Ukraine crisis uber-update

Ukraine is sitll in one piece, while tensions escalate. A sampling of the new in the past 24 hours…

The first and only thing you should read today is this analysis of the Ukraine crisis from Josh Marshall.  Everyone is raving about it, for good reason.  It’s not too long, easily-read, and quite good.

And here’s a rather long, but interesting, analysis from the NY Review of Books.

UK and France pull out of prep talks for upcoming G8 meeting in Sochi, Russia.

Democratic House Member Marcy Kaptur is insane. Here’s an interview she did with Buzzfeed yesterday, in which she says she understands why Russia had to basically invade Ukraine:

“If I was President Putin, I would have worried with the collapse of the Party of Regions, about peace in the Crimea … I understand Russia’s military posture. The United States has never been invaded the way Russia has,” Kaptur said in an interview with BuzzFeed Saturday afternoon.

The New Yorker’s David Remnick on Putin.

So there were anti-war protests in Russia Today – I can’t even imagine doing civil disobedience in that country, that takes balls. This brave grandma, on crutches no less, joined protesters in front of the Defense Ministry in Moscow today – her sign reads:

“Enough disgracing Russia. Monsters start wars, but people suffer.”


Here’s some video footage of a protest at the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow today:



Russian media is back to its old Soviet days. We knew a few months ago things were getting bad when Russian President Putin sacked the head of Kremlin news-organ RIA Novosti, and replaced him with a flamingly-fey man who recently called for gays’ hearts to be burned and buried.  It’s particularly sad because RIA Novosti was actually a real media outlet.  They actually covered stories in an objective, fair manner.  Which is why they got sacked.

Here’s some of the new Soviet-style news coming out of Russia:


russian-media-lyingA lot of folks in America and Europe don’t seem to fully appreciate how bad Russian “news” outlet RT (aka Russia Today) really is.  It’s always bee a rather slick Kremlin propaganda organ, meant to basically bash the US.  But now, with Moscow on a war footing, RT has pretty much gotten worse than Fox News, in terms of bias and bile. And Fox isn’t run by the US government.

First, check out RT’s coverage of how much “fun” the occupation of Ukraine has been.

Then check out RT’s home page from a few hours ago:


For example, here’s a recent story from RT. Anyone who lived through the Soviet era will find all of this far too familiar:


A Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent was beaten by pro-Russian activists in Ukraine.

KyivPost reports that Russian roadblocks have now been set up between Crimea and the Ukraine mainland:


More news:ukraine-russian-flag small-protest-ukraine by-default-2014-03-02-at-12.36.07-PM by-default-2014-03-02-at-12.36.18-PM by-default-2014-03-02-at-12.36.25-PM by-default-2014-03-02-at-12.36.44-PM

An interesting idea I had:


And I love Atrios’ tweet – see if you can catch the reference (the remake isn’t as awful as the original):wolverines

And the NYT’s David Jolly notes that the Russians have apparently cancelled the local broadcast of the Oscars tonight, as if that somehow hurts us.

Ukrainians rally to sign their national anthem:

I do understand, however, that the Russians have scheduled their own awards show to take the place of the Oscars tonight. Here’s a sneak peak:

(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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42 Responses to “Ukraine crisis uber-update”

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  3. Great post.

  4. MyrddinWilt says:

    Russia seems to have gamed Google to put their propaganda at the top of the google news results.

    Massive cyber-attacks going on from both sides.

    Right now we are seeing the limits of military power. Sure Russia can occupy the Crimean peninsular but it can’t govern there. It can’t get people to go to work, pay taxes, etc. So all that the occupation means is that Russia is guaranteed to keep its base as long as the occupation continues. But before the occupation began, Russia had the base for 30+ years.

    Having violated that agreement and many others, Russia now faces total exclusion from the modern economy. Its only friends are Syria, Iran and a clutch of ex-Soviet states that are all wildly unstable run by tyrants.

    The occupation of the Ukraine might last a decade but even without fighting it will bleed Russia economically like the Afghan conflict did. But the ceasefire won’t last long. The fighting we will see will be of the urban guerrilla type with snipers picking off Russian soldiers on patrol, IEDs planted by the roadside, etc, etc.

  5. simonzee1 says:

    They were the Presidents words about Hollywood projecting the bedt American values. That’s pretty simple for the simple. And you know that everything went pearshaped after the Russians were shafted in Libya. The Americans French and British can engage in mission creep for oil but when Russia does not want terrorist brown shirts to takeover the Ukraine the coup leaders fly members to Turkey for terrorist training.

  6. FLL says:

    5 billion dollars? Do you even realize what Victoria Nuland was referring to? No, I don’t think you do, Nicho. You probably think that this was some 5 billion dollar plot hatched within the last year to bring down the Yanukovych regime.

    Let’s go through that again, and pay attention to the actual details. Victoria Nuland may be a fool and we may both, you and I, disagree with many of her opinions. However, when Victoria Nuland quoted that dollar figure, she was referring to the entire cumulative total of foreign aid that the U.S. has given Ukraine since its independence in 1991. The U.S. gives foreign aid to many countries. Since when does foreign aid beginning in 1991 amount to an evil plot to overthrow a government? Did it ever occur to you that Ukraine, in 1991, might have needed foreign aid? Think before you post.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If you could cite actual knowledge of the situation rather than throwing out meaningless adjectives, I might respect your opinion. Blabbering about hippies and Jews makes you look ignorant. I said that the first time but I know you don’t truly understand. That’s fine. We get trolls like you all the time.

    It’s honestly funny that you claim your leaders don’t know what’s going on. You don’t seem to have any knowledge of the situation, and therefore any real influence, yourself. I think politicians would rather keep you in the dark. If you think hippies and Jews are the problem you don’t know what’s really going on. You’re a fool and you don’t even realize it because you’d rather vent about irrelevant things.

  8. simonzee1 says:

    Obama does not know what’s going on and neither does is incompetent administration. Kerry’s a Hollywood A lister too along with the secular Jews and post hippy crew from the seventies that run Hollwood. Listen to his sophisticated diplomatic language.

    “US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that Russia must be “very careful” in the decisions it makes on Ukraine, and that the country’s President should remember “this is not Rocky IV”. Now there’s confidence in American diplomacy with a capital C. know I’m right.It’s Hollwood up against reality.

  9. Anonymous says:

    John thanks for catching the old pictures being re-branded by Russia Today. Using false pictures is unacceptable, but then what do you expect from these “journalists”? At the very least, if it were done here someone would lose their job.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Twerking support base? You’re an absolute idiot. Use real words next time. Oh, and make sense.

  11. Indigo says:

    I don’t fully agree although I understand your point, at least to an extent. I’m a loudmouth at public meetings and rarely hesitate to speak up. Not that I have a vast impact but my input gets heard in public fora.

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    Different strokes.

  13. doug105 says:

    No not even close not with all the guys in the first one.
    Am I the only one to wear a hole in a vhs copy of Roadhouse watching Swayze’s backside.
    Started to post a picture of it I easily found from a search BUT thought better of it.

  14. Olterigo says:

    BTW, that patchy thing is the Olympic clock in Moscow, built to count down time before the Sochi Olympics.

  15. simonzee1 says:

    I see in Obama’s call to Putin he is in his transitional outfit to a game of golf.

    Russian official on Obama’s threat to not attend G8: “There is Russian saying which goes, you can’t scare a hedgehog with a naked ass.”

    Now there is a slam to Obama and all his twerking support base and twerking Hollywood values that according to him are America’s greatest gift to the world in projecting American values. Watch out for that hedgehog Obama and groupies.

  16. Bill_Perdue says:

    The vast majority of Americans, including workers. women, people of color and the LGBT communities definitely do not. We don’t run things and we don’t have any say in the Democrat/Dixiecrats or their Republican cousins do.

  17. cole3244 says:

    the cons in all countries are the problem lets isolate them all together and let them fight it out to the death, oh i forgot the cons start the conflict but are no where to be seen when the violence begins.

    wake up world the elites are playing all of us for fools.

  18. Indigo says:

    And we don’t?

  19. If we sent a small contingent of troops, it would stalemate Putin. The 82nd would be enough. If we don’t do that Putin will invade Eastern and Southern Ukraine. The Plantagenet blood in me tells me it is a good idea as well as my Political Science major.

  20. Bill_Perdue says:

    Custer had it coming.

  21. goulo says:
    which says:
    US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Nuland said: “Since the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, the United States supported the Ukrainians in the development of democratic institutions and skills in promoting civil society and a good form of government – all that is necessary to achieve the objectives of Ukraine’s European. We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals. ” Nuland said the United States will continue to “promote Ukraine to the future it deserves.”

    Of course the nature of that “help” and how the money was spent will be judged differently by different people… But it’s worth noting that often when the US says it wants to “help” some weaker but strategically important country, it’s a mere pretext, and things don’t go well for the recipient of the “help”. (E.g. “liberating” the Iraqi people.)

  22. Indigo says:

    Custer died for our sins.

  23. Indigo says:

    I think we’re definitely looking at WW1 scenario, we just don’t know who’s playing the archduke yet.

  24. Indigo says:

    I’m using the foil for wrapping hors d’ouevres for the Oscar Party this evening. But I can recycle for parapsych-radiation protection, no problem.

  25. wearing out my F key says:

    that’s a very good point.

  26. Bill_Perdue says:

    It would be more like Custer’s insertion of the 7th Cavalry onto Cheyenne lands. But dream on.

  27. Reasor says:

    I’m definitely not saying that sending troops would be a good idea; only that the initial insertion could be pulled off.

  28. Bill_Perdue says:

    Thor wins.

  29. Reasor says:

    It’d be a long flight, but the 82nd Airborne would do it. Having planes loaded with paratroopers taking off from the runway 24 hours after the order is given from Washington is what that division exists to do. They could refuel in mid-air and make it an uninterrupted trip. If it were a proper invasion, they’d arrive after smaller teams from JSOC had taken over an airport to give the paratroopers a drop zone.

  30. Bill_Perdue says:

    Exactly. You could be referring to Venezuela or the Ukraine now, to Chile under Allende (CIA Admits Involvement in Chile – or Iran under Mossadegh ( ) or dozens of other countries in the last 150 years.

  31. BeccaM says:

    I’m not in favor of arming anybody. But then again, I have a visceral aversion to war in all its forms.

  32. BeccaM says:

    Indeed! The original had a virtual panoply of then-A-List stars: Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson, C. Thomas Howell, Powers Boothe, and the inimitable Harry Dean Stanton.

    The remake had Thor. (Chris Hemsworth)

  33. HolyMoly says:

    Moving U.S. and British troops into Kiev could result in a full-scale war. Putin is too stuck on his self-perceived manliness to back down. Obama would be intent on proving to his fellow conservatives that he’s not a weakling. You get troop buildups on both sides, followed by calling up allies (NATO in our case, and whoever Russia has on the hook). Russia has signed defense pacts with other countries in the region, some of which I think would be torn if they had to choose sides (like India), but when confronted with a “if you’re not with me, you’re against me” approach from both the U.S. and Russia, what’s a country to do?

    It would be very easy for a World War I type of scenario, where a series of defense pacts led to a domino effect of the worst proportions. (That war started with the assassination of a duke, who belonged to a relatively minor state — who would have thought that something so seemingly insignificant could have led to mass carnage?) Not that the world wouldn’t be able to pull back from the brink, but as things unfold it would become that much more difficult to put the genie back into the bottle. It’s like two guys talking trash at each other, then puffing up their chests, then bumping chests, then fists start flying. It’s something that can be walked away from, if anyone had the courage to do so, but the further you get into the process, the harder it becomes for either one to do.

    An idea like what you propose took you all of how many seconds to come up with? I’m speculating here, but I have a suspicion that your plan came to you almost immediately. Situations like this are extremely dangerous, and any country’s response needs to be well-thought-out. I would assume that the U.S. has over the years pondered countless scenarios involving all sorts of different actors and combinations of actors, and have a number of responses figured out along with their potential consequences. No real-time event is going to be exactly like any hypothetical scenario, but would probably be close enough that they already have a number of responses to choose from. Not to say that they would choose the BEST response, nor that their calculations of the consequences would be correct in the long run, but let’s hope they do.

  34. We can’t send troops. But depending on what Russia does, we can send weapons. If they occupy the eastern half of Ukraine, I’m fine with arming the locals.

  35. FLL says:

    H-u-h-? Wait! You’re hoarding aluminum foil in your basement, aren’t you? There’s no need for that because those tin foil hats don’t even work.

  36. JosephP says:

    The US would have as much success flying troops into Kiev as Russia would have flying troops into Atlanta.

  37. heimaey says:

    The Red Dawn remake was better than the original? I DOUBT it John! OMG blasphemy.

  38. JosephP says:


  39. Huh?

  40. nicho says:

    Wow. If only the Obama neoliberal gang hadn’t fomented the coup in the first place. This escapade has already cost the US $5 billion. I wonder what it will be when it’s all over. But then, the US never met a democratically elected leader itndidn’t want to overthrow.

  41. Yeah I too went to the Russia Today website to see what they are saying. Alex Jones from InfoWars is a frequent guest on Russia Today and they love to foment anti US conspiracy theories. Ukraine has called up their 1,000,000 man reserve forces. This could get nasty. The UK and the US should be flying in troops into Kiev right now. That is the only thing that would cause a stalemate and stop Putin. Putin is already following a similar strategy in Crimea as an excuse to invade all of Eastern Ukraine and Southern Ukraine. If the West doesn’t act now, it will be too late. Russia has a veto on the Security Council and is too big to really care about meaningless diplomatic options and Europe needs their gas. I am a little disturbed that neo fascists which make up a minority of the Ukrainians are having a say.

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