9:16 AM, Dec 12, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
DW reports that:
Poland's Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said on Thursday that he was concerned by the extent of Russia's recent military action over the Baltic Sea.
"For a few days now, there has been unprecedented Russian activity, from its Baltic fleet to flights over the Baltic Sea," Siemoniak said.
This is, it seems, part of a pattern with:
reports of more than 30 Russian military aircraft in the Baltic region on Monday, two Russian bombers were also intercepted over the Baltic Sea by Dutch F-16 fighters.
Just a day later, Norwegian military said that one of its warplanes had a "near miss" with a Russian fighter which had ventured too close, north of Norway. Poland and other Baltic states including Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have been on edge since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March.
Finland, too, has seen increased Russian air activity. As Sam LaGrone of USNI reports:
Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornets have intercepted and observed a variety of Russian aircraft, including Tupolev Tu-95 Bear and Tupolev Tu-22M Backfire bombers and Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback, Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker and Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound fighters. “Air activity intensified on December 6 and has continued during the first days of the week. No violations of Finnish airspace have been observed,” read the statement.
Could be just a coincidence but, during the same period when these provocations were occurring, the price of oil was falling. Touching below $60 a barrel yesterday.
Russia owns two exportable commodities. Oil and belligerence.
And the ruble is in free-fall.Dec 22, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 15 • By CATHY YOUNG
A year ago, Ukraine’s “Euro-maidan” protests, spurred by then-president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject a promised trade agreement with the European Union and rush into the well-paid embrace of Vladimir Putin, began to escalate in Kiev, turning to violent clashes with government forces. A Ukrainian revolution, a Russian land grab, and months of undeclared war later, we still don’t know whether these events signaled the beginning of a revival of Russian power or the beginning of the end of the Putin regime.
2:29 PM, Dec 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Charles Lane speculates on just what collapsing oil prices will mean for Russia and Vladimir Putin’s grip on power. This depends, Lane writes:
2:40 PM, Oct 7, 2014 • By JEFFREY GEDMIN
"Even wallpaper has a better memory than human beings," says protagonist Oskar in Guenter Grass's acclaimed 1959 novel, later an academy award winning film, the Tin Drum.
Under Putin, there’s less and less of it.Sep 1, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 47 • By ELLEN BORK
At this writing, it seems that the hundreds of trucks sent by Moscow with supplies for the residents of Eastern Ukraine will be delivered without further incident. For over a week, the long convoy wended its way toward the Ukrainian border, carrying with it the prospect for a spike in tensions between Moscow and Kiev. Concerns over the trucks’ contents—were they humanitarian supplies, or was the convoy a Trojan Horse, filled with weapons and munitions?—have been resolved.
2:40 PM, Jul 18, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
No columnist rivals Matthew Continetti's ability to contrast so starkly the president's exalted self-image with his actual smallness on the world stage. This morning's installment of his weekly Free Beacon column is perhaps the best example yet.
Uprisings in the East, corruption in the West— Ukraine emerges from elections divided and weakenedJun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
7:08 AM, May 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev says that "we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war." He also said that U.S. President Barack Obama could be "more tactful politically" and that he's disappointed in some of the decisions Obama has made.
Has Obama given up on Putin? Let’s hope so.May 12, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 33 • By TOD LINDBERG
It's hard to look on the bright side of the dismemberment of a sovereign state by force of arms. But because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the ongoing threat Vladimir Putin intends to pose to eastern Ukraine, the Obama administration must now face international reality free of one of its more cherished illusions: that Russia is a partner in the pursuit of commonly desired outcomes.
4:07 PM, May 1, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Vladimir Putin evidently feels a kind of boundless nostalgia for what he remembers as days of glory and pride, with parades and big red flags on the streets of Moscow with the rest of the world looking on in fear.
So this May Day, they are marching again, as Ilya Khrennikov of Bloomberg reports:
Hosted by Michael Graham.10:30 AM, Apr 16, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on why the U.S. needs to push back against Vladimir Putin.
2:26 PM, Apr 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Lolita C. Baldour of the AP reports that:
A Russian fighter jet made multiple, close-range passes near an American warship in the Black Sea for more than 90 minutes Saturday amid escalating tensions in the region, a U.S. military official said Monday.
9:49 PM, Apr 13, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The Obama administration has scheduled a deputies committee meeting this week—tentatively set for Tuesday—to resolve a bitter inter-agency dispute over a request from Russia with respect to the Open Skies program. Informed sources believe the White House is likely to side with the State Department, which wants to accommodate Russia, over the objections of the Obama administration's Defense Department and intelligence agencies.
11:20 AM, Apr 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Ukraine crisis may end not with an invasion, but a lien. As Reuters reports:
Russian natural gas producer Gazprom said on Tuesday Ukraine had failed to pay for its March gas supplies on time but did not say whether the company would take any action against Kiev. "They haven't paid for March," a spokesman said, confirming that Ukraine's total debt of $2.2 billion had not been reduced by the deadline of midnight on Monday.