1:19 PM, Apr 17, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In a call-in show on Russian television, Vladimir Putin:
... expressed hope for a political and diplomatic solution of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, saying he hopes that he won't have to send Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, which has been engulfed by violent protests against the new authorities in Kiev.
Gee, many no doubt are thinking, we kind of hope so, too. And maybe, you can make that happen.
The AP further reported that Putin:
… poured scorn at the West, accusing it of trying to weaken and isolate Russia and made it starkly clear that he doesn't fear further Western sanctions.
5:08 PM, Apr 15, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Marco Rubio is pushing President Obama to strengthen Russian sanctions. “Russia’s efforts to foment unrest in eastern Ukraine are tantamount to another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Assertions from Moscow that Russia is not involved hold little credibility, particularly in the wake of its unlawful annexation of Crimea," the Florida senator writes in a statement released by his office.
1:26 PM, Apr 15, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The crisis in Ukraine has not reached the dreaded point where it turns into a shooting war. And likely it will not. So we hear no urgent analysis of things like objectives, interior lines, unity of command, logistical staying power, the durability of alliances, and the other matters that have been the concern of European strategists since the days of Napoleon.
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.
11:01 AM, Apr 13, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, providing Russia with what it considers a case for intervention. As James Marson and Lukas I. Alpert of the Wall Street Journal report this morning:
4:52 PM, Apr 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Nobody does show trials like the Russians and according to some reports some of their politicians would like to bring them back. According to an AFP story, a group:
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.
Why cooperate with Putin’s propaganda?Apr 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 29 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
A new Gallup poll of Ukrainians undermines the main rationale for Russia’s aggression towards its neighbor and calls into question the U.S. approach to diplomacy with the Russians, which treats some of the Russian claims as legitimate. The findings of the national survey also cast further doubt on the results of the recent referendum on Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
Putin’s Russia is in no position to criticize Ukraine. Apr 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 29 • By CATHY YOUNG
Throughout the Ukraine crisis, Moscow has insisted that the Euromaidan protests against the pro-Russian regime of Viktor Yanukovych were driven by far-right groups, fascists, or even “neo-Nazis” and that Yanukovych’s downfall has brought these dark forces into the corridors of power. These claims are echoed by Kremlin-friendly Western commentators on the left (the Nation’s Stephen Cohen) and the paleocon right (Antiwar.com’s Justin Raimondo). Far-right extremism in Ukraine is indeed a worrisome problem.
A case for repudiation. Apr 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 29 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
It is a decade since America confronted the question of just how much financial assistance to provide Iraq, then burdened with billions in debt incurred by the Saddam Hussein regime. Now we face a similar problem in Ukraine, the important difference being that Iraq’s huge but mismanaged oil reserves gave it some prospect of repaying loans sooner rather than later, whereas the tapped-out Ukrainian economy has a long way to go before it will be financially viable.
12:12 PM, Apr 2, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Travelling from Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to Mostar, a city almost midway toward Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Coast, one drives through a stunningly-beautiful landscape of mountains, forests, and rivers. On a recent trip, however, I observed a surprising sight: four gas stations owned by Gazprom, the Russian energy giant.
12:59 PM, Apr 1, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The non-military measures taken against Russia for its actions in Crimea and against its threatened invasion of Ukraine has not, as yet, had any discernible military effect. Reuters reports that NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen
'In the end, obviously the troops are in Russia on Russian soil.'8:33 AM, Mar 31, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Despite the Russian troops massing on the Ukainian border and Russia's "illegal and illegitimate" actions so far, Secretary of State John Kerry told the press in Paris last night after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov that, according to Lavrov, "Russia wants to support Ukraine in its independence and in its ability to be able to make that transition":