Saturday, March 15th 2014 - 04:12 UTC

“Crimea means more to Russia than the Falklands to Britain”

Crimea means more to Russia than the Falklands mean to Britain, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday after holding last-ditch talks on the region with his U.S. counterpart John Kerry.

Lavrov and Kerry had 'very direct and very frank talks' but differences persist

 The two men met in London ahead of a referendum in Crimea to decide whether the Ukrainian region will become part of Russia, a vote that has sparked tension between Moscow and the West.

Lavrov said the planned referendum in Crimea is in line with international law - a claim which US and EU leaders dispute - and argued that the region should be treated similarly to Kosovo, which was unilaterally declared independent from Serbia in 2008.

Mr Lavrov also flatly rejected reports which emerged on Friday claiming that the Kremlin is planning to invade eastern Ukraine. He said Moscow has “no plans” to undertake such an operation.

However US officials said they still hoped Moscow would avoid taking the extra step of actually annexing the region of two million mostly Russian speakers in a move that would escalate the biggest East-West showdown since the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

Lavrov told reporters after more than three hours of talks with Kerry at the lavish US ambassador's residence in central London that Russia and the West were still far apart on Ukraine.

”Everyone understands -- and I say this with all responsibility -- what Crimea means to Russia, and that it means immeasurably more than the Comoros (archipelago) for France or the Falklands for Britain.“

The Kremlin simultaneously issued a statement saying that President Vladimir Putin had told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Crimea's decision to conduct the referendum was ”in full accordance with the norms of international law and the UN Charter“.

Kerry characterized his talks with Lavrov as ”very direct, very frank“.

”Neither we nor the international community will recognize the results of this referendum,“ he said, adding that if it takes place, ”there will be some sanctions, there will be some response.“

Kerry said that President Barack Obama has already ”made it clear that there will be consequences“ if Russia failed to take immediate steps to resolve the flaring crisis on the EU's eastern frontier.

The self-declared pro-Kremlin head of Crimea who initially called the controversial referendum had earlier given Western negotiators some hope by indicating he did not expect Russia to annex his region right away.

”It would take a maximum of one year,“ Sergiy Aksyonov told reporters in the Crimean capital of Simferopol.

Sunday's vote gives residents of Crimea -- a rugged region that has housed tsarist and Kremlin navies since the 18th century -- only two choices: joining Russia or ”the significant strengthening of their autonomy within Ukraine”.

The peninsula's self-declared leaders have already predicted an easy victory and the region is largely expected to vote in favor of joining Russia despite discontent from the Muslim Tatar minority that makes up 12% of Crimea's total population of two million.

151 comments Feed

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1 Anglotino (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 05:10 am Report abuse
A referendum organised in 10 days with no option for the status quo. And an extra 60% ballot papers printed

Yeah sure.....Really in line with international norms
2 pgerman (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 06:06 am Report abuse
I was wondering....How was organized the FI “referendum”?

Could people listen to both option “yes” and “no” benefits?

Could people that prefer the option “no” be able to promote their idea?

Who controled the neutrality of the authorities?

Was it in line with international norms?
3 Be serious (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 06:51 am Report abuse
Start digging those shelters and stocking up with tins. Read Hitler for Putin and Sudetenland for Crimea. Of course Putin has a point and so did Adolf. UK and US are trapped in history and EU troublemakers should be ashamed of themselves. Be under no illusions this is not going to end well, all because a failed, rotten, prize winning, Socialist empire wanted its very own bread basket.
4 Gordo1 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 07:19 am Report abuse
@2 pgerman

The Falklands Islands referendum was conducted in a totally democratic way and the answer to all your queries is “yes, of course”!

If you had researched the internet properly you would not have needed to consult this forum.
5 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 07:42 am Report abuse
Ousting an elected President for not wanting to make a deal with the EU, only to impose the deal without any democratically elected government to approve it and then point to Russia for doing what they do, is la creme de la creme of hypocrisy.
Media was claiming the rights of the demonstrating population for months until they achieved what was on the European agenda, now they call the demonstrations in Eastern Ukraine for un-democratic and will not accept a decision taken by the people that actually lives on the ground they try to impose their will on.

Self-determination only when it suits you lot...
6 reality check (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 08:25 am Report abuse
“By you lot” I take it you mean the UN? or to you only turn to them when it is expedient to do so?
7 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 08:29 am Report abuse
Do I ever turn to the UN?

Tell you what, the day the UN removes the Veto right, I will start to take that institution seriously...
8 HansNiesund (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 09:43 am Report abuse

You can see why a Malvinista would have no problem with a military invasion aimed at seizing part of another country.
9 Islander1 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 09:44 am Report abuse
Stevie - A referendum in Crimea would be valid if it is carried out under full independent International Observers supervision.
Similar to the way the Falklands referendum was done a year ago.
We both know that will not be happening tomorrow in Crimea.
10 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 09:48 am Report abuse
And what made the ousting of the elected Ukranian President for not wanting to go through with an agreement with the EU valid?
The full supervision of the international commuity, or the fact that the main Plaza was held enough amount of time?

And by the way, Putin (read Crimea) has just accepted international observers.

You think that will change anything? Are you suddenly supportive of the pro-Russian case?
11 Be serious (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 09:58 am Report abuse
We are all hypocrites Stevie. You, more than most.
12 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:05 am Report abuse
Nice Be serious.

At least you do see the hypocrisy, even if you do try to save somebodys face using me as an example.

Wonder how far that argument will get you in the bigger Picture.... “No, you're all wrong, just look at Stevie from the comment section in Mercopress...”

13 HansNiesund (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:30 am Report abuse
The objection isn't the referendum per se, it's that Russian military aggression should no more be rewarded in 2014 than Argentine aggression in 1982. Imagine how recently liberated Eastern Europe feels about this. Imagine how they'd feel if their ally the UK wasn't supporting them.

I believe Argentina is chairing the Security Council at the moment, and is being mighty quiet about the whole thing. I imagine they don't want to support Russia and thereby validate the principle of the referendum, and they don't want to piss Putin off either by opposing his invasion.

Probably the best strategy would be to STFU, and have your trolls point to a seeming hypocrisy which is only apparent if you ignore the entire political, legal and historical context. But that's an Argentine speciality, of course.
14 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:36 am Report abuse
Isn't the will of the people actually living on the affected area more important than anything else, as in self determination, or is that just something that applies to a by you selected population?

What about ousting a President for him preffering a political agreement ahead of another?
Isn't that something for the urns, should you disagree and be affected?
15 Islander1 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:39 am Report abuse
Stevie- If Russia- and it is not for them to call for Observers- it is for the Ukranian Govt in Crimea and Kiev to do so - then that is indeed just an increased farce! it takes a wee bit more than 24hrs to set the thing up properly!! Several months in fact if the job is to be done properly.
16 HansNiesund (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:44 am Report abuse

But of course.

And all it needs is for Russia to demonstrate its democratic credentials by getting its invasion force out of somebody else's country, and let that country decide its future for itself.

Otherwise what we are seeing here is no more than a rerun of how Eastern Europe was subjugated in the early post-war period.
17 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:48 am Report abuse
The Uranian “government” in Kiev is the farce.
Who elected them to represent Ukraina?
Who gave them the right to go through with the EU agreement?

It's called self determination, isn't it?
The pro-Russian Crimeans decide, just like the western Ukranians decided to undemocratically oust an elected President.

Now swallow it.
18 HansNiesund (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:58 am Report abuse
Gosh, Stevie, I thought you guys were opposed to militarism and imperialism. But it seems you can only get worked up into a lather over countries who aren't actually doing anything of the sort, while condoning those who are.

And then screeching hypocrisy.
19 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 11:04 am Report abuse
I support Ukraine, free from Russia AND the EU.

To give you a taste of what I mean, lets use Hans' statement;

“And all it needs is for Russia to demonstrate its democratic credentials by getting its invasion force out of somebody else's country, and let that country decide its future for itself.”

And there you have Kelly, of USA, telling Russia what to do.

Because Afghanistan isn't somebody elses country.

Because Iraq isn't somebody elses country.

And US democracy credentials are intact...
20 HansNiesund (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 12:03 pm Report abuse

I know this is a difficult concept for you, but just because X can be alleged to have already done something, that doesn't mean it's OK for Y to do it.
21 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 12:09 pm Report abuse
I know this is a difficult concept for you, but if you agree with injustice when your oppositors are the victims, you should shut up and take it when the tidal goes against you.

That, or you should try to be consistent in your hypocrisy...
22 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 12:19 pm Report abuse
In a way the Russian Foreign Minister statement is beneficial to Britain and France. Self determination is becoming a norm and a reality. I know you guys are going to disagree and make a whole fuss and bitch around of how much different Malvinas/Falkland is from the matters in Crimea but its just the precedent that matters here and what really is interesting because it forces to look at re look strategy with more importance of the politics of demography and immigration.

I think Pandora's box has just being opened.
23 nololly (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 12:20 pm Report abuse
Its pretty clear that a large section of Ukraine wants to be a part of the EU and another part wishes to be part of Russia. What is unacceptable is the Russian military interference. I feel sorry for people who find themselves in the wrong part. I hope the US and Europe imposes severe sanctions on Putins Russia which really hurt to teach the little thuv a lesson.
24 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 12:23 pm Report abuse
I might agree with you Cabeza.
Although I think that the self determination will only apply as long as it doesn't affect the establishment.
When that day comes, a whole new word and cause will be (re)invented...
25 Conqueror (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 01:08 pm Report abuse
@5 Do you understand “democracy”? I shall make a few points. Crimea was included in Ukraine by the Russians. Ukraine has 44.5 million inhabitants, Crimea has less than 2 million. We can see which way democracy takes us. But then there's “self-determination”. Have you tried advancing the cause of “self-determination” for your street? Just as a matter of interest, why did Yanukovych run? Might it have had something to do with the crimes he's alleged to have committed? Perhaps you could explain how he acquired a US$75 million mansion when, for most of his career, his salary never exceeded US$2,000 a month? Seems suspicious to me, but shouldn't we wait until a court has made a judgement? But you're only picking out little bits that suit your personal agenda.
@10 I'd say that the vote of the Ukrainian parliament (i.e. 328 members out of 447 voting for his removal) made it valid.
@14 I don't see how less than 2 million people trying to force the other 42.5 million can be construed as “living on the affected area”. Or are you asserting that only Crimea would have had an association with the EU? Forced by Ukraine!
@17 Why is the government in Kiev “a farce”? Because it has an agenda different to yours? Governments aren't “elected”, Stevie. They are “formed”. From the members of the political party with the most votes/seats at the last election. You think one man makes a difference to that?
@19 Meaning that you are an anarchist. We have people like you in the UK. They have their brief moment of fame and then they either fade into obscurity or get ripped apart by a mob. Their own or someone else's. Can't say they are missed.
@21 Oh, we can agree about “injustice”. It's massively unjust for about a million people to force their views on 43.5 million people, divide a country and ask a third country to apply military force.
@24 Self-determination will apply as long as it is valid. It would be patently ridiculous for a street containing 40 people to demand it.
26 HansNiesund (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 01:11 pm Report abuse

Indeed. And Putin has rather cleverly engineered a situation where whichever position you adopt, you violate one sacred principle or another. The one thing that is clear is that Russia's intervention is a 100% flagrant breach of the UN Charter.
27 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 01:28 pm Report abuse
Of those 44.5 million Ukranians, the majority voted for Yanukovich in the latest elections...
28 HansNiesund (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 01:52 pm Report abuse

Are people not allowed revolutions in Stevieworld?
29 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 01:55 pm Report abuse
You mean revolting against a democratic system?

That would be a un-democratic coup...

Now, revolting against a military dictatorship should be a responsability od every man and woman...
30 Vestige (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 03:03 pm Report abuse
Funniest part of it all is that as fcked up as Russias shambolic Crimea referendum is, as much as it flys in the face of world opinion, legality and democracy and clearly involves force
.... all those things and its still going to have more world recognition than the falklands shamerendum.
31 Joe Bloggs (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 03:31 pm Report abuse
30 Vestige

Well of course it's going to attract more attention. What a dumb fucking thing to say. Things are on the brink of war in Crimea and one of the world's super-powers in intervening.

Now if you were to compare the amount of notice it is getting compared to when the dirty, deadbeat, cowardly, scumbag Argentine Government invaded the Falklands in 1982, that would be a discussion worthy of some time.
32 Islander1 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 03:49 pm Report abuse
Vestige- The Falklands Referendum was no shambles at all - it was run along strict free democratic principles and monitored start to finish by International Impartial Observers.

Problem was Argentina did not like the result and even more so the fact that a good number of Islanders of Non British origen voted for the majority decision as well.
As for the rest of the world- well all we expected was for civilised democratic nations to take notice of it - and they are indeed starting to do just that.
33 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 03:58 pm Report abuse
No one is fooled by this annexation of Crimea by Russia. It has many similarities to the events prior to WW2 with Putin taking the role previously played by Hitler.

It's extreme irony that the Russians are suggesting that the Ukrainians are being dominated by Fascists, because it is Russia that is acting exactly like the Nazis by trying to seize another country by force.

This is not a 'non-violent' conquest. Shots have been fired - at a bunch of unarmed troops and a TV crew! Talk about own-goal by the Russians.

Russian troops were ordered to take off their badges for several reasons.

1. The shame on the Russian flag for being an aggressive invader;
2. To give the Russians the ability to deny that these troops are theirs, but local militia; and;
3. To make it difficult for the Ukrainians to know who they might be firing on.

No one is fooled, because they forgot to change the markings on the vehicles or the number plates for that matter.

Putin is really stupid if he thinks he can get away with this one. The man's ego has gone to his head and like all Eastern Bloc autocrats, he thinks that he's the new Tsar or Emperor and can do as he pleases.

What he should do, if he acted reasonably, is withdraw his troops to the bases, agree a referendum with the Ukrainian Government - organised and run by the EU or UN, to allow the Ukrainians to decide which country each district wants to belong to. The vote would have to be according to the Ukrainian constitution, would have to pole a significant proportion of the electorate just to be valid and then an overwhelming majority to validate a cessation.

What is actually going to happen is that the US & EU will put sanctions on Russian firms & oligarchs - the people that pay Putin 'tribute' as their 'Godfather', Putin will turn off the gas taps, the US & EU will deny Russia access to the World banking system & Russia will be unable to get paid for their oil. Within 6 months, Russia would be bankrupt, or, World War III.
34 Vestige (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 04:14 pm Report abuse
31 - temper temper.
32 - you mean paid private company observers...that no-one recognizes.
35 Joe Bloggs (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 04:16 pm Report abuse
I haven't lost my temper; I just can't believe that even YOU are so dumb as to think that your post was sensible. LMFAO
36 Leiard (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 07:08 pm Report abuse

even if you personally do not recognise the observers, are you suggesting the outcome would have been different or that the result was rigged ?
37 Conqueror (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 07:15 pm Report abuse
@27 It's “Yanukovych”, you dimwit. And who says the majority voted for him? Suddenly become an “expert” on the Ukrainian electoral system, have you? Just to give you a clue, an “expert” is defined as a has-been drip under pressure. Have to admit, it does sound like you!
@29 Crimea doesn't have a “democratic system”.
@34 Russia is going to pay for this. Russia doesn't understand the difference between “power” and “influence”. But it will. I reckon that, inside the next 25 years, “Russia” will cease to exist. The REAL people of the world are tired of imperialist aggressors. Goodbye Russia. Goodbye argieland. Goosbye North Korea. Goodbye most of latam. Goodbye Spain.
38 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 07:21 pm Report abuse
The Ukranian alphabet is a version of Cyrillic script, you clown...
39 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 07:26 pm Report abuse

Putin is going to get away with it alright. Just wait and see. He is a player and just look who is opposing him collage boys and bureaucrats. Western sanctions will only be rethorical. Putin's boys are buying London and Europe is far to dependent on Russian gas and oil specially since France, Poland and UK are too hesitant in opening up their shale reserves out of the fear of fracking.
40 A_Voice (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 07:58 pm Report abuse
He's your man alrighty....;-)
So what he gains Crimea....he loses any influence in Ukraine, Ukraine joins NATO and he gets NATO again right on his doorstep...
The US reintroduces the missile shield across Europe...
Putin is dependent on Hydrocarbons sales for the economy...US will export hydrocarbons to Europe....
Putin will be kicked out of power for bankrupting Russia.....
For what...Crimea that has no economy but tourism and he will have to support it...
Yeah real smart guy.....
The writing is on the wall.....
41 Stevie (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 08:07 pm Report abuse
Eastern Europe depends on Russian gas, A_voice.
Europe is in no condition to pay up to uphold the Ukranian economy, and the EU Citizens are not in the mood for it, to say the least.
Brown Winds are blowing through Europe, and obviously Putin is more feared than the legacy the Brown shirts left...
42 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 08:07 pm Report abuse
I told yo so why Putin is going to walk over the Obama's Cameron's Merkel's and Hollande's, you will see all that I said I said for a reason, not because I like Putin but of what my machiavelan understanding of politics is...He is a player and the others are just collage boys and career politicians.

The US is in no way going to replace the energy monopoly Russia holds on Europe and I doubt Russia will ever loose influence in the Ukraine.
43 A_Voice (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 08:14 pm Report abuse
He is a little thug that dreams of an empire..he hasn't got the backing of China on this...he hasn't even got an economy the size of the UK...
The US have time on their side....they will export oil and gas to Europe and cripple him and then they will slowly squeeze his tiny economy and influence....he is on his own on this one...for a short term gain...
44 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 08:29 pm Report abuse

The “little thug” has made is entire career and climb to power in the KGB you need a fair amount of brains, wit and cold calculation to get to be the boss of Russia.

US is not going to supplant the Russian and Middle eastern energy dependency of Europe. you are deluded. At least not any time soon. Crimea will be long ago established as a Russian oblast by then. The US is not going to war with Russia.
China is fearful of the Taiwan precedent, and they have lots of problems with their minorities but so far hasn't said a word about anything related to Crimea.
45 A_Voice (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 08:48 pm Report abuse
Yes he has climbed to power by being a thug...but being a thug may work in Russia and where it has influence...
It doesn't work in the rest of Europe....
Who does he have support from...? and who in the international community is against him.....everyone...
Crimea isn't a's a liability......
Black sea fleet......what a joke...Turkey is NATO!!!
He has got himself a lemon.....
46 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 09:17 pm Report abuse

“The wish to acquire is no doubt a natural and common sentiment, and when men attempt things within their power, they will always be praised rather than blamed. But when they persist in attempts that are beyond their power, mishaps and blame ensue.”

”All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it's impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”

“A prince ought to have two fears one from within on account of his subjects the other from without on account of external powers. From the latter he is defended by being well armed and having good allies and if he is well armed he will have good friends and affairs will always remain quiet within when they are quiet without unless they should have been already disturbed by conspiracy and even should affairs outside be disturbed if he has carried out his preparations and has lived as I have said as long as he does not despair he will resist every attack.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
47 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:41 pm Report abuse
Putin is nothing more than a Mafia boss to the Oligarchs. His power base is built on the Russian state, his armed forces and the natural wealth he can squeeze from those who pay homage to him.

Europe was very foolish to make deals with Russia for dependence on their gas, but Putin was even more foolish to have empire building ambitions. Even the Chinese won't support him on this one. How right they are, because Putin might decide to annex a Chinese province or two.

Putin made a fatal calculation, because he only remains in power as long as the Oligarchs retain all their privileges, to travel, to own assets in the West, to live from the profits of their virtual monopolies. The moment the West removes these rights, the Oligarchs (who actually put Putin in power) will conspire to remove him as quickly as possible.

By abandoning Communism and embracing Capitalism, Russia has become inextricably dependent on the West. Without the western banking system he's f*cked. He needs access to it to be paid for the oil.

Even if Putin has control over the gas taps, what good would it do him to turn them off. Russia would be in breach of contract - massively. Europe may suffer an energy crisis similar to the 1970s, but they will supplement Russian gas with middle east supplies.

Moreover, after the Russians (without Putin) pull the troops out of Crimea, they will have to pay punitive damages for the breach of contract. Russia will be paying off restitution to the European states for years. so much so, that it could be a greater value than all the gas Russia has sold to them for the past decade.

The Oligarchs will act to remove Putin before it hurts them too much. As is the film, The Godfather, there will be a sudden change at the top and apologies all around.

Russia's brand of nationalism cannot survive. Even China would have to put the Russian bear in a cage. Putin belongs in a zoo, as a dangerous wild animal that's gone insane.
48 Domingo (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 10:51 pm Report abuse
I think Lavrov is mistaken to make such a nonsense claim & only demonstrates his ignorance of British politics

I also think the Russia Federation has let itself & the whole world down, by failing to live up to its obligations as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to uphold the Charter of the United Nations

Rather the Russian Federation has breach all international law through its criminal actions; the Russian Federation should apologize, save face & revert to the rule of International Law

The reality is Poland defeated the Eastward Advance of Revolutionary Russia after World War I and remembers keenly its dismemberment by Nazi Germany & Communist Russia; Similarly Russian finds no political friends in the Baltic State nor Scandinavia, especially Finland, Denmark & Norway who all suffered occupation by a cruel Foreign Power in living memory

I also think Russia is a fool to threaten German Interests; even indirectly. For 70 years Germany has been a sleeping Tiger; in fact a pussycat, willing to put its neighbors interests ahead of its own in order to achieve Ordnung; now Putin wishes to lead his 144 million Russians to piss off 82 million hard-working & democratic Germans; Eastern Europe remains Germany's sphere of influence & Eastern Europe prefers modern liberal Germany to Putin's regressive & politically corrupt Russian. Germany still remembers what Russia & Stalin did to German PoWs. There is little love lost; especially in Eastern Germany. The same goes for all the former Warsaw Pact nations. When it comes to that fight, Putin can't win. I know who my money is on & its not the Russia, not in a million years. So Putin decides to pit 110 million European Russians vs NATO's 900 million people? Putin truly is a ferkwit, just to gain Crimea, when militarily Russia cannot put a single ship or submarine to sea, without NATO's consent; now there's a sanction that would bite. Attack Turkey? No chance

He may win a battle, but not the war
49 A_Voice (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 11:27 pm Report abuse
I can understand why you like the man...he is a character, there is no doubt.
Europe began to relax thinking Russia was slowly joining the 21st Century.
Now Putin has shown himself to be a throw back to the bad old days ...the era of the Cold War....
Being from SA you never had to live with the threat of having only 4 minutes to say goodbye to your family was the case of the UK...
The UK lived under the threat of only a four minute warning from RAF Fylingdales of a nuclear attack from Russia...
No one wants to go back to those days...especially me being only eight miles away from the UK's stock pile of Trident obvious first strike target...
There is no purpose in Putin's gain, territory, a navel base that can be neutralised....
(The 1982 amendments to the Montreux Convention allow Turkey to close the Straits at its discretion in both wartime and peacetime.)
Turkey is NATO.....
He has everything to lose and nothing to gain...even Adolf had a plan....
I believe Putin has lost his senses and believes his own propaganda....
Strategists believe Russia is not even capable of taking and holding Ukraine let alone any further....
He deludes himself into believing he has real power.....he hasn't...
50 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 15th, 2014 - 11:46 pm Report abuse
First of all voicce, the Russian leader works on a entirely different gear than his western counterparts.
He is the perfect Machiavellian “Prince” for he is loved and feared by his people and respected by his enemies.

You talk as if the man did not command the second largest armed force in the world. Its not only gas and oil he controls. The Russian oligarchs are pouring in billions into London. Cameron and Boris will not dare bite the hand that feeds them. The oligarch kids go to the best schools of Europe, have holydays and property in the Mediterranean, and Germany is far to friendly with Russia anyway. Its really the US that holds independence both economically and influential from Russia that could have a say... And Obama is already proven to be a chicken and a hesitant and incompetent twat.
Turkey aint going to do anything they are not told to and garanteed that they will be protected.

The underlining concept you have to understand here is that nowbody is willing nor going to go far to stop Russia in the west, it will be rethorical nonesence. Putin knows this. And he capitalizes on this.
51 Ekeko (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 01:07 am Report abuse
#50 So if that is the case you are also saying that NATO is irrelevant, and therefore why was the treaty safeguarding Ukraine's neutrality so happily signed away by all parties? A_voice has put very valid points here in regards to this.

The west realise the Crimea is a historical subject Russia feel strongly about.

And the west will reciprocate in measures which suit dealing with Russia. Re economic and then political.

52 A_Voice (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 01:45 am Report abuse
We have a difference of opinion here and we will have to see who is right....
I say he has miscalculated....
...13 members of the Security Council backed a resolution that called for all nations to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity and condemned the referendum as illegal.
China abstained....
Russia is isolated and alone....
One of the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Moscow for two years, with tens of thousands of protestors marching from Pushkin Square to a broad avenue nearby for a rally. Unusually the government granted permission for the demonstration to take place and for up to 50,000 people to take part. I said the writing is on the wall....

BTW...“Machiavellianism” is a widely used negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described in The Prince. The book itself gained enormous notoriety and wide readership because the author seemed to be endorsing behaviour often deemed as evil and immoral.

behaviour often deemed as evil and immoral....I see why you have applied it to Putin.....;-)
53 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 02:06 am Report abuse
Yeah but appart from branding the resolution as illegal, what is the UNSC going to do about?? FA is the answer.

“We have a difference of opinion here and we will have to see who is right....”

And yet Machiavelli's concepts and books like “The Prince” are still read half a millenium later since they were published only because its deemed as “evil and inmoral”?? Ohh these teachings and concepts are inmoral and evil thats true indeed. And in a XXI PC century standard, even more so..... But I will call it cynical and a profound realist understanding of human nature and leadership that has left a mark in social science.

You will never beat a Putin without understanding how he thinks.
54 Ekeko (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 02:14 am Report abuse
No they will if needs be, like has been mentioned in previous posts, the USA is now exporting gas... The eu will readily accept this secure source as it's mutual as it agreeable for both parties...

Economics trumps politics first when it comes to what happens in the world and this suits the west on many levels.

It's a shame as the west would have loved Russia to come in from the cold and become a buffer zone for certain countries it didn't have the understanding of....

I think this may put the world in retrograde for a while but hey... Shit happens....

God bless all...
55 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 05:54 am Report abuse
“By abandoning communism and embracing capitalism” just shows how simplistic your World view is. Russia is as dependent on the West as the West is on Russia. Last time I checked, the gas flowed westwards, not the other direction...
You don't just Exchange a pipeline with supplies from the middle East, mainly because there is no pipeline to the middle East

And China may not be backing Russia openly, why should they? There is Little for them to gain in making such a statement. They haven't disagreed with Russia either, have they?

I still don't get how it's possible for Ukraine to sign an agreement with the EU without having ANY elected member of government to ratify it...

EU played well and gained Ukraine.
Russia responded at took Crimea.

Ukraine is the victim here and both Russia and the EU should be ashamed of themselves. Russia for invading a Sovereign nation and the EU for meddling and supporting Nazis while at it.
USA should just shut up...
56 Anglotino (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 07:43 am Report abuse
“I still don't get how it's possible for Ukraine to sign an agreement with the EU without having ANY elected member of government to ratify it...”

Ukraine government
Acting President: Oleksandr Turchynov - elected to Verkhovna Rada 29/03/98
Prime Minister: Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk - elected to Verkhovna Rada 30/09/07

The Verkhovna Rada is still operating with elected members in it.

Perhaps if Yanukovych hadn't abandon his post then the reality would be different.

Anyway I'm all for Crimea voting and leaving Ukraine. I don't think this vote is fair but I believe that even a fair one would vote to leave.

The Crimea leaving Ukraine will be good for Ukraine. It will save the government US$1 billion a year in subsidies and also tipped the ethnic balance further towards the Ukrainians and the west of the country. Putin has all but guaranteed that Ukraine will join the EU and killed off his Eurasian Union.

Most Russian speakers in Ukraine are Ukrainian. This is the opposite in Crimea.
57 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 07:57 am Report abuse
Acting President de facto, you mean.
Acting Prime Minister de facto, you mean.

That, or Berlusconi pulling the strings in Italy would be perfectly in order, according to your logic... He was after all elected in the 90's...

And by the way, Svoboda is an interesting part of that coalition, don't you think?

Lets all openly defend Nazis.

Europa, in memorium...
58 Anglotino (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 10:33 am Report abuse
Both Turchynov and Yatsenyuk are still elected moments of the Rada. Berlusconi is. I longer an elected member of parliament. Pathetic comparison. Just pathetic.

Was Svoboda democratically elected to the Rada? Were they in the Rada when Yanukovych was president?

Or is it only democracy when people vote for the people you think they should? People do not always vote for who we want or think they should, please don't tell me that you are the sort of fascist that thinks their voice should be silenced.

Is Sergey Aksyonov more legitimate? With 4% of the electoral vote, he managed to get elected to lead Crimea after the Crimean legislature was locked in a room by Russian soldiers with no press or mobile phones allowed.

How is Yatsenyuk de facto a prime minister? Azarov quit and left the country and Arbuzov was an interim prime minister by presidential decree.

As for Turchynov, do you seriously believe a country should have no president after the elected one had abandoned his post? Who should be president? Yanukovych as a 'guest' of a foreign power?

For someone who claims to live in a country that has free press, it amazes me that you fall for the propaganda that is being sold to the Russian peasants.

Which government is more fascist? The one in Kiev or the one in Moscow?
59 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 10:41 am Report abuse
Maybe you think Hitler shouldn't have been silenced either.

None of those you mention are elected by the people to lead Ukraine, Yanukovich was. He was ousted in a way that seems to be the future way of your sorts to promote democracy.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything here, but merely throwing your hypocrisy in your face, you advocate of Nazism...
60 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 11:28 am Report abuse
Stevie you are a victim of your own nationalist rhetoric. Hitler was also fond of annexing provinces & then calling it a liberation. The only people acting like Fascists (and Nazis) are in Russia.

I've been to Russia many times on business and also to Kiev & the Crimea. So I know quite a bit more than others about the background. I accept that the people in Sevastopol do feel more Russian than Ukrainian. It comes from the fact that not only was Crimea once Russian, but also many of the armed forces who served in the region, retired there afterwards.

Many Russians bought homes in the Crimea. just as the British buy holiday homes in Spain and the coast is awash with small communities that are mostly Russian. But does that give the Russians the right to meddle in the affairs & seize the land of a foreign state? No.

By that logic, it would be acceptable for Britain to annex Andalusia, simply because there are enclaves of British retirees, or for Spain to try to seize Gibraltar, because 300 years ago it belonged to Spain.

Territorial integrity is one of the most fundamental rights of countries. The Helsinki accords were signed to prevent someone doing what Hitler did again.

Argentina ignored the rights of the Falkland Islanders because they have been misled to believe that the Islands formed part of their empire - when in truth, they never formed part of it. No Argentines were on the Islands when they declared independence & they were still claimed by Britain and Spain.

Only nations that are 'Empire Building' seek to claim territories to which they have no previous claim. Argentina never had a colony on South Georgia or the other South Atlantic dependencies. No historical ties. They merely sought to extend their territory by force of arms.

Where does Putin's empire building stop? Ukraine? The Baltic states (now part of the EU)? The states that were once part of the Soviet Union? Afghanistan? (again!) Iran? Mongolia? China?

No wonder the Chinese abstained.
61 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 11:32 am Report abuse
You mean like you annexed the Malvinas?

nigel.... regardless what you say, democracy is a vote. A vote for what you believe in. Ousting a President is done with consequences. If you defend the lack of democracy in one case, swallow and behold.

Easy as that.
62 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 12:31 pm Report abuse
Stevie - yet again you get your history wrong.

Which country was the first to land on the Falklands in 1690?

Why did Spain agree in 1771 that Britain also had a legitimate claim to the Falklands?

Why does Argentina refuse to accept that United Provinces citizens were still on the Falklands after the garrison was told to leave?

You've a very distorted view of history and it's obvious that you believe the lies you've been told. Perhaps you ought to read a few non-Argentine text books on the subject to get a better understanding of the events.

Maybe you could visit your own national archives and look at the reports by the garrison that returned to Buenos Aires, explaining that United Provinces citizens were still on the Islands.

Britain didn't annex the Falklands, because they were already British. Even Vernet knew that and admitted it frequently. If this land were not British, for what possible reason would he go to the British Consul to ask for permission to be on the islands?

If only Vernet had refrained from piracy, he would have remained on the Islands indefinitely until his death. It was only because the United Provinces sought to annex the Falkland Islands that it was necessary for American and then British ships to visit them and remove the garrison placed there by Buenos Aires.

I'm not saying that Ukrainian or EU troops would do the same in Crimea, but sooner or later, Putin will have to withdraw his troops to barracks and when he does, Kiev will take a long hard look at the treaty that Russia signed in 1994 to allow them the naval base in Sevastopol and decide whether or not to continue with it.

Russia cannot keep what it previously agreed was sovereign Ukrainian territory by treaty. Russia cannot annex another state and continue to be allowed access to the economic pathways that more peaceful states enjoy. It does not matter what money is invested by Russians in the UK or EU. It would be seized if Russia escalates this dispute further.
63 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 12:39 pm Report abuse
The Island were never British, and they never will be, nigel...
64 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 01:12 pm Report abuse
Your response is self-evidently false.

The Falkland Islands ARE British.

They are British right now and they will be so long as the Falkland Islanders want them to be.

The first person to land on the Islands was British.

The only other country to have a claim on the Islands, France, sold them to the Spanish. France now states that the Islands are British.

The Spanish gave up their claim to the Islands and recognised that they were British in 1862. In any event, it has been suggested that when Spain left the Islands in 1811, they broke the cessation treaty with France, requiring Spain to maintain a colony on the Islands and in doing this, this meant that the Islands would have reverted to France - who has already stated that they are British.

British they are and British they will remain - so long as the Falkland Islanders wish them to be.
65 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 01:18 pm Report abuse
No, they are not.
Britain is merely occupying them...
66 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 02:13 pm Report abuse
Then you know what you can do - take the matter to the International Court.

Britain has repeatedly urged Argentina to take their claim to the court and Argentina has repeatedly resisted this.

Why is that?

Could it be that Argentina knows that their claim would be thrown out?
Certainly seems so.
There is no credibility to any of the arms of Argentina's claims.
There is simply no legality in Argentina's claims.

In the final analysis, Argentina would have better luck claiming the Moon rather than the Falkland Islands - if it were not for the fact that someone got there before them there as well!

Your refusal to accept the illegality of Argentina's claim or your cowardice in failing to take the matter to the International Court will not give you the Islands by default. You can scream and scream and scream until you are blue in the face, but throwing your toys out of the pram will not give you the Islands.

Only the Islanders have the right to decide what happens to their land.
67 Conqueror (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 03:13 pm Report abuse
@38 I know about the Ukrainian alphabet, thank you. Curiously, we are using ENGLISH. And “Yanukovych” is the accepted English spelling. Perhaps you should have tried ”Ві́ктор Фе́дорович Януко́вич“. I ”might“ have accepted such lame drivel.
@42 Have you read this?
@50 Don't know where you get your figues from. After China, USA, India, North Korea, Russia comes fifth.
@55 You'll have to give us a list of the countries in which the members of a government are elected. The norm seems to be that a ”party“ wins an election and then forms a government. If you take a look at the situation in Ukraine, ALL the members of the Parliament are elected. Whilst there may be some departures from the Constitution, the Parliament must be entitled to form a government. As I read it, the majority of the ”members of the parliament“ were present and voted in favour. Your ”comment“ merely reflect the anarchist agenda. ”When it suits, comply with every dot and comma. When it doesn't, scream about something else“.
@56 Don't know that I agree, at this point. It ”might“ be appropriate in the long term, but this is by means of skullduggery and the armed intervention of a foreign country. Have we learned nothing in 76 years? One way or another, Russia must be stop-punched. Sorry to have to ask, America, but you can create a massive troop and aircraft build-up in western Ukraine. Enough to make Putin think again.
@59 Hitler wasn't ”silenced“, numbnuts. The coward suicided. The rest of your ”comment“ is equally free of intelligence or sense.
@61 Where are these ”Malvinas”? Haven't noticed the British flag flying over any poverty-stricken neighbourhoods of Cordoba City.
@63 Brainless ignoramus. The Islands have been British since 1690. Various turds have had to be removed. French, Spaniards, rats, UP rats, argie rats. Loads of rats on the SA continent. STILL British! Hurrah!!!
68 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 04:08 pm Report abuse
67 places Russia number 2 in the ranking.

I dont get your point, do you have one ??... You mean to say that western sanctions or a crisis is going to force Russia out of Crimea ??
69 Brit Bob (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 04:59 pm Report abuse

Don't forget that they now have a free-market economy and not communist 5-year plans. Sanctions applied properly would work. The Russian stock exchange lost 10% of its value when Russia invaded Crimea.
70 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 05:22 pm Report abuse
Russia doen't have a free market economy, its a crony capitalism economy where everything is blocked by bereaucracy and only those who have contacts and power can manage to get things done. Your capital city is very friendly with and very needy of these same Russian oligarchs...I dont see any European power Germany, France, Italy or Sweden standing against Putins power and influence. And the US president is a looser. Everything the west will do is put up a face and rethorical punishment in order not to show weakness. That is my bet.

The stock market decreased do to the fear of war and instability, they will increase again after things calm down in the region.
71 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 05:33 pm Report abuse
The market gives a flying fook about decency, it will go where the profit is, I'm sorry to say...
72 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 05:43 pm Report abuse
You don't seem to get it. Putin is a Mafia boss and all mafia bosses bully the people who pay homage to them, but allow them privileges which keep them happy.

Remind you of anyone?

Maybe some witch in a pink house?

If the Oligarchs lose their privileges, their freedom to travel, their assets in the West, then they will organise to remove their 'boss' & replace him with someone more harmless - even one of their own.

You suggest that Western sanctions would be ineffective, but you really don't understand how damaging they really are.

Look at Iran, after decades of sanctions they are finally realising that their economy is suffering and they are falling behind. They need to get the sanctions lifted, so they agreed to come to terms with those that wanted them to curtail their nuclear enrichment.

In Russia's case it is far more serious. Russia could weather any ordinary sanctions because of her size & her ability to sell arms. The Soviet Union was able to survive for 72 years because they produced most of what they needed and they could trade for the food they didn't have.

However, that was because the Soviets had the Ukraine to produce most of the wheat they needed and they looked to the United States & Canada for the rest. Without access to either, or to the international food markets is going to leave Russia very hungry.

They cannot sell oil without using the international banking system. If the West denies them access to this, then Moscow would have to barter oil for food. They already sell oil to China, but how do they sell to other Asian states if they are embargoed?

You see it's not just the pressure of the oligarchs, or the fact that Russia cannot produce enough food to feed itself. Russia is almost completely dependent on energy exports to pay their troops, their pensioners, their entire benefit system, not to mention the bribes that officials live on (which would dry up under sanctions). There would be an army of people demanding a change at the top.
73 Think (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 05:43 pm Report abuse
(71) Stevie

How do you DARE to insult “The Market” ???
Your blasphemous Commies are all the same !!!
74 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 06:01 pm Report abuse
nigel, all your producers moved to the democracy of China for the sake of cheap labour, you are only fooling yourself if you think you can regulate the market to suit your agenda, but please feel free...
75 Monkeymagic (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 06:09 pm Report abuse
The problem with Crimea is that it was “gifted” to the Ukraine by the Russians in the 1950s when both were part of the Soviet Union.

Now Russia wants its gift back.

Imagine had Britain “gifted” Argentina the Falklands in 1982 and now invaded on the basis of regretting its gift?

Would that be self-determination?

It was (hopefully still is) entirely possible for the Ukraine elections to have been held, and for the semi-autonomous region of Crimea to have worked towards independence or annexing to Russia. The correct way to do this isn't how Russia have done it.

It's a pity racist turd Stevie is too stupid to realise this.

Tell me Stevie, if Scotland votes for independence in England within its rights to invade any town, village, city, or island group that didn't vote yes....and claim it as part of the UK?

Or should it work with the newly elected Scottish government to see if any of these regions could remain in the UK without damaging Scotland's territorial integrity and respecting the rights of everyone concerned.
76 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 06:16 pm Report abuse

Cristina is simply a narcissist whore who came to power because she was the wife of somebody... She knows no codes, nor bounds, no discipline, she is laud and a bofoon on the international stage, only here she is taken seriously because she inherited a state subordinated to her party and the Argentine opposition as well as her own crew and the Argentine people are all cowards.

She is a completaly different league from Vladimir Putin who is not a “maffia boss” he is a “Machiavellan Prince” brought up by the KGB and survived a power vaccum war.

The oligarchs whatever they may feel about, they will remain very rich..Putin has the people and the State under his control. They cant just replace him with a puppet from one day to another without being suspected of acting on behalf of the West.

Iran never had the same kind of levarage over Europe that Russia has, for example the UK unlike continental Europe has energy independence from Russia however financially companies from Russia and former Soviet states have raised $82.6bn in London in the past two decades.

Dont forget BP's activities in Russia

“That underlines the importance of the company’s involvement in Russia, which adds nearly 1m barrels a day to the total. Its previous adventure there, TNK-BP, was lucrative but bumpy, thanks to a dispute with strongheaded oligarch partners who disliked playing second fiddle to London. Last year BP escaped from that, raising $12 billion in cash and gaining a nearly 20% stake in Rosneft, Russia’s biggest and best-connected oil company, in exchange for its stake in TNK-BP. Rosneft is run by Igor Sechin, a close friend of President Vladimir Putin. It has feasted on the remains of Yukos, an oil company which became the most notable victim of Kremlin ire.”
77 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 06:27 pm Report abuse
No Monkey, so when Crimea votes to become part of Russia, or for more independence, you should shut up and bite the dust....
78 Monkeymagic (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 07:14 pm Report abuse
I am very happy for Crimea to vote to be part of Russia, why not dickhead??? It should be done correctly though.

What should have happened is that the referendum be properly designed and agreed by the Ukraine and the semi-autonomous region of Crimea, with ample time for each side to put their case...without the threat of military intervention from Russia.

Scotland's referendum or the Falklands referendum being good examples..

I am sorry your racism and pig ignorance cannot see the difference between the current events in Crimea and “proper democratic” referenda.

This is because you are an thick, ignorant racist turd Stevie...and always happy to advertise it.
79 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 07:20 pm Report abuse
I'd like to have seen democracy being respected in the whole process, not only when it suits your agenda.
Respect the will of the voting population and not the imposed will of right wingers backed by nazis.

When you deal marked cards, expect people to cheat...
80 Monkeymagic (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 07:33 pm Report abuse

Exactly...first proper democratic elections in Ukraine. Then proper discussions between the democratically elected Ukraine government and the semi autonomous region of the Crimea and a timeframe for a sensible referendum.

Of course, it is you, ignorant racist turd, that does exactly what you despise...back any military invasion, any half-cocked long as it suits your racist inadequacies.

Poor Stevie....ignorant, racist and proud of it.
81 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 07:51 pm Report abuse
Mmmm......93% to leave Ukraine, 80% turnout thats more or less the demographic paterns of Crimea. The tatars (10%) boycoted the election but it seems that a lot of Ukranians missed to visit the ballot boxes too.

I don't agree with Stevie at all, but I see Putin as taking the day and embarrassing the western powers who will be limited to a lot of barking buy no biting.
82 Stevie (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 08:01 pm Report abuse
No Monkey, respect the decision of the democratically elected President of Ukraine and not sign any agreement with the EU, and if they disagree with it, wait until next elections to choose a new President.

That's proper democracy.

That way, Russia has nothing to say on the matter.

It doesn't start where you want it to, you know...
83 A_Voice (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 09:12 pm Report abuse
After being suckered by Western propaganda the last few days, I have decided to swap sides....
I can't help drawing parallels between Crimea and Catalonia...

Spain’s deputy prime minister, SorayaSáenz de Santamaría, warned last week that the government would use all judicial means at its disposal to stop Mr Mas’ plans for a referendum.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a prominent member of Spain’s ruling Popular party in Catalonia, went further, suggesting that if Mr Mas continued down the path of secession, Madrid should send in the country’s Civil Guards to impose central control.
Would a similar scenario have played out with the Ukraine Govt if Russian troops had not prevented this happening.....
How many of us expect Spain to send troops into Catalonia if they go ahead with the planned referendum...
Will the international community then condemn Spain...?
Suppose Catalonia asks for help from France to prevent Spain from moving troops into Catalonia....Would the International Community object and declare the referendum illegal and deny Catalonia help in deciding its future...
There is more to this than meets the eye....
On 5 May 1992 parliament declared Crimea independent
On 13 May 1992 the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) annulled Crimea's independence declaration and gave its Crimean counterpart one week to do the same.
In May 1994, the Crimean parliament voted to restore the May 1992 Constitution. In September 1994 President of Crimea Yuriy Meshkov and parliament decided to write a new Constitution.
On 17 March 1995 the Verkhovna Rada abolished the May 1992 Constitution (and the post of President of Crimea).From June till September 1995 Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma governed Crimea under a direct presidential administration decree.

This has been brewing for a long time and for a long time Crimea has not wanted to be part of Ukraine.
Not a shot has been fired in Crimea and the majority are deciding who they want to be with...
Free thinking...
84 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 09:22 pm Report abuse
Shots were fired - were you asleep?

They were fired by Russian Troops at unarmed Ukrainian Air Force troops and an American news crew with them.
85 JollyGoodFun (#) Mar 16th, 2014 - 11:07 pm Report abuse
I love how lavrov attempts to connect the Ukraine/crimea issue with the FI.

The two situations could not be further apart.

Yes Russians clearly care more for Crimea (sarcasm alert) and are actively protesting in Russia against the invasion.

The UK on the other hands welcomed its heros back with open arms for preventing Argentine imperialism and ensuring the continual freedom of the islanders.

Just by referencing the UK mr Lavrov does add credibility to Russia's actions.
86 HansNiesund (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 12:31 am Report abuse

Russia claims the right to intervene in any state in “defence” of Russian speakers living there.

Where have we heard this sort of thing before? Oh yeah, Austria, the Sudetenland, Danzig, with cheering in the streets like Simferopol today and indeed the Plaza de Mayo in 1982.

The secession of the Crimea in this context was practically inevitable, but
just imagine how this is going down in the other former dependencies of the former Soviet Empire. Would it have been somehow more ethical for the Brits and the rest of the West, just to acquiesce without even a murmur? Should Putin be allowed to make this a precedent?
87 A_Voice (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 12:47 am Report abuse
“Should Putin be allowed to make this a precedent?”
Good I've been pondering....
None of this makes any sense....
It didn't take an Einstein to work out what was going to happen a few weeks ago. The US employ think tanks and strategists to assess probable scenarios....
I think Putin is being manipulated by Washington to accept the short end of the stick...
Lose Ukraine to NATO and the EU and gain useless Crimea.
The Food bowl is in Ukraine along with the industry...
Odds on Ukraine rushes through NATO membership and appeals for help.

The Yanks are behind all my guess and I think it's going to plan....
88 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 01:13 am Report abuse
87 Only a united western front can achieve that.. (unlikely)

“It would also behoove Obama in particular to come clean to the American people and fess up to what has become painfully obvious during his two terms: there are problems abroad, bloody and tragic as they may be, that the United States simply cannot solve through military intervention or otherwise. It has little leverage to counter Russian influence in Ukraine or dislodge Russian forces from the Crimea. The Cold War is over, to be sure, but the ”chessboard“ on which Russia and the United States play is much reduced -- reduced, in fact, to Russia's back yard. Putin can be expected to care what happens there and work hard to steer events in his country's favor. And Putin is not the only one to see responses to crises as plays on a ”chessboard.” If Obama owns up to this, he might well end up averting a potentially catastrophic challenge match.
89 Leiard (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 08:24 am Report abuse
All those files that Snowden stole have been very useful !!
90 Stevie (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 09:14 am Report abuse
The fact that the agreement with the EU couldn't wait until after the puppet elections is quite telling...
91 GeoffWard2 (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 02:02 pm Report abuse
There are a number of strategically important bits of 'old empire'. They are important (more or less) today, including:

Guantanamo in Cuba (US),
Sevastopol in the Crimea - the home of Russia's southern navy,
Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean (US),
Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus (UK).

Russia had the option of negotiating with The Ukraine a 'UK-Cyprus type agreement' ... a 'Russian Overseas Territory'.
This would have allowed for their very real military need (an 'Overseas Territory'), and also avoided the 'annexation' of the whole of the Crimea.

No, President Putin wishes to extend Russian ownership into the Ukraine, making part OR ALL of it into Russia. This passes his unspoken message into all countries of the former USSR, and tells the great powers ' “Don't mess with me in MY backyard”.

Is there any wonder that The West is reticent; the US can invade Grenada, but putting Defense Agreement US troops into the Ukraine is like signalling the start of WWIII.
But the USA is presently 'weak':
Putin knows this and can now push Russia's border right to the EU itself, if he sees advantage in annexing the countries of his own 'Buffer Zone'.
92 nitrojuan (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 03:43 pm Report abuse
UN principle of Territorial integrity. it is easy, but if for Powers Countries are first the force to the LAW, the UN is a DRAW. (ex: Russia in Crimea, UK in Malvinas). if russian in Crimea want to be russian, they have a pretty city in Sochi... if english in Malvinas feels english, they have another prety city in Manchester for example, or maybe in Diego Garcia Is. (ohh no, there the self determination of people dont apply for UK) ...
93 nololly (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 03:59 pm Report abuse
@92 what a load of tripe! Equally Argentines should feel at home in Madrid or Rome, after all that's where the vast majority of you actually came from before you wiped out the Argentine native population. Chagos islanders actually belonged to Mauritious where they were repriated.
94 A_Voice (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 04:39 pm Report abuse
Original settlers on Falkland Islands actually belonged to.....?
Careful you don't shoot yourself in the foot with this one.....
95 Leiard (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 05:11 pm Report abuse
Tell us where the original settlers came from ?
96 A_Voice (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 05:41 pm Report abuse
To quote Woodbine Parish.....1824
“The United Provinces of la Plata, or, as they are sometimes called, the Argentine Republic”
Where else...?
97 Leiard (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 05:58 pm Report abuse

Where does “Woodbine Parish..” mention the settlers in the Falkland Islands ?
98 nitrojuan (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 06:57 pm Report abuse
@97 ohh yes, that is real, in the Constitution of the “United Kindom” they mentioned : England, Scotland, Falklands Is (fantasy name of Malvinas), Antarctica, the Moon.
99 Leiard (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 07:34 pm Report abuse

100 A_Voice (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 07:57 pm Report abuse
Not sure what difference that makes...but here it is....

“ I have procured these papers from Mr. Vernet himself,…. I understand from him that he will have sent to Soledad, and Staten Land in this year, and the last, about one hundred persons altogether, of different Nations… ”

If you would like a more detailed description....then here...

“The number of persons altogether on the island consisted of about one hundred, including twenty-five gauchos and five charruas, Indians. There are a few Dutch families, the women of which milk the cows, and make the butter. Two or three Englishmen, a German family, and the remainder made up of Spaniards and Portuguese, pretending to follow some trade, but doing little or nothing. The gauchos are chiefly Spaniards: their captain or “the Chief of the Gauchos” is a Frenchman. .. One gauchos was worth fifteen hundred dollars, and an Irishman who had been a gaucho, and had come to the island in Don Vernet’s debt, had not only paid it off, but had been enabled to give him seven hundred and fifty dollars for a building which he had converted into a store. ”
101 Clyde15 (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 08:17 pm Report abuse
Unlike YOU we do not claim Antarctica....nor the moon AND we do not have a constitution. I think it is YOU who is inhabiting a fantasy world. Malvinas ?
Isn't this in mainland ARGENTINA ?
102 toooldtodieyoung (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 09:30 pm Report abuse
98 nitrojuan

“ohh yes, that is real, in the Constitution of the “United Kindom””

This is what this site really needs of course, another half educated La Campora lap dog.
103 Stevie (#) Mar 17th, 2014 - 11:03 pm Report abuse
Half educated is more than enough to take on you lot, Tool.

No education required to spot hypocrisy, after all, just a matter to let you talk...
104 JollyGoodFun (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 12:43 am Report abuse
Argentina and Russia have a lot in common in that you're prepared to steal something that is not yours.

The only difference is that Crimea was once part of Russia. The Falklands Islands have never been, nor never will be part of Argentina. Backed by historical fact and international law.

Unlucky Argentina, your lies and manipulation only appear to work on your domestic population.....

Usual lies and more lies spouted by Argentine paid trolls. It's hilarious that your government actually stated they have lied, will lie and continue to lie to try and sway peoples opinion.

Yet you chumps are still here trying to repeat the indoctrinated crap you're taught in your schools in Buenos Aires and the wider country, after your government has already openly admitted it is all lies...

ha ha ha ha ha ha, you cannot make this stupidity up.

I fell sorry, truly sorry for all you normal Argentines who must visit this site and read the comments. Hurry up and take your country back!
105 LEPRecon (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 07:39 am Report abuse
I take it by the Russian Foreign Ministers statement, that Russia acknowledges that the Falklands are British.

So that's another country that doesn't support Argentina! LOL
106 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 09:29 am Report abuse

Indeed I agree, its pretty obvious that the Russian stance though clumsy and grotesque does undermine Argentina's already useless bla bla bla... I dont understand the Malvinistas and lefties like Stevie that are all to happy and want to see Russia stick it into the west but dont aknowledge that the priciple of selfdetermination and demography is becoming a important and deciding factor for the forseeable future.
107 Heisenbergcontext (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 01:33 pm Report abuse
I don't know enough about Putin to know what his plans are once Crimea is folded into the new Russian ( empire? ). How spontaneous was his intervention?

He has risked a lot with this action - it's going to be very expensive without Yanukovych funneling large amounts of money and resources into Crimea. 80% of Crimea's water comes from Ukraine and it imports 80% of it's electricity. It depends heavily on tourism and many bookings have been cancelled. Banks are either running out of cash or restricting withdrawls.

Russia is also facing some heavy public expenditure in the form of salary increases to police, the armed forces and other public workers. Election promises. There is no overland link between Crimea and mother Russia and building a bridge would cost billions.

Some Russians ( and Ukrainians ) are agitating for Russia to annex part of Eastern Ukraine. There have been demonstrations there with Soviet era banners unfurled. I don't think Ukraine is going to cut the water and energy supplies to Crimea - there are too many Ukrainian's living there and I'm sure they don't want to provide Russia any excuses to exercise their territorial ambitions. But what will Russia do?

Is it just me or is that the ghost of the U.S.S.R. being resurrected? And what will NATO, or the U.S. or about it. Putin must have expected economic sanctions but went ahead anyway. What is in his head?
108 Stevie (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 01:59 pm Report abuse
USA and the EU made a list they are showing off. 13 Russians and 8 Crimeans on it, amongst them, the Ukranian military man responsible for the Ukranian troops in Crimea for switching sides and joining the Russians.
For the persons on this list, sanctions are to be expected.

From Moskva only one answer.

“Put us all on the list”

109 Heisenbergcontext (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 02:38 pm Report abuse

Glad you're amused. I'm not.
110 malen (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 03:08 pm Report abuse
the phrase “crimea means more to russia than f..... to britain” hasnt appear in wests news and particularly in uk news. Ive been watching, specially the new york times or some one similar cuts this phrase (talks only of comoros isnlands and france), and in uk very few news of the web talk of this.
doesnt appear in the web, newpapers, no, no, a russian minister in london saying this in front of all “free press” of western countries........
111 Hepatia (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 04:03 pm Report abuse
If the Brits replace the 'UK' with the 'RF' and Crimea with 'the Falklands' then they will have no problem with which what is happening in the Ukraine. Nothing like stacking the population with your own nationals an holding a referedum to get the result that you want.

Fortunately, in the case of the Malvinas, the UK will be returning it within the next 25 years.
112 GeoffWard2 (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 06:01 pm Report abuse
A good posting, Heisenbergcontext #107.

No cause for being amused; a small killing in Sarajevo sparked World War 1.

Luckily, the US, UK, etc are totally aware of the dangers to the world, though this may leave The Ukraine more tightly in the thrall of the Great Hegemon.
113 Clyde15 (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 06:08 pm Report abuse
Fortunately, you will not be alive then to see your dreams come true
114 Stevie (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 06:14 pm Report abuse
You lot only support self determination when you are the ones determinating...
115 A_Voice (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 07:02 pm Report abuse
Hey Stevie did you mean determining...?...;-))
116 GeoffWard2 (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 07:15 pm Report abuse
As long as Swartzenegger is the Determinator ....
117 Stevie (#) Mar 18th, 2014 - 08:00 pm Report abuse
Indeed A_voice, I did :)
118 Heisenbergcontext (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 12:33 am Report abuse

Stevie, a Russian news channel broadcast a segment yesterday boasting that they are the only country capable of reducing the U.S. to rubble. A mushroom cloud accompanied this boast. There are plenty of Russians who are nostalgic for the days when the U.S.S.R. was a colossus that bestrode the earth...and plenty of Russian resentment toward the west and, particularly, the U.S. for ending this hegemony. Putin is perfectly aware of this and willing to exploit it.

I'm guessing you're too young to remember when the Cold War wasn't very cold at all. Or to have experienced the uncomfortable sensation of having multiple mobile nuclear missile launchers ( ss-20's ) pointed at your city. The U.S.S.R. came within moments of launching a missile at the United States - a computer glitch convinced them that they were about to be attacked. Were it not for a brave young Soviet officer, who stopped the launch, defying orders, we wouldn't be having this dialogue.

For people of my generation, who remember when the Berlin wall came down, this is bringing back unpleasant memories.
119 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 05:52 am Report abuse

Sure Heisen, sure....
120 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 06:37 am Report abuse

These swedes are sooooo PC, thats why they are doomed.... If it wouldn't have being for NATO they wouldent have lasted long

And yet they were reciving with open armes Latam terrorist like the Tupamaros and look how it paid them off ...
121 Heisenbergcontext (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 06:47 am Report abuse
@119 Stevie

Any NATO forces in Ukraine? You remember what happened when Estonia tried to relocate a statue of a Red Army soldier? Riots. The Estonian embassy in Moscow besieged for a week. Hackers nearly paralysed the Estonian Govt.

Oh, and why don't you ask a Pole how they feel about this recent development?
122 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 07:13 am Report abuse
Despite Putin's assurances that he does not want the mainland Ukraine, he won't stop at Crimea. Like Hitler with the Sudetenland, the temptation to take the rest of the country will be too great.

The 'Consequences' that he threatens on sanctions will include the Russian army moving into Eastern Ukraine. If Nato troops were to land on Ukrainian soil, then Putin would take that as an open challenge to his national security and after a short war, Ukraine would fall.

The problem is that the more aggressive that Russia acts, the more it ostracises itself internationally. Soon, the only state willing to be Russia's friend will be other international pariahs, such as Iran, North Korea and Argentina!

Russia's influence will wane. The United States will take the opportunity to remove Russian client states like Syria and cultivate relations with the former Soviet states that will feel threatened by Moscow's belligerence.

The cold war is heating up rapidly.
123 Heisenbergcontext (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 07:49 am Report abuse

I'm really surprised by how tenaciously Stevie and Tobias have defended Russia's actions. I think it might be a case of MercoPress PTSD.
124 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 04:16 pm Report abuse
I support the right of the Islanders, which isn't the same as supporting the Brits...

As for Crimea, I have indeed stated that Russias actions are out of order, but the double standards used by USA and the EU makes the actions of the Russians legal.

Heck, your lot even hired snipers to shoot civilians.

USA and EU made the rules up, with south Sudan, with East Timor, with Kosovo.

This isn't the same as saying I agree with them...
125 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 04:37 pm Report abuse

So far I have never heard from the EU or the USA and not even from the new Ukranian gov't that the people of Crimea dont have a right to self determination. Nowbody agrees with the blunt and grotesque imperialism of Russia, though I believed and predicted since day 1 that Putin is going to get away with and humilliate yet again Obama and the West....

The princeple of self determination is absolute you take them or leave them... You cant deny it when and accept it whenever it suits your ideological ideas.

I never said that the islanders have no right to self determination...For your comment i think you mean they can choose to be independent or Argentine but not British...Why?
126 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 05:10 pm Report abuse
I don't Cabeza.
Personally, I disagree with every form for “self determination” used as an excuse to impose an ideology or to set democracy aside.

As for USA and the EU, their part in the Ukranian conflict is as little cheerable as the Russians.

Either you defend democracy, which would mean to accept the democratically elected President, as long as he hasn't made anything againt the law, or you defend the will of the strongest.

In the case of Crimea, it would be Russia.

Me, I don't support none of them, I merely point out the double standards.

As for the Islands, indeed I think it's either Argentina or Independence, as they historically have belonged to Argentina (even if you lot call the first settlers for rapers, murders and mutinists, but who would expect anything else).

The problem is the time passes, and that makes some claims obsolete.

Also, I think that if the Brits leaves the Islands, some 15 people would remain... :)
127 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 05:43 pm Report abuse
You have surrendered your point.

“As for USA and the EU, their part in the Ukranian conflict is as little cheerable as the Russians.”
Nope I said the US, EU and not even the Ukranian new gov't deny the princeple of self determination to the Crimeans

“Personally, I disagree with every form for “self determination” used as an excuse to impose an ideology or to set democracy aside” Ergo you disagree with the cases it doesn't fit your own ideological standards.

There is no “special case” if people wish to be free or belong to another state what is the problem?

In all fairness I have never seen the British users here bitch around about the “territorial integrity” of the United Kingdom if Scotland votes yes in September.

I dont know who you call “you lot”... I wont be modest. I dont think there is anybody as balanced and independent minded here as I am.
128 GeoffWard2 (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 06:45 pm Report abuse
CD #127

“you lot” ... I consider that whatever my view, I'm in a majority (others free to join).

I'm pretty sure I'm as balanced and independent minded as you
... in fact I'm the very paragon of balance and independence.
129 Think (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 07:06 pm Report abuse

Mirror, mirror upon the wall… Who’s the balancest & independentest of all?
Thou, O Think, art the balancest & independentest of all…
130 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 07:14 pm Report abuse
You least of all think
131 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 07:25 pm Report abuse
The British users would never deny the Scots their right to choose to be independent if that is what they really want.

However, independence comes with certain liabilities too. It means that an independent Scotland would have no one to back them up if they made a poor financial decision. That's what happened the last time when they joined England. The Scots bankrupted themselves & had to be bailed out by the English. One of the conditions was the Union. They've done very well out of it since.

Financial independence also means they would have to create their own currency, because they would not be allowed to continue with the pound. They would also have to create their own armed forces & their own welfare system - Scotland relies on the UK for all of the benefits paid to pensioners and unemployed.

Worst of all, an independent Scotland would be out of the EU & at the back of the Queue to join, behind Turkey & also Ukraine! That would cost them a great deal because they currently receive a massive amount from the community funds.

I don't agree with you that the Islanders would only have the right to choose to be Independent or Argentine. Part of the problem with the Crimean Referendum was that the only choices were greater autonomy or to join Russia. The third option should have been to keep the Status Quo. But the Russians knew that if they included this choice, then all the pro-Ukrainians would vote & they would very probably outweigh the other two. By narrowing the choices, the Russians forced the Ukrainians to abstain & gerrymandered the vote.

The Falkland Islanders are perfectly entitled to vote for either British or 'some other solution'. If they voted for 'some other solution' this does not necessarily mean independence, but could also mean joining another country.

However, that country is very unlikely to be Argentina because the Islanders resent Argentina for 1982, the continued aggression & also because there is no legal Argentine historical claim.
132 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 07:31 pm Report abuse
With the exception of Think, you lot are a bunch of balanced protectors of Nazis and murderers of innocent. And that's just in the case of Ukraine.

I haven't heard any of you lot, except Anbar, condemning the coup in Ukraine nor the hiring of snipers to kill people in order to create an opinion.

That's about as balanced as you are...
133 A_Voice (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 07:49 pm Report abuse
I'm more of a counter balance.....
and Independent of a nationality.....more of a voice really....
and balanced is that....seeing as we have descended into the realm of trumpet blowing....
Done well out of it....says who...?
...would not be allowed to use the pound...?....anyone can use the pound.....
Scotland relies on the UK for pensions because the UK has always collected the taxes....and spent it....or the Govt has borrowed it....
....also there is no benefit to being part of the EU for the UK let alone Scotland...
134 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 07:56 pm Report abuse
A_voice, you are balanced if anyone, you seem t merely dislike people in general, from time to time...

135 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 08:13 pm Report abuse

“I don't agree with you that the Islanders would only have the right to choose to be Independent or Argentine. ” I think you need to talk to Stevie and read more carefully...

A_Voice and Stevie

There is nobody as balanced independent and neutral critic as I am. Dont expect me to be modest about this...See the thing is I have a record.
136 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 08:27 pm Report abuse
Yes Cabeza, a broken record...
137 A_Voice (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 08:31 pm Report abuse
...a record for the most attempts to say you're the most balanced on here.....;-)
138 Think (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 08:39 pm Report abuse
... a record of Roberto Rimoldi Fraga :-)))
139 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 08:42 pm Report abuse
Listen boys and girls....The Hard Head is a true Man with no name...I prefer to be a renegade, a free man with no allegiance, but true to himself and an implacable truth seeker.
140 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 08:45 pm Report abuse
.... a proper cabeza dura....
141 Think (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 08:59 pm Report abuse
....CabezaDura2 = CabezaDura(al cuadrado) = CabezaDura (square)...
142 CabezaDura2 (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 09:10 pm Report abuse
In these world there is three kind of people...

The bad die, the ugly dig and the good ride off in solitude, freedom and in righteousness...

I dont know what anything has to do with the topic, but it just sounds so cool and macho to say it ....;P
143 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 10:01 pm Report abuse
Cabeza dura, Cabeza hueca and Cabeza pa' juntar pelo...

You belong to all three of them...
144 A_Voice (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 11:02 pm Report abuse
What did I miss...?
The Hard Head is a true Man with no name....well apart from CabezaDura multiplied by himself.....
145 Stevie (#) Mar 19th, 2014 - 11:52 pm Report abuse
I bet the Brazilian that was murdered by the English police in the tube had a lot of friends a well...
146 GeoffWard2 (#) Mar 20th, 2014 - 08:29 am Report abuse
Hard Head riding a high horse, with a poncho and cheroot ...
yup, he's The Man With No Name.
Cue music ..
147 Briton (#) Mar 21st, 2014 - 08:41 pm Report abuse
To be truthful with you,
I think putin and Russia will do whatever he decides to do,
Whenever or not the west thinks he is wrong,

Just like the west, he has advisers, so he is aware of the consequences of whatever act he decides to act on,
Putin may be lots of things, but as an ex –KGB , he is not stupid or silly,
He knows he is in the wrong, from his perspective,
And he is also aware that investors and the money markets will not support him,
He is also aware that a return to cold war status will hurt Russia badly,
But there are many Russians that would relish that idea; equally many will be devastated if their future is put in doubt,

But whatever this man decides to do, let’s hope he does it peacefully ?
For it may well be our future also that may be in doubt..
148 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 21st, 2014 - 10:04 pm Report abuse
The man primarily responsible for putting Putin in the driving seat was Boris Berezovsky. He was one of the first Oligarchs. He took advantage of the fall of the Soviet empire to seize certain businesses & profit from state monopolies.

He became useful to Yeltsin as a source of funds to enrich the Yeltsin family. He was known as “The Banker”. Boris had a protégé. A young man, who was a street trader, turned oil dealer. A certain Roman Abramovich. If Boris was 'the Banker', then Abramovich was known as “The Wallet”. He generated huge amounts of wealth trading oil on the markets, using the capital that Boris had put together.

Yeltsin needed someone reliable to run the country. Most of the time, Yeltsin was as drunk as a skunk! Everyone they tried was a former Soviet apparatchik & useless. All except one. He had a handle on running the country because he was a former KGB officer & still had all his connections in the KGB/FSB to ensure that he won.

He even rigged Moscow apartment blocks with explosives and blamed the destruction on the Chechens to win elections. Only one apartment block did not explode and the Police traced the explosives back to Putin's KGB buddies.

Boris knew by then that Putin was not only lethal, but as mad & bad as Stalin. After several attempts on Boris's life, he left Russia for good & came to the UK & started opposing Putin.

Roman Abramovich made friends with Putin by cutting him in on the profits of several lucrative oil takeovers - including the asset stripping of Yukos, because Mikhail Khodorkovsky saw what Putin was becoming & openly opposed him. Putin sent Khodorkovsky to jail.

All the other Oligarchs treat Putin as their 'Godfather'. They pay him 'tribute'. So much so that Putin is one of the richest men in the world.

Putin still tried to kill Boris Berezovsky & his aides in London, even with Polonium.

Boris thought he was an idiot with an ego the size of the Moon.

Putin is not stupid, he's Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know.
149 GeoffWard2 (#) Mar 22nd, 2014 - 09:38 am Report abuse
and now the Russian Putin gives foreign observers permission to observe in The Ukraine.

If he really needed to make his point (which he doesn't) he could invite observers to observe in ALL the old USSR countries, and some beyond!
150 Briton (#) Mar 22nd, 2014 - 06:51 pm Report abuse
Apparently, today Russian troops took over a big Ukrainian air force base,

will he now stop, or will he do what the Germans did, and move from one to another on the pretence of protecting German citizens, in this case Russian..
just a thought.
151 nigelpwsmith (#) Mar 22nd, 2014 - 10:56 pm Report abuse
Exactly as was predicted (above) the United States and EU are now imposing bans on the people that will hurt Russian business. The Oligarchs are seriously worried about what this will do to the Russian economy which is in a more precarious state than Putin would like to admit.

Moody's down rating on Russia is very serious, because it means that anyone seeking to do business with Russia would be taking a grave capital risk. Not many businesses will take that risk and as the US and EU ratchet up the sanctions screw on Russia, the Russian people will soon start to squeal. They maybe distracted by the free fireworks and the demonstrations of national pride at recovering Crimea, but like Argentina in 1982, they will soon realise that it was a false pride used as a distraction from the truth - that the person running Russia is a megalomaniac with plans of world domination.

An astute politician, the leader of one of the Baltic states pointed out recently that if the West had not imposed sanctions, then far from placating Putin, it would have encouraged him. He would see it as a sign of weakness and then expand the annexation to include all of Ukraine.

Now that the EU is moving to speed up the process of enrolment for Ukraine, Kiev might even consider the rape of Crimea as a blessing in disguise. They might even achieve full member status before Turkey and probably just after Britain leaves.

In the meantime, Kiev has not taken the steps of cutting off Crimea's water, all of which comes from Ukraine, or the electricity. However, there is word that Kiev is being smart and intends to increase the price of water and electricity dramatically - to the levels and extent of the gas supplies that come from Russia. If Russia tries turning the gas tap off, then Kiev will turn off the water and electricity to Crimea.

The Russians can always build power stations in Crimea - if they can afford to, but it's far more difficult to supply water all the way from Russia.

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