The Ukraine crisis continues and intensifies, despite the recent election. This morning, the BBC is reporting that:
Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have shot down a military helicopter near Sloviansk, killing 14, outgoing President Olexander Turchynov says.
President-elect Petro Poroshenko has vowed to tackle the uprising in eastern Ukraine, saying he would deal firmly with "bandits" and "murderers”.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
On February 22, popular protests led to the fall of the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev. On February 27, in response to this setback, President Vladimir Putin sent forces into Crimea to seize it from Ukraine. On March 19, President Barack Obama delivered his response. He reassured Putin, “We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine.” Obama added, “What we are going to do is mobilize all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international coalition that sends a clear message.”Read more
It's time for a reset for U.S. policy toward Russia. The original Obama reset has now run its course, and President Vladimir Putin has thoroughly dashed all hope of Russia emerging as a partner of the United States and a constructive contributor to a liberal international order. The armed takeover and annexation of Crimea and the threat of further military incursion into eastern Ukraine have established beyond doubt that the United States needs to approach Russia first and foremost as a security challenge.Read more
The failures of American will exposed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are numerous and mounting. Coming on top of the tepid response to China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone over Japanese waters and the withdrawals from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the “red line” in Syria, they have revealed Barack Obama as a man who not only “leads from behind” but marches to the rear.Read more
Appearing with the president of Latvia and Lithuania, Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia "that there is a price to pay for naked aggression."Read more
David Axelrod, the former top political adviser to President Barack Obama, talks Russia on Twitter. "Crimea and Punishment. Putin riding high at home now, but hard to see how his county benefits in the long run if ruble is in rubble," writes Axelrod.Read more
On February 23, five days before Russia invaded Ukraine, National Security Adviser Susan Rice appeared on Meet the Press and shrugged off suggestions that Russia was preparing any kind of military intervention: “It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence returned and the situation escalate.” A return to a “Cold War construct” isn’t necessary, Rice insisted, because such thinking “is long out of date” and “doesn’t reflect the realities of the 21st century.” Even if Vladimir Putin sees the world this way, Rice argued, it is “not in the United States’ interests” to do so.Read more
On the last day of February and first day of March, Russia’s mendacious foreign and defense ministers told their credulous U.S. counterparts that Russia had every intention of respecting Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. Of course, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is virtually the poster child for Henry Wotton’s famous definition of a diplomat as someone sent abroad to lie for his country. Russian assurances to their U.S. counterparts during the war in Georgia in 2008 were equally deceitful.Read more
The G-7 leaders are coming together to say that they "would not recognize the outcome" of a vote "to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law and in violation of international law."Read more
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with editor William Kristol on the situation in Ukraine.Read more
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