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Crimea moves to join Russia as West prepares sanctions

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Heartfelt congratulations to the people of Crimea!

3 ( +17 / -14 )

The vast majority, a super-majority, has DEMOCRATICALLY chosen to reunite with Russia. The will of the people.

-1 ( +17 / -19 )

Heartfelt congratulations to the people of Crimea!

There are no 'people of Crime' in this world. They're Russians, Ukrainians or Cossacks.

The vast majority, a super-majority, has DEMOCRATICALLY chosen to reunite with Russia.

Those people only heard about democracy. Never seen it.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Now let the other states in Russia democratically vote too whether they want to remain or secede.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

" Those people only heard about democracy. Never seen it."

Your opinion, to which you are entitled. The fact is about 95% of the over 80% who voted chose Russia.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

95.5% of voters were in favor of leaving Ukraine

That smells very odd. Whoever rigged the polls went overboard.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

I am glad to see the people get what they want.

Now I expect buyer's remorse to occur shortly.

I just hope the western nations and Ukraine will not react stupidly and violently and just let this play out. I also hope that Russia will leave Ukraine alone.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Your opinion, to which you are entitled.

You have to be paid, stupid or live in the 'West' to believe in made-up stats published by Russia. No one watched those elections and they're equal to the ones you could organise in your room to decide who's the 'ruler' there. Russians would make Washington DC vote they're Russian state if they're given their 'democratic' voting.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

That smells very odd. Whoever rigged the polls went overboard.

81 percent turnout with Tartars pointedly abstaining. Still:

Wiki says the ethnic groups are thus: 58.32% Russians 24.32% Ukrainians 12.10% Crimean Tatars

That would mean nearly all the ethnic Ukrainians voted and nearly all voted for Russia.

I think your suspicions are correct Cleo. But still, we all know where the vote was going.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Russian strongman told U.S. President Barack Obama that the poll fell “completely in line with the norms of international law”.

US led NATO illegally ceded Kosovo with majority of ethnic Albanians from Serbia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_War

If Obama has studied US history before North Western Mexico was ceded by the land of free, proud and hypocrite. US military forces illegally seized control of California and New Mexico with force in 1848.

At least Putin respect the will of the majority of people of Crimea. Crimea is Texas of United States of Russia in 2014.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Cession

8 ( +13 / -5 )

" You have to be paid, stupid or live in the 'West' to believe in made-up stats published by Russia.…"

Wrong on all counts. Facts and figures reported by even western media. Even half of Crimean Tatars voted for Russian integration. Ouch.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Meanwhile, Western-leaning Ukrainians should likely just let this happen. They would think about it and see: that's less voters against them in national elections. What remains of Ukraine becomes more Western-leaning.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

" What remains of Ukraine becomes more Western-leaning."

Not quite. Other areas of eastern Ukraine are calling for similar referenda.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

“Our Homeland is the USSR”. Ok, so shouldn't they shown the DOOR to be HAPPY over in RUSSIA and not messing things up for the people of the UKRAINE?? You know, if you love Russia that much, do not feel bad and get the hell out of the Ukraine (that means get the hell out of CRIMEA too!) Spaciba to all of our Russian spies here.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Let the people decide & they'll usually vote for their bread & butter as in this case. The E.U. & U.S. really can't do much except flap their gums at this one.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

95.5% of voters were in favor of leaving Ukraine

That smells very odd. Whoever rigged the polls went overboard.

I thought about 60% of the population in Crimea are of Russian "descent"? How did they get 95.5% of the vote?

But honestly speaking, if they don't want to be part of Ukraine, then good riddance? Work a compromise where who wish to remain Ukrainian, can relocate if they wish with proper compensation. Work out a deal with the bases and allow unimpeded travel across Ukraine to and from Crimea for Russia. Kaliningrad is a Russian exclave.

Better than a war. The "Russians" might think they have won, but it's obvious to everybody else that they cannot be trusted and that lack of credibility will hurt them badly in future.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The democracy works!

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

"This referendum is contrary to Ukraine's constitution, and the international community will not recognize the results of a poll administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Talking of unconstitutionality, the current Ukraine government is also against Ukraine Constitution, because its legislature illegally terminated the power of its elected President. I see double standard in US policy.

I think the issue should be left to the local people. Economic sanction against Russia will be a disaster, for I am sure, vast majority, if not 95%, of the people of Crimea favor unification with Russia.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Bully Putin makes a mockery of the democratic voting process. He shut down the opposition during his own election and now now using illegal voting process to annex Crimea for Mother Russia. Maybe he will employ same to all islands that Russia took away from Japan. Politicians manipulating the election and voting process for owns agenda, everywhere. Appeasement, enticement, and talking do not work well with the bully. Aristotle stated that the democratic voting by peoples (the mass) may not be the answer, since they are not knowledgeable enough. It means, voters can be bought, manipulated, pressured into certain agenda as we see in Putin's playbook.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

This cacaphonia from Western leaders that Ukraine should be remain "united" is ridiculous. Who gets to decide this, anyway? Our leaders happily applauded the breakup of Yugoslavia, or Czechoslovakia, and of Serbia (where we actually went to war on behalf of a virulent Albanian terrorist organization). Referenda in Scotland and Spain are coming regarding the independence of Scotland and Catalonia. But now suddenly, we are to lecture anybody that Ukraine must remain united (under an anti-Russian government, unsurprisingile). What pathetic double standards.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

So . . . can we call this a Soviet Re-Union?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If the ethnic Russians in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine were so keen to live in Russia, why haven't they moved to Russia before now?

I've just been listening to a BBC podcast in which the leader of some organisation in Crimea explains that ethnic Russians in Crimea, especially those born before 1954, want to return not just to Russia, but to the Soviet Union.

Gotta admit, I'm having trouble understanding this.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Obama refused to stand up to Putin, and China is taking notice.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

The vast majority, a super-majority, has DEMOCRATICALLY chosen to reunite with Russia. The will of the people.

It's a funny kind of democracy when you have armed Russian military in unmarked uniform occupying the area, and Cossacks whipping people with opposing political views.

Now let's see, would it be democratic for the ethnic Koreans in Shin Okubo to vote to be part of Korea, and have the Korean army occupy Shin Okubo saying they respected the voice of the people? Sure, the proximity isn't the same but Ukraine has clearly defined borders, which Russia agreed to uphold and respect in a signed, international agreement.

Crimea is a region of Ukraine, not a country, and it is up to the Ukrainian central government to administer any referendum. Without this, any decision is not binding. Venice just voted to become independent of Rome but it's obviously not legally binding. And it would be the same if Wales voted to join the EU or the Eurocurrency - no legal basis unless administered by the central government.

Now the riots in Kiev DID end with the mob of people chasing out Yanukovych, a democratically elected leader, so I don't defend that, but two wrongs don't make a right.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

For 100's of years, Ukraine was part of the Russian empire, as were the nations of the Caucusus (Georgia etc.). The nations were closely linked economically, and to a large extent culturally. Suddenly, there is a "popular" grass roots movement which seeks to end economic ties with Russia, develop very close economic ties with the West, and join NATO. "Grass roots" movements are generally concerned with issues primarily effecting everyday life, jobs, prices, extreme political repression etc. These are not the base issues in Ukraine. What has suddenly made these people concerned with international economic arrangements and security relations?

Could it be that the potential oil/gas reserves discovered in the region have propelled western oil/gas conglomerates to become advocates of "democracy" and "freedom"? Are they organizing/funding/agitating? They say you should always look for the money. Here it's not hard to find.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This map will help to understand the ethnic divide, plus not a bad article on it, short and not a lot of important details though. For example, the bringing in of Ukrainian ultra national neo nazis into the newly elected Ukrainian government.

http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/01/30/9-questions-about-ukraine-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask/

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The first shot of the "Cold Economic War" has been witnessed in Crimea. Many believe the Russian invasion was the return to the "Cold War," which really was the "Cold Military War." This time it is about turning off the natural gas or closing down bank transactions. Putin knows exactly how far he can go this week or next month, but the long term goal is to fold the countries back into the USSR.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The ballot had only two choices: become an independent nation, or join Russia. Also, how can you claim a "fair" election when there is an invading army watching the polls? This article should be entitled: Crimea "votes" to "join" Russia.

This is about equal to 100% of North Koreans voting for Kim Jung Un. It's a farce.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

ChenchanMar. 17, 2014 - 08:48AM JST There are no 'people of Crime' in this world. They're Russians, Ukrainians or Cossacks. There are. People who live in Crimea. Easy. But "Cossacks"... ))))) New nationality? ))))))

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So - a foreign army invades a sovereign nation, and - surprise, surprise - the region then almost unanimously "votes" to join the invading country. About as far from a "free and fair" democratic election as those in North Korea. Welcome to democracy, Russia-style.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This is about equal to 100% of North Koreans voting for Kim Jung Un. It's a farce.

Of course it's a farce. Highly illegal too.

That's why I think it might be best to get rid of these "unpatriotic" people. Good luck trying to change their minds. I bet the "true" Ukrainians don't like them and would like some revenge if they could get away with it. Looked at what happened to Yugoslavia.

I don't like the way this is headed in any case. Even economic and diplomatic sanctions are going to make the region a warm and cuddly place.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This cacaphonia from Western leaders that Ukraine should be remain "united" is ridiculous. Who gets to decide this, anyway?

Russia, apparently. Not even the sovereign government of Ukraine. Russia.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I am a little bit confused as to whether this vote holds an real meaning or whether it's a glorified opinion poll.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Russia, apparently. Not even the sovereign government of Ukraine. Russia.

It's like we've gone back to the 90s.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Putin did this because he could - there is no way the West would get in a shooting war over Russian backyard real estate. For the same reason, he'll next annex Russian regions of eastern Ukraine; the only question is the pretext. Obtaining these regions is the easy part. Now, Putin will need to deal with the backlash.

Ninety percent of Crimea's water, 80% of its electricity, and 65% of its gas come from the rest of Ukraine. 70% of Crimea's budget comes from Kiev, as does 70% of its tourists. While most of Ukraine's industry is in the east, there will likely be a brain drain as the educated, who see their future with the EU, move west. The Russian economy is already taking a big hit, with the ruble falling rapidly, the main stock market index down 20% since January, a net exodus of foreign investment, and Western banks shutting off credit lines, and this is even before government sanctions have been implemented. EU exports to Russia account for 1% of EU gross domestic product, while Russian exports to the EU are worth 15% of Russian GDP. Amidst this turmoil, Russia will need to find billions to connect the Crimea to Russia proper. Good luck with that.

McCain, recently suggesting that the US should sell arms to Ukraine, has it all wrong as usual. No amount of arms will stop Putin in his backyard. The West instead needs concentrate its resources to support the reorganization of the Ukrainian government and economy to eliminate corruption and increase competitiveness. Let a rump Ukraine prosper, and let Russia fester in the mess of its own creation until its people finally acquire the will to rid themselves of Putin. Russia is a democracy, after all.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Crimea is a region of Ukraine, not a country, and it is up to the Ukrainian central government to administer any referendum. Without this, any decision is not binding.

Then the only route for pretty much anyone to gain independence is to start killing people.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Laguna

Well said, especially this part.

The West instead needs concentrate its resources to support the reorganization of the Ukrainian government and economy to eliminate corruption and increase competitiveness. Let a rump Ukraine prosper, and let Russia fester in the mess of its own creation until its people finally acquire the will to rid themselves of Putin. Russia is a democracy, after all.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This result is very strange and I'm having trouble believing it. The ethnic Tatars make up, what, 20% of the population and they hate Russia after Stalin's deportation. If they are the 20% who boycotted the vote, then that means 90% plus of Ukrainians vote to leave Ukraine for Russia. Sound very weird in a state where Russia invaded illegally and then held a vote that could not be scrutinised.

To play the same situation the other way around... Imagine if Mexico sent in troops and seized Texas, then they held their own referendum and declared Texas a part of Mexico. Should we recognise the claim as valid? Doing so opens up way too many doors. Anyone seeing Georgia or Chechnya getting their own referendum to leave Russia in the near future? No. Not gonna happen.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@cleo

"If the ethnic Russians in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine were so keen to live in Russia, why haven't they moved to Russia before now?"

Why on earth should they move anywhere? Crimea has been Russian for hundreds of years. Russians live and have lived there for many unbroken generations. Crimea never belonged to the Ukraine until the 1960's, when N.Khruschev "gave" it to the republic due to some anniversary or other. Perhaps he was drunk. We'll never know.

In any case, Crimea is the home of Crimean Russians and if anyone should move out it is Ukrainians. But nobody is asking them to. See, in Russia they respect other nationalities are against fascism in all its forms.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Regarding of watching, reading and searching about this Crimea thingy, I am not able to understand fully why so much fuzz about (I know the Russian military and logistic interest, as well for Ukraine).

I don't understand it because, if the majority of this Crimea region is of Russian linage and the vast majority of the population of this area wants to belong to Russia, the Ukraine may be entitled to raise its voice of discordance but that should be it.

The EU and USA, not even the Ukraine government has the power (or right) to ignore the will of the people there.

As much as I think Putin is an evil overlord.... his government is just doing what the people want.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It's funny to me, in a rather twisted way, that those who violently overthrew an elected and legitimate president(though unquestionably corrupt) who would not have won reelection in the near election, in what can only be described as as a coup d'etat by disgruntled oligarchs with EUS backing, are most bizarrely deemed "legitimate " while the clear consensus of the residents of the area in their referendum, their decision is to be invalidated by the so-called "defenders of freedom".

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

West, take your sanctions and stuff them. Only the little people will suffer, as always. The reality of the political situation will be unchanged, except that for sanctions, you may wind up looking like a bunch of spoiled buttholes.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The rise of the Western Putin lovers is interesting and has come rather under the radar, much as how Putin's troops are just now infiltrating into Ukraine proper north of the Crimean border to secure its water and fuel. Putin lovers are an eclectic group. More can be read about them here: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/pathetic-lives-of-putins-american-dupes.html

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

hatsoff:

" Russia, apparently. Not even the sovereign government of Ukraine. Russia. "

Ukraine is a not a unified country and has never been. There is a deep political split between the different populations, and who are we to decide that only the pro EU and anti Russian Meidan government speaks for everybody? It is like saying that all of Palestine is one country, and only Hamas speaks for everybody, Israel included. In other words, it is pathetic.

The Crimea by the way was only given to the Ukraine in 1993, befor it was part of Russia proper.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@donkusai

This result is very strange and I'm having trouble believing it. The ethnic Tatars make up, what, 20% of the population and they hate Russia after Stalin's deportation. If they are the 20% who boycotted the vote, then that means 90% plus of Ukrainians vote to leave Ukraine for Russia.

Yes, I was confused too. 90%+ of voters "chose to secede", however, the missing info is that about 80% of potential voters had cast their ballots. So, 90% of 80% is about 72% of all potential voters. Also - we don't know about Tatars - not all boycotted the vote, and they were promised rights they know they could not enjoy in Ukraine anyway. In addition, in a poll in 2001, 77% of all Crimeans said that their mother tongue is Russian, even if Russians are 58%. Some of these additional 19% - probably Ukrainians - could "chose to secede" too. It seems there is no big problem with the math.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LagunaMar. 17, 2014 - 03:41PM JST

I think it is not about love of Putin but about unsophisticated diplomatic maneuver of Obama. It seems to me that Obama is heading to a situation he has no chance to win. Crimea has been an "Autonomous Republic" for a long time. The majority of people there are Russians. Unlike what some of the "freedom loving Americans" want to believe, the people in Crimea may well vote for unification with Russia out of their free will. In addition, the Ukrainian government in Kiev must face an election soon. There is a good chance Ukrainians may elect pro-Russian president again as they did in 2010. On top of these, Ukraine is on the verge of default. The supporting nations must provide a lot of economic aid.

Under these circumstances, I have no idea what US President Obama wants to achieve in Ukraine.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Before putting sanctions on Russia, the EU should have a referendum about that if they want to be democratic. Many people would suffer from these sanctions, so it would only be fair to everyone to have a referendum. Letting a few politicians decide our fate is undemocratic. Let's fight for our rights!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

" The rise of the Western Putin lovers is interesting and has come rather under the radar,…"

Here returns the ruse that if one doesn't blindly support the actions of the State(here this time it's led by US/EU, oh, again) then that means(false assumption) that one supports blindly the other(in this case Putin's Russia), when in reality it's support of the will of the people. The resurgence of "You're either with US, or against US" nonsense.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Next would be across the Black Sea to Dagestan and Northern Syria's turns.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Russia has returned to its old ways of treating neighbouring nations with contempt analogous to a cat playing with a dying mouse. The Ukrainian people are not Russia's possessions and are not subservient to Russia and they deserve to be treated as justly and lawfully as any other nation. The issue of territorial control of Crimea should not have been decided by military invasion. Hastily improvised democratic elections under the total control of an invading nation have no validity. Russia does have a valid historical claim to Crimea and internationally accepted and legal methods should have been used to decide sovereignty.

Once again Ukraine has been violently assaulted by an expansionist Russian national government. The persecution of Ukraine by Russia has been almost continual through Imperial times but was most appalling during Bolshevik rule with at least 5 million Ukrainians dying from starvation and associated disease during the Bolshevik organised great famine of 1932-1933. At least two other major famines were deliberately imposed by the Bolsheviks on Ukraine as well as many other atrocities. Russia has repeatedly used violence, genocide and colonisation by ethnic Russians to weaken Ukraine and this process continues to the present day.

The comments praising Vladimir Putin's illegal invasion of Crimea are foolish and reckless and mostly display mindless Russian patriotism of the worst kind and will only serve to further isolate Russia from Europe.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

90%+ chose in favour because the state was invaded beforehand. Add in the fact that Crimea's population is roughly 60% Russian. You don't just invade a country and call a (rigged) election!

As Jean ValJean mentioned above, "with us or against us" mentality.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

PLEASE!

Can we stop with this "Russia invaded Crimea" crap. So there is a pro-western revolution/coup, which ever you choose to believe, in Kiev, and Putin sends troops to protect the large, under lease, bases in the Crimea. It's exactly what ANY country would do.

P.S. There really is no question at this point that the US was involved in ousting President Viktor Yanukovych.

@Jean ValJean....Well said.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

FizzBit, if you are so confident about that, then you must be pretty sure that a Russian invasion of Ukraine proper is not in the works. Are you? And if it occurs, what will you say?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Andreas Bimba

"Russia has returned to its old ways of treating neighbouring nations with contempt analogous to a cat playing with a dying mouse."

Looks like you are wrong. When the Ukrainian people decided to become independent in 1991, Russia treated them extremely generously. Not only were they allowed to cecede, not only were ALL economical, military and logistical assets given to the Ukrainians at no cost, but also Russia generously agreed to pay the Ukrainian part of Soviet international debt. How is that contempt? How is that a cat playing with a mouse?

"The Ukrainian people are not Russia's possessions and are not subservient to Russia and they deserve to be treated as justly and lawfully as any other nation."

The Crimean people are not Ukraine's possessions and are not subservient to Ukraine and they deserve to be treated as justly and lawfully as any other nation.

See, it works both ways.

@sighclops

"You don't just invade a country and call a (rigged) election!"

I'm sure you have proofs of both? The invasion and that the election was rigged? If so, out with it. Opinions from some protesters in Kiev or New York are not accepted.

Besides, we only have your word that it was "rigged". I wonder why international observers present (and there were many) said it was all done lawfully and properly.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Laguna, I'm only speaking about Crimea. That's the word the MSM and some here are using to describe it. Just like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Saddam was behind 911. The Neo-Cons are just waiting for everyone to get onboard, selling their lies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

C'mon America send in the tanks and bombers like usual?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

“We’re free of the occupation!” Lucia Prokorovna, 60, said in Sevastopol, strategic home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet. “Ukraine was attached to Crimea like a sack of potatoes"

Prokorovna will find out just how "free" she is if she criticizes Putin in public after Crimea joins Russia.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

People, why are you so stupid? Less see and read their false media.

Came to the polls 83% of voters, 17% - were boycotted. Tatars in Crimea census 13%. 45% of Tatars went to referendum. Of those people who came to the polls land, 96% were in favor of reunification with Russia. What is there to understand? Those who wanted in Russia - came and voted, those who did not want to - boycotted. And do not throw all the Tatars in one pile. Tatars who are against radical Russian absolute minority. Russian in Crimea 60%, 25% of Ukrainians.

All Russians advocated a return Crimea Russia. Transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, we believe historical injustice. Khrushchev had no right to give the Crimea, and Ukraine should not take it, then she does not belong.

Infuriates hypocrisy and threats of the West. When in Ukraine with the support of the West carried out a coup ousted the legitimate President, unarmed police set fire to fire and shoot, capture the building, take a law banning the Russian language, prohibit Russian television, running through the streets armed nationalists and militants seized power criminals - this is normal and complies with the constitution, and when the people of Crimea peacefully vote on the long-awaited referendum - is a crime and is not unconstitutional.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Jean, thank you for buttressing my point. I would suggest that many Putin supporters on this site care nothing of the issues under discussion here; their passion derives from the impotence they feel due to American domestic issues. Russia reasserting its hegemony over its near-abroad, though, is quite different from Obamacare or banking policies. Get over it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Jean: that those who violently overthrew an elected and legitimate president

Oh? The pro-European Ukrainians violently overthrew the government? How many did they kill?

Granted, the protesters took over government buildings, military bases, airports, and ports, they took Russian TV channels off the air, they beat up reporters, erected billboards comparing Putin to Hitler, they called in 20,000+ NATO troops, -- oh, wait. That was the Russians in Crimea. Your lovely model of freedom and democracy. As if we can't see through what you're saying because we're all just really, really dumb.

in what can only be described as as a coup d'etat by disgruntled oligarchs

Yes, Jean, that's the only way to describe the protests in the west Ukraine. A coup d'etat by disgruntled oligarchs. (rolling eyes)

It's funny to me, in a rather twisted way,

What's funny to me, in a rather twisted way, is that you sleep with a gun under your bed because you think the US government is going to bust through your door at any moment, yet you are a personal cheerleader for Vladmir Putin. Strange bedfellows, ne?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is what happens when you make a socialist lawyer the President of the United States. I never saw such an weak and undetermined USA with no strategy. My America is history. Many Americans even don't know what role USA had been playing in the world. USA falling down is really a sad thing to see.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Superlib, you crack me up. Thanks for the comic relief!

In Kiev, the 82 or so who were shot and killed by snipers were both protesters and police, shot by snipers hired by those directing the protests against the legitmate president(the corrupt sot).

The new self-annointed "leader " is an oligarch and appointed his pal oligarchs to replace the other oligarchs. (Rolls eyes 360゜).

At this point, I find it the height of irony that Putin is in the right.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

It's pretty evident that some shenanigans occurred with this vote. Somehow a heavily armed, pro-Russia militia takes over security duties in the one area with largest amount of ethnic Russians and does not immediately announce their nationality. This is days after the president fled the country to Russia to denounce the country's current government. A vote is pressed forward with only 2 choices, Russia or Independence. Sorry people, that's not democracy; that's an occupation and a rubber stamp.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In Kiev, the 82 or so who were shot and killed by snipers were both protesters and police, shot by snipers hired by those directing the protests against the legitmate president(the corrupt sot).

Yes, I've read the opinion of the Estonian official. I didn't think people would use one man's opinion as fact, yet here we are. Maybe Obama set it all up after he had Jay Leno fired?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Just love all the love the Republic.., er, 'independent conservatives" have for Putin.

See how far the worms have spread...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is what happens when you make a socialist lawyer the President of the United States. I never saw such an weak and undetermined USA with no strategy. My America is history. Many Americans even don't know what role USA had been playing in the world. USA falling down is really a sad thing to see.

Yeah to bad we don't have a President like the previous that just made decisions based on his gut and then invaded the wrong country because he thought he could take their oil, instead of having a thinking man that would rather invest in alternative energy so we didn't need that oil. Those Americans that you talk about are pretty much Republicans that still believe the sun revolves around the earth. Yes your America is history, welcome to the 21st century. Enjoy your stay. We now have a President that doesn't invade a country just to show who's junk is bigger like your boy McCain. And the USA falling down is only in your head and if you don't like it don't let the door hit you on the way out as you migrate to Russia.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good, but Russia should also accept the right of its HUNDREDS of minorities to liberate themselves and declare independence or join neighboring CIS countries. This means disaster for Russia. Smart move, Putin.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A lot of people here need "Citation Needed"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After seeing this I think Australia should have an anti secession law to prevent any future separation by any particular ethnic group which have majority in any particular region. You just can't be too careful with so many migrants come to Australia these days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So... is Eastern Ukraine next?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tHE Last report of vote was 96.8%. There were discussion by several people. One said never send US troops to fight Russian as Russian won against Nazi. Another one mentioned too much money and manpower already. Another one said none of USA business, I will watch more one hour later, Very interested development there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

SuperLibMar. 17, 2014 - 10:26PM JST

Oh? The pro-European Ukrainians violently overthrew the government? How many did they kill?

Granted, the protesters took over government buildings,

That alone is enough to call it "violently overthrew the government". Coup d'etat is a crime against constitution. I do not call the temporal government in Kiev legitimate until there is an election.

What I really do not understand is what US President Obama wants to do in Ukraine. If Crimea is left in Ukraine against the will of the majority of the people, i.e. Russians, there, and if Russian army leaves Ukraine, what we will likely see is a civil war in Ukraine. What does Obama want to do when a civil war occurs? Just watch Ukrainians killing each other? Send US army for peace keeping, to which Russia will fiercely object and a war with Russia is likely? Ask Russians to send peace keeping army into Ukraine?

Would anyone here explain the strategic plans of President Obama?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

" Just love all the love the Republic.., er, 'independent conservatives" have for Putin. See how far the worms have spread..."

Ha! That nonsense again??

The people voted. The vote didn't go the way you wanted. You cry "foul" and toss the toys out of the pram.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It actually should benefit Ukraine losing Crimea because they will leave behind also lot of undesirable voters which may help secure pro-Western path. Otherwise Ukraine may be thrown around between East and West indefinitely.

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@CH3CHO

I think his plan was to start a civil war there and then, under the mandate of U.N. and/or NATO as a guarantor of Ukrainian territorial integrity, move U.S. troops into Sevastopol or another place on the coast and form a U.S. military base there. That would be the ideal scenario which they envisioned, I think. Remember that this whole "coup" is sponsored mainly by the Americans, the E.U. have a second role in this opera.

After moving in the troops and starting up a U.S. base, anything is possible. They could have envisioned perhaps even a partition of Ukraine along some lines, where both U.S. and Russian troops would guarantee security in their own sector or some such arrangement. The main thing being, the U.S. base in Ukraine would be a reality.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think his plan was to start a civil war there and then, under the mandate of U.N. and/or NATO as a guarantor of Ukrainian territorial integrity, move U.S. troops into Sevastopol or another place on the coast and form a U.S. military base there. That would be the ideal scenario which they envisioned, I think. Remember that this whole "coup" is sponsored mainly by the Americans, the E.U. have a second role in this opera.

After moving in the troops and starting up a U.S. base, anything is possible. They could have envisioned perhaps even a partition of Ukraine along some lines, where both U.S. and Russian troops would guarantee security in their own sector or some such arrangement. The main thing being, the U.S. base in Ukraine would be a reality.

@zaldaus Do you have any facts to back this up or are you just fantasizing?

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zaldausMar. 19, 2014 - 01:03AM JST

I think his plan was to start a civil war there and then, under the mandate of U.N. and/or NATO

Russia has veto power in UN. Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

move U.S. troops into Sevastopol or another place on the coast and form a U.S. military base there.

That could lead to WW3.

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Don't be surprised if Putin tries to take over the rest of Ukraine. The ousted president only won elections by half a million votes. Now that Putin siphoned off a Million pro Russian voters by taking over Crimea, not to mention invading another country, his hope for another pro Russian president in Ukraine is now a fantasy. He probably didn't think about that before he decided to send in troops.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@CH3CHO

When has the U.S. cared about what the U.N. thinks? And it doesn't matter one bit whether a country is a member of NATO or not. U.S. troops would simply enter and park themselves. And since Russia is under U.S. "supervision", WW3 is quite unlikely. Nobody will be exchanging nuclear warheads over Ukraine, trust me.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

zaldausMar. 20, 2014 - 02:42AM JST

What are the odds that US would win against Russians in Ukraine or Crimea? In addition, sending troops requires a lot of money. Is the US willing to pay? Unlike the Gulf war, not so many countries in the world would donate maney for the war in Ukraine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What are the odds that US would win against Russians in Ukraine or Crimea? In addition, sending troops requires a lot of money. Is the US willing to pay? Unlike the Gulf war, not so many countries in the world would donate maney for the war in Ukraine.

@CH3CHO odds would be pretty good, because it wouldn't be just the US... it would be the US and it's allies along with Ukraine's people. What allies does Russia have left? North Korea? Syria? But that would pretty much devastate Ukraine and make it look like another Afghanistan. Instead, it makes more since to start stacking on sanctions in a progressive manner. And just spit balling here, but If the Obama Administration is able to get Iran to agree to a nuclear deal, perhaps, Iranian oil will then be sold on the oil exchange instead of the black market, and perhaps a deal could be made with the EU so Russian oil is no longer needed or not as much. Wonder what kind of a devastating effect that would have on Russia seeing how oil is 80% of their revenue. Shots being fired would not be needed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@CH3CHO

I think there's also the point of who is the attacker. Nobody wants to make the first shots, but in the case of U.S. entering Ukraine, for example, there would be no need for Americans to start shooting first. The new so-called government could simply invite them there, and that would be the end of the story as far as U.S. is concerned. Russians wouldn't start attacking Americans even on Ukrainian soil if they were there "legally" and would not behave aggressively. The risk of -starting- the nuclear war is too scary. For both. That's why nobody wants to harm the other first.

As for the money question, U.S. is so deeply in debt that a few billion here and there are totally meaningless at this stage. It is only a matter of time until the U.S. monetary system is insolvent, and U.S. military projection can and does delay the end to some extent. If the U.S. could set up a base in Ukraine, that would be a direct mechanism of influence in case Russia decided to leave the "oil-for-dollars" trading system, which is what Americans fear the most and try to delay at any cost. Remember, dollars are printed in the U.S. No money donations are needed, really.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If the U.S. could set up a base in Ukraine, that would be a direct mechanism of influence in case Russia decided to leave the "oil-for-dollars" trading system, which is what Americans fear the most and try to delay at any cost. Remember, dollars are printed in the U.S. No money donations are needed, really.

This wouldn't make a lot of sense. The US just finished setting up a temporary base in Romania to handle the exit of Afghanistan which is right next door to Ukraine. There will be a lot of US military personnel on Ukraine's border soon. Why would they setup a base in Ukraine too? And since Russian oil make up around 80% of their revenue, it's doubtful they will be making changes anytime soon. Also US dependence on foreign oil has dropped substantially under the Obama Administration and if Republicans would help pass his clean energy bill instead of filibustering it, dependence would drop even further. It will hurt Russia more then it hurts the US. I doubt the US is too worried about Russia getting out of the oil business, even if they could. However they could do us a favor and get out of the industry and collapse their government, but that would be wishful thinking. The US is not going insolvent any time soon. The US economy is currently growing and as the economy grows and the fact that the deficit has been cut in half DURING A RECESSION, oh wait, recession ended in 2009, it's only a matter of time before we start gaining surpluses, unless Republicans find a way to screw it up...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd say the Crimea vote to join Russia (96% in favor) is "Democracy In Action", and we need to stay out of it.

I think we look pretty two-faced by having a problem with this election.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

optikool Don't be surprised if Putin tries to take over the rest of Ukraine. The ousted president only won elections by half a million votes. Now that Putin siphoned off a Million pro Russian voters by taking over Crimea,

2 millions and not pro Russian but Russian (Crimea is Russian)

It is 2 Ukraine : North -West : agricaltural , pro Western, Ukranian speaking ,Oriental Catholic

South -East : Industrial, Russia-oriented, Russian speaking, Ortodox

.... Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the King's horses and all the King's men, Couldn't put Humpty together again......

and all together!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

.... Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the King's horses and all the King's men, Couldn't put Humpty together again......

If you didn't have a good response, don't come back with a children's nursery rhyme, as your alternate contribution. The point was, Russia has lost any support hes going to get from Ukraine. There may be Russians all over Ukraine, but the majority was in Crimea and that's now gone. What did he get by taking Crimea? Yes he got more loyal supporters, but that's about it. Russia's not even connected to Crimea so he would have to take more of Ukraine just to get to Crimea over land unless he builds a bridge or ferry. And the Obama Administration has already said if he did that the US will sanction their economic sectors like oil. I could see that 500 billion dollar deal with Exxon mobile going out the window...

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Putin cannot be trusted not to invade/expropriate the eastern Ukraine. His promises of having no interest in the eastern Ukraine are empty lies. this is the same rhetoric used by Hitler concerning the Sudatenland in western Czechoslovakia.

I find it ironic that a Russian whose people suffered greatly from German aggression should minick the actions of those who invaded their country in 1941.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ukraine is on the verge of a civil war, as I worried.

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