The Bout Opening – Stick to Checkers, America. Not Up In Here.

Uncle Volodya says, "I'd be glad of a retaliation that wouldn't recoil on myself; but treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends: they wound those who resort to them, worse than their enemies.
”

Uncle Volodya says, “I’d be glad of a retaliation that wouldn’t recoil on myself; but treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends: they wound those who resort to them, worse than their enemies.
”

The intertubes are all a-twitter (see what I did there?) with speculation that the United States is about to send lethal aid (AKA weapons) to Ukraine to help Kiev bring its recalcitrant rebels to heel. Kiev is excited, because it plainly does not have enough hair on its biscuit to do it by itself, and hopes this will be the thin edge of the wedge which will see American GI’s do its fighting for it. John McCain, interrupted in the middle of telling Congress about the day when the first car came to town (seen here in the very moment of realization that he has no pants on) yodeled that if Obama would not get on with the business of arming Ukraine – absolutely imperative to prevent Vladimir Putin from invading Europe, which lies somewhere to the west of Vietnam where he was once a prisoner of war – then he, John McCain, would come to the aid of his Ukrainian brothers. American lawmakers, whom he remembers fondly from watching “The Lone Ranger”, will ram through a bill insisting that Ukraine receive generous supplies of American weapons, which Obama will promptly veto, which is the whole aim of the exercise. Because McCain does not care so much about what happens to Ukraine – which is just a pawn anyway – as he does about trapping Obama in a position where he has to say “No”.

Vladimir Putin’s response, if he were asked, would likely be a more polite and less colloquial variation on “Not up in here“, although he was not asked and will not be, since of course Russia is the target in this exercise. Europe is getting distinctly nervous about the whole Ukraine situation, and while faithful Bullenbeisser Frau Merkel is still haranguing Putin at every opportunity, other EuroSkippers are beginning to mutter and kick peevishly at the sod. Very likely a vision of being responsible fiscally, morally and contractually for the smoldering, silent, ideological Schlachtfeld that Ukraine has become – and only the non-viable rump part of it at that – is dancing through their heads like the polar opposite of sugarplums.

However, a muscular arming of Ukraine  is not very likely to happen – certainly not in the quantities, nor so openly as Kiev desires, because it is becoming increasingly panicky for 8ec87905d2c380f0866f8a14cbb5f4c5legitimacy as it dawns on more former supporters that this whole thing really was not a very good idea. As we have discussed before many times, Ukraine was a net arms exporter before the war, and infantry weapons remain plentiful – Ukraine needs more rifles and ammunition like it needs more beach towels right now. More light weapons are unlikely to turn the tide. If the USA openly gives Ukraine – not a NATO member – more tanks and heavy artillery, it will need time to train the Ukrainian army in their operation and will merely invite a proportional response from Russia, which has up to now stayed out of it on a state level. There are not battalions of professional Russian soldiers in east Ukraine; that’s just something Poroshenko and his government say when they are losing another fight they started. Even Muzhenko, the chief of the Ukrainian Army, said in an interview with 5 channel that Ukraine was not fighting the Russian Army, only militants and volunteers. That jibed somewhat jarringly with his boss’s position, since he had said in a speech at Davos just a couple of weeks before that there were two battalions made up of thousands of Russian soldiers fighting in his country on the side of the rebels. Awkward.

Also, as some are starting to say now, the suggestion that the USA is thinking about arming Ukraine might be just a “trial balloon” to see if Europe supports it. And it emphatically does not.

But there’s another reason. And it has to do with incarcerated Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, and America’s view of itself as the indispensable nation, the guardian of the moral high ground.

When Bout was successfully extradited to the United States to face trial, press, analysts and government figures indulged in an orgy of high-fiving and self-congratulation (although the U.S. government had found it convenient to use Bout’s air transport services itself, both for its military and the private contractors who became ubiquitous during the Iraq war). Bout was a very bad man – he was evil. Not only was he an arms dealer, the famed “Merchant of Death” who sold weapons to corrupt leaders everywhere…he had actually and knowingly sold weapons to people who told him they planned to kill Americans.

And that was a common thread in the charges against him; that he had conspired to kill Americans. Knowingly.

Now the USA is poised – or so it threatens – to provide weapons to Ukrainians that it knows will be used to kill other Ukrainians, in a civil war in which the USA is backing the state. It cannot pretend it does not know that state has shelled cities still populated by civilian non-combatants for weeks, months without letup, firing indiscriminately into those cities without any idea at all where any “military targets” might be and apparently not caring at all who is killed, because the Ukrainian government has been clear that the easterners are less than human and are all terrorists. I need hardly point out such practice is directly and emphatically a violation of International Humanitarian Law.

By providing larger and more-powerful arms than rebels would otherwise have had access to, Austin said, Bout “has actually initiated wars in countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone.”

That’d be United Nations arms trafficking investigator Kathi-Lynn Austin, who also highlighted previous American cooperation with Bout. Now, by providing more sophisticated arms than the Ukrainian side would otherwise have access to, the United States government is hoping to initiate a real war from the fizzling civil war that Kiev is pursuing with such single-minded incompetence.

“He unquestionably made some of the worst wars of the 20th century, early 21st century, much worse than they would have been,” said Douglas Farah, a national security consultant who co-wrote a book about Bout.”

I’m sure I don’t have to draw you a picture for you to see the equivalency there. Are the lives of Ukrainians worth less than the lives of Americans? Not only does the U.S. government demonstrably think so, maintenance of the preeminent place America currently enjoys in the global pecking order is worth more than the lives of Ukrainians, too.

Pay attention, Europe.

 

 

This entry was posted in Europe, Government, Military, Politics, Russia, Strategy, Terrorism, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Western Europe and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,634 Responses to The Bout Opening – Stick to Checkers, America. Not Up In Here.

  1. et Al says:

    You know, I don’t want to give Merkel any credit because she doesn’t deserve any, but as Europe & US strategic interests are divergent (yes, I keep on banging on about it), and Merkel doesn’t have the balls to tell the US to fk off, Russia provides a rather convenient foil in prising the US slowly away in a manageable manner. As one of the articles posted on Russia Insider mentioned, Merkel going to the US and clearly stating that more weapons to the Ukraine is not a solution, which conveniently gets Obama off the hook (or buys him enough time that Kiev’s total failure is an uncontestable fait accompli) from even more crazy pols on Capitol Hill.

    Ideally, the US should just pack up from Europe and piss of home, the alternative being for a major European nation to quit NATO, but we know how much measure the Europeans put on the appearance of unity when there is none.

  2. ThatJ says:

    Loud explosions heard in Odessa:

    1) Hearing some really loud bangs in the centre of Odessa, Ukraine…
    2) Jesus Christ. Massive explosion really close to my flat in Odessa, Ukraine. Pictures have fallen off the walls.

    #Strelkov:”Assault group from #Ukraine battalion #Donbass was defeated in a cruel close combat by #NAF in #Logvinovo ”

    United States at UNSC: Russia is backing an all out assault in Ukraine

    Full scale war or years of sanctions. These are the options NATO are weighing up after Ukie army debacle.

    Despite the military aid from the West, the outcome on the ground will not change.

    Militia found weapons from Czech, Germany, USA

    • marknesop says:

      Russia is backing an all-out assault in Ukraine. Can I be the first to suggest the entire world ignore what the United States Government says from here on out? Why would Russia back an all-out assault in Ukraine, when the country is crumbling like Roquefort cheese without any intervention required? Except for one brief window of glory when it managed to drive the rebels back to the main strongholds of Donetsk and Lugansk, the Ukie army has consistently lost and has only been able to maintain the appearance of momentum by atrocities such as the SU-25 attack on Lugansk and the bombardment of population centres. Having driven the rebels back, if the army had remained on guard while the government negotiated with the rebels, there is every reason to believe a compromise might have been reached which was realistic and acceptable to both sides. But no; because the leadership since Yanukovytch has been comprised of imbeciles and cretins, the decision was to just roll over the cities and kill everyone who did not submit, and the west gave it the green light.

  3. et Al says:

    Update on the NSA infecting hard drives since 2001:

    Neuters: Russian researchers expose breakthrough in U.S. spying program
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/17/us-usa-cyberspying-idUSKBN0LK1QV20150217

    …A former NSA employee told Reuters that Kaspersky’s analysis was correct, and that people still in the spy agency valued these espionage programs as highly as Stuxnet. Another former intelligence operative confirmed that the NSA had developed the prized technique of concealing spyware in hard drives, but said he did not know which spy efforts relied on it….

    …Peter Swire, one of five members of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, said the Kaspersky report showed that it is essential for the country to consider the possible impact on trade and diplomatic relations before deciding to use its knowledge of software flaws for intelligence gathering.

    “There can be serious negative effects on other U.S. interests,” Swire said….

  4. ThatJ says:

    From reading this I get the impression that peacekeepers are still considered if the implementation of Minsk 2 fails:

    Russia’s OSCE envoy urges to avoid sending peacemakers to Ukraine

    MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Russia’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Tuesday it was still possible to avoid sending peacemakers to Ukraine’s war-torn south-east.

    “Sending peacemakers to the demilitarized zone means freezing the conflict and for quite a long time,” envoy Andrey Kelin told Rossiya-24 television news channel.

    “This can probably still be avoided if we manage to take all the necessary steps outlined in the Minsk agreements,” he said, referring to a new peace deal agreed by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in the Belarusian capital Minsk last week.

    http://tass.ru/en/world/778236

    “Still can be avoided” means that either Kiev sticks to the ceasefire, or peacekeepers (from Russia?) will have to use force to implement it.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama should provide arms to the Ukrainian government, considering that the Minsk ceasefire has failed between Kiev and the independence supporters in eastern Ukraine, US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said in a press release on Tuesday.

    “It is inexcusable to adhere to a failed ceasefire agreement as Russia and its Ukrainian proxies escalate their uncompromising siege of Debaltseve,” the senators said in the press release. “It is long past time to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine.”

    The senators explained that because conditions on the ground indicate diplomacy has been ineffective, the United States should help build-up the Ukrainian security forces.

    “Western leaders say there is no military solution to the conflict in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin clearly does not think so. He continues his aggression, and in the absence of greater Western support for Ukrainian forces, a Russian-imposed military solution is exactly what will continue to unfold,” the press release said.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/us/20150217/1018401183.html

    Meanwhile, Putin has a different view…

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he was optimistic about the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.
    On February 12, an agreement on Ukrainian reconciliation was reached in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

    “[As for the implementation of the Minsk agreements], I am more of an optimist than a pessimist,” Putin said at a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

    He also said that the agreement gives a chance to settle the Ukrainian crisis peacefully. The compromise reached with the agreement could even be stipulated in a UN Security Council resolution, which will make the peace deal a legal act, Putin said.

    “I hope the agreements reached in Minsk will be adhered to by both sides [of the Ukrainian crisis] and we will find a way to settle this grave conflict,” the Russian president said.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150217/1018399966.html

    After being appointed by Poroshenko as his advisor, Georgia filed an extradition request for Saakashvili with Ukraine, which Ukraine has just said they will deny.

    Here’s how Ukrainians feel about it (from a pro-Kiev Ukrainian news website poll):
    74% think he should be extradited back to Georgia.

    http://112.ua/obshchestvo/opros-kak-dolzhna-postupit-ukraina-s-zaprosom-prokuratury-gruzii-otnositelno-vydachi-saakashvili-i-adeishvili-191834.html#central_poll_218

    #BREAKINGREPORT The Ukr. general staff gave its troops the order to destroy all equipment in #Debaltseve and #withdraw

    #Odessa: Local media reporting the explosion was at 85, Balshaya Arnautskaya which is where the leader of the “AutoMaidan” group lives.

    [ThatJ: Didn’t Porky appoint his relatives to position of authority in Odessa? There’s this theory circulating around that the shabbos goyim battalions are being sacrificied so that they don’t pose a threat to Kiev (that’s what I have been saying since the beginning: this is not a Nazi coup, the nationalists are doing their foes’ bidding), and I think that the uncontrollable heads of the Maidan movements are next. The explosion was either caused by partisan activity or by Kiev itself.]

    (from mp.net)

    Fortruss have carried the ‘Putin says surrender and go home’ story out of Hungary. This is their editorial after it, take it as biased of course!

    J.Hawk’s Comment: One of the best aspects of Minsk-2 is that it forced Merkel and Hollande to spend 17 hours in one room with Poroshenko. One can only imagine what they thought of their Ukrainian “partner.” Probably something along the lines of Oh.My.God.This.Guy.Is.Nuts. No doubt Putin came across as by far the more reasonable, flexible, and trustworthy of the two.
    Because Poroshenko stupidly painted himself into a corner. Maybe he thought that was the best option (assuming he knew the true situation at Debaltsevo, of course), since any continuation of the fighting would give him a reason to accuse Novorossia of violating the ceasefire, which in turn would allow him to appease the “war party” in Kiev and continuing the war and perhaps obtain Western military aid. Kinda like having your cake and eating it too. Except this time there is no cake. The EU and possibly even the US elites are fed up with Ukraine and its too-clever-by-half leadership that is far more of a burden than an asset.

  5. et Al says:

    Neuters: Putin seeks orderly retreat for encircled Ukrainian troops
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/17/us-ukraine-crisis-putin-hungary-idUSKBN0LL1Z920150217

    …On energy, Putin said that the South Stream gas pipeline, that was to have pumped Russian gas under the Black Sea and into southern Europe, was torpedoed by European objections…
    #####

    Ohh, you tease Pooty-Poot!

    Cue the usual suspects crying “We told you he would change his mind!”.

    • ThatJ says:

      He said it could not be resurrected in its original form. He said though that if Brussels backs the idea, a spur could be built to connect Bulgaria, intended landing point for the South Stream route, to another pipeline Russia is planning.

      In other words, the pipeline that will connect Russia to Turkey can be easily modified to add a supply route to Bulgaria to the west.

      So the question is: will the EU accept the Turks as the middle man instead of getting their gas directly from Russia?

      The reality is that Ukraine will be dropped as a transit country. Either the EU will get its Russian gas through Turkey, or through the South Stream (by whatever new name they give the project).

  6. ThatJ says:

    #UNSC – A modicum of foresight should have indicated that elevating #MINSK2 to the status of a UNSC declaration is a perilous exercise.

    [ThatJ: I agree. The document is open to different interpretations. Russia shouldn’t have stamped it with the UNSC seal of approval.]

    Paul Craig Roberts — Putin Just Warned The West It Faces These Terrifying Consequences

    With the eyes of the world focused on the war in Ukraine and the stalemate in the talks between the Greeks and the EU, today former U.S. Treasury official, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, explained to King World News why Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has just warned the West that it faces terrifying consequences.

    http://kingworldnews.com/paul-craig-roberts-putin-just-warned-west-faces-terrifying-consequences

    Canada is ready in the near future to impose new sanctions against Russia

    Canada is poised to soon introduce new sanctions against Russia.

    This was stated by the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Rob Nicholson, reports Tsenzor.NET with reference to Bloomberg.

    The agency notes that the government plans to introduce sanctions against a number of individuals and companies because of the “violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine by Russia”.

    Previously, the readiness to expand sanctions was stated by the Minister for International Trade, Edward Fast. These intentions are confirmed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

    http://censor.net.ua/news/325124/kanada_gotova_v_blijayishee_vremya_vvesti_novye_sanktsii_protiv_rossii

    • marknesop says:

      Russia should just announce it is breaking diplomatic ties with all the western countries, and recall its embassy staffs and close its embassies. I know that would encourage the chattering, government-mouthpiece western media to shout that this means Vladimir Putin is preparing to go to war against the west, but who cares? They won’t attack for fear of being nuked in return, and it would save the circle-jerk of ever-increasing sanctions. The west is building toward a break in diplomatic relations anyway, so Russia should just trump them. Fuck them, don’t take their phone calls, let them solve Ukraine their own way.

    • ThatJ says:

      Edward Fast — Fast is a common surname among Mennonites. Wikipedia says he’s a Mennonite, and, unsurprisingly, born in Winnipeg.

      Penner, Fast, Sawatzky, Wiebe, Banman, Friesen, Dyck/Dueck/Dück, Doerksen (or Duerksen), Fehr, Wieler, Epp, Boschmann, Siemens, Klassen, Warkentin, Bartel, Toews are all common Mennonite surnames, and these people came to North America from the Russian Empire or during/after the communist revolution (or from Latin America, but these are more recent arrivals from e.g. Paraguay and Brazil who, in turn, also have their origins in the Russian Empire/USSR).

      There are Mennonites who fled Canada and settled in Latin America because of a series of secular laws in the period leading to WWI. Some of the descendants of these people have returned to Canada, decades later.

      Almost all of the Mennonites in the Americas came from southeastern Ukraine which was then part of the Russian Empire, the rest came from other regions of Russia proper. They speak Low German, “Plautdietsch” — or some of them still do, anyway. Although there is a strong Dutch component in the Mennonite population, this identity has been lost and they are today simply Deutsch.

      See: Russian Mennonites

      The surname Klassen will surely ring a bell to Warren.

  7. kirill says:

    So the USA is screeching for “Russia to stop fighting in Ukraine”. This is exactly the level of arrogant stupidity exhibited by Napoleon and Hitler. These pinheads actually think only the Russian Army could explain the losses by the regime forces. They can’t bring themselves to admit that it is locals with around 5,000 volunteers from Russia, France, Serbia, Brazil and many other countries who are mopping the floor with the Kiev suppression forces.

    The US is in for a big surprise if it thinks that the Russian Army is this weak. A really big surprise.

  8. ThatJ says:

    Germany says new security strategy will respond to Russia

    (Reuters) – Germany will overhaul its security strategy in coming years in response to Russian attempts to use “power politics and military force” to assert its interests, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.

    Germany, which 70 years after World War Two is seeking to assume a more assertive global role, has been at the center of efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine and led a push within Europe to impose sanctions against Moscow.

    “Russia’s actions in Ukraine fundamentally change the security architecture in Europe,” said von der Leyen as she opened a debate on a new security strategy to be outlined in a “white book” to be published next year.

    Full text: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/17/us-germany-security-idUSKBN0LL1BK20150217

  9. ThatJ says:

    Belarus border guards stop 20 Ukrainian troops on horseback. Attackers retreat, with wounded, leaving behind 4 horses.

    http://gpk.gov.by/news/gpk/16140/

    What the…

    “Our HQ has fled, we are facing annihilation”—Junta battalion commander’s frantic call on live TV

    Ukrainian troops are holding defense in strongpoints in the vicinity of Debaltsevo. There is street fighting in the city against Russian soldiers [sic] and Kadyrovites [sic].

    This is what “Gross,” the deputy commander of the 25th Kievan Rus battalion, which is located near Debaltsevo, said during a phone call broadcast live by the TV news channel 24.

    “There is street fighting in Debaltsevo. The enemy is using Russian Federation [sic] special operations units and Kadyrovites [sic] to storm Debaltsevo. They control 90% of it. Our forces are defending strongpoints. The sector HQ and the sector commander have abandoned us, they do not control the situation, they don’t know where the troops are,”- said “Gross.”

    He noted that his troops need immediate help. They tried to reach the General Staff several times, but there has been no reaction.

    “Our troops are facing annihilation,” said the deputy battalion commander.

    “They are searching for the sector commander. Nobody knows where he is,” he added.

    We note that earlier the General Staff announced there is fighting in the streets of Debaltsevo, and that the terrorists [sic] are not allowing OSCE observers to reach the town. Part of the town was captured by the bandits [sic].

    The counter-terrorist [sic] operation HQ spokesperson Anatoliy Stelmakh said that the militants [sic] have captured several buildings in Debaltsevo.

    J.Hawk’s Comment: This is a report from Newsdaily.com.ua, which is a Kiev junta-supporting Ukrainian news outlet. The magnitude of the Debaltsevo Debacle is becoming more obvious with every passing minute…

    The “sector commander” referred to in the report is in fact the commander of the entire Debaltsevo grouping, since that was one of the sectors of the front facing Novorossia, in other words, a fairly senior officer who is now nowhere to be found.

    http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/02/our-hq-has-fled-we-are-facing.html

  10. davidt says:

    The Saker has an article that gives his take on the situation around Debaltsevo:
    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2015/02/yet-another-monumental-failure-for-junta.html
    His article is consistent with what has already been posted above. However, what caught my attention was the first comment. Remember here that Der Spiegel generally parrots the US line. According to “Anonymous”, Der Spiegel attacked Victoria Nuland as “America’s Riot Diplomat” and saw Nuland herself as the problem. The paper referred to a meeting that Nuland had with two dozen US diplomats and senators at the Munich Security Conference. There Nuland gave instructions to fight against the Europeans on the issue of arming the Ukrainians. The paper described her as bitterly referring to Merkel’s and Hollande’s meeting with Putin as “Merkel’s Moscow junk” and Moscow “bullshit”.
    The evidence seems to be hardening that the Germany and, just as importantly, France are shifting away from the US position. This must give one hope. Here is a related link:
    https://larouchepac.com/20150217/der-spiegel-crisis-nuland-herself-has-become-problem

    • kat kan says:

      You’ll note the latest sanctions have only been travel bans and asset holds on people like the Novorossian leadership, and organizations like the better known battalions…. which would be impossible to ban from travel anyway. Symbolic junk. They can’t afford to do another that will cost money as the voters won’t stand for it.

      A few hours of Minsk was spent (minus Poro) on a “gas package” That was likely a lesson the realities for all Europe for the next 2 or 3 years, whatever it takes them to build another pipe. .He may have done the math about LNG for them, too. They can get away with a lot at home but not with double price gas.

    • davidt says:

      “Dutch’s” account of the Der Spiegel story- it includes an telling(?) road sign from “somewhere in the south of the Netherlands”
      https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/pussy-riot-nuland/

      • marknesop says:

        The sign is funny, but it does not imply any insult – it just means “leaving city limits of Nuland”, the same as such signs do in Russia. You see a sign that says “Kavaliereva” when you are coming into the town, and a sign appropriately sited for traffic going in that same direction that says “Kavaliereva” with a red bar through it, meaning “leaving Kavaliereva”.

  11. Warren says:

    Game with No Rules: Legal Imperialism against Russia (I)

    The term legal imperialism was coined in relation to the Argentina’s public debt. A New York court admitted a number of private claims to hand down a verdict. By a stroke of hand a judge increased the country’s debt up to $120 billion, according to experts’ estimates. The essence of legal imperialism is the support rendered by Anglo-Saxon legal system to financial vultures.

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/02/17/game-with-no-rules-legal-imperialism-against-russia-i.html

    Game with No Rules: Legal Imperialism against Russia (II)

    Writing about Western legal imperialism I emphasized the fact that the West has launched a campaign aimed at expropriation of Russia’s assets abroad (state, private companies and banks, individuals). These activities will be intensified by adding all kinds of black lists, including legal entities and individuals of the Russian Federation, preparing for lawsuits abroad.

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/02/18/game-with-no-rules-legal-imperialism-against-russia-ii.html

    • davidt says:

      Certainly, agree that the US would like to do go further down this route but you would think that it would be a risky strategy. It would seriously piss off the Russians and make other countries, including China, nervous. My guess is that the US has already made a serious geostrategic mistake in declaring financial war on Russia, and that in 10 or so years time they might think so themselves. (To be “fair” they seem to have got away with it against Iran.)

  12. colliemum says:

    The next line of anti-Putin propaganda is now being trialled, in the video below, by a member of the UK tri-party-cartel, a Labour MEP. It is in connection with the ever more possible GREXIT, now that the talks in Brussels between Syriza and the EU have broken down.
    So you’ll hear next that Putin is trying to break up the EU bit by bit so he can engulf all the states which want to leave. According to that Labour woman, he’s ‘close’ to Syriza (shock horror!) and worse, he allegedly is financing the French FN, that is Marine Le Pen’s party.
    She’s not quite come out with Putin financing UKIP, but give it time, give it time … it’s only a bit over two months to May 7th …
    IAW, we all must stay in the EU because —> Putin.
    This will run and run – you heard it here first!

    Here the laydee is, go to 3.40 on the video:

    • colliemum says:

      Gah – it’s a playlist, so choose “UKIPs Diane James on Greek EU exit”, and go to 3.40 in that video.

      Sorry, I’m not as clued-up on youtube videos as I ought to be …
      😦

  13. ThatJ says:

    The US has accused Russia of violating the Minsk agreement on Ukraine, as the UN Security Council voted unanimously to approve the ceasefire deal.

    Vice-President Joe Biden said “the costs to Russia will rise” if it continued to violate the accord.

    Fighting is continuing around the strategic town of Debaltseve, with pro-Russian rebels saying they now control most areas.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Ukraine’s troops there to surrender.

    US Ambassador Samantha Power said she “wholeheartedly welcomes this agreement” but said that Russia had to prove its commitment to peace.

    She said: “Stop arming the separatists. Stop sending hundreds of heavy weapons across the border in addition to your troops. Stop pretending you are not doing what you are doing.”

    She added: “Russia signs agreements then does everything within its power to undermine them. Russia champions the sovereignty of nations and then acts as if a neighbour’s borders do not exist.”

    Ms Power said it was “ironic” Russia had drafted the resolution while “backing an all-out assault” in Ukraine.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31514295

    Ukraine’s former Nat. Guard soldier gets 9 years in prison for calling Russia’s embassy & requesting citizenship http://izvestia.ru/news/583110

    2.5M UA citizens are in RF, incl. guest workers. Ukraine lost 5.5% of its population excluding Crimea http://www.depo.ua/rus/life/v-2014-godu-ukraina-poteryala-5-5-naseleniya-17022015123500

    Canada extends sanctions & travel bans to 37 Russian & Ukrainian Individuals & 17 entities.

    • et Al says:

      Dear fface Biden, please tell Boeing to buy its titanium and rocket engines from some other country other than Russia? No? It’s amazing that even he can make Regan look smart.

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