Russian parliament essentially declares war on Ukraine

The Russian parliament today unanimously endorsed “the use of force” in the neighboring country of Ukraine, as the crisis in the region escalates significantly.

There are a lot of updates, all of them bad, and most of them via Twitter, as CNN has mostly b-list guests on, while MSNBC is talking about Justin Bieber.  With 500 channels on cable, there still is no decent coverage for a crisis that happens on a weekend.

There’s a lot of accurate “what can we really do?” discussion surrounding this crisis.  The UN Security Council is a joke, especially with Russia being a permanent (i.e., vetoing) member of that council.

Obviously we’re not going into Ukraine militarily (though if the Russians truly invade, there might a discussion of arming the resistance).  It would seem Putin’s pressure points are the military, and the economy, especially the country’s oligarchs.  That would suggest that economic pressure, particularly against rich Russian friends-of-Putin like Alisher Usmanov, who I’ve written about before, might be one of the first lines of attack.

Probably the best thing to do is include the best and latest tweets, as that’s where I’m getting my best news from (you can find the best, latest tweets below).  Twitter really has become the new crisis news channel.  Also, here’s a quite good discussion of the crisis hosted by Judy Woodruff of the The NewsHour:

ukraine russia crisis



by-default-2014-03-01-at-12.09.51-PM ukraine russia crisis

by-default-2014-03-01-at-12.03.38-PM ukraine russia crisis by-default-2014-03-01-at-11.52.28-AM ukraine russia crisis

ukraine russia crisis ukraine russia crisis ukraine russia crisis by-default-2014-03-01-at-11.58.43-AMby-default-2014-03-01-at-11.57.58-AM ukraine russia crisis

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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92 Responses to “Russian parliament essentially declares war on Ukraine”

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  2. goulo says:

    “Putin fanboys”? You may be posting in the wrong website if you’re looking for “Putin fanboys”…

  3. ComradeRutherford says:

    Well, the IOC loved them some Hitler, too…

  4. ComradeRutherford says:

    “They do not use pejoratives, or bigoted terms to describe those that do not agree with them”

    What is really telling is that when these folks were in power they were considered extremist reactionaries, and now these same people are the voice of reason…

  5. Thom Allen says:

    The Olympic sponsors are now lining up to bankroll Putin’s “visit” to Crimea/Ukraine. I’ll bet Dow Chemical is also selling him Agent Orange like IG Farben sold Zyklon B to Hitler. Note that Visa just changed its motto to “More people go (to Ukraine) with Visa.” McDonalds and Coke are probably rushing to the area to open restaurants to serve the hungry combatants. The IOC is considering Uganda for the next Winter Games and NBC is doing what it does best, keeping very quiet about any conflict in the area.

  6. FLL says:

    Read my comments, then read your replies and tell me who writes “uncontrolled vitriol” and who’s projecting. You just keep repeating your hysterical accusation, “If you support a war with Russia, come out and say it,” even though nothing in any of my comments even implies that. All you’re doing is threatening to declare that anyone who criticizes Putin supports a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. Please don’t let me stop you. Keep making a jackass out of yourself. It’s comic relief.

  7. Badgerite says:

    Yes, but, there is a history here of Russian meddling in the electoral affairs of the Ukraine for at least a decade. And that ‘meddling’ involved trying to kill a presidential candidate by poisoning, and electoral fraud. I cannot blame the Ukrainians for wanting to be free of it. Which is what we are talking about here. Self determination of a people. The Russians have imposed a common thief on them as their president for over a decade. It is their own version of the Koch brothers. Only probably worse. I would be bristling too, were I Ukrainian. And I think a lot of the Russian ‘problem’ is self created.
    Putin has moved Russia slowly but surely back into its old authoritarian tendencies. That may benefit the current Russian power structure but what is in it for the neighboring countries that are expected to be a part of it. Corruption and a thief for a leader? Oligarchs calling the shots like in Russia. Lack of any meaningful civil rights? Lack of any real economic progress for most of the population? And then you look to Europe and you see a better life and a better political system. A truer one and a freer one.
    And that is the point. There should be a choice. Josh Marshall says it well when he calls Russia a pseudo democracy. They adhere to the surface forms, but the substance is cut out.
    No wonder they are pessimists.

  8. Badgerite says:

    Utter bullshit. This particular tactic of claiming the right to militarily invade to protect Russian ethnic minorities living there was used by Hitler to quell upset over his invasion of Czechoslovakia.
    He claimed to have to invade to protect the rights of the German populations that lived within their territories from abuse. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

  9. Badgerite says:

    He’s been showing his true colors for some time now. He has gradually centralized all political control, made the media into a government mouthpiece again, and outlawed any real dissent. It’s like watching someone who knows the formalities of democracy but not the heart of it. Maybe it has something to do with the pessimism at the heart of their worldview.

  10. Ford Prefect says:

    Dude. You’re projecting. How many posts of uncontrolled vitriol have you posted thus far? You’re really good at spewing hatred. I get that. But at some point, you delusional Cold Warriors are going to have to shit or get off the pot. Just once it would be nice for the Neos to stop being so delusional and look at the world as it exists and not according to your fever dreams.

    If you support a war with Russia, come out and say it. If you don’t, then you should get a grip and moderate your hateful tone. Mine is just fine, thank you very much.

  11. TampaZeke says:

    When gay people were drawing comparisons between Russia/Putin/Sochi in 2014 and Germany/Hitler/Berlin in 1936 we were told that we were being hysterical and the comparisons were outrageous. Now that Putin has invaded his “Poland” and his “Bundestag” is rubberstamping his every wish the comparisons are looking more and more valid by the minute!

  12. FLL says:

    You can’t read. Really, you can’t. At the beginning of my comment, I referred to Becca’s comment in which she offered the example of the U.S. invading Mexico in the hypothetical case of a Mexican civil war. I responded with my own example of the U.S. having had an easy opportunity to invade Cuba after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, and not having done so.

    Where, in either Becca’s comment or mine, did you read or infer that I was suggesting the insanity of the U.S. (or any major power, for that matter) going to war with Russia. Just because someone’s comment rubs you the wrong way, that is no reason for you to make an utter jackass out of yourself (in front of Americablog’s entire readership) and claim that I said something that I neither said nor remotely implied. Obviously I think that a war between nuclear powers like the U.S. and Russia is insanity to (hopefully) will never come to pass. Ford Prefect, get a grip on yourself. I think it would appear to most observers that you are going off the deep end, and it’s not pretty.

  13. Ford Prefect says:

    Okay, just get to the point, would you?

    You are suggesting the US go to war with Russia (a country possessing about 2,000 nuclear warheads) over Ukraine, just so NATO can expand onto the Russian border and the banksters can loot what they can from their economy?

    If that’s your wish, then you are clearly insane. Please demonstrate the compelling US national interest in going to war with Russia.

  14. douglas01 says:

    What a surprise, Russia, is acting just like the United States, being a bully and invading sovereign countries and we don’t like it. Don’t think we have any moral high ground to stand on.

  15. FLL says:

    On another topic, Becca’s comment below made me consider a similar hypothetical situation involving the U.S. a bordering Latin American country. Then I realized that I don’t have to consider a hypothetical situation because Cuba offers an actual historical example. The U.S. never sent American troops into Cuba during the 1960s through 1980s because of the military cooperation between Cuba and the Soviet Union. (The Bay of Pigs fiasco was a result of Kennedy arming a group of Cubans. He never considered sending in U.S. troops.) But what about after 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved and military cooperation between Cuba and Russia ended? Since 1991, the U.S. has had every opportunity to send troops into Cuba, whose government was and still is consistently hostile toward the U.S. But in the 23 years since 1991, the U.S. has never made any military moves against Cuba at all, so it seems that the U.S. is not playing according to Putin’s rules. I think its just as instructive to use an actual historical example as it is to use a hypothetical example.

  16. Houndentenor says:

    Terrible. I was just wondering this morning if Crimea isn’t the new Sudetland.

  17. FLL says:

    Here we have a spectacular example of creating accounting during the Yanukovych, as reported in yesterday’s New York Times (link here):

    Only last Sunday did the acting president, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, and the interim prime minister, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, get a first look at Ukraine’s accounts. “They were shocked after having seen the books,” a senior Western diplomat said.

    On Thursday, Mr. Yatsenyuk told Parliament that loans worth $37 billion had disappeared from Ukraine’s treasury during Mr. Yanukovych’s three-year leadership, and warned that unpopular measures were needed to salvage the economy. He added that as much as $70 billion had been sent out of the country during Mr. Yanukovych’s presidency.

    “I want to report to you — the state treasury has been robbed and is empty,” Mr. Yatsenyuk told Parliament.

    Now, Putin fanboys, tell me how the Russian military propping up a Putin ally in Ukraine will be in the interests of working people. The other argument in support of Putin is made by fundamentalist Christians (e.g., Bryan Fischer and Scott Lively), who argue that Putin’s anti-gay policies make him “a lion of Christianity,” as Fischer puts it. When you compare the two arguments, it’s clear that the fundamentalist Christians are being honest about their motives. What about those who pretend that Putin and Yanukovych steer a better course for working people? They believe no such thing. They are misrepresenting their motives.

  18. arnold schwertman says:

    we are getting more screwed up as we go damn

  19. lynchie says:

    Just phone Palin she can see Russia from her front deck. She has the goods to get this solved.

  20. lynchie says:

    We have never been ruled by competent people. Every 4 to 8 years we grab some boob who is cosmetically electable and put him in the white house. He surrounds himself with ass kissers and the appointees of wall street and the banks and let him flail around for his term(s). There is never anything done to better the lives of all Americans just deregulation and lowering taxes on the 1%. Obama doesn’t have the expertise, and no one on his staff does, to deal with this. The Ukraine is Russia’s to take and don’t bet on Putin stopping there.

  21. goulo says:

    This article put it well:

    > > >

    Just last Sunday night, Putin was sitting in Sochi’s Fisht Stadium
    for the Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Thomas Bach, the head
    of the International Olympic Committee, declared, “You send a powerful
    message from Sochi to the world: the message of a society of peace,
    tolerance and respect.”

    The next night, more than 400 Russians
    were rounded up in Moscow, protesting prison terms for anti-Putin
    demonstrators. Later in the week, opposition leader Alexei Navalny was
    put under house arrest for two months.

    And now, troops for Ukraine.

    < < <

  22. goulo says:

    Being in favor of the progressives who participated in the overthrow
    does not imply being in favor of the neo-Nazis who participated in the overthrow, any more than being in favor of the US implies being in favor of the KKK.

    But then you surely know that and are just trolling.

    Or can you actually give links to any “liberals” who are “in favor of the neo-Nazis”? I’ve seen none.

  23. Badgerite says:

    They sure deserve better than a Yanuckovych.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Zeke, in case you hadn’t noticed, Republicans are a dog eat dog party of fake friends. If one of them makes the party look bad, they suddenly lose all the fawning admirers. Just a week after the Olympics, and heaping Republican praise, Russia has begun talking about a war. Oopsie daisy! I guess tigers really don’t change their stripes after all. I guess the support went away when Republicans realized Russia doesn’t have the spotless conservative government it claimed to. But you can’t blame Republicans, they are easily duped and have short attention spans.

  26. Anonymous says:

    People in these countries were smart to use the Olympics to highlight these conflicts. Why should we further the PR image of Russia as a spotless, prosperous country? Is that really what we were there for, put so much money and talent into? I thank the independent journalists reported the facts, and also stuck around to follow up. NBC avoided showing anything remotely political. So did the other mainstream media outlets.

  27. Anonymous says:

    They liked Gaddafi too and he was an evil dictator with a miniscule army. They’re just afraid to rock the boat unless it helps them politically.

  28. Anonymous says:

    We heard from insiders in 2012 that Putin was beginning to feel “like he was God.” No one believed it. I mean, this is a guy who hugs puppies right? But the world will see his true colors. He’s still living in the USSR days and trying to oppress other Slavs. Just a KGB guy/thief being what he is. He never made an honest living and he just wants to take the money and run.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thank God Romney is not president. He was a chickenhawk like Bush who would start a war or five for money.

  30. Olterigo says:

    Don’t worry. People in the Russian- and in Ukrainian-speaking internet (and their overlap) are using the word “Anschluss” itself, in its Cyrillic spelling.

  31. Olterigo says:

    If I remember correctly, Merkel was at the time quite against any Ukraine joining NATO talk primarily because German gas was flowing from Russia through Ukrainian pipes. And since Germany still depends on Russian gas, I’m not sure they’ll be 100% for letting Ukraine in.

  32. Olterigo says:

    There’s not going to be a war. Russia has nuclear weapons. On one hand. On the other hand, the rest of the world will see that to trust the word of an American President, even when his word is ratified by Congress, is a mistake. And to give up nuclear weapons, if you have them, is a mistake.

  33. StraightGrandmother says:

    I agree. Heck Europe wanted Ukraine to become part of Europe, to join the European Community. If any troops are deployed in this Crimea situation I hope they are not American troops but European troops. Time for Europe to walk the talk. It goes without saying that we all desire NOT to have an armed conflict, that through diplomacy the situation can be resolved.

  34. Dameocrat says:

    Maybe it would have been better to use the democratic system to change thing rather than humanitarian intervention.

  35. dula says:

    Oh Yay! The right wingers are craving another war. Oooooh and THIS time Russia can be our enemy instead of our ally. In their minds we can finally rid the world of communism, now that Russia is a plutocracy like we are.

  36. Indigo says:

    Yeah . . . it’s a good thing I wasn’t holding a beverage when I read what you said there. That pretty well nails it.

  37. Ford Prefect says:

    True. But to what end? I fail to see how empty posturing helps his image. And the Russkies definitely used his posturing to thump their own chests. If anything, he did Putin a favor, which is a bit ironic, ya?

    We are not ruled by competent people.

  38. EL says:

    John, how did it benefit Russia to host the Olympics before invading Ukraine?

  39. tsuki says:

    Among Reagan’s advisors that I can listen to (Roberts, Black, Stockman, among others), the feel that I get is that they love the US and the Constitution. They do not use pejoratives, or bigoted terms to describe those that do not agree with them, and I certainly don’t all the time. But listening to them reminds me of a long past time when we once had meaningful conversation, and agreed, repectfully, to disagree.

    It has had a positive effect on me. I have toned down.

  40. BeccaM says:

    I think you and I both know the intended audience for Obama’s saber-rattling speech wasn’t Russia. That kind of posturing is mainly for domestic consumption.

  41. tsuki says:

    I have been trying to find a map I saw the other day. Of course, no luck. I know that there is a Russian military air strip at Belbek, and it seems to me there were other small support bases. Will keep looking.

  42. Ford Prefect says:

    Outstanding. Per the Mexico scenario, if the Russkies spent $5 BILLION destabilizing a country and training RW paramilitaries to carry out a civil war along our border, you can bet the US would react in an extremely heavy-handed fashion. And we don’t have 30,000 troops, naval and air bases there either.

    The American coverage of all this is tragicomical. Yesterday, Obama made a speech, essentially threatening Russia. Today, the Russian legislators voted unanimously to give Pootie authorization to use military force, not that he needed that from them, but just to show the WH how they felt about his speech. In the US, there is no recognition of how outsiders reacted to Obama’s incompetent speech. In the end, Obama is partly responsible for giving Pootie more legitimacy than he actually deserves.

    Is NATO going to wage a war on behalf of Ukraine? No? Then what threats can Obama actually make to dissuade the Kremlin from its own perceived interests? It’s amazing just how stupid the administration is willing to look in all this.

  43. ComradeRutherford says:

    The IOC approves of this war.

  44. ComradeRutherford says:

    Isn’t this the guy that said that Reagan’s VooDoo Economics was just a joke they made up to appeal to Conservatives to get Reagan elected, that they really didn’t expect it to be taken seriously because it’s so obviously flawed and only ever leads to total economic destruction, that guy?

  45. ComradeRutherford says:

    You know the US is screwed when Reagan lovers like Dr. Roberts have turned against his successors for being too extreme…

  46. FLL says:

    The action must be very tempting with a 13% flat tax rate.

  47. ComradeRutherford says:

    Putin doesn’t want to be cut out of that action…

  48. ComradeRutherford says:

    Oh, you mean when he starts sounding like Bush II, who was so inconceivably stupid that he couldn’t speak in public without someone telling him what to say through an in-ear monitor?

  49. ComradeRutherford says:


  50. ComradeRutherford says:

    Putin knows that no one can stop him. And he’s right. No one dares stop Putin; or China, when China decides to invade Taiwan and Japan…

  51. FLL says:

    The ethnic cleansing and mass murder during the 1990s Yugoslav civil war was horrendous, and throughout all of it, those running Germany’s reunified government refused to consider deploying German troops to save lives. I think they regret it now, as well they should. When vast numbers of human lives are in danger, the people and governments who are strategically closest to the situation have a moral obligation to help. What do you think, StraightGrandmother?

  52. BeccaM says:

    When it snows in June and the air tastes like metal.

  53. Bill_Perdue says:

    Exactly. Your remark concerning the Ukraine and the role of American and EU banksters, backed as always by Democrats, Republicans and especially by Dixiecrats was correct.

  54. StraightGrandmother says:

    Hell no, let Europe send troops if troops are sent.
    We have done enough already. Let Europe step up.

  55. StraightGrandmother says:

    It does pis me of that Russia GOT to Olympics, NBC didn’t repor on the persecution of sexual minorities, and the Olympic Sponsors McDonalds, Coke, General Electric, Samsung, Omega Watches, Visa, none of them said BOO!
    I wonder what the heck the IOC, International Olympic Committee thinks of Putin Now?
    Way back in June as soon as Russia pased those two anti gay laws the IOC should have pulled the Olympics. And woe to gay bloggers who tweeted out Olympic events they were watching. I won’t name them but I’ll never forget what they did.

  56. FLL says:

    I agree concerning de jure annexation. As far as de facto annexation, I don’t know. I looked it up, and Russia only has the one naval base in Sevastopol, although it’s a huge one. Do the Russians really need to take over the capital city (Simferopol) and the parliament building to protect their naval base? I don’t know. I’m as glued to the news reports as everyone else.

  57. tsuki says:

    Two step with a time lag, possible. Direct annexation now, I still do not think so. The situation is too volatile. There would be no room for discussion, negotiations.

    As to de facto annexation, it does not met the criteria yet. Putin can claim they were sent in to protect Russian military installations that are legal under the 2010 Treaty.

  58. FLL says:

    Did U.S. senators stage a coup against Richard Nixon in 1973? A group of Republican senators informed Nixon that they had enough votes in the senate to remove him from office. Nixon resigned shortly thereafter. Late on Friday, February 22, Yanukovych was made to understand exactly the same set of circumstances: there were enough votes in the unicameral legislature to impeach him and remove him from office. Yanukovych left Kiev the next morning. I don’t think that is what most people regard as a coup, either the American case or the Ukrainian case.

  59. Hetty says:

    It’s time Putin stops the western aggresion. After supporting Al-Qaeda in Syria now the liberal hypocrits are in favor of the neo-nazi’s in Kiev (50 different shades of brown) who staged a coup and declared themselves the new government. A Russian invasion of a free country? Forget it. Victoria ‘f**k the EU’ Nuland paid 5 billion dollars for this coup.

  60. FLL says:

    Somehow, I think Russian workers would be surprised to hear that Putin is a champion of workers’ rights since he is one of the loudest advocates for a laissez-faire market economy and a 13% flat tax rate (a pro-business tax rate which is second only to the United Arab Emirates). What’s going on with that “Putin-as-champion-of-the-workers”?

  61. Dave of the Jungle says:

    I live near a large Air Force base. We’ve heard huge transports taking off since before dawn. The last time we heard this was in 2003.

  62. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Nor would he be wise to passively accept NATO missiles in a now western oriented Ukraine.

  63. FLL says:

    I understand your comparison, and my hope is that the people in the Kremlin regard Crimea as their one must-have strategic resource (with an ethnic Russian majority to boot) and just leave it at that. Going further would invite a Balkan-style campaign of ethnic cleansing by Russia with Ukrainians as the victims. Would a replay of the Yugoslav civil war be more likely as a Russian-sponsored event in Ukraine or an American sponsored event in Mexico or Latin America? I think I know the answer, and I hope it doesn’t go in that direction.

  64. FLL says:

    The Christian right has always been saying that, and they honestly and believably claim that their support is based on sexual issues, i.e., Christian anti-gay morality. So if someone claims to support Putin (Mr. Market-Economy-13%-flat-tax) based on leftist economic issues and workers’ rights, would you believe them?

  65. BeccaM says:

    Let’s imagine an alternate scenario, obviously not identical but possibly close enough.

    Suppose there was a nascent civil war in Mexico. One side wanting to keep closer ties to the U.S., and the other has been making noises about allying with the Russian Federation or China or some other world power. For certain, the ‘rebel’ side wants to break with any sense of being closely allied with the United States. Vladimir Putin even appears on TV to warn America not to intervene militarily.

    I’m not saying Putin isn’t a thug who’s been flirting with fascist authoritarianism. He is. I’m just saying that it’s foolish to think the Russian government and its people won’t care a great deal about something going on right next door, in a country that used to be part of the U.S.S.R., and won’t object to other world superpowers — the U.S. and the E.U. — meddling.

    Hell, we have people here in the U.S. advocating for war with Iran because they might acquire nukes, and not because they’d actually be an imminent threat to U.S. national security. From a geopolitical angle, there is no territory or country more important to Russia than the Ukraine. The Russian Black Sea fleet is based primarily in facilities leased in Sevastopol. Then there’s the fact Russia sells vast quantities of natural gas to Europe through pipelines that pass through the Ukraine.

    Anyway, what I’m saying isn’t that I approve of what Putin and the Russians are likely to do. Only that if the shoe was on the other foot and we were talking about a situation in a country right on our border, there’d be no question what the U.S. would do, regardless of world opinion. I personally predict that Russian military action is a foregone conclusion.

    And it’s gonna be ugly.

  66. TampaZeke says:

    Isn’t it interesting that just LAST WEEK people were all in love with Russia and Putin and telling gays to stop whining and go away?

  67. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Someone should call George W Bush so he can look into Vladimir Putin’s heart again.

  68. pappyvet says:

    Edward R. Murrow is rolling in his grave this day. An invasion of the Ukraine has begun as Putin seems determined I believe to gather in all of the old Soviet territories. This man is a megalomaniac and a chess player whose latest moves should be met with alarm by every free country in the world.

    He knows very well that he can point his finger at us and bring to bear decades of examples to stem any U.S. complaint. Whether those comparisons are legitimate or not will not matter. There is plenty of breathing room . We will see much more attention focused on the pro Russian segments as the E.U. and U.S. publicly scorn but privately back up.

  69. FLL says:

    Coming soon to your TV screen, the 1950s TV show, Father Knows Best, revamped for the 21st century: Putin Knows Best (and everyone who doesn’t think so is a fascist and a Nazi).

  70. Bill_Perdue says:

    This is one of the predictable results of the banksters fascist putsch in the streets of Kiev.

    We discussed this and other likely results of the bankster victory, including a possible division of the Ukraine in an earlier in and very good post by GP.

    Aside from events in Kiev, the larger picture is that the Putin and Obama regimes are both anti-worker, both attack civil liberties, both have a history of empire building and both are testing the other side. This is one of those tests, much like the Georgian move against South Ossetia in 2002 when the Russians crushed the US trained Georgians with ease.

    Working people in the Ukraine will pay a heavy price for events in Kiev. The Ukrainian economy is in shambles. The Russians will no doubt cut their losses and the remainder of the $15 billion dollar loan and western banks will impose heavy austerity on Ukrainian workers when they offer loans, which they will have to do quickly. The Ukraine was one of the first and most severe causalities of the global financial crisis that began when because Bill Clinton deregulated predatory lenders in 1999 and 2000. Ukraine has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for years.

    All the larger political parties in the Ukraine have proved incapable of governing and the street victories by the putschists will move political life substantially to the right. Ukrainians, like workers in the US, need a workers party to find a way out of this bankster imposed crisis.

  71. Drew2u says:

    Obama Nominates SOPA Lobbyist for TPP Trade Post
    This morning, President Obama nominated Robert Holleyman as deputy US trade representative. If confirmed by the US Senate, Holleyman will help lead the effort to pass the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

    So, does this mean the TPP is a done deal and Net Neutrality is irrevocably dead? Thanks, Obama.

  72. FLL says:

    Putin could annex Crimea, as you suggest, in two separate steps. First, an independent state, then the ethnic Russian majority of independent Crimea could ask for either a “customs union” or annexation with Russia, which would be no big leap. The end result may be the same. In fact, if Russian troops are now in control of Crimea, as they appear to be, wouldn’t you call that de facto annexation?

  73. nicho says:

    How dare Putin do that. The US paid $5 billion for that “coup” so the EU could force austerity on the Ukrainians, destroy the working class, and sell off valuable farm land to agribusiness corporations. That stinky old Putin should just mind his own business.

  74. tsuki says:

    I don’t agree with your conclusion. Since the Crimea is an autonomous state within Ukraine, I think that he will threaten, and finally, settle for an independent state. Then he will renegotiate the 2010 Treaty for the bases and stations that he has their with the Crimea.

    He may consider that direct annexation is a bridge too far.

  75. tsuki says:

    Here is his wiki bio:

    Ass’t Sec of Treas under Reagan
    Former editor and columnist for WSJ, Business Week & Scripps
    Alternate news media source including numerous economic blogs and news blogs like Counterpunch
    Author of several books like The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West
    Ph.D. Economics UVa
    Critic of both Bush & Obama regimes and the loss of civil liberties
    Has lived and traveled in Russia, has Russian studies

    I don’t just travel to websites I agree with. That is how I found out from a Rob Arnott interview how the 1% plan to destroy medicare and ration (Rob Arnott’s word) senior health care.

  76. 2karmanot says:

    When Obozo limits his florid oratory to three or four paragraphs and takes no questions.

  77. 2karmanot says:

    To be a tad unkind, poor Roberts has descended into crackpottery in the last few years. In between his bubbling ‘presstitude’ rants are glimpses of his once rational mind.

  78. BeccaM says:

    And Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is also considered, as Reagan’s former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, to have been one of the co-creators of ‘Reaganomics’.

    It’s not that I don’t agree with some of his foreign and domestic policies, but as far as economics go and Roberts’ continued fawning sycophancy for Reagan’s mouldering zombie corpse? Oy. The adoption of Reaganomics is the source of the massive economic inequalities we have today.

    As for KWN, like I’m going to trust a purported news cite with an admitted obsession with precious metals?

  79. J in K says:

    It looks like a libertarian gold bug site. OMG GLOBAL COLLAPSE IMMINENT!!!1 PLZ BUY GOLD AND SHITTY MREs!!!!!!!!!!111

  80. FLL says:

    Putin did, in fact, state at a NATO-Russia summit in 2008 that if Ukraine joined NATO, Russia could consider annexing Crimea and what he vaguely called “the Ukrainian East.” Ukraine has not yet joined NATO, but the change of government in Ukraine was precipitated by the desire to join the European Union, so apparently Putin is also using his 2008 talking point in reference to the circumstance of Ukraine joining the EU.

    First, there is Putin’s suggestion of annexing Crimea. The major EU and NATO countries and the Ukrainian government might wind up giving in to Russia’s demand for annexing Crimea for a few reasons. Crimea was never part of Ukraine and never had any substantial Ukrainian population until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev “gave” Crimea to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, some say on a whim in a drunken stupor, others say in a politically shrewd move. The switch had absolutely no practical effect in the former Soviet Union since every square inch of the USSR was ruled by the Kremlin with an iron fist. The 1954 change in status only had a practical effect beginning in 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved into the separate republics, with Crimea landing in Ukraine but Russia keeping its major naval Black Sea base in Sevastopol. In the late 1940s, Stalin had conveniently made room for an ethnic Russian majority by exiling almost the entire majority Crimean Tatar population to distant parts of the Soviet Union and intentionally mass murdering half of the Crimean Tatar population in the process (more about that in a future comment). Of course, what’s done is done, and Crimea is now the only Ukrainian province with an ethnic Russian majority of slightly over 50%. The rather recent Ukrainian population is around 25%. So Crimea may be both the most strategically valuable province to Russia and perhaps more of an ethnic headache than it’s worth to the Ukrainian government. Putin may or may not get his wish to annex Crimea. Flip a coin.

    As far as what Putin vaguely called “the Ukrainian East” in 2008, he’d be asking for an ethnic bloodbath if he attempted to annex even four of the eastern provinces because all of them have an ethnic Ukrainian majority. I don’t think any of the major countries in the EU or NATO would sit idly by during something like that, and I would guess that Putin isn’t considering it—which is why Russian troops are only in Crimea.

    So if Putin gets his way and repossesses Russia’s 1954 “gift” of Crimea, but keeps his rotten hands off of all of Ukraine’s other provinces, what about NATO? Well, since Putin is being such an asswipe by annexing Crimea without so much as a word of warning to his negotiating “partners” in the U.S. (or anywhere else), there is no one who would question Ukraine’s right and necessity of joining NATO asap. Putin’s own unilateral military actions are to blame for that. The civilized world, then, will welcome Ukraine into NATO (probably minus Crimea). Since Vladimir Putin is so obsessed with the sexual acts that Russian citizens engage in, the outside world will no doubt prompt him to perform a very specific sexual act: “Go f*ck yourself.”

  81. Badgerite says:

    Anyone who didn’t think that Russia was invading when troops took over the airports in Crimea doesn’t know Putin. He is authoritarian to the core. And corrupt to the core.

  82. Badgerite says:


  83. cole3244 says:

    i see the rw are already beating the drums on obama being weak and the need to take drastic action.
    its easy to call for violence when you are not intending to participate in the conflict if it came to that, that’s the sop for the chicken hawks they start war but never take part in the fighting only the tough talking.

  84. HolyMoly says:

    I imagine I’ll know about the Big Stomp if I wake up in the middle of the night to notice that I’m glowing in the dark, considering that I live about 5 miles away from Norfolk Naval Base.

  85. NorskBamse says:

    I start with NRK, BBC, SVT and France24. Then I go to the stand-bys… DW and Helsingin Sanomat.

    Thank goodness for proxy servers and DRM work-arounds. ;-)

  86. GarySFBCN says:

    OK, this is NPR so consider the source:

    “Crimea: A Gift To Ukraine Becomes A Political Flash Point”

  87. Houndentenor says:

    What’s Russian for Anschluss?

  88. BeccaM says:

    To paraphrase a certain meme, I don’t often watch TV for my news, but when I do, it’s Al Jazeera America.

    They cover news the way CNN used to do in the 80s and early 90s. That is, news as news, for the purpose of informing, and not as entertainment.

    As for online coverage, I often start with the BBC and work outward from there.

  89. What is that, and who is he?

  90. tsuki says:

    If you want another take on what is happening, go to King World News and listen to Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.

  91. silas1898 says:

    Stalin would be so proud of Pootie-Poot.

  92. Indigo says:

    Since there’s no Archduke to assassinate, how will we know when the Really Big One gets going?

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