First the Kerry-Lavrov meeting today is important, as Kerry seemed to be playing hard to get earlier in the week, perhaps letting his Russian counterpart stew somewhat and mull over. The real prospect now of sanctions and Yatseniuk’s visit to the US. The latter, no doubt, will have hardened resolve in Congress to support Ukraine, and counter perceived Russian aggression. Read more →
Taras Kuzio, research associate at the Centre for Political and Regional Studies, Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.
During the course of the four-month long Euromaidan, I have been interviewed nearly 100 times by radio, television and print media from across the globe. Those interviews have revealed three deeply ingrained myths about Ukraine.
These myths are an outgrowth of three factors: Russo-centric biases in the foreign media, which, as in Soviet times, still cover the entire former USSR from Moscow; Russia-focused academic studies on Eurasia, which I remember only too well from my university days in Britain; and the opinions of former Soviet, now Russian left-wing fellow travellers much loved by journalists.
Bohdan Klid: Moscow professor fired for criticizing Putin’s military action in Ukraine
Andrei Zubov, a Russian historian and political scientist, was fired from his post as professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Affairs following the publication of his article “We have seen this before” (Ėto uzhe bylo) in the daily Vedomosti.ru on March 1. In his article, Zubov compares Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to occupy the Crimea to Hitler’s decisions to annex Austria, Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, and Lithuania’s Memel in 1938–39. Addressing his fellow countrymen, Zubov warns: “We are on the brink of the complete destruction of the system of international treaties, economic chaos, and political dictatorship.” Further, he appeals: “Friends! We need to come to our senses and stop. Our politicians are dragging our people into a terrible, horrifying misadventure. Historical experience tells us that nothing good will come of this. We should not act as the Germans did in their day, lured by the promises of Goebbels and Hitler.” Read more →
CNN reports on Russia in Crimea, and Simon Schuster weighs in on why Putin is already losing in Ukraine.
The economic impact on Russia is already staggering. When markets opened on Monday morning, investors got their first chance to react to the Russian intervention in Ukraine over the weekend, and as a result, the key Russian stock indexes tanked by more than 10%. That amounts to almost $60 billion in stock value wiped out in the course of a day, more than Russia spent preparing for last month’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The state-controlled natural-gas monopoly Gazprom, which accounts for roughly a quarter of Russian tax revenue, lost $15 billion in market value in one day — incidentally the same amount of money Russia promised to the teetering regime in Ukraine in December and then revoked in January as the revolution took hold. (Schuster)
Taras Kuzio explores why Crimea is becoming a hot area of potential conflict.
Primary goal of Putin is to revenge for his humiliation and to destroy the government in Kyiv. Putin wants chaos. Primary goal of Putin is counter revolutionary change in Kyiv, Ukraine. Crimea is a side show.
Statement from Head of the Public Commission for the Investigation and Prevention of Human Rights Violations in Ukraine Volodymyr Vasylenko on Russian Aggression
On March 1, 2014, the Russian Federation’s Federation Council of the Federal Assembly approved a resolution allowing to deploy Russian armed forces in the Ukrainian territory. With this legislative act, the Federation Council legalized Vladimir Putin’s political decision, based on which Russian armed forces began blocking Ukrainian military units and seizing government buildings and transport routes in the Crimea even before the adoption of the resolution. Read more →