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Now Crimea’s in the bag, where next for Putin and Russia?

Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has now apparently formalised the annexation by announcing two new laws that make Crimea and Sevastopol subjects of the Russian Federation and has signed a treaty to…

Putin on a show: Putin’s speech is broadcast in Sevastopol. EPA/Zurab Kurtsikidze

Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has now apparently formalised the annexation by announcing two new laws that make Crimea and Sevastopol subjects of the Russian Federation and has signed a treaty to this effect with Crimea’s pro-Russian leaders.

This came despite the enactment of sanctions by the EU and the US and a clear indication that there was more to come if Russia annexed Crimea.

In line with their existing policy and previous diplomatic gambits, Western leaders have denounced the move as illegal and Washington has imposed additional sanctions.

The sense of a new Cold War with Russia is undeniable, not least from the tone of Putin’s speech, blaming the West for developments in Ukraine and forcing Russia’s hand in annexing the peninsula. But by acting so quickly and going, quite literally, beyond the point of no return, Putin has very much squandered whatever last chance for a diplomatic solution to the crisis there may have been.

Yesterday’s developments in the crisis still left a slim chance for a diplomatic solution. Putin recognised Crimea as a sovereign and independent state. The announcement of his address to the two houses of the Russian parliament to cover Crimea’s request to join the Russian Federation still left the possibility of face-saving compromise. The conclusions of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on Monday urged “the Russian Federation not to take steps to annex Crimea "in violation of international law” and to avoid further escalation through “constructive dialogue with all sides”.

The “peace treaty” between Russia and Ukraine, meant to allow Ukrainian armed forces in Crimea to exit and enter their bases freely and to replenish supplies, has entered into force and is to last initially until March 21. This now looks more likely to offer an exit strategy for Ukrainian forces from Crimea. Anything else would be equivalent to political suicide and may pave the way for further Russian inroads into Ukrainian territory.

Tension: Ukraine has mobilised 40,000 reservists to back its regular armed forces. EPA/Ivan Boberskyy

Despite the Ukrainian parliament’s vote to allocate some US$600m to the defence budget and to mobilise 40,000 troops over the next three months, Ukraine is no match for Russia and any military escalation would be counter-productive. None of this bodes well at all, especially as there is an increasing danger now that local tensions may escalate and quickly spiral out of control into military hostilities that still are in no-one’s interest.

When Russia recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008 after a brief war, there was similar talk of a new Cold War. Shortly afterwards, however, the US attempted a “reset” of its relations with Russia. This has clearly not worked and it is unlikely that we are heading anywhere but a new ice age, reminiscent of the darker periods of the Cold War.

Game over for Crimea

The battle over Crimea is clearly lost and there are still question marks over whether this will be the end of Russia’s overall campaign to reassert its great power status and hegemony in the former Soviet Union.

While never obviously in the category of “frozen conflicts”, the pattern of Russian policy towards Georgia in 2008 and now Ukraine 2014, does not bode well for the Transnistrian conflict in Moldova where the dynamics of geopolitical competition between Moscow and Brussels, albeit less intense, have been similar to Ukraine.

It would be foolish to assume that Moscow does not have plans and designs for Transnistria as well, and possibly for majority-Russian areas in Latvia and Estonia. And a foreign policy “success” like the one Putin has just had, may well embolden further Russian moves; the only hope is that the West will be better prepared for a possible next round of conflict with the Kremlin.


This is an updated version of an article that was originally written ahead of Vladimir Putin’s speech.

Join the conversation

63 Comments sorted by

  1. Edward Cannella

    Zoologist

    Not sure if he (Putin) is keeping anyone guessing. The "headless chook" diplomacy is all on the side of the US and EU. Putin is just staying back knowing that, although heavy economic sanctions would decimate Russia, it is unlikely that either the US or the EU would have the nerve to take things to that level. As to whether it should or not there are parallels certainly with the expansionist movements seen in Europe in the early 20th Century. The annexation of the Crimea region simply provides a greater deal of security to Russia with a defensible piece of land containing some very important Black Sea ports.

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    1. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Edward Cannella

      Remembering that there are strong political opponents against Putin in Russia itself strong economic sanctions might work. As for Putin's catch cry that the Crimea was always Russian, well history proves that to be incorrect. The Crimean Tatars have been there since the 13th Century and served as allies to the Ottomans in contesting for the Ukraine against the Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth occupiers. The Tatars also extracted tribute from the Russians and sacked Moscow on three occasions.

      Crimea does not belong to the Russians or to the Ukraine. I have heard reports that most Crimean Tatars prefer to be part of the Ukraine. They have sent their men and women to Western Ukraine as they feel safer there. Perhaps Stalin's excesses against the Tatars has not been forgotten.

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    2. Alex Peace

      translator

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Obviously, from now on Crimea is Russian again. Does not matter that at earlier stages it was part of Ottoman empire or Golden Horde. To reinstate ancient empires would not be possible anyway.

      But yes, now the international sanctions will follow, there will be a price to pay.

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    3. Timothy Wong

      logged in via email @yahoo.com.au

      In reply to Edward Cannella

      >>>"although heavy economic sanctions would decimate Russia, it is unlikely that either the US or the EU would have the nerve to take things to that level"

      1/ "Heavy" economic sanctions are just as likely to decimate certain member and associated states of the EU.

      Most particularly the City of London. Russian oligarchical money in *not* invested back into the Russian economy.

      Instead much of it is instead ferreted away into accounts in banks such as Barclays and then in turn invested in various tax havens.

      That's one reason Cameron can only call for "lighter" sanctions. "Heavy" sanctions would rebound and hit London.

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    4. Edward Cannella

      Zoologist

      In reply to Timothy Wong

      Obama stated that he is being careful to design to sanctions so as to not hurt US companies. So, as per usual, it is all bluster and hot air. Maybe we could have someone get off a plane and waive about a piece of paper just to show how much has been achieved (sorry for the sarcasm).

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  2. Andrew Gilmour

    logged in via Facebook

    When Gorbachyov was in charge of the USSR and signed lots of documents with the West, NATO at that point promised no expansion to the East. NATO lied and since then moved to the East. What can be expected from Russia now when NATO lied in the first instance?

    The current puppet Ukrainian government does everything to spoil the relationship with Russia. Just during several weeks of being in power all steps of the current unconstitutional government were directed against Russia and Russian speaking…

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    1. doug kerr

      Retired

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      'When Gorbachyov was in charge of the USSR and signed lots of documents with the West, NATO at that point promised no expansion to the East. NATO lied and since then moved to the East.'

      Dead right!

      'Washington has defaulted on all of its key agreements made with USSR/Russia during the last 30 years. Gorbachev was promised that Eastern Europe would not be taken into NATO. Country by country, it became part of NATO, and Yugoslavia was dismantled despite Russia’s objections. The US acted as the winner of the Cold War and guided its policies by the famous principle of “Vae victis!” Woe to the vanquished!' (alt media)

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    2. Georg Antony

      analyst

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      "When Gorbachyov was in charge of the USSR and signed lots of documents with the West, NATO at that point promised no expansion to the East."

      It is understandable why Russians wish Gorbachev had signed an agreement with NATO banning the latter's expansion. The fact, though, is that he did not. There were discussions between various Western and Soviet leaders about that issue, but nothing in the formal agreement in the end. Claiming otherwise is part of the disinformation spread by The Conversation's resident Russian propagandists.

      For a detailed backgrounder on the issue see http://dialogueeurope.org/uploads/File/resources/TWQ%20article%20on%20Germany%20and%20NATO.pdf

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    3. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Georg Antony

      You are right and not right Antony.

      On the one hand, a formal agreement between the former USSR and the West was not signed.

      On the other hand, there was a clear promise to stop expanding NATO to the East
      http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/08/13/a_diplomatic_mystery

      Mr Gorbachyov was very naïve at that time and with his “perestroika” believed the West, therefore signed an agreement to unite Germany and withdraw the USSR troops from all countries, including Germany.
      What did he…

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  3. Colin MacGillivray

    Architect, retired, Sarawak

    "but not rushing to war." "no(t)...... immediate outbreak of military hostilities". Surely no one could seriously suggest that Ukraine would be stupid enough to take on Russia in combat?
    My military knowledge is almost zero but if Russia just mobilized 25% of its army over the border, in tanks and other vehicles, with air power flying just inside Russian territory, and ships and submarines prepared, a sensible Ukrainian Prime Minister would save the lives of his troops and instruct them to leave Crimea

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  4. Daniel Verberne

    logged in via Facebook

    Maybe I've missed something, but Western powers have failed to clearly articulate exactly what is wrong with Russian attempting to take Crimea.

    Apart from the Tatar ethnic groups, if we take them at the word, the Crimean citizenry voted overwhelmingly to return to the Russian fold.

    Is the objection by Western nations based on how it happened? Did it not follow some proper procedure?

    I'm never going to describe myself as pro-Putin, but the West has a habit of being hypocritical when it comes to scolding other countries on some of the geopolitical matters and I want to know WHY the West, especially U.S. doesn't want to recognise this move by Russia.

    Any explanation from fellow readers much appreciated!!!

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    1. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Daniel Verberne

      Tatars of the Crimea are scared because during the WW2 they were sent to Siberia and they still probably have their genes memory. However, they were sent by Stalin to Siberia because they supported fascists and Stalin did not want them to sit in the Crimea and openly support the enemy of the Red army.

      The goal of the West and I would say the US in particular is to bite Russia. Initially the US used Georgia and supplied weapons and ammunition to Georgia, trained their troops and slightly pushed…

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    2. Georg Antony

      analyst

      In reply to Daniel Verberne

      "Maybe I've missed something, but Western powers have failed to clearly articulate exactly what is wrong with Russian attempting to take Crimea."

      The Helsinki Accord in 1975, involving all European countries but Albania, aimed to create a framework for peaceful coexistence in Europe. Among other things, it enshrined the inviolability of borders and the territorial integrity of states. http://www.osce.org/who/43960

      WW2 started with German aggression under the guise of rescuing oppressed German…

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    3. Georg Antony

      analyst

      In reply to Daniel Verberne

      "Apart from the Tatar ethnic groups, if we take them at the word, the Crimean citizenry voted overwhelmingly to return to the Russian fold.
      Is the objection by Western nations based on how it happened? Did it not follow some proper procedure?"

      No, they did not, and this is an understatement. A hastily-arranged plebiscite with opaque options, under the occupation of a military unwilling to show its true colours, without any neutral obervers. The purported results are fictional, just like "elections" during Soviet times were http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/17/the-dubious-crimean-referendum-on-annexation-by-russia/?tid=pm_national_pop

      There is comedy in the drama too: some wisecrack found out that 123% of registered voters voted in Sevastopol http://www.dailydot.com/politics/crimea-referendum-123-percent-sevastopol/

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    4. Sean Welsh

      Doctoral Candidate in Robot Ethics at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Daniel Verberne

      UN Charter Chapter 1 Article 1 Section 2. Right to self-determination is the basis of Putin's case. Section 1. Territorial integrity is the basis of the West's case.

      Secession is rarely orderly and it is not helpful that the UN has no orderly process to handle it. But Crimea was in the Russian Federation up to 1954. It will be back there by April 2014.

      The Ukraine government has been a mess. It's broke and chaotic and has dunces making noises about banning Russian as an official language and…

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    5. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Georg Antony

      Nice try Antony with " The Helsinki Accord in 1975, involving all European countries but Albania, aimed to create a framework for peaceful coexistence in Europe. Among other things, it enshrined the inviolability of borders and the territorial integrity of states. http://www.osce.org/who/43960";

      What about following these rules with the former Yugoslavia?
      Why the EU allowed bombing of this country and dividing it? Why in Yuigoslavia people were killed and that was okay but in the Crimea no one was killed but that is not okay?

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    6. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Georg Antony

      Why do you think Antony international observers are required in the Crimea? do we have them in Australia when we vote? No, we don't. At the same time our elections are perfectly legitimate.

      secondly, you are giving incorrect info about the absence of international observers in Crimea
      here we go
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/crimean-referendum-at-gunpoint-is-a-myth-international-observers/5373767
      Please take into account that this is not a biased Washington Post lying to us.

      So, the observers were there and no problems whatsoever. Again, the observers are not even required by law.

      That 123% is a gossip going around the media and generated in a similar manner to your absence of observers thing

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    7. Georg Antony

      analyst

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      "Why the EU allowed bombing of this country and dividing it? Why in Yuigoslavia people were killed and that was okay but in the Crimea no one was killed but that is not okay? "

      Note that Yugoslavia's last (1974) constitution explicitly allowed self-determination and secession, with autonomous provinces being of similar constituent entities to republics. It was the decision of these constituent entities to exercise their right and become independent. If it had not been for the wars waged by the Serbian-controlled Yugoslav Army, the dissolution could have been as peaceful as that of Czechoslovakia. Serbia's bombing was only after years of war waged to create a Greater Serbia and after the start of total ethnic cleansing of Kosovo by Serbian forces.

      BTW of people killed, now the killing has started in the Crimea too. So far one Tatar who 'disappeared' from a demonstration and one Ukrainian soldier.

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    8. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Georg Antony

      Despite Yugoslavia’s Constitution allowing something this Constitution never allowed to bomb this country by someone else. Therefore, I trust any links to the EU border documents and preservation of borders integrity are irrelevant because actions of the EU and US forced such borders to be reshaped. So, it was allowed when the West did it but not allowed when Russia does it. Understand.

      Re: start of total ethnic cleansing of Kosovo by Serbian forces

      You love giving only one side of the story…

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    9. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Sean Welsh

      "Banning Russian as an official language" - were they banning russian from being spoken or merely removing it as a national language

      NZ has 2 national languages, Moari and English....yet high end french resturants still open in french and Polynesian markets still speak their native tounge when trading

      ie. Samoan is not BANNED, it is merely not an national language despite the high percentages of samoans

      So did they try to BAN russian...or merely remove it as a national language

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    10. Peter Dawson

      Gap Decade

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Russian was made an official language in Ukraine only a few years ago, from what I've heard. New government came along and one of its first acts was to remove it as an official language (but this was only in 3 or 4 electorates, not the whole of Ukraine). New President came along days later and said he would not sign the legislation removing Russian as an official language into law.

      Russian is still an official language in Ukraine. But it was the thought that counted for the Russian speaking Ukrainians.

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    11. Peter Williams

      Retired and still kicking

      In reply to Michael Shand

      NZ and Canada are rare in the English speaking world as having national languages. Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. do not have legislated national languages. The USSR had Russian as the national "lingua franca" but permitted multiple secondary languages throughout the nation.

      Did they ban Russian in the Ukraine - Yes! Schools were suddenly banned from teaching in Russian - even though it had been the language of the classroom for hundreds of years.

      The Ukrainian nationalists are virulently russiaphobes and openly speak of ethnic cleansing all people who they don't regard as Ukrainian.

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    12. Peter Williams

      Retired and still kicking

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Yes, it looks like the Aidan forces have killed an Ukrainian soldier as well as a Crimean self-defence member.

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    13. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Peter Williams

      Okay we are done mate, you are obviously a russian apologist in the exact same way you criticise the media for being american apologists

      you both as bad as each other

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    14. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Peter Williams

      Your lying, they didn't ban it, they didn't even remove it as a national language, we just agreed earlier on this and here you are saying the exact opposite

      not only did they remove it as a language, they banned it and stopped teaching it at schools and cut the tounges out of the children who still attened russian class

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    15. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Michael Shand

      The new government of Ukraine firstly proposed this law to stop using the Russian language officially. Then, after the whole mess started, the president (oh, in fact he is a puppet president) did not sign this law finally because he saw escalations all around the Eastern areas.

      First, the fact of not signing now does not mean it would not be signed in the future. The law was just put to be kept when better times come.
      Second, the language law was their first law. In a country having huge economic problems putting the language law as the first one indicates a lot for the Russian speaking community.

      Such people in power cannot be trusted and hence a fact of putting this law cannot be forgotten.

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    16. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Michael Shand

      How many people? One?
      So, here we go
      http://rt.com/news/crimea-shooting-military-center-646/

      It is very likely that this Ukrainian officer and the pro-Russian activist were killed by the same person. Do you see a similarity to Maidan events?

      Even logically the Crimean people now need peace and would never escalate a situation intrenally. It is just someone external does not want them living in peace.

      Secondly, yes, one person was killed. In Iraq the US people killed hundreds of thousands directly and indirectly and killings occur now. Anybody is screaming about it? Any of our media cry about it? Are you writing about it thousands times more than about a person killed in Crimea?

      The answer is obvious...

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    17. Alex Peace

      translator

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Andrew, I think there is more to this.

      US have economic interests in the East. The games with Georgia and long stand-off with Iran can be associated with their Nabucco (or whatever it is spelled) plan to build a gas pipe through from Turkmenistan to Europe through the Caspian sea. But due to mr Putin this plan has miserably failed.

      Current engagement with Ukraine, apart from military aspirations, may well be due to corporate interests from their Monsanto with their push to bring GM crops to Europe. And Ukraine is absolute heaven for agriculture, maybe more then any other country.
      If the US is doing smth, there must be big money involved... Anyway, it is just an opinion.

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    18. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      Stop the false diachotomy of everytime someone criticises russia...turning to bad actions by america

      we can criticise both, implied in your response is that anyone criticising russia is a hypocrite - just calm down

      america being tyrants doesn't justify norht korea or the taliban or russias actions

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    19. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Alex Peace

      I did not think of this option Alex. You might be correct and your opinion does make sense.

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    20. Sean Welsh

      Doctoral Candidate in Robot Ethics at University of Canterbury

      In reply to Michael Shand

      They tried to remove its status as an official language which implies its use is banned (or not recognized) in certain contexts of public administration (e.g. submitting tax returns and the like). Obviously, the Russian language media would have reported this move as an attack on the Russian language and speakers of it. They voted for the Russian friendly alternative...

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    21. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to Michael Shand

      try to read the whole sentence next time before you shoot your mouth off and parade your ignorance - your rebuttals of partial sentences are pathetic. -a.v.

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  5. Caroline Copley

    student

    The West taps Russia on the hand for being the naughty kid on the block. The most vocal of the McCarthy types delight in being able to do this. Even the US ambadassor to the UN in her speech raised the spectre of Hungary and Czechoslavakia. Quite frankly I would have expected better of Obama who I greatly admire, than cold war rhetoric.
    This belies part of the problem. The cold war is back in some people's minds, or otherwise it never left. This is not the reality. The old Russia is back…

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    1. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Caroline Copley

      Caroline, this is a good post in terms of trying to find a solution.

      I think you are right saying that in some minds the Cold war still stays. This is a reality of life and I witnessed this in the past.

      I also see that the rhetoric of the West goes up and up, whereas nobody is actually killed in the Crimea. Moreover, people voted and expressed their views through referendum. On the other hand, when the West bombed Yugoslavia it was perfectly okay and no hash words were seen in the media. When…

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  6. Petroc Ap Seisyllt

    logged in via Facebook

    The idea that Putin could have 'negotiated' the annexation of Crimea is highly improbable. Ukraine, like Spain has made regional independence referenda impossible (as did Serbia). Clearly Kruschevs 'gift' to Ukraine was intended to help Russify Ukraine and keep the Russian voice strong in Kiev. It has now failed, Ukraine is moving to the West and Putin wanted Krim back. Doubtless many of the Krim Ukrainian minority will now migrate back into Ukraine. The Crimean Tatars will be stuck there, let…

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  7. Michael Shand

    Software Tester

    Good article, the next move for russia is to take more of ukraine, they already started, troops took Strilkove, secured gas station

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    1. Peter Williams

      Retired and still kicking

      In reply to Michael Shand

      30 or so troops guarding a gas pumping station, even if it lies within the Kherson Oblast is hardly an invasion. The U.S. would label it a R2P action if it had done it.

      Transdnistra has already asked Russia for an accession agreement. Gagauzia has said that if Moldova signs an agreement with the E.U. it will join the Russian Federation. What happens in the Odessa Oblast could be interesting.

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    2. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Peter Williams

      I love how at every turn people keep down playing russia's actions

      they only sent their military into a Ukraine village in order to secure a gas pumping station that they wanted....I mean if if the US did that to canada - you know, is that an invasion? meh

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    3. Peter Williams

      Retired and still kicking

      In reply to Michael Shand

      The U.S. does that all the time - and it's never an invasion. Paybacks are such a bitch!

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    4. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Peter Williams

      The U.S. does that all the time - and it is an invasion

      2 wrongs don't make a right

      If I get caught not paying taxes I can't point to Apple and say but he does it as well therefor "I have paid taxes"...no you still haven't paid taxes

      Just because the US are terrible empiralists and drop bombs on people...that doesn't mean you should then defend china if they do it too - it's crazy

      being anti-american doesn't mean being pro-russian

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    5. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Michael Shand

      Then firstly the US should stop teaching everyone. They are implementing some sort of funny sanctions now and the EU follows, whereas in fact they have to look at themselves. All this outrage of the international community is all about "us" and "them". Where was this outrage when the US bombed Iraq or Yugoslavia?

      Secondly, the US loves a lot of blood, whereas Russia got the Crimea without any. This indicates a clear support of the Crimean people and also proves that the whole outrage is no more than a well orchestrated event when the US and EU are just jealous that Russia did the job peacefully and is now growing.

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    6. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Michael Shand

      The US guys sent their marines, special forces and drones all around the world. For example, numerous times to Pakistan withoiut any authority from the local powers. To Afghanistan to kill civilians. Etc.

      Have you seen our media screaming about it? Any loud voices to stop it? Any international community outcry? Any your own outcry?

      How pathetic.

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    7. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      Yes I have heard lots of media screaming about it, the fact that the MSM media are not shouldn't suprise you

      Also, Just because America are terrible...doesn't justify North Korean Labour camps......or the plight of chinese workers......or the actions of russia

      America being bad is not an excuse for russia to do the same

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    8. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Shand

      You are just not reading the arguments Michael because your generate dozens of responses daily.

      The argument was that not only the media but also the whole countries like the US, all EU and Australia btw do not have any moral rights to scream about what Russia is doing now. This is because the US, the EU and us during our recent history participated in a variety of military interventions and mass atrocities and divided countries in a not peaceful manner. Therefore, when our leaders are yelling…

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    9. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      The MSM is crap - I'm not defending it

      however pointing out how bad our media is and how bad we are as a country is not an excuse for others to act in a similar manner.

      I've said it before on this site - you can tell the leaders of these countries they are hypocrites and should shut up, you can tell the media of these countries the same

      As for me, I'm a continue to criticise the US, Im a continue to criticise australia AND I'm going to continue to criticise Russia

      America being bad isn't a valid excuse for australia, north korea, russia or anyone else to act the same

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    10. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Shand

      That’s understandable and from your point of view you may criticise anyone, including penguins of Phillip Island. The matter is how Russia feels and replies on Western criticism. And Russia replies “we do not care, piss of, you do the same or even worse, look at yourself and start behaving properly” and the West has nothing to say against it.

      Therefore, all lies of our media about how bad Russia is and how good we are do not make sense and they are just the next lies we see.

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    11. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      But this is the response from america to the taliban or muslim countries

      "We don't care about your criticism, we stand for freedom, we may do drone strikes but you do this and that and the other and thats much worse than what we do"

      it may be true but that doesn't mean the drone strikes are okay. the logic is flawed, we can be against the west hypocrisy without defending russia's actions

      It's the same right wing rhetoric that is used when it comes t war, if you criticise US going into Iraq…

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    12. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to Michael Shand

      usa does it a lot already to canada. canada claims the arctic ocean as national waters and the americans send their ships through all the time and without prior clearance from ottawa. but i have no doubt that the amercans would do just what the russians did if they thought it was in their interests. but at the moment they have everything they want form canada: e.g. in 2010 canadian spooks (csis) met american spooks (nsa) at the border, escorted them through traffic o their hotel suites & prepared their equipment to their standard for their use and helped them at every step to spy & eavesdrop on all the world leaders at the G20 meeting in toronto. such cooperation obviates the need for holding down service stations across the 49th. -a.v.

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    13. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to alfred venison

      Yeah...America are terrible....that doesn't therefor entail that North Korea is justified in its actions...nor china....nor russia

      False Diachotomy's are not productive

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  8. Robert Tony Brklje
    Robert Tony Brklje is a Friend of The Conversation.

    retired

    Lets start with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. That was a zone where Russian peace keepers where placed according to a United Nations edict to keep the peace. Georgia attacked killing United Nations peace keepers who just happened to be Russian. Russia retaliated. Apparently when you kill Russian United Nation peace keepers, according to US led by the nose media, it is OK, just fine, keep up the good work.
    As for the Ukraine, let's all pretend the phone call where leading US government officials were…

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    1. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Robert Tony Brklje

      The evidence does not support your claims, you sound like a 9/11 theorist, uh huh, nah never happened - look I linked to a video fo "loose change" on youtube - PROOF!

      The US has done bad things before...as has russia....a has Australia

      this idea that the us are secretly controlling the whole world is New World Order Alex Jones stuff man

      I stubbed my toe the other day....it was the cia - look out, they are watching you now

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    1. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Peter Dawson

      We don't know that what happened in the Ukraine was the US

      This is speculation based on a an indefinite sentence

      Do I believe it could of been them? there are protests in turkey, in venezuala, recent conflict in egypt, thailand, malaysia, english riots, occupy, etc

      the US could of been behind any or all of these and I have just as much evidence and reason that they were as you have that the US were behind the ukraine

      Apportion belief to evidence, least you believe anything

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    2. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Peter Dawson

      I know, have you seen the evidence of the Lizard people who secretly run the world? or the loose change videos on how 9/11 was a us government plot? or the evidence that the Rothchilds secretly control your thoughts?

      Ignoring the evidence doesn't mean the evidence doesn't exist.

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    3. Peter Dawson

      Gap Decade

      In reply to Michael Shand

      No need to get all crazy, Michael. The paper I linked to about the USA's National Endowment for Democracy was written by a seasoned journalist who helped expose the Iran-Contra affair. The Iran-Contra affair is hardly tin-foil-hat conspiracy material, and neither is his reporting on the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy.

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    4. Michael Shand

      Software Tester

      In reply to Peter Dawson

      I'll have another look then, I am well aware of the Iran situation and no, I don't think it's tin foil hat stuff but what I keep hearing from people is "Look how terrible america are....therefor don't criticise russia" - which is insane

      maybe if you drop the false diachotomy stuff people would be more willing to listen

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