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Kerry to visit Kiev as Russian forces control Crimea

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‘You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped up pre-text,’ Kerry told the CBS program Face the Nation.

But the US does!

Libya,Iraq,Afghanistan etc

The pot is calling the kettle black......

1 ( +7 / -6 )

" A number of high ranking Ukrainian military and security officials in Crimea have sworn their allegiance to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, as Simferopol pushes for its autonomy from the self-imposed government in Kiev.

The head of the Security Service of Crimea Petyor Zima, Chief of Department of Internal Affairs in the Crimea Sergey Abisov, the head of Service for Emergency Situations Sergei Shakhov and acting Chief of the Border Guards of Crimea Victor Melnichenko all took an oath of allegiance to the people of Crimea.

Earlier rear admiral Denis Berezovsky swore allegiance to the people of Crimea taking control over Crimea's newly formed Navy.

The ceremony took place in the Council of Ministers chamber in the presence of regional government officials, mayors of different cities and regions.

Those who took the oath promised “to respect and strictly observe the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea” and to “promote the preservation of interethnic accord and civil peace” on the peninsula."

The loyalties in Crimea favor Russia.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Libya,Iraq,Afghanistan etc

The pot is calling the kettle black......

kurisupisu -- only one of your three examples is even remotely analogous to this situation. First, the U.S. had no troops in Libya during the upheavel. In fact, Obama has been critisized for not putting them in there. Second, Afghanistan harbored the terrorists who killed 3,000 people at the WTC. Iraq, is the closest to the situation here, since we all know GWB created reasons to invade, just like Putin is doing. But, remember, he's no longer in office, and Obama has set a much different course with regards to U.S. military incursions.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Kerry probably believes he's back in Vietnam, leading when he can't.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Ukraine was forced to give away its world's third largest nuclear weapons stockpile in 1994 and this year Russia has again violated its security assurances to Ukraine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances

Therefore now USA - to its credit - is keeping its word.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

European history just got ground into reverse gear and we're headed back to the old Russian Empire of the 19th century. And I wouldn't advise tangling with Czar Boris the Terrible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bashing of the US instead of Russia here, as usual.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Whether you like it or not, Here is the reality:

The Obama admin is very reluctant to deploy American military force as a way to respond to Russia’s sheer aggression. On top of that, we have a loosely-coupled EU and a unwilling NATO to use its force to defend a non-NATO country, plus any major sanction against Russia has no chance to pass through the UN. In other words, We,the US and the west, may not have an effective option to push the Russians back to its border line at this point. (The Russians are dead serious about its black sea port in Crimea, and it will not withdraw its force without some sort of guarantee given by the west supported Ukrainian gov. first.)

I also disagree respectfully with some posters for lamenting of diminished influence of the US in the world or blaming Washington for meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

I think that It’s too early to name the winners or losers at this point since the crisis is unfolding. Furthermore, there is still a possibility for the Ukrainians to sort things out by themselves without an armed clash/confrontation between the west and Russia. A peaceful solution with some compromises form all involved sides would be a better choice than fighting a war which could easily spill over to the surround countries.

In the meantime, the US is also worrying about another big player of the east lurking and itching in the shadow may jump out from the woods to pick the “low-hanging fruits” if the west and the Russian engage in military actions.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Czar Boris the Terrible

LOL. Who is this?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Kiev, Ukraine’s new Western-backed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk—in power for just a week following the overthrow of a pro-Russian regime—warned that any invasion “would mean war and the end of all relations between the two countries

Putin will not tolerate US puppet leader has been installed in Ukraine and discriminating and bullying ethnic Russians of in Crimea and southeastern swathes of Ukraine that have ancient ties to Moscow. Putin can not be threatened or pursuaded. He is touch as nail. He is also a man of steel.

The Kremlin’s account of Putin’s conversation with Obama was equally blunt

Putin has said Obama that their backyard can not become US baseball playground whether Kerry will come to Kiev or not! Black Sea fleet is strategically important to Russia as Seven fleet to US. Crimea is the great wall of Russia. If it has failed again, Russia will be shrinked more and more.

Putin parroted Bush speech as " The course of Putin is not depending on others". If Obama will supply military hardware to Kiev, Putin will change Kiev as BBQ oven for making tender steaks. He even quoted Bush infamous battle cry " Bring them On".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Another "like it or not" is the entirely valid criticism that the US hasn't a moral leg to stand on with regard to Russian entering Crimea on trumped-up pretext. This is precisely what the happened when the US led coalition forces in an invasion of Iraq in 2003, an invasion Russia vehemently opposed. Americans with thin skin, please refrain from the usual, "B-b-b-but...!" bluster. It's well documented that the US claimed there were WMDs in Iraq, there actually weren't, and the US knew there weren't before the first bombs fell.

What Putin is doing is categorically wrong, not only according to international law, but also morally. However, given the US's behavior in events leading up to arguably the most ill-conceived and asinine foreign policy decision of the 21st Century, it's scarcely in the position to point a chastening finger. Putin knows this. Obama knows this. And so does the rest of the world. I imagine the phone call between Putin and Obama involving no small amount of carefully concealed snorting, eye-rolling and smirking on the Kremlin side.

The Ukraine desperately needs the help of the US and the international community at large, but the US squandered huge chunks of its credibility with its foolish advantures in the Middle East. This is now the part where critics get to rightfully say, "Told you Iraq would come back to bite you in the ass, America." Sadly, the Ukrainian people are the ones who will pay the price if this escalates any further.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bashing of the US instead of Russia here, as usual.

Well because the US is enabling troublemakers the world over by it's weak foreign policy under the current administration. This is what leading from behind looks like. And Assad still in power with chemical weapons and Iran with a nuclear bomb, etc...

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

the lesson in all this is don't trust the US to defend you....

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

"it's weak foreign policy under the current administration."

Wolf,

Long term commitments for short-term gains has been the bread and butter of US foreign policy for the better part of 40 years. Present any single major US foreign policy initiative since Johnson and I'll easily point out how short-sighted it was on the broader canvas of global politics and how we're still paying for it now. Heck, I'll even spot you an extra 30 years and let you pick starting from Truman.

Strong foreign policy is not simply talking softly and carrying a big stick. It also has to include a viable long-term vision. The US has had plenty of the former and despairingly little of the latter for decades, regardless of the flavor of political party at the helm. Please do note that foreign policy is shaped as much by a bi-partisan Congress as by the Executive before you start cherry picking based on your own well-advertised political predilections.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the lesson in all this is don't trust the US to defend you....

The lesson in all this is that Russia will solve its problems there way and aren't interested in how others portray them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As Sgt. Kermit the Frog says, It's not easy being (US military) green.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

But the US does!

Libya,Iraq,Afghanistan etc

The pot is calling the kettle black......

Sorry, you're flat out wrong, not the same thing and definitely not for the same reasons or comparisons. If you want to just bash the US, then do so, but don't make ludicrous statements like that.

@Ethan

I think for the most part that you are correct in what you are saying, especially the last, the best solution is always a peaceful solution, but you have to admit in all honesty, even if Obama's intentions are sincerely well meant, the WH did approach this crisis in a very bad way and underestimated Putin and his overall objective.

@LFRAgain

The Ukraine desperately needs the help of the US and the international community at large, but the US squandered huge chunks of its credibility with its foolish advantures in the Middle East. This is now the part where critics get to rightfully say, "Told you Iraq would come back to bite you in the ass, America." Sadly, the Ukrainian people are the ones who will pay the price if this escalates any further.

Check with Syria and you'll find the WMDs there. Look the US should in my opinion do something. Obama has botched this from the beginning by making threats to Russia that HE KNOWS he can't keep. Also, this has nothing to do with Iraq, Iraq was almost fine had Obama held up the SOFA agreement that the Bush admin. already had put in place and what did Obama do, Nothing! But he decides to gut the military. There are smart ways to do responsible cuts, but Obama is doing drastic cuts and in a time where it was NOT a wise move given the current events that are happening.

@heynog

What in the world are you talking about? This is NOT the cold war, buddy.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Kerry "will reaffirm the United States' strong support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity"

and he will also stress

"the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference or provocation"

So maybe he can explain why Serbia's territorial integrity was violated and the right of the Serbian people to determine their own future ignored when Kosovo was given independence against the wishes of the majority of Serbs? Doesn't a similar situation apply in Crimea?

If you say that Kosovans are a distinct ethnic group with the right to self determination, you cannot then say that the Russians in Crimea do not have the same right.

Putin is a nasty piece of work, but neither the west nor Russia can claim the moral high ground given the events of recent years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Am I reading this right? Obama speaks to Putin, and Putin ignores him. Merkel speaks to Putin, and Putin listens. Both want the same thing right? A peaceful resolution to the situation? Is Putin really that immature that he'll respond negatively to talks with the US purely because they're the US? Because that's the vibe I'm getting. If I'm wrong, then by all means, correct me.

In any case, this situation is getting seriously out of hand. Russia should not be sending in armed soldiers to "defend the interests of Russians in Crimea." This is strictly a Ukranian problem. It should be up to them to resolve it internally. By all means, advise and lend support through political means, but don't send in the troops.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Bassfunk,

The world does not function in accordance with your selective memory. Iraq has everything to do with the current situation in the Ukraine. Obama's threats are ineffective precisely because Russia and the world know perfectly well the United States made an equally preposterous claim of legitimate interest in invading Iraq just before it invaded. The word we're looking for here is "hypocrisy." You cannot lead from a position of strength when half of the power inherent in strength, better known as conviction, lies in ruins in some dusty corner of the Middle East.

And here you are going on about military cuts?! You do realize, don't you, that a shooting war between the US and Russia would never involve boots on the ground. Might does not make right, in any case, an arguement that the US could wield far more effectively had previous administrations not embraced that very policy when dealing with tyrants in the Middle East under a painfully flimsy disguise of "fair and just."

I'm not sure what news sources you've been looking at, but the Obama adminsitration's estimation of what Russia could and would do was spot on. He also knew that short of direct military confrontation with the second strongest nuclear power on the planet, there isn't a whole lot the US can do to stop what everyone in the world knew was coming the moment pro-Europe Ukrainians chased pro-Russian Yanukovych out of the country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Please give a hand to Ukraine. Ukraine's army is too weak to withstand the Russian aggressors for a long time. Putin's government is fascist and they will not stop on Ukraine. After Ukraine's occupation Russia will try to advance further to the West: Poland Czech Republic, Romania. Europe should not make the same mistake as before the WW2 when they allowed Hitler to occupy Poland (Molotov-Ribbentrop pact). And then... you know what happened during 1941-1945. Stop Putin until it's too late.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

jerseyboy:

" kurisupisu -- only one of your three examples is even remotely analogous to this situation. First, the U.S. had no troops in Libya during the upheavel. In fact, Obama has been critisized for not putting them in there. Second, Afghanistan harbored the terrorists who killed 3,000 people at the WTC. Iraq, is the closest to the situation here, since we all know GWB created reasons to invade, "

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. The US not only had no troops in Libya, but no American population either, and no national security interest. The Libyan intervention on behalf of the Bengazi terrorists was completely and utterly illegal und indefensible. Afghanistan did not "harbour" anybody... to remind you, all the 9/11 suicide jihadists died in the attack. If anything, only GWBs invasion of Iraq can be defende, since Saddam clearly broke the ceasefire conditions and fired on allied planes. Talk about an upside-down world view.

The Ukraine is obviously demographically split between the pro-Russian eastern and the anti-Russian western part, and Putin is coming to the aid of the pro-Russian segment... is that not precisely what e.g. Nato did in Yugoslavia? And that, the press keeps telling us was OK.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Scrote:

" "the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference or provocation"

So maybe he can explain why Serbia's territorial integrity was violated and the right of the Serbian people to determine their own future ignored when Kosovo was given independence against the wishes of the majority of Serbs? "

EXACTLY. The hypocrisy of Obama and some EU leaders is mind-boggling.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Let's give a thought to Russian oligarchs now. Poor souls: They dare not keep their money in Russia for fear that it will be seized by Putin, yet now, if they move it abroad, they worry that it will be frozen by the EU. What a quandary.

The fact is that the West has much leverage in Russia, where Putin is not Tsar but simply the leader of a gang of thugs who could well turn on him when their fortunes are threatened. I am sure this has been made clear privately to Putin; if he does not heed the warnings, the same will be made clear publicly.

This also presents a problem in that it is much easier to back down when it doesn't look like you're backing down. Crimea is already a special administrative region in Ukraine; perhaps eastern Ukraine should share a similar distinction - keep it in the family but allow Russia assurances over its interests.

Putin needs to know that he stands to lose much more than he can gain from this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Hope you all enjoyed the Olympics, guys! The new Russia! Now, we're going to invade a country!"

Putin
-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's hard to disagree with Fareed Zakaria:

How the US Should Respond to Russia

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/03/02/how-u-s-should-respond-to-russia/

Good article overalll.

LFRagain: Obama's threats are ineffective precisely because Russia and the world know perfectly well the United States made an equally preposterous claim of legitimate interest in invading Iraq just before it invaded.

You're obsessed with Iraq, nothing more, nothing less. Putin is a thug. He's tried to ban homosexuality. He routinely rounds up protesters and puts them in jail. Journalists are killed in Russia. To think that the same man is going to say, "Oh, gee, since the US has no moral authority I can send troops to the Ukraine" is delusional. You are manufacturing positions to suit your political agenda just as FOX News does. They hate Obama so their analysis focuses on him, you hate the US invasion of Iraq so you focus on that. Stop being so selfish.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@LFRagain

The world does not function in accordance with your selective memory. Iraq has everything to do with the current situation in the Ukraine.

Iraq is not the issue, you are kidding yourself. That is just another idiotic liberal talking point. For this presidents ineffectiveness and inability to follow up on something he should never have said.

Obama's threats are ineffective precisely because Russia and the world know perfectly well the United States made an equally preposterous claim of legitimate interest in invading Iraq just before it invaded. The word we're looking for here is "hypocrisy." You cannot lead from a position of strength when half of the power inherent in strength, better known as conviction, lies in ruins in some dusty corner of the Middle East.

Sure there were mistakes made. You have that in every war. This is NOT about Iraq that war was won, again had Obama maintained the status SOFA agreement, Iraq might not have been slipping back the way it has been. Can we NOW continue to talk about the Ukraine, if that's alright with you.

@laguna

Putin needs to know that he stands to lose much more than he can gain from this.

Ok, so who's going to make that announcement to Vladimir?

@Super

"Oh, gee, since the US has no moral authority I can send troops to the Ukraine" is delusional. You are manufacturing positions to suit your political agenda just as FOX News does. They hate Obama so their analysis focuses on him, you hate the US invasion of Iraq so you focus on that. Stop being so selfish.

Suit your political agenda as FOX news? ROFL So what do you call the entire 99% of the medias agenda? You are too funny.

No, correction. NO one hates Obama because he's Black or Liberal or whatever else Liberals and Democrats want to make up. They don't like his out of control socialist policies, that's it. Once you liberals get that, maybe both sides of the political spectrum can reach some middle ground. But yes, I will agree, people need to stop focusing on the Iraq issue. it's NOT relevant to the Ukraine.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

bass4funk: For this presidents ineffectiveness and inability to follow up on something he should never have said.

And what exactly is it that he never should have said? That an invasion will have costs? It will. The US will impose some sanctions on people in Russia. There will be boycotts of the next G-8 meeting. There's a chance that Russia will get thrown out of the G-8. Europe will most likely explore different options for resources. Countries bordering Russia will probably start conversations with the West. Poland will probably get missiles. If Russia starts shooting, it will being up a whole new hosts of problems with them trying to hold the Ukraine. Russians could die.

Again, all Obama said was that Russian actions will have costs. That is an undeniable reality. It doesn't mean that the US will send in stealth bombers in the next 5 minutes. It means that there will be consequences for Russia's actions on the world stage. And there will be.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This is sticky. The majority of Crimea's citizens, 58.23% (ethnic Russians), support the occupation. The Russians also have an agreement with the docking of the Russian Black Sea fleet and so Russians have a certain right to be there. Crimea is an autonomous republic, which means it has the right to break away from Ukraine--and invite the Russians. So far the Russians have not moved further than Crimea and have been guilty of the acts of brutally that Israel frequently commits again the Palestinians and is forgiven for by the US and its friends. Nor have they devastated the Ukrainian infrastructure as the Americans did the Iraqi, for no good reason. And I might add that Crimea is not Russia's Okinawa.

If you review Soviet and Russian invasions and incursions you will find that both regimes have been cautious. The one glaring exception was their invasion of Afghanistan. And that was a mistake. A big mistake.

Russia's conflict with Georgia was over two breakaway autonomous regions that Russia recognized and Georgia tried to take back. As soon as that was resolved Russia left Georgia, knowing they were not welcomed there.

I am hoping that the March 30 referendum will dispel the hysteria that this Russian occupation has aroused and prompt Russia's military removal from Crimea. If Crimea votes for independence or union with Russia, so be it. The world will have to accept it.

In the meantime, threatening Russia is simply not going to work. Nothing that the US, NATO threatens to take away from Russia is equal in value to the Black Sea Fleet. You may not like it but that is the political reality we have to work with.

Note: Crimea was a part of Russia until 1954 until Khrushchev gave it to the Ukraine (though Sebastopol remained in effect a Russian city because of the fleet until the late 70s.)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

According to Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances signed in 1994, USA and UK provided security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, in exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances It means that USA and UK are obliged to protect Ukraine from Russian aggression.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances signed in 1994, USA and UK provided security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, in exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BudapestMemorandumonSecurityAssurances It means that USA and UK are obliged to protect Ukraine from Russian aggression

Which is probably why British Foreign Secretary William Hague has gone to Ukraine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

During the October 2012 second presidential debate between Obama and Mitt Romney, Obama ridiculed Romney over his concern about Russia as a “geo-political” threat.

Obama tried to paint Romney as somehow out-of-touch with 21st century geo-politics when he said:

“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because…the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

Looks like Mitt was right afterall.

RR

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I am hoping that the March 30 referendum will dispel the hysteria that this Russian occupation has aroused and prompt Russia's military removal from Crimea. If Crimea votes for independence or union with Russia, so be it. The world will have to accept it.

The so-called March 30 referendum was declared after the Russian invasion by a rpo-Russian official appointed after the Russian invasion (by the Russians?). Do you still have any doubts about the results? ;) Besides, you know those Stalin's words that "it is not so important how people vote - who counts the votes is important." ;) With Russian troops in the streets do anybody still have any doubts about the results?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Obama ridiculed Romney over his concern about Russia as a “geo-political” threat.

Right. This is as "geopolitical" as America invading Tijuana. Russia does have its interests there. As many have pointed out, more important than the result is the process. We wouldn't want each powerful country to act like the US under Bush, now, would we?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What do the Chinese have to say about all of this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Serrano, seeing as their lone aircraft carrier came from Ukraine - and their other extensive military contracts with the country - combined with their historical rivalry with Russia - not a whole lot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sergei: You want the Russians troops out of Crimea and so do I. I am considering practical approaches, though it might mean clutching at straws.

You want a war? If you do consider where it will be held. Not in the US. Not in any NATO country. Not in Russia. It will be held in Ukraine. Like the idea?

Sanctions? Won't work. Russia is an integrated part of the capitalist world. Sanctions will boomerang. It is too late to boycott the Winter Olympics, which should have been boycotted for other reasons.

We do not need to worry about the vote counters. Ballot box stuffing is not necessary: we know what the outcome will be with nearly 60% of Crimeans being Russians. It will either be independence or joining Russia. With a bit of luck (from somewhere) Crimea will become independent.

Crimea is not like Afghanistan or the East European quasi-colonies that the Soviet Union invaded. The majority of the population is welcoming the occupiers. The Russian occupiers are not raping and pillaging Crimea. As far as I now the Crimean Ukrainians and Tartars are not being mistreated. If anything, the Russian occupation might be a pacifying force.

So there we are. A practical problem that I believe has a practical solution: Let Crimea be an independent country. Let the Russians keep their fleet there, as per agreement with Ukraine.

I am going to say one more thing no one here will like. Crimea is Russian. It was Russian since the 18th century and remained basically so even after Mr. K. handed it over the Ukraine in 1954. If Crimea had remained a part of Russia we would not be having this mess now.

Thank goodness no one has been killed because of this yet. Let us hope this will remain the case.

There is one dismal outcome I can predict. Whatever happens, Putin's popularity and power will be raised in Russia. Putin is behaving like a czar. Thanks to him we may see the worst admixture possible: Soviet style oppression mixed with the worst of czarist oppression and the worst of American style capitalist exploitation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bashing of the US instead of Russia here, as usual.

i'm waiting for some china-bashing, as it seems to surface even in unrelated news items.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Kabukilover

Sergei: You want the Russians troops out of Crimea and ...

...and denonsation of the agreement allowing Russian Navy presence in Crimea.

But I'm not "Sergei", I'm "Serhiy" ;)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@jerseyboy

You obviously need to get some factual info

I could have given plenty of other examples ranging from Latin America to Asia but the list is too exhaustive! but to rebut you briefly, take a look at Operation Odyssey Dawn conducted in Libya by the US.

It is much easier to kill from the air and less memorable for the US public.

And you have got to be joking when you say there weren't Americans in Libya for this op, Who do you think does the recce in such ops?

And you still have worked out 9/11?

Afghanis did it? Are you sure it wasn't the Libyans?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Fox

Is Putin really that immature that he'll respond negatively to talks with the US purely because they're the US?

No. He sees weakness and timidity in Obama and is merely taking advantage of him. Putin is playing hardball and Obama is playing the sucker.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Fox

Is Putin really that immature that he'll respond negatively to talks with the US purely because they're the US?

No. He sees weakness and timidity in Obama and is merely taking advantage of him. Putin is playing hardball and Obama is playing the sucker.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Kabukilover Sergei: You want the Russians troops out of Crimea and so do I. I am considering practical approaches though it might mean clutching at straws.

Thank you so much for your post - you save my time (I'm from Russia)

Sergey Snegur and denonsation of the agreement allowing Russian Navy presence in Crimea.

If you have revolution in Ukraine ...Russian official position we must start relationships from scratch

1 ( +1 / -0 )

More of the American government pretending to be selfless and on the moral high ground. Our commitment to Ukraine is so strong that we sent a whole TWO ships. We don't have a snowball's chance in Hell of beating Russia.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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