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#Putin’s land bridge to #Crimea: #Ukraine Today reports from de facto Ukrainian border at #Chongar (VIDEO)


Armed pro-Russian servicemen stand guard at Chongar checkpoint blocking the entrance to Crimea on March 10, 2014.Armed pro-Russian servicemen stand guard at Chongar checkpoint blocking the entrance to Crimea on March 10, 2014. © AFP

Chongar ia a checkpoint between Ukraine and Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula illegally annexed by Russia earlier this year.

Ukraine Today explores the route Russian invasion force may take.


Kyiv Post.

 

#Crimea, #Ukraine and the West: The Highlights of #Putin’s Annual Speech


Russia's President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal AssemblyRussia’s President Vladimir Putin addresses the Federal Assembly, including State Duma deputies, members of the Federation Council, the heads of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, regional governors, heads of Russia’s traditional religious faiths and public figures, at the Kremlin in Moscow on Dec. 4, 2014. Photograph: Kremlin

Reuters.

In his annual state of the union address on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin portrayed Russia as a strong state that would overcome its current difficulties.

Here is a roundup of the best quotes:

Ruble

“The Central Bank has moved to a floating rate but that does not mean that it has moved away from influencing the ruble market, that the ruble exchange rate can be the subject of financial speculation without consequences.”

“I ask the Central Bank and the government to carry out tough coordinated action to fight off the desire of the socalled speculators to play on the fluctuations of the Russian currency.”

“The authorities know who these speculators are and has instruments to influence them. The time has come to use those instruments.”

Sanctions

“This is not just a nervous reaction of the United States and their allies to our stance in regard to the events and coup in Ukraine; not even in regard to the socalled Crimean spring. I am certain that if all this did not take place… they would come up with another reason to contain Russia’s growing capabilities, to influence it or, even better, use it for its own goals.”

“The policy of containment was not invented yesterday. It has been applied to our country for many, many years.. every time when anyone only thinks Russia has become strong, independent, such instruments are applied immediately.”

“But there is no point in talking to Russia from a position of strength.”

“We will never pursue the path of self isolation, xenophobia, suspicion and search of enemies. All this is manifestation of weakness, while we are strong and self confident.”

“Our goal is to have as many equal partners in the West and in the East … Under no circumstances are we going to wind down our ties with Europe.”

Economy

“I propose freezing the current tax conditions and not changing them for the next four years.”

“I propose a full amnesty for capital returning to Russia … This means that if people legalize their resources and property in Russia, they get firm guarantees that they won’t be bothered by various bodies, including law enforcement bodies; that they won’t be bothered or asked about the source and the ways the capital was acquired; that they won’t run into criminal or administrative persecution; that there will be no questions from the tax and law enforcement bodies to them.”

“Let’s do it now but [only] once.”

“Everyone wishing too should take this opportunity.”

“We all understand that the origins of money can be different, they were earned and obtained in various ways, but I am confident that the offshore page in the history of our economy, our country should be closed.”

“As for small business, I propose providing ‘inspection holidays’ for them. If an enterprise enjoys a solid reputation, and it had no significant complaints in three years, then over the next three years I propose not to carry out planned checks on the state and local levels at all.”

“The quality and the scale of the Russian economy should correspond with our geopolitical and historic role. We should escape the trap of zero growth. In three to four years we should reach a growth pace exceeding the global average.”

“This is the only way to raise Russia’s share in the global economy, which means to strengthen our influence and independence.”

Crimea

“Finally, there was a historic reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia.”

“For Russia, Crimea … has a great civilizational and sacred meaning.”

Ukraine

“Every nation has an inalienable, sovereign right to its own path of development … Russia always has and always will respect that. This applies fully to Ukraine, the brotherly Ukrainian nation.”

“We have condemned the coup, the forcible seizure of power in Kiev in February. What we are seeing now in Ukraine, the tragedy in the southeast, fully confirms that our position is right.”

“How can one support an armed seizure of power, violence, murder? … How can one support the attempts that followed to suppress with the help of armed forces the people in the southeast who did not agree with this lawlessness? … This is pure cynicism. I am sure that the Ukrainian nation itself will judge these events in a just way.”


Related News:


The Moscow Times.

Boris Nemtsov: Why does Putin wage war with Ukraine? #Putin #RussiainvadedUkraine


Boris Nemtsov.Putin's Soviet RussiaPutin’s Soviet Russia. © shoutout2day.com

At first glance, and from the point of view of a sane person, the war between Russia and Ukraine is some sort of a nightmare, a madness that only brings grief, conflicts and problems to all.

Half a year ago this scenario seemed unreal. It seems that it would take an enemy of both Russia and Ukraine to make enemies out of two peoples with centuries of common history.

However, current events indicate that the most nightmarish, the most bloody scenario of fratricidal war is already developing. This is not our war, this is not your war, this is not the war of 20-year old paratroopers sent out there. This is Vladimir Putin’s war.

Why does he need it? Well, he has openly answered this question himself. “We need to start negotiations about politically organizing a society and statehood in southeastern Ukraine.”

He made this statement only now, but the sending of saboteurs-separatists, weapons, and a persistent desire of Putin to force Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to sit at the negotiation table with pro-Putin militants, many of whom are Russian citizens – all of this betrayed his intentions long before the public confession.

The words of Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, which followed those of Putin, that Putin was misunderstood about the statehood of the east of Ukraine, should not be taken seriously. He talks nonsense all the time. Things like “Putin is married to Russia.” So, once again, Putin himself said: “We need to start negotiations about a political organization of the society and statehood in south-east of Ukraine.” End of quote.

Until lately the goal of Ukraine’s dissection has not been set publicly, but instead replaced with the idea of so-called federalization. Kremlin’s hypocrisy lies in its attempt to impose on Ukraine and its people something that actual Russian citizens are deprived of because Russia itself has not had any sort of federal state for a long time, since 2004.

Feeble attempts to advocate for the interests of the regions – primarily for the financial ones – are suppressed in a cruel way.

So, Putin is trying to dissect Ukraine and create in the east of the country a puppet state, Novorossiya, that is full economically and politically controlled by the Kremlin.

It’s crucial for his clan to control metallurgy in the east of Ukraine, as well as its military-industrial complex. Moreover, southeastern Ukraine is rich in shale gas which would create real competition for the business of Putin’s Gazprom.

A disastrous tourism season in Crimea, with a sharp decline in the number of tourists, unheard of price hikes for goods and services, a shortage of drinking water, is pushing Putin’s regime towards the annexation of southeastern Ukraine to create a ground corridor to the peninsula.

To achieve these goals, Putin brought in his troops, including paratroopers and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s men. This is why he supplies weapons and heavy artillery to the east, and this is why he doomed Russia to isolation and sanctions.

These are the paranoid goals for which Russians and Ukrainians are dying while Russia itself is sinking into lies, violence, obscurantism and imperial hysteria.

It’s easy to brush it off by saying that he is insane. Many people occasionally think so, including this author. But there is also another explanation.

Through his bloody actions though he his fomenting a fratricidal war; one can see his main goal – preservation of personal power and money at any cost. Before the war his popularity rating was crawling down slowly but surely.

Despite censorship, little by little the society started to understand that those in power are greedy and amoral people whose main goal is personal enrichment.

The Party of Thieves (Editor’s note: This is a common derogatory reference to Yedinaya Rossia, the ruling party of Russia) was losing its position and needed a large-scale shakeup, which would reverse the trend and restore popularity and trust.

Ukraine became an example of an anti-criminal revolution, which overthrew a thieving president. Oh so you dared to get out onto the street and throw off a president? Ukraine needs to be punished for it to make sure that no Russian would gets these thoughts.

Moreover, Ukraine chose the European way, which implies the rule of law, democracy and change of power. Ukraine’s success on this way is a direct threat to Putin’s power because he chose the opposite course – a lifetime in power, filled with arbitrariness and corruption.

Now, to make sure he does not end up behind bars for violating the constitution of the Russian Federation because sending troops to a foreign state without the approval of the Federation Council of Russia, as well as the violation of Russia’s international obligations on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, Putin does not leave himself any maneuvers except to stay in power until his death.

So his behavior looks like madness, but in fact it’s a cold strategy for life-long despotism.

Often supporters of the idea of Russian World (Editor’s note: This idea implies the existence of a trans-national community united by its love of Russia, its culture and language) explain Putin’s aggression in Ukraine by saying that post-Soviet republics, including Ukraine, is the zone of vital interests for Russia.

Instead of showing the world an example of rule of law, security, development and high quality of life, implanted into the minds of people is the concept of raw force and threats. However, he achieves the opposite result.

Ukraine is already heading for NATO, even though before the war it had a non-aligned status. The actual North Atlantic Treaty has grown stronger, the bond between America and Europe has become more durable than before. Moreover, Putin’s aggression consolidated the Ukrainian people, and the fight for independence and territorial integrity became the national idea.

In other words, none of Putin’s goals have been achieved. The opposite is happening.

(Boris Nemtsov is a top opposition figure in Russia, and leader of Solidarnost, a liberal political force).


Kyiv Post.

 

Kremlin Invasion Exposed: Russian human rights advocate criticizes Putin for illegal incursion #RussiainvadedUkraine



Russia has invaded Ukraine. That is the message from Ella Polyakova, a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisory council on human rights.

Polyakova has broken ranks with the Russia’s increasingly untenable policy of denying it has invaded Ukraine and suggested it was not ethical of the Kremlin to continue hiding the truth.


Ukraine Today.

Putin the modern day Hitler; Russia his Reich #PutinHitler #RussiainvadedUkraine


Putin the face of a madmanIs this the face of a mad man or the face of a fool?

Vladimir Putin has demonstrated to the world that sanctions will not stopped him rebuilding his ‘glorious’ Soviet Union, today it is the invasion of Ukraine, tomorrow Poland, Romania and possibly even Germany, after all who is going to step up to the plate to stop him?

The world needs to stop him now before it is too late, because if they don’t we can all say goodbye to democracy and freedom, not since Hitler’s Germany has a country invaded another to increase it’s own territory.

Russia, Like Nazi Germany have made increasingly aggressive territorial demands, first Crimea and now eastern and south eastern Ukraine, Hitler attacked the Jews, gays and others deemed undesirable were persecuted or murdered, Putin attacks the Tatars and gays (LGBT) and others deemed undesirable are persecuted and probably murdered or made to ‘disappear’.

Are we simply going to sit back and let history repeat itself, because we are all afraid of, dare I say it… the ‘nuclear’ war!

Action needs to be taken and it needs to be taken NOW!!

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