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    The Situation in the Ukraine. #2

    magnumcromagnon
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    Post  magnumcromagnon on Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:18 pm

    zino wrote:
    navyfield wrote:
    GarryB wrote:

    so putin took crimea from ukraine and into russia without a bullet fired ,bombing campaign etc.... ,right in front of eu and usa , im impressed the guys got the balls of a bull.

    I doubt Putin planned this... the US and EU just did what they have been doing for the last decade and a bit and presented their King to Putin on a plate... can't blame him for taking the opportunity to take back what should never have been given in the first place.

    Perhaps a referendum in Alaska might be in order   Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 

    After all they did vote in Tina Fey as governor so they clearly don't care who is in charge...

    i disagree . russians knew there would be another orange revolution part 2 ,in case pro eu pro nato moves werent implemented...
    so yanukovich bluffed and waited untill the last possible moment to decline to sign eu accession deal...
    then russia implemented plan "crimea" in case he was ousted...

    when the rest of the country sees that crimeans live 5x better then they are/ under pro-nato government/ which doesnt have money for paychecks and pensions and gas , the results of upcoming election in ukraine seem to be in favour of russia very much.

    that why plan crimea was important to be done in a bloodless and elegant manner,unlike savages in pro-nato parties...

    Anti NATO faction doesn't even have a candidate for the presidential election of 25th of May. And Ukraine is now a parlamentary republic, so no... the route for the west is stable. The only option for a change is bankrupcy and the subsequent revolution. Like Medvedev wrote, the collapse of the state, the destruction of the ukrainian statehood and the emerging of peripheric powers. But everything is unlikely, ukrainians are disheartened.

    It's far from stable, large portions of the population will not except the coup-regime change govt., and when the harsh IMF backed austerity measures are put in to place, there's a strong possibility that the Pro-Maidan supporters may switch sides once they start cutting pensions and heating gas subsidies in half. The fight for Ukraine is far from over!
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    Post  etaepsilonk on Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:03 pm

    Looks like the guerrilla forces are emerging in eastern Ukraine:

    Anyone has more information about it?
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    Post  arpakola on Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:43 pm


    remember Alexandr... (the Russian eater) ?
    well here he is .. enjoying .. the way he knows..

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    Post  TR1 on Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:53 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLFiSq8smb4

    Horrible.

    Good luck to the Ukranian troops joining the Russian army.
    They might actually be trained and paid.
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    Post  magnumcromagnon on Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:43 am

    Russian sanctions as war and farce

    By Pepe Escobar

    If we come to a minefield, our infantry attacks exactly as if it was not there - Marshal Georgy Zhukov

    Let's start with the serious stuff. As Russia's Federation Council ratifies a treaty with Crimea, concluding the formal annexation, Ukraine signs the political chapters of an association agreement with the European Union (EU). The signing of the full EU agreement will only happen later in 2014.

    These are the facts on the ground. Now let's turn to comedy hour - also known as the sanctions war.

    The oh-so democratic EU has punished the democratic Crimea



    referendum by sanctioning 33 Russians and Crimeans with asset freezes and travel bans, according to that Magritte-style walking fiction, European Council President Van Rompuy. The EU also canceled the EU-Russia summit in Sochi on June 3. And the vast, Kafkaesque bureaucracy of the European Commission (EC) has taken time out from subsidizing European cows to prepare for "possible economic sanctions", according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The EU is irretrievably split on what to do. Whatever it does, Moscow's capacity to make the EU badly hurt is stronger. There may be another meek set of sanctions next week, as Merkel advertised. But that's it.

    European poodle action mirrors His Master's Voice - as in US President Barack Obama solemnly imposing, by executive order, further sanctions on "senior officials of the Russian government." Other US targets are private businessmen close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Only exceptionalist logic legally allows sanctions on private individuals deemed responsible for political steps taken by the country they live in. International lawyers should have thought about sanctioning the entire US population for the Bush-Cheney junta's disaster.

    Well over 60% of Americans and Europeans are against a New Cold War against Russia. Putin's approval rating in Russia is around 75% - and arguably similar all across the developing world. Still, no one will lose money betting on the juvenile amateurism of the Obama administration. As if they and selected European minions could intimidate Moscow with some cosmetic "message". The American sanction religion, imposed with a conquistador/slave owner fury, did destroy Iraq for years - and was supposed to destroy Iran as well. But Russia is not Iraq or Iran.

    I love a man in sanction uniform
    Sanctioned Russians are not exactly quaking in their made-in-London brogues. After all, the practical impact of these sanctions is exactly zero. And most people targeted have minimal direct links with the US.

    The original American list included Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin and presidential aide Vladislav Surkov. They laughed it off, loudly - adding it felt like a badge of honor. The expanded list includes key Putin advisers and even some of his friends.

    Obama, Iran-style, sanctioned the Bank of Russia - a minor player (less than US$10 billion in assets; compare it with giant Sberbank at $528 billion). But Bank of Russia is used by some Gazprom subsidiaries for some low-key deals - even as Gazprom owns its own bank, GazpromBank. The "message" here is that Washington is watching Gazprom.

    Chief of Presidential Administration Sergei Ivanov is a key adviser on Ukraine and a top negotiator with the US, the EU and NATO. The - counterproductive - "message" implied here is that Moscow and Washington are not talking anything substantial in the immediate future. So much for the West's "diplomatic efforts".

    Then there's Yuri Kovalchuk, a board member of the Bank of Russia, a key business adviser and - allegedly, no conclusive evidence - Putin's personal banker. The message here is of the "I'm gonna git you sucka" kind.

    Finally, among the notables, there's Gennady Timchenko, who has absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine. He's an energy deal operator, controlling oil and natural gas trading firm Gunvor. In this case, the "message" is that the US will target Russia's energy deals. Message void, because the EU - which needs Gazprom badly - is not inclined to sanction Timchenko.

    Other sanctioned include the head of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov, Chief of Military Intelligence Igor Sergun and Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin.

    They are all part of the Russia-US team involved in the Northern Distribution Network - the long, across-Central Asia highway that will allow NATO to flee Afghanistan. A swift Moscow counter-attack would be to leave the Americans and Europeans hanging dry - or to close the NDN altogether.

    I want to be sanction-free
    Moscow, predictably, struck back. The Russian Foreign Ministry has "repeatedly" stressed that using sanctions is a "double-edged thing" and it will have a "boomerang" effect against the US.

    Already barred from entering Russia is a nasty bunch including the senile John McCain, plus Robert Menendez, Daniel Coats, Mary Landrieu, Harry Reid, John Boehner and Obama advisers such as the cosmic mediocrity Ben Rhodes. Vicky "F**k the EU" Nuland has not made the list - yet.

    Moscow is playing it cool because it may choose among a staggering array of counterpunches. It enjoys the support of the BRICS group of emerging powers, the non-aligned movement (NAM) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Composing with the US, Moscow agreed to impose sanctions on Iran, and is a key player in the P5+1 nuclear negotiations. If the sanction comedy goes on, Moscow has already announced it will play hardball with the P5+1, will cease to sanction Iran, and may even, finally, weaponize Tehran with jewels of the S-400 variety.

    Moscow - the number one oil and gas exporter on the planet - can also play further hardball with Europe's dependency on Gazprom; clinically target US companies working in Russia; speed up the BRICS-coordinated escape from the US dollar, as in a new international payment system in a basket of currencies for the BRICS as well as other emerging markets; and even activate the ultimate economic nuclear bomb - which is to accept payment for Russian oil and gas in ruble, yuan, euros or gold, thus delivering a terminal blow to the petrodollar.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the end of the comedy hour.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-210314.html

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    Post  Regular on Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:45 am

    TR1 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLFiSq8smb4

    Horrible.

    Good luck to the Ukranian troops joining the Russian army.
    They might actually be trained and paid.
    WTF is this for real??? Ukrainian soldiers should quit now or it will get worse.
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    Post  AlfaT8 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:20 am

    Regular wrote:
    TR1 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLFiSq8smb4

    Horrible.

    Good luck to the Ukranian troops joining the Russian army.
    They might actually be trained and paid.
    WTF is this for real??? Ukrainian soldiers should quit now or it will get worse.
    Translation please!  Rolling Eyes 
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    Post  Austin on Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:02 am

    Jim Sinclair: Russia Can Collapse US Economy, Gold Update, Silver is Gold on Steroids & More
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:39 am

    i disagree . russians knew there would be another orange revolution part 2 ,in case pro eu pro nato moves werent implemented...
    so yanukovich bluffed and waited untill the last possible moment to decline to sign eu accession deal...
    then russia implemented plan "crimea" in case he was ousted...

    I had a plan for when the Ukraine screwed itself... it was a car crash waiting to happen... does that make the coup my fault?

    The Russians likely suspected the west would try another attempt at corrupting democracy with their coloured revolutions. Yanukovich just compared deals and went with the one that made sense for the Ukraine... whether Putin predicted the outcome or not is unknown and in my opinion unlikely. He just took advantage of the wests deception and gave real choice to the people of the Crimea... something they haven't had in a while. And they made their choice.

    when the rest of the country sees that crimeans live 5x better then they are/ under pro-nato government/ which doesnt have money for paychecks and pensions and gas , the results of upcoming election in ukraine seem to be in favour of russia very much.

    The future of the Crimea is much brighter as part of Russia... it is traditionally been a resort area and a cultural area for all things naval, and with all the ship building going on in Russia right now for the navy and other branches of government and military I think they will also benefit from that growth as well.

    Under the EU it would be Austerity and a vote every few years... and they will get the vote too.

    that why plan crimea was important to be done in a bloodless and elegant manner,unlike savages in pro-nato parties...

    No need for snipers to kill people on both sides and incite violence and chaos.

    Of course watching things degenerate in the Ukraine the Crimeans could see what the alternative was and to be honest once the Orange revolution chic was in jail and the not anti Russian party was in power and you outlaw the communist party that leaves the tiny hard right wing nazis... what was the west expecting?

    To be honest I would say it is most likely like the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia... Putin didn't plan it because he didn't have any control to make it happen. When it did happen however he likely thanked his lucky stars that his opposition is so stupid and took every advantage that he could at the time...

    TR1 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLFiSq8smb4

    Horrible.

    Good luck to the Ukranian troops joining the Russian army.
    They might actually be trained and paid.

    TR-1... you know this is an English language forum... if you are going to post video in non english languages please at least describe the gist of the contents... especially when there is no eye candy and there are just talking heads.
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    Post  TR1 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:36 am

    Someone else translation, but basically the gist:

    "So its a popular Ukranian TV show and they invite Minister of Defence, and they got online video call from marine officer in one of the surrounded bases. The guy says that people there are divided into three groups - those who want to evacuate to mainland Ukraine and continue military service in Ukranian forces, those who want to leave Army forever because they are sick of it, and tose who want to enlist to Russian military forces. Men feel like they were betrayed by Ukranian government and MoD, dont get any clear orders what to do and ask for evacuation.

    Minister begins to humiliate officer, telling him whats the deal, that he has orders to hold the place and use weapons if nesessery. That it is his fault that his men want to surrender. Its because he hired the wrong men for the job, lack of training etc. Officers says - And after 20+ days of siege you dare to tell me its my fault, you and your generals never visited us, never called. And we have Russian generals visiting us every day, I remeber all of them. Etc etc. So basically MoD shyte on its own men in trouble and the whole country can see this shame on TV show."
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    Post  etaepsilonk on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:50 am

    TR1 wrote: So basically MoD shyte on its own men in trouble and the whole country can see this shame on TV show."

    And MOD actually did the right thing by not giving them orders (maybe unconsciously, I dunno). That way the situation deescalated pretty quickly.
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    Post  Werewolf on Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:56 am

    etaepsilonk wrote:
    TR1 wrote: So basically MoD shyte on its own men in trouble and the whole country can see this shame on TV show."

    And MOD actually did the right thing by not giving them orders (maybe unconsciously, I dunno). That way the situation deescalated pretty quickly.

    I would give the order to drive to Kiew with tank battalions and declare martial law on military behalf, yanukowich the fool had to do it before this scum came to power.
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    Post  etaepsilonk on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:11 am

    Werewolf wrote:
    etaepsilonk wrote:
    TR1 wrote: So basically MoD shyte on its own men in trouble and the whole country can see this shame on TV show."

    And MOD actually did the right thing by not giving them orders (maybe unconsciously, I dunno). That way the situation deescalated pretty quickly.

    I would give the order to drive to Kiew with tank battalions and declare martial law on military behalf, yanukowich the fool had to do it before this scum came to power.

    Well, that's unrelated to Crimea, is it?  Smile 

    As for such "marching into Kiev", I already wrote about this. Ukrainian generals just don't give a damn, they're purposefully standing in the sidelines in order to come out dry.
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    Post  Mindstorm on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:02 pm


    Interview with ex chief of Ukrainian Security Service -СБУ- Александр Якименко explainign in detail how Maidan was attentively prepared and funded by US (originally for 2015)

    A must read.

    http://www.kp.ru/daily/26208/3093561/
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    Post  As Sa'iqa on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:37 pm

    Another conspiracy shit. USraeli imperialists had carefully prepared everything, then pulled a magic want, said "hocus pocus!", and the protests against the people's government began.

    You should use more reliable sources than a Russian tabloid.
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    Post  Sujoy on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:45 pm

    I found this article (below) interesting because it reminded me of Western sanctions that were imposed on India in '98 after INDIA conducted the nuclear tests .


    Why Sanctions Against Russia Will Boomerang


    Tehelka.com wrote:People in all free-thinking countries should applaud the US call for sanctions against Russia. Why? Because it exposes the West’s complete inability to use the military option. Even if President Vladimir Putin sends all four divisions of the Russian Airborne Forces into Ukraine, the US and its allies can do little but watch from the sidelines.

    As the US Congress leads the strident push for an economic boycott and the western media keeps up the blitzkrieg of hatred against Russia, what is being ignored is that sanctions are a double-edged sword that will hurt everyone in a globalised economy. Sure, Putin will lose sleep but only because he will be laughing at the West’s clumsiness.

    Russia isn’t Iraq or Libya (which NATO took nearly three months to subdue militarily). The 1990s are a distant memory when former Russian president Boris Yeltsin and his cronies in the Kremlin were being remote-controlled from the White House. Back then, the bear had retreated from the geopolitical stage. A stark example was Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev refusing to meet Mani Dixit, the foreign secretary of Russia’s closest ally, in January 1992.

    Emergent Russia is no longer threatened by a terminally declining West. After 14 years at the helm, Putin no longer has the job of saving the largest country on the planet. That file is closed. Because of his astute diplomacy, especially during the Syrian crisis, America’s attempts to put Russia in a box have failed.

    Sure, militarily Moscow today is a shadow of the mighty Soviet Union but it is still a great power. In August 2008, the West received a reminder of that strength when the Russian Army walloped Georgia’s US-trained forces in a matter of days. Plus, Moscow has the largest number of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons on the planet. As Russian television anchor Dmitry Kiselyov — known to be close to Putin’s inner circle — said this week, Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the USA into radioactive dust”.

    So why can’t the army of western analysts and think tanks see the dangers of bear-baiting? Short answer: blinding hatred. The push for sanctions is coming from people who cannot come to terms with the fact that Russia has once again become a counterweight to western might. These are the same people who cannot sleep at night because the likes of China, India and Brazil are now sitting at the high table.

    The UPI’s Martin Walker says Putin is “a ruthless carnivore in a Europe of soft vegetarians. He is a ruthless rogue running an aggressive rogue State”. This is not journalism, this is hate-mongering. There is not one newspaper editor (among the thousands) in India who would allow such comments to be published. It is this hatred that blinds the West to the realities of the post-western world.

    Then there is the KGB syndrome. There is an entire army of western commentators whose pet phrase is: “As a former member of the KGB, Putin’s worldview is fossilised.”

    Anyone with even a smattering of knowledge about the KGB will agree that the erstwhile spy agency, despite all its faults, was one of the most adaptable outfits in a closed system. If anything, a former KGB officer is most likely to be the owner of a business or some enterprise — even criminal — in the new Russia. That’s because KGB officers were an elite breed who could multitask and were multilingual, giving them the edge in a capitalist society. Plus, the secret service’s agents had a worldview that the average communist party leader lacked.

    His KGB past explains why Putin — who speaks fluent German — is the antithesis of a typical Russian politician. It is also why former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder works for him at Nord Stream, the pipeline that now transports gas directly to Germany, bypassing troublesome Ukraine and the Baltic States.

    The US has for long dreamt of getting a toehold in Ukraine in its relentless quest to become the pre-eminent power in the Eurasian landmass — extending from Lisbon in the west to Vladivostok in the east.

    Washington’s geopolitical handbook is The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives. In this arrogant tome, former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski says by creating instability in every country in Russia’s neighbourhood, especially in the Central Asian ‘Stans’ and Ukraine, and disrupting the flow of oil and gas, the US can isolate Russia. Moscow will then cease to be a great power.

    Brzezinski, a Pole, openly espouses provoking instability by exploiting the ethnic and religious diversity of the region. The grand idea is to create an “arc of instability” extending from Afghanistan to the Stans in the southern part of the former Soviet Union.

    Now, Ukraine is an insanely industrious country, with a fertile bread basket in the west and a highly industrialised east. If the country’s 44 million people are added to the western alliance, it would be a huge untapped market for American armament companies and German consumer goods.

    Plus, in the backdrop of an ageing West, the well-populated Ukraine is expected to provide soldiers for tomorrow’s NATO.

    The neo-Nazi, rabidly right-wing and anti-Semetic elements from western Ukraine have also been eager accomplices in western military misadventures in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, in the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, Ukrainian missile gunners embedded with the Georgian military shot down a Russian aircraft. Members of the Ukrainian right wing — who annually celebrate their World War II collaboration with the Nazis — have even fought in Chechnya.

    Russia is understandably concerned about having NATO at its borders. Like any major power, it is entitled to keep its neighbourhood safe and friendly. Hasn’t the US declared Russia would cross “a red line” if it were to base nuclear capable bombers in Cuba?

    Considering the high stakes involved, the Kremlin’s response has been remarkably restrained. “During the months of stand-offs in Kiev, Russia’s actual role was much more modest than advertised by the international media or the rumour mill in Kiev,” says Dmitry Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. “The Russian ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, was conspicuously absent from public view. The Kremlin ordered all Duma members to stay out of Ukraine.”

    The Crimean referendum is being described as a Soviet-style rubber stamp election by western commentators. But even they will concede the enclave was conquered by Tsarist Russia from the Turks. During the medieval era, it was a staging post for the local Tatars to launch raids into southern Russia for carting off Russian women and children to be sold in the slave markets of the Turkish empire. The territory was symbolically transferred to Ukraine for administrative purposes.

    In fact, after the Ukrainian nationalists took over the country by deposing the elected president, the first thing they did was ban the use of Russian as an official language. More than half of Ukraine’s population speaks Russian regularly and one third say it’s their native tongue. In Crimea, more than 90 percent of the population uses Russian on an everyday basis.

    Only those who live under a rock — such as Senator John McCain, Victoria Nuland of the US Department of State and Ukrainians who have attained positions of power after a violent coup — will disagree that Russia is a wealthy country. Currently, Russia’s GDP per capita is the highest of all the BRICS countries. By 2020, the Russian economy will become the largest in Europe. FDI into Russia rose by 83 percent in 2013, reaching $94 billion, the third highest in the world after the US and China. That looks like a country everyone wants to do business with, not boycott.

    This isn’t 1980, when president Jimmy Carter — a peasant way over his head in events he couldn’t begin to understand — led the US and its allies to impose blanket sanctions on the erstwhile Eastern Bloc. Today, on the other hand, there is a great deal of interdependence between the Russian and European economies.

    The US business community has clearly stated it wants to avoid unilateral sanctions against Moscow because it believes competitors in Europe could gain market share as a result. “We in the business community do not want to be caught in the crossfire,” says Myron Brilliant, executive vice-president of the US Chamber of Commerce.

    Arnaud Leclerc, managing director of Swiss private banking firm Lombard Odier, believes sanctions would harm the US. “In 2013, Russia exported goods worth $27 billion to the US and imported goods worth $11 billion from the US,” he says.

    Europe has its own interests to protect. The European Union currently ranks as Russia’s No. 1 trading partner, accounting for almost 41 percent of all trade. Germany has invested heavily in Russia’s manufacturing sector, while nearly 6,000 UK traders exported goods to Russia last year. Nearly 10 percent of Britain’s car exports are to Russia, and an even higher proportion of Germany’s.

    The Russian oil and gas pipeline network — 259,913 km long and able to loop around the earth more than six times — is the lifeline of Europe. Germany gets half of its daily consumption of 2.8 billion barrels of oil from Russia mainly via the Druzhba pipeline through Belarus. In 2012, Russia accounted for 24 percent of all gas exports to Germany, 19 percent to Turkey, 11 percent to Italy, 6 percent to France, 6 percent to the UK, 10 percent to other countries in western Europe and 24 percent to eastern Europe.

    In the backdrop of such dependence on a single supplier and the fact that these supplies cannot be compensated for quickly, talk about slapping sanctions carries no weight. The alternative for Europe is to import Qatari gas. But this has a nasty downside — Qatar is one of the world’s leading exporters of Islamic fundamentalism as well as of jihadi fighters to Syria. Every euro paid for Qatari gas goes to strengthen the forces that could one day come back to haunt Europe.

    Russia has proved to be quite nimble at responding to blackmail. One outcome of gas blocking by Kiev was Nord Stream. Further attempts to turn off the gas spigot will mean the green signal for the South Stream pipeline, which will again bypass Ukraine. In such a scenario, Kiev will find itself totally out of the high-stakes hydrocarbons game, losing huge transit fees as well as subsidised gas from Russia.

    The Russian economy is focussed on energy and mineral exports but it is certainly not “dangerously dependent” — as the western media depicts it — on hydrocarbons. It misses the point that the demand for oil and gas is not seasonal or cyclic but permanent. With China and India showing no signs of cutting back on their energy consumption, life is a non-stop party for the world’s energy exporters.

    Curiously, the words “dangerously dependent” are never used when it comes to describing the situation of NATO member Norway or the Gulf satellites such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE, which are truly dependent on hydrocarbons for their daily bread.

    Russia has large reserves of dollars and is active in the US debt market. Currently, it holds $490 billion, the fifth largest reserves in the world. According to presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev, one option before Moscow is to abandon the US dollar as a reserve currency, or to figure out a way to use a new payments system that is not reliant on US dollars for international transactions.

    Glazyev, who’s known to be close to the more nationalist members in the Kremlin, added that if the US freezes the accounts of Russian businesses and individuals, Moscow will recommend to all holders of US treasuries to sell their US government debt. Although his opinions were described as personal, ominously for Washington the USD Index fell marginally before recovering.

    Because the dollar is the single biggest factor that ensures America’s dominant position, the currency’s debasement could hasten the inevitable end of its free lunch.

    Glazyev may have been hinting at the India-Iran Rupee Trade Mechanism where New Delhi purchased Iranian oil with rupees and Tehran used those earnings to buy essentials from Indian merchants. Although the rupee and the rouble are not as freely tradable as the dollar, they are increasingly gaining acceptance around the world. China and Brazil are also keen on giving the anti-dollar movement some momentum.

    Russia could make America’s retreat from Afghanistan a hellish experience. A key supply line, known as the Northern Distribution Network — which brings food, water and war materials that keep the US’ longest war going — runs through Russia and former Soviet republics. If Putin decides to shut down the network, the only alternative for the US military would be to be totally dependent on the Pakistan route. America’s nightmare scenario is to be trapped between the Pakistani Taliban — which has an irritating habit of setting alight supply trucks — and the Afghan Taliban in the north.

    The West is aiming to impact the ability of wealthy Russian individuals to operate freely in the western banking ecosystem. There are two reasons for this. “The US and other western powers are focussing on individual, targeted sanctions because broader economic sanctions could directly harm western businesses and lead Moscow to make good on its threats to retaliate against businesses from the countries pushing sanctions,” says The Wall Street Journal.

    Secondly, Russian oligarchs close to Putin routinely keep their assets in western banks. Those leading the push for sanctions hope the Russian business and political elites fearful of losing their vast foreign holdings will shift their loyalties away from Putin.

    That ship has sailed. It is true the Kremlin once followed the policy of looking away from corruption in exchange for loyalty. But that was when Putin and his team were political newbies and wanted powerful backers. Today, Putin is more worried about public opinion than the oligarchs’ loyalties.

    At any rate, if Russian firms are barred access to western banks, there’s always China. With reserves of more than $3.2 trillion, Beijing is becoming a key player in the international lending sector. For instance, India’s Reliance Power has taken a $1 billion loan from three Chinese banks for a power project.

    Sanctions will hurt all sides but the Russian threshold of hardship is a lot higher than the West’s. Plus, it’s certainly not the best of times for westerners to bear further agony. In Greece, for instance, people are abandoning their young children in the streets; one in 10 people in Ireland cannot afford a meal; while British women in the inner cities are eating once a day so their children can be fed. Across the Atlantic, over 50 million Americans face chronic hunger.

    The LIBOR scandal and the prolonged recession have left the global economy and financial system extremely vulnerable. Under these circumstances, boycotting a large trading partner is being needlessly self-destructive.

    http://www.tehelka.com/why-sanctions-against-russia-will-boomerang/
    magnumcromagnon
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    Post  magnumcromagnon on Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:13 pm

    As Sa'iqa wrote:Another conspiracy shit. USraeli imperialists had carefully prepared everything, then pulled a magic want, said "hocus pocus!", and the protests against the people's government began.

    You should use more reliable sources than a Russian tabloid.

    $5 billion went to the protesters, which came straight from the U.S. and Victoria Nuland admitted this! Try doing something else other than stinking up the room!

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    Post  AlfaT8 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:24 pm

    The final Ukrainian military unit on the Crimean territory that has 49 MiG-29 aircraft in service, was captured by Russian forces yesterday. The base in Belbek had been holding its territory, having no support from the new Ukrainian authorities. Its military personnel, whose weapons were locked in the arsenal, were armed with clubs and one anti-aircraft machine gun. Following the fruitless negotiations, the gates of the unit were simply destroyed by the Russian armored troop-carrier.
    English Russia
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    Post  zino on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:05 pm

    According to sevastopol.info all ukrainian ships in Crimea have raised the Russian Naval Flag. Donuzlav included. None was hurted.
    avatar
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    Post  ali.a.r on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:15 pm

    In a lot of the news reports and articles I see recently, there is always something along the lines of 'Russia is in accordance with an international treaty regarding troop buildups and such'. What treaty are they referring to? I thought the old CFE treaty is considered void by Russia, and thats the only such treaty I'm aware of.
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    Post  Vann7 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:16 pm

    zino wrote:According to sevastopol.info all ukrainian ships in Crimea have raised the Russian Naval Flag. Donuzlav included. None was hurted.


    I bet Russia can modernize all of them , with modern avionics and missiles..
    Can anyone tell how many new corvettes and frigates (if any) Russia will have with the addition of the Ukraine
    navy?  The Ukraine submarine looks only good for training and nothing else.

    in another note ..i still insist Russia needs to cancel their Mistrals with france and build
    a brand new Super Cruiser stealth warship and name it  ,Catherine the great..  Very Happy 
    to celebrate Crimea reunification to Russia. Is thanks to Catherine in a big way ,that Crimea is Russian today and not part of Turkey,when was called the ottoman empire.  

    The warship should have 30x -S-500s and about 400x S-400s missiles and also armed with 6x Pansirs naval version with 4 helicopters .
    TR1
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    Post  TR1 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:43 pm

    The Situation in the Ukraine. #2 - Page 23 133122

    Aviation assets in the Crimea that are now Russian, assuming they don't let them take it back.
    I think they should just let them have it, barely anything Russia wants or needs by the look of it.
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    Post  medo on Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:48 pm

    How many of those Migs are in flying condition?
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    Post  AlfaT8 on Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:57 pm

    Real News-Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?


    And does anyone still remember Representative press, i only just remembered him.


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    Post  arpakola on Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:30 am

    http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/03/19/how-liz-wahl-worked-with-bill-kristols-neocon-think-tank-to-plan-her-resignation-from-rt/

    The Situation in the Ukraine. #2 - Page 23 Liz_Wahl_on_RT_America

    How Liz Wahl Worked with Bill Kristol’s Neocon Think Tank to Plan Her Resignation from RT


    By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday March 19, 2014 7:13 pm
     
    TweetTweet1738  digg  stumbleupon

    “Freedom Selfie,” which Foreign Policy Initiative’s Twitter account retweeted hours after Liz Wahl resigned from RT (Photo from Twitter feed)

    Journalists Rania Khalek and Max Blumenthal have published a story on the resignation of Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl. It strongly suggests that a fellow for the neoconservative think tank Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) played a key role in Wahl’s decision to leave the network a couple weeks ago.

    The story, published at Truthdig, highlights how Wahl’s act of protest against RT earned her multiple invitations to appear on major news or television programs. It led to some journalists taking the time to do exposés on the network. But what the news media did not probe was the fact that FPI’s Twitter feed had hyped Wahl’s resignation before it even happened with tweets like “#WordOnTheStreet says that something big might happen on RT in about 20-25 minutes.”

    Jamie Kirchick, an FPI fellow (and also Daily Beast contributor), was the first to publish an exclusive. It turned out, as Kirchick admitted, “Wahl initially reached out to me in August, after I launched my own impromptu protest on RT against Putin’s homophobic repression. Wahl felt morally compromised working for the network, she told me, but wasn’t yet prepared to quit.”

    “We stayed in touch periodically over the past 6 months, and I always encouraged her to follow her conscience in making a decision about her professional future,” he said.  “The network’s absurd coverage of Russia’s invasion, Wahl told me earlier this week, was the last straw.”

    What Khalek and Blumenthal delve into is how FPI, where Kirchick works, was launched by William Kristol, Dan Senor and Robert Kagan. It “grew directly out of the Project for a New American Century that led the public pressure campaign for a unilateral US invasion of Iraq” after 9/11. They outlined Kirchick’s history of working with well-connected neoconservatives committed to lobbying for war.

    Wahl was suspended from her anchor position at RT just as Kirchick went on air to protest anti-gay legislation in Russia. According to Khalek and Blumenthal, she was upset that she was not getting paid enough at the network or getting more support for her work from staff — and looking for an opportunity to exit from RT.

    Even Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, who wrote an article aimed at exposing what he called “Putin’s American dupes,” used the words “helped coordinate” to describe what Kirchick had done.

    The story goes on to relate how Kirchick encouraged her to resign and knew to some extent that her resignation was just the kind of story he could push into the media. Not only would it fit his view of US foreign policy but it would offer him a chance to further target RT to gin up more condemnation of Russia in the midst of the crisis in Ukraine.

    Now, I am not a passive observer in all of this. I was investigating this story too. But I made a mistake when I was covering the story. In my excitement, I called Kirchick’s cell phone number and left a voice mail message after he hung up on me. That message, which was uncharacteristically aggressive, included an unfortunate mention of First Look.

    The message offered Kirchick a preview of what I was writing and how I planned to challenge the narrative he (and others) were fueling in the media around Wahl’s resignation. I had pitched the story but not to First Look. I pitched it to The Intercept. Publication was being considered, but it had not been formally accepted. So, on two levels, I committed a derelict action.

    I should not have invoked First Look because I had not pitched it to First Look, and I should not have mentioned them when I left the message because that invited attention that First Look did not deserve. This was a mistake, and I immediately apologized to all working for the media organization, especially those who had to confront what I had done that day. (An executive editor’s comments were published in a Daily Beast story by Kirchick.)

    I also called Wahl before calling Kirchick. I left a direct but non-threatening voicemail on her phone informing her she had 24 hours to respond. She called me back about 20 minutes after. Unfortunately, that message included a mention of First Look, which was inappropriate.

    Having addressed that, there are some points I want to make on Wahl’s resignation and why the issues raised in the story by Khalek and Blumenthal are critically important.

    (1) Unlike Khalek and Blumenthal, I was able to talk to Wahl. She returned my call after I left her a message that gave her a preview of what I had found out about problems she had while working for RT.  I wanted to know if she would dispute these allegations about her time in the workplace.

    Wahl returned my call on March 12. She was getting ready to appear on “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central and said, “I’m in a rush. But I can go into your questions more in depth later.”

    She immediately went on the defensive. “If you want to work with this propaganda machine that’s putting out lies about me, you can go ahead and do that but the truth is the truth.”

    “You can do whatever you want if you want to work with them to defame me, but it won’t probably be in your best interest” she said.   “They’re a propaganda machine and they’ve already put out lies about me. And the truth is going to come out so if you want to work with them to defame me you can go ahead and do that.”

    She was very worked up about the fact that I was interested in her past history at RT. I tried to calm her by saying that I had no interest in “defaming” her.  She said she appreciated that and mentioned she was getting ready for a show, and needed to prepare so she could maintain her composure.

    “It’s been very overwhelming. There’s people out there who think I am a CIA operative paid off by a mainstream network. There’s just so many allegations out there and the response has just been so crazy,” Wahl added. It was overwhelmingly positive, she said, but then there were others she were convinced were just trying to “defame” her. (It seemed like she believed these people “defaming” her were working for RT, but no one in RT management was willing to go on the record for the story by Khalek and Blumenthal.)

    At this moment, Wahl asked that we go off record so she could further explain how she believed RT was trying to control the fallout from her resignation.

    I attempted to get her to answer more questions, but she kept referring me back to Kirchick’s exclusive on her.

    (2)  In the process of researching this story, I contacted Peter Hart of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog organization. To the extent that Kirchick and Foreign Policy Initiative were involved in advancing Wahl’s story, he said this kind of coordination amounted to a “tougher propaganda coup” in the US media that was very important to understand.

    Typically, when someone leaves or is fired or resign, all kinds of stories are published about how difficult that person was to work with. However, with this, there was “no attempt to even want to understand what was happening,” said Hart.  It was, to most media, a “perfect story” and nobody needed to ask questions.

    People pushing the story of her resignation liked it because it portrayed Russia’s control over the media in a “very profound and stark way.”

    “The way it was promoted became this national news sensation where these people who prior to that were obscure media figures were now on CNN to talk about message manipulation and propaganda on their networks,” he said, “It seems it was designed for only one purpose that was to whip up this Cold War frenzy, anti-Russia sentiment among people who otherwise didn’t know what RT was. That would seem to be the function of the stories.” And they “fit in greatly with stories of Putin being delusional or disconnected from reality.”

    He further explained the “most obvious lesson” of all this was “that there was this immense propaganda value in blowing up the statements from the resignations of people from RT,” a cable channel that very few people watch.

    (3)  RT host Abby Martin was not celebrated when she condemned Russia’s actions in Crimea on air. If this is just about exposing a Russian state-funded media network, wouldn’t she be a hero like Wahl too?

    Martin’s actions did not easily fit into the neocon propaganda mold, however. When she made her statement on air, she indicated she was opposed to all state interventions in any sovereign nation’s affairs and that was why she opposed Russia’s actions. Someone with this kind of principled stance would not likely be supported by an individual with ties to the very people who helped fuel the propaganda that made the invasion of Iraq possible.

    The larger point is that everyone knows who is funding RT, which has very minimal influence in this country. RT is not going to convince hundreds of thousands of Americans that all military action by Putin is justified. However, hundreds of thousands of Americans might be convinced by US media outlets that any planned military action by the US government is justified.

    Kristol, who had no problem pushing a war in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of at least 1 million Iraqis, recently complained about “war-weariness” and then, as if giving a pep talk, later wrote, “A war-weary public can be awakened and rallied. Indeed, events are right now doing the awakening. All that’s needed is the rallying. And the turnaround can be fast.”

    Through innuendo and insinuation, through media manipulation and behind-the-scenes coordination, there is a faction that is not satisfied with a United States that simply relies on peace and diplomacy in maintaining foreign affairs. They crave confrontation and shows of military strength, especially against countries like Russia, China and Iran. And, when it appears they are trying to impose their agenda on the American public and the world, it is at minimum the duty of journalists to ask questions sooner than later and investigate what they are up to so that the climate is not allowed to escalate to a point where another manufactured war could happen again.

     

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