 on April 28, 2014 at 8:10 AM

The assumption here is that the US and EU can hurt Russia with sanctions more than Russia can hurt the US and the EU.

This is not a good assumption.

These sanctions may be little more than a piece of paper.

farsighted on April 28, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Will these incremental increases in sanctions work? No. Next question?
=======================================================================

Put NATO,…on Full Alert on da borders,..that are concerned!!

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Ugh,…I don’t know who’s worser’er, ..Hopey or Puty, in calculating!!

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
2m
Russia hopes to retain defense ties with Ukraine, Russia’s President Putin says – Interfax

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Russia hit with new Western sanctions as unrest grows in eastern Ukraine Western Russia

Fixed for reality.

I wonder what Putin thinks about Donald Sterling’s comments.

Happy Nomad on April 28, 2014 at 8:15 AM

I had the, er, privilege of listening to President Obama’s presser with President Aquino live about five hours ago, since I now live in the Philippines.

Twenty-five minutes into the press conference, Obama had said a lot of good things, albeit marred by a bit of global-warming myth-mongering.

But a tough question from Fox News sent Mr Obama into a lengthy monologue full of misinformation & Bush-bashing.

Let it go, Mr President.

*shakes head*

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM

https://twitter.com/NATOSource

Jackson Diehl ‏@JacksonDiehl 7h

My column asks whether Estonia and other Baltic states are vulnerable to Putin’s “little green men.” http://wapo.st/QO7SV9

Retweeted by NATOSource
Simonas Satunas ‏@SimonasSatunas 5h

4 #UK jets “Eurofighter Typhoon” lands in #Lithuania. Solidarity! http://www.ibtimes.com/uk-sends-typhoon-fighters-baltic-states-guard-against-russia-1561859 … @NATOSource @LukeDCoffey pic.twitter.com/Xt2b1b165S

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:20 AM

But a tough question from Fox News sent Mr Obama into a lengthy monologue full of misinformation & Bush-bashing.

Let it go, Mr President.

*shakes head*

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM

itsnotaboutme:}

Hopey is bitter on his OutStanding Stellar Superiorority Super Smart
Foreign Policy Powers:
**********************

Tweets All / No replies

Retweeted by Ed Henry
Jonathan Karl ‏@jonkarl 36m

Asked by @edhenryTV to describe the Obama Doctrine, @BarackObama says, “I doubt I am going to have time to outline my entire foreign policy”
Expand
=========

Retweeted by Ed Henry
Josh Lederman ‏@joshledermanAP 37m

Obama tells Fox’s @edhenryTV there have been positive op-eds on his foreign policy. “I’m not sure you ran them”
Expand

https://twitter.com/edhenrytv

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 4:52 AM

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:22 AM

If we look throughout history, the interior countries in any alliance take advantage of the border countries to do the heavy lifting.

It was easy for France to triangulate in NATO 30 years ago because West Germany was on the border.

A thousand years ago it was Eastern Europe holding the borders for the other Holy Roman countries.

nemo on April 28, 2014 at 8:23 AM

“We don’t yet know if it’s going to work.”

What? The smartest man in the world can’t project success? It’s all show, folks. Barky has no intention to punish Putin.

HiJack on April 28, 2014 at 8:25 AM

But a tough question from Fox News sent Mr Obama into a lengthy monologue full of misinformation & Bush-bashing.

Let it go, Mr President.

*shakes head*

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Ah! The old reliable full schoolmarm with a moral outrage twist. Works every time!

Happy Nomad on April 28, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Obama tells Fox’s @edhenryTV there have been positive op-eds on his foreign policy. “I’m not sure you ran them”

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 4:52 AM

2 parts arrogance, one part passive-aggressive, and a dash of bully.

Happy Nomad on April 28, 2014 at 8:27 AM

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM

itsnotaboutme:}

Jonathan Karl ‏@jonkarl 4h

Obama declines to define an Obama Doctrine but his comments boil down to this: slowly & steadily advance US interests, avoid unnecessary war
===================================================================

Jonathan Karl ‏@jonkarl 4h

Obama on his cautious foreign policy: “You hit singles, you doubles and occasional you may be able to hit home runs”
============================================

Jonathan Karl ‏@jonkarl 4h

The President says his critics were advocates of a “disastrous” war and Iraq who haven’t learned the lessons of that war.
==================================================

Jonathan Karl ‏@jonkarl 4h

Asked by @edhenryTV to describe the Obama Doctrine, @BarackObama says, “I doubt I am going to have time to outline my entire foreign policy”

https://twitter.com/jonkarl

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:28 AM

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 4:52 AM

2 parts arrogance, one part passive-aggressive, and a dash of bully.

Happy Nomad on April 28, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Hoppy Nomad: I chuckled at that,…thank gawd for Twitter:)

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:29 AM

But a tough question from Fox News sent Mr Obama into a lengthy monologue full of misinformation & Bush-bashing.

Let it go, Mr President.

*shakes head*

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Ah! The old reliable full schoolmarm with a moral outrage twist. Works every time!

Happy Nomad on April 28, 2014 at 8:26 AM

I should clarify that the Bush-bashing was slightly veiled:
W wasn’t named, but there was a lot of talk about how bad things were 10 yrs ago.

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 8:34 AM

“These sanctions reflect the next stage in a calibrated effort to change Russia’s behavior,” he said. “We don’t yet know if it’s going to work. But on the plus side, the Ukrainian Army has 7.1 million sign-ups thanks to our hashtag game on Twitter, so put that in your pipe and smoke it Koch Brothers!”

forest on April 28, 2014 at 8:34 AM

pffftttt….

workingclass artist on April 28, 2014 at 8:37 AM

What is it with this idiot’s constant use of the word “calculus” when he flaps his lips? Does he thinks it makes him sound intelligent? Well, it doesn’t…

dpduq on April 28, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Ukrainian Updates ‏@Ukroblogger 1h

What a Monday: #Kharkiv mayor assassinated; #Kyiv Obl marshrutka fired on; #Russian terrorists take another town, #Kostiantynivka. #Ukraine

https://twitter.com/Ukroblogger

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Sanctions: How Did We Get Here?
*******************************

Published on 24 Apr 2014

An overview of the steps that have led the United States and the international community to apply sanctions on those responsible for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jshAX9ialok

https://www.youtube.com/user/statevideo

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Well, at least it was only a mayor, and not an Archduke, so there is that.

OldEnglish on April 28, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Not even Barack Obama is sure

LOL.

It’s not that he doesn’t know anything.

He doesn’t even suspect anything.

Bigbullets on April 28, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Jonathan Karl ‏@jonkarl 4h

Obama on his cautious foreign policy: “You hit singles, you doubles and occasional you may be able to hit home runs”

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Unfortunately, he keeps grounding out at first.

The scary thing is, this isn’t just a failure of Obama’s foreign policy. It’s symptomatic of his whole presidency. If we had increased fossil fuel production in this country, approved more exports, and built Keystone we’d have a lot more leverage over Russia. So all we have is empty posturing.

More Obama-fail.

PetecminMd on April 28, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Reuters Top News ‏@Reuters 3m

President Obama announces new U.S. sanctions on Russia over #Ukraine: http://reut.rs/1hEk6cZ pic.twitter.com/QvwjsQRxMI
===================================================

Obama announces new U.S. sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

By Matt Spetalnick and Thomas Grove

MANILA/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:46am EDT
******************************************************

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/28/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSBREA3O16720140428

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
3s
White House: ‘Russia has done nothing to meet its Geneva commitments and in fact has further escalated the crisis’ – Statement via @NBCNews
end of alert
==============

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
2m
US sanctions 7 Russian government officials, 17 companies with links to President Vladimir Putin – @AP
end of alert

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
21s
White House: Officials and companies facing new sanctions will be subject to an asset freeze, ban on US visas – Statement via @NBCNews

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:00 AM

There is a Russian VP in North Korea today as well.

Murphy9 on April 28, 2014 at 9:01 AM

One would think that Europe might consider a little stronger action after Russia’s proxies kidnapped their observers, but apparently the trade issue is more important to them than this kind of lawlessness.

Putting fiscal issues ahead of lives possibly being lost?

Reminiscent of Rand Paul going soft on abortion.

itsnotaboutme on April 28, 2014 at 9:02 AM

what is the difference between the anti-Yanukovich demonstrators that brought down the duly elected president and the pro-Russina demonstrators?

avi natan on April 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
1m
Ukrainian troop numbers in southeast should be of deep concern to OSCE, Russia’s foreign ministry says – Interfax
end of alert

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:06 AM

avi natan on April 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Ethnicity.

OldEnglish on April 28, 2014 at 9:07 AM

the goal is to change his calculus,” Obama said

Not sure that I trust Barry with “calculus”.

It’s already been demonstrated that “math is hard” for this Administration.

dissent555 on April 28, 2014 at 9:08 AM

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Unfortunately, he keeps grounding out at first.

The scary thing is, this isn’t just a failure of Obama’s foreign policy. It’s symptomatic of his whole presidency. If we had increased fossil fuel production in this country, approved more exports, and built Keystone we’d have a lot more leverage over Russia. So all we have is empty posturing.

More Obama-fail.

PetecminMd on April 28, 2014 at 8:53 AM

PetecminMd: Biden was to be his Foreign Policy Expert,..according to
the NYT,..and yes,…is a boinking disaster:)

Biden Brings Long Foreign Policy Experience to Obama’s Presidential Bid
A veteran of the Senate, Biden will try to help Obama tie McCain to Bush’s troubled overseas legacy

By Thomas Omestad
August 25, 2008
***************

n the realm of foreign policy,

Joseph Biden brings to Barack Obama’s presidential bid

something it lacks at the top—long experience with a range of countries,

problems, and foreign leaders.

During his short-lived presidential nomination run—and before he was tapped this weekend to be Obama’s vice presidential running mate—the Delaware senator argued

that the failures in Bush administration foreign policy and troubling trends overseas mean

that foreign policy should be front-and-center in this year’s race for the White House.

Obama’s selection of Biden signals

that the Democrats will indeed try to turn disquiet over falling U.S. standing in the world,

Washington’s troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan,

and other anxiety-producing events

like Russia’s invasion of Georgia to their political advantage.
(More..)
========

http://www.usnews.com/news/campaign-2008/articles/2008/08/25/biden-brings-long-foreign-policy-experience-to-obamas-presidential-bid

canopfor on August 4, 2013 at 6:35 PM

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Well, at least it was only a mayor, and not an Archduke, so there is that.

OldEnglish on April 28, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Thanks for the laugh.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 28, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Right, right, a little more calculus . . . that should do it.

rplat on April 28, 2014 at 9:16 AM

They are developing a strongly worded hashtag. And will close the tweet with >:(

tdarrington on April 28, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
6m
US sanctions target Russian deputy PM Dmitry Kozak, Rosneft president Igor Sechin, among others – White House statement
end of alert

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Well, at least it was only a mayor, and not an Archduke, so there is that.

OldEnglish on April 28, 2014 at 8:47 AM

OldEnglish: Lol,..you is baaaad, good point tho—-:0

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
3s
White House: ‘Russia has done nothing to meet its Geneva commitments and in fact has further escalated the crisis’ – Statement via @NBCNews
end of alert

Not to mention their hashtag commitments!

FadeToBolivia on April 28, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Boy, when Our Dear Leader talks all math-y and uses those brainy Harvard words like “incremental”, he is just AWESOME.

Those Ruskies better watch it- pretty soon he’s going to wheel out the big rrrrracism gun (Russia is an apartheid state! Teh gheys!)

Sooooo awesome. And humble?
Come on, you know you want to say it with me.

Lib-BIE? Help a sistah out here.

Dolce Far Niente on April 28, 2014 at 9:39 AM

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

:) G’day, canopfor.

OldEnglish on April 28, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
6m
EU is adding 15 more officials to Russia sanctions list to protest meddling in Ukraine crisis, diplomats say – @AP
read more on hosted.ap.org

https://twitter.com/AP

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

:) G’day, canopfor.

OldEnglish on April 28, 2014 at 9:42 AM

OldEnglish: Good to see you as well eh,….carry on:0

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Allen West ‏@AllenWest Apr 17

If Ukraine had Muslim B’hood, Obama would be delivering F16s. But here’s what I’d do http://bit.ly/1j8ZveB #guardianoftherepublic

https://twitter.com/AllenWest

canopfor on April 28, 2014 at 10:38 AM

You can do better, Barry.

TimBuk3 on April 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM

what is the difference between the anti-Yanukovich demonstrators that brought down the duly elected president and the pro-Russina demonstrators?

avi natan on April 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Nothing except we’re supposed to be all up in arms because the Ruskies! Seems odd to me that so many so-called conservatives begin salivating like Pavlov’s dogs just because Russia is mentioned, despite the fact that the government (duly elected and legitimate) of Ukraine was brought down by an illegal coup.

theblackcommenter on April 28, 2014 at 11:03 AM

…this will make Putin piss in his momspants!

KOOLAID2 on April 28, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Half-assed solutions from a half-assed President.

GarandFan on April 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

The assumption here is that the US and EU can hurt Russia with sanctions more than Russia can hurt the US and the EU.

This is not a good assumption

Huh?

That’s not just a good assumption, that’s basic fact.

everdiso on April 28, 2014 at 12:07 PM

If Putin doesn’t tow the line pretty soon, Obama will block Putin from the SoS twitter account.

Dasher on April 28, 2014 at 1:16 PM

One would think that Europe might consider a little stronger action after Russia’s proxies kidnapped their observers, but apparently the trade issue is more important to them than this kind of lawlessness.

To paraphrase:

Those who sacrifice liberty for trade issues deserve neither and will lose both.

jnelchef on April 28, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Those who sacrifice liberty for trade issues deserve neither and will lose both.

jnelchef on April 28, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Just a reminder: the fascist junta that overthrew the democratically elected government of Ukraine is not the cause of “liberty”.

David Blue on April 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM