Pondering Putin

I have no idea of the veracity of the following. It is almost as long a read as War and Peace. If legitimate, a fascinating look at Russia’s’ world view.

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Dmitri Orlov: How to start a war and lose an empire

I somewhat infrequently read Dmitri Orlov. He’s Russian born, but moved to the US as a child, was educated here and wrote a book called Reinventing Collapse which I found illuminating. He recently penned a piece about our indelicate handling of the rest of the world, taken from his Russian perspective. I don’t necessarily share [...]

Rosneft Says Exxon Arctic Well Strikes Oil

Bloomberg, By Ilya Arkhipov, Stephen Bierman & Ryan Chilcote, September 27

Russia, viewed by the Obama administration as hostile to U.S. interests, has discovered what may prove to be a vast pool of oil in one of the world’s most remote places with the help of America’s largest energy company.

Russia’s state-run OAO Rosneft (ROSN) [...]

Ukraine president asks US Congress for lethal military aid

Petro Poroshenko thanks US for nonlethal assistance, but says ‘one cannot win a war with a blanket’

Al Jazeera, September 18

The United States said on Thursday that it would provide $46 million in new security assistance to Ukraine’s military, but stopped short of fulfilling an urgent request from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for lethal [...]

Ukraine crisis: Law grants rebels self-rule and amnesty

BBC, September 16

Rebel-controlled regions of eastern Ukraine have been granted self-rule and fighters have been given an amnesty, under a new law adopted by parliament.

The measures are in line with the 5 September ceasefire agreement signed by President Petro Poroshenko.

IBT: [Rebels reject] Ukraine Passes Law Granting Rebels Limited Self Rule, Ratifies [...]

Fascists and Army Head for Kiev-Maidan

“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men (and US/EU warmongers) gang aft a-gley”.

Looks like events are outpacing plans. Expect a lot of Faux News in the coming days.

I suspect it’s happening too fast for the US/EU to do anything except bitch and moan. I think Putin’s response will be the chief unanswered [...]

Russian troops have entered Ukraine, Ukraine president says

AP, August 28

Ukraine’s president called an emergency meeting of the nation’s security council and cancelled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that “Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine,” as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.

President Petro Poroshenko summoned the council as the strategic southeastern Ukraine town of [...]

Ukraine’s army positioning to move on rebels in Donetsk

Washington Post, By Carol Morello and Michael Birnbaum, August 4

KIEV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian military on Monday appeared to be readying a long-awaited major assault on the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, warning civilians to leave as troops tightened their ring around the city amid heavy fighting.

Extra evacuation corridors were set up for cars [...]

Coordinated Sanctions Aim at Russia’s Ability to Tap Its Oil Reserves

New York Times, By Peter Baker, Alan Cowell and James Kanter, July 29

Washington — The United States and Europe kicked off a joint effort on Tuesday intended to curb Russia’s long-term ability to develop new oil resources, taking aim at the Kremlin’s premier source of wealth and power in retaliation for its intervention in [...]

Russia Will Only Get Worse. Maybe.

Putin is on the horns of a dilemna. For the first time since the dismantling of the Soviet Union, Russia faces a severe economic crisis – after enjoying years of relative prosperity – and she has a warmongering chief executive. This is a nexus of events that will shape and define Russia for at [...]

Pentagon Plan Would Help Ukraine Target Rebel Missiles

New York Times, By David E. Sanger & Eric Schmitt, July 26

The Pentagon and American intelligence agencies are developing plans that would enable the Obama administration to provide specific locations of surface-to-air missiles controlled by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine so the Ukrainian government could target them for destruction, American officials said.

But the [...]

Stephen Cohen: Downed Malaysian Plane Raises Risk of War Between Russia and the West

Democracy Now, July 18

A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 298 people has exploded and crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing everyone on board. U.S. and Ukrainian officials say the Boeing 777 was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile, but it is unclear who fired the missile. The plane was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur [...]

Open Source: Latest Updates on Malaysian Plane Crash in Ukraine

NYT – On Friday, Open Source continues to follow the aftermath of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in rebel-held eastern Ukraine to supplement the latest coverage of New York Times reporters on the ground.

Updates below mix breaking news reports with new information on the investigation into the disaster and the reaction to [...]

Russia launches large-scale naval drill in Black Sea same day as NATO

RT, July 4

Some 20 warships, over 20 airplanes and helicopters, as well as the marines and coast artillery are taking part in the Black Sea Fleet exercise, Russian Defense Ministry reported. The war games launched the same day as NATO’s military drill in the area.

Starting from July 4, the scheduled training maneuvers are [...]

Ukraine Says Russia Has 38,000 Troops on Border Amid ‘Invasion’

Bloomberg, By Kateryna Choursina & Daryna Krasnolutska, June 16

Russia has amassed as many as 38,000 soldiers on its borders with Ukraine and continues to supply arms and personnel to rebel forces in the eastern part of the country, Ukraine’s National Security Council chief said.

Russia has moved about 16,000 troops to Ukraine’s eastern frontier [...]

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