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Options for the U.S. and Europe's response to Russia's aggress

Ukraine Russia Aggression in Crimea 2014 Europe

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#41 ilexx

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:31 AM

View PostRaijin, on 18 March 2014 - 05:39 AM, said:

Here is advice for US. You want to punish Putin punish him personally. By sanctioning him personally and through his personal friends who became billionaires after he took power. Brothers Rottenberg, Timchenko, etc. Pressure the silent neutral oligarchs who support his rule as long as they can make money and live in comfort. Your government must know who all those people are.

Punishing the droids who stamp his decisions is your personal Potemkin's village, not real sanctions.

I'm pretty certain you're right, but I doubt that it is really that easy to punish him personally. His friends... maybe...

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Please! The 6.000 Russian soldiers in Crimea found themselves backed by 10.000 paramilitary troops in non-marked Russian uniforms Putin claimed they bought themselves in second-hand shops (really? 10.000 uniforms?). There are troops pouring into Eastern Ukraine. How do you control a country or half a country while tens of thousands of heavily armed troops and paramilitary forces pour into it, block roads and institutions, assault army and police and provoke and infuse fear any each way they can?

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Please what? There are Russian troops in Crimea.

No, no, there aren't. According to Russia, there are an additional 10.000-13.000 "self-defense" troops in non-marked Russian uniforms they bought in second-hand shops (riding along in second-hand tanks and second-hand armored army-vehicles)

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There are no Russian troops in the rest of eastern Ukraine.

'Course not. They are all imagining things in Kherson: http://www.theguardi...imea-referendum

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A group of Russian commandos advanced beyond Kremlin-occupied Crimea on Saturday and landed by helicopter in an area of southern Ukraine under Kiev's control, Ukraine's defence ministry said. Some 60 Russian troops arrived at 1.30pm in the village of Strilkove, in Kherson province, 5km beyond the autonomous Crimean border. They came in four helicopters. Another 60 flew in in six helicopters at 3.30pm.
Early reports suggested that Ukrainian forces evicted them, but the Russian contingent still appeared to be there on Saturday night. A spokesman for Ukraine's border guard service, Oleg Slobodyan, said the Russian soldiers had taken up positions next to a gas production facility, backed by three armoured personnel carriers. Ukrainian troops had reportedly retreated to a nearby crossroads.
Ukraine's foreign ministry dubbed the incursion a "military invasion by Russia". It demanded that Moscow withdraw its forces and said Ukraine "reserves the right to use all necessary measures" to stop the invasion. The area, Arbatskaya Strelka, is a long section of land running parallel to Crimea. Since independence it has been in Kherson province, but the land was originally part of Soviet Crimea and Vladimir Putin may be attempting to restore this Communist-era border.
Most of the infrastructure that supplies Crimea with water and electricity is in the Kherson region. Reports suggest that Crimea's secessionist authorities have claimed the gas production company that owns the facility, which would explain the arrival of Russian troops.

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That's not entirely true. It was different a few weeks ago - before hundreds (if not thousands) of Russian agents provocateurs showed up in their midst.

Yeah they crossed the border riding combat bears. Dissatisfaction in east Ukraine is real whether you accept it or not.

I'm not saying it ain't real. I'm merely asking who intigated it. And no, as you can see above, they came by helicopter.

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Right. Because Russia's never done anything like this before. In Ossetia back in 2008... that must have been Australians provoking Georgian authorities. And in Moldavia back in 1991, there were no pro-Soviet Russians destabilizing the country (that was never very stable to begin with), the 14th Russian army under General Lebed didn't occupy Transnistria and joined the separatists and so on and so forth.

Oh, so it's all Russia now. Get of your high horse. Saakashvili wanted that war. He openly talked about wanting that war. His soldiers dug trenches and built positions inside the security zone in both Ossetia and Abkhazia where they were not allowed to be. He happily participated in cross border "provocations" of his own . And the first time he got a chance he started the takeover operation he always dreamed about. The moment he started shooting at Russian soldiers he got exactly what he bloody deserved.

Indeed, and he did all of it totally unprovoked, because in the days imminent of Saakashvili going nuts, there never was an operation Caucasus 2008 involving thousands of Russian soldiers massed at the Georgian borders - and even if there was, they were only playing... http://newday.blogs....ne-not-exactly/

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In July 2008, a few days before Russia moved its troops into Georgian proper, Russia conducted a large-scale military drill code named Caucasus 2008. According to Russian state media reports, it involved 8,000 Russian troops, about 700 combat vehicles and more than 30 aircraft. To this day, Russia insists the drill had nothing to do with the military conflict in Georgia, which took place just a few days later.

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Contrary to that I really don't like what we are doing in Ukraine. But Ukrainian nationalism is responsible for why we can.

While Russian nationalism is entirely... what? Blameless? Or is it irresponsible? All those vast territories and multitude of ethnic groups the Russians have meanwhile subjugated for centuries came about how exactly?

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Transnistria was a long time ago. I barely remember. But if you're about to tell me it's also all Russia's fault again I wont believe you.

You don't have to remember, I provided a link.

#42 Spectacles

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:50 AM

Quote

Posted ImageRaijin, on 18 March 2014 - 06:39 AM, said:

Here is advice for US. You want to punish Putin punish him personally. By sanctioning him personally and through his personal friends who became billionaires after he took power. Brothers Rottenberg, Timchenko, etc. Pressure the silent neutral oligarchs who support his rule as long as they can make money and live in comfort. Your government must know who all those people are.

Punishing the droids who stamp his decisions is your personal Potemkin's village, not real sanctions.

illexx: I'm pretty certain you're right, but I doubt that it is really that easy to punish him personally. His friends... maybe...

That and the aim of sanctions is usually broader than punishing the leader. It's to send a signal to the people of a nation that their leaders are not what their propaganda makes them out to be--not in the eyes of the larger world community.  Sanctions lead to discomfort and discomfort, hopefully, leads a people to foment change in leadership.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#43 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:11 AM

- So a military exercise held (caucasus 2008) held on our territory every year is now a "provocation"?

-Subjugated? Eastern Ukraine is their home and especially Crimea. They are not some temporary visitors. They've lived there for a long time.

- Kherson incursion? Ok. It hardly proves anything except me being wrong in technicality. It does not change the big picture:

There are no Russian troops where they would aid any demonstrations in east Ukraine. The thousands of people in cities like Donetsk are locals. And no "instigators" could make them come there. If we are going by this logic Kiev protests are also all instigated by EU and US. Their officials have come there and were even walking about giving out cookies to protesters. They supported them, including with money and training from NGOs.

I sincerely hope Kiev can find a compromise with them. But I wont support western Ukrainian domination of what represents about half the country.

- If you are going to dismiss eastern protest as not made by the local people but by Russia than by that measure all the Kiev protest are not made by Ukrainians but by US and EU.

Edited by Raijin, 18 March 2014 - 09:20 AM.


#44 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:17 AM

View PostSpectacles, on 18 March 2014 - 08:50 AM, said:

That and the aim of sanctions is usually broader than punishing the leader. It's to send a signal to the people of a nation that their leaders are not what their propaganda makes them out to be--not in the eyes of the larger world community.  Sanctions lead to discomfort and discomfort, hopefully, leads a people to foment change in leadership.

This I will never support and you can have a big middle finger from us for punishing ordinary people. You've done that before to other countries and it led nowhere. The people suffered, their leaders not really. You should slap the leaders and win over the people. Otherwise you will get nothing except resentment.

#45 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:19 AM

double post...

Edited by Raijin, 18 March 2014 - 09:19 AM.


#46 offworlder

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:20 AM

Putin annexes, UK decry, ForSec Hague, land grab is illegal, suspend bi lateral, export licences, co operation,

' But opening a debate in the House of Commons, Mr Hague said Russia was trying to "muddy the waters of international opinion" because the referendum was illegitimate and a "profound breach" of international law.

What had happened in Crimea, he said, was the "annexation of part of the sovereign territory of an independent European state through military force" and the "use of force to change borders".

"No amount of sham and perverse democratic process or skewed historical references can make up for the fact that this is an incursion in to a sovereign state and a land grab of part of its territory with no respect for the law of that country or for international law," he said.

Mr Hague said there was a danger that Russia could use its current arguments as a pretext to intervening in other areas of Ukraine and other former parts of the Soviet Union with large Russian-speaking populations.
'
http://www.bbc.com/n...litics-26632857


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#47 ilexx

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:20 AM

View PostRaijin, on 18 March 2014 - 09:11 AM, said:

- So a military exercise held (caucasus 2008) held on our territory every year is now a "provocation"?

In itself? No. But with 8,000 Russian troops, about 700 combat vehicles and more than 30 aircraft not returning to their bases on August 2nd after the end of the exercises, but being instead ordered to remain in combat alert at the Georgian border, to the Georgians things probably looked a little bit different from your POV...

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-Subjugated? Eastern Ukraine is their home and especially Crimea. They are not some temporary visitors. They've lived there for a long time.

I wasn't referring merely to Ukraine, let alone Eastern Ukraine. All those peoples and countries Russia deems as belonging to its influence sphere (and who, btw, a mere twenty years ago were still forced into the USSR and - the largest part of them - into the Russian Empire before that): how did they get there? How come peaceful, multiculturally open-minded Russia is so big and so nothing but Russian while all those narrow-minded aggressive fascists are so tiny by comparison?

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- Kherson incursion? Ok. It hardly proves anything except me being wrong in technicality. It does not change the big picture:

There are no Russian troops where they would aid any demonstrations in east Ukraine. The thousands of people in cities like Donetsk are locals. And no "instigators" could make them come there. If we are going by this logic Kiev protests are also all instigated by EU and US. Their officials have come there and were even walking about giving out cookies to protesters. They supported them, including with money and training from NGOs.

That may well be, but they only did it after massive protests were already under way because of Yanukovich backing out of an economic deal with the EU. Mind you: an economic deal!

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I sincerely hope Kiev can find a compromise with them. But I wont support western Ukrainian domination of what represents about half the country.

- If you are going to dismiss eastern protest as not made by the local people but by Russia than by that measure all the Kiev protest are not made by Ukrainians but by US and EU.

How can anyone find a compomise with people who are being told 24h a day that their language has been abolished, that the border to Russia will be sealed off forever, separating them from their friends and relatives in Russia, that they will become instantly impoverished and remain forever second class citizens because the Kiev government is made up by fascists. I don't speak or read Russian, so I cannot follow anything but Russia Today, but what's being said there about the Ukrainians, the West, the US and whatnot - it makes the Stürmer back in the 1930s sound almost neutral.

And to be honest, I can't quite follow your arguments in the matter: you don't like Putin and you are opposed to what he's doing in Ukraine, yet you defend it all to the hilt because you buy the pretext he's offered hook, line and sinker.

#48 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:42 AM

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In itself? No. But with 8,000 Russian troops, about 700 combat vehicles and more than 30 aircraft not returning to their bases on August 2nd after the end of the exercises, but being instead ordered to remain in combat alert at the Georgian border, to the Georgians things probably looked a little bit different from your POV...

Well I guess they were quiet correct to stay ready. Maybe Saakashvili should not have been taking over parts of the security zone where his soldiers were forbidden to be by force throughout 2008.

View Postilexx, on 18 March 2014 - 10:20 AM, said:

And to be honest, I can't quite follow your arguments in the matter: you don't like Putin and you are opposed to what he's doing in Ukraine, yet you defend it all to the hilt because you buy the pretext he's offered hook, line and sinker.

Because the pretext is quite real. The chosen action is what's insane.

#49 Balderdash

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:11 PM

View PostRaijin, on 18 March 2014 - 09:17 AM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 18 March 2014 - 08:50 AM, said:

That and the aim of sanctions is usually broader than punishing the leader. It's to send a signal to the people of a nation that their leaders are not what their propaganda makes them out to be--not in the eyes of the larger world community.  Sanctions lead to discomfort and discomfort, hopefully, leads a people to foment change in leadership.

This I will never support and you can have a big middle finger from us for punishing ordinary people. You've done that before to other countries and it led nowhere. The people suffered, their leaders not really. You should slap the leaders and win over the people. Otherwise you will get nothing except resentment.

You're about to get a BIG middle finger from me.  The US is trying to help.  If you and your fellow countrymen (women) don't like what's going on, change it, we'd be happy to "HELP."  It doesn't matter what we do anyway, everyone will piss and moan and carry on like it's all our fault no matter what we (the US) do.   I'm tired of other countries middle fingers.  I'm tired of the GOP in the US undermining our President.

Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.



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#50 Nonny

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:19 PM

Am I confusing Raijin with somebody else?  I thought he was somebody's teenage son.   :shrug:   Sorry.
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#51 Spectacles

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:51 PM

View PostRaijin, on 18 March 2014 - 09:17 AM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 18 March 2014 - 08:50 AM, said:

That and the aim of sanctions is usually broader than punishing the leader. It's to send a signal to the people of a nation that their leaders are not what their propaganda makes them out to be--not in the eyes of the larger world community.  Sanctions lead to discomfort and discomfort, hopefully, leads a people to foment change in leadership.

This I will never support and you can have a big middle finger from us for punishing ordinary people. You've done that before to other countries and it led nowhere. The people suffered, their leaders not really. You should slap the leaders and win over the people. Otherwise you will get nothing except resentment.

And you can have a big middle finger back, pal. The U.S. is hardly the only country that imposes sanctions in response to illegal actions. In fact, Russia has done the same along with other nations in the UN in various occasions. And you'll need to use both hands because the EU is imposing sanctions, too.

It's either that or WWIII. Pick your poison. If Russians continue to support--or even just be conflicted about--Putin's actions as he invades neighboring former soviet states--then they are complicit, just as the stupid Americans who supported the Bush Administration's war against Iraq were complicit in that action, too. Democracies elect leaders. Or is Russia not even pretending to have democratically-elected leadership anymore?
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#52 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:03 PM

View PostBalderdash, on 18 March 2014 - 12:11 PM, said:

You're about to get a BIG middle finger from me.  The US is trying to help.  If you and your fellow countrymen (women) don't like what's going on, change it, we'd be happy to "HELP."  It doesn't matter what we do anyway, everyone will piss and moan and carry on like it's all our fault no matter what we (the US) do.   I'm tired of other countries middle fingers.  I'm tired of the GOP in the US undermining our President.

What do you want me to do? Shoot Putin with a sniper rifle?

Russian people survived one revolution and a counter attempt when tanks were shooting in the streets. And we survived the misery of the 90s. People are tired, life is legitimately better now for most if not up to your standards. Yes what happened in Crimea is a crime. It's also almost entirely bloodless one. We didn't kill hundreds of thousands over any wmd fairy tales. You want to punish all Russian people? Don't expect anyone to think you're helping.

Edited by Raijin, 18 March 2014 - 01:06 PM.


#53 offworlder

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:29 PM

now today I hear of the attack on surrounded Ukraine base, and first Ukraine officer killed, and chuckle at the Potemkin reference, I just read about the great prince builder just last month in two awesome bio books, mr governator of 'southern province' as they said then, 1784,

here is a look back into the Russian psyche, an ole look at the idea of Crimea,BBC,

http://www.bbc.com/n...gazine-26610276

' Part of the appeal of Crimea for Mandelstam and Tsvetaeva was its exotic, Muslim atmosphere. Mandelstam's poem Feodosia is an ode to the Tatar town of Kaffa.

Surrounded by tall hills,
Like a flock of sheep you run down the mountain,
And sparkle like pink and white stones in the dry, transparent air.
Pirates' feluccas rock back and forth,
Flags like poppies set alight the Turkish port,
Cane-like masts, elastic crystal of a wave,
And boats hanging like hammocks from ropes.

For Tsvetaeva and Mandelstam, the Black Sea and Crimea were fascinating and exotic, worlds away from Moscow, an idyllic, pre-lapsarian, pre-revolutionary time and place they return to in their poetry.
'
' The Soviet Union saw the peninsula transformed into a summer camp for rewarded workers and spoiled apparatchiks. Tens of thousands of children descended to stay in purpose-built sanatoria, and holiday camps such as the famous Artek, to enjoy two weeks of sun, sea and indoctrination through sport and leisure.

In Feodosia, mansions built in the late 19th Century by Karaite Jews - Jews of Turkic origin who were patronised by the imperial elite - were converted into sanatoria. Today, both these palaces and the Soviet sanatoria are falling into ruin.
'
' For anyone born in the Soviet Union, Crimea is holiday-land. Crimea is the southern promise of freedom, of sensuality, an ideal time and place, outside "real life", to enjoy sun, sea, mountains, sports, exotic food, rambling, gambling, whatever takes your fancy. The Soviet fashioning of Crimea as a mass image of desire was completely successful, and still remains powerful, despite competition since the end of the Soviet Union, from cheaper, better equipped resorts in nearby Turkey.

For both Imperial Russia and then the Soviet Union, Crimea was a route to the Mediterranean - the Classical world as well as that of blue skies and sunbathing. But Crimea's attractions are real. Every kind of landscape is condensed into this little diamond: from Crimean steppe (prairie) in the East and North, sandy beaches at Feodosia, to rolling hills of vineyards and fruit trees, and spectacular cliffs dropping into the deep warm sea. Further West a forested mountain range hides ancient cave cities, and fairytale castles hang at the cliff's edge.
'
:harper:

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#54 Spectacles

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 02:26 PM

http://www.huffingto...tml?ir=Politics

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In the most comprehensive sanctions against Russia since the end of the Cold War, President Barack Obama on Monday froze the U.S. assets of seven Russian officials, including top advisers to President Vladimir Putin, for their support of Crimea's vote to secede from Ukraine.

Obama said he was moving to "increase the cost" to Russia, and he warned that more people could face financial punishment.

"If Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further sanctions," Obama said. He added in a brief statement from the White House that he still believes there could be a diplomatic resolution to the crisis and that the sanctions can be calibrated based on whether Russia escalates or pulls back in its involvement.

The Treasury Department also is imposing sanctions on four Ukrainians — including former President Viktor Yanukovych and others who have supported Crimea's separation — under existing authority under a previous Obama order.

"We are imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine. We're making it clear that there are consequences for their actions," Obama said.

Senior administration officials also said they are developing evidence against individuals in the arms industry and those they described as "Russian government cronies" to target their assets.
The administration officials said Putin wasn't sanctioned despite his support of the Crimean referendum because the U.S. doesn't usually begin with heads of state. But the officials, speaking to reporters on a conference call on the condition they not be quoted by name, say those sanctioned are very close to Putin and that the sanctions are "designed to hit close to home."

The U.S. announcement came shortly after the European Union announced travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people they have linked to the unrest in Crimea. Obama administration officials say there is some overlap between the U.S. and European list, which wasn't immediately made public. Biden was heading to Europe Monday and Obama plans to go next week. The president said that demonstrating a "solemn commitment to our collective defense" as NATO allies will be at the top of the agenda.

The sanctions were expected after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly Sunday in favor of the split. Crimea's parliament on Monday declared the region an independent state. The administration officials say there is some concrete evidence that some ballots for the referendum arrived pre-marked in many cities and "there are massive anomalies in the vote." The officials did not say what that evidence was.

The United States, European Union and others say the action violates the Ukrainian constitution and international law and took place in the strategic peninsula under duress of Russian military intervention. Putin maintained that the vote was legal and consistent with the right of self-determination, according to the Kremlin.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#55 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 02:41 PM

Why they never list the assets they froze? I want to know what our officials actually have. Rogozin whose assets have been frozen already said he does actually have any.

#56 Spectacles

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:20 PM

^Apparently he's not alone. Several are claiming not to have assets--and to be simply outraged, of course, at the U.S.'s "unilateralism," which is rich coming from a crew that just annexed Crimea and is threatening to grab more of Ukraine.

http://rt.com/news/s...ssia-eu-us-338/


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Andrey Klishas, a member of the Federation Council, also among the sanctioned officials, noted that he was “quite satisfied” with the company of people he found himself in.
State Duma deputy, Yelena Mizulina, was also perplexed by her addition to the list.

“The decision is puzzling – although we’ve expected sanctions – because I don’t have any accounts or real estate abroad, nor do my family members live abroad…Why was particularly I included?”

The US sanctions against Russia reflect Washington's pathological refusal to acknowledge reality, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Monday, Interfax reports.
"It's outrageous that the US administration imposed sanctions against a number of officials who represent Russia, including in international formats," he said upon arrival in Vienna ahead of the next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1.

"This reflects the pathological reluctance to acknowledge reality and an attempt to impose upon us their unilateral and unbalanced approaches that completely ignore reality."

:D

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The US announcement came shortly after the European Union applied travel bans and asset freezes on Monday against 21 people from Russia and Crimea, who it believes were linked to the secession of Crimea from Ukraine.The EU list includes 13 Russians and eight people from Crimea, and singles out political figures..

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Late on Monday the EU published a list of sanctioned Russian and Crimean officials. The Russian individuals subjected to sanctions include members of the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia’s parliament) - Chairman of the Security and Defense Committee, Viktor Ozerov, First Deputy-Chairman of the International Affairs Committee, Vladimir Dzhabarov, Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Law, Andrey Klishas, Member of the Committee for federal issues, regional politics and the North, Nikolay Ryzhkov, Deputy speaker Evgeny Bushmin, Member of the Committee on culture, science, and information Aleksandr Totoonov and First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Parliamentary Issues, Oleg Panteleev. The list names State Duma members (lower house of parliament) including Member of the Council and Leader of the Fair Russia party Sergey Mironov, Deputy speaker Sergey Zheleznyak, Chairman of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Committee Leonid Slutsky.

It also names Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Vitko, Commander of Russia's Western Military District, Anatoly Sidorov, and Commander of Russia's Southern Military District, Aleksandr Galkin.

Among the Crimean officials the list singles out Prime Minister of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, speaker of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea, Rustam Temirgaliev, Commander of the Crimean armed forces, Denis Berezovsky, Mayor of Sevastopol, Aleksey Chaluy, head of the Crimean Security Service (SBU), Pyotr Zima, Counsellor of the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, Yuriy Zherebtsov, Vice Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, Sergey Tsekov.

The EU sanctions will be in force for six months, said Federica Mogherini, Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, after EU ministers and officials met in Brussels. According to her, the sanctions will include visa bans and financial restrictions. However they will not affect representatives of Russia’s leadership, journalists and employees of nongovernmental structures.

The sanctions are due to be expanded when EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius


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Also, Canada has introduced similar additional sanctions following the Crimean referendum. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced new economic sanctions and travel bans against some Russian and Ukrainian officials “responsible for the crisis”.

“Today, our Government is announcing additional sanctions that will serve to further isolate Russia from the international community,” Harper said in a statement. “Targeted sanctions through regulations under the Special Economic Measures Act build on sanctions already in place, and are being imposed against senior Russian officials as well as additional Ukrainian officials. The individuals targeted are responsible for undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and for facilitating Russian military action against Ukraine.”

Putin and Russia's leaders are turning the clock back to the old soviet days when Russia was isolated, distrusted, and generally loathed outside the USSR--even within portions of it. That's a shame. All those Russian nationalists who are overjoyed at the annexation of Crimea, taking it as a sign of some growing restoration of Russian prestige in the world are sadly, tragically wrong. The truth is that Russia has not been viewed with this level of distrust and dislike since the old USSR dissolved. And that's sad. This did not have to be.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#57 Spectacles

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:29 PM

Interesting article comparing the annexation of Crimea to South Ossetia. The people of Crimea better hope they fare better than the South Ossetians.

http://www.nytimes.c...&_r=1&referrer=

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ATOTSI, Georgia — As Crimeans danced in the streets this week, giddy at the prospect of being gathered into Russia, few were watching as closely as the residents of the tiny mountainous enclave of South Ossetia, who, five and a half years ago, were similarly ecstatic.

On the day in 2008 when Russia formally recognized the enclave as independent of Georgia, young men hung out of their car windows, waving Russian flags and spraying pedestrians with champagne. Officials daydreamed about building an economy based on tourism, like those of Monaco or Andorra.

That has not happened. These days South Ossetia’s economy is entirely dependent on budgetary funds from Russia. Unemployment is high, and so are prices, since goods must now be shuttled in through the tunnel, long and thin like a drinking straw, that cuts through the Caucasus ridge from Russia.

Its political system is controlled by elites loyal to Moscow, suddenly wealthy enough to drive glossy black cars, though the roads are pitted or unpaved. Dozens of homes damaged in the 2008 war with Georgia have never been repaired. Dina Alborova, who heads a nonprofit organization in the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, said her early hopes “all got corrected, step by step.”

“During the first winter, we still thought, ‘The war just ended,’ ” she said. “By the second winter, frustration had taken root. When the third winter came, everything was clear.”





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As in Crimea, the war was presented to Russians as a humanitarian effort to protect its citizens, and more broadly as a challenge to encirclement by the United States, which was aligned with Georgia. Television stations gave the intervention blanket coverage and it was wildly popular in Russia, lifting the approval ratings of Dmitri A. Medvedev to the highest point of his presidency.

The aftermath of recognition, however, has presented Russia with a long series of headaches.

This week, economists have warned repeatedly that Crimea, if it is absorbed, will prove a serious drag on Russia’s budget, but their arguments have been drowned out in the roar of public support for annexation.

Aleksei A. Malashenko, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said Russian officials “will be shocked” with the challenges they face when trying to manage Crimea — reviving its economy, distributing money and influence among its ethnic groups, and trying to control the corruption that accompanies all big Russian projects. And, judging from precedent, the public’s euphoria will fade, he said.

“I think that in Russia, the majority of the society forgot about Ossetia, and if it weren’t for the Olympics, the majority of the society would also forget about Abkhazia,” Mr. Malashenko said. “Of course, Crimea is not Ossetia. But anyway, the popularity of Crimeans, and the Crimean tragedy, will be forgotten in a year.”

South Ossetia’s president, a former K.G.B. officer named Leonid Tibilov, was among the first to celebrate Russia’s decision to absorb Crimea on Tuesday, calling it “the only possible step to grant solid peace to Crimea, which is the main and essential condition for its further prosperity.”

Edited by Spectacles, 18 March 2014 - 04:30 PM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#58 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 06:18 PM

Here are some real facts that Putin's propaganda uses explained to you by people who aren't Russian (www.foreignpolicy.com):

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Ukraine is home to Svoboda, arguably Europe's most influential far-right movement today. (In the photo above, Svoboda activists seize a Ministry of Agriculture building during Kiev's Euromaidan protests in January.) Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok is on record complaining that his country is controlled by a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia," while his deputy derided the Ukrainian-born film star Mila Kunis as a "dirty Jewess." In Svoboda's eyes, gays are perverts and black people unfit to represent the nation at Eurovision, lest viewers come away thinking Ukraine is somewhere besides Uganda.
Svoboda began life in the mid-90s as the Social-National Party (a name deliberately redolent of the National Socialist Party, better known as Nazis), with its logo the fascist Wolfsangel. In 2004, the party gave itself an unobjectionable new name (Svoboda means "Freedom") and canned the Nazi imagery, and in the subsequent decade has seen its star swiftly rise.
Today, Svoboda holds a larger chunk of its nation's ministries (nearly a quarter, including the prized defense portfolio) than any other far-right party on the continent. Ukraine's deputy prime minister represents Svoboda (the smaller, even more extreme "Right Sector" coalition fills the deputy National Security Council chair), as does the prosecutor general and the deputy chair of parliament -- where the party is the fourth-largest. And Svoboda's fresh faces are scarcely different from the old: one of its freshmen members of parliament is the founder of the "Joseph Goebbels Political Research Centre" and has hailed the Holocaust as a "bright period" in human history.
http://www.foreignpo...nian_government

This has been hampering Ukraine greatly from the start and breeding resentment in the east and among ordinary Russians in and of itself without any need for Putin to make things up. Still think they have nothing to be upset about in the east?

#59 Spectacles

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:00 PM

How on earth has the U.S. been so stupidly in the dark that a sitting Senator (McCain) actually appeared in public with this Nazi and hugged him? WTF? No, I see what you're talking about, Raijin. I'd be worried about this kind of ideology gaining power, too. The sad thing is that Ukraine, indeed the whole region, seems stuck between the still vivid ghosts of Hitler and Stalin--and enough people seem entranced by nationalism to embrace one or the other to recover what they imagine is a lost glory. Meanwhile, they're being abused and misled and manipulated by these odious people.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#60 Raijin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:19 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 18 March 2014 - 07:00 PM, said:

The sad thing is that Ukraine, indeed the whole region, seems stuck between the still vivid ghosts of Hitler and Stalin--and enough people seem entranced by nationalism to embrace one or the other to recover what they imagine is a lost glory.

As someone clever once said, "We defeated Nazism and claimed it as a trophy."



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