Note: undated references are current within 24 hours.
PEREVALNE, Ukraine (AP) — Warning that it was “on the brink of disaster,” Ukraine put its military on high alert Sunday and appealed for international help to avoid what it feared was the possibility of a wider invasion by Russia.
Outrage over Russia’s military moves mounted in world capitals, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling on President Vladimir Putin to pull back from “an incredible act of aggression.”
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“This is not a threat: this is actually the declaration of war to my country,” Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said in English. Yatsenuik heads a pro-Western government that took power when the country’s Russia-backed president, Viktor Yanukovich, was ousted last week.
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Of potentially even greater concern are eastern swathes of the country, where most of the ethnic Ukrainians speak Russian as a native language. Those areas saw violent protests on Saturday, with pro-Moscow demonstrators hoisting flags at government buildings and calling for Russia to defend them.
Related (2/28/2014): Crimean crisis: Russia holds most of the power against Ukraine
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Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a press conference that Russia should pull back its forces and refrain from interfering elsewhere in Ukraine, according to Reuters. NATO is urging the two countries to seek a peaceful resolution through dialogue.
Secretary of State John Kerry — who is heading to Kiev on March 4 to meet with representatives of Ukraine’s new government — has called Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine “an incredible act of aggression” and said Putin has made “a stunning, willful” choice to invade another country.
Related: Secretary of State John Kerry vows visit to Kiev as Russian forces surround Ukraine military base in Crimea – NY Daily News: “A second administration official indicated that the U.S. was not weighing military action to counter Russia’s advances, saying the Obama administration’s efforts were focused on political, economic and diplomatic options. The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the situation and insisted on anonymity.”
Ukraine, as a whole, is going to move fast.
The Bear regards the old system of buffers as its own, but it has a remarkable failure going in Syria. That President Vladimir Putin pumped $52 billion into the Winter Olympics at Sochi while pledging $10 million for humanitarian relief in Syria has not gone unnoticed — nor have election shenanigans, the Night Wolves, allegations about “mafia state” and “fragile empire” — and all will reflect poorly on his sense of responsibility to Russians and to others.
However, Ukraine is also a borderland naturally spanning a cultural divide between Europe and Eurasia, between the politics of the now open democracies and their common currency and shared values and a stalwart attempting to build some kind of new Slavic society out of the 19th Century manners of aristocracy, now an energy-fueled oligarchy committed not only to its survival but the survival of Bashar al-Assad and Ayatollah Khamenei, a veritable arc of despotic displays of power.
While Syria has become a battleground squeezing out Syrians as casualties and refugees between despots, Ukraine’s democratic revolutionary opposition to despotism has its feet and spirit planted against the “vertical of power” in Moscow.
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As Russian forces seize key objects in Crimea, their objective is not just to create chaos in Ukraine but also to protect kleptocratic rule in Russia itself.
Russia and Ukraine under Yanukovych shared a single form of government – rule by a criminal oligarchy. This is why the anti-criminal revolution that overthrew Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych is a precedent that is perfectly applicable to Putin’s Russia. It is also the reason why, from the Russian regime’s point of view, the Ukrainian revolution must be stopped at all costs.
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Perhaps the last time the Russian intelligentsia watched the internal struggle in another country this intently was in 1968 during the Prague Spring, when they hoped the Czechs would succeed in building what they called “socialism with a human face”. They also believed it would hold out the promise of something better for life in the Soviet Union. In August 1968, the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, quashing the Prague Spring. In Moscow, seven people came out to protest against the invasion; they were arrested and the modern dissident movement was born.
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“Yes, I could see this one from Alaska. I’m usually not one to Told-Ya-So, but I did, despite my accurate prediction being derided as ‘an extremely far-fetched scenario’ by the ‘high-brow’ Foreign Policy magazine,” Palin wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. Palin was resoundingly mocked by comedians like Tina Fey and eggheads for saying in 2008 that Alaska’s proximity to Russia forced her to deal with foreign policy issues just like George W. Bush said thatTexas’s proximity to Mexico compelled him to deal with Mexico when he was governor of Texas.
Sarah Palin on Ukraine: I Told You So – 2/28/2014.
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On Russian propaganda: StopFake | Fighting untruthful information regarding the events in Ukraine
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