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German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Putin the other day and found him out of touch with reality. “In another world,” she said. He lives, like the Ottoman sultan of old, in a Topkapi Palace of his own creation.

Richard Cohen: Putin’s folly in Crimea will prove costly – The Washington Post

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Putin and me: 19th Century guys.  

Putin OWNS a state.

I own a state of mind.

It’s not the greatest show on earth, but it’s mine.


Basically, I mumble along (at my desk), not an oil well in sight, while Putin lives lives large, controlling state media and supporting with impunity two of the cruelest absolutists among human powers on earth: Bashir al-Assad, who some time ago sunk to dropping “barrel bombs” on children, and the religiously kleptocratic Ayatollah Khamenei.

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The Tea House.Former Ukranian president Viktor Yanukovych’s Villa on the Crimea peninsula. – YouTube

I would not begrudge the wealthy their compounds, but how they get them or, if having gotten lucky — right place, right time, right man — like Khodorkovsky, how they manage the windfall might matter some to the surrounding public.

Khodorkovsky, of course, queried Putin directly over corruption, and the rest is history + pardon before Sochi + life in voluntary exile.


Speaking of Khodorkovsky, it appears he’s back in politics!

Brave man.

Khodorkovsky Offers to Mediate in Ukraine – WSJ.com; yesterday: Mikhail Khodorkovsky Comments on Ukraine Crisis | Mikhail Khodorkovsky


Among those best of breed in state-based thieving, Viktor Yanukovych, (former?) owner of the above-toured “tea house” —  barely earns a ribbon, but he knows himself well enough to have skedaddled back to the shelter from whence he came.

I doubt Yanukovych will get his country back.  Regarding his private properties, I’ve no idea whether any or all may be considered seized by the revolution or held for legal private reoccupation.

Related on Yanukovich’s properties: Ukraine protestors storm estate of fugitive president Viktor Yanukovich | Mail Online – 2/22/2014; Yanukovych, the luxury residence and the money trail that leads to London | openDemocracy – 6/8/2012 – backgrounder on Mezhyhirya.

Perhaps Putin and friends will put him up in a larger living space for a while:

Putin’s palace on the Black Sea for $ 1 billion (HD) – YouTube

To Putin’s credit, ownership has been long denied and press played to the effect that some unknown other Russian oligarch owns the place.

Uh huh.

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As representatives of the Ukrainian Navy command in Sevastopol, nobody swore self-proclaimed “government of Crimea” and left the service. In addition, there were no cases dizertirstva Ukrainian military in Crimea, except the fact of treason former commander of the Ukrainian Navy Denis Berezovsky, writes TSN .

Источник: http://investigator.org.ua/news/120807/ Military units in Crimea remained loyal to Ukraine | Center for Investigative Journalism

In the middle east’s “Arab Spring”, revolutions have gone the way of the decisions made by senior military in the states involved.  Mubarak’s army, for example, failed to intercede on behalf of his attempt to establish a family dynasty; however, having given the Muslim Brotherhood it’s chance to lead Egypt to glory, it chose to support the Egyptian People in ejecting Morsi’s party and dealing back to itself the shepherding of the state back to modernity and renewed hopes for a more earnest and moderate and helpful democracy.

Ukraine’s military would seem know the state it represents.

Additional Reference

Perestroika and Glasnost

Russia sets sights on Ukraine warships as U.S. threatens economic punishment, Pentagon suspends military ties – NY Daily News

Putin: Russia has no plans to annex Ukraine’s Crimea region – CNN.com

Russian apartment bombings – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BBC News – Moscow theatre siege: Questions remain unanswered – 10/24/2012:

According to the results of a 2010 opinion poll, 74% of Russians did not fully trust the official version of events.

A group of victims and their relatives sued the Russian government, demanding an open investigation into the case and declassification of the relevant information. In January 2003 the Tverskoy court in Moscow rejected the claims.

BBC News – Putin: Russia not yet sending troops into Ukraine

Ukraine: Putin claims ‘unconstitutional takeover’ – live – Telegraph – 3/3/2014: “The acting president is not legitimate. The legitimate president is Yanukovich.”

Eugene Robinson: With Ukraine crisis, the U.S. has a credibility problem – The Washington Post

Richard Cohen: Putin’s folly in Crimea will prove costly – The Washington Post.

Viktor Yanukovych: From partner to violent kleptocrat – UPI.com – 2/14/2014.

Merkel tells Putin of her concern over Ukraine in call | Reuters – 2/28/2014.

Occupation of Crimea | Center for Investigative Journalism – (machine translation may be artless but it works).

Obama thrust into role as leader of the ‘West’ | The Times of Israel

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