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Admiral Igor Kabanenko: Real intentions of Russia

Admiral Igor Kabanenko: Real intentions of Russia
adminral
Dear Friends!
Let’s take a look at what Russian intentions really could be and what signs are we seeing.

They are as follows:

Putin’s statement about possible revising of Bialowieza Accords is a serious signal. Last time Putin made his speech in Moscow, he stated that “legitimization of Ukraine as an independent state” is illegal and gives Kremlin the right for restoring the old USSR by force;
A statement of NATO Secretary General about mismatch between claims of Russia pulling back their troops from the eastern borders of Ukraine and the real picture (an information about alleged departure of the Russian battalion to Samara was nothing more than a publicity stunt);
By evaluation of NATO commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, the situation on the Russian – Ukrainian border is “extremely alarming” and that “Russians have everything they need to invade Ukraine”; that there is a possible scenario of invasion of Southern Ukraine to establish a land link to Crimea; as well as thrust to Odessa, and invasion of Eastern Ukraine;
The stationing of audio equipment by Russian troops on the borders with Ukraine for an active propaganda aimed at both Ukrainian military and local population;
The active intelligence by Russian special services and military intelligence on the territory of Ukraine, in particular by spy-ship near port of Odessa;
Cancelling by Russia previously scheduled talks between deputy foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia in Minsk on April 4 is very alarming signal;
The decision of Donetsk Regional Council to hold a local referendum regarding region’s status, as well as continuous destabilizing of situation in Donetsk, Kherson, Odessa and other regions by utilizing insurgents, extremists and members of the fifth column. All these actions are directly supported by Russian leaders and State Duma;
Fierce propaganda by Moscow with a twisted rhetoric aimed at the “unity of Russian and Ukrainian people”, of course, under Moscow protectorate, as well as calming claims that Russia has no intent to invade Ukraine – we have heard this before and know how it has ended. In the war language it is called “continuous strategic misleading of the enemy”;
The rhetoric towards Ukraine changed to calming (see – after all, invasion did not happen last week!), also Russian media switched their attention to elections which clearly is a trick orchestrated by Moscow to divert attention from military escalation.
Therefore, if Kremlin truly did not want the war, it would immediately start relocation of troops to their usual bases of deployment and pack up weapons and equipment, in other words – do everything to demonstrate its good intentions. Unfortunately, their actions so far indicate exactly the opposite.
My advice, is not to relax. Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

This record is also available in: Russian, Ukrainian

inforesist.org/admiral-igor-kabanenko-real-intentions-of-russia/?lang=en

Read more:Russia could achieve Ukraine incursion in 3-5 days
www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/02/us-ukraine-crisis-breedlove-idUSBREA310PP20140402

Ukraine needs help from NATO to survive Russian aggression.

Fact Checking Vladimir Putin’s speech on Crimea

Fact Checking Vladimir Putin’s speech on Crimea
Three falsehoods in Putin’s Crimea speech to a joint session of Russian parliament. Truth Teller fact-checks video in the news to explain the truth about what’s being said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday swiftly accepted the Ukrainian province of Crimea as part of Russia, announcing his decision in a lengthy speech that reflected his suspicion of the West and his anger at U.S. actions since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

A number of readers have asked us to fact check his speech. Here are some of his more dubious statements, using the official Russian translation provided by the Kremlin.

“A referendum was held in Crimea on March 16 in full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms.”

This is false. The referendum was rushed, political opposition was squelched, and the choices did not allow for a “no.” (The options were either joining Russia — what the ballot called “reunification” — or remaining part of Ukraine with greater autonomy, effectively making the region independent in all but name.)

Moreover, the Ukrainian constitution, in Article 73, says that “alterations to the territory of Ukraine shall be resolved exclusively by the All-Ukrainian referendum,” described in Article 72 as a national referendum called either by the parliament or the president, or as a popular initiative with 3 million signatures from at least two-thirds of administrative districts known as oblasts. The Crimea referendum, set up by local authorities, met none of those conditions.

Under the constitution, Crimea, as an autonomous republic, has specially designated powers. But Article 134 states: “The Autonomous Republic of Crimea shall be an integral constituent part of Ukraine and shall resolve issues relegated to its authority within the frame of its reference, determined by the Constitution of Ukraine.”

“In 1954, a decision was made to transfer Crimean Region to Ukraine, along with Sevastopol…. This was the personal initiative of the Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev. What stood behind this decision of his — a desire to win the support of the Ukrainian political establishment or to atone for the mass repressions of the 1930’s in Ukraine — is for historians to figure out. What matters now is that this decision was made in clear violation of the constitutional norms that were in place even then. The decision was made behind the scenes.”

Putin, in a long section of the speech, refers to Russia’s “shared history and pride” with Crimea. He is correct on that score. Crimea has been an important part of Russia since Catherine the Great seized it from the Ottoman Empire in 1783. Putin is also correct that the reasons for the 1954 transfer remain a bit of mystery, though historian William Taubman, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Khrushchev, said that the one-time party boss of Ukraine had long tried to expand Ukraine’s territory and even tried to take Crimea for Ukraine 10 years earlier, in 1944.

But Putin is relying on sophism to assert that the transfer violated the “constitutional norms” at the time. Behind the scenes, Khrushchev, who did not yet have full power, had to get approval from key party officials. On Feb. 5, 1954, the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Soviet launched an initiative to transfer Crimea. That resulted in a decree on Feb. 19, 1954, by what was then called the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. Then the transfer was formally adopted by the Supreme Soviet on April 26, 1954.

There is some question as to whether the Soviet constitution also would have required referendums in the respective Soviet republics, but the Soviet Union was a one-party state, and the outcome would not have been in question. Ultimately the Supreme Soviet itself had the formal authority to ratify the transfer – -and that’s what happened.

“In general, constitutional norms were not followed in Soviet times even when they were followed — because Supreme Soviets didn’t really decide, but rather, did what they were told to do by party leaders, and elections (and referendums, if they were ever held) were pre-determined,” Taubman said in an e-mail.

“Crimeans say that in 1991, they were handed over like a sack of potatoes, and I can’t help but agree with it. And what about the Russian state? What about Russia? It humbly accepted the situation. This country was going through such hard times then that realistically it was incapable of protecting its interests.”

Actually, Crimea voted on whether to join Ukraine after the Soviet Union collapsed, though it was approved by a relatively narrow majority (54 percent), compared to other areas of Ukraine.

Moreover, Russia did have extremely crucial interests at stake — a cache of more than 1,000 strategic nuclear weapons that were on Ukraine’s soil when the Soviet Union dissolved. In fact, Ukraine was instantly the world’s third biggest nuclear power, with more weapons than Britain, France and China combined. In the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, Russia, along with the United States and Britain, agreed to “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine” in exchange for Ukraine’s joining the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“They [Ukrainian revolutionaries] resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day.”

A coup d’état is obviously in the eye of the beholder, but Putin, without meaning to, actually is describing the role of the former Russian-backed government when he refers to terror and murder during the uprisings.

Putin also exaggerates the role of right-wing, nationalistic factions, though it is true that a party with a neofascist past and other ultra-nationalistic elements are now part of the government. (The party claims it has mellowed, but the World Jewish Congress has warned about it.) The Guardian newspaper, in a long report on this issue, notes that one revolutionary killed by a government sniper “was an unlikely fascist,” adding that “he was Jewish.”

In his speech, Putin described the new Ukrainian leaders as “these ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler’s accomplice during World War II.” He is referring to Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who sought to create an independent Ukraine after the German invasion of the Soviet Union — only to be thrown into a German concentration camp. He was murdered in Munich by the KGB in 1959. Bandera remains a controversial figure in Ukraine.

“True, we did enhance our forces there; however — this is something I would like everyone to hear and know — we did not exceed the personnel limit of our Armed Forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000, because there was no need to do so.”

Here, for the first time, Putin confirms Russian armed forced entered Crimea. But his math is in dispute. The Ukrainian government says the terms of the 30-year lease with Russia limits the number of Russian troops in Crimea to 12,500. But other accounts say the lease allows up to 25,000.

“As it declared independence and decided to hold a referendum, the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter, which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination.”

In a long section of his speech, Putin lashed out at the West for what he views as a double standard, defending Crimea’s action as the equivalent of Kosovo’s declaring independence from Serbia. In citing what he calls the “well-known Kosovo precedent,” Putin even accurately quotes from the U.S. submission to the International Court of Justice, which later concluded that Kosovo’s action did not violate international law. (Russia at the time denounced that ruling.)

But the analogy is woefully misplaced. The United States was not seeking to annex Kosovo, as Russia is doing with Crimea. Moreover, the Kosovars had spent years seeking greater autonomy, only to face such Serbian backlash that even Russia voted for a U.N. Security Council Resolution that said it was “gravely concerned at the recent intense fighting in Kosovo and in particular the excessive and indiscriminate use of force by Serbian security forces and the Yugoslav Army which have resulted in numerous civilian casualties and, according to the estimate of the Secretary-General, the displacement of over 230,000 persons from their homes.”

Even after 1999 NATO intervention — which was not sanctioned by the United Nations, as Putin correctly noted — the Kosovars engaged in a decade of inconclusive efforts to reach a deal with Serbia before formally declaring independence.
The Pinocchio Test

The Fact Checker is obviously not rating the entire speech, which reflects Putin’s worldview. But certainly this selection of statements is highly deficient or based on slim facts. He ignores Russia’s real interest in removing nuclear weapons from Ukraine’s soil, which led to a pledge by Moscow to respect Kiev’s sovereignty. He hypes the involvement of nationalist and right-wing groups in the uprising. The Kosovo analogy is a real stretch. One could quibble on whether some of these statements are worth Three Pinocchios, but the statement on the Crimean referendum by itself is worth Four Pinocchios. So that’s what the Russian president earns.
pinocchio_4
By Glenn Kessler
March 19 at 6:00 am
www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/03/19/fact-checking-vladimir-putins-speech-on-crimea/

Read more: Putin’s breathtaking lies about Russia
By Alexander J. Motyl
updated 3:05 PM EDT, Wed March 19, 2014
www.cnn.com/2014/03/19/opinion/motyl-putin-speech/?hpt=po_t1

Putin’s warped reality
By Charles Lane, Published: March 19
www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-lane-putins-warped-reality/2014/03/19/ce81fd58-af79-11e3-9627-c65021d6d572_story.html

The civilized world must stop Putin and his disinformation machine to continue spewing “facts” that are contrary to reality. Why are the Russians allowed to repeat their lies on and on in the world arena. Are there too many Russophiles or are there not enough bold people out there like Samantha Powers?
So Putin stole Crimea just like that without any costs and now he has stated that he will not invade the rest of Ukraine and attempt to annex some of its southeastern provinces. Will he receive the 5 Pinocchios Award along with Barack Obama.

Meet Stephen F. Cohen, Vladimir Putin’s Best Friend in the American Media

Meet Stephen F. Cohen, Vladimir Putin’s Best Friend in the American Media
He is a great historian of Stalinism who has been celebrated by colleagues on the left and right. So why is Stephen F. Cohen so eager to act as a propagandist for Putin?

Photo by CNN

Photo by CNN


Stephen F. Cohen, a veteran Russian scholar at New York University and Princeton, has lately gained some dubious notoriety as Vladimir Putin’s number one apologist in the ranks of American punditry.
After a piece in The Nation slamming the American media for “toxic” anti-Putin reporting and a CNN appearance defending Putin’s incursion into Crimea as an attempt to protect “Russia’s traditional zones of national security,” Cohen was excoriated not just by the conservative media but by The New Republic and New York magazine. More recently, a critical but respectful feature in Newsweek dubbed him “the man who dared make Putin’s case.”

But what drives Cohen’s ongoing battle against “the demonization of Putin”?
Some of his detractors sound baffled by the paradox of a longtime leftist defending an essentially right-wing authoritarian regime; New York’s Jonathan Chait blames it on “the mental habits of decades of anti-anti-communism” transferred onto a no-longer-communist Kremlin. In The Daily Beast, James Kirchick treats Cohen as one of the “realists” advocating a pragmatic rather than morality-based foreign policy. And Cohen himself, in the Newsweek interview, avers that he is the true American patriot seeking to keep the United States out of a reckless confrontation.

Yet none of these explanations quite captures the motives or the history behind Cohen’s passion, which is ultimately less about realism than frustrated idealism. Regrettably, this idealism has led Cohen—a man of unquestionable erudition, sometimes insightful analysis, and by all appearances genuine sympathy for Russia’s tribulations—into some strange places at odds with both reality and morality.

As he writes in the foreword to his 2009 book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, Cohen’s interest in Russia dates back to his days as a college student in the late 1950s, when he became keenly concerned with social justice after growing up in segregated small-town Kentucky. He developed a particular interest in Soviet alternatives to Stalinism and Nikolai Bukharin, the revolutionary and theorist killed in Stalin’s purges whom Cohen saw as the embodiment of such an alternative—a champion of a mixed economy and more humane politics. (Other historians argue that Bukharin, earlier a full supporter of revolutionary mass terror and state-controlled production, saw liberalization in the 1920s as merely a strategic retreat to rebuild the Soviet economy and pacify the populace.) Cohen’s first book was an acclaimed 1975 biography of Bukharin, an expanded edition of which is to be published this year.

Cohen had a strong personal investment in his subject. In the mid-1970s, he began spending a lot of time in Moscow in academic exchange programs, an experience he describes in his 2010 book, The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag After Stalin; he grew close to Bukharin’s widow Anna Larina, herself a gulag survivor, and developed friendships with a few Soviet dissidents. He was a devout foe of Stalinism—at the time, he was already doing research on gulag survivors—and no fan of the Brezhnev-era Soviet regime, which for unspecified reasons barred him from travel to the Soviet Union from 1982 to 1985. However, a running theme in Cohen’s writings was the possibility of “socialism with a human face.” He argued that Communism was not monolithic; that Stalinism was not an organic continuation of Leninist Bolshevism (a “richly diverse movement,” as Cohen, then a junior fellow at Columbia University’s Research Institute on Communist Affairs, wrote in a 1967 letter to the New York Review of Books) but a radical break from it; and that the Soviet system had real potential for peaceful reformism. It is telling that his closest dissident friend was Roy Medvedev, probably the only notable dissident in the 1970s who still considered himself a Marxist-Leninist.

In his 1985 book, Rethinking the Soviet Experience: Politics and History Since 1917, Cohen noted with regret that, as reformist hopes withered and died in the 1970s, most liberal dissidents “concluded that the entire Soviet system was hopelessly ill-conceived and corrupt—that reform from within the Communist party-state was impossible,” and their protests “grew increasingly anti-Soviet.” This, he argued, only led to more repression, drawing dissenters into a “political cul-de-sac” since change in the Soviet Union could only happen through “reform from above.” Around the same time, he claimed in The Nation that the Reagan administration’s quest to pressure the Soviets into change would inevitably fail since it was “predicated on wildly exaggerated conceptions of Soviet domestic problems. In reality, the Soviet Union is not in economic crisis; nor is it politically unstable.”

Not long after, Cohen’s cherished “reform from above” suddenly became reality as the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, embarked on a course of liberalization and reform. Still more excitingly for Cohen, glasnost included a Bukharin revival, with major support from Gorbachev himself. Bukharin was formally exonerated in 1988 and became, as Cohen recounts in Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, “virtually canonized as Lenin’s rightful heir, anti-Stalinist prophet and hero, and forerunner of Gorbachev’s perestroika reformation.”

Cohen threw himself enthusiastically into this reformation. He traveled regularly to the Soviet Union with his wife Katrina Vanden Heuvel, an editor at The Nation and currently its editor-in-chief and they co-authored the 1989 book, Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers, a collection of interviews with fourteen officials, journalists, and intellectuals, all of them proponents of a kinder, gentler (and more efficient) Soviet socialism.

Then, in late 1991, the dreams of reformist socialism crashed with the end of the Soviet Union. The new Russian leadership was far more interested in embracing Western-style democratic capitalism than in reforming socialism. Lenin was tossed on the dustbin of history—even if his mummified body remained in the Mausoleum on Red Square—and Bukharin’s ghost faded into irrelevance. As Cohen notes with tangible bitterness in Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, “Of what political use or historical interest was a founding father whose country no longer existed?”

For many observers, the Soviet Union’s downfall leads to the logical conclusion that Soviet communism was not reformable after all: virtually the moment its coercive mechanisms weakened, the entire edifice began to crack and promptly collapsed. Not surprisingly, Cohen strongly disagrees. His view is most succinctly summed up in a 2011 talk at a conference sponsored by the Gorbachev Foundation: the Soviet Union, he believes, did not “collapse” but was dismantled by the power-hungry Boris Yeltsin—aided by “the radical intelligentsia” which “hijacked Gorbachev’s gradualist reformation” and helped bring Yeltsin to power, and by greedy bureaucratic elites eager to plunder the Soviet Union’s wealth. To make this case, he drastically downplays both the economic crisis of 1990-1991 (when, as Russian satirist Viktor Shenderovich once quipped, “Soviet power still existed but the food had already run out”) and the separatist tensions in the Soviet republics.

Meanwhile, Cohen blames Yeltsin’s reforms in the early 1990s for causing “the worst economic and social catastrophe ever suffered by a major nation in peacetime.” That’s a rather startling assertion from someone familiar with Stalin’s brutal collectivization of agriculture and the ensuing “terror-famine” of the early 1930s.

Of course, few would disagree that Russia’s “Wild West capitalism” of the nineties was not a pretty picture, with the rise of oligarchs who gave robber barons a bad name and millions of people cast adrift and struggling. One can argue about the causes and the specifics of this crisis—for instance, whether Yeltsin-era policies were really free market-oriented (the private sector remained crippled by byzantine taxes and regulations, official corruption, and lack of effective legal protection for property rights) and whether some of the decade’s social ills were caused by the transition to the market or by the disastrous Soviet legacy. (Thus, the decline in Russians’ life expectancy began in the Soviet era, with male life expectancy at birth dropping from 64 years in 1965 to 61.4 years in 1980.) Still, Cohen has an indisputable point when he says that the hardship and chaos of the 1990s explain widespread Russian support for Putin’s neo-authoritarian rule—as well as the resurgence of Stalinist nostalgia, with both Putin and Stalin seen as symbols of the “strong hand” bringing order and security.

sadThis, however, should hardly preclude a critical view of Putin and Putinism: if anything, an authoritarian strongman is all the more dangerous when he rides a wave of legitimate popular discontent with economic and social chaos. The fact remains that after his rise to power, Putin systematically strangled Russia’s free press (the remnants of which are now under attack in the warmongering over Ukraine), crushed political opposition, turned elections into a farce and the parliament into an obedient rubber stamp, and moved toward making anti-Western nationalism an official ideology. And these are facts that Cohen either glosses over or downplays—for instance, by asserting that “de-democratization began under Yeltsin, not Putin” (which is true only in the sense that power was increasingly concentrated in the presidency rather than elected representatives).

All this autocratic thuggery seems a more than adequate explanation for why the Western media would take an uncharitable view of Putin, the ex-KGB officer who has always taken conspicuous pride in his Soviet-era career. Yet Cohen professes to be utterly baffled by why Putin is so “villainized.” His explanation in The Nation article is that the U.S. press “adopted Washington’s narrative” of Yeltsin as the man steering Russia to democracy, still treating him as “an ideal Russian leader.” By contrast, in the 2000s, the media—again taking their cue from Washington—began to treat the Kremlin as the enemy. (This account completely ignores, among other things, the complexities of U.S.-Russian relations in both the 1990s and the 2000s: the chill between Moscow and Washington at the end of the Yeltsin years, the initially cordial relationship between George W. Bush and Putin—the War on Terror ally in whose eyes Bush famously got “a sense of his soul”—and the “reset” at the start of Obama’s presidency.)

In essence, Cohen is arguing that the American media dislikes Putin because he is seen as the anti-Yeltsin. But this seems like classic projection: the far more likely explanation is that Cohen sympathizes with Putin because he sees Putin as the anti-Yeltsin, and Yeltsin as the anti-Gorbachev who destroyed the bright and shining hopes of Soviet reformism. The irony, of course, is that Putin’s rule hasn’t seen a restoration of socialism, Soviet-style or otherwise (except for the fact that, while Yeltsin repudiated the Soviet period, Putin treats it as a source of real achievements and legitimate pride). Putin’s Russia is a country of corrupt crony capitalism, conspicuous consumption by the rich and the affluent, and a repressive state that increasingly leans on a subservient church as its source of moral authority. It stands, in short, for everything a leftist should detest.

Many of Cohen’s arguments about post-Communist Russia are legitimate subjects of debate, and his scholarship has been serious enough to draw praise from the likes of Robert Conquest, the British historian and author of The Great Terror. And yet his Putin cheerleading increasingly crosses the line into denial or outright recycling of Kremlin propaganda. Last October, at a New York University symposium, Cohen asserted with a straight face that the game of musical chairs between Putin and Dmitry Medvedev (who was handpicked to succeed Putin in 2007, then stepped aside for his mentor four years later) was not a carefully orchestrated ploy to circumvent the Russian constitution’s ban on two consecutive presidential terms but a genuine, though unsuccessful, “tryout” for Medvedev. “I don’t believe that Putin’s return was agreed upon in advance,” said Cohen—flatly contradicting Medvedev’s own statement to the media in 2011 that he and Putin had “long ago” agreed on the power arrangement.

In a 2012 Reuters column, Cohen complained that Putin is often blamed for the 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, even though “the editors of Politkovskaya’s newspaper, the devoutly anti-Putin Novaya Gazeta, believe her killing was ordered by Chechen leaders, whose human-rights abuses were one of her special subjects.” He forgets to mention that the Chechen leader in question, Ramzan Kadyrov, is Putin’s best buddy—or that Novaya Gazeta has also asserted that the actual killers are connected to Russian special services and protected by the government.

But the disconnect from reality is most glaringly evident in Cohen’s Newsweek interview. Take this gem: “We don’t know that Putin went into Crimea. We literally don’t know. We’re talking about ‘facts’ that are coming out of Kiev, which is a mass of disinformation.” Cohen must be the only person in the world who thinks there’s any doubt that the armed men who are all over Crimea wearing Russian army uniforms without insignia and wielding Russian weaponry—“little green men,” as irreverent Russians call them—are actually Russian soldiers.

And he hits an all-time low when asked about Pussy Riot, the activist punk rockers given a two-year prison sentence in 2012 for an anti-Putin protest performance in a Moscow cathedral. After noting that “in 82 countries they would have been executed” (a statement later amended to say that the women “would have faced criminal charges in many countries and the death penalty in several of them”), Cohen tells the interviewer, “You know what they were doing before they went to prison? They would go into supermarkets, strip, lay on their back, spread their legs apart and stuff frozen chickens in their vagina. There were people in there with their kids shopping and Russian authorities did nothing. They didn’t arrest them.”

The very slight factual basis for this outlandish claim is that two members of Pussy Riot once belonged to an activist performance art group called Voina (War). In one of its “performances,” a woman discreetly stuffed a supermarket chicken inside her panties and into her vagina (an act not witnessed by anyone except other group members who took photos), then left the store and “birthed” the chicken in an empty lot outside. However tacky, this was hardly the flagrant public obscenity Cohen alleges. What’s more, the chicken stunt did not actually involve any of the Pussy Riot defendants—though Russian television falsely implied that it did.

It’s rather sad to see Cohen, who has written with sensitivity and compassion about gulag survivors, sink to the level of a pro-Kremlin Internet troll, perpetuating a crude slander against courageous young women who are currently braving harassment and physical assaults as they advocate for prisoner rights.

Cohen is doubtless sincere in his conviction that he stands against a propaganda war that incites dangerous hostility to Russia. Yet his sincerity leads him to channel Kremlin propaganda as effectively as any paid shill. A verse composed by Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko for Cohen’s seventieth birthday in 2008 included the lines, “I love you, my unique friend, Steve / And envy you that you’re naïve.” Alas, this brings to mind an old Russian proverb: “There’s a kind of simplicity that’s worse than thievery.”

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. She is the author of Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood (Ticknor & Fields, 1989). You can follow her on Twitter at @CathyYoung63

www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/16/meet-stephen-f-cohen-vladimir-putin-s-best-friend-in-the-american-media.html

Omitted in this article is Cohen’s disdain for the Ukrainian people. He refers to Ukraine as a region of Russia denying along with Putin the existence of Ukraine. He is a Ukrainophobe who is against Ukraine’s self determination, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. He believes that his fellow Jews are also against the establishment of an independent , free and democratic Ukraine. I believe this is not true as many Jews have embraced Ukraine as their Homeland.

Here’s What the West Can Do to Stop Russia

Here’s What the West Can Do to Stop Russia

What can the West actually do?

Russia has shattered the presumption that we can take European security for granted. In the past two weeks, President Vladimir Putin has committed outright acts of war by invading Crimea and threatening to invade eastern Ukraine. It now appears that Russia will annex Crimea and perhaps go further unless confronted with a stronger resolve than visible so far from the United States and Europe.

Clearly, Russia has acted because its leaders believe that the Obama administration and Western allies are irresolute, weak and need Russia more than it needs them. While economic sanctions are essential, stronger measures, including military ones, are also necessary if we are to preserve European peace and security – and they need to take place in concert with more concrete steps by NATO.

A regular NATO fleet should be maintained in the Black Sea and recently announced military exercises extended and increased.
These drills include a U.S.-Bulgarian-Romanian naval exercise in the Black Sea and a joint U.S.-Polish air exercise involving F-16s. Likewise, we could resume construction of missile defenses in Poland and the Baltic states. On the naval side, assets deployed into the Black Sea should be given adequate air cover and air defenses. Beyond these immediate steps, additional Partnership for Peace exercises with Ukraine and Georgia should be scheduled, and military contacts between Ukraine and NATO increased.

Concurrently, as President Barack Obama and U.S. national security leaders have stated, the new Ukrainian government should reinforce its international image as sole legitimate authority by reaffirming the protection of minorities and reiterating its adherence to all existing treaties—including the 2010 Russo-Ukrainian agreement providing Russia with long-term naval basing at Sevastopol. It should also finish its application to the IMF and EU for immediate relief and launch urgently needed economic reforms to strengthen the country’s rickety economy, ending energy subsidies while providing relief for the poor, recovering assets stolen by former President Viktor Yanukovych and his cronies, ending corruption in government contracts, and establishing transparency in the energy distribution sector (and in government contracts generally).

Such actions would preserve peace, communicate NATO and the EU’s unified resolve, encourage a Russian withdrawal of troops and deter a descent into violence.
But they would be just the start. Beyond Ukraine, Washington and NATO must realize that Putin’s Russia will not be integrated into Europe, and readjust their policies accordingly [such as the Pentagon’s three year-old wish that Russia would turn its missile defenses away from Europe and toward Tehran in a joint NATO radar net against the Iranian missile threat]. Ukraine may now be in the eye of the Russian hurricane, but a failure to defend Ukraine’s integrity and sovereignty only invites further Russian assaults on sovereignty throughout Eurasia.

Military measures are obviously not the only answer. Though they are urgent, the real payoff will come from long-lasting measures to invigorate Ukraine’s domestic structures. The West needs to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to govern itself in a truly democratic manner, as well as to reform its economy. Apart from the immediate “bridge” funding necessary to stave off crisis, the EU should tell Ukraine that if it follows the long-term course of reforms required by every member it will, in time, surely qualify for membership. This would surely be an enormous boost to the Ukrainian government, and would galvanize domestic reform efforts while strengthening the economy against Russian efforts to subvert, corrupt, and undermine it.

Today, the West’s capabilities far outstrip those of Russia. But it must find the will and intelligence to deploy them successfully. Putin, by his recklessness and arrogance, has placed both European and Russian security at risk. This point must be hammered home in a way that deters violence and further Russian adventurism. At the core of Western policy should be a simple concept: Ukrainian integrity and sovereignty are not negotiable, because European security is now indivisible. The sooner we hammer that message home to Moscow, the quicker we will secure peace in Eastern Europe—and beyond.

Stephen Blank March 14, 2014

Stephen Blank is Senior Fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C

Stephen Blank is Senior Fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C

www.defenseone.com/ideas/2014/03/heres-what-west-can-do-stop-russia/80581/#.UyUbWyrzTWg.facebook

The West must do everything possible to maintain the world order providing security for Europe along with Ukraine against Russian imperialistic aggression.

Mentioning Hitler makes Americans more willing to intervene in Ukraine


Mentioning Hitler makes Americans more willing to intervene in Ukraine

A pro-Ukrainian activist holds a poster (L) with Russian President Vladimir Putin caricatured as Adolf Hitler during a rally in front of the German Embassy in Kiev on March 11, 2014. (ANATOLII STEPANOV, AFP/Getty Images).

A pro-Ukrainian activist holds a poster (L) with Russian President Vladimir Putin caricatured as Adolf Hitler during a rally in front of the German Embassy in Kiev on March 11, 2014. (ANATOLII STEPANOV, AFP/Getty Images).

You may have heard about a little controversy involving the mention of Adolf Hitler in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Now a new YouGov poll provides a sense of what difference mentioning Hitler can make.

In the poll, respondents were asked whether they thought the U.S. should get involved in Ukraine and what types of involvement were appropriate — sanctions, economic aid, diplomacy, military intervention, and so on. But the poll also involved an experiment. Half of respondents were asked about Ukraine only after they answered these two questions:

“Do you think Vladimir Putin’s actions in Crimea today are similar to what Hitler did in Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938?”

“Would you consider it ‘appeasement’ for the U.S. and other western democracies not to take strong action to defend Ukraine?”

The other half of respondents answered these questions after they were asked about Ukraine. So we can see what effect bringing up Hitler and appeasement had on opinion.

Doug Rivers reports the results:

Only 21% of those asked in the conventional way favored U.S. involvement in the Ukraine. When this question was preceded by the questions about appeasement and comparing Putin to Hitler, support for U.S. involvement rose to 29%. It didn’t change the overall result — a majority of Americans still oppose getting involved in the Ukraine even after the parallel to 1938 is mentioned — but it does make a difference of about 8%.

By John Sides
March 14 at 4:38 pm

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/03/14/mentioning-hitler-makes-americans-more-willing-to-intervene-in-ukraine/

putins

We ask President Obama to intervene in every way possible to Stop Putin from waging war on Ukraine and the Western World as China and Al Qaeda look on as opportunists against JUDEO-CHRISTIANS….

Putin’s high-powered U.S. lobbyists

Putin’s high-powered U.S. lobbyists

Brian Todd reports on U.S. firms that make money lobbying for Putin and Russia

www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2014/03/06/tsr-dnt-todd-putins-lobbyists-in-washington.cnn.html

Here Are The American Executives Who Are Working On Behalf Of Putin:
Read more: www.businessinsider.com/american-executives-working-for-putin-2014-3

Guns for hire!