Latest news on Ukraine/Russia

Things are moving at lightning speed. As these kinds of world fuckups normally do. A roundup of where we stand right now.


Business WeekRussia Approves Use of Military as Ukraine Slams Invasion

Russia’s parliament approved the use of its military in Ukraine after Russian troops seized facilities in that country’s Crimea region, prompting the government in Kiev to say it was being invaded.

Heeding a request by President Vladimir Putin to protect ethnic Russians, lawmakers in Moscow voted unanimously to send troops to its neighbor, according to a vote today broadcast by Rossiya 24. The upper chamber was also preparing a request for Putin to recall Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said. In Kiev, governing politician Vitali Klitschko called for Ukraine to mobilize its army and consider ousting Russia’s Black Sea Fleet from its Crimean base.


ReutersBritain says Russian moves ‘potentially grave threat’ to Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Saturday that Russian action was a “potentially grave threat” to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Hague said he had spoken to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to urge steps to calm the situation, and had sent a summons to the Russian ambassador to register Britain’s concern.

“I am deeply concerned at the escalation of tensions in Ukraine, and the decision of the Russian parliament to authorize military action on Ukrainian soil against the wishes of the Ukrainian Government,” Hague said in a statement.

“We condemn any act of aggression against Ukraine.”


The TelegraphUkraine live: Security Council to meet tonight amid worsening crisis

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting at 19.00 GMT, following Russia’s green light for Vladimir Putin to use force in Ukraine. Vitali Klitschko urges “national mobilisation” in face of “Russian aggression” as violent protests break out in the east. All the latest news from Ukraine here


Boston GlobeAt heart of Ukraine drama, a tale of two countries

In the afternoon, when the shift ends at the coal mine and the miners walk out into the cold and past the old concrete statue of Lenin, they often head to a tiny corner store a block away. There they’ll stand in the parking lot for a while, drinking little bottles of the vodka called ‘‘Truthful.’’

They know what is happening in Kiev, the capital city that can seem so far away. They’ve seen pictures of the democracy protesters shot dead in Kiev’s streets, and the TV reports on the mansions of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, the one-time thug and pro-Russia politician who grew up in this far-eastern city. They watched from afar this week as protesters, many from western Ukraine, helped form the country’s new government.

They don’t like it at all.

‘‘I have always felt that we are so different,’’ said a miner who gave his name only as Nikolai, a thickset 35-year-old who went from high school directly into the mines. People speak Russian across most of Ukraine’s east, and worship in onion-domed Orthodox churches. They were shaped by 70 years of Soviet rule and its celebration of socialist industrialization, and by the Russian empire before that. To them, the government is now being run by outsiders who care little for this side of the country. ‘‘If they try to pressure us, our region will revolt.’’

His words are echoed — except for a few key words — in a conversation 800 miles (1,250 kilometers) to the west, in a medieval cobblestoned city, Ukrainian-speaking residents and houses displaying the EU flag and its yellow stars.

‘‘We are simply different people from those living in the East,’’ said Ludmila Petrova, a university student in Lviv, a hotbed of support for Ukraine’s pro-democracy forces and opposition to Yanukovych. ‘‘They don’t know what the West is. We have a different history. Maybe it is better that we separate once and for all.’’


Keep chatting. Stay frosty.

126 Responses to “Latest news on Ukraine/Russia”

  1. March 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm

  2. 16 Judith Fardig
    March 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    LL and Bobfr – thanks for keeping us informed about the deteriorating situation in Ukraine/Crimea and Russia. How much do you think Snowden’s intel has strengthened Putin’s hand in this mess?

    • March 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      You mean FSB Colonel Snowdenski?

    • March 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you, Judith. From what we know, FSB Agent Snowden, did not gain access to NSA operational information. So, while he has provided Putin with insights and an opportunity to cause embarrassment and other difficulties among our allies and a fair amount of disturbance within the US re: privacy, it’s less clear that he provided Putin any tactical advantage. No doubt he enabled Putin to embarrass the President.

      But, what Putin is doing now, as I’ve stated before, is acting like so many others – from McCain and Romney to all the other fools who’ve gone up against President Obama – he’s acting out against his fantasy version of Barack Obama rather than acknowledging that the real deal Barack Obama is not someone to ever play a game of chicken.

      • March 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm

        From what I’ve gathered from reading is that all is not what it seems in the area and we all need to take a deep breath. Don’t listen to pundits or Repugs. We really know very little of the area in that part of the world, including there culture or how they feel about Putin. It’s no different than what we didn’t know about the Middle East and what a failure of intelligence that was. I include not only Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield/Powell, but most of the majority in congress including HRH, I mean HRC.

      • 22 Judith Fardig
        March 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

        Couldn’t agree more, Bobfr. As part of his fantasy, Putin may think in the wake of the Sochi Olympics that Russia rules and the world loves him. Ugh! This situation is worrisome, but President Obama and his team will deal with it masterfully. Just wish they didn’t have to!

  3. 23 GGail
    March 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Yesterday, I was stuck in my office and couldn’t hear the rain, but today I’m at home and the rain is coming in crescendos like waves of applause.

  4. 25 vcprezofan2
    March 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Sadly, one ‘advantage’ Putin has over PBO is that *his* lawmakers wouldn’t dare vote no on legislation he wants passed.

    • 26 hopefruit2
      March 1, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      VC – glad to see you back! 🙂 🙂 Hope you have made significant progress in your evaluations if you haven’t already completed them!!

    • March 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      • March 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

        From a not crazy second cousin. A crazy second cousin is posting blame on Pres. Obama. Bloods thick. Some of you may know I did Ancestry before I lost sight in my right eye. I have a great great aunt who came from the Ukraine to South Dakota many years ago. Still haven’t found where I’m getting my 13% Irish though. I do know which side of the family though. Looking forward to celebrating St. Patricks day knowing I’m a tiny bit Irish. I consider 13% to be the Luck ‘O the Irish. 😉

  5. March 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Congrats Cookemom. Glad to see you here. How goes the new gym?

  6. March 1, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    It’s politico, but it is an important read ….


    … and, I have to agree, President Obama is now facing a global situation the likes of which an American President hasn’t faced since the Cuban Missile Crisis – way more dangerous than even Prague in 1968.

    • March 1, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      BTW, Putin is making a very big mistake by doing what so many others have done – behaving as if he is dealing with the caricature of President Obama instead of dealing with the person President Obama has shown himself to be.

      That’s why I’m so very concerned – Putin has nukes and is acting like this is a game of chicken with a fella who doesn’t ‘ do chicken.’

    • 36 jacquelineoboomer
      March 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Way too early to talk about this … and I realize Putin wouldn’t be moving if he weren’t convinced it would work … but I wonder if there’s ANY chance that at the end of this turmoil, involving all kinds of countries and the EU and NATO and the U.N., Putin might be deposed?

      Well, guess I’ve answered my own question. At this point, it remains something to wish for, not look for …

      • March 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        If he continues his military invasion of Ukraine, being deposed by his own folk will be the least of his ‘down side’ fates, Jacqueline.

        • 38 jacquelineoboomer
          March 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm

          Thanks. Hope and believe you are right, Bob (I kind of included all that in my head when I used the overarching “deposed”), although I’d also like this to stop now. Looks as though we’re one day past eternal optimism, however.

    • March 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      The world could become unhinged….

      May the Creator continue to grant PBO…..wisdom….courage….patience….

  7. 41 Bill R.
    March 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    It looks to me like the probably outcome of this is going to be division of Ukraine. Ukraine is one of the loose ends of the Cold War. Most in the East want to be Russians and those in the West don’t. Putin wants to annex at least the East and Crimea in the South as a security buffer.

    • March 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Bill, there’s deep anti-Russian sentiment throughout all of the Ukraine and it is growing. As several Ukrainians have said over the past 48h, the fastest way to solidify Ukraine is for Putin to do what he is doing. The Soviet Union got it’s ass kicked by Afghan Mujahideen. Invading a vast country of 48+ Million people will not go well for them, at all.

      • March 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm

        And, if I’m not mistaken, many Ukrainian Russians view Putin with as much distaste as Ukrainians do. We can’t assume that they’ll be out on the streets with candy and flowers.

  8. March 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I haven’t been able to keep up with the posts on the Ukraine this morning, sorry TODtown. . .
    However I did read what Jim Wright of Stonekette Nation posted to his FB page. I don’t think many of you are on FB so it’s not useful to post a link there if I knew how. It’s long, similar to posts he writes on Stonekettle a Nation. He’s in Anchorage watching the start of the Iditarod. So don’t think he’ll post there. So I’m wondering if it’s alright to post here?

  9. 46 hopefruit2
    March 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    • 47 anniebella
      March 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      I’m not getting this. Who is the guy riding the bike, and the purpose of our President coming from the water with no shirt is what?

      • 48 hopefruit2
        March 1, 2014 at 3:34 pm

        LOL! The guy on the bike is Putin, and this tweet/pic is a followup response to a tweet that was posted by TIME Magazine’s Chief Foreign correspondent.Check out our convo on the previous thread.


        So folks (myself included) got after him on Twitter for selecting the pics that he did and then trying to back track on his initial point, and then Allan Brauer posted this tweet with pics showing the opposite of what the TIME correspondent had originally posted.

  10. March 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Katrina Van Den Hoover is flogging her hubby’s piece on Putin from the Syria crisis. She’s getting reamed on Twitter.

    • 50 vcprezofan2
      March 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      No-one else will see any connection, but reading this I suddenly thought of the female CBS “reporter” who did the hatchet job on Benghazi and eventually got suspended/took a leave, or whatever. Has she returned to 60mins, or did she just fade into the blue? I can’t remember her name (which IMO underlines the fact that long after those who try to undermine PBO disappear, he’ll still be remembered).

      • 51 Vicki
        March 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

        Lara Logan

        • 52 vcprezofan2
          March 1, 2014 at 4:28 pm

          There you go! I honestly couldn’t remember her name. In fact, I promptly forgot about her again after writing my comment. Do you know if she’s back at CBS, or has she moved on to other media pastures? Not that she matters.

    • 53 COS
      March 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Great!!! She deserves everything thrown at her. She is a purist Professional Leftie. In her opinion, PBO can never do enough.

    • 54 hopefruit2
      March 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Yes she is, and she deserves all the heat she’s getting. She’s a fool, just like her fellow Snowden supporters.

  11. 55 hopefruit2
    March 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm

  12. 57 Don
    March 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I’m not in the least bit concerned about President Obama not taking action. I’m more concerned about him taking action; V.P. Biden did say that President Obama has a ramrod for a backbone. The impulsive man doesn’t scare me, it’s the man that is slow to anger that does. President Obama has the patience of Job, but his patience is not infinite.

    • 59 mtmarilyn
      March 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      WOW, Don just wow. I so agree. I don’t think the rwnj and Putin understand the breadth of Obama’s intelligence and how he sees things. Do not underestimate this man. I am so proud and thankful he is our President.

      • 60 HZ
        March 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm

        Don, your observation is so on point.

        And Bobfr’s comment above “Putin is making a big mistake by do what so many others have done-behaving as if he is dealing with the caricature of President Obama instead of dealing with the person President Obama has shown himself to be.” Bobfr, Great words of truth. Thank you. HZ

  13. March 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm

  14. 65 jacquelineoboomer
    March 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm

  15. March 1, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    HERE WE GO ….

    From moments ago, as reported by Bloomberg:


  16. March 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Ukraine Tells Russia Troop Entry Means War After Putin Approval
    By Daryna Krasnolutska Mar 1, 2014 11:50 AM PT

    Ukraine told Russia that a military invasion would mean war, after lawmakers in Moscow voted to give President Vladimir Putin the right to send troops to its neighbor.

    Russian troops entering Ukraine means war and the country is ready to fight for its sovereignty, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a news conference in Kiev today. Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov put the country’s military on full combat alert, pledging to protect all Ukrainians.

    Heeding a request by Putin to protect ethnic Russians, lawmakers in Moscow today voted unanimously to allow him to send troops to its neighbor, according to a vote today broadcast by Rossiya 24. The upper chamber was also preparing a request for Putin to recall Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said.


  17. 69 hopefruit2
    March 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm

  18. 71 Don
    March 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    So I’m going to go ahead a pencil in Eric Snowden as a traitor, any objections?

  19. 80 Don
    March 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Where are all those fucking macho chickhawks telling President Obama what to do? I’ll tell you where they’re at, they’re hiding, they don’t want any parts of being the only adult in the room.

  20. March 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

  21. March 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

  22. March 1, 2014 at 3:25 pm

  23. March 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    • March 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hoeefully he’s offering a snarky but true observation, unlike the chief foreign correspondent (!) for TIME magazine, which used to employ talented people.

      I remember reading Crowley’s posts on TNR blog during the 2008 campaign, and I’m pretty sure he was an Obama supporter. He didn’t offer the kind of full-throated support that some of his colleagues did, but that’s what my (hazy) memory tells me.

      The tweet that really pissed me off was one that Hopefruit posted earlier from @MattYglesias saying that the Brother’s Keeper iniative means that “Obama has run out of ideas.” Can’t seem to find the post in his timeline now…

      This made me want to strangle him, though I doubt I could get my small hands around his fat neck.

      If not Obama, what other President could speak this way to our “invisible” youth?

      The Koch/MSM refuses to acknowledge that PBO has any unique qualities or gifts. They love to accuse him of playing the “race card” but they refuse to acknowledge that there really is life outside the elite DC bubble.

  24. 88 donna dem 4 obama
    March 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm

  25. March 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    The wardrums beating now are the scariest that I can recall since the 1960s, when we really were fearful for WWIII.

    Thanks TOD and Jeff Gauvin for keeping us updated on the current Crimean Crisis.

    The “Clash of Civilizations” rhetoric that the neocons have been braying about since the 1990s is not going to help this discussion.

    Meta posted a tweeted earlier today about the Islamic Crimean Tatars (banished to Central Asia by Stalin) and Bob posted about Turkey on the last thread:

    Map from Wikipedia entry on “Ukraine:”

  26. March 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    • March 1, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      what do you think…

      I do not want to prepare for war…I am hoping that our President can navigate to the waters of peaceful co-existence

      • March 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm

        Unfortunately, pf58, I think the Administration has likely reached the point that they know they cannot trust Putin, at all. It would be folly for the US, NATO, and all our other allies not to be making extensive military contingency plans, including extensive cyberwarfare plans, at this time. Given President Obama’s proven rigor in such matters, my money is on his National Security team already being deep into preparations.

        • March 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm


          Where do you think… “We The People” stand…will we back up our President….

          and will this action derail plans to decrease the size of our military

          • March 1, 2014 at 4:21 pm

            pf58, we have to hope that Americans fully back President Obama. The scale of this crisis is enormous. What it’s long term effects will be will entirely depend on what happens in the next few days. If Putin’s troops begin pushing into Eastern Ukraine, we may not get to see ‘long term’ consequences. You know I’m not an alarmist. In this case, every fiber of my being is resonating with the fears I had as a teenager living through the Cuban Missile Crisis. I have not felt that way since, not with 9/11, not with Vietnam, not with anything.

            • March 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm

              ohhh lawd,,,I was too young to fully understand that…but I remember my mom and my grandparents …being very alarmed… I know how I feel today…

              May the Creator continue to grant PBO the wisdom ..the courage and patience needed to see us thru….

  27. March 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Meeting at UN delayed 2+ hours because of issue of ‘format.’ Appears that that’s been resolved …

  28. March 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    waiting on the press statement by PBO….

  29. March 1, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Getting HOT …

    NAC – North Atlantic Council of NATO
    NUC – NATO Ukraine Commission

  30. March 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I have to get up…maybe fix dinner…I am very afraid of what will happen…

  31. March 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    HEADS UP – Live UN Security Council Mtg on Ukraine

  32. March 1, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    He is being very direct and extremely blunt …

  33. March 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm

  34. 107 dotster3
    March 1, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Wholeheartedly share this grateful opinion

  35. 109 jacquelineoboomer
    March 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Ambassador Power speaking now.

  36. 113 dotster3
    March 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

  37. March 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm

  38. 115 Nerdy Wonka
    March 1, 2014 at 4:44 pm

  39. 116 hopefruit2
    March 1, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    • 118 jacquelineoboomer
      March 1, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Think I misread that … and deleted my tweet. Oops.

      • March 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

        I never misread a tweet Jacqueline, ever. Ish.

        • 120 jacquelineoboomer
          March 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

          Oh, good. Another reason you’re me role model!

          I’m so into calling out those who would try to verbally attack our President (as we all are), I’m leaping before thinking. (Again.) I’m sure I’ll get another chance!

  40. 121 hopefruit2
    March 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Here’s an example of the B.S. that gets transmitted when people don’t have all the facts…

  41. 123 hopefruit2
    March 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    This is the only thing begin transmitted by the media right now. They are so eager to make PBO seem weak/incompetent, etc…

  42. 124 jacquelineoboomer
    March 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Well, at least Putin’s taking calls and they’re not going to his voice mail. The buzzard.

  43. 126 jacquelineoboomer
    March 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm

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