Idea Maidan Logo

a SLOW NEWS Compendium
of the UKRAINIAN REVOLUTION


| The State of the Ukrainian Nation | A Divided Ukraine? |
| The Crisis in Ukraine | The State of the Putin Regime |
| The Putin Regime's Propaganda Machine | Claims of Anti-Russian Bias |
| Claims of Fascism and Anti-Semitism | Contrary & Contrasting Views |
| Introduction to the Ukrainian Revolution | Propaganda & Anti-Propaganda |
| The Assault on Ukraine I | The Assault on Ukraine II | The Putin Regime |
| Ukrainian Culture: Music, Literature, the Visual Arts, History |




THE STATE OF THE UKRAINIAN NATION


Ukrainians: Expect-the-
Unexpected Nation
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

A Borderland on the Edge
Standpoint

Conflict with Russia
Galvanizes Ukraine’s Identity
AP

Ukrainian Extremists Will
Only Triumph if Russia
Invades

The New Republic

'The Maidan Represents Love'
RFE/RL

Love and Hatred in Kiev
The New York Times

Open Letter from Ukrainian Writer Yuri Andrukhovych
New Eastern Europe


Speech of Josef Zissels
at Euromaidan

National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy


“Ukraine: The Heart of
the Revolution” [VIDEO]
CBS News/60 Minutes

Memories of Maidan [VIDEO]
CNN


Babylon’13: Cinema
of Civil Protest

EuroMaidanPR


“Revolution of Dignity” [VIDEO]
YouTube

“My Revolution” Video
Diary from Kiev [VIDEO]
YouTube

Euromaidan
Wikipedia


Timeline of the Euromaidan
Wikipedia


Maidaners [An Introduction
to the People of the
Maidan Movement]

Facebook

'People Died for my Future'
BBC

List of People Killed
During Euromaidan

Wikipedia

Heavenly Hundred
(In Memoriam)
[VIDEO]
YouTube

Euromaidan: Ukraine’s Self-Organizing Revolution
World Affairs Journal

Uprising in Ukraine:
How It All Began
Open Society Foundations

How Ukraine's Protesters
Gave Country a Second
Chance at Reform
CNN

Ukraine's Opportunity for
Genuine Democracy
World Affairs Journal

Making Ukrainian
Democracy Work
Kyiv Post

Don't Ignore Ukraine's
Quiet Revolution

The Christian Science Monitor

Ukraine’s Activists Are
Taking No Chances

The New York Times

Creation of a Civil Society:
Platform for a Democratic
Ukraine (Updated)
European Economic
and Social Committee

Ukrainian Civil Society
Struggles To Build On Euromaidan Gains
RFE/RL

Civil Society and
the Future of Ukraine
Open Society Foundations

What the West Owes Ukraine
CNN

What’s Next for
the Euromaidan?

Slate

The Maidan is Alive and Well
and Planning its Future

Open Democracy

Writing Ukraine’s
Next Chapter
Open Society Foundation

Young Ukrainians Brush Aside the Crisis and Voice Optimism About the Future
The New York Times

The Radical Skepticism
of Ukraine’s Students

The New Yorker

Nationalism Is Exactly
What Ukraine Needs

The New Republic

The Permanent Threat
to Ukraine's Existence
Kyiv Post

Tough Challenges
for a New Ukraine
The New Yorker

“Ukraine is Trying to Stand
on its Feet”
[Roundtable
Discussion] [VIDEO]
The Guardian

“The Russian War on Ukraine
Is One of the Proving Grounds
of Principle in Our Time”

The New Republic

“Ukraine: Thinking Together” Conference [Introductory Briefing] [VIDEO]
The New Republic

“Ukrainian History, European Future” [Timothy Snyder
Lecture] [VIDEO]
EspresoTV

“Ukrainian History, European Future” Q & A [VIDEO]
YouTube

Who's Who In Ukraine's 'Kamikaze' Cabinet
RFE/RL

Naming of Officials in Ukraine Reflects Homage to Power
of the Street
The New York Times

The Maidan Politicians
The New Yorker

The Not-So-Revolutionary
New Ukraine Government
Kyiv Post

Euromaidan and Ukraine’s
2014 Presidential Elections
Kyiv Post

Infographic: Ukraine's 2014 Presidential Election
Al Jazeera

Eight Things You Didn't Know About The Ukrainian Election
RFE/RL


The Election for President
of Ukraine: An Analysis
EuroMaidanPR

Ukraine’s Invisible Election
RFE/RL

Ukraine Billionaire in Presidential Vote Intends
to Unite Nation
The Los Angeles Times

Front-Runner Poroshenko Regrets Ukraine's Surrender
of Nuclear Arsenal [...]
Kyiv Post

Front-Runner in Ukraine
Election May Be Shifting
Putin’s Stance
The New York Times

Chocolate Tycoon Vies in
Vote to Lead Ukraine
Back From Brink
The Wall Street Journal

Ukraine's Chocolate Billionaire Tipped for President
BBC


Tymoshenko Loses her Magic
in Ukraine Presidential Race
Reuters


‘Yulia Had Her Chance’: Why Ukraine’s Orange Revolution Leader is Fading
The Globe and Mail


Tymoshenko Sinks in Polls,
but Regaining Political Recognition
Kyiv Post


Pepper vs. Chocolate:
Ukraine’s Iron Lady
Refuses to Give Up
The Daily Beast


A Vote for Ukrainian Freedom
The New York Times

Former Heavyweight
Champ for Mayor [VIDEO]
CNN


Lesya Orobets’s Campaign
The New Yorker

The 'White Angel': Maidan Heroine Considers Future
in Politics
Spiegel

Ukraine’s Mother Teresa
Of The Maidan
The Daily Beast

Candy Tycoon Elected
Ukraine President
AP


Q&A: Who is Ukraine's
New President?

AP


Who Is Petro Poroshenko?
RFE/RL


Poroshenko,
Ukraine's Rescuer

BBC


Poroshenko Faces Many Tasks
as President, has Few Tools
to Handle Them

Kyiv Post


Uneaten Cake and Dashed
Hopes at Yulia Tymoshenko's Election HQ
The New Republic


Kyiv Elects a Mayor for
the First Time Since 2008
Kyiv Post


Now Comes The Hard Part:
Vitali Klitschko Aims To
Clean Up Kyiv

RFE/RL


At Kiev’s Maidan, Klitschko
says Protesters Should Leave

The Washington Post


On The Maidan: Should
I Stay Or Should I Go?

RFE/RL


Ukraine Revolutionaries Vow
to Stay in Kyiv's Maidan

Voice of America


Maidan Not To Disperse: Civil Communities Sign Manifesto
EuroMaidanPR


Following Two Month Break, Viche Takes Place on Maidan Nezalezhnosti on June 1
EuroMaidanPR


From the Square to the Ballot Box: Maidan’s Role After
the Revolution

Project Maidan


Kiev's Maidan Is Still Occupied, and It's Become a Darker, More Dangerous Place Lately
The New Republic


Maidan Square Reflects Ukraine's Chaos
Al Jazeera


Maidan as a Symptom:
Trauma, Wound, and Crypt

EuroMaidanPR

Down And Out On The Maidan
RFE/RL

Ukraine Revolutionaries Bitter
about Crimea Loss and Kiev Incompetence
The Daily Beast

In Ukraine's Corridors Of
Power, An Effort To Toss
Out The Old

NPR

What is Lustration and is it
a Good Idea for Ukraine to
Adopt it?
The Washington Post

Former Journalist Spearheads Ukraine's Lustration Effort
RFE/RL

Ukraine's Lustration Process Unlikely To Be Smooth Sailing
RFE/RL

New Law Violates
Judicial Independence
Human Rights Watch

Ukraine Turns to Its
Oligarchs for Political Help
The New York Times

With Billions In Looted Cash,
What Ukrainian Politician
Isn't Corrupt?
NPR

Ukraine's Puppet Masters
Eurozine


Ukraine's Oligarchs Still
Entwine Business
With Politics

NPR

The American Saga
of Dmytro Firtash

EuroMaidanPR

With Little Money And Lots
Of Verve, Kiev Reporter
Fights Corruption

NPR

Corruption In Ukraine Robs
HIV Patients Of Crucial
Medicine
NPR

Corruption Still Plagues
Ukraine as West
Pumps in Aid
TIME

Will IMF Bailout Clean
Up Ukraine? [VIDEO]
CNN Money

Ukraine to Get $18
Billion Rescue from IMF
CNN Money

Money Wielded to Help
Ukraine and Threaten Russia

The Washington Post

Can Money Rescue Ukraine?
The New Yorker

Soros: Ukraine Needs
EU Marshall Plan
CNN Money

What Next for
Ukraine's Economy?
CNN Money

Ukraine Hikes Rates in
Bid to Defend Economy
CNN Money

Russian Debt Deal Could
Haunt Ukraine's Economy

CNN Money

In Ukraine, a Crisis of
Bullets and Economics
The Washington Post

Ukraine Crisis: Why it Matters
to the World Economy
CNN Money

Why Is The Ukrainian
Economy Such A Mess?
NPR

Ukraine Economy: How Bad is
the Mess and Can it be Fixed?
BBC News

How Ukraine Could
Overcome Its Crisis
CNN Money

Ukraine Can Now Fix its
Economy—if it Moves Fast
Financial Times

How to Reform
Ukraine's Economy
CNN Money

Why This year Will
Be Hard for Ukrainians

EuroMaidanPR

Ukraine Faces Hurdles in Restoring Its Farming Legacy
The New York Times

Ukrainian Startups
to Have Grim Year

Kyiv Post

Russia and Ukraine Meet on Natural Gas Pricing Dispute
The New York Times

Russia Threatens Already Embattled Ukraine with
Cutoff of Natural Gas
over Unpaid Bills
The Washington Post

Ukraine and Russia Still
Far Apart on Gas Deal
The New York Times

Ukrainian PM Says Russia Wrecked Gas Talks
The Wall Street Journal

Russia and Ukraine Keep
Talks Alive in Gas Feud
The New York Times

Russia Tells Ukraine:
Cash in Advance for Gas
The New York Times


Russia Ratchets Up Ukraine’s
Gas Bills in Shift to an
Economic Battlefield
The New York Times

Russia's Energy Giant Turns
Up The Heat On Ukraine
NPR


Vladimir Putin Threatens
to Turn off the Gas
The Telegraph

4 Reasons Russia Will
Keep Gas Flowing
CNN Money

Ukraine-Russia Gas Row:
Red bills and Red Rags
BBC News

Putin Could Send Europe Scrambling For Energy
Sources
NPR

Why The Russia-Ukraine
Gas Dispute Is Making
Europe Worried
RFE/RL


Ukraine Gets Energy Help
Amid Threats From Russia
TIME

Slovak-Ukrainian Gas Deal:
A Drop in the Ocean?
The Economist

EU: Proposed Solution
to Ukraine Gas Dispute
USA Today


Russia Cuts Natural
Gas Supply to Ukraine

USA Today


Gazprom Cuts Russia’s
Natural Gas Supply
to Ukraine

The New York Times


Ukrainian Citizens Carry
Cost of Conflict [VIDEO]
CNN

Ukraine’s Animal Victims
National Review

What Are Eastern Ukraine's (Legitimate) Grievances
With Kyiv?

RFE/RL


Eastern Ukraine Is
Still Fighting Its Past
The New Republic

In Ukraine's Rust Belt, A Mix
Of Nostalgia And Nationalism
NPR

Modernisation or Burnt Ground, What Awaits Donetsk Oblast
EuroMaidanPR


In Ukraine’s City of Donetsk,
Russia and the Great Patriotic
War Exert their Influence
The Washington Post

God Save The Queen—
And Donetsk, Too?
NPR

In Donetsk, A 'Self-Made'
Oligarch Learns To Play
Nicely With Others
RFE/RL

What Vladimir Putin Chooses
Not to Know About Russian
History
The Los Angeles Times


A Trip Into Odessa's
Rich, Dark History
NPR

Odessans Turn their
Backs on National Politics

Kyiv Post


Lviv Residents Hope
Normal Life Returns

BBC


Ukrainian Church Faces
Obscure Pro-Russia Revolt
in Its Own Ranks

The New York Times


Rumblings In The West:
Ukraine's Other
Ethnic Quandary

RFE/RL


Despite Pro-Soviet Protests, Majority of Ukrainians Lean
Toward Europe
The New Republic

Ukraine Favors Europe over Russia, New CNN Poll Finds
CNN


The Age-Old Connection
Between Russia and
Ukraine Is Over
The New Republic

What Do Ukrainians
Really Want From Russia?

HuffingtonPost


Ukraine to Russia:
I'm Not your Child
CNN

Ukrainians Answer Call To
Enlist Amid Russian Threats
RFE/RL

Women Step Up
to Defend Ukraine

Kyiv Post

Practice for a Russian
Invasion: Ukrainian
Civilians Take Up Arms
Spiegel

Ukraine Moves to Disarm Paramilitary Groups
The New York Times

Kiev Takes on Far Right
BBC News

Ukraine Vote to Disarm Militias
Puts Right Sector in Spotlight
EuroNews

[Right Sector Protest
Before Parliament] [VIDEO]
VICE

[Kyiv Moves to Disarm
Right Sector] [VIDEO]
VICE

The Right Sector:
An Inside View

EuroMaidanPR

Party of Regions Supports
the Right Sector

EuroMaidanPR

Britain Ready to Send
Police Experts to Ukraine
The Telegraph

Berkut Riot Police Unit
Abolished by Avakov's Decree
Kyiv Post

Ukrainian Panel's Probe Links Previous Government to Shooting Deaths
The Los Angeles Times

Ukraine Accuses Ex-President
over Sniper Deaths
Reuters

Ukraine Implicates Ousted
President in Shooting
of Protesters
The New York Times

Photos Link Yanukovych’s
troops To Maidan Massacre
RFE/RL

Photographs Expose Russian-trained Killers in Kiev
The Daily Beast

New Evidence: Russian Spies Backed Kiev's Killers
The Daily Beast

Toppled 'Mafia' President Cost Ukraine up to $100 billion, Prosecutor says
Reuters

The Collected Treasures
Of Viktor Yanukovych

RFE/RL

Of Course The Ousted
President of Ukraine Commissioned a
Nude Portrait of Himself
The New Republic

Ukraine's Secret Government
Luxuries
[VIDEO]
CNN

Yanukovych ‘Family’ Business:
The Story of the Mezhyhirya Contractor
Kyiv Post

Is This the Gaudiest
Palace Ever? [VIDEO]
CNN

Living in the President's Compound [VIDEO]
CNN


Yanukovych’s Real Estate
Yanukovych Leaks

Yanukovych Spa and Other Presidential Businesses
That Never Were

Yanukovych Leaks

Where Yanukovych and his
Rich Hunting Buddies
Hung Out

Yanukovych Leaks

28 Friends of the President
Yanukovych Leaks

Investigations Mushroom
in Kurchenko’s Wake

Yanukovych Leaks

Kurchenko May Have Tried
to Transfer Assets to Russia

Yanukovych Leaks

How Kurchenko’s
Offshores Worked

Yanukovych Leaks

Prize Catch for Ukrainians at
Boat Harbor: A Soggy trove
of Government Secrets
The New York Times

Ukrainian Journalists Rush To
Fish Out Deposed President's
Dirty Secrets
RFE/RL

How Ukraine's Presidential Documents Got Online So Fast
NPR

Yanukovych Leaks
YanukovychLeaks

Out Of Ukrainian Protests,
A New Media Outlet Is Born
RFE/RL

Ukrainian Activists Work to
Counter Russian Narrative
on Social Networks
The New York Times

EuroMaidanPR Volunteers
Say they Work to Counter Government Lies
Kyiv Post

Crisis Media Center
Springs into Action
Kyiv Post

EuroMaidan Women Warriors
Eager to Fight Injustice, Sex Discrimination
Kyiv Post

An Easter Tale Of Two Orthodox Babushkas In Ukraine
RFE/RL

Ukrainian Jews Join Nationalists
in Protest of President Viktor Yanukovych
The Jewish Daily Forward


Ukraine's Crimean Tatars
Support Pro-EU Protesters
RFE/RL

The Bloody History Between Poland and Ukraine Led to
Their Unlikely Solidarity

The New Republic


A DIVIDED UKRAINE?


How Do Ukrainians View
the Country's Crisis?

BBC

Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want
to Remain One Country

Pew Research Center

New Poll Shows Eastern
Ukraine’s Separatists are Wrong

The Washington Post


Eastern Ukraine Sees Tide Of Opinion Turn Against Russia
The Huffington Post


Poll: Vast Majority of
Ukrainians Oppose
Russian Intervention

The Los Angeles Times

Despite Pro-Soviet Protests, Majority of Ukrainians Lean
Toward Europe
The New Republic

Ukraine's East-West Divide:
It's Not That Simple
RFE/RL


A Divided Ukraine?
Think Again
CNN


A Divided Ukraine:
Europe’s Most Dangerous Idea
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities


Parliamentarian Lesya Orobets
on the Myth of a Divided Ukraine
The Daily Beast


Ukraine: Divided or Diverse
Sean's Russia Blog

Ukraine vs Russia: A Mafia State's Cover-Up?
Al Jazeera

Do you Speak Surzhyk?
The London Review of Books



An Introduction to the Ukrainian Revolution

**********
“What does it mean to come to the Maidan?...Interestingly, the word maidan exists in Ukrainian but not in Russian, but even people speaking Russian use it because of its special implications. In origin it is just the Arabic word for 'square', a public place. But a maidan now means in Ukrainian what the Greek word agora means in English: not just a marketplace where people happen to meet, but a place where they deliberately meet, precisely in order to deliberate, to speak, and to create a political society. During the protests the word maidan has come to mean the act of public politics itself, so that for example people who use their cars to organize public actions and protect other protestors are called the automaidan.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“...[The] protest movement...began with the hope that Ukraine could one day join the European Union, an aspiration that for many Ukrainians means something like the rule of law, the absence of fear, the end of corruption, the social welfare state, and free markets without intimidation from syndicates controlled by the president.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“...[I]t is not the [European Union Association] Agreement per se that mobilized the protesters but their hope for a 'normal life in a normal country' which the agreement had envisaged and come to symbolize. Now, as the government has stolen that hope, they feel deceived—it's not just about this single incident, but about their whole lives, the whole development of the country stuck for 22 years in a grey zone between post-Soviet autocracies to the east and increasingly democratizing and prosperous neighbours to the west.

“...Within a few years [of the inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych as president in 2010], the narrow circle of the president's allies (nicknamed 'the Family') usurped all power, destroyed the court system, accumulated enormous resources via corruption schemes, and encroached heavily on human right and civil liberties.

........

“For many Ukrainians, the Association Agreement was the last hope to fix these things peacefully, that is, to make their rulers obey the law, and to get the EU's support in their attempts to re-establish the rule of law in the country....[T]he Agreement [thus seemed to embody] two clear meanings. On the government side, it would have meant a commitment not to steal, not to lie, and not to cheat so much and so unscrupulously. And on the EU side, it would have meant merely to take care of this commitment and help us, wherever possible, to enforce it.”
Euromaidan and Beyond
Eurozine



**********
“The [EU] accord, which was to be signed on November 29, offered Ukraine access to the world’s largest market. But more importantly, it seemed to hold out to Ukraine’s youth and middle classes a symbolic assurance that a future of normal, civilized, European life awaited. When that promise was not kept, thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets of their capital. After some of them were assaulted by riot police on November 30, hundreds of thousands more have gone into the streets, in Kiev and around the country.”
A Way Out for Ukraine?
The New York Review of Books



**********
“...[I]t was a classic popular revolution. It began with an unmistakably reactionary regime. A leader sought to gather all power, political as well as financial, in his own hands...

........

“...Ukraine...was in effect [already] an oligarchy, where much of the wealth was in the hands of people who could fit in one elevator. But even this sort of pluralism, the presence of more than one very rich person, was too much for the leader, Viktor Yanukovych. He wanted to be not only the president but the oligarch-in-chief. His son, a dentist, was suddenly one of the wealthiest men in Europe. Tens of billions of dollars simply disappeared from the state budget. Yanukovych built for himself a series of extravagant homes, perhaps the ugliest in architectural history.”
Ukraine: The Haze
of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books



**********
“Public outrage has been fuelled by years of attacks by the Yanukovych administration on Ukrainian democracy and Ukrainian national identity. The attacks have seen Ukraine transformed into what U.S. diplomatic cables have described as a 'virtual mafia state'. Lawlessness became rampant in the courts, police, security service and on the part of lawmakers from the ruling Party of Regions and its satellite, the Communist Party of Ukraine. The NGO corruption watchdog Transparency International ranked Ukraine as the most corrupt country in Europe while the Heritage Foundation think tank ranked Ukraine as the country with the least economic freedom on the continent.

“Ukrainians felt that their rulers were treating them with visible contempt as a conquered population. There was no accountability or limits on what could be undertaken. The constitutional court was stacked with the President's cronies, the judiciary was corrupted, Parliament turned into a rubber-stamp body where legislation was railroaded through without the votes. Opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko—the President's archrival—were thrown into jail.

“Meanwhile, the government led by the Party of Regions' Nikolai Azarov undertook incompetent policies that devastated the country's economy. Ukraine's foreign currency reserves were looted to half of its previous value, which pushed the nation to the brink of default. The standard of living for most Ukrainians declined, but a small clique of oligarchs and the President's family continued to amass fortunes through rigged government tenders that are now the subject of criminal investigations.”
How Ukraine's Protesters Gave Country a Second Chance at Reform
CNN



**********
“It is hard to have all of the power and all of the money at the same time, because power comes from the state, and the state has to have a budget. If a leader steals so much from the people that the state goes bankrupt, then his power is diminished. Yanukovych actually faced this problem last year. And so, despite everything, he became vulnerable, in a very curious way. He needed someone to finance the immediate debts of the Ukrainian state so that his regime would not fall along with it.

“Struggling to pay his debts last year, the Ukrainian leader had two options. The first was to begin trade cooperation with the European Union. No doubt an association agreement with the EU would have opened the way for loans. But it also would have meant the risk of the application of the rule of law within Ukraine. The other alternative was to take money from another authoritarian regime, the great neighbor to the east, the Russian Federation.”

Ukraine: The Haze
of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books



**********
“[There was also] the presence of a [Russian-proposed] rival project [to the European Union]...called the Eurasian Union. This is an international commercial and political union that does not yet exist but that is to come into being in January 2015. The Eurasian Union, unlike the European Union, is not based on the principles of the equality and democracy of member states, the rule of law, or human rights.

“On the contrary, it is a hierarchical organization, which by its nature seems unlikely to admit any members that are democracies with the rule of law and human rights. Any democracy within the Eurasian Union would pose a threat to Putin’s rule in Russia. Putin want[ed] Ukraine in his Eurasian Union, which mean[t] that Ukraine [would have to remain] authoritarian...”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“Enter a lonely, courageous Ukrainian rebel, a leading investigative journalist. A dark-skinned journalist who gets racially profiled by the regime. And a Muslim. And an Afghan. This is Mustafa Nayem, the man who started the revolution. Using social media, he called students and other young people to rally on the main square of Kiev in support of a European choice for Ukraine.”
Ukraine: The Haze
of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books



**********
“My name is Mustafa Nayem. I am a journalist. I was born in Afghanistan, but I have lived in Ukraine for the past 24 years. I am sometimes credited with sparking the protests that brought down President Viktor Yanukovych and triggered the crisis now roiling my adopted homeland. But no one person can claim credit for starting this uprising. It is a true people’s movement, fueled by Ukranian citizens’ desire for a better government.

“Many factors contributed to Yanukovych’s downfall: his jailing of political opponents, pressure on independent journalists, and use of brutal force against peaceful protesters. But the final straw was his refusal to sign the agreement forming an alliance between Ukraine and the European Union.

“The morning it happened, I was covering parliament in Kyiv. At first, I thought Yanukovych was just playing politics, holding out for more money or concessions from the EU. But soon it became clear that the agreement was truly dead. Facebook erupted with rage, people’s posts dripping with venom. They were so disappointed after all the buildup. They had so little faith in their own institutions, in their ability to make their voices heard; many had come to see the EU as their chance to change everything.

........

“The outrage needed an outlet. Around 8:00 p.m., I posted on Facebook: 'Come on guys, let’s be serious. If you really want to do something, don’t just “like” this post. Write that you are ready, and we can try to start something.' Within an hour, there were more than 600 comments. I posted again: 'Let’s meet at 10:30 p.m. near the monument to independence in the middle of the Maidan.' When I arrived, maybe 50 people had gathered. Soon the crowd had swelled to more than 1,000.”
Uprising in Ukraine:
How It All Began
Open Society Foundations



**********
“The students were the first to protest against the regime of President Viktor Yanukovych on the Maidan, the central square in Kiev, last November. These were the Ukrainians with the most to lose, the young people who unreflectively thought of themselves as Europeans and who wished for themselves a life, and a Ukrainian homeland, that were European. Many of them were politically on the left, some of them radically so.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“ 'This is a revolution of the youth in comparison to what happened in [the Orange Revolution of] 2004. This is a revolution of the generation that we call the contemporaries of Ukraine’s independence (who were born around the time of 1991). This movement has different values and has a different social basis. This revolution contrasts with Ukraine’s Orange Revolution or with Georgia Rose Revolution (in 2003); it is more similar to the Occupy Wall Street protests or [the recent demonstrations] in Istanbul...It’s a revolution of young people who are very educated, people who are active in social media, who are mobile and 90 percent of whom have university degrees, but who don’t have futures.

“ 'They don’t have guarantees that they’ll have successful careers if they are not the children of President Viktor Yanukovych or someone else (in power). This is their rebellion, this is an uprising of people who should be part of the middle class but because of their [situation] they resemble more and more the proletariat...The only way out of the situation for them is not to change politicians but to change the nation. [Historian Yaroslav Hrytsak]' ”

EuroMaidan Rallies in Ukraine: Nov. 26 Coverage
Kyiv Post



**********
“A dramatic turning point in the protests came on November 30th, when the authorities sent in the Berkut special forces at 4 a.m. to 'clear' the several hundred students and others occupying the square. The brutal attack, caught on several live cameras, showed the masked and helmeted special forces laying into the students with rubber batons, beating them bloody.

“The country awoke that morning in a state of shock. In all the demonstrations that had taken place in Ukraine over the years, the authorities had never before used such force. Outrage over the violence, combined with anger at Yanukovych for summarily depriving the nation of a European future, brought an unprecedented number of people into the streets for the first mass rally on December 1st (estimates for Kyiv alone were put at seven hundred thousand).”

Euromaidan: Ukraine’s Self-Organizing Revolution
World Affairs Journal



**********
“When the riot police came and beat the students in late November, a new group, the Afghan veterans, came to the Maidan. These men of middle age, former soldiers and officers of the Red Army, many of them bearing the scars of battlefield wounds, came to protect 'their children', as they put it. They didn’t mean their own sons and daughters: they meant the best of the youth, the pride and future of the country. After the Afghan veterans came many others, tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, now not so much in favor of Europe but in defense of decency.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“Then came the businessmen, the professionals, the people who had hoped to make an honest living, but found themselves thwarted by unpredictable taxes and corruption. In December, hundreds of thousands of people, from all parts of the country and all walks of life, were on the streets.”
What the West Owes Ukraine
CNN



**********
“Like the Moscow rallies two years ago, this winter’s Maidan protest was supported by the urban middle class and young people who came of age after the fall of communism. Together with backers from western Ukraine—which became part of the Soviet Union only after World War II—the demonstrators in Kiev made up a broad coalition not just against Yanukovych’s Moscow-sanctioned kleptocracy, but the country’s Soviet legacy. It’s no wonder that the toppling of Kiev’s Lenin monument in December was so symbolic.”
Putin the Predictable
Slate



**********
“Despite the number of people voting with their feet, another attempt to clear the square came at 1 a.m. on the morning of December 11th. But this time the Berkut was repulsed in a remarkable standoff that lasted three to four hours, with the crowds using their bodies as weapons to push the police back. All of this was live-streamed via the Internet, and showed the opposition leaders, notably the Eurovision Song Contest winner Ruslana, urging the crowds to stay calm and peaceful. Despite the attempt to clear the crowds, about fifteen thousand people remained on the square during the day, and some several thousand even stayed during that night and continued to stand vigil on following nights. Special forces and police managed to dismantle some of the barricades the demonstrators erected, but they were quickly rebuilt the next day when ordinary citizens of Kyiv came out in the early hours to help.”
Euromaidan: Ukraine’s Self-Organizing Revolution
World Affairs Journal



**********
“By the end of the year, millions of people had taken part in protests, all over the country. Journalists were beaten. Individual activists were abducted. Some of them were tortured. Dozens disappeared and have not yet been found. As the New Year began the protests broadened. Muslims from southern Ukraine marched in large numbers. Representatives of the large Kiev Jewish community were prominently represented. Some of the most important organizers were Jews. The telephone hotline that people called to seek missing relatives was established by gay activists (people who have experience with hotlines). Some of the hospital guards who tried to stop the police from abducting the wounded were young feminists.”
Ukraine: The Haze
of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books



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“The protesters represent every group of Ukrainian citizens: Russian speakers and Ukrainian speakers (although most Ukrainians are bilingual), people from the cities and the countryside, people from all regions of the country, members of all political parties, the young and the old, Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Every major Christian denomination is represented by believers and most of them by clergy. The Crimean Tatars march in impressive numbers, and Jewish leaders have made a point of supporting the movement. The diversity of the Maidan is impressive...”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“As both sides hardened their positions, the ultimate outcome of the standoff in Ukraine became hard to predict. But one thing was clear: the opposition, which before was primarily electoral and procedural, had changed into something not seen before in Ukraine or its political neighborhood.

“The Euromaidan was an encampment and daily gathering site for thousands of people in downtown Kyiv that swelled to hundreds of thousands of bodies on weekends, through weeks of frozen days and nights, from November into the new year.

“There were tents and field kitchens, and facilities for the people who were not merely episodically protesting but living there full-time. The crowds came in during the day and stayed until late into the night, even though the main roads were blocked by barricades...

“The day usually started with prayers led by clergymen of different denominations who had been on the square from the start. A program of speeches from activists, scholars, cultural figures, students, and civic leaders was interspersed with performances by popular rock bands and ensembles. The Ukrainian national anthem was sung throughout the day. The Euromaidan came to have a life of its own: newspapers were published twice a day so that those living in tents with no easy access to the Internet could learn the latest news; a Free University of the Maidan was established, and an ambitious program of cultural activities took place at all hours.

“There were different sectors of the square—the political party sector, the students, the non-political and civic sectors; the tents that sprung up bore the names of the towns, cities, and regions where the people came from. Everywhere there was a vague pall of smoke from the many wood fires that burned to keep people warm. Food and hot tea were prepared by volunteers—many of them middle-class citizens who couldn’t be there full-time but wanted to contribute to the effort. Doctors were on hand to provide treatment for those who became ill.

“The Council of National Resistance, made up of the political opposition, civic leaders, and others, met frequently in the Trade Union building on the corner of the square. Coordinated activities to blockade government buildings, prevent the Berkut from launching operations against the protests, and picket various oligarch offices were organized in a disciplined fashion. Each 'commander' was in charge of ten to twenty people, who then fell in with a formation divided into groups of a hundred so as to facilitate coordination. Protesters took over the building of the Kyiv City Council to provide kitchen and sleeping facilities.

“The coordination between the political party elements and the civic groups led to the realization that the achievements of the Euromaidan should be consolidated and advanced in the form of a new nationwide movement that would expand the liberated zone, as they put it, to all of Ukraine. While pushing for specific political goals, the people behind this movement were also trying to build a structure that would be the first to bridge the interests of the various civic and political groups since independence and provide a basis for nurturing the next generation of national leaders.

“Even those not intimately involved in the daily architecture of the protest agreed that the intensity of events around the Euromaidan was forging the beginnings of a new civic and political nation. The creation of similar assemblies in the generally pro-government eastern cities was a particularly significant breakthrough in unifying this often divided nation. Using the national flag as the banner of the movement and the national anthem as the clarion call of the 'revolution' also lent the process a gravity that previous uprisings in Ukraine lacked.”

Euromaidan: Ukraine’s Self-Organizing Revolution
World Affairs Journal



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“Three months ago a new mini-state appeared on the map of Europe. It arose out of nowhere, in the very centre of Kyiv, as a protest against the Ukrainian government’s decision to call off its preparations for signing an Association Agreement with the EU.

“The new state didn’t recognise violence or rabble-rousing, thuggery or lies. In the three months since it sprang up the Maidan, as this state is called, set its own boundaries, delineated by barricades, and established its own checkpoints. It also created its own self-defence (effectively, its own army), its medical services and supply lines.

“The well known Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko believes that, ‘the Maidan has shown that we, the Ukrainian public, can deal with our own problems on the ground, without big government, by creating our own alternative structures’. The Maidan has not only been self-sufficient, but has outlawed all politicians and appointed its own leaders. The only unspoken laws in force here are those of justice, honesty, conscience and truth.”

The Maidan is Alive and Well and Planning its Future
Open Democracy



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“ 'The moving force of the Maidan is not the opposition parties...The moving force of the Maidan are the citizens of Ukraine...The Maidan has no leader. The Maidan is over 40 social organizations and various citizens’ groups. They are Ukraine’s civil society....' ”
Ukraine's Chief Rabbi Refutes Putin's Anti-Semitic Charges
World Affairs Journal



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“...[S]omething magical [was at work on the Maidan]: the coming together of carpenters and physicians, electricians and novelists, construction workers and computer engineers, students and grandmothers, pregnant women and veterans of the war in Afghanistan, Ukrainian nationalists and orthodox Jews, priests and gay rights activists. That last group turned their LGBT hotline into a resource for the Maidan as a whole. This is civil society in heightened form. The Maidan has become a true 'parallel polis', organizing meals, clothing, music, lectures, medical care, film screenings, and civil disobedience training.

“Kateryna Mishchenko, a young Kievan translator of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, initially came to the Maidan interested in writing about Ukrainians’ dreams of Europe. Yet, as she told me and others during a recent conversation at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, once she was there, her question became rather, 'how can I take part?' She went to a hospital, where she saw injured protestors being kidnapped just meters away from her, taken away by thugs hired by Yankovych to be tortured. She began to organize people to guard the patients at the hospitals. The moment when the intellectuals and the workers, the fathers and the sons unite is necessarily ephemeral—yet it is extraordinary nonetheless. This was the miracle of Solidarity in Poland. And it is something that most people will never experience in their lifetimes.

“But there is something still more that is familiar, perhaps intuitive, to many Poles: that Augenblick, the existential moment of making a decision on which everything is staked. At some point one could feel, as if palpably, that on the Maidan people had a made a decision: If necessary, they would die there. The capital city burning, the best of the youth ready to give their lives, the women making Molotov cocktails...”

The Bloody History Between Poland and Ukraine Led to
Their Unlikely Solidarity
The New Republic



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“On January 16, the Ukrainian government, headed by President Yanukovych, tried to put an end to Ukrainian civil society. A series of laws passed hastily and without following normal procedure did away with freedom of speech and assembly, and removed the few remaining checks on executive authority. This was intended to turn Ukraine into a dictatorship and to make all participants in the Maidan, by then probably numbering in the low millions, into criminals. The result was that the protests, until then entirely peaceful, became violent. Yanukovych lost support, even in his political base in the southeast, near the Russian border.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



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“The dictatorship laws of January 16 were obviously based on Russian models, and were proposed by Ukrainian legislators with close ties to Moscow. They seem to have been Russia’s condition for financial support of the Yanukovych regime. Before they were announced, Putin offered Ukraine a large loan and promised reductions in the price of Russian natural gas.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“It is precisely for their rights and freedoms—long and brazenly violated by the Yanukovych regime—that the Ukrainian people are now fighting. They have been given no other choice. Our national anthem says, 'We will lay down our body and soul for our freedom.' On Jan. 19, the protests turned violent. But if no one resists the riot police, the thinking goes, Ukraine will be turned into one large prison in a matter of weeks.

“This is why an acquaintance of mine, a translator of Kierkegaard and Ibsen, now spends her time making Molotov cocktails, and her young sons, classics majors, aged 17 and 19, throw their mother’s products in the direction of the wall of smoke on Hrushevsky Street, which runs past major government buildings.

........

“We are defending ourselves, our country, our future, Europe’s future—some with Molotov cocktails, some with knitting needles, some with paving stones, some with baseball bats, some with texts published on the Internet, some with photos documenting the atrocities.

........

“Recently, coordinators of the protest made an appeal across online social networks for medicine and diapers—which are excellent at absorbing blood. The people of Kiev began bringing drugs and nappies to the protest headquarters at such a scale that in just a few hours a new message went up online: 'Enough medication for now! We don’t have enough storage space! But we urgently need warm clothes, bread, tea and coffee!' And again, people from all over Kiev brought everything they could to help.

“The authorities can’t understand this. Recently, some unknown thugs in civilian clothes kidnapped an activist and spent the night torturing him, demanding: Who is funding the Maidan? Which Western sources? Is it the State Department, or someone else?

“The regime’s mental system of coordinates cannot fit one simple fact: The Maidan funds itself, through its own love and its own hatred.

“I have never loved my homeland as much as I love it now. Before, I had always been skeptical and restrained toward it. I am 53 years old, and had long put sentimentality behind me.

“But these days I see our women, young and old, sorting with amazing efficiency the donated medications and food supplies, I see hipster students in hockey masks and camouflage pants fearlessly going onto the frontline barricades, I see our workers and farmers providing security for the Maidan protesters, our grannies and grandpas who keep bringing more and more hot food to Independence Square, and I feel a lump in my throat [Yuri Andrukhovych].”
Love and Hatred in Kiev
The New York Times



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“...Those in power wage their war first and foremost against [the young]. When darkness falls on Kyiv, unidentified groups of 'people in civilian clothes' roam the city, hunting for the young people, especially those who wear the symbols of the Maidan or the European Union. They kidnap them and take them out into forests, where they are stripped and tortured in fiercely cold weather. For some strange reason the victims of such actions are overwhelmingly young artists: actors, painters, poets. One feels that some strange 'death squadrons' have been released in the country with an assignment to wipe out all that is best in it.

“One more characteristic detail: in Kyiv hospitals the police force entraps the wounded protesters; they are kidnapped and (I repeat, we are talking about wounded persons) taken out for interrogation at undisclosed locations. It has become dangerous to turn to a hospital even for random passers-by who were grazed by a shard of a police plastic grenade. The medics only gesture helplessly and release the patients to the so-called 'law enforcement'.”

Open Letter from Ukrainian Writer Yuri Andrukhovych
New Eastern Europe



**********
“After weeks of responding peacefully to arrests and beatings by the riot police, many Ukrainians had had enough. A fraction of the protesters, some but by no means all representatives of the political right and far right, decided to take the fight to the police. Among them were members of the far-right party Svoboda and a new conglomeration of nationalists who call themselves the Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor). Young men, some of them from right-wing groups and others not, tried to take by force the public spaces claimed by the riot police. Young Jewish men formed their own combat group, or sotnia, to take the fight to the authorities.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



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“...Out of public view, people had been dying at the hands of the police for weeks. Now some of the protesters were killed by the regime in public. The first Ukrainian protester to be killed was an Armenian. The second to be killed was a Belarusian.

“Then came the mass killings by the regime....

Ukraine: The Haze
of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books



**********
“...On February 18, an announced parliamentary debate on constitutional reform was abruptly canceled. Instead, the government sent thousands of riot police against the protesters of Kiev. Hundreds of people were wounded by rubber bullets, tear gas, and truncheons. Dozens were killed.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“Who was killed?...in all about a hundred, most of them young men. Bohdan Solchanyk was a young lecturer at the Ukrainian Catholic University, a Ukrainian speaker from western Ukraine. He was shot and killed. Yevhen Kotlyov was an environmentalist from Kharkiv, a Russian speaker from eastern Ukraine. He was shot and killed. One of the people killed was a Russian citizen; a number of Russians had come to fight—most of them anarchists who had come to aid their Ukrainian anarchist comrades. At least two of those killed by the regime, and perhaps more, were Jews. One of those 'Afghans', Ukrainian veterans of the Red Army’s war in Afghanistan, was Jewish: Alexander Scherbatyuk. He was shot and killed by a sniper. Another of those killed was a Pole, a member of Ukraine’s Polish minority.

“Has it ever before happened that people associated with Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian, Armenian, Polish, and Jewish culture have died in a revolution that was started by a Muslim? Can we who pride ourselves in our diversity and tolerance think of anything remotely similar in our own histories?”

Ukraine: The Haze
of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books



**********
“I've been asked th[e] question many times [—what does the Maidan represent now?—], and the first answer that comes to my mind is that the Maidan represents love—an endless and unconditional love for your country. I spoke to many people there, and nobody mentioned any financial gain. People told me about how they stood on the Maidan...how they fought, and how they carried the wounded. Young girls told me about the experience of a lifetime they had—bandaging the wounded, helping doctors. This was all an act of pure love.”
'The Maidan Represents Love'
RFE/RL



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“Ukraine has taught Russia a lesson in loving freedom and refusing to tolerate a base, thieving regime. Ukraine found the strength to break away from the post-Soviet iceberg and sail toward Europe. Maidan—Independence Square—showed the world what a people can accomplish when it so desires...”
Let the Past Collapse on Time!
The New York Review of Books



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“...It was inspiring to see hundreds of thousands of protesters on the Maidan. It signaled that citizens no longer feared their government. For a post-Soviet people, that represents a huge attitudinal change. I see that change in the unprecedented self-organization and solidarity that people showed on the Maidan, from bringing food, warm clothes, and money for the protesters to organizing the Maidan’s kitchens, press centers, legal aid services, and medical support. The Humanitarian Solidarity Initiative is one lasting result of that solidarity.

“... I myself am a Russian who was born and have lived in Ukraine most of my life, and it is devastating to hear people in Russia supporting President Putin’s actions. But it is important to remember, especially at this critical juncture, that Putin does not speak for all Russians. Indeed, I heard many of their voices on the Maidan, speaking out in solidarity with the protesters. Those who dissent from Putin will be regarded with suspicion at home; they need our solidarity and understanding. It may take years before relations between the Russian and Ukrainian governments are normalized, so it is all the more important that thinking people in both societies engage with one another, listen to each other, and find ways to work together. Maybe what has happened in Ukraine can be an inspiration to the people of Russia and other countries. Here, ordinary people chose not to fear their government, but to interact with its leaders, and communicate with them when they aren’t happy with the decisions being made. Civil society here is as strong as it’s ever been in my lifetime. The Maidan showed just how powerful and effective the grass roots could be. Maybe, just maybe, people in other countries faced by oppressive regimes could follow suit.”
Civil Society and
the Future of Ukraine
Open Society Foundations



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“Our imperial, Communist past does not want to release us. We haven’t paid back that past. We haven’t condemned the Communist ideology and many of its bearers who have brought the peoples of Ukraine and many other peoples violence and blood, Holodomor (forced famine) and repressions, the destruction of national languages and cultures, religions and tradition. The empire and slavery itself make themselves a home in almost every one of us, but by going out to Ukraine’s maidans we force them out of ourselves—together, helping one another.

“The main factors of our imperial Communist past were lies and the absence of a right to the truth, violence and the absence of a right to defense. We left the empire, but over the 22 years of independence there were many lies, though the right to truth had already been present. And on the night before November 30, the government showed us its readiness for violence and bloodshed, it reminded us that we are not free people in our own state, for instead of the right to defense it gives us violence and the lies covering that violence.

“When we go out to the Maidan desiring freedom, we have one joint goal—a united dignified future...We need a new government, a government of national unity that shall hold the country back from the gaping pit, that shall preserve its integrity, prevent discord and civil war, and prepares civilized elections with no falsification or government resources used.

........

“3000 years ago my people took 40 years to walk from slavery to freedom.

“We—the people of Ukraine—have already gone halfway. There is not much longer to go!..”
Speech of Josef Zissels
at Euromaidan
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy



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“After 23 years of formal independence, Ukraine stands poised to take the final steps toward genuine independence by liberating itself from what has become the legacy of Soviet communism throughout its former empire—rule by criminal and thuggish regimes and oligarchs. Ukraine finally has the opportunity to join the civilized world where constitutions and rule of law, not party hacks and bullies, reign supreme.”
Ukraine's Opportunity for Genuine Democracy
World Affairs Journal



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“At first, the political crisis and social upheaval in Ukraine that led to several weeks of protest on the Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in central Kyiv...looked to many observers like yet another manifestation of the ongoing struggle for ideological and geopolitical hegemony between Russia and the West. While it certainly was that, it also, and more critically, marked a new stage in the evolution of Ukraine as an independent and sovereign state, and produced a new form of protest—not another color revolution but a self-organized, self-regulated zone physically located in the center of the capital city.

........

“This was not the first time a mass protest had gathered on Independence Square. And it was also not the first time that students had taken the lead. In 1990, when the same location was still called Lenin Square, a students’ hunger strike, with scores of tents erected under the shadow of the statue of Lenin that stood there then, brought thousands of people into the streets in an unprecedented show of support for Ukrainian sovereignty that led to a mass vote for independence from the Soviet Union in a referendum a year later. Students and youth groups also led the way in 2004, when protests against a fraudulent presidential election turned into the Orange Revolution.

“But the Euromaidan of 2013 distinguished itself in the first few days as something new. The student organizers’ rejection of political party symbols was the first sign that this was not a second coming of the Orange Revolution. This generation of young Ukrainians is more hardheaded and clear-sighted about the future than their predecessors. Even though the opposition political leaders put themselves at the head of the movement, there was a distinct sense that they had not planned for such an uprising and were catching up with the people already on the streets.”
Euromaidan: Ukraine’s Self-Organizing Revolution
World Affairs Journal



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“The mass protests a decade ago in Ukraine may have been known as the Orange Revolution, but they never quite became a genuine revolution—and the opaque manner in which politics and business are undertaken in the country never changed.

“On the other hand, there's little doubt that the three-month long Euro-Maidan protests in Kiev are more of a genuine civil society-driven revolution with its own pantheon of martyrs.

........

"Few countries receive a second chance to undertake changes and reforms of this scale, and the most difficult kind of work lies ahead for Ukraine. The Euro-Maidan protests have shown that Ukrainians demand their leaders treat them with dignity and an overhaul of how their country is run. Ukraine's politicians have a daunting task to satisfy these demands amid such a revolutionary mood.
How Ukraine's Protesters Gave Country a Second Chance
at Reform
CNN



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“Earlier this month, [a group of civil society activists] managed to get the law on the independence of public broadcasting passed. For Nataliya Gumenyuk, 30, a former public-television journalist who co-founded the independent, web-based Hromadske-TV, this is a watershed event. 'We waited for this for years', she told me. 'I could not dream that it would become reality. Thanks to the pressure of civil society, the government is actually giving up the control of the state media.'

“Also adopted by Parliament: A bill on public procurement and another on the appointment of judges, both part of the fight against the corruption entrenched in Ukraine’s public life. Additionally, the legislature completed a reading of a bill on higher education that would give more autonomy to universities. Across the street from Parliament, the interim cabinet moved ahead with a crucial bill on decentralization that would give more power to the regions.

“[Prominent civil society activist] Hanna Hopko and her friends, who have been instrumental in drafting, preparing and promoting this legislative work, see it as the next stage of the revolution that started on Independence Square on Nov. 21, when President Yanukovych rejected an Association Agreement with the European Union. Civil society activists involved in local NGOs, they were on the Maidan from the first day. But after the president fled and his power base collapsed, they sensed the danger: The political establishment, including the opposition parties, which had not led the popular uprising but tried to surf on it, could very well pick up the pieces and start all over again, preserving the same rotten political system. The activists had good reason to worry: It happened before, with the Orange Revolution, in 2004. This time, they decided, things would be different, but only if the energy released by the movement was quickly translated into real, institutional change.

“So they set up a 'group of experts' comprising highly qualified people from civil society, think tanks, NGOs, the media and universities who are not involved in political parties but committed to the rule of law and to the democratic future of their country. Some of them had studied abroad. Ms. Gumenyuk earned a master’s degree in global journalism at Orebro University in Sweden. Daria Kaleniuk, 26, from Kharkiv, was a Fulbright scholar of the Chicago-Kent College of Law; she heads a group working on corruption in financial services. Most of them are in their 30s, and women are at the forefront.

“This is the Maidan generation: Too young to be burdened by the experience of the Soviet Union, old enough to remember the failure of the Orange Revolution, they don’t want their children to be standing again on the Maidan 15 years from now. They started by assembling a few dozen experts. A month ago, they numbered more than 80; today it’s at least 150. Testifying to their new clout, they have formed a 'committee to support reforms' that will hold biweekly meetings with the interim cabinet of ministers and parliamentary groups.”
Ukraine’s Activists Are
Taking No Chances
The New York Times



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“Day by day since the Kiev protests ousted a corrupt president this past February, hundreds of civil rights activists have worked with Ukraine’s parliament to enact new reforms. They have won new laws for an independent judiciary and against government control of media. They demand that candidates for the May 25 presidential election promise to end the corrupt influence of powerful oligarchs. And they seek to move up the elections for parliament from 2017 to this fall in order to establish a fresh legislative mandate for reform.

........

“The civic ideals steadily being embedded in Ukrainian laws and practices are a powerful answer to the display of guns by the Russian Army and to the armed, pro-Russia separatists who have taken over public buildings in the east. And despite Ukraine’s divisions over language, the reforms represent the greatest source of unity for a people who seek stability after months of conflict.

“The more that Kiev’s leaders operate a clean and reformist government, the easier it will be for Ukraine’s military to peacefully end the separatist threat. A poll in April in the city of Donetsk, scene of one of the rebellions, found 72 percent of residents to not support the 'actions of those who seize administrative buildings in your region with weapons in hand.' ”
Don't Ignore Ukraine's
Quiet Revolution
The Christian Science Monitor



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“Twice within the span of a decade, Ukraine has riveted the world’s attention with dramatic mass demonstrations in support of political and economic transparency, freedom, and the rule of law. And at these critical junctures in the country’s history, scores of foreign journalists and analysts have appended a proviso to the scenes of throngs of Ukrainian citizens donning the yellow-and-blue and demanding more of the political leaders who routinely fail them. The proviso is this: Ukraine has a ‘weak’ or ‘fragile’ national identity. Days ago, in a performance of impressive chutzpah, a well-known British commentator even took it upon himself to counsel Ukrainian demonstrators on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) and its environs ‘to recognize [their] identity’s inherent fragility.’ The original title attached to essay, swiftly amended after an outcry online, was ‘There Is No Ukraine’.

“What is going on here? How are we to reconcile Ukraine’s repeated and sustained displays of patriotic people power with such Putinesque ontological dismissals? (In 2008 Vladimir Putin quipped to George W. Bush that Ukraine is ‘not even a country’.) How are we to reconcile the barricades hewn from ice in the centre of today’s Kyiv, where hours in the day are marked with the singing of the national anthem, with the Western journalistic refrain of a country devoid of a strong sense of itself, hopelessly divided between ‘a pro-EU west’ and a ‘pro-Russia east’? How are we to explain the commitment of the many hundreds of thousands in Kyiv who have pitched tents on the streets and braved the elements for hours, days and weeks; risked arrest, imprisonment and state-sanctioned violence; raised money and organised volunteer battalions; occupied part of the centre of the city and formed an ad-hoc government; and framed these activities in a language celebrating a defence of the national interest against rampant corruption and cynicism?

........

“...[I]t may be high time for us to reassess and reconceptualize the way we study national identity in diverse countries like Ukraine in the first place. Ukrainians from Lviv in the west and Donetsk in the east may differ in view on the character and direction of their country, but so do Americans from Massachusetts and Mississippi. They still profess a belonging—and a desire to belong—to their country. Heterogeneity and contestation are not necessarily a sign of weakness, nor are homogeneity and consensus always a sign of strength...

“To be sure, ‘national identity’ is a highly fraught concept. It is fluid and situational, actualized differently within and outside a country’s borders. Formulating a helpful definition has been likened to searching for the Holy Ghost: what is an ‘identity’ in the first place? How can we apprehend it? In what ways can we consider it ‘national’? No matter the context, none of these questions has a straightforward or stable answer. In the case of Ukraine, the state of play is especially convoluted given the country’s past as a cultural colony of its neighbours. Its sense of self has been political football for centuries. But if we take a step back and conceive of ‘national identity’ thinly as a physics of belonging that coheres a country beyond any one language, or any one ethnicity, or any one faith, or even any one historical experience, then Ukraine’s national identity may be one of the most influential and underestimated sociocultural phenomena of its kind in modern European history. Defying geopolitical gravity, it has helped produce out of peripheries of empires a multiethnic, multilingual, and multiconfessional state that is today the largest within the European continent.

“Let me illustrate the peculiar force of Ukraine’s national identity with a colourful but little-known historical example. In 1918, Ukrainian peasants sought to create a Ukrainian polity near the Sea of Japan. This may sound like the punchline to a Soviet-era anecdote, but it is no joke. In the revolutionary period, Ukrainian emigres established a Ukrainian Secretariat of the Far East, which sought to govern what was often called ‘Dalekoskhidna Ukraina’ – ‘Far East Ukraine’. The Secretariat drafted a constitution; attempted to exercise administrative control of the region; mobilized Ukrainian troops on its territory; and sought to engage in diplomatic relations with Japan and China.

........

This part of the Russian Empire was the world’s most challenging place for Ukrainian national culture to flourish. But flourish it did, overcoming practical disincentives and legal restrictions...

“Histories of even failed political adventures like the Ukrainian Secretariat of the Far East expose some of the weaknesses of the thesis of Ukraine’s ‘weak’ national identity. ‘Inherently fragile’ identities do not travel well, much less provoke peasant-led nation-building projects against great odds a half a world away. They also teach us that Ukraine is less an ‘unexpected nation’ than an expect-the-unexpected nation: unpredictable, yes; undeveloped, no. Its national identity, its sense of ‘groupness’, is diverse and contested but also active and effective....”
Ukrainians: Expect-the-Unexpected Nation
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities



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“What [Ukraine's] tangled and often bloody history has produced...isn't a non-country, but one with a pragmatic, polyglot identity of its own. The maps showing sharp east-west language and voting divides disguise the fact that the large majority of Ukrainians are of richly mixed ancestry and bilingual in Ukrainian and Russian. In Kiev, people commonly switch from one language to the other depending on the context, or dip for fun into surzhik, a gritty working-class dialect that combines the two. Quite typical is my former interpreter, now a professor of English at one of Kiev's universities. Though he would probably call himself ethnic Russian if pressed, his family has lived in the city for generations, he has a deep love and knowledge of Ukraine's history and archaeology, and his daughter is married to a Ukrainian. Parallels with the Anglo-Irish are inexact, but give something of the idea.”
A Borderland on the Edge
Standpoint



**********
“Pick up any news clipping about Ukraine from the past twenty years, and you are likely to find a cursory description of the country along these lines: ‘Ukraine, roughly the size of France, divided between a pro-EU west and a pro-Russian east’. A journalist once admitted to me that his editors routinely appended such a refrain even to articles and reports attesting to a different, more complex reality—to a highly diverse but ultimately coherent country. Ukraine was too poorly known in the West beyond nuclear accidents and feuding politicians, he explained. In media discourse it needed a 'brand', an easy shorthand, a consistent diagnosis to account for a host of geopolitical maladies. A consensus emerged: bipolar disorder. Ukraine became known as the perennial ‘house divided against itself’, riven along a deep west/east, pro-EU/pro-Russia fault line. Months ago, this reductive cliché used to irritate me. Now it keeps me up at night. As Russian troops amass along Ukraine’s eastern border, it may be the most dangerous idea circulating in Europe today.

“Ukraine is not existentially divided. Its body politic is scarred and fractured, but it is whole. Labelling its eastern regions ‘pro-Russian’—ontologically disposed to a neighbouring state and culture—is not only inaccurate as an historical matter but perilous as an analytical one. We need to appreciate the gravity of this likely scenario: if the Russian Federation invades the east of Ukraine, most residents of such eastern cities as Kharkiv and Donetsk will not open their arms or shrug their shoulders. There will not be a repeat of the Crimean affair, which saw little violence thanks to a Ukrainian military determined not to legitimate Russian provocation with compensatory force. If Russia invades beyond Crimea, Ukrainians will defend themselves. And Europe will be witness to a war between its largest countries, with dire economic and human costs for us all."

A Divided Ukraine:
Europe’s Most Dangerous Idea
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities



**********
“...Ukraine’s east is ‘pro-Ukrainian’. Its Ukrainian identity is idiosyncratic and contested, but it is dominant. Moreover, it has been historically influential. Kharkiv, in fact, is a central birthplace of the modern Ukrainian national idea. In the first decades of the nineteenth century, Kharkiv University was a seminal bastion of Ukrainian Romantic thought, a site of vigorous heritage-gathering and artistic creation. The University’s professors—Amvrosii Metlynsky, Petro Hulak-Artemovsky—as well as its students—Mykola Kostomarov, Levko Borovykovsky—strove to elevate the Ukrainian vernacular to the status of a literary language, publishing original poetry and historical research in such Kharkiv journals as The Ukrainian Herald, The Ukrainian Digest, The Ukrainian Journal and The Ukrainian Almanac. By 1876, when the tsar explicitly banned the Ukrainian language from the public life of the Russian Empire, such periodicals ceased to exist in Kharkiv. But they nonetheless laid the ground for an explosion of Ukrainian cultural production in the twentieth century, when Kharkiv was the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and in the twenty-first century, when Kharkiv became accustomed to celebrating the accolades of its native son Serhii Zhadan, one of Ukraine’s most popular writers.

“And what about Donetsk, widely known in the West as a ‘pro-Russian’ city populated by miners, oligarchs and football stars? Founded in 1879 by Welsh industrialist John Hughes, Donetsk is an unofficial capital of the Ukrainian national rukh oporu, the dissident ‘defence movement’ that championed the rights of Ukrainians and many other groups in the Soviet era. Ivan Dziuba...wrote the classic underground exposé of Soviet nationalities policy, Internationalism or Russification?; Mykola Rudenko, who penned touching poetic reflections about his Donetsk childhood, led the Ukrainian Helsinki Group; Vasyl Stus...was a member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group and the greatest Ukrainian poet of the twentieth century; and Oleksa Tykhy, who worked in Donetsk as a biology teacher, courageously confronted Soviet officialdom over the suppression of Ukrainian national culture. All of these prominent figures were imprisoned for ‘pro-Ukrainian’ activities; both Stus and Tykhy died in the gulag as late as the mid-1980s.”

A Divided Ukraine:
Europe’s Most Dangerous Idea
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities



**********
“...With another Russian invasion of Ukraine’s sovereign territory on the horizon, we cannot afford to retreat to stale, intellectually lazy and above all dangerous clichés about Ukraine’s ‘pro-EU’ and ‘pro-Russian’ halves. Ukraine is a large, diverse country that has managed its many differences admirably since winning independence in 1991. Today the Kremlin is trying to fetishize, manipulate and exaggerate these differences through brute force, intimidation, provocation, and propagandistic deception—simply because the Ukrainian people ousted a corrupt, criminal president and fought to determine their own destiny. War is imminent, and the Kremlin is counting on our ignorance and on our tacit questioning of Ukraine’s sovereignty over its eastern territory. We need to respond not only by supporting the new Ukrainian government with ambitious financial assistance but by making Ukrainians, at last, the subjects of their own story.”
A Divided Ukraine:
Europe’s Most Dangerous Idea
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities



**********
“If Ukraine survives the Russian invasion, it will become a normal European democracy and a source of stability in the region. Moreover, the successful democratic transformation of Ukraine may inspire the pro-democratic processes in Russia.

“If Russian invades and partitions Ukraine, it will become a permanent battlefield of different powers and a source of instability right on the border of the EU.”
Is Putin a New Hitler
(In the Making)?
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities



**********
“The Russian war on Ukraine is one of the proving grounds of principle in our time. The Maidan is one of the primary sites of the modern struggle for democracy. History sometimes provides hours and circumstances that expose, and test, one’s beliefs, and the beliefs of the politics and the culture of one’s society. The crisis in Ukraine is such an hour and such a circumstance.”
“The Russian War on Ukraine
Is One of the Proving Grounds
of Principle in Our Time”
The New Republic



**********
“Ukraine has no future without Europe, but Europe also has no future without Ukraine. Throughout the centuries, the history of Ukraine has revealed the turning points in the history of Europe. This seems still to be true today...”
Ukrainian Extremists Will Only Triumph if Russia Invades
The New Republic



**********
“A true revolution doesn't come every day. The word 'revolution' appears all around us, in commercial advertisements and political propaganda, until it seems to have lost all meaning.

"The most minor tumult, the smallest change, and immediately we pronounce the word. And so when the real thing arrives, with tyranny and blood, with masses striving for freedom, with an ancient regime destroyed and a new one born, we might just fail to see its significance.

........

“The cause of the Ukrainian protesters was not to change the world, but only to change their world. What they wanted was normality, predictability, the ability to live their lives the way they chose.

“They wanted, in other words, the things that most of us take for granted. But now that their revolution has come, the world faces certain important choices. If we don't understand the revolution in Ukraine, then we miss something special and unusual: a chance to support democracy.”

What the West Owes Ukraine
CNN




UKRAINIAN CULTURE

Music, LIterature, the Visual Arts, History


“Ukraine; The Land
and Its People” [VIDEO]
YouTube

“Ukraine: The Birth of a Nation/
Part 1. From Rus to Ukraine” [VIDEO]
YouTube

“Ukraine: The Birth of a Nation/
Part 2. Ukraine or
Little Russia?” [VIDEO]
YouTube

“Ukraine: The Birth of a Nation/
Part 3. Together Forever” [VIDEO]
YouTube

“Ukraine: The Birth of a Nation/
Part 4. Independence” [VIDEO]
YouTube

“16 Days: Revolution on
the Granite” [VIDEO]
YouTube

“The Orange Chronicles”
[VIDEO]
YouTube

Pikkardijska Tercija “Kacha”
YouTube

Mariana Sadovska “Plyve
Kacha (In Memoriam)”
YouTube

“Sydyt Mykola”
(“St. Mykola is Sitting”)

YouTube

Nina Matvienko “Holub i
Holubka” (“Pigeon and Dove”)

YouTube

Nina Matvienko
“Letila Zozulya”
(“The Cuckoo Was Flying”)

YouTube

Nina Matvienko & Valentina Khitsenko/G. Veriovka Choir “Blackthorn is Blooming”
YouTube

Veryovka Ukrainian Folk Choir “Rozpryahayte Khloptsi Koni”
YouTube

Julian Kytasty
“Black Sea Winds”
YouTube

Julian Kytasty “The Widow
And Her Three Sons”
YouTube

Virsky Ukrainian National
Folk Dance Ensemble
“Hopak”
YouTube

“Arkan” (Circle Dance/
Initiation Dance of
Hutsul Warriors)
YouTube

Burdon “Kolomyika”
YouTube

Buttja Ensemble [Playing
in Front of the Metro]

YouTube

[Wedding Band
from Pechenizhyn]
YouTube

An Old Hutsul Sings
YouTube

Hutsul Funeral
with Trembitas
YouTube

Sofia Rotaru “Vodohray” (“Fountain”) (Comp.
Volodymyr Ivasyuk)

YouTube

Mariana Sadovska
“Calling Bird”

YouTube

Kronos Quartet
& Mariana Sadovska
“Chernobyl/The Harvest”

Vimeo

DakhaBrakha “Tataryn”
YouTube

Dakh Daughters
“Rozy/Donbass”

YouTube



Much More Coming Soon...



THE CRISIS IN UKRAINE


Putin Goes to War
The New Yorker


Dismembering Ukraine
The Weekly Standard

If Russia Swallows Ukraine,
the European System is Finished
CNN


Is Russia Done after Crimea?
CNN


What is Russia's
Next Move? [VIDEO]
CNN


Ticking Timebomb: Moscow
Moves to Destabilize
Eastern Ukraine
Spiegel

Eastern Ukraine: A New Pawn
in Putin's Dangerous Game

Al Jazeera

Ukraine Crisis in Maps
The New York Times


What Do We Know about
Russia's troop Buildup
on Ukraine's Border?
CNN


NATO: Pics Show Russian
Military Buildup [VIDEO]
CNN


Is Russia Ready to Move
into Eastern Ukraine?
BBC News


Russia could Invade Ukraine
12 hours after Order, says
NATO Commander
CNN


Putin Doesn't Need to Invade
Ukraine to Destabilize It, But
He Just Might Anyway
The New Republic


Russia Plotting for Ukrainian
Influence, Not Invasion,
Analysts Say
The New York Times


Putin Can Take Ukraine Without
an Invasion, and Probably Will
The Daily Beast


Putin Steals the CIA’s Playbook
on Anti-Soviet Covert Operations
The Washington Post


Putin’s New Kind of War
Slate


Putin’s Russia as a
State Sponsor of Terrorism
World Affairs Journal


Putin’s Terrifying Warmongering
World Affairs Journal


Russia's Economic War
against Ukraine [VIDEO]
CNN


As Pressures Mount On Putin,
Analysts Wonder What He
Hopes To Gain
NPR


How to Understand
Putin's Ukraine Strategy
American Enterprise Institute


Putin's Chess Moves In
Ukraine: Brilliant Tactics,
But Bad Strategy?
NPR

Putin’s Plan: Civil War in Ukraine
EuroMaidan PR


What is Motivating Putin?
The Washington Post


For Putin, Ukraine Is
Too Important To 'Lose'
RFE/RL


Ukraine is Putin’s, not
Russia’s, War
The Washington Post


Does Obama really
Understand Putin?
CNN


How U.S. Should
Respond to Russia
Global Public Square/CNN


On Ukraine, America
Has Good Options
The Weekly Standard

Can U.S. use Diplomacy
to Deter Russia's Move in
Ukraine? [VIDEO]
PBS Newshour


Key General Splits With
Obama Over Ukraine
The Daily Beast


Obama’s Dithering
Ukraine Policy
National Review


U.S. Giving Putin
Green Light in Ukraine?
CNN


The West Leaves
Ukraine to Putin
The Wall Street Journal


Is Ukraine about to
Go Nuclear Again?
CNN


How to Stop Putin
National Review


How to Defeat Russia
Al Jazeera


Russian-Sponsored Territories
The London Review of Books


Pro-Russian Protestors in
Ukraine Dream of Soviet
Glory Days
The Daily Beast


Workers Fear for the Future
in Ukraine's Industrial East

The Guardian


A Russian Invasion of East
Ukraine Would Make Crimea
Seem Like a Cinch
TIME


Russia's Special Ops
Invasion of Ukraine Has Begun
The Daily Beast


U.S. Eyes Russian Spies
Infiltrating Ukraine
The Daily Beast


From Russia, ‘Tourists’
Stir the Protests
The New York Times


Ukraine Blames Russia
for Unrest [VIDEO]
CNN


Kiev’s Old Bosses Are
Sabotaging the New Ukraine
The Daily Beast


The Mafia Ruling Ukraine’s Mobs
The Daily Beast


Soccer Hooligans
Prep Ukraine for Putin
The Daily Beast


Pro-Russian Militias
Are Roaming Odessa
The Daily Beast


[The People of Donetsk Declare Independent Republic] [VIDEO]
VICE


Ukrainian Protesters Seize
Weapons, Raising The Stakes
NPR


In Eastern Ukraine, Normality
Rules Except At Ground Zero
NPR


Tense Standoff in Eastern
Ukraine could Shape
Country’s Future
The Washington Post


Politicians in Ukraine Maneuver
for a Deal to End Standoff
The Washington Post


Ukraine leader Yatsenyuk
Offers Powers to troubled East
BBC News


Pro-Russia Ukrainians Are
Promised More Power, but
Remain Dubious
The New York Times


The Ukrainian Prime Minister's
Visit, As Seen From Behind
Barricades
NPR


Protesters Declare
Donetsk 'Republic'
BBC News


Russian Separatists in
Donetsk Dig In [VIDEO]
CNN


[The People's Rebublic of Donetsk
Gather to Discuss their Plan to
Join Russia] [VIDEO]
VICE


In Eastern Ukraine, a One-Building,
Pro-Russia Realm Persists Despite Criticism
The New York Times


Russia’s Deep Ties to Donetsk’s
Kremlin Collaborators
The Kyiv Post


In Ukraine’s East, Russians
Are Blending Right In
The New York Times


In Eastern Ukraine, The Hunt
For A Smoking Gun—And
A Real Russian Holding It
RFE/RL


Russia Issues Warning As
Ukraine Forcibly Removes
Protesters
NPR


Luhansk Dispatch: Armed Pro-
Russian Protesters Set For
Standoff With Police
RFE/RL


Pro-Russian Crowds
Dwindle in Luhansk [VIDEO]
CNN


[Pro-Russia and Pro-Ukraine in Luhansk] [VIDEO]
VICE


Ukraine Gunmen Seize
Buildings in Sloviansk
BBC News


Inside a Russian-Occupied
Police Station in Ukraine
The Daily Beast


[Pro-Russia Forces Take Over
Police Headquarters in
Slovyansk] [VIDEO]
VICE


Pro-Russian Gunmen
Seize Building [VIDEO]
CNN


[Pro-Russia Protesters Storm
a Police Station in Horlivka]
[VIDEO]
VICE


Armed Pro-Russians
Storm Police Station [VIDEO]
CNN


Ukraine Launches ‘Anti-Terrorist’
Campaign against Pro-Russian
Gunmen
The Washington Post


Russia: Ukraine heading
for Civil War [VIDEO]
CNN


U.N. Security Council Meets
as Ukraine 'Teeters on the Brink'
CNN


Ukraine Asks U.N. for
Peacekeeping troops as
Militants Defy Deadline
The New York Times


Ukraine: Need Help from
World Community [VIDEO]
CNN


No Sign of Crackdown as
Ukraine Deadline Passes
CNN


Ukraine Falters in Drive
to Curb Unrest in East
The New York Times


Ukraine Powerless to Act
as East Slips Under
Russian Control
TIME


Fear, Anger In Kyiv Over
Inaction In Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL

Tensions Running High
in Ukraine [VIDEO]
CNN


Finding Reasons for Optimism
in Ukraine's Situation
Kyiv Post


Here’s What the CIA Director
Was Really Doing in Kiev
The Daily Beast


CIA Director’s trip to Kiev
Was a Warning to Putin
The Daily Beast


Ukraine Says It Has Begun
Military Operation in East
The New York Times


Ukraine says it is Launching
Counteroffensive; troops said
to Surround Slovyansk
The Washington Post


Ukraine Makes Good on
Threats to Pounce on
Russian Protesters
Foreign Policy


Ukraine: We Control
Kramatorsk Airfield [VIDEO]
CNN


Ukrainian Forces Kill 3
Pro-Russian Demonstrators
The New York Times


Ukraine Military Push Appears
to Lose Momentum in the East
CNN


[The Ukrainian Military Launch
an Anti-Terrorist Operation
—Or Not] [VIDEO]
VICE


Ukraine Push Against
Rebels Grinds to Halt
The New York Times


Ukrainian Troops Surrender to Unarmed Pro-Russian Protesters
The Daily Beast


Ukrainian troops Allegedly
Desert to Join Pro-Russian
Forces in Slavyansk
EuroNews


[The Ukrainian Military Moves
into Sloviansk—Or Not] [VIDEO]
VICE


The Ukrainian Army Is
Crumbling Before Putin
The Daily Beast


Ukraine’s Attempt To Retake
The East Fails Miserably
Buzzfeed


Ukraine Is Not Ready for the Consequences of Taking
Russia’s Military Bait
TIME


Ukrainian troops Face
Militants in East [VIDEO]
CNN


Ukrainian City Demands
Independence [VIDEO]
CNN


Military Thwarted by
Pro-Russian Groups [VIDEO]
CNN


Russia Has Basically Invaded
Ukraine Again. Here's Why
Kiev Isn't Shooting Back
The New Republic


Putin Asserts Right to Use
Force in Eastern Ukraine
The New York Times


Putin: I Would Be Justified
Using Force in Ukraine
TIME


Putin's Strategy:
Good Cop, Bad Cop
CNN


The Many Paradoxes
of the Ukraine Crisis
The Huffington Post


What is the End Game
for Vladimir Putin? [VIDEO]
CNN


A Quick End Won't Serve
Vladimir Putin's Purposes
in Ukraine
The Los Angeles Times


In Ukraine, Russia Plays
a Weighted Word Game
The New York Times


What is Russia's Vision
of a Federal Ukraine?
BBC News


Would Referendum Vote End
Ukraine Crisis? [VIDEO]
CNN


While Russians Riot in Ukraine,
the Kremlin Talks Diplomacy
The Daily Beast


Ukraine Crisis Talks: Diplomats
Urge End to Violence,
Security for All
CNN


Ukraine Foreign Minister
Speaks of Mistrust—and a Truce
The Daily Beast


U.S. and Russia Agree on Pact
to Defuse Ukraine Crisis
The New York Times


Out Of A Tough Day Of
Diplomacy, A Surprising
Deal On Ukraine
NPR


Mediator Heads to East
Ukraine, Seeking Surrenders
Reuters


Putin’s Men in Ukraine:
We’re Not Giving In
The Daily Beast


Separatist Leader Vows to
Ignore Deal Reached on Ukraine
The New York Times


East Ukraine’s Rebels
Dig In For The Long Haul
Buzzfeed


Pro-Russia Separatists in Ukraine
Dig in for Another Day Despite International Deal
CNN


Ukraine’s Billionaire
Bounty-Hunting Club
The Daily Beast


Ukraine PM Skeptical of
Russian Deal [VIDEO]
CNN


Away From Show of Diplomacy
in Geneva, Putin Puts On a
Show of His Own
The New York Times


The Putin Show
Goes Global [PODCAST]
RFE/RL

Kiev Reaches Out to
Eastern Rebels
BBC


Protesters in Ukraine's Restive
East Feel Far from Kiev, Close
to Russia
The Wall Street Journal


Caught in a Cold Stand-Off:
Voices from Eastern Ukraine

BBC News


Opposing Protests Pull Eastern Ukraine In Two Directions
NPR


Donetsk Greets the
Ukraine Crisis With a Shrug
TIME


Ukrainian, Russian Church
Leaders trade Accusations
On Easter
RFE/RL


[Easter Traditions Admidst
the Crisis] [VIDEO]
CNN


Mysterious Fatal Shooting in
Eastern Ukraine Adds to Tension
CNN


Deadly Shootout in Ukraine
Raises Fears of Russian Invasion
The Daily Beast


Russia Blames Kiev for New
Violence in Eastern Ukraine
The Washington Post


At Funeral, Expressions of Grief and Anger Toward Kiev Officials
The New York Times


'In Cold Blood' in Ukraine
The Daily Beast


Eastern Ukraine Councilman Mourned as a Hero Who Met
a Gruesome End
The Los Angeles Times


'Murdered' Ukraine Politician
Faced Hostile Mob [...]
Newsweek


In Eastern Ukraine, Terror
from Pro-Kremlin Outsiders
World Affairs Journal


Security Situation In Eastern Ukraine Is Unpredictable
NPR


Heated Words On Air Often
Don't Match Events On
Ground In Ukraine
NPR


The Billionaire Parachuted in
to Run Ukraine's Most
Troubled Region
The Guardian


Meet the Pro-Russian
Separatists of Eastern Ukraine
TIME


Russia’s Partisans Imposing
Their Rule in East Ukraine
The Daily Beast


Ukraine Separatists Hunker
Down and Hope Putin Will
Come to their Aid
The Los Angeles Times


Behind the Masks in Ukraine,
Many Faces of Rebellion

The New York Times


[Inside the Pro-Russian
Headquarters] [VIDEO]
CNN


[Interview with Sloviansk
“People’s Mayor”,
V. Ponomarev] [VIDEO]
VICE


Pro-Russian Separatists Block
Monitors from Buildings in East Ukraine, Diplomats Say
The Washington Post


Putin’s Men in Ukraine
Seize U.S. Journalist
The Daily Beast


On the Front Lines in
Ukraine’s Info War
The Daily Beast


What Simon Ostrovsky's
Detention Means for Ukraine's Information Wars
CSMonitor


‘I Had It Pretty Easy, Because
I Was Let Go’: Simon Ostrovsky
On His Detention in Sloviansk
VICE


The Kidnapping Of Journalists
Is The Latest Step In Ukraine Propaganda Wars
Buzzfeed


Ukrainian Journalists Face
Threats as Separatists Make Demands of Media
The Guardian


In Ukraine, Journalists in Peril
The National Review


Biden Offers Strong Support
to Ukraine and Issues a Sharp
Rebuke to Russia
The New York Times


U.S. Will Stand by Ukraine in
Face of Russian Aggression,
Biden says
The Los Angeles Times


What Obama Should Tell Americans About Ukraine
Politico


How Ukraine Crisis
Could Pull U.S. to War
CNN


The Twin Dangers of
the Ukraine Crisis
CNN


Clark-Karber Interim Report
Scribd.


Ukraine Calls for Renewal
of Anti-Terror Measures
CNN


5 Die as Government Forces
Clash with Pro-Russians
CNN


Ukraine’s Military Drive in East Enters Neutral Gear, as Pact
on Crisis Is Tested
The New York Times


Ukraine Helicopter Hit
by Grenade Taking Off
The Telegraph


Tense Moments at Ukrainian Checkpoint [VIDEO]
CNN


Russia Complains of Large Ukrainian Troop Buildup in East
CNN


Defying Moscow, Ukraine
Threatens to Blockade
Pro-Russian Militants
The New York Times


Russia Orders Exercises After Ukraine Moves on Separatists
BBC


Russia to Start Drills, Warning Ukraine Over Mobilization
The New York Times


Russia Warns Ukraine of
Potential Military Response
The New York Times


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Warns Moscow “Will Respond” If Interests Attacked
The Independent


OSCE Slams Putin For
The 'Height Of Hypocrisy'
RFE/RL


Russian Jets Fly into
Ukranian Airspace
The Telegraph


Could Russia Occupy Ukraine?
World Affairs Journal


Does Russia Have The
Military To Take Ukraine?

NPR


Russia Displays a New Military Prowess in Ukraine’s East
The New York Times


'Russia has Organized
the Events in Ukraine'
DW


NATO: Russia Uses Shadow Soldiers In Eastern Ukraine
NPR


Kerry: U.S. Taped Moscow’s
Calls to Its Ukraine Spies
The Daily Beast


Ukraine: Photos Show
Undercover Russian troops
CNN


Scrutiny Over Photos Said to
Tie Russia Units to Ukraine
The New York Times


Is This Man in Russian
Special Forces? [VIDEO]
CNN


Meeting the Little Green Men
BBC


Meet Igor Strelkov, The Face
Of The Insurgency In
Eastern Ukraine
The Huffington Post


Shadowy Commander Is
Face of Insurgency in Ukraine
The New York Times


Pro-Russian Commander in
Eastern Ukraine Sheds Light
on Origin of Militants
The Wall Street Journal


As Russian Forces Escalate, Ukraine's Influence Waning
The Washington Post


Ukraine Conflict Becomes
Hostage Crisis as Separatists
Take Prisoners
TIME


The Abducted And
The Missing In Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL


OSCE Observers Held Captive
Amid Simmering Tensions
CNN


OSCE Observers Taken Prisoner
by Pro-Russian Forces
in Ukraine
The Daily Beast


Observers Detained in
Eastern Ukraine [VIDEO]
CNN


Kidnapped Observers Paraded
by Pro-Russian Gunmen
in Slavyansk
The Guardian


Ukraine: 'Observers To Be
Used As Human Shield'
Sky News


Moscow 'To Help Free
European Observers'
BBC


One European Observer Freed, Others Still Held in Ukraine
CNN


Putin Rival Takes
Message to East Ukraine
The New York Times


Russia's Gazprom Issues May 7 Ultimatum over Gas Supplies
The Telegraph


G7 Promises to 'Move Swiftly'
with Sanctions Against Russia
CNN


U.S. Expands Sanctions, Adding Holdings of Russians in Putin’s Financial Circle
The New York Times


US Announces Sanctions on
Putin's Inner Circle over Ukraine
The Guardian


Washington Levels New
Sanctions At Russia, Pulls
Some Punches
NPR


Russian Billionaires Avoid
New Sanctions [VIDEO]
CNN


On The Sanctions List: Russia's 'Darth Vader,' Among Others
NPR


From 'Darth Vader' To 'The
Wolf': A Who's Who Of Putin's Sanctioned 'Insiders'
RFE/RL


Russia Vows 'Painful' Response
to New U.S. Sanctions
over Ukraine
CNN


Heated Words, And Mild Relief,
In Russia's Response To New Sanctions
NPR


How Much Will New U.S.
Sanctions Affect Russia?
NPR


So Far, U.S. Sanctions Over Ukraine May Be Inflicting Only Limited Pain on Russia
The New York Times


'Slap On The Wrist':
Congressional Critics Slam
'Tepid' Russia Sanctions
RFE/RL


U.S. Senators Push For
Sanctions On Russia’s Gazprom
RFE/RL


Putin’s Endgame, and Why
Obama Has it Right on Ukraine
The Kyiv Post


EU Names 15 Individuals
Targeted by Latest Sanctions
CNN


Marchers And Mayhem In
Eastern Ukraine City
Roiled By Protests
NPR


Donetsk Seized by
Violence, Protesters [VIDEO]
CNN


Disarray in Eastern Ukraine
as Protest is Attacked,
Mayor is Shot
The Washington Post


One City Falls to Pro-Russian Militants; in Another,
the Mayor Is Shot
The New York Times


Wounded Mayor Is Both
Colorful and Powerful,
Loved and Loathed
The New York Times


Occupations Run with
Military Precision [VIDEO]
CNN


Pro-Russian Says
Operation Will Spread
BBC


Pro-Russia Activists
Seize Luhansk HQ
BBC


Russia Offers Proposal
to Resolve Ukraine Crisis
The Guardian


Is Ukraine on a Long
Road to Rupture?

Council on Foreign Relations


'We May Already Be Past
The Point Of No Return'

RFE/RL


Living on the Edge in
Eastern Ukraine [VIDEO]
CNN


Ukraine Reinforcing Border Positions[VIDEO]
CNN


Who Will Blink First,
Vladimir Putin or the West?
CNN


Is War Inevitable?
BBC


Shoigu Says Russia
Won't Invade Ukraine
RFE/RL


Ukraine: The Phony War?
The New York Review of Books


Reality Check in Ukraine
The Daily Beast


Ukraine: Hate in Progress
The New York Review of Books


Bodies Surface Along
River in Ukraine [VIDEO]
CNN


Russia’s Gunmen in East
Ukraine Double Down on Mayhem
The Daily Beast


Defiant Pro-Russian Activists
Seize More Buildings
CNN


Ukraine's Restive East Slipping from Government's Grasp
Reuters


Ukrainian President Says
Security Forces ‘Helpless’
to Stop Separatists’ Spread
The Washington Post


Ukraine's Acting President:
We've Lost Control Of East
NPR


Ukraine Says That
Militants Won the East
The New York Times


Pro-Russian Activists Clash
with Police in Donetsk
CNN


[May Day Protest in Donestsk][VIDEO]
VICE


Police and Protesters
Clash on May Day [VIDEO]
CNN


Protesters Overrun
Ukrainian Riot Police [VIDEO]
CNN


Ukrainian Riot Police Humiliated
in Clash with Separatists; Putin Demands Kiev Pull Troops
The Washington Post


Putin Demands Ukraine Pull
Forces From Southeast
The New York Times


Pro-Russian Separatists in
Eastern Ukraine were
‘Nobodies’—Until Now

The Washington Post


Small Numbers, Global Impact
CNN


For Separatists, Ballots Are
On Their Way—But Plans
Are Still Pending
NPR


European Security Official
Decries Attacks on Journalists
in Ukraine
The Los Angeles Times


Fear Reigns Along
Ukrainian Roads [VIDEO]
CNN


Angry Residents Impede
Ukrainian Forces [VIDEO]
CNN


Eastern Ukraine Explodes,
Russian Invasion Grows
More Likely
The Daily Beast


Kiev Resumes Military
Operation in East
BBC


Ukrainians Strike Rebel-Held
City as Fighting Spreads
The New York Times


Ukraine Military: 2 Die as
Copters Downed in Operation Against Slavyansk Militias
CNN


Deaths And Downed
Helicopters In Eastern
Ukraine Offensive
NPR


Chaos in Southern Ukraine:
Deadly Fire, Choppers Down
and Street Fighting
CNN


Chaos Grips Odessa,
Ukraine’s Third-Largest City
The Washington Post


Carnage in Ukraine: Dozens
of Pro-Russia Activists Die
in Odessa
The Daily Beast


Fire Kills at Least 31 in Odessa [VIDEO]
CNN


Police say 42 Killed
in Odessa in Worst
Violence of Ukraine Crisis
The Los Angeles Times


Ukrainian Soccer Celebrations Ended in Odessa Deaths
The New York Times


Ukraine Says Odessa Unrest Planned and Financed
from Abroad
Reuters


40 Die in Building Fire
in Odessa [VIDEO]
CNN


What Really Happened in
Odessa: A Step-By-Step Reconstruction of a Tragedy
that Killed 46 People

Kyiv Post


Deadly Fire in Odessa
May Have Been Accident
The Wall Street Journal


Two Odessa Fire Survivors,
Both in the Anti-Government
Camp, Tell their Stories
Kyiv Post


Ukraine Releases Protesters;
PM Visits Odessa
CNN


Ukraine’s Reins Weaken
as Chaos Spreads
The New York Times


Russia Sympathisers Vent Anger
at Ukraine Odessa Deaths
BBC


Pro-Russia Activists Attack
Police Station in Odessa [...]
The Washington Post


Activists Storm Police
Headquarters
[VIDEO]
CNN


Protestors Storm Police Headquarters
[VIDEO]
CNN


Odessa Mob Rule: Who Gave Police Order to Release
Detainees, and Why?
Kyiv Post


Pro-Russian Groups Go Online
with Death Threats Against
Odessa Residents
Kyiv Post


Ukraine Activists Flee Death Threats And Kidnappings

Buzzfeed


Ukraine To Expel Russian
Diplomat Reportedly Caught
Taking Classified Info
NPR


Putin says Geneva Agreement
No Longer Viable after
Ukrainian Military Action
The Guardian


Outrage Out Of Moscow As
News Of Ukrainian Offensive Spreads
NPR


Ukraine Presses Pro-Russia Militants After Fighting Spreads
to a Port City
The New York Times


Amid Continued Defiance, Ukrainian Official Vows:
'We are Not Stopping'
CNN


Ukrainian Forces Tighten Grip
on Rebels in Embattled
Kramatorsk, Sloviansk
Kyiv Post


Kramatorsk Assault Aftermath [VIDEO]
CNN


[In Krasnoarmeysk] [VIDEO]
VICE


Fragile Truce in Eastern
City of Luhansk [VIDEO]
CNN


Heavy Clashes Reported as Ukrainian Forces Tackle Pro-Russian Separatists
CNN


Ukraine Helicopter Downed
as Fighting Resumes in
Troubled East
The Washington Post


Bloodshed Continues
in Slavyansk [VIDEO]
CNN


The Human Cost of Eastern Ukraine's Crisis [VIDEO]
CNN


"I Should Kill You Right Here"
Buzzfeed


Ukraine: Captives Describe
Brutal Beatings
Human Rights Watch


Ukraine: Abducted Journalists
and Officials Must Be Released
Amnesty International


Pro-Russian Militants Take
Back Territory [VIDEO]
CNN


Cities in Ukraine Changing
Hands Often [VIDEO]
CNN


Putin the Predictable
Slate


What is Putin's
Interest in Ukraine? [VIDEO]
CNN


What Is Putin’s ‘New Russia’?
The New York Times


‘Novorossiya,’ the Latest
Historical Concept to Worry
about in Ukraine
The Washington Post


Why Putin's Ukrainian
“New Russia” Could Be
an Ungovernable Mess

Businessweek


‘New Russia’ on
the Rise in Odessa

The Daily Beast


Is Putin’s Next Move to
Take Over Odessa?
The Daily Beast


What Vladimir Putin Chooses
Not to Know About Russian
History
The Los Angeles Times


The Unhappy Truth
About Ukraine

The Daily Beast


Ukraine’s Vote at Risk as
Violence Spreads in East
Bloomberg


Putin’s Warlords vs.
Ukraine’s Presidential Ballot
World Affairs Journal


Russia Questions Ukraine
Holding an Election While
its Troops are Deployed
CNN


As Ukrainian Election Looms, Western Powers and Russia Campaign for Influence
The New York Times


Putin Is Undermining Ukraine's Democracy—And Obama
Is Letting Him
Forbes


[Anger Over Odessa
Reaches Donetsk] [VIDEO]
VICE


[Pro-Russian Rebels Surround Military Academy] [VIDEO]
VICE


Former U.S. Ambassador
to Moscow Warns of War
in Ukraine
TIME


Ukraine May Be On
Brink of War [VIDEO]
CNN


Kremlin Says it is Weighing Response to ‘Thousands’ of
Pleas for Help from Ukraine
The Washington Post


Vladimir Putin Now Has
a Pretext to Invade
The Telegraph


Is Putin Going All
the Way in Ukraine?
Al Jazeera


Putin Announces Pullback
from Ukraine Border
The New York Times


Putin Calls on Ukraine Rebels
to Put off Secession Vote
Reuters


Putin Wants Delay in
Referendum in Ukraine's
Donetsk Region
CNN


Russia's Putin 'Backs
25 May Election'
BBC


Putin’s Gambit
The Economist


Putin Keeps Russians, West Guessing with Ukraine Shift
Reuters


Putin’s Ukrainian U-Turn
The Economist


A Putin Climb-Down
on Ukraine?

The Daily Beast


Did Putin Just Blink?
Bloomberg


Has Putin Blinked?
The Nation


Kinder Words From Putin,
But They Come With A Cost
NPR


Pro-Russian Separatists In East Ukraine Left Stumped By
Putin’s Surprise Comments
Buzzfeed


Ignoring Putin, Ukraine
Insurgents to Hold Vote
The New York Times


Pro-Russian Separatists will Proceed with Vote Despite
Putin’s Plea
The Washington Post


Pro-Russian Separatists Defy
Putin Call to Delay Referendum
in Ukraine
CNN


Pro-Russian Militants Plan
to Defy Putin [VIDEO]
CNN


Separatists Defy Kiev and
Putin on Referendum
The New York Times


Spurning Putin's Calls For
Delay, Ukrainian Separatists
Forge Ahead
NPR


Pro-Russia Rebel
Vote to Go Ahead
BBC


Ukraine Separatists
Say No to Putin
The Daily Beast


Meet the ‘Nobodies’
Who Said No to Putin

The Washington Post


Explainer: The Separatist Referendums In Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL

New Poll Shows Eastern
Ukraine’s Separatists are Wrong

The Washington Post


In Ukraine, Two Men Claim
To Be The Leader Of Donetsk
NPR

Donetsk People's Republic Separatists Mark Victory Day Weekend with New Round of Killings, Abductions
Kyiv Post


In Eastern Ukraine, Lines
Between Thugs And
Freedom Fighters Blur
NPR


Ukraine vs Russia: A
Mafia State's Cover-Up?
Al Jazeera


Ukraine: Law Enforcement
Must be Decisive [VIDEO]
CNN


In Ukrainian City Under
Blockade, Citizens Go to
Ground, and Below
The New York Times


Kiev Is Blowing Its Chance
to Take Back East Ukraine
The Daily Beast


Ukraine Alleges Russia
Intercept Found [VIDEO]
CNN


Dread Fills Odessa, Ukraine,
on Eve of Victory Day
The Washington Post


In Odessa, Home-Grown Combatants Keep Pro-Russia Forces in Check
The New York Times


Odessans Turn their
Backs on National Politics
Kyiv Post


Ukraine Calls for Spectator
Ban at Football Matches
BBC


On Victory Day, Fanfare In Crimea And Turmoil In Eastern Ukraine
NPR

Putin Arrives in Crimea for
Victory Day Events as Deadly Ukraine Clashes Erupt
CNN


From Crimea, Putin
Trumpets Mother Russia
The New York Times


Putin, Marking Crimea
Annexation, Lays Claim
to Historic Mantle
The Washington Post


[Putin Visits Crimea to
Celebrate Victory Day] [VIDEO]
VICE


Putin Is Trying to Take Over Russia's Memories of WWII
The New Republic


Putin Is Using WWII for
Propaganda Because It's the
Best Memory That Russia Has
The New Republic


Russia Said it Moved its Troops Away From Ukraine. Satellite Images Seem to Say Otherwise
The Washington Post


This Map Shows How Russia’s Military Relies on Ukraine
The Washington Post


Ukraine's Arms Industry Is Both Prize and Problem for Putin
Businessweek


After Carving Up Ukraine,
Where Will Putin Turn Next?
The Washington Post


[Violent Clashes in Mariupol
on Victory Day] [VIDEO]
VICE


Chaos and Suspicion in a
Ukrainian City Spinning
Out of Control
Reuters


‘Battle for Ukraine’ in Mariupol Leaves Scars and
Polarised Views
Euronews


Deadly Clashes in Mariupol
Raise Tensions on Eve of
Secession Referendum
in Eastern Ukraine
Kyiv Post


In Eastern Ukrainian City of Mariupol, Law and Order
Crumble on Eve of
Secession Vote
The Washington Post


On Eve Of Referendum, Many
Fear For Ukrainian Economy
NPR


Amid Much Uncertainty,
Separatists Prepare for
Voting in Eastern Ukraine
The New York Times


Putin’s People Stage
Their Bogus Vote
The Daily Beast


Seperatists Hold Referendum
On East Ukraine Independence
NPR


East Ukraine Goes to the Polls for Independence Referendum
The Guardian


Russia-Ukraine Referendum [VIDEO]
CNN


Ukraine’s Rebels Say they
are Seeking a Mandate, not Independence, in Referendum
The Washington Post


Rebels Talk of Splitting Ukraine
as East Votes on Self-Rule
The New York Times


Many in Eastern Ukraine
Aren't Sold on Referendum
USA Today


Polling Stations Open for
‘Illegal’ Secession Referendum
in Eastern Ukraine
Kyiv Post


Eastern Ukraine Muddles
Through Voting On
Referendums
NPR


In Ukraine's Separatist Referendums, Only The
Voting Is Plain To See
RFE/RL


Some Ukraine Voters
Seen Voting Twice [VIDEO]
CNN


Polls Close in Eastern Ukraine
Amid Allegations of Fraud and Double-Voting
CNN


Controversial Vote in
Eastern Ukraine [VIDEO]
CNN


Chaotic Referendum in
Eastern Ukraine [VIDEO]
CNN


Ukraine Vote on
Separation Held in Chaos
The New York Times


Alternate Realities
The Economist


How Ukraine's Referendums
Broke The Rules
RFE/RL


Why One Donetsk Resident
Stayed Home On
Referendum Day
NPR


[Detained in Donetsk on Referendum Day] [VIDEO]
VICE


Ukraine's Donetsk Region
Asking to Join Russia,
Separatist Leader Says
CNN


East Ukraine Separatists
Seek Union with Russia
BBC


Russia Keeps Its Distance
After Ukraine Secession Referendums
The New York Times


What is Putin's Next Move?
BBC


What to Do When Russia
Invades Your Country

The Daily Beast


Russia No Longer Needs to
Invade Ukraine, Analysts Say
USA Today


U.S. Won't Recognize Eastern Ukraine Vote On Independence
NPR


Ukraine Favors Europe over
Russia, New CNN Poll Finds
CNN


In Two Eastern Ukraine
Provinces, Bold Steps
Toward Independence
NPR


In One Eastern City,
Ukrainians Find Battle Hits
Too Close to Home
The New York Times


After Referendum In Eastern Ukraine, Different Visions
Emerge

NPR


Looking for Ukraine
The New York Review of Books


As Ukrainian Separatists Claim Victory in Self-Rule Vote, Fears
of All-Out Civil War Mount
The Washington Post


Germany Renews Diplomatic
Effort to Ease Ukraine Crisis
The New York Times


Separatists Ambush Ukrainian Troops; German Foreign
Minister Seeks Talks in Kiev
The Washington Post


Ukraine Holds Talks to End
Crisis, Rebels not Invited
Reuters


Talks on Ukraine Crisis Open
in Kiev Without Representation
for Separatists
The New York Times


At Center of Ukraine Talks,
Degrees of Decentralizing
The New York Times


In Ukraine Talks, Finger-
Pointing and Little Sign
of Progress
The Washington Post


Ukraine Tense as
Peace Talks Falter
USA Today


Ukraine’s Interim Leaders
Struggle to Keep Country from Splitting Apart Ahead of Vote
The Washington Post


Ukraine President Will Not
Be Fully Legitimate:
Russian Official
Reuters


Volunteer Donbass Battalion
Takes Up Arms to Defend
Ukraine, Defeat Separatists
Kyiv Post


Ukraine Civil War Fears
Mount as Volunteer Units
Take Up Arms
The New York Times


Into Battle
The Economist


The Unraveling of Ukraine
Politico


U.N. Monitors Warn on Human Rights in East Ukraine, Crimea
Reuters


Don’t Forget Captives
Still Held in Ukraine
Human Rights Watch


Ill-Treatment of Captives
Amidst Civil Unrest
Amnesty International


In Eastern Ukraine,
Torture Is New Weapon
RFE/RL


Three Weeks
A Hostage In Slovyansk
RFE/RL


Fight Against Ukraine Rebels Threatens More Unrest
NPR


Enter the Oligarchs
Slate


2 Ukraine Oligarchs Speak Up
for Unity, Against Pro-Russia Faction
The Los Angeles Times


Fortune Threatened, Ukraine's Richest Man Joins the Fray
Reuters


Workers Take to Streets to
Calm Tense Ukrainian City
The New York Times


Steelworkers Help Keep
Uneasy Calm in
Eastern Ukraine
The Washington Post


After Eastern Ukrainian Steel Magnate Flexes Muscle,
Barricades Fall
NPR


Pro-Russian Insurgents
Retreat in Ukraine's East
USA Today


Who's in Charge Here? In
One Eastern Ukrainian City,
Answer Isn't Clear
CNN


Gray Zone: Mariupol Sinks
Into Power Vacuum
RFE/RL


Failing Ukraine State
Plays in to Russia's Hands
Reuters


Ukraine Approaching Point
of No Return, Says UN Chief
BBC


Luhansk Separatists Easily Take Over Police Headquarters […]
Kyiv Post


Ukraine Forces Fight Rebels
as Separatists Plan Vote
Bloomberg


Ukrainian Officials Hold Unity
Talks as Tension Remains High
The Washington Post


Talks in East Aim to
Ease Tensions in Ukraine
The New York Times


Something Has to Give
The Economist


Ukraine's Faithful Pray for Peace
[VIDEO]
CNN


Ukraine’s Vigilante
Peacemakers
The Daily Beast


The Right Goal in Ukraine
Slate


Is Ukraine Ready to Vote?
The Washington Post


Keeping Watch On Ukraine
As It Prepares To Elect
A President
NPR


Ukraine Ballots Can They
Get to Voters? [VIDEO]
CNN


Safety Of Ukraine's Presidential Election In Doubt In The East
NPR


Death Threats Hang over Presidential Vote in
Ukraine's East [...]
US News and World Report


Kremlin Announces Ukraine Pullback, but NATO
Doesn’t See It
The New York Times


Russian Troops Still at
Ukrainian Border Despite Withdrawal Pledge, NATO says >
CNN


Why Putin Really
Will Pull Back
The Daily Beast Times


How Secret Chechen Fighters
in Ukraine Could Help Russia
OZY


Kadyrov Denies Chechen
Military Involvement
in Ukraine Fighting
RFE/RL


After Neutrality Proves
Untenable, a Ukraine
Oligarch Makes His Move
The New York Times


Ukraine's Richest Man Pushes
Back Against Pro-Moscow Separatists
NPR


Rinat Akhmetov's Choice
The Economist


Ukraine’s Military and Pro-
Russian Separatists Face Shortcomings in their
Fight in Restive East
The Washington Post


Calm Streets Mask Deep
Divisions in Donetsk
The New York Times


Ukraine’s Stalled Rebellion
The New York Review of Books


Solidarity Eludes Ukraine Separatist Groups as
Presidential Election Nears
The New York Times


Inside the 11-Story Building
That's Calling Itself the
People's Republic of Donetsk
The New Republic


Putin Stirred Up Donetsk, Now
He's Leaving Its People High
and Dry

The New Republic


In Ukraine, Chaos Meets Self-Declared Independence
AP


The Chaos Engulfing
Eastern Ukraine
The New Yorker


Ukraine Minorities Worry as
Russia Claims Troop Pullout
USA Today


Donetsk Sees Deadliest
Attack on Troops
BBC


Deadliest Day for Ukraine
Troops: 16 Slain in Raid
The Washington Post


16 Killed in Attack on
Soldiers in Donetsk
CNN


Kiev Pins Hopes on Oligarch
in Battle Against Eastern Separatists
Reuters


[Meeting the Donbass
Battalion] [VIDEO]
VICE


Ukraine Faces Struggle to
Gain Control of Militias,
Including Those on Its Side
The New York Times


[Simon Ostrovsky Returns To Eastern Ukraine] [VIDEO]
VICE


Conflict Fatigue Deepens
in East Ukraine, Just Days
Before Vote
The New York Times


Armed Clashes in East as
Ukraine Counts Down
to Election
Reuters


Explosions are Precursor
to Ukraine Vote [VIDEO]
CNN


Will Violence Disrupt Ukraine Elections? [VIDEO]
CNN


Violence and Doubts About Credibility as a Troubled
Ukraine Election Nears
The New York Times


Missing The Vote: Fear Trumps Election Hopes In Donetsk
RFE/RL


Will Ukraine Polls Bring
Tensions to a Head in the East?
BBC


Ukraine’s Presidential Election
Is The Least Of Its Worries
Buzzfeed


Focus on Russia as Ukraine’s Presidential Election Nears
The Washington Post


Putin Gives Mixed Message
on Ukraine as Key Vote
Approaches Amid Clashes
CNN


Putin Sends Mixed Signals
On His Attitude To Ukrainian Election
NPR


Putin Indicates He’ll Respect
Result of Ukrainian Election
The New York Times


Putin Vows to
'Respect' Ukraine Vote
USA Today


Ukraine Vote on Sunday Could
Be Major Step Toward Ending
the Crisis
The Nation


Madeleine Albright: A Free,
Fair Election Possible
In Ukraine
NPR


Ukraine: The Edge
of Democracy

The New York Review of Books


The Pushback in Ukraine
The New York Times


Taking The Temperature
Ahead Of Ukraine's Election [VIDEO]
VICE


5 Things to Know About
the Ukrainian Election
The Wall Street Journal


Poroshenko Goes For
First-Round Win On May 25
Kyiv Post


Will Poroshenko Win?
The Economist


Enter the Chocolate King
Slate


Ukraine's Chocolate King
to the Rescue
Foreign Policy


Ukraine's 'Chocolate
King' Aims for Top Job
The New York Times


The Chocolate King Who
Would Be President
Politico


Ukraine's Chocolate Billionaire Tipped for President
BBC


Chocolate Tycoon Heads for Landslide Victory in Ukraine Presidential Election
The Guardian


Petro Poroshenko: Ukraine to Reform Governance System
Using Polish Model
Kyiv Post


With Poroshenko on the
Ukraine Campaign Trail
The Daily Beast


Eight Things You Didn't Know
About The Ukrainian Election
RFE/RL


Ukraine’s Chocolate King Wins
The Daily Beast


'Chocolate King' Wins In
Ukraine, Presidential Exit
Polls Show
NPR


Candy Tycoon Elected
Ukraine President
AP


In Ukrainian Election,
Chocolate Tycoon
Poroshenko Claims Victory
The Washington Post


Pro-European Billionaire
Claims Victory in Ukraine Presidential Vote
The New York Times


Billionaire Poroshenko
Declares Victory in Ukraine
CNN


Poroshenko Declares Victory
In Ukraine Vote; Runoff
Likely Averted
RFE/RL


Poroshenko Wins in Landslide, Vows to 'Bring Peace'
to Ukraine
Kyiv Post


Ukrainian President-Elect Petro Poroshenko Promises Reform
as More Fighting Breaks Out
The New Republic


Kyiv Elects a Mayor for
the First Time Since 2008
Kyiv Post


Fears Of ‘Chaos’ Bring
People To The Polls
RFE/RL


In East, Separatists
and Fear Stop Voters
The New York Times


Separatists Shut Down Polling Places In East Ukraine Cities
NPR


Bullets, Not Ballots in Donetsk [VIDEO]
VICE


Ukraine Votes for
New President [VIDEO]
CNN


Ukraine Elects A
New President [VIDEO]
VICE


Donbas Residents Don't Think Poroshenko's Election Will
End Crisis
Kyiv Post


Displaced From Crimea,
Voting On The Mainland
RFE/RL


Election of President Seen
as a Beginning to Repairing
Ukraine
The New York Times


Winning at Revolutions
Kyiv Post


Did Peace Just
Break Out in Ukraine?
Slate


Petro Poroshenko Vows
to Restore Peace
The Economist


Free Elections Good for
Ukraine, but Could be
Bad for Putin
CNN


Ukraine’s Next President Vows
to Restore Order and Mend
Russia Ties
The New York Times


Russia Watcher Lucas Says
'Tide Has Turned A Bit'
For Ukraine
RFE/RL


In Russia, Tune Changes
About Leader in Ukraine
The New York Times


Russia 'Open to Dialogue'
with New Leader
BBC


EU: Proposed Solution
to Ukraine Gas Dispute
USA Today


From Kiev, An Olive Branch
For Russia—And A Saber
For Separatists
NPR


Ukraine Airport Battle Erupts;
New Leader Seeks Talks
USA Today


In Ukraine, Fighting at Airport Continues as President-Elect
Vows to Seek Unity
The Washington Post


Ukraine Forces Appear to Oust Rebels From Airport in East
The New York Times


Battles Rage at
Donetsk Airport [VIDEO]
CNN


Fierce Fighting Closes Donetsk Airport, Claims Dozens of Lives
CNN


Dozens of Separatists Killed
in Ukraine Army Attack
The New York Times


More than 50 Rebels Killed
as New Ukraine Leader
Unleashes Assault
Reuters


Battle For Donetsk's Airport
Claims Many Lives
NPR


The Battle for Donetsk
International Airport[VIDEO]
VICE


'I Think Ukraine Will
Be Destroyed' [VIDEO]
CNN


War and Murder
in Eastern Ukraine

The Daily Beast


East Ukraine City Largely
Calm after Battle, Rebels
Seek Russian Help
Reuters


Ukraine: Progress
Without Peace

The New York Review of Books


Insurgents In Ukraine Shoot
Down Helicopter,
Killing General
NPR


Ukraine General, 11 Troops
Killed in Downed Chopper
USA Today


Pro-Russia Rebels Shoot Down Ukrainian Helicopter, Killing 12
The Los Angeles Times


Ukrainian Military Helicopter
Shot Down; 14 Dead,
President Says
CNN


Ukraine Separatists Down
Army Helicopter, 14 Killed
Reuters


Is Russia Orchestrating
East Ukraine Violence?
BBC


Is Putin Trying To Regain
Control In Eastern Ukraine?
In Moscow's Shadows


Putin's Plan To Keep
Control Of Ukraine
Forbes


Russians Invade Donetsk
Kyiv Post


Russians Revealed
Among Ukraine Fighters

The New York Times


Chechen Fighters among Ranks
of Rebel Militants in Ukraine, Self-Appointed Mayor Says

Fox News


Chechens Fighting in Ukraine Could Erode Support
for Separatists

Voice of America


Pro-Russia Troops Take
Symbol of Ukraine Uprising
The New York Times


Ukraine's Rebels in Crisis
After Donetsk 'Coup'

The Telegraph


Vostok Battalion, A Powerful
New Player In Eastern Ukraine

RFE/RL


Ukraine to Push on with Army Offensive, Row Grows over
Russian Fighters Reports
Reuters


Militants Plea to Russia
Goes Unanswered
[VIDEO]
CNN

Ukraine's New Leader Vows
to Crush Rebels After Deadly
Attack
BBC


Ukraine's President-Elect
Vows Vengeance Over
Helicopter Attack
CNN


Who Is Petro Poroshenko?
RFE/RL


Poroshenko,
Ukraine's Rescuer

BBC


Bravo, Ukraine, Bravo!
The American Interest


Sweet Victory
The Economist


A Sweeter Future for Ukraine
US News and World Report


A Two-Tone Election
The Economist


The Not-Very-Nice Things U.S. Officials Used to Say about Ukraine’s New President
The Washington Post


Poroshenko Faces Many Tasks
as President, has Few Tools
to Handle Them

Kyiv Post


As He Woos Leaders Abroad, Ukraine's President Faces
Tough Realities at Home

Fox News


Ukraine's New President Needs
to Get Fellow Oligarchs to Stop Being So Corrupt

The New Republic


Ukraine's Search for
an Honest Thief

Kyiv Post


Is Poroshenko Ukraine's
George Washington?
[VIDEO]
UkeTube

OSCE Loses Contact with Monitoring Team in Ukraine
USA Today


Russia says Monitors
Should Stay in Ukraine
USA Today


Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk in
Russia Border Demand
BBC


NATO says Bulk of Russian
Troops Pulling Back from
Ukraine Border
Reuters


Russia Pulls Most Troops from Ukraine Border, Pentagon Says
Fox News


Russian Troop Withdrawal
Brings No Relief
in Eastern Ukraine
The Washington Post


In Ukraine War, Kremlin
Leaves No Fingerprints
The New York Times


Traffic of War in
a Border Town
BBC


Guns and Fighters Seep
Through Ukraine's Porous
Russian Border
The Guardian


Held at Gunpoint
by Ukraine Rebels
The Daily Beast


The Rot Among the
Rebels in Ukraine
The Daily Beast


Ukraine’s Zombie Revolution
Slate


Donbas Diary: On the
Frontlines in Eastern Ukraine
The Wall Street Journal


At Ukraine’s Perilous Border,
Law Is Dispensed by
Men in Masks
The New York Times


A Journalist Goes Missing
Nearly Every Day in Ukraine
The Independent


The Invisible Refugee Crisis
in Ukraine
The New Republic


The Chaos In East Ukraine Is
Hitting LGBT People
Particularly Hard
Buzzfeed


Akhmetov Is Shocked, Shocked
To Find That Separatism Is
Going On In Donetsk!
RFE/RL


Ukraine's Puppet Masters
Eurozine


What Are Eastern Ukraine's (Legitimate) Grievances
With Kyiv?
RFE/RL


In Ukraine, Separatist Militia
With Russian Fighters
Holds a Key
The New York Times


Behind the Masks in Ukraine,
Many Faces of Rebellion
The New York Times


A Guide To The Separatists
Of Eastern Ukraine

RFE/RL


Ukraine Rebels Outfox Army to Dent Poroshenko Troop Goal
Bloomberg


Ukraine's Forces will be Driven from Donetsk Vows New 'Prime Minister'
The Telegraph


In a City Near Russia, a Commander’s Call to Battle
is Answered
The Washington Post


5 Dead as Pro-Russia Insurgents Attack Border Guards
in Eastern Ukraine
Fox News


Separatists Attack a Border
Guard Headquarters in
Eastern Ukraine
The New York Times


Ukraine Military Launches Offensive Against Rebels
TIME


Ukraine Pushes Back as
Rebels Attack in the East
The New York Times


The Sky Explodes Over
Luhansk, and Kiev Blames
the Separatists
The Daily Beast


Air Attack on Pro-Russian Separatists in Luhansk Kills 8, Stuns Residents
CNN


Despite Denials, All Evidence
For Deadly Explosion Points
To Kyiv
RFE/RL


Separatists Blames Military
for Airstrikes [VIDEO]
CNN

Luhansk Dispatch:
Nowhere To Hide
RFE/RL


Pro-Russian Rebels Take
Control of 3 Government
Bases in Eastern Ukraine
Fox News


Rebels in Eastern Ukraine
Capture Government Posts
The New York Times


Witness to a Ukraine Rebel Breakthrough
The New York Times


Conflicting Accounts in
Heightened Eastern
Ukraine Fiighting
CNN


Separatists, Government Troops Continue Faceoff in Eastern Ukraine
CNN


Fighting Rages in Eastern
Ukraine Town, Residents Flee
Reuters


[Aftermath of an
Airstrike] [VIDEO]
CNN

Silence Surrounds Shelled Ukrainian Town [VIDEO]
CNN

'It's Hell Down There': Inside
the Battle for Eastern Ukraine

CNN


Sloviansk Residents Flee As Violence Escalates [VIDEO]
CNN

Eastern Ukraine Has Been a
Mafia State for Years. Can Kiev Break the Cycle of Violence?

The New Republic


Ukraine's Separatist Regions
Face A Bleak Economic Future

Business Insider


Army In Need: Volunteers Try
To Get Basic Supplies To
Ukraine's Forces

RFE/RL


Delivering Bulletproof Vests
to the Ukrainian Army
[VIDEO]
VICE

In Show of Support, Obama
Meets With Ukraine Leader
The New York Times


Obama Vows to Stand with
Ukraine as he Meets
President-Elect in Poland
CNN


Obama Urges Global
Help for Ukraine
USA Today


Moscow and Kiev Seek
'End to Bloodshed'
BBC


Vladimir Putin Discusses
Ceasefire with Ukraine President-Elect Petro
Poroshenko […]
The Telegraph


Petro Poroshenko Sworn In
as Ukraine President
The Wall Street Journal


Ukraine Swears In a
New President
[VIDEO]
VICE

Petro Poroshenko Officially Becomes Fifth President of
Ukraine and Outlines Plan [...]
EuroMaidanPR


English-Language Translation
of Poroshenko's Inaugural
Address on June 7

Kyiv Post


Ukraine's Poroshenko Plans
New Team to Take on Putin,
Build Ties with West
Reuters


Poroshenko Takes Ukraine
Helm With Tough Words
for Russia
The New York Times


Ukraine's New Leader Stands
Up to Moscow Over Crimea
and Europe
Reuters


Ukraine's President Vows
to Defend Territory
'No Matter What'
CNN


Ukraine's Poroshenko Hails
'Start of Russia Dialogue'
BBC


Poroshenko Plots Path to
Ukraine Peace as Talks
to Start
Business Week


Rejecting Poroshenko, East
Ukraine Rebels Say Fight
Will Go On
Reuters


Slovyansk Burns as New
Ukrainian President
Yearns for Peace
CNN


Ukraine Families Flee Into
the Forest to Escape Brutal
Fighting in Sloviansk
The Daily Beast


Ukraine's Humanitarian Crisis Worsens as Tens of Thousands
Flee Combat in East
The Guardian


There Is 'No Water, No Power,
No Nothing' In The Pro-Russian Stronghold In East Ukraine
Business Insider


Surrounded by War
In Sloviansk [VIDEO]
VICE

Battle for Slovyansk
Intensifies [VIDEO]
CNN

Europe's New Frontline:
Inside Slovyansk
CNN


Inside Slovyansk: A Week of Bombardment [VIDEO]
CNN

Ukraine's Refugee Crisis
RFE/RL

Volunteer Movement Puts
Pressure on Government to Confront Refugee Crisis

Kyiv Post


Ukrainian Military Waits
For Government To Act On
Promises Of Support

RFE/RL

Despite Clash in Ukraine, Cease-Fire Talks Advance
The New York Times


Ukrainian Troops Drive
Rebels Out of Mariupol
AP


Ukraine Claims Full
Control of Port City
The New York Times


Ukraine, Separatists Battle to Control Border with Russia
Reuters


Russians Yearning to Join
Ukraine Battle Find
Few Barriers
The New York Times


Tanks, of Unknown Origin,
Roll Into Ukraine
The New York Times


Russia and Ukraine's
Mystery Tanks
BBC


These Tanks are
Freaking Out Ukraine
Foreign Policy


Ukraine Says 3 Tanks
Cross from Russia
AP


Ukrainian Official: Russian
Tanks have Entered
the Country
CNN


Ukraine Accuses Russia of
Letting Rebels Bring in Tanks
Reuters


Ukraine says 'Russian Tank Incursion' Unacceptable
BBC


Putin in Talks with Ukraine President after Claims Tanks Crossed Border from Russia
The Guardian


In Ukraine Crisis, Tanks on One Hand and Words of Peace
on the Other
The Wasington Post


Russia and Ukraine Really
Have No Idea What's Going
on Along the Border
The New Republic


Russia Sent Tanks to
Ukraine Rebels, U.S. Says
The New York Times


Russia Acknowledges Sending
Aid to Eastern Ukraine;
Separatist Leader
Visits Moscow
The Wasington Post


US Accuses Russia of Sending Rocket Launchers to
Ukraine Rebels

The Telegraph


Kremlin-Backed Insurgents
Shoot Down Military Plane
in Luhansk, Killing 49 [...]
Kyiv Post


Ukrainian Military Plane Shot Down; All 49 Aboard Dead
CNN


Separatists Down Military
Transport Jet, Killing 49
in Eastern Ukraine
The New York Times


Ukraine Mourns 49 Troops Killed When Rebels Down Army Plane
RFE/RL


Pro-Russian Rebels Shoot Down
a Large Ukrainian Transport
Plane, Killing Dozens
The Washington Post


Military Plane Shot
Down in Luhansk
BBC


Separatists Shoot Down
Ukrainian Plane
[VIDEO]
VICE

Tension With Russia
Boils Over in Kiev
The Daily Beast


Ukraine Vows to Punish
Rebels who Downed Plane
AP


Ukraine Hits Back After
Rebels Down Plane
Al Jazeera


Putin is Playing Mind
Games with the West
The Telegraph


Orchestrated Conflict
The New York Times


Igor Strelkov—Moscow Agent
or Military Romantic?
Open Democracy


A Ukraine Secessionist from Moscow Builds Greater Russia,
One Province at a Time

Atlantic Council


Russia Condemns Attack
on Kiev Embassy
BBC


Ukrainian Diplomat Uses Swear Word for Putin, Delighting Protesters and
Angering Moscow
The Washington Post


Kiev Faces Halt to Gas Supply
BBC


Russia Cuts Natural
Gas Supply to Ukraine
USA Today


Russia Cuts Off Natural Gas Supplies to Ukraine
CNN Money


Citing Unpaid Debts, Russia
Cuts Off Gas Supplies
To Ukraine
NPR


Gazprom Cuts Russia’s
Natural Gas Supply
to Ukraine
The New York Times


Russia Cuts Off Gas to
Ukraine as Kiev Orders
Border Secured
Reuters


EU-Moscow Row Over South Stream Gas Pipeline
BBC


Is South Stream The Latest
Victim Of the Ukraine Crisis?

RFE/RL


Gazprom's Grip: Russia's
Leverage Over
Europe
[GRAPHIC]
RFE/RL

Ukraine Investigates
Gas Pipeline Blast
The Guardian


Ukraine Suspects Terrorism
in Pipeline Explosion
The New York Times


Ukraine to Implement
Unilateral Cease-Fire

CNN


Ukraine Proposes Peace
with Separatists

The Washington Post


Rebels Reject Peace
Proposal from Ukraine
The Washington Post


Rebels Reject Ukrainian
Leader’s Cease-Fire Idea
The New York Times


Ukraine Separatists Vow to
Fight on as President Unveils Ceasefire Plan
The Guardian


As Military and Rebels Clash
in Ukraine, Doubt Falls on Cease-Fire Prospects
The New York Times


Ukrainian Army Fights
Rebels and Neglect
The Washington Post


What Options Do Putin
and Ukraine Have Left?

The New Republic

Bombings Force Sloviansk Residents to Flee [VIDEO]
VICE

Ukraine Rebels Speak of Heavy Losses in Battle against Government Troops
Reuters


Putin, Ukraine Leader
Talk Peace in Phone Call
CNN


Ratchet Up, Ratchet Down
The Economist


Putin Is Just Getting
Started in Ukraine

The Daily Beast


Provocations, Proxies and Plausible Deniability
The Interpreter


Unblinking Putin
The Economist


NATO Reports New Russian
Troop Buildup along the
Ukrainian Border
The Washington Post


Russia Redeploying More
Troops Along Ukraine Border,
U.S. Officials Say
The Washington Post


Common History Pulls in
Aid from West Russia
BBC


As Ukraine Announces Cease-
Fire, White House Points
Finger at Russia
The New York Times


Ukraine Implements
Cease-Fire in Restive East
CNN


Details of Poroshenko's
Peace Plan Emerge

BBC


Ukraine's President Outlines
Peace Plan as Vladimir Putin
Offers Support

The Telegraph


Russia’s Putin Calls for Compromise in Ukraine
The Washington Post


Vladimir Putin Backs Ukraine Ceasefire but Orders Huge
Military Exercise
The Guardian


Conflicting Gestures From
Putin to Ukraine Leaders

The New York Times


Putin Attempts to Straddle
a Divide He Helped to
Pry Open in Ukraine

The New York Times


Ukrainian Border Guards Hurt
in Separatist Attack on 1st Day
of Cease-Fire
CNN


Rebels Agree to Abide by Cease-Fire in Ukraine
AP


Pro-Russian Rebels in Ukraine Match Government Cease-Fire
The New York Times


Ukraine Rebel Leaders Agree
to Join Government Cease-
Fire, Begin Talks
The Wall Street Journal


Separatists Hold their Fire in Ukraine’s East amid Peace
Talks led by Kuchma [...]
The Kyiv Post


How Real Is This
Ceasefire in Ukraine?

Slate


Putin Waves a
White Flag on Ukraine

Daily Beast


Putin Readies Stealth
Mode in Ukraine

Bloomberg View


Russia's Putin Renounces
Right to Send Troops
to Ukraine

Reuters


Putin Urges Extension
of Ukraine Cease-Fire
The New York Times


Ukrainian helicopter Shot
Down Days After Cease-Fire, Official Says
CNN


Ukrainian Cease-Fire on Verge
of Collapse After Rebel Attack
on Military Helicopter Kills 11
The Washington Post


Ukrainian Cease-Fire in
Peril amid New Violence>
USA Today


In Ukraine, Signs of
a Truce Unraveling
Business Week


Ukraine Set to Sign EU Pact
that Sparked Revolution

The Guardian


Defying Russia, Ukraine
Signs E.U. Trade Pact

The New York Times


Ukraine Signs Landmark Agreement with E.U.
The Washington Post


EU Signs Trade Pact with
Ukraine, Ceasefire
Extended by 72 hours

Reuters


Russia and Others Confer
on Halting Ukraine Fighting,
Which Goes on Despite
Cease-Fire
The New York Times


Putin Holds Talks With
EU Leaders in Ukraine
Peace Push
Bloomberg


Shelling Continues in
Separatist Stronghold
[VIDEO]
VICE

Pro-Russian Rebels Release
Four of Eight OSCE Monitors
Held Hostage [...]
Kyiv Post


Ukraine, Russia Agree to
Work on Ceasefire as
Deadline Passes
The Globe and Mail


Ukraine Leaders Meets
Security Chiefs as
Ceasefire End Nears
Reuters


In Ukraine, Frustration Grows
With Kiev's Peace Efforts
The Wall Street Journal


The Ceasefire That
Wasn't
[VIDEO]
VICE

Ukrainian President Ends Cease-Fire With Rebels
The New York Times


Poroshenko Ends Ukraine Ceasefire, says Government
Will Attack Rebels
Reuters


Ukraine Forces Press Assault
Hours after Ceasefire’s
Suspension
The Washington Post


Ukraine Begins Military
Offensive as Cease-Fire Ends
CNN


Ukraine Launches New
Offensive to Rid East of
Rebel 'Parasites'
The Telegraph


The War That Never
Ended
[VIDEO]
VICE

As Ukraine Cease-Fire
Expires, Violence Escalates
The Washington Post


Putin Warns Again of Force
as Ukraine Fighting Spreads
The New York Times


Ukraine Forces Attack Rebel Positions, Putin Growls
Reuters


Ukraine Retakes Border Crossing from Rebels as Poroshenko
Goes on Attack
The Guardian


Pro-Russian Rebels Capture
Police HQ in Ukraine
AP


Russia Demands New
Cease-Fire in Ukraine
The New York Times


Berlin Talks Bring Russia
and Ukraine Closer to
Resuming Ceasefire
Reuters


Ukraine and Russia's Foreign Ministers Agree to Seek
Bilateral Ceasefire
The Telegraph


The EU Plays Into
Putin's Hands—Again
Reuters


Ukrainians Die, as Europe Coos
World Affairs Journal


Ukraine's Poroshenko Names
New Defence Chiefs in
Shake-Up
Reuters


Ukraine's New Defence Minister Promises Crimea Victory
BBC


Ukraine Claims Winning
Ground in Rebellious East
AP


Ukraine Claims Victory as
Rebel Fighters Reportedly
Flee Slavyansk
The Telegraph


Ukraine Claims Victory
in Rebel Stronghold
AP


Pro-Russian Fighters Routed
From Stronghold,
Ukraine Says
The New York Times


Ukraine Government Forces Recapture Separatist
Stronghold
Reuters


Ukraine Army Regains
Control of Slavyansk
The Guardian


Rebels Flee Slovyansk as
Ukrainian Forces Recapture
Key City
The Washington Post


Ukrainian President Hails Breakthrough as Slavyansk
Seized from Separatists
The Guardian


Ukraine Recaptures
Sloviansk [VIDEO]
VICE

Ukrainian Authorities:
Separatists Cleared from
2 Eastern Cities
CNN


Ukraine says Forces Retake
Two More Rebel-Held Cities
BBC


Ukraine Military Finds Its
Footing Against
Pro-Russian Rebels
The New York Times


Ukraine Rolls on Separatists
while Russia Holds Back
USA Today


Ukraine’s Lawless Warzones Recede as Rebel Fighters
Fall Back
TIME


Donetsk Rebels in
Mass Withdrawal

BBC


Rebels Retreat
To Donetsk
[VIDEO]
VICE

Separatists Rally In Donetsk
As Ukrainian Military
Presses On

RFE/RL


Pro-Russia Separatists Vow
to Keep Up the Fight

AP


With Talks Uncertain,
Ukrainian Rebels Cling
to Hope in Strongholds

The New York Times


Ukraine Rebels Are
Retreating for Last Stand

The New York Times


Pro-Russia Rebels Prepare
Last Stand in East Ukraine

The Wall Street Journal


Ukraine’s Pro-Putin Rebels
Prepare for a Last Stand

The Daily Beast


Ukraine and Pro-Russian
Rebels Square Up
for Showdown

The Guardian


Pushed from Slaviansk,
Ukraine Rebels
Barricade Donetsk

Reuters


Donetsk Becomes a
Ghost Town as Fearful
Residents Flee Conflict

The Guardian


Bridges Destroyed
Outside Donetsk

BBC


Ukraine Forces Working to
Block Donetsk, Official Says

The Wall Street Journal


Ukraine Lays Plan to Besiege Rebels in Eastern City
The Wall Street Journal


The Siege
The Wall Street Journal


The Turn of the Tide
The Wall Street Journal


Ukraine Army Still Far from
Victory over Rebels in East

BBC


Why Ukraine Can't Win an
All-Out Military Victory—and Shouldn't Try

Business Week


Ukraine's Next Battle
is Donetsk, but no
Bombs, Please

USA Today


Ukraine Readies Plan against Rebels; Germany, France
Press Putin

Reuters


Ukraine Threatens to Retake Territory from Defiant Rebels
Reuters


Ukraine Forces Clash with Separatists at Donetsk Airport
BBC


Heavy Fighting Kills at
Least 23 in Eastern Ukraine

The Wall Street Journal


Ukraine Says Rebels Will Pay
as Missiles Kill 23 Soldiers

Reuters


Residents of Stricken Eastern Ukraine Town Flee [...]
The Globe and Mail


Anticipating a Showdown,
Ukraine City Empties Out

The New York Times


People in Eastern Ukraine
City Decide to Stay or Go

USA Today


The Russia-Ukraine Conflict
Could Tear My Family Apart

The New Republic


Life in a War Zone—Ukraine
The Guardian


A Guide to Ukraine's
Fighting Forces

Kiev Post


Ukraine Woman Pilot
Savchenko in Middle
of Media War

BBC


The Strange Case of Vladimir
Putin and the Ukrainian Pilot

TIME


Russian Revenge: Ukrainian Female Officer Faces Court
in Voronezh [...]

Kiev Post


Meet The Tough-As-Nails
Ukrainian Pilot That Russia
Wants To Try For Murder

RFE/RL


Soot-Stained Documents
Reveal Firing Squad
Executions in Ukraine

Mashable


Shadowy Rebel Flexes
Iron Fist in Ukraine Fight

The New York Times


After Slaviansk's Fall, Splits
Open in Ukraine Rebel Ranks
Reuters


Divisions Appear among
Ukraine’s Pro-Russian
Separatists

The Globe and Mail


Patchwork Makeup of Rebels Fighting Ukraine Makes Peace Talks Elusive
The New York Times


Ukraine Rebels Call Putin a
Coward After Russian Inaction

TIME


Seeing Cost of Saber Rattling
in Ukraine, Putin Alters Course

The New York Times


Putin Under Pressure as
Fighting Rages in Ukraine

AP


Putin's Ukraine Assault: In a Shambles but Far From Over
The Wall Street Journal


Total Rebel Defeat Not Seen
as an Acceptable Option
in the Kremlin

The Jamestown Foundation


Putin's Moves on Ukraine
Keep West Guessing

The Wall Street Journal


Putin’s Three Choices
on Ukraine

The Washington Post


Putin's Complicated
Game in Ukraine

BBC


Stop Playing Putin's Game
Bloomberg View


Putin Is Behaving in Ukraine
Like Milosevic Did in Serbia

The New Republic


NATO Chief Warns of Duplicity
by Putin on Ukraine

The New York Times


Civilians Pay a Price for
Gains of Ukraine Forces

The New York Times


Fighting Flares Near
City of Luhansk

BBC


Rockets Ravage
Suburb of Donetsk

BBC


Ukrainian Forces Close In
on Rebel-Held Luhansk

The New York Times


Fighting Surges in Ukraine
With Civilian Death
Inside Russia

The Wall Street Journal


Russia Warns Ukraine after
Shell Crosses Border

Reuters


Russia Warns Ukraine of ‘Irreversible Consequences’
after Cross-Border Shelling

The Washington Post


Russia Vows to Respond After Shelling From Ukraine
Bloomberg


Ukraine Military Plane Shot
Down as Fighting Rages

BBC


Ukrainian Military Plane Shot Down; Pro-Russian Separatists
Take Responsibility

Bloomberg


Ukraine says Russian Army
Officers Fighting alongside
Rebels

Reuters


As Ukrainian Forces Advance,
Putin Plays a Double Game

Reuters


Don’t be Deceived:
Russia is Waging War

EuromaidanPR


War By Any Other Name
The Economist


Hybrid Warfare And Russia's
New 'Great Game' [PODCAST]
RFE/RL

The Sci-Fi Writers’ War
Slate

Why Ukraine's Separatist Movement Failed in Kharkiv
The New Republic


Modernisation or Burnt Ground, What Awaits Donetsk Oblast
EuroMaidanPR


Fight Club, Donetsk
Foreign Policy


My Mind-Melting Week on
the Battlefields of Ukraine
The New Republic


In Parts of East Ukraine,
a Daily Struggle to Survive
Reuters


U.N. Report Details
Casualties in Eastern Ukraine

The New York Times


UN Says Hundreds Killed,
Detained In Ukraine

The Guardian


Ukraine's Humanitarian
Situation
[GRAPHIC]
RFE/RL

Refugees From Eastern
Ukraine Wonder When
They Can Go Home
NPR


Two Weeks Held
Captive by Terrorists
Voices of Ukraine


[DPR Hostage: ] I Thought They Would Beat Me to Death […]
Voices of Ukraine


Russia's Nationalist Fringe
Takes Center Stage In
Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL


The Involvement of Russian
Ultra-Nationalists in the
Donbas Conflict

The Jamestown Foundation


Russian Nationalist Thinker
Dugin Sees War with Ukraine

BBC


Gangsters And Fascists And Separatists—Oh My!
RFE/RL


The Gangs Of Crimea
And Donbas [PODCAST]
RFE/RL

Dossier of Dubiousness: Did
Putin's Man in Crimea Have
Mafia Ties?
Spiegel

Meet the Ex-Convicts, Bullies,
and Armed Bikers Who Helped Seize Crimea

Atlantic Council


Crimea Euphoria Fades
for Some Russians

Reuters


For Crimea, It’s Russian
Troops In, Tourists Out
The New York Times


Tourist Season a Washout
in Annexed Crimea

RFE/RL


Now That Russia Has Crimea,
What Is Moscow's Plan?

NPR


In Taking Crimea, Putin Gains
a Sea of Fuel Reserves

The New York Times


Ravenous Russia?
Thirsty Crimea
Slate


Will Putin Pay $90 Billion
for Crimea?

Bloomberg


Crimea and Punishment
Slate


Ukraine's New President
Vows Not To Give Up Crimea

NPR


Is Crimea Gone? Annexation
No Longer the Focus of
Ukraine Crisis
CNN


The Budapest
Memorandum And Its
Relevance To Crimea
RFE/RL


Discussions on Crimea’s
Status Become Illegal

EuroMaidanPR


Dear Kremlin:
Careful with Crimea
Foreign Policy

[Russia Invades the Crimean Peninsula] [VIDEO]
VICE

[At Ukraine's Naval High
Command in Sevastopol] [VIDEO]
VICE

[At the Slavutych, a Ukrainian Battleship Stuck in the Harbor
of Sevastopol] [VIDEO]
VICE

[The Russian Black Sea Fleet
Block Donuzlav Bay] [VIDEO]
VICE

[Serbian Chetniks in Crimea] [VIDEO]
VICE

[Ukrainian and the Russian Checkpoints in Kherson] [VIDEO]
VICE

[Protest and Counter-
Protest in Simferopol] [VIDEO]
VICE

Some Leaving Crimea Ahead
of Referendum [VIDEO]
CNN

Fear Is In The Air
Among Crimean Tatars
RFE/RL

Russian Takeover Of Crimea
Leaves Ethnic Tatars
Population In Panic
Buzzfeed

Vladimir Putin Tells Crimea's
Tatars their Future Lies
with Russia

The Guardian

Crimea Tatars:
'Homeland' at Stake
Al Jazeera

Portraits from Ukraine:
A Crimean Tatar’s Story

The New Yorker

Russia's Looming
Tatar Problem [PODCAST]
RFE/RL

Crimea Crisis:
The Tatarstan Factor
Al Jazeera

Russian-Majority Areas Watch Moscow's Post-Crimea Moves
BBC News

Russian President Putin Builds
Ties in Moldova, Kazakhstan
and Baltics

The Washington Post


Transnistria: Europe's
Other Crimea
Al Jazeera

Could Trans-Dniester be Next?
BBC News

To Russia with Love? Transnistria,
a Territory Caught in a Time Warp
CNN

A Sunday With “Separatists”
Slate


Soviet Yearnings: Hopes Rise
in Transnistria of a Russian Annexation

Spiegel



Propaganda & Anti-Propaganda

**********
“...Russian media and leading political figures have been shrill in their denunciations of 'fascists' in Kyiv and their claims of anti-Semitic incidents, of attacks on ethnic Russians in the eastern reaches of Ukraine, and of floods of beleaguered refugees streaming across the border into Russia. But much of this information is demonstrably false, emerging from unsourced media reports, then making its way into the statements of Russian politicians, and even into Western media reports.”
Russia Wags The Dog With Ukraine Disinformation Campaign
Radio Free Europe/
Radio Liberty



**********
“ 'It’s all lies', said Lilia Shevtsova, an expert on Russian politics at the Carnegie Moscow Center. 'The Russia leadership doesn’t care about how it’s being perceived in the outside world, in the world of communication, in the world where we have plurality of information and where information can be confirmed and checked. This is a radical change in attitude toward the West.' Ms. Shevtsova added: 'We can’t trust anything. Even with the Soviet propaganda, when they were talking with the Soviet people, there were some rules. Now, there are no rules at all. You can invent anything'.

“To watch the television news in Russia is to be pulled into a swirling, 24-hour vortex of alarmist proclamations of Western aggression, sinister claims of rising fascism and breathless accounts of imminent hostilities by the 'illegal' Ukrainian government in Kiev, which has proved itself in recent days to be largely powerless.”
Russia Is Quick to Bend
Truth About Ukraine
The The New York Times



**********
“Independent opinions polls conducted before the crisis show that an overwhelming majority of Russians opposed Russian meddling in Ukrainian politics as well as a possible military intervention in the country.

“But the state-controlled media's relentless portrayal of Euromaidan protesters as Western-funded extremists appears to be turning the tide.

“Lev Gudkov, a sociologist at Russia's independent Levada polling center, says that 'there isn't a single resource providing balanced and comprehensive information.'

“ 'All the main channels are engaged in pure demagogy. I'm afraid that imperial complexes, the remains of imperial consciousness, will rise to the surface and be resurrected', Gudkov says.

........

“Gudkov predicts a rift in public opinion between educated, city-dwelling Russians and those living in small towns with only limited access online news sites.

“ 'I think the reaction will be mixed. The conviction that Russia should not interfere will persist, compounded with fear of the conflicts growing into a full-flown war between Russia and Ukraine', Gudkov says.

“ 'But this opinion will be held mostly among educated people living in big cities. In the provinces, people are more likely to support the policy and approve of Putin.'

“Russian opposition activists and rights advocates have been quick to lambast Putin for bringing their nation to the brink of war with Ukraine.

“Police in Moscow arrested dozens of activists at antiwar demonstrations at the Defense Ministry and on Manezh Square, near the Kremlin, where protesters unfurled a banner reading 'For Your Freedom And Ours'. It was the same slogan used in an August 1968 demonstration on Red Square against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

“A number of Russian luminaries, including rock musician Yury Shevchuk, have also delivered unusually harsh critiques of the Kremlin.

“One of the most virulent attacks so far has come from Andrei Zubov, a prominent political analyst and a professor at at MGIMO, the prestigious Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

“In an article published by the daily 'Vedemosti', Zubov compared Putin to Adolf Hitler and accused him of seeking to instigate 'political dictatorship.' ”

Russians Ambivalent As Putin Threatens Ukraine Invasion
RFE/RL



**********
“Ukraine is locked in [a] conflict [...] between Russia's version of the Ukrainian revolution—according to which foreign-backed fascists staged a coup, leaving lynch-mobs to rule the streets—and reality, which is that mass protests toppled a grotesquely corrupt president, and that a broad-based interim government is peacefully preparing for new elections. In Kiev, police cars are back on patrol, the piles of cobblestones used to repel riot police have been replaced by flowers and candles for the dead, and shops and public services are operating normally—as they have done almost throughout. For many Kievans, the biggest upset of the crisis was a two-day metro stoppage, forcing them to walk to work.”
A Borderland on the Edge
Standpoint



**********
“From Moscow to London to New York, the Ukrainian revolution has been seen through a haze of propaganda. Russian leaders and the Russian press [, as well as Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, ] have insisted that Ukrainian protesters were right-wing extremists and then that their victory was a coup...

“Interestingly, the message from authoritarian regimes in Moscow and Kiev was not so different from some of what was written during the uprising in the English-speaking world, especially in publications of the far left and the far right. From Lyndon LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review through Ron Paul’s newsletter through The Nation and The Guardian, the story was essentially the same: little of the factual history of the protests, but instead a play on the idea of a nationalist, fascist, or even Nazi coup d’état.”
Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books



**********
“Did the current Ukrainian authorities come to power in a fascist coup?...[T]he mass protests against the Yanukovych regime that began in November involved millions of people, from all walks of life. After the regime tried and failed to put down the protests by shooting protestors from rooftops on February 20, EU negotiators arranged a deal whereby Yanukovych would cede power to parliament. Rather than signing the corresponding legislation, as he had committed to do, Yanukovych fled to Russia.

“Parliament declared that he had abandoned his responsibilities, followed the protocols that applied to such a case, and continued the process of constitutional reform by itself. Presidential elections were called for May, and a new government was formed...Although one can certainly debate the constitutional nuances, this process was not a coup. And it certainly was not fascist. Reducing the powers of the president, calling presidential elections, and restoring the principles of democracy are the opposite of what fascism would demand. Leaders of the Jewish community have declared their unambiguous support for the new government and their total opposition to the Russian invasion [of Crimea].

“Of the eighteen cabinet posts that have been filled in the new government, three are held by members of the far right party, Svoboda. Its leader had less than 2 percent support in a recent opinion poll...[T]his is the grain of truth from which, according to the traditional rules of propaganda, Putin’s 'fascist coup' has been concocted.”
Crimea: Putin vs. Reality
The New York Review of Books



**********
“[Prominent Maidan activist Maksym Butkevych, who works for the anti-xenophobia NGO Social Action Center, ] acknowledged that the far-right Svoboda party was extremely visible during the protests mainly because it’s better able than any other political group in the country to quickly mobilize its rank-and-file members, but said that it 'never played such a huge role as is being portrayed in the media' and 'never had the sympathies of the majority of the
protesters.' ”

What’s Next for the Euromaidan?
Slate



**********
“...[T]he Right Sector's role in the Maidan protests was vastly over-exaggerated, said Anton Shekhovtsov, an expert on far-right groups in Ukraine and a doctoral candidate at the University College of London.

“ 'The Right Sector was not the leading force of Maidan and was not the leading force of the revolution', said Shekhovtsov. At their core, protests were not about nationalism, but fighting rampant corruption in Viktor Yanukovich's government. Any respect that the Right Sector earned on Maidan had nothing to do with their far-right political sentiments, he added.

........

“At the end of March, Right Sector registered as a political party and the organisation's leader, Dmitry Yarosh, announced his intention to run in Ukraine's May 25 presidential election, according to Ukrainian media reports.

“While registering as a political party will give Yarosh greater control over who can be a member of the Right Sector, there is little chance that the new party will have any success at the polls, said Yuriy Yakymenko, the Director of Political and Legal Programmes at Razumkov Centre, a Kiev-based, non-governmental think-tank.

“In a presidential poll from the Kiev International Institute of Sociology taken from April 29 - May 11, Yarosh is coming in with less than one percent of support.

“The ultra-nationalist party, Svoboda, hasn't experienced much of a boost in its popularity since the EuroMaidan protests ended either, though they did gain several positions in the new Kiev government.

“One of two deputy prime ministers, Oleksandr Sych is a member of Svoboda as are the ecology, agricultural and education ministers.

........

“[Oleh] Tyahnybok [, Svoboda's leader,] is currently a presidential candidate in the upcoming May 25 election and is polling at one percent, a three percent drop in his numbers from March.

“The true marker of where Svoboda stands will come during the next parliamentary election, which is currently scheduled for 2017, though a snap election might occur after this weekend's presidential election.

“But it is unlikely that Svoboda will ever regain the momentum it had in 2012, said Anatoliy Oktysiuk, a senior analyst for the International Center for Policy Studies and an expert on Ukrainian far-right movements.

“The party's main appeal for Ukrainian voters in the past was that it was openly critical of Yanukovich. 'Now that the old president is gone, Svoboda will either have to go mainstream, or risk fading away', said Oktysiuk.

“As for ultra-nationalists like the Right Sector, they are likely to just disappear as a political group, said Shekhovtsov. 'The Ukrainian people have no taste for political extremism.' ”

Ukraine's Far-Right:
Popular or Propaganda?
Al Jazeera



**********
“Ukraine's comfortably multicultural nature is reflected in the make-up of its new interim government. The acting president is a Baptist from the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk; the prime minister comes from famously mongrel (Ukrainain/Russian/Moldovan/Polish/Jewish) Chernivtsi, on the Romanian border. The interior minister's background is Armenian, and a deputy prime ministership has gone to the popular young Jewish mayor of Vinnitsya. The inclusion of four far-right ministers—appointed in deference to their followers' fierce defence of Kiev's Maidan—far overstates the movement's weight. When the leader of the larger of the two far-right parties stood in the presidential elections of 2010 he won only 1.4 per cent of the vote. Support may have risen since—May's presidential election will tell—but to nothing like the levels enjoyed by Hungary's Jobbik or Greece's Golden Dawn. As an open letter by Ukraine's leading Jewish association, rejecting Putin's claims of anti-Semitic violence, points out, Russia itself has far more neo-Nazis, and 'they are encouraged by your own security services.' ”
A Borderland on the Edge
Standpoint



**********
“ 'The Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine are not being humiliated or discriminated against, their civil rights have not been limited...Your certainty of the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine also does not correspond to the actual facts. It seems you have confused Ukraine with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year.'

........

“ 'Yes, we are well aware that the political opposition and the forces of social protests who have secured changes for the better are made up of different groups. They include nationalistic groups, but even the most marginal do not dare show anti-Semitism or other xenophobic behavior. And we certainly know that our very few nationalists are well-controlled by civil society and the new Ukrainian government—which is more than can be said for the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services.' ”

Ukrainian Jews Slam Putin in Full-Page Ad in New York Times
JTA



**********
“ 'When was the last time you personally experienced anti-Semitism?' I asked the executive director of the organized Jewish community for the city of Kiev. He gave me a puzzled look. 'You mean, called me a Zhid or something like that?' 'Anything'. He thought for a moment. 'Back in Soviet times'.

“I put the same question to a roomful of senior citizens in one of the country’s 32 Jewish social-service centers. The group, which was mostly women, laughed out loud. They faced plenty of problems: the standard old-age pension in Ukraine is only about $100 a month, pitifully little even in this poor country. But the Russian claim that gangs of neo-Nazis are roaming Ukraine, threatening its Jewish population, evoked unanimous scorn from every Jewish person I talked to in the country.”

Ukraine's Phantom
Neo-Nazi Menace
The Atlantic



**********
"...[I]nstead of reeling in panic at any fascist resurgence, the Jewish community of Dnipropetrovsk, one of the largest in Ukraine, is celebrating the recent appointment of one of its own, a billionaire tycoon named Ihor Kolomoysky, as the region’s most powerful official.

“ 'They made a Jew the governor. What kind of anti-Semitism is this?' asked Solomon Flaks, the 87-year-old chairman of the region’s Council of Jewish Veterans of the Great Patriotic War, a group of a rapidly shrinking number of World War II veterans.”

Among Ukraine’s Jews, the
Bigger Worry Is Putin,
Not Pogroms
The New York Times



**********
“A great number of [Maidan] protest organizers across Ukraine [were] Jewish intellectuals: artists, teachers, and academics among others, of varying ages. [In February], Vadym Rabynovych, the president of the Ukrainian Jewish Congress and owner of the TV channel Jewish News 1, issued a statement characterizing the protesters’ relationship to the Jewish community as 'tolerant and peaceful' and suggesting that claims to the contrary are merely provocations. Many prominent Jews have come out in support of the Maidan movement, among them the oligarch Victor Pinchuk, the journalist Vitaly Portnikov, and the artist Alexander Roitburd. My friend and colleague Anatoliy Kerzhner wrote to me of the pointed inclusion of Jewish events on the Maidan platform: Rabbi Hillel Cohen of one of the city’s Orthodox synagogues offered a prayer for peace, the Pushkin Klezmer Band performed Yiddish songs, and scholars lectured about Ukrainian Jewish history.”
After Yanukovych, Maidan’s Next Fight Will Be To Preserve a
Ukraine Safe for Minorities
Tablet



**********
“People who criticize only the Ukrainian right often fail to notice two very important things. The first is that the revolution in Ukraine came from the Left. Its enemy was an authoritarian kleptocrat, and its central program was social justice and the rule of law...

........

“Th[e]...second thing that goes unnoticed [is that t]he authoritarian far right in Russia is infinitely more dangerous than the authoritarian far right in Ukraine. It is in power, for one thing. It has no meaningful rivals, for another. It does not have to accommodate itself to international expectations, for a third. And it is now pursuing a foreign policy that is based openly upon the ethnicization of the world. It does not matter who an individual is according to law or his own preferences: The fact that he speaks Russian makes him a Volksgenosse requiring Russian protection, which is to say invasion. The Russian parliament granted Putin the authority to invade the entirety of Ukraine and to transform its social and political structure, which is an extraordinarily radical goal. It also sent a missive to the Polish foreign ministry proposing a partition of Ukraine. On popular Russian television Jews are blamed for the Holocaust; in the major newspaper Izvestiia Hitler is rehabilitated as a reasonable statesman responding to unreasonable western pressure. The pro-war demonstrations supporting the invasion of Ukraine are composed of people who wear monochrome uniforms and march in formation. The Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine involves generating ethnic violence, not suppressing it. The man who raised the Russian flag in Donetsk was a member of a neo-Nazi party.”

Ukrainian Extremists Will Only Triumph if Russia Invades
The New Republic



**********
“ 'The whole premise for the [Russian] Federation Council's agreement to give its authorization for the use of force [against Ukraine] and the whole premise being put forth in the UN by Ambassador Churkin is that they have to intervene to save and protect ethnic Russians and Russian speakers, who they fear are in danger', [the writer Catherine Fitzpatrick] explains. 'But they have based this whole premise on false contentions about attacks.'
Russia Wags The Dog With
Ukraine Disinformation Campaign
Radio Free Europe/
Radio Liberty



**********
“...[T]here is no repression of Russians or their language to begin with. The often-used expressions of 'ethnic Russians' or 'Russian-speaking minority' create the impression that Russians and Ukrainians live in separate communities, when in fact they are completely intermingled and largely proficient in the other language. Kiev is still a Russophone city, despite its resistance to Putin. Since independence in 1991, older people in the Russian-speaking east have had trouble with the switch to Ukrainian as the language of bureaucracy; for the new generation, it’s no big deal. Even Yanukovych learned to address the nation in Ukrainian. The difference is roughly equivalent to that between Spanish and Portuguese.
Putin the Predictable
Slate



**********
“The Maidan functioned in two languages simultaneously, Ukrainian and Russian, because Kiev is a bilingual city and Ukraine is a bilingual country and Ukrainians are bilingual people. Indeed, the motor of the revolution was the Russian-speaking middle class of Kiev. The current government is unselfconsciously multiethnic and multilingual. Ukraine is a cosmopolitan place where considerations of language and ethnicity count for less then we think. In fact, Ukraine is now the site of the largest and most important free media in the Russian language, since all important media in Ukraine appear in Russian, and since freedom of speech prevails. Putin's idea of defending Russian speakers in Ukraine is absurd on many levels, but one of them is this: People can say what they like in Russian in Ukraine, but they cannot do so in Russia itself.”
Ukrainian Extremists Will Only Triumph if Russia Invades
The New Republic



**********
“...Most Ukrainians are bilingual and many Ukrainians in Kiev speak Russian rather than Ukrainian at home. Ukrainians are cosmopolitan in a way that most of us are not. Unfortunately, we reward them for it by not noticing that they are bilingual, dividing them into groups of Russian- and Ukrainian-speakers, drawing the conclusion that there are two nations instead of one—and thereby preparing ourselves for Putin’s war propaganda.

“Putin claims that he is defending the rights of speakers of Russian in Ukraine. He has used this argument to justify his invasion of Crimea...

“If speakers of Russian were suffering discrimination, that would give rise to concern, though not justify invasion. In fact, Russian is a completely normal language of interchange in Ukraine. There, tens of millions of Russian-speakers read a free press, watch uncontrolled television and learn from an uncensored internet, in either Ukrainian or in Russian, as they prefer.

“In Russia, the major social media have been brought under state control, television has been almost completely subdued and several of the remaining free-thinking blogs and internet news sites have been shut down or pressured. This leaves Ukraine as an island of free speech for people who use the Russian language.

“There is a country where millions of Russian-speakers lack basic rights. That country is the Russian Federation. There is a neighbouring country where tens of millions of Russian-speakers enjoy basic rights—despite the disruptions of a revolution and Russian invasion. That country is Ukraine. As the joke goes, Ukraine is a country where people speak Russian, while Russia is a country where people stay quiet in Russian.”

Freedom in Russian
Exists Only in Ukraine
London Evening Standard



**********
“I am...Russian, an ethnic Russian who has lived in Kiev from early childhood. Between 8 and 14 million of Ukraine's 47 million population are ethnic Russians and the word Russian doesn't give rise to any aggression among Ukrainians or spark any glint of hatred in their eyes. My grandfather was the first to arrive on Ukrainian soil. He came in 1943, was killed in the battle to free Kharkiv and is buried in a mass grave at the railway junction of Valki, not far from the city. He died fighting against fascism and now I hear the word fascist used about me because I am against the occupation of my country by Putin's army, because I am against the state of total corruption created by Yanukovich and his clan, because I want the country where I live to be guided by the rule of law.”
Andrey Kurkov: Why I Stayed
as the Crisis in Ukraine Flared
The Guardian



**********
“In his comments at the United Nations, [Russian U.N. Ambassador] Churkin also cited an alleged attack on the famous Monastery of the Caves in Kyiv that was widely reported in the Russian media. The monastery has said no such attack took place...

"Russian media also widely reported that more than 650,000 Ukrainians have crossed out of southeastern Ukraine into Russia since the beginning of the year. However, the UN's High Commissioner on Refugees says it has seen no evidence of unusual migration on the border.

........

“Other stories have a basis in fact, but are unjustifiably spun by Russian media accounts. For instance, on the night of February 27-28, unknown vandals defaced a synagogue in Simferopol.

“Russian media blankly reported this as an anti-Semitic attack by the ultranationalist Right Sector group, although Right Sector denied it and the local Jewish community leader Oleksandr Hendin told RFE/RL: 'I don't think it was Right Sector. I think someone did this using their logo in order to destabilize Crimea.' ”
Russia Wags The Dog With
Ukraine Disinformation Campaign
Radio Free Europe/
Radio Liberty



**********
“Once a story is out there, it is often impossible to rein it back in...

“This, Russian sociologist Lev Gudkov, director of the independent Levada Center, says, is a fundamental purpose of propaganda. 'In propaganda it is very important to consider the effect of squeezing out alternative versions of events, all alternative information. As a result, even people who don't believe or who doubt the official information are not in a position to work with other points of view. And this is the foundation of propaganda.' ”
Russia Wags The Dog With
Ukraine Disinformation
Campaign
Radio Free Europe/
Radio Liberty



**********
“...An excellent propaganda apparatus, such as the Russian one, can find ways to repeat its message over and over again in slightly different ways and formats. Plenty of people in the West now spread Russian propaganda, sometimes for money, sometimes from ignorance, and sometimes for reasons best known to themselves. Those who repeat the Russian propaganda conceits do not need to convince everyone, only to set the terms of debate. If people in free societies have their discussions framed for them by rulers of unfree societies, then they will not notice the history unfolding around them (a revolution just happened in Europe!) or sense the urgency of formulating policy in a desperate situation (a European country has just invaded another!). Propaganda can serve this technical purpose no matter how absurd it is.”
Crimea: Putin vs. Reality
The New York Review of Books



**********
“By this point, Russian propaganda is so self-contradictory that it gives Orwellianism a bad name. Russia claims to be supporting democracy even though it has no free elections and is acting to hinder those of a neighbor. Moscow instructs the West, absurdly, that the Ukrainian government is fascist, while meanwhile supporting actual fascists in Europe and designing its own foreign policy along the traditional fascist program of protecting coethnics by military force, whether they want protection or not.”
Ukraine: The Edge of Democracy
World Affairs Journal



**********
“...The Russian media continually make the claim that the Ukrainians who protest are Nazis. Naturally, it is important to be attentive to the far right in Ukrainian politics and history. It is still a serious presence today, although less important than the far right in France, Austria, or the Netherlands. Yet it is the [Yanukovych] regime rather than its opponents that resorts to anti-Semitism, instructing its riot police that the opposition is led by Jews. In other words, the [Yanukovych] government is telling itself that its opponents are Jews and us that its opponents are Nazis.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“ 'On the websites of some parties close to the [Yanukovych] government, such as those of Viktor Medvedchuk [a Putin ally], Natalia Vitrenko [head of the pro-Stalin Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine], and the Berkut [the riot police responsible for the mass killings in Kyiv], there
...appeared [at a certain point in the Maidan protest movement] many anti-Semitic materials that state that the Jews organized the Maidan. That’s completely absurd, but it’s believed by those who with batons and shields face down the activists. They [the riot police] are being told: look, the Maidan is the work of Jews, so don’t spare anyone, beat them all.' ”

Ukraine's Chief Rabbi Refutes Putin's Anti-Semitic Charges
World Affairs Journal



**********
“What does it mean when the wolf cries wolf? Most obviously, propagandists in Moscow and [working for Yanukovych's administration in] Kiev take us for fools—which by many indications is quite justified.

“More subtly, what this campaign does is attempt to reduce the social tensions in a complex country to a battle of symbols about the past. Ukraine is not a theater for the historical propaganda of others or a puzzle from which pieces can be removed. It is a major European country whose citizens have important cultural and economic ties with both the European Union and Russia. To set its own course, Ukraine needs normal public debate, the restoration of parliamentary democracy, and workable relations with all of its neighbors. Ukraine is full of sophisticated and ambitious people. If people in the West become caught up in the question of whether they are largely Nazis or not, then they may miss the central issues in the present crisis.

“In fact, Ukrainians are in a struggle against both the concentration of wealth and the concentration of armed force in the hands of Viktor Yanukovych and his close allies. The protesters might be seen as setting an example of courage for Americans of both the left and the right. Ukrainians make real sacrifices for the hope of joining the European Union. Might there be something to be learned from that among Euroskeptics in London or elsewhere? This is a dialogue that is not taking place.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“Whatever course the Russian intervention may take, it is not an attempt to stop a fascist coup, since nothing of the kind has taken place. What has taken place is a popular revolution, with all of the messiness, confusion, and opposition that entails. The young leaders of the Maidan, some of them radical leftists, have risked their lives to oppose a regime that represented, at an extreme, the inequalities that we criticize at home. They have an experience of revolution that we do not. Part of that experience, unfortunately, is that Westerners are provincial, gullible, and reactionary.”
Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books






THE PUTIN REGIME'S PROPAGANDA MACHINE


Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda
The New York Review of Books


War of Words
Foreign Policy

Ukraine: Putin’s Denial
The New York Review of Books


Russia Wags The Dog With
Ukraine Disinformation Campaign
RFE/RL

Putin’s Propaganda Campaign
National Review

Russia Is Quick to
Bend truth About Ukraine
The New York Times

Is Russia's Nightly News
Diet Skewed? [VIDEO]
CNN

Pro-Russian Network Behind
the Anti-Ukrainian Defamation
Campaign
Anton Shekhovtsov's Blog


Russia's Online-Comment Propaganda Army
The Atlantic


Documents Show How Russia’s Troll Army Hit America
Buzzfeed


Russian Propaganda Machine 'Worse than Soviet Union'
BBC


Russia's Propaganda
Worse Now [VIDEO]
CNN

How Russia Is Winning
the Propaganda War

Spiegel


Russian Professor Explains
Media Manipulation
RFE/RL

Exposing Putin’s Propaganda
Accuracy in Media


We Will Take No
Lessons from Russia
The Telegraph

President Putin's Fiction:
10 False Claims about Ukraine
U.S. Department of State

Russian Fiction the Sequel:
10 More False Claims
About Ukraine
U.S. Department of State

Top 10 Kremlin Myths & Lies
used to justify Russian invasion
of Ukraine’s Crimea
Kyiv Post

Putin’s Crimea
Propaganda Machine
The Daily Beast

Crimea: Putin vs. Reality

The New York Review of Books


In Crimea, Putin Has 'Lost
His Mind' Fighting For Survival
RFE/RL

Putin's Breathtaking Lies
about Russia
CNN


Russia's Propaganda War is
a Danger for Ukraine's Jews

The Guardian

Ukraine: Hate in Progress
The New York Review of Books


Ukraine, Putin TV
and the Big Lie
Politico

On Putin's RT Network, the EU,
U.S., and Fascist Thugs Are to
Blame for the Mess in Ukraine
Newsweek

Answering Russia Today’s
“Questions On Ukraine The
West Chooses Not To Answer”
Buzzfeed

How The Truth Is
Made At Russia Today

Buzzfeed

Watch RT, Putin's TV
Network, Call the Cops on Me

The Daily Beast

RT Anchor Liz Wahl
Explains Why She Quit
The Daily Beast

The Putin Pulitzers
The Daily Beast


Russia's President
Annexes...Words
[VIDEO]
CNN


The Kidnapping Of Journalists
Is The Latest Step In Ukraine Propaganda Wars

Buzzfeed


3 Ways the Russian
Government Plans
to Police the Web

Global Voices


'Guardian' Op-Ed Quotes Cryptic Odesa 'Doctor' Seen As Hoax
RFE/RL



THE STATE OF
THE PUTIN REGIME


The Putin Doctrine: Myth,
Provocation, Blackmail,
or the Real Deal?
The American Interest


Vladimir Putin: The
Rebuilding of ‘Soviet’ Russia
BBC News


Putinism as the Last
Phase of Sovietism
EuroMaidanPR

Let the Past Collapse on Time!

The New York Review of Books

Through The Crimean Prism:
Five Things We've Learned
About Russia
RFE/RL

After Annexing Crimea,
Euphoric Russia Turns
Thoughts to Ukraine

The New York Times

Putin Then And Now [PODCAST]
RFE/RL

Autocrat Man [PODCAST]
RFE/RL

Putin’s Rasputin

The London Review of Books

Putin's Brain
Foreign Affairs


Alexander Dugin: The
Crazy Ideologue of the
New Russian Empire
The Daily Beast


The Russian Enigma: Is
The Bear Turning East?
Standpoint

Russia is Remaking itself as the
Leader of the Anti-Western World
The Washington Post


Russia’s Anti-Western Ideology
has Global Consequences
The Washington Post


Putin's Western Allies
Foreign Affairs

'A Partner for Russia': Europe's
Far Right Flirts with Moscow
Spiegel


Europe's Far Right
Is Embracing Putin

Business Insider

Far Right Fever for a
Europe Tied to Russia

The New York Times

The Right Model for
the Right Europeans
EuroMaidan PR


Putin, Ukraine, Europe,
and the Right
National Review

Decrying Ukraine’s ‘Fascists,’
Putin Is Allying With Europe’s
Far Right

The Nation

Far-Right Forces are
Influencing Russia's
Actions in Crimea
The New Republic

Is Putin a New Hitler
(In the Making)?
Anton Shekhovtsov's Blog

Putin is Turning Both Left
and Right-Wingers into
Apologists for Despotism

The Independent

'Progressive' Silence
on Putin's Aggression
Kyiv Post

Meet Vladimir Putin's
American Apologist

The New Republic

Meet Stephen F. Cohen,
Vladimir Putin's Best Friend
in the American Media

The Daily Beast

Putin’s American Toady at
'The Nation' Gets Even Toadier

The New Republic

Putin’s Useful Idiots
The New York Times

The Sympathy Problem:
Is Germany a Country of
Russia Apologists?
Spiegel

Why Germans Love Russia
The New York Times

A Sober Look: It's Time To
Stop Romanticizing Russia

Spiegel

How the ‘Realists’
Misjudged Ukraine

The Daily Beast

Putin's Aggression Is
Not America's Fault!
The New Republic

The West Must Not Blame
Itself for Putin's Revanchism
CNN

Ukraine and the
Crisis of the West

National Review

Waking Up to the
Russian Threat
The Wall Street Journal

Ukraine’s Wake-Up
Call for NATO

The Washington Post

In Shadow Of Ukraine, A
Return To Rivalry Between
NATO And Russia

NPR

In Cold War Echo, Obama
Strategy Writes Off Putin
The New York Times

A Need to Contain Russia
The Washington Post

The End of the Putin Mystique
The Washington Post


Putin’s Patriotism is Phony,
His Desperation is Real
The Daily Beast


Putin Has Always Been
A 'Playground Bully'
NPR


Vladimir's Not-Excellent
Adventure
The Wall Street Journal

The Loneliness of Vladimir Putin
The New Republic

Vladimir Putin, Victim?
Commentary

What Drives Vladimir Putin?
National Review

Is Vladimir Putin Irrational?
CNN


Is Vladimir Putin Insane? Hardly
The Los Angeles Times


Forgiving Putin—Again
The Wall Street Journal

Crimea and Punishment
The Weekly Standard

How to Punish Putin
The New York Times

Sanctions: Potential
Economic Damage
BBC News

U.S. Targets Putin's
Banker, Threatens trade
CNN Money

US Sanctions Target
Putin's Inner Circle
BBC News

Russian Officials
Targeted by Sanctions
BBC News

U.S. Sanctions on
Russia Begin to Bite
CNN Money

Sanctions Erode Russia's
Improved Business Practices

The Globe and Mail

Putin’s Powerful Friends Rally
Around Russian President
Despite Sanctions
TIME

Defiant Russia Shrugs
Off Sanctions
CNN Money

Putin Imposes Secret
Sanctions on Pro-Gay
Obama Campaign Donors
The Daily Beast


New US Sanctions on
Russia Remain Too Little
Atlantic Council

Sanctions: What Could
be the Next Move?
BBC News

Punishing Russia Carries Risks
Council on Foreign Relation


The West's Tricky Trade
Relationship with Russia
CNN

The French Ask: Should We Be Building Warships For Russia?
NPR


Putin says Expects France
to Honor Warships Contract

Reuters


Sanctions Put Pentagon's
Business Deals With Russia
Up For Debate

NPR


Sanctions Leave U.S.
Companies Jittery Over Murky Russian Business Ties

RFE/RL


Why Russia No Longer
Fears the West
Politico

Western Banks Lend
Billions to Russia
CNN Money


Russians Spend
Billions on Europe Deals
CNN Money


11 Intriguing Things Owned
by Wealthy Russians
CNN


Six Numbers That Explain
Why Europe Can't Get Its
Act Together On Russia
Business Insider

Russia’s Big Bet
on Putinomics
The Washington Post


Russia’s Western Enablers
The Washington Post


Why Europe will Balk
at Russian Sanctions
CNN Money

European Firms Seek to
Minimize Russia Sanctions

The New York Times

The EU Hesitates
to Act over Ukraine
Global Post

What Will Sanctions Mean for London's Russian Oligarchs?
The Guardian

UK Seeking to Ensure Russia Sanctions Do Not Harm
City of London

The Guardian

British Officials Oppose
Sanctions Because Russia's
Elite Are London's Cash Cows

The New Republic

How Vladimir Putin's
Cheerleaders Enjoy the
Good Life in Britain
The Telegraph

Divisions in Europe on
Sanctions Mean Russia Need
Not Change Ukraine Aims
The Guardian

Putin May Have An Opening To Rebuild Relations With West
NPR


The Sanctions Dilemma
Council on Foreign Relation


Time to Rethink Sanctions
Against Russia and Aid
to Ukraine
CNN Money


Tracing Russian Economic Assets—and Targets for More Sanctions
The Weekly Standard


How Russia Inc. Moves Billions Offshore—and a Handful of Tax Havens May Hold Key
to Sanctions

Bloomberg


Are Tax Havens Next to
Pressure Russia on Ukraine?
[VIDEO]
Bloomberg


Activist Investor Chased out of Russia Explains How to Really
Hurt Putin

The Globe and Mail


Oil Industry Key to
Sanctions on Russia [VIDEO]
The Rachel Maddow Show

Oil Mega-Corporations Key to
Leverage over Russia [VIDEO]
The Rachel Maddow Show

How Does Europe Wean
Itself Off Russian Gas?

BBC


How Europe can Kick
its Russian Gas Habit
Global Post

Russia Fallout Pushes
Europe to Develop Shale Gas
CNN Money

EU-Moscow Row Over South Stream Gas Pipeline
BBC


Is South Stream The Latest
Victim Of the Ukraine Crisis?

RFE/RL


Russian Economic Forum
Boycotted Over Ukraine Crisis
NPR


Russia Economy Worsens
Even Before Sanctions Hit
The New York Times

Flex Muscle Spending Has Left
Putin’s Russia in an Economic
Freeze Frame
The Daily Beast

Russia's Finance Minister
Predicts Zero Growth
RFE/RL

IMF Slashes Russia
Growth Forecast
CNN Money

Recession Warning for Russia
CNN Money

Russian Ruble Rattled by
Renewed Ukraine Unrest
CNN Money

Russia’s Credit Rating Cut As Country’s Economy Falters
TIME

Russia Raises Rate to Bolster Economy After S.&P. Cuts
Its Debt Rating
The New York Times

Russia Cites Economic Fallout
from Crimea Annexation

The Los Angeles Times

Ukraine Crisis Hurting
Russia's Economy [VIDEO]
CNN

Swedish FM: Crisis Hurts
Russian Economy [VIDEO]
CNN

Crisis Reveals Serious
Cracks in Putin's Empire
CNN

Is Putin Next?
World Affairs Journal

Why Russia Is So
Worried About Ukraine
OZY

Why Putin Fears Ukraine:
It's an Alternative Russia
The Wall Street Journal

What's Happening in Kiev Right
Now Is Vladimir Putin's Worst Nightmare
The New Republic

Kiev Envy
Foreign Policy

Russians Ambivalent As Putin Threatens Ukraine Invasion
RFE/RL

Putin Draws Wrong Lessons
From Yanukovych
World Affairs Journal

Putin Wins in Russia Only by
Escalating his War Rhetoric
The Washington Post


Russia's War in Crimea Could
Have Happened 20 Years Ago,
But Didn't. This Is What Changed
The New Republic

Crimea-happy Russians Want Gorbachev to Pay for Loss of
Soviet Empire
The Washington Post

In The Wake Of Crimea
Annexation, Patriotism Reigns
In Russian Classrooms
RFE/RL

Statement for Sub-Committee
on Human Rights of the
European Parliament on
the Situation in Russia

EuroMaidanPR

Xenophobic Chill
Descends on Moscow
The New York Times

Russia's Ukrainian
Minority Under Pressure

Al Jazeera

While the West Watches Crimea, Putin Cleans House in Moscow
The New Republic

Putin Clamps Down: A Chilling Report From Moscow
Rolling Stone

As Putin Rides Wave Of
Popularity, Opposition May
Get Swept Under

NPR

The Propaganda War:
Opposition Sings Kremlin
Tune on Ukraine

Spiegel

Putin’s New War on “Traitors”
The New Yorker

Putin's Other War [PODCAST]
RFE/RL

Putin Moves Against the Press
The New Yorker

56 Journalists Killed
in Russia Since 1992

Committee to Protect Journalists

Putin Is Cracking Down on Media Exactly When We're Desperate
for Answers
The New Republic

Russia's Independent
Media All But Silenced

NPR

Kremlin Quashes Last
Pockets of Media Freedom
World Affairs Journal

A Week Before the Olympics,
the Kremlin is Attacking Russia's
Last Independent TV Channel
The New Republic

Russia's Last Independent TV
Channel Is Fighting For Its Life
The New Republic

Russia's 'Optimistic Channel'
Fighting For Survival
RFE/RL

Russia Ends Broadcasts
by Voice of America
'Propaganda' Tool
The Los Angeles Times

Swearing Off Bad Language: Russia Bans Cussing in Films, Books, Music
CNN

Russia Quietly Tightens Reins
on Web With ‘Bloggers Law’

The Los Angeles Times

The Logic of Russian
Internet Censorship
The Washington Post


Sorry, Snowden: Putin Lied to
You About His Surveillance State
—And Made You a Pawn of It
The Daily Beast


Putin's Political Prisoners
World Affairs Journal

Bolotnaya Defendants
Sentenced To Up To Four Years
RFE/RL

Russians Detained For
Holding Up 'Invisible Placards'
RFE/RL

The Kremlin's
Rock 'n Roll Revisionism

The Daily Beast

In Russia, Punk-Rock Riot
Girls Rage Against Putin
NPR

The 'Pussy Riot' Arrests, And
The Crackdown That Followed
NPR

The Politics Of the Pussy
Riot Verdict [PODCAST]
RFE/RL

Nadia Tolokno, Member of the
Russian Group Pussy Riot, Visited Kyiv
EuroMaidan PR

Notes From Underground:
Russia's Deep Society
RFE/RL

Russia's Navalny Placed Under
House Arrest For Two Months
RFE/RL

Lebedev Freed, Forty Political Prisoners Remain
World Affairs Journal

Russia’s Most Famous Political Prisoner—Now a Free Man
World Affairs Journal

A Russian Dissident tries
to Build Bridges to Ukraine

Russian Democrats
Offer Support in Ukraine

World Affairs Journal

Russia's Silent Majority
RFE/RL

The Other Russia
RFE/RL

The Power Horizontal
RFE/RL

Net Impact: One Man’s Cyber-Crusade Against Russian
Corruption

The New Yorker

Generation N: How Navalny
Shook Up Politics With His
Army Of Volunteers
RFE/RL

With Strong Moscow Showing,
Navalny Moves To New Level
RFE/RL

Is Putinism On The Wane?
RFE/RL

Fascistoid Russia: Whither
Putin’s Brittle Realm?

World Affairs Journal

The Russomaidan
RFE/RL

The Bolotnaya Maidan
RFE/RL

A Whiter Shade of Envy
The New York Times

Thousands of Russians Protest
Putin’s Aggression in Ukraine
World Affairs Journal

Anti-Putin Rally Draws
Crowd in Moscow [VIDEO]
CNN


The Assault on Ukraine I

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“...[T]he Kremlin has made one central demand, which does not at first glance seem terribly unreasonable. It wants Kiev to adopt a federal system of government giving far more power to the governors across Ukraine.

“A federal structure will ensure that Ukraine will not be anti-Russian,” said Sergei A. Markov, a Russian political strategist who supports the Kremlin.

“Russian officials have said they envision a system in which regions elect their own leaders and protect their own economic, cultural and religious traditions, including the forging of independent economic ties with Russia.

“But many experts sharply dismiss the Russian plan as a stalking horse intended to undercut Ukrainian independence. 'It is another way to dismantle and subjugate Ukraine', said Lilia Shevtsova, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. 'It means Moscow could grab and peel off any part of Ukraine at any time.'

“President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia 'wants Ukraine to be, one, absolutely neutral and, two, dependent on Moscow', said Vladimir A. Ryzhkov, an opposition politician. 'If you have a weak central government and strong governors, you can play directly with the governors over the head of Kiev.'
Russia Plotting for Ukrainian Influence, Not Invasion,
Analysts Say
The New York Times



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“Regionally, Putin's notion of national security is to surround Russia with what Karel de Gucht, the EU trade Commissioner, recently described as a string of economic 'black holes' (such as Ukraine and Belarus) and 'frozen conflicts' (including in transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia).

“These areas remain dependent upon Russia for their economic survival and constitute a further hindrance to Russian economic growth. Where China recognizes the necessity of a stable neighborhood, Putin has manufactured a volatile and vulnerable one.”

The West Must Not Blame
Itself for Putin's Revanchism
CNN



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“...Mr. Putin’s [recent] televised remarks made clear that his view of an independent Ukraine as a historical accident had not changed, nor had the existing, narrowly targeted sanctions deterred his plan to reassert Russian power by challenging America’s dominance in global affairs.

........

“Mr. Putin’s view that the West has lied to Russia and humiliated him on numerous occasions, including its plans for Libya, explain why he will continue to talk—and act—tough on Ukraine even as he takes diplomatic steps toward resolving the crisis, said Samuel Charap, the senior fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a research organization in Washington.

“ 'They are going to keep the boots on Ukraine’s throat until they are 100 percent convinced that they have gotten what they wanted', Mr. Charap said in an interview. 'They believe that if they completely pulled back from the pressure they are applying, tomorrow the West would swoop in and try to steal Ukraine away again.' ”

Away From Show of Diplomacy
in Geneva, Putin Puts On a
Show of His Own
The New York Times



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“[Former Putin adviser Andrey] Illarionov...warns, 'Putin will not leave Ukraine alone until he has achieved what he wants—pulling the country back in the Russian orbit. And he will do that one way or the other.'

“While what Kiev politicians are offering falls short of federalization, some pro-Ukrainian activists fear any decentralization will push the country down a slippery slope that allows Russia to turn the eastern and southern regions into de facto protectorates of the Kremlin. Russia has been insisting on a federal form of government for post-Yanukovych Ukraine that would see the regions control tax-revenue and even pursuing foreign and economic policies different from the federal government.

........

“Vladimir Ryzhkov, a former Russian State Duma deputy, argues Moscow’s strategy is 'to weaken Ukraine’s government institutions as much as possible' and to maneuver the circumstances where eastern and southern regions would 'align themselves more with Moscow than with Kiev.'

........

“Despite the low support for decentralization, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has pushed the federalization argument relentlessly, publicly and in talks with American officials. 'We are convinced that deep constitutional reform is required', he argued in one Russian television interview. 'Frankly speaking, we do not see any other way for sustainable development of the Ukrainian state other than a federal state.'

........

“...Illarionov says the agitation will continue and estimates that at least 2000 Russian intelligence officials are operating in eastern Ukraine. 'Putin will seek to intimidate, apply pressure and destabilize.' And throw money around. 'Watch out for who is selling Ukraine', he says.”

Putin Can Take Ukraine Without
an Invasion, and Probably Will
The Daily Beast



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“...What is Russia angling for [in Ukraine]?...Russia...needs not just to destabilize the new government in Kiev, but to make sure the country never joins the E.U. or NATO, and that it remains weak and pliable, if not an outright vassal state.

“There are many ways to get to this point. One way is to blackmail, by massing your forces at the border. Another is by having them invade. Another is by making sure the pro-Russian protests never die down, and even turn violent...Yet another is by pursuing a diplomatic route, pushing the U.S., rather than Ukraine itself, to change Ukraine's constitution and make Kiev turn political power over to the country's regions—something that, ironically, Russia has long eschewed at home.

........

“Invasion, which is on everyone's mind right now, is but one tactic and it is clearly one Putin, a man who likes to keep all options open for as long as possible, hasn't taken off the table just yet. And some observers say there may still be more innovation down the line. 'The Russian government has barely dipped into its array of instruments that might destabilize the government in Ukraine and aggravate the region', says Andrew Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment and a Russia specialist in the Clinton administration. 'We’re just at the beginning of this drama, and it's going to show just how much of a spoiler Russia can be.' ”
Putin Doesn't Need to Invade Ukraine to Destabilize It, But
He Just Might Anyway
The New Republic



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“In the Western imagination, the words 'war' and 'invasion' carry clear connotations. From books, movies, and television, we know that such events involve tanks, airplanes, and artillery, as well as soldiers in uniform, advanced weaponry, and sophisticated communications. They look like the invasion of Iraq or, to go back in time, D-Day.

“So far, the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine looks nothing like these battles. This war involves not soldiers but local thugs and volunteers, some linked to the ex-president, Viktor Yanukovych, some from criminal gangs, and some who mistakenly think they are fighting for some form of benign local autonomy.

“They are being led not by officers in uniform but by men from Russian military intelligence and special operations forces, some wearing camouflage without insignia, some communicating with 'activists' by telephone. They are supplied with Russian logistics and a few Russian automatic weapons, but not tanks or planes. There is no 'shock and awe' bombing campaign, just systematic, organized attacks on police stations, city councils, airports.

“But in the meantime, the Kremlin may settle for disrupting Ukraine’s presidential elections, scheduled for May 25, or for destabilizing Ukraine’s shaky provisional government, perhaps forcing an economic crash. The Russians may hope to provoke a civil war, or something that appears to be a civil war, which would then require a Russian 'peacekeeping mission'.

“Many of these tactics are familiar, though we haven’t seen them for a long time. In 1945, Soviet secret policemen, given the task of transforming disparate Eastern European nations into communist puppet states, also began by organizing local thugs and volunteers—criminals, war-damaged sociopaths, as well as people who mistakenly believed they were fighting for a form of benign socialism—into paramilitary and secret police forces, exactly like the ones operating in eastern Ukraine. Then as now, they led from the shadows. Then as now, they adjusted their strategy depending on how much resistance they encountered and how much support they received.”
Putin’s New Kind of War
Slate



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“After the Anschluss of Crimea, Putin had three options. He could invade all or parts of Ukraine, or hope that pro-Russian demonstrators would flood Ukraine’s streets and assert their 'people power'. The first option has not been pursued, perhaps because it’s too risky. The second failed, as the vast majority of Ukraine’s southeastern citizens have remained indifferent or opposed to unification with Russia.

“That left Putin with one remaining option: terrorism.

........

“There is overwhelming evidence of Russia’s direct and indirect involvement in the violence that rocked several eastern Ukrainian cities on April 12–13. Russian intelligence agents and spetsnaz special forces are directly involved; the weapons and uniforms worn by the terrorists are of Russian origin...and the assaults on government buildings in Slavyansk, Mariupol, Makiivka, Kharkiv, Yenakievo, Druzhkivka, Horlivka, Krasny Lyman, and Kramatorsk were clearly coordinated by Russian intelligence.

........

“Does the behavior of the pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine involve 'premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets'? Obviously. Does this violence involve 'citizens or the territory of more than one country'? Yes, it does. The violence therefore qualifies as international terrorism [in accordance to section 2656f(d) of title 22 of the United States Code], and its perpetrators are obviously 'terrorist groups'...”

Putin’s Russia as a State
Sponsor of Terrorism
World Affairs Journal



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“If Moscow is supporting pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine—or worse, actually inserting unmarked Russia military personnel into Ukraine—this is a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty under both the UN Charter and generally accepted principles of international law. Although the legal situation remains murky, some international law experts believe that a state of international armed conflict already exists between Russia and Ukraine, and that Russia is acting as an occupying power of Crimea, which is part of Ukraine. In such case, the laws of war, international humanitarian law, and occupation law would apply, including the Fourth Geneva Convention (concerning the protection of civilians) and the Hague Regulations of 1907 (concerning the laws and customs of war)."
Punishing Russia Carries Risks
Council on Foreign Relations



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“One strange by-product of Russia's tactics is the Kremlin's deftness in completely reappropriating certain terms, of inverting and perverting them. Just look at the images of the protests in Luhansk and Kharkiv, and you'd be forgiven for thinking you were looking at images of Kiev's EuroMaidan. Yet the former were whipped up by Russia, whereas the latter was a largely grassroots movement. As a result, because the hand of Moscow is so obvious in east Ukraine's protests, the independence of the protesters in Kiev comes under suspicion: were they too organized externally, perhaps in the West? More simply, it gives the two movements equal moral weight, which Russian journalist Oleg Kashin called a 'mocking parody of the Maidan.' ”
Putin Doesn't Need to Invade Ukraine to Destabilize It, But
He Just Might Anyway
The New Republic



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“It’s no coincidence that the tires, placards, flags, masks, and fatigues bear an uncanny resemblance to the Maidan protest in Kiev, because even if the message of the Donetsk revolt is radically different, its trappings are an imitation of the people’s uprising that chased out the government of Viktor Yanukovych in February.

“For Vladimir Putin, mimicking his opponents is a key element to keeping power. At home the Russian president oversees a democracy with sham elections and a loyal parliamentary opposition made up of stuffed shirts. His foreign policy can be best described as 'condemn and copy.' Since 2007, when he assailed U.S. hegemony in a Munich speech, Putin has been raging against the West—and then committing his version of the sins he’s just condemned.

“Regime change in Iraq gave Putin the green light to march into Georgia and make President Mikheil Saakashvili fear for his life; the NATO intervention in Kosovo and its eventual recognition as an independent country served as a justification for Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March; even the Eurasian Union, which Putin has been trying to force Ukraine to join, is a fake alternative to the European Union, which he envies and disdains.

“Now the Maidan protest, characterized by the Kremlin as a Western-sponsored armed coup, is being crudely imitated in towns across the Donetsk region. 'If the guys on the Maidan could revolt, why can’t we?' has been the pro-Russian supporters’ motto, which ignores that the Kiev protest began as a grassroots, peaceful demonstration that grew over months and only became violent as a result of escalating police brutality.”
Putin the Predictable
Slate



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“The [self-appointed 'Donetsk People’s Republic' separatist] group’s simple presence [occupying government buildings]...goes a long way toward fulfilling what most analysts say is Moscow’s goal in eastern Ukraine: creating a mirror image of the Kiev protests to undermine the new government and disrupt presidential elections scheduled for May 25. Russia has repeatedly emphasized that it views the escalating crisis as not just the consequence, but the mirror image of the unrest in Kiev, which prompted Putin to adopt an aggressive foreign policy unbound by international obligations.

........

“It may not even matter whether or not the rebel groups are continuing to act as Moscow’s pawns, since their mere presence is so disruptive for the Kiev government. 'You can’t hold elections under conditions like this', Weiss, the Carnegie analyst said. 'And if you do hold them, their outcome is questionable and their legitimacy is challenged.' ”
East Ukraine’s Rebels
Dig In For The Long Haul
Buzzfeed



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“[The current Ukrainian government now finds itself] in the position of facing the [same sort of] protest and street fighting tactics that brought it to power just two months ago. The pro-Russians, however, are backing a different cause: Those in the east are not seeking the overthrow of a corrupt government and closer association with the European Union, but an expansion of Russian influence in Ukraine. The eastern protesters are also accompanied by far more heavily armed groups, which Western governments say include Russian soldiers or soldiers equipped by Russia.”
Ukrainian Forces Kill
3 Pro-Russian Demonstrators
The New York Times



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“The groups of heavily armed, highly coordinated militants who have stormed government buildings and caused violent unrest in cities and towns across eastern Ukraine are viewed by the United States as still very small—for example, a hundred or a thousand people within a city of more than a million—and not at all reflective of the desires of the vast majority of the population there."
Sanctions against Russia for Ukraine Actions Working [...]
CNN



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“Is Putin behind [the separatist activity in eastern Ukraine], and if so what is his goal? No one seemed to know for sure. Yuriy Temirov, an analyst at Donetsk’s university, says that he believes some local oligarchs have been financing the rebel organization, though others are clearly supporting Ukraine. Russia certainly has its interests in Ukraine and there is strong, although disputed, evidence suggesting that Russian military and intelligence agents were involved in the takeovers; but Putin’s interests are not the same as those of the oligarchs financing the rebels. 'The local bosses don’t want any authority here, either state or Russia', Temirov told me. But Putin, he believes, has made 'efficient' use of the local bosses, who have unwittingly 'done the dirty work of the Kremlin'. One of them is widely believed to be Oleksandr Yanukovych, the son of the former president, who had been a dentist and then became fabulously wealthy when his father was in power.

“Whoever is backing them, the rebels clearly have some measure of popular support, but how much is hard to estimate. Temirov says that two opinion polls conducted since demonstrations started in the east show a majority in Donbas in favor of staying a part of Ukraine. One survey, conducted by a research organization he works with, found that 66 percent wanted to remain in Ukraine and only 18.6 percent wanted to join Russia..."

Ukraine: The Phony War?
The New York Review of Books



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“The demographics of eastern Ukraine...would not lend themselves to a secessionist referendum. According to the most recent census held in 2001, ethnic Ukrainians make up nearly 60% of the population in Donetsk and Luhansk, and more than 70% in Kharkiv, compared to only 24% in Crimea, where the majority are ethnic Russians. So it is hardly likely that a referendum in these eastern regions would result in a decision to break from Ukraine and join Russia, at least not by the overwhelming majority that was seen in Crimea last month.”
A Russian Invasion of East
Ukraine Would Make Crimea
Seem Like a Cinch
TIME



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“In the smaller cities [of eastern Ukraine] there seems to be dozens [of separatist-minded individuals], if not hundreds and in the larger cities, a few thousand. But, when you look at that in proportion to the population of each city, then really, it's only a fraction of the people.

“There are by no means large demonstrations like we had during the Euromaidan, where hundreds and thousands of people alone were on the streets of Kyiv. This shows that this is not a grassroots movement.

“There are of course about 10 to 20 percent of the population [in eastern Ukraine] who are separatists—often they are the ethnic Russians, but also Russian-speaking Ukrainians. But that does not represent the majority of the population.

“Surveys indicate that between 60 and 70 percent want a Ukrainian state. This division has been there for the past 20 years—ever since the existence of an independent Ukraine—though it has never led to so much unrest.”
'Russia has Organized
the Events in Ukraine'
Spiegel



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“...Over the past decade, poll after poll of respondents in Ukraine’s eastern oblasts reveal...a majority ‘pro-Ukrainian’ sentiment. In a 2005 Razumkov Centre study, for instance, 67% of citizens from Ukraine’s east answered positively in response to the question ‘Do you consider yourself a patriot of Ukraine?’, while 22% answered negatively and 11% found it difficult to answer at all. Likewise, in a 2006 Razumkov Centre study, 62% of respondents in the east said ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Would you choose Ukraine as your fatherland if you had the choice?’, while 20% said ‘No’ and 18% ‘Hard to say’. Keep in mind that in Ukraine per capita GDP was $2,303 in 2006; in Russia it was $6,947. Even despite economic disparity with its powerful neighbour, most residents in Ukraine’s east have made a point of embracing the Ukrainian state as their home."
A Divided Ukraine:
Europe’s Most Dangerous Idea
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities



**********
“A poll released [in April] by the U.S. government-funded International Republican Institute, a non-profit democracy group, shows support for decentralization is low in Ukraine. Just 14 percent of Ukrainians across the country support federalization, according to the poll. In the south and east the percentages rose to the mid-20s. The poll roughly tallies with surveys by Ukrainian pollsters conducted last year before the fall of Yanukovych.”
Putin Can Take Ukraine Without
an Invasion, and Probably Will
The Daily Beast



**********
“Although many people in southeastern Ukraine didn’t support Euromaidan, the southeast is itself split along generational lines: Young people in the east of Ukraine are committed to Europe, and their values are closer to the western regions of Ukraine. Some sociologists estimate that current cross-regional differences will fade in as little as ten years. Furthermore, Russia’s annexation of Crimea has significantly diminished the interregional divide. An external threat always plays a powerful role in the formation of a nation...This is what has been going on in Ukraine.

“Many recent surveys indicate that the convergence on issues of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity have substantively accelerated following the Crimea invasion. According to a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, a majority of Ukrainians—in all regions—condemn the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine (93 percent of people in the west and center held this opinion, 73 percent in the South, and 68 percent in the East)...

“As the surveys clearly illustrate, the Crimean events have encouraged consensus regarding the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine, and the agreement on its further European integration. Vladimir Putin should be given credit for strengthening Ukraine’s national identity—the very existence of which he has so persistently denied.”
Despite Pro-Soviet Protests, Majority of Ukrainians Lean
Toward Europe
The New Republic



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“Only 26 percent of those polled in the Donetsk survey wanted to join Russia or a resurrected Soviet Union, while more than 65 percent favored staying in Ukraine in one form or another.”
In Ukraine, Russia Plays
a Weighted Word Game
The New York Times



**********
“Donetsk, a city of almost a million people, is only fifty miles from the Russian border, and the government in Kiev said that Russian agents were being sent across it to stir up trouble and organize the events that subsequently unfolded. On April 6 the local administration building was seized by armed men who declared the People’s Republic of Donetsk and said they would hold a referendum on the future status of the region.

“A couple of thousand people demonstrated their support for the takeover outside the building. Some demanded a federal Ukraine and some wanted Donbas to become part of Russia. Barricades were built and people told me that if it was okay for pro-Europeans to seize buildings around the Maidan, then it was okay for them to do the same to get their point across too. But who exactly were the people inside the Donetsk building and in another seized building in the town of Luhansk? That remained unclear. A skeptical reporter summed them up as the 'Republic of Random Dudes'...

“If those behind the seizure of the two buildings thought they would inspire large-scale demonstrations that would go on as long as those on the Maidan, they were wrong. On April 11 there were no more than a couple of hundred people milling around...”

Ukraine: The Phony War?
The New York Review of Books



**********
“...A poll in April in the city of Donetsk, scene of one of the rebellions, found 72 percent of residents to not support the 'actions of those who seize administrative buildings in your region with weapons in hand.' ”
Don't Ignore Ukraine's
Quiet Revolution
The Christian Science Monitor



**********
“The vacuum of authority [the fleeing Yanukovych] left behind became fertile ground for the [Donetsk] region’s pro-Russian separatists. But the locals don’t seem to be playing along. Instead of coming out en masse to support an alliance with Russia, they have mainly chosen to tune out, turn inward, and hope that the situation somehow resolves itself without affecting them too much.”
Donetsk Greets the Ukraine
Crisis With a Shrug
TIME



**********
“With their calls for Russian President Vladimir Putin to send tanks to 'defend' the people from the 'fascist' government in Kiev, the pro-Russia protesters do not seem to represent the majority of the population in the east, which, though not enthusiastically pro-Kiev, would be content to be allowed to use Russian at work and to have their children taught in the language, to enjoy an increased regional autonomy, and simply to live in peace. Yet, despite their obvious minority status, the pro-Russian thugs have been able to take advantage of the power vacuum, relying on the apparently Moscow-supplied weaponry and logistical support to keep whole cities in terror and to have brought the entire region to the precipice of a civil war.

“A student of Political Economy 101 might recognise the developments in Ukraine's east as following the logic of 'concentrated benefits and diffuse costs', whereby a particular group will pull out all stops to achieve its goals, while the majority is too apathetic to take action to counter the active minority because it does not necessarily perceive the outcome as detrimental to its well-being. So, while the majority would prefer to continue carrying Ukrainian passports, they are too disenchanted, after two decades of lawlessness, corruption, kleptocracy by the few and the attendant impoverishment of the many, to make a stand for Ukraine's statehood.”

Eastern Ukraine: A New Pawn
in Putin's Dangerous Game
Al Jazeera



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“The world sees Ukraine in turmoil, a country divided between Russian speakers and Ukrainian nationalists, its towns and cities roiled by occupations, its highways dotted with improvised barricades.

“The reality is rather different. Only one town in eastern Ukraine—Slovyansk, is truly held by pro-Russian protesters, with roadblocks at several entrances. Its defenders are a mixture of the 'men in green', dozens of well-armed fighters wearing fatigues and balaclavas, teenagers looking for some action and what might be termed the Baboushka Brigade, middle-aged women with flashing gold teeth who decry the Kiev 'junta' and see Vladimir Putin as their savior (and the prospect of Russian ownership as bringing improved pensions).”
Small Numbers, Global Impact
CNN



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“Part of [ Slovyansk's] population [—where separatist sentiment would seem to be the strongest—] clearly supports the rebels, who call themselves the People’s Militia. Some citizens cook for them, give them information and cellphone photographs of the Ukrainian forces’ positions and military equipment outside the city. Crowds, typically of several hundred people, turn out for rebel-organized funerals and parades.

“But Slovyansk has nearly 116,000 residents, according to the United Nations.

“These people mostly remain inside, hoping, they say, for negotiations, restraint or any path that will lead to peace.

........

“ 'It’s really 50-50 in the city', said [one] resident, Denis...'On one side there are weapons, and on the other is common sense, which, unfortunately, will not overcome.' ”
In Ukrainian City Under
Blockade, Citizens Go to
Ground, and Below
The New York Times



**********
“In Donetsk, the region's capital and Ukraine's fifth-largest city, up-market fashion stores are busy; the leaders of the Ukrainian football league, Shakhtar Donetsk, play home games as scheduled; cafes are full in the spring sunshine...You would only know something was abnormal by approaching the regional government building, an 11-story slab of concrete surrounded by tires and festooned with Russian and Donbass flags and less than complimentary banners about NATO and U.S. President Barack Obama.

“Inside there may be a couple of hundred pro-Russian protesters at any one time, including the leadership of the Donbass People's Republic. Outside are a similar number—supporters, onlookers, miners in orange helmets who fear that if Ukraine joins the European Union they'll be out of a job because of more stringent health and safety regulations.

“The rest of the city works, worships and worries about the political paralysis that has engulfed Ukraine. Of a city of just under 1 million, a few hundred are involved in political agitation..

“In Mariupol, Kramatorsk, Horlivka and other towns across the Donetsk region where government buildings and police stations have been taken over, there is little sense of momentum in the pro-Russian protests. In Horlivka, a gritty industrial town north of Donetsk, a platoon of the Babushka Brigade stood beneath Lenin's statue outside the sleepy City Hall last week, ready to tell anyone who would listen that all they wanted was a referendum on their future, the chance to be free from the 'fascists' in Kiev.”
Small Numbers, Global Impact
CNN



**********
“Talk to people manning the anti-government barricades and taking part in the demonstrations against Kiev here...and one thing in particular is scary. After a day or two you realize that they all say more or less the same thing....The government in Kiev, which took power after the pro-European revolution there, is a 'fascist junta' backed by Europe and the US.

“It is as though the Russian media—which is widely watched and read here—has somehow embedded these messages into the heads of people and they have lost the ability to think for themselves. Those who are angry talk as though they were a long persecuted minority, as if they have forgotten that easterners under former president Viktor Yanukovych ran the country until February. Everyone here has been robbed blind by politicians in a system that was as corrupt as can be, but all that seems to be registering right now is a nationalist and hysterical drumbeat from Russia about the new Nazis of Kiev and their NATO masters.

“This is ominously reminiscent of what the Serbian media and other bits of the former Yugoslav media did when Yugoslavia collapsed. Then, Serbs were subjected to endless documentaries about Croatia’s wartime fascists, whom they were told were coming back. Now the Russian media says the fascists have returned. And of course, just as there were indeed then some admirers of Croatia’s wartime fascists, there are some right-wing nationalists in Ukraine now; the big lie is to give them a significance they simply don’t have. Speaking to people in eastern Ukraine makes me recall what Milos Vasic, the great Serbian journalist, used to say in 1991: if the entire mainstream US media were taken over by the Ku Klux Klan it would not take long before Americans too would become crazed.”
Ukraine: Hate in Progress
The New York Review of Books



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“Nobody I’ve met at pro-Russia rallies has described any real threats or instances of repression. Asked what’s motivating them, they invariably turn to stock phrases that have been widely propagated on Russian state television: 'Kiev junta', 'fascists', 'illegitimate government', 'referendum', 'federalization'. Follow-up questions rarely yield any enlightening answers. 'Federalization means that Kiev listens to us', Boris Dekhteryenko, a car mechanic from Makeyevka, explained to me. 'We want independence within Russia.'

........

“The illusion of a conflict is crucial for Putin’s plan to polarize Ukraine and prevent it from achieving the political stability needed to ward off economic collapse. If a few more pro-Russian regions break off as separatist republics, so much the better. Although the violence in the Donetsk region is very localized, images of icon-carrying villagers blocking Ukrainian troops in armored personnel carriers serve the narrative of a beleaguered Russian population under assault. Kremlin-controlled Russian TV presents a parallel reality where the United States is doing its best to split Ukraine; the Kiev government broke the Geneva agreement to defuse the crisis; and foreign mercenaries are backing up Ukrainian forces in Slovyansk.

“Never mind that the supposed people’s uprising in Donetsk is a caricature of the Maidan, which was an explosion of citizens’ anger. For a Soviet man and former KGB agent like Putin, the concept of civic activism—ordinary people acting without instructions or payment—is incomprehensible.

........

“The danger today is that Putin’s fake separatist movement could take on a life of its own. The alarming footage on Russian TV of 'Kiev’s punitive action against its own people' may force people in eastern Ukraine, who never even considered secession, to take sides...”
Putin the Predictable
Slate



**********
“Ukraine’s failure to enforce its own ultimatums and its appeal...to the United Nations to send peacekeepers laid bare a grim reality for the shaky government in Kiev, where political leaders and security forces have few reliable ways to confront Russian-backed separatists in the restive east.”

........

“The confused and passive response underscored Kiev’s limited options in challenging pro-Russian militants and their backers in Moscow. Too assertive a response could cause heavy civilian casualties and play into Moscow’s narrative that Russians and Russian speakers in Ukraine are threatened and need protection. Too timid a response risks inviting more meddling from Moscow or giving free rein to local armed militants.”

Ukraine Falters in Drive
to Curb Unrest in East
The New York Times



**********
“On April 15 the Ukrainian government seemed prepared to fight. A column of armored personnel carriers and buses with interior ministry troops was lined up along the road north of Sloviansk. A few hours later the local and Russian media were reporting armed conflict and deaths. The Russian media said that 'genocide' was being committed in Ukraine. Putin declared that the country was on the brink of civil war. The Ukrainian government announced that a military airbase near Kramatorsk was being retaken from rebels.

“As it turned out, these statements, amplified to the power of a million by Twitter, were all exaggerated. Ukrainian troops had flown into the decrepit and apparently empty base by helicopter. There had been some ugly jostling with locals, resulting, said an old lady, in three of them being 'grazed'...

“The next day two columns of the government’s armored vehicles were finally sent into action. By nightfall, it was clear that, thus far at least, the Ukrainian advance was in tatters. In Pcholkino, near Kramatorsk, one column had been held up by locals and armed militiamen. The soldiers could have opened fire on the crowds but didn’t. They sweltered in the sun on the tops of their vehicles. Locals chatted with them and brought them food. A tall and forceful local priest, called Igor, moved between vehicles lecturing the soldiers: 'Why didn’t you refuse to take part', he asked them, 'and say “I will not shoot?” ' A few hours later the soldiers were allowed to leave with their vehicles.

“In Sloviansk, the soldiers of the other convoy of armored vehicles were subjected to much worse humiliation. After being stopped on the road outside the town by locals and militia, they were brought into the center. There some forty of them spent most of the day under armed guard before being put on buses and sent home. 'We have not defected', one told me...”

Ukraine: The Phony War?
The New York Review of Books



**********
“The Ukrainian counter-insurgency operation seems to rely on hit-and-run tactics that aren’t denying much territory to the separatists but are inflaming local opinion and losing the battle for hearts and minds. The operation isn’t stabilizing the region or helping to stem the rising lawlessness—something most people across the east are desperate to see brought to an end. In a sign of the lack of confidence in Kiev’s ability to restore law and order, two of the country’s largest banks, Privatbank and Raiffeisen Bank Aval, have temporarily closed their branches in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, saying that they can’t guarantee staff safety.”
Kiev Is Blowing Its Chance
to Take Back East Ukraine
The Daily Beast



**********
“[The claim has been put forth that] aides from Yanukovych’s inner circle, most notable among the toppled leader’s former chief of staff, Andrei Klyuyev, who also served as secretary of the country’s national security council, [have] held discussions with leaders of local ethnic Russian groups and offered laid-off factory workers money, if they joined pro-Russian protests and manned checkpoints set up to hinder Ukrainian military movements and preparation for any Russian military incursions.”
Kiev’s Old Bosses Are
Sabotaging the New Ukraine
The Daily Beast



**********
“The international media were late to pick up on Crimea’s toxic nexus of organized crime, political corruption and politics. But across post-Soviet Ukraine the three have long been regarded as interchangeable and inseparable. And the eastern and southern parts of the country are the worst of all.

“ 'Political corruption is ingrained in eastern Ukrainian political culture', the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, noted in a 2012 study.

“The three regions most notorious for the closest relationships between gangsters, oligarchs and politicians—Crimea, Donetsk and Odessa—were the most resistant to the Euro-Maidan revolution that led last month to the ouster of Yanukovych. And now all three regions are at the forefront of the pro-Russian fight-back against the new national leaders in Kiev.

“Taras Kuzio, a research associate at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta, who wrote the Jamestown report, says the internal political turmoil in Ukraine should be viewed through the lens of the hand-in-glove relationships between politicians, mobsters and the so-called 'red directors', managers-turned-businessmen who are steeped in the ways of Soviet-style public sector corruption and deal-making.

........

“The symbiosis of politics, organized crime and unscrupulous biznesmeni developed quickly in Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union in much the same way as it did in Russia. The ambitious, the greedy and the powerful lunged for the huge profits that could be made. The state was disintegrating. The big industries—energy, mining and metals—were being privatized, and may the most ruthless man win. 'Individuals such as Yanukovych, Aksyonov and their Donetsk and Crimean allies literally fought their way to the top', says Kuzio. In Donetsk, Yanukovych as governor 'integrated former and existing organized criminal leaders into his Party of Regions', says Kuzio.”

The Mafia Ruling Ukraine’s Mobs
The Daily Beast



**********
“Kremlin propaganda is pushing the narrative of 'oppressed' Russians rising against 'the artificial state' of Ukraine on the lands that 'accidentally' became a part of this country as a result of the Soviet collapse in 1991. This image appears to be very far from the truth when you actually travel in Donbass. Society appears extremely polarised over the issue of separation from Ukraine, but it looks much more as a class warfare than an ethnic conflict.

“Educated, middle-class people tend to support a united Ukraine, even though practically 100 percent of them are Russian-speakers. Supporters of separatism are largely comprised of pensioners and state employees craving for paternalist social state, like the Soviet Union. They are mixed with members of local criminal gangs and employees of law-enforcement agencies, which in a highly criminalised region like Donbass is largely the same social group.

........

“Apart from being deeply flawed, the ethno-political discourse [—Russian ethnics vs. Ukrainian ethnics—] diverts people's attention from the root of the problem. The essence of the battle under way in Ukraine, as well as in Russia and other former Soviet countries, is best described by arguably the most popular (and definitely the shortest) slogan of the Ukrainian pro-democracy movement. It goes 'Bandu get!', which means 'Down with the gang!'. By the 'gang' people mean the extremely corrupt regime, linked to organised crime and backed by a cruel repressive apparatus that benefits from looting businesses and robbing individuals—a mafia state. Different versions of such authoritarian kleptocracy are now in control of all of the ex-USSR countries, except Baltic states and arguably Georgia.

“In Ukraine, the popularity of this slogan spans across the traditional ethno-linguistic divide between the Ukrainian-speaking West and the Russophone Southeast. Euromaidan protest that started last November and resulted in the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich united both Ukranian - and Russian-speakers. Similarly at Moscow's Bolotnaya Square protests in 2012, the same anti-corruption and pro-democracy slogans united people across the political spectrum—from the extreme left to liberals to the extreme right.

“Yet in Ukraine, the divisive ultra-nationalist component was constantly getting in the way, distracting people from the real agenda and alienating sceptics in Russophone regions. It was also fuelling the aggressive Russian state propaganda, which is itself characterised by extreme nationalism and toxic xenophobia, by far exceeding the Ukrainian rhetoric on this front. As a result even the pro-democracy movement in Russia is divided over Ukraine—many Russian liberals are either buying the propaganda argument about 'Ukrainian fascism' or their own nationalism prevents them from understanding and supporting the Ukrainians.

“The ethnicisation of the Ukrainian conflict suits the Kremlin. Its worst nightmare is a Ukraine growing into an alternative Russia—a better place for talented and entrepreneurial Russians to live and work than Russia proper. Or even worse—a united pro-democracy front rising against the mafia state in all of the former Soviet republics, with Ukraine in the lead.”

Ukraine vs Russia: A
Mafia State's Cover-Up?
Al Jazeera



**********
“Since the signing of the [18th of April Geneva] accord pro-Russian separatists in Slovyansk led by the thuggish former Soviet soldier Vyacheslav Ponomaryov have kidnapped more than two dozen people—including the town’s mayor; American reporter Simon Ostrovsky, roughing him up and holding him captive for two days; two Maidan activists; and five members of an official military mission from the OSCE, along with five Ukrainian military personnel accompanying them. Ponomaryov claimed responsibility for a successful grenade attack Friday on a military helicopter, injuring the pilot, in a nearby town.

“In Kramatorsk, the police chief was kidnapped and the deputy mayor is languishing in hospital reportedly after being beaten up by pro-Russian militants for refusing to go along with a takeover last weekend of the town’s municipal building. There have been other reports of abductions across eastern Ukraine.

“The most egregious separatist violence came early last week when the tortured bodies of Volodymyr Rybak, a local pro-Kiev politician, turned up along with the corpse of an unknown man. Ukrainian authorities blame Ponomaryov and Russian military intelligence officers they name as Ihor Strielkov and Ihor Bezlier for the murders. Ukrainian SBU officials say the Russians decided to kill the politician after he tried to raise the national flag on the municipal building in the town of Horlivska and he was transported to Slovyansk, they claim, where he was tortured and Ponomaryov was ordered to dump the body.

“On Saturday Ponomaryov’s people picked up three men they say are members of the Ukrainian intelligence service, the SBU. The agents reportedly were trying to investigate the Rybak murder. The three were presented to the press on Sunday morning blindfolded, manacled to chairs and showing signs of severe beatings.”

Reality Check in Ukraine
The Daily Beast



**********
“In a press conference on 23 April, the self-proclaimed 'People’s Mayor' of Slovyansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev, said some of the detainees were being held as 'bargaining chips' and he had no intention of letting them go. He accused the Kyiv government of detaining and torturing his 'comrades'.

........

“According to media reports, Slovyansk resident Artem Deynega was abducted on 13 April by unidentified people after he was seen filming from a balcony across the street from the SBU building. Three days later, Ukrainian journalist Serhiy Lefter was similarly taken captive while reporting in the city. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

“On 18 April, Nelya Shtepa, the elected Mayor of Slovyansk, disappeared after attempting to meet with Vyacheslav Ponomorev. It is believed she remains in captivity after an appearance on 22 April on LifeNews, a pro-Kremlin television station in Russia.

“Meanwhile, a Slovyansk police chief, Oleg Prokhorov, has been missing since 19 April. His whereabouts are unknown and it is believed he is also being held by the armed group.

“On 20 April, Irma Krat, a former leader of the EuroMaydan protests in Kyiv and editor of Ukraine’s Hidden Truth TV, was abducted after travelling to Slovyansk to cover the recent events. Her lawyer believes she is being held in the SBU, which remains under the control of the pro-Russian armed group. It has accused her of involvement in the alleged torture and killing of a Berkut riot police officer several months ago amid protests in Kyiv, charges she has denied.

“A day after Irma Krat’s abduction, the pro-Russian armed group called a news conference where she was paraded in front of national and international media. Journalists were then prevented from leaving the briefing, and at least one foreign reporter was subsequently abducted.”

Ukraine: Abducted Journalists
and Officials Must Be Released
Amnesty International



**********
“[One] 25-year-old, who gave only his first name [—Anton—] for fear of reprisals, said he defected from the [pro-separatist] insurgency after seeing pro-Ukraine hostages being hauled up the stairs of the Donetsk regional council building—the separatists' headquarters—bloodied, screaming, and with hoods pulled over their heads.

“ 'People are beaten and then “disciplined” ', he said. 'They are forbidden to use the word “Ukraine”, to speak Ukrainian, they are told this is now Russia...' ”

In Eastern Ukraine,
Torture Is New Weapon
RFE/RL



**********
“In th[e] multi-ethnic [east Ukrainian town of Antratsyt]—men once came from all over the old USSR to work in the mines, everyone from Armenians to Koreans—the Ukrainian language used to be spoken as freely as Russian, [local resident 'Oxana' (not her real name)] says, but now people are afraid to use it.”
Traffic of War in a Border Town
BBC



**********
“ 'Armed men affiliated with anti-Kiev forces have been snatching up activists, journalists, and local officials', said Anna Neistat, associate program director at Human Rights Watch. 'Some who’ve been released are bruised and injured, while the fate of dozens of others is not known'.

“On May 4, 2014, anti-Kiev forces abducted six men, three of them town council members, from the town of Novogradovka. They were released the following day. All had been severely beaten, and some were seriously injured.

“Human Rights Watch also documented the abduction on May 1 of Artem Popyk and on April 29 of Yaroslav Malanchuk, members of the local election commission in Konstantinovka. Their fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

“On May 4, a large group of armed men abducted six residents of Novogradovka, 40 kilometers northwest of Donetsk: Aleksandr Vovk and Aleksandr Gurov, members of the Independent Trade Union of Ukrainian Miners; Konstantin Museiko, Valeriy Pavlik, and Oleg Bubich, members of the Novogradovka town council; and one other man.”

Ukraine: Captives
Describe Brutal Beatings
Human Rights Watch



**********
“The Donetsk People’s Republic marked the May 9 Victory Day with a new wave of violence, terrorism and kidnapping while the self-proclaimed people’s mayor of Sloviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomariov, reportedly vowed to kill Ukrainian soldiers rather than simply take them hostage.

“During the celebration of the Victory Day, Ponomaryov said that from now on his militants would 'mercilessly kill' Ukrainian soldiers, shedding what he said had been a tacit agreement to not to shoot to kill them. 'There will be no talks anymore. The harsher we will treat them, the sooner they start to respect us', he said.

“By the Kyiv Post’s count, at least 19 people are still being held hostages by the Kremlin-backed insurgents in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, out of at least 92 persons captured since April 13.”
Donetsk People's Republic Separatists Mark Victory Day Weekend with New Round of Killings, Abductions
Kyiv Post



**********
“Separatists in eastern Ukraine are pressing ahead with their plan to hold a referendum on secession from Kiev, despite even the stated wishes of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The move may signal a dangerous escalation of an already deadly conflict. On Thursday [, May 8], Denis Pushilin, the self-proclaimed chairman of the Donetsk People's Republic, insisted at a news conference that there was a popular will for the vote.

“ 'People want the referendum', he said. 'And it’s not just a few people; it's millions of people who want the referendum, who need to give this vote for their ideals.'

“But according to a new poll by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, a vast majority of those living in Ukraine—both in the restive east and more nationalist west—want the country's borders to remain the same, despite the many political and social tensions that have come to the surface in recent months.

“Only 18 percent of those surveyed in eastern Ukraine think the country's regions should be allowed to secede—a statistic that serves as something of a rebuke to Pushilin and his fellow separatists...”
New Poll Shows Eastern
Ukraine’s Separatists are Wrong
The Washington Post



**********
“Sunday’s vote showed the rebels have some support in Slovyansk, although nowhere near the '100 percent' predicted Saturday by the city’s self-appointed mayor, Vyachislav Ponomaryov, and despite more than a whiff of intimidation provided by gunmen stationed inside many polling places.

“As rumors spread about fixed results, election officials were nonchalant about the potential for fraud in such hastily organized conditions. In Slovyansk, anyone with proof of residence elsewhere in the Donetsk region could fill out a brief form and receive a ballot.

“ 'We watch who is coming, and see that they’re normal people who wouldn’t vote again elsewhere', said Vitaly A. Vyadkin, chairman of polling site No. 141200 in the Lenin Palace of Culture in Slovyansk. 'Although in principle, it’s possible.' ”

Steady Turnout of Early
Voters in Eastern Ukraine
The New York Times



**********
“Novosti Donbassa, an online news site based in Donetsk, reported that separatists were witnessed ripping up ballots marked with 'no' votes. Other journalists observing the process reported watching voters vote 'no' but later claiming to have voted 'yes'—presumably in order to avoid trouble with separatists standing guard outside polling stations or casting their own votes, automatic rifles in tow.”
In Ukraine's Separatist Referendums, Only The
Voting Is Plain To See
RFE/RL



**********
“Many of the voters were not on the out-dated registration lists, but were allowed to vote after showing identification documents.

“There also seemed to be no system in place to prevent one person from voting at multiple polling stations.

“A CNN crew saw several people vote twice at one polling station, where the ballot boxes were decorated with new Donetsk independence flags.

“There was also a report of video showing three men arrested near Slovyansk with boxes of 'yes' ballots in their car.”

Pro-Russian Separatist Denies Double Voting and Ballot Fraud
in Controversial Referendum
CNN



**********
“In the town of Krasnoarmiysk, voters filed past a table on Sunday to pick up a ballot and a sausage sandwich. Crude secessionist propaganda posters hung near the polling station, touching dark themes of xenophobia and anti-Semitism. One depicted the current president, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, as a goat-like figure and asked, 'Do you want Satan as your president?' Another said Ukrainians should reject the 'European Jewish choice.' ”
Ukraine Vote on
Separation Held in Chaos
CNN



**********
“Human rights violations have escalated in eastern Ukraine and serious problems are emerging in Crimea, United Nations monitors said in a report released on [Friday, May 16th].

........

“The U.N. report...cited a 'wave of abductions and unlawful detentions' of journalists, activists, politicians, representatives of international bodies and members of the military.

........

“The report said the U.N. monitors were trying to verify reports of abuses by Ukrainian government forces, and said it had credible reports of people being detained by the army in a way that amounted to forced disappearances.

“In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the [concurrent] OSCE report did not support Russia's contention that the rights of Ukraine's Russian minority were being violated.

“ 'There is atmosphere of intimidation and discrimination, many people in Ukraine are suffering potentially life-threatening legal problems if they don't take up Russian citizenship', Seibert told a news conference.

“Gianni Magazzeni, head of the U.N. human rights office's Americas, Europe and Central Asia branch, said there was no evidence to justify concern for Russian-speaking people in Ukraine and the U.N. report aimed to show where the major human rights concerns were, which was mainly in areas under the power of armed groups in the east of the country.

........

“Referring to Crimea, the U.N. monitors expressed concern about the treatment of journalists, sexual, religious and ethnic minorities, AIDS patients and citizens who had not applied for Russian citizenship, who faced harassment and intimidation.

........

“The report was the second by the UN monitoring mission. The first, released on April 15, found ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine had falsely claimed to be under assault to justify Russian intervention.”

U.N. Monitors Warn on Human Rights in East Ukraine, Crimea
Reuters



**********
“Video footage shows two men held captive and being ill-treated by armed people in south-eastern Ukraine. They are seen being interrogated by a man who is evidently not a law enforcement official. This incident occurs amidst spiralling civil unrest and concerns over breakdown of the rule of law.

“On 7 May 2014 the website of Oleg Lyashko, a controversial politician, member of the Ukrainian parliament and presidential candidate, published a report and video footage of the interrogation and ill-treatment of two individuals inside a car, reportedly at an airfield near Mariupol. The two male captives are seen with their hands tied behind their backs. They initially appear with their heads wrapped in some kind of cloth until the interrogator, evidently the politician himself, orders their faces to be uncovered and the cloths are cut off by someone with a knife.One of the men introduces himself as Igor Khakmizyanov, former minister of defence of the self-styled People’s Republic of Donetsk. He is sat almost totally naked, with two distinct bleeding cuts on his body. The other man is fully dressed.

“From what the men say during their interrogation it transpires that Igor Khakmizyanov was captured the previous day, possibly in a skirmish involving firearms. The other man was captured near a police station, while noting number plates of passing vehicles...”

Ill-Treatment of Captives
Amidst Civil Unrest
Amnesty International



**********
“The campaign by pro-Russian separatists to muzzle local Ukrainian journalists appears to be succeeding. Scores of foreign and local Ukrainian journalists are being attacked, brutalised and held captive with increasing intensity. Nearly every day since the beginning of April, a new missing person’s report is filed by the families of the working journalists.

“On 25 April, local television reporter for ZIK, Yuri Leliavski, was imprisoned in a basement for two weeks in Sloviansk, East Ukraine.

“On 26 April, Lutsk-based journalist Sergei Shapoval of news website Volyn Post was kidnapped. Separatists held Shapoval captive, along with other journalists, in an unmarked building in Donetsk, East Ukraine.

“After Shapoval endured three weeks of brutality and imprisonment, he gained his freedom when his captors traded him to a powerful pro-Russian politician. On May 11, masked men forced their way into the home of journalist Alexander Yaroshenko, where they beat him and subsequently burned down his house in the Odessa region of Ukraine. Their experiences have left them all so traumatised, they are reluctant to speak openly.”

A Journalist Goes Missing Nearly Every Day in Ukraine
The Independent



**********
“In further evidence of the power of the militant groups here, armed men in Donetsk walked into the offices of Donbass, a regional newspaper, and drove away with the senior editor. They later released him, but kept his phone and his computer, and in the late afternoon he announced that the paper would cease publication, at least for now. Reporters there attributed the rebel attention to the paper’s editorial line, which was relatively neutral.

“ 'They wanted to scare people', said Alexander Bespyorstov, a reporter, finishing what appeared to be his last piece at a friend’s apartment in the late afternoon. 'We wrote about what was really happening, and I think they didn’t like it.' ”

Separatists Attack a Border Guard Headquarters in Eastern Ukraine
The New York Times



**********
“...A few months ago, larger powers—whether the Kremlin or Ukrainian oligarchs who thought that a rebellion in the east could further their own interests—may have had some operational control or sway over the militias in eastern Ukraine, but that influence appears to have waned. The men with guns are the ones in charge now. That is a thoroughly depressing development for Ukraine. Even if there is a negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict—itself an unlikely development—it may not be sufficient to halt the cycle of violence across the Donetsk region.”
The Chaos Engulfing
Eastern Ukraine
The New Yorker



**********
“Ukraine is unraveling before our eyes. The crisis increasingly resembles a low-grade civil war. Senseless violence, often captured on amateur video, is becoming a regular occurrence...

“...The biggest obstacle to walking back from the abyss is chaos. It has become a fact of life in many parts of eastern and southern Ukraine that nobody knows who is in charge, and nobody seems to be in charge. Already, violence in southern and eastern Ukraine has taken well over 100 lives from all sides—pro-Russian, pro-Ukrainian, as well as those who were simply fed up with it all.

“The revolution in Kyiv and the resulting power vacuum have created opportunities for a multitude of non-state actors to assert themselves in a region notorious for organized crime, oligarchs and corrupt officials....”

The Unraveling of Ukraine
Politico



**********
“Through stealth and misdirection, and in defiance of Western sanctions, Russia has managed to achieve its immediate goal of what Western and Ukrainian officials believe is rendering Ukraine so chaotic that it cannot guarantee order, mend its teetering economy or elect new leaders...”
Ukraine Says That
Militants Won the East
The New York Times



**********
“How can the United States and the West fight back effectively against Putin’s [covert destabilization] tactics? The real answer must come from Ukrainians, who will have to mobilize to protect their country from foreign meddling...The trick for the interim government in Kiev is to fight a nonviolent counterinsurgency—keeping a unified Ukrainian population on its side as much as possible.”
Putin Steals the CIA’s Playbook
on Anti-Soviet Covert Operations
The Washington Post



**********
“...The U.S. and Europe are not committed to the defense of Ukraine, but they do have obligations to help Ukrainians defend themselves, where that defense is viable. The Ukrainians never would have given up their nuclear weapons 20 years ago in response to the Budapest Memorandum negotiated by Moscow and Washington if they believed for an instant that the West would abandon them...

“In sum, the strategic first step has to be to help Ukrainians help themselves to make the western part of their state viable and attractive to all inhabitants of Ukraine.”

The Unhappy Truth About Ukraine
The Daily Beast



**********
“Separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk say 89% and 96% respectively voted in favour of 'self-rule' in the referendums, held a fortnight before Ukraine's presidential elections.

“Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov said the turnout for the referendum was much lower than the figure of 75% claimed by the rebels.

“ 'According to the Interior Ministry... about 24% of people eligible to vote took part in the so-called referendum the Luhansk Region and slightly over 32% in the Donetsk Region', he said.”

East Ukraine Separatists
Seek Union with Russia
BBC



**********
“There are plenty of people in eastern Ukraine who are angry with Kyiv, but whose anger stops short of wanting to secede. According to a May poll by the Pew Research Center in Ukraine, 70 percent of eastern Ukrainians want to keep the country intact, including 58 percent of Russian speakers.

“However, this majority—which has largely remained silent in the face of the separatist violence—is far from happy with the status quo. Many want a new power-sharing arrangement with Kyiv to give local people a greater say in managing their own affairs, analysts say.

“Ukraine specialist Orisya Lutsevych of London-based Chatham House says people in the east are fed up with the highly centralized nature of the state, where all local tax revenue goes to Kyiv before any is channeled back home.

“ 'These grievances in Donbas are very similar to the ones across Ukraine at large', Lutsevych says. 'People are suffering from mismanagement, corruption, and lack of economic opportunities.'

“The distrust is not about people in the east believing that their interests are only served when someone from their region holds power in Kyiv. Ukraine's worst corruption to date is widely believed to have taken place under deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, himself from the Donbas region, and it spared no one. “But Russian-leaning eastern Ukrainians do feel left out by the recent Euromaidan revolution in Kyiv, which was heavily supported by European-leaning western Ukraine. The trick for Poroshenko will be to assure them now that their voices will also be heard.”

What Are Eastern Ukraine's (Legitimate) Grievances
With Kyiv?
RFE/RL



**********
“Another issue Poroshenko will likely have to address is eastern Ukraine's belief it is carrying more than its fair share of the weight in supporting the rest of the country economically.

“That sense of regional injustice dates back to the days when eastern Ukraine was an industrial powerhouse of the Soviet Union but saw its earnings go to Moscow. Today, it is the site of Ukraine's major mining, steel, and defense industries and residents widely feel Kyiv has simply taken the place of the Soviet capital.

“The argument is regularly fueled by pro-Russian and Russian media—but is specious. It ignores the fact that Donetsk and Luhansk are the two most heavily subsidized regions in the country after Kyiv itself.

“According to Ukrainian government figures, for example, in the first half of 2013, Donetsk received 9.25 billion hryvnyas ($762 million) more in subsidies than it contributed to the national budget and Luhansk received 5.07 billion hryvnyas ($418 million) more than it contributed.

“ 'In terms of the perceptions that are trying to be created, that Donbas is really working for the whole of Ukraine, that is really not the case', the Ukrainian Institute's [Andy] Hunder says...”

What Are Eastern Ukraine's (Legitimate) Grievances
With Kyiv?
RFE/RL



**********
“With major enterprises closed for the past month, coal production down, and the transportation system in disarray, the economic future of eastern Ukraine's separatist territories looks bleak.

“ 'The consequences of the conflict for the local economy have been disastrous. We're looking at a 30 percent decline in output from last year', said Yuriy Makogon, an economist at the University of Donetsk.

“The areas of Donetsk and Lugansk, in the middle of the coal-producing Donbas region, declared independence last month and cut ties with the central government in Kiev.

“Since then, the region of six million people, Ukraine's industrial heartland accounting for one fifth of the country's total gross domestic product, has slipped into lawlessness.

“The two largest companies, chemical heavyweights Stirol and Severodonetsk Azot, halted their operations in early May, citing the ongoing hostilities between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces.

“One of the nation's largest shale gas projects, with an investment of over $10 billion (7.3 billion euro), has stalled.

“The project's operator, Anglo-Dutch corporation Shell, insists that it is still on track, but Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has acknowledged it is in trouble.

“The reason: A crucial portion of the deposits are located in Slavyansk, a rebel stronghold surrounded by Ukrainian forces and the scene of daily combat.

“Several mines have also been forced to close down, causing a year-on-year drop in coal production of 10 percent in recent weeks.

........

“ 'If the 'People's Republics' of Donetsk and Lugansk are not recognised by the international community, we cannot export our products abroad', said Makogon, the economist.

“ 'Currently we only export 30 percent of our production to Russia. Russia won't be able to buy everything we produce.'

“Despite their riches, the separatist regions have been net loss makers for the government in Kiev.

“Official Ukrainian statistics show that Donetsk receives three times as much money as it pays back to Ukraine. Lugansk receives twice as much.

........

“ 'The regions in the east can't survive on their own, without help from Kiev', an economic expert said in Donetsk, asking to remain anonymous.

“...[V]ery few of the mines are profitable and the metallurgic industry has been losing money since 2009 because of the global economic crisis.

“ 'The state is holding up that sector because of its social importance.' ”

Ukraine's Separatist Regions
Face A Bleak Economic Future
Business Insider



**********
“The government's decentralization plan, which would require constitutional amendments, would give mayors and city councils a greater say in local spending priorities. It uses Poland as a model, where almost 40 percent of revenue from personal income taxes are kept in local coffers rather than being siphoned off to the central government and reapportioned to municipalities. Additionally, 6 percent of revenue from corporate taxes and all local property taxes are kept in local coffers.”
What Are Eastern Ukraine's (Legitimate) Grievances
With Kyiv?
RFE/RL



**********
“...[The eastern Ukrainian cities of] Donetsk, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk...[are] what a land without nationalism actually looks like: corrupt, anarchic, full of rent-a-mobs and mercenaries. For the most part, the men in balaclavas who have assaulted Ukrainian state institutions under the leadership of Russian commandos are not nationalists; they are people who will do the bidding of whichever political force pays best or promises most. And although they are a small minority, the majority does not oppose them. On the contrary, the majority is watching the battle passively and seems prepared to take whichever government they get...

“Thus do the tiny group of nationalists in Ukraine, whom perhaps we can now agree to call patriots, represent the country’s only hope of escaping apathy, rapacious corruption, and, eventually, dismemberment.

“And this should be no surprise: In the nineteenth century, no sensible freedom fighter would have imagined it possible to create a modern state, let alone a democracy, without some kind of nationalist movement behind it. Only people who feel some kind of allegiance to their society—people who celebrate their national language, literature, and history, people who sing national songs and repeat national legends—are going to work on that society’s behalf. This goes for Russians, too, though tragically they insist on looking to their imperial traditions as a source of national pride, instead of to their liberal leaders in the early twentieth century or to their outstanding Soviet-era dissidents, the founders of the modern human rights movement.”

Nationalism Is Exactly
What Ukraine Needs
The New Republic



**********
“Brighter Future is one of the many independent organizations that have sprung up in support of the Maidan Revolution, which drove former President Viktor Yanukovych from power in February...

........

“The organization counts scientists, journalists, lawyers, laborers, and businessmen among its members and supporters. No one is paid; money for food and supplies is raised via internet crowd-sourcing or old-fashioned donation collection tins....

........

“...The men spend most of their time maintaining check points, patrolling the city, and protecting marches and other public events, like the May 2 soccer game, that have the potential for spiraling out of control. Demonstrating this political neutralism, they provided muscle at recent local campaign events for both Petro Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, rival presidential candidates. 'Regardless of who becomes president we want to protect Odessa', Otash says. Besides, 'People have no faith in the police. We took responsibility among ourselves.'

........

“Brighter Future...is interested mainly in 'keeping the peace, and protecting people regardless of their political agenda', Otash says. They talk of battling corruption, fixing the justice system, and establishing programs to protect ecology, children’s welfare, the elderly and disabled. They are, essentially, founding the civil society that Ukraine has never really had.”

Ukraine’s Vigilante
Peacemakers
The Daily Beast



**********
“In what could represent a decisive turning point in the Ukrainian conflict and a setback for Russia, thousands of steelworkers fanned out [on Thursday, May 15] over the city of Mariupol, establishing control over the streets and routing the pro-Kremlin militants who seized control [in mid-April].

“By late Thursday, miners and steelworkers had deployed in at least five cities, including the regional capital, Donetsk, though they had not yet become the dominant force there that they are in Mariupol, the region’s second largest city and the site just last week of bloody confrontations between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian militants,.

“The workers are employees of Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man and a recent convert to the side of Ukrainian unity, who on [Wednesday, May 14th] issued a statement rejecting the separatist cause of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic but endorsing greater local autonomy. His decision to throw his weight fully behind the interim government in Kiev could inflict a body blow to the separatists, already reeling from Russian President Vladimir V. Putin’s withdrawal of full-throated support last week.

“Wearing only their protective clothing and hard-hats, the workers said they were 'outside politics' and just trying to establish order. Faced with waves of steelworkers joined by the police, the pro-Russian protesters have melted away, as has any sign of the Donetsk People’s Republic or its representatives. Backhoes and dump trucks from the steelworkers’ factory dismantled all the barricades that had been erected.”

Workers Take to Streets to
Calm Tense Ukrainian City
The New York Times



**********
“In their overalls and hard hats, the latest additions to the heady mix of security forces in Ukraine are the first tangible sign the rebel east's richest son is entering the fray.

“Multi-billionaire Rinat Akhmetov's miners and metalworkers joined police on patrol on Mariupol...cleared barricades of tires and pallets with diggers and heavy loaders and swept the debris from the gutted City Hall, ending the turmoil unleashed by the armed takeover of much of the region.

“The city seemed to return to normal; traffic flowed and the men in masks driven out by the army...stayed away as police teamed up with the unarmed workmen of Metinvest, the most powerful company in the industrialized east.

........

“...[T]he prospect of the Donetsk region joining the likes of Moldova's Transdniestria or Georgia's Abkhazia as largely unrecognized statelets, operating in a legal and diplomatic limbo, can hardly sit well with a business empire built on exports.

“ 'No one wants the Donetsk region to become some kind of grey zone unrecognized by the world. That would be very painful for us', said Yuriy Zinchenko, general director of Mariupol's Ilyich Iron and Steel Works, part of Metinvest, majority-owned by Akhmetov's System Capital Management.

........

“Metinvest said its patrols with police would be expanded to other towns where the company has operations. It has urged the army to stay out.”

Fortune Threatened, Ukraine's Richest Man Joins the Fray
Reuters



**********
“A week after the southeastern port city of Mariupol saw some of the worst violence of the Ukraine crisis so far, an uneasy calm has fallen over the city.

“But it is not the kind of calm which comes from government forces clearly defeating separatists—or vice-versa—and then restoring order.

“Instead, it is the kind of limbo that develops when nobody has won and the city turns into a gray zone where fearful residents walk the streets by day and criminal gangs rule the streets at night.

........

“The city is lawless at night because it is awash in guns after two weapons stores were robbed between May 9 and 10 and there were attempts to break into two others, she adds. Plus there are the unknown quantities of arms that were brought in by separatists over the past months for their failed bid to take over the city.

“With the city too dangerous to patrol at night, police and city officials have focused on what is possible: stabilizing it by day.

........

“Earlier this week, they and representatives of several plants and factories, plus separatist from the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, signed an Agreement on Non-Aggression. All parties to the local pact on May 15 agreed to preserve stability, to hand in illegal weapons or at least not to use them, and to help restore buildings damaged in the fighting.

“Key participants in the deal are local miners and metalworkers from Metinvest, the biggest company in the industrialized east and which belong to Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Ahmetov. 

........

“The unarmed workers join police on daylight patrols to crack down on looting in the city center and have helped remove remaining separatist barricades.

“But Romanenko says the workers, whose presence is widely welcomed by citizens, are not the only ones patrolling with the police under the accord. So are unarmed separatists, who often hide their identities with balaclavas.

“The presence of the separatists adds to the sense that nobody is fully in charge or knows what comes next, she says.”

Gray Zone: Mariupol
Sinks Into Power Vacuum
RFE/RL



**********
“In the latest demonstration on May 20, [Akhmetov] called on Donetsk residents to stage daily protests until the self-declared 'Donetsk People's Republic', the driving force behind the May 11 self-rule referendum, was eliminated.

“Akhmetov's sudden description of separatists as 'bandits and looters' is in full keeping with concerns expressed in Kyiv, which feared Ukraine was preparing to lose its eastern flank to Russia, and had staged numerous 'antiterrorist operations' in an effort to prevent it.

“But the sentiment was somewhat surprising coming from a man who is widely believed to have been one of the separatists' primary funders. Pavel Gubarev, the self-styled governor of the 'people's republic', asserted that Akhmetov, whose personal fortune is estimated at $11 billion, provided up to two-thirds of the movement's operational funds. (Akhmetov denied the claim.)

“Ivan Lozowy, a Kyiv-based political analyst, says it is 'impossible' that a figure like Akhmetov—who enjoys near-complete authority over law enforcement, local government, and the entire working population in the Donbas region—would allow any activity on his territory, separatist or otherwise, that he did not personally profit from. He says Akhmetov—together with Oleksandr Yefremov, a Party of Regions bigwig in neighboring Luhansk, a region with its own separatist movement—have used the threat of breakaway territories to prevent the new guard in Kyiv from undermining their king-like status in the east.

“ 'Because they fear for their livelihood following a mass uprising and revolution which overthrew the ruling elite, these local satraps or chieftains try to carve out a territory for themselves, so separatism was part of their agenda', Lozowy says. 'Now that the separatist movement is faltering very seriously and is, I believe, headed for collapse, Akhmetov has simply come out and quickly changed sides, and announced that he's against the separatists. “What are these people doing here?”' ”

Akhmetov Is Shocked, Shocked
To Find That Separatism Is
Going On In Donetsk!
RFE/RL



**********
“Ukrainian self-defense fighters who clashed with armed pro-Russian separatists on [May 23rd] are at the forefront of Kiev's efforts to prevent the country splitting.

“Co-funded and organized under Igor Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's richest men, they play a more assertive role than the unarmed miners and metalworkers working for another oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, who more recently spoke against the rebels.

........

“Kolomoisky, appointed governor of the eastern region of Dnipropetrovsk in March, has spent tens of millions of dollars, an aide said, to prevent his territory falling, like the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk further to the east, into separatist hands and being proclaimed autonomous 'people's republics'.

“Among Ukraine's five richest men, the 51-year-old has put a $10,000 bounty on the head of any Russian 'saboteur' and has bought up weapons from people to help pacify the region.

“With Kiev's blessing, he is now seeking to expand his influence with an offensive to win back ground in the two neighboring regions, where the separatists have seized strategic public buildings and called for union with Russia.

“His forces are already patrolling four western districts of the Donetsk region where he helped install pro-Ukrainian locals in governing roles and three more districts are expected to follow, according to his aides.

........

“Our goal is to knit the country back together," said [Kolomoisky's deputy Borys Filatov]...after a meeting with voters in the Dnipropetrovsk region that represents some 7 percent of Ukraine's population, with 3.3 million people.

........

“In a sign of the trust Kiev now has in Kolomoisky and his political clout in Ukraine's Russian-speaking south-east, his ally Igor Palitsa was named head of Odessa region and tasked with easing tensions after dozens were killed in clashes in the port city earlier in May.

“Igor Bereza, a commander in Kolomoisky's National Defense Force, said the force now has nearly 15,000 people, including some 2,000 combat-ready troops organized in four battalions.

“The battalions still formally take orders from Ukraine's army and law enforcement bodies but earn about twice as much as the average salary and are better equipped, he said.”

Kiev Pins Hopes on Oligarch in Battle Against Eastern Separatists
Reuters



**********
“Whether the next president can end politics as usual in Ukraine—with its oligarch clan warfare, deep-seated corruption and paralyzing infighting—will be a key factor in Kiev's bid to move toward Europe and avoid further encroachment by Russia.

“A win for Mr. Poroshenko would place the country in the hands of a veteran of Ukraine's sordid political arena who has earned a reputation as a deal maker prepared to ally with lawmakers of all stripes. Supporters say that experience gives him the skills to maneuver and execute pressing reforms. Critics say his history signals a return to the same old politics that for years have hobbled Ukraine.

“ 'He doesn't have an ideology', said Oleh Rybachuk, a civil activist and former Ukrainian deputy prime minister. 'Does he have managerial capabilities? Yes he does. Does he have political instincts? Yes he does'...”

Chocolate Tycoon Vies in Vote to Lead Ukraine Back From Brink
The New York Times



**********
“With the country still roiled by separatist violence in the east, the growing air of inevitability around Mr. Poroshenko, who has deep business interests in Russia, has redrawn the Ukraine conflict. It has presented the Kremlin with the prospect of a clear negotiating partner, apparently contributing, officials and analysts say, to a softening in the stance of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

“After weeks of threatening an invasion, Mr. Putin now seems to have closed off the possibility of a Crimea-style land grab in the east, and even issued guarded support for the election to go forward.

“ 'You can have a kind of a civil war and this kind of gray zone and be completely separated and face a higher degree of economic sanctions', said Adrian Karatnycky, an expert on Ukraine at the Atlantic Council, describing the choice facing Mr. Putin. 'Or you can see if it’s possible to bargain with this new guy, who has businesses in Russia, who has never been known to be a big ultranationalist.' ”

Front-Runner in Ukraine Election
May Be Shifting Putin’s Stance
The New York Times



**********
“This Sunday, millions of men and women will go to the urns in Ukraine to exercise their civil right to vote for a new president. Opinion poll after opinion poll shows that the vast majority of Ukrainians throughout the country, including in the southeast where Russian intervention has sparked a violent separatist movement, wish to remain in Ukraine and want to take part in the election.

“In the southeast, in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk where Russia sent troops and armed local criminals, turnout will be lower. The deft use of pro-Russian militias and television propaganda has led to a breakdown of public order and associated humanitarian crises in some cities in the southeast. The separatists are holding a number of public buildings and control television stations, and disrupt public business by (for example) stealing ballots and pensions. They have some public support, but nowhere near enough to establish a credible alternative to the central government. They can create insecurity but not security. Their only hope to stop elections is intimidation.

“The stakes are high. In February, after weeks of peaceful protests, Ukrainians overthrew an authoritarian president who had illegally altered the constitution, stolen a huge portion of the state budget, criminalized peaceful public demonstrations, and presided over the murder of protesters. After he fled the country, the elected parliament chose a new government, which immediately called for a presidential election on May 25. This is needed to return to the country to political stability and to give all Ukrainians, whether they opposed the revolution or supported it, a chance to be heard.

“Ukrainian elections also mark the eastern boundary of European democracy, which is why they are so threatening for the Putin regime in Moscow. With a regularity that is clearly unwelcome to the Russian leadership, Ukrainians stand up for their rights. The Russian Federation, which unlike Ukraine is not in any meaningful sense a democracy, has questioned the validity of the presidential election. Meanwhile, Russian propaganda quite effectively shrouds the real issues by shunning political discussion in favor of fantastic stories about a fascist takeover in Kiev.”

Ukraine: The Edge of Democracy
The New York Review of Books



**********
“...Voters throughout Ukraine will go to the polls for the presidential election on Sunday amid clear signs that major unrest is abating and that President Vladimir V. Putin is backing away from his gambit to annex more Ukrainian territory.

“This is a remarkable reversal. After Russia’s flash invasion of Crimea, Mr. Putin had seemed to be on the march. It is believed that, emboldened by the weak Western response and rising popularity at home, he then approved the offensive in eastern Ukraine. He reportedly sent in Russian fighters to support the ethnic Russian minority and Russian speakers in the region, apparently in the hope of triggering a separatist insurgency and eventually splitting up Ukraine—or at least weakening the new non-Moscow-aligned government in Kiev.

“But the effort soon stalled. If Moscow’s so-called green men were largely welcomed when they swept into Crimea, its proxy fighters got little assistance from locals when they slipped into eastern Ukraine. In a poll by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology released in late April, at most 30 percent of respondents in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions supported secession from Ukraine, and majorities in both regions opposed it.

“Odessa, Mykolaiv and Kherson—three large Russian-speaking cities in southern Ukraine—are not just quiet these days; polls show that all three are becoming unlikely enclaves of Ukrainian patriotism. In Dnipropetrovsk, where pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian sentiments have long been evenly divided, opponents of separatism recently marched through streets festooned in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian state.”

The Pushback in Ukraine
The New York Times



**********
“Inspired by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and most likely with some help and prodding from Russia, the rebels moved to seize the [Donetsk and Luhansk] regions in early April. They must have thought that there would be wide sympathy for their cause. Many out east don’t care much about Ukraine as a state—they are here because this is the way Soviet borders were drawn—and mostly did not support the revolution against 'their' man Viktor Yanukovych, who hailed from the region and who fled on February 21. But these facts have not translated into an easy takeover for the rebels. They seem stymied—divided among themselves, without much apparent help coming from Russia to consolidate their gains.

“If you look at a map you will see that, from a strategic point of view, it would have made, and still makes, sense for the Russians to encourage rebellion, not just in these regions but also in Kharkiv to the north and in a broad swath of territory along the Black Sea coast to the south extending all the way to Odessa, in the southwest corner of the country. In this way a territorial link could have been made with Transnistria, a breakaway region of Moldova that has subsisted as a Russian dependency for more than two decades. If this had happened then Russia would control, either directly or indirectly, all of the north shore of the Black Sea, and would have acquired a land bridge to Crimea, which Moscow annexed in March. Today, apart for crossing through Ukraine, Russians can only get to Crimea by ferry or plane.

“If this was the plan, however, thus far it has gone wrong. Kharkiv did not rise in support of the rebels and neither did many of the other places...

........

“Certainly Igor Girkin, aka Strelok or 'shooter', the commander of the Donetsk rebel militamen, thinks too many men in the east are spending too much time lounging around on their backsides rather than rallying to the new flag of independence....

“...In a video posted on YouTube on May 17, [Strelok] said he had less than a thousand under arms and demanded to know where were the 'crowds of volunteers' he had expected. Hundreds of thousands of able-bodied men, he moaned, 'are calmly watching TV drinking beer.' ”

Ukraine’s Stalled Rebellion
The New York Review of Books



**********
“Even in Donetsk and Luhansk, two hotbeds of separatist support in eastern Ukraine, public anger is mounting over disruptions caused by the insurgents. Basic public services have been suspended. Bank branches have shut down. And people are staying at home, fearful of the loose gun-play and criminality of erratic pro-Russia ultranationalists.”
The Pushback in Ukraine
The New York Times



**********
“The Donetsk People's Republic is starting to smell.

“Rotting garbage is piling up in the hallways of the government office building seized by separatists in eastern Ukraine. Telephones ripped from the walls are piled atop broken furniture and mounds of old files. The stench of sweat and stale cigarettes is everywhere. The guards, slouching men with pistols shoved in their pockets or flapping loosely in holsters, look increasingly bored.

“It's been six weeks since they took over the building, a week since they declared independence from Ukraine. But the authority of the alleged nation barely extends beyond their ten-story office tower and a few heavily armed checkpoints on roads leading into this industrial city 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Russian border.

“In the streets of Donetsk, the separatist leaders and their followers are increasingly derided as a collection of heavily armed, barely employed misfits. Outside of the rebels' headquarters, it can be difficult to find anyone who agrees with their calls to secede from Ukraine and link this part of the country—with its generations of ethnic and linguistic ties to Russia—to Moscow.

“ 'All this shouting about us being a republic. What kind of a republic is this?' asked Leonid Krivonos, a 75-year-old retired miner, angry that the separatists are refusing to allow Ukraine's upcoming presidential election. 'The young ones still have a future to look forward to, and they risk seeing that all destroyed.' ”

“The interim Ukrainian government hopes Sunday's presidential election will unite the country behind a new leader, but separatists across the east have vowed to block the vote.

........

“Except at their headquarters, the separatists are rarely seen in the city. When they do appear in public, as they did briefly Tuesday, descending from an armored vehicle on a city street to display their weapons and insist they were keeping order, their actions seem more like intimidation than anything else.

“People glance around nervously as they speak of the separatists. Some critics have been beaten.

“ 'They can chase you, track you down', said a local businesswoman who asked to be identified only as Angela.

“A Donetsk teacher named Antonina said she and her family received death threats from the separatists because she was on the local election commission preparing for the presidential vote. She said gunmen stormed a meeting and seized all the voting documents.

........

“Meanwhile, in Slovyansk, a city in the Donetsk region where rebels and Ukrainian troops have been trading gunfire for weeks, an angry crowd of 200 heckled a separatist commander Tuesday, complaining that the rebels were drawing retaliatory fire toward their homes.”

In Ukraine, Chaos Meets
Self-Declared Independence
AP



**********
“ 'What Putin wants is for Ukraine to be weak', said Lucan A. Way, a political scientist at the University of Toronto who specializes in Ukraine and has lived in Donetsk. 'Just because he gives verbal support for the new Ukrainian government does not mean that he will stop trying to foment unrest in the east.'

“By issuing statements of support, Mr. Putin 'gets to look like a statesman', and blame whatever problems emerge on the new government, Professor Way said. 'He has created a Frankenstein that he cannot control, and may not even want to', he said.

“Many in Ukraine had feared that Mr. Putin sought the eastern regions themselves, and was putting troops in position to potentially seize them in the same way he did Crimea, the southern peninsula on the Black Sea that Russia annexed two months ago, setting off a major international confrontation.

“But a subtler maneuver is now emerging, and many experts believe that the most desirable result for Mr. Putin would be for the troubled areas to devolve into breakaway status, similar to South Ossetia within Georgia and Transnistria within Moldova, a possibility that ordinary citizens are already talking about.

“ 'It’s a mess, it’s anarchy', said Yevgeny Kaplenko, a retired welder, who stood near his small brick house and yard planted with roses near the airport, as gunfire popped. 'This is going to be a second Transnistria. That’s what awaits us.'

“That outcome would be considered poisonous by many Ukrainians, and would likely have far more serious repercussions for the world, given Ukraine’s enormous size, severe economic problems and geopolitically strategic location in the heart of Europe.

“ 'Putin doesn’t want to take these regions and foot the bill for all these old industries', Professor Shevel said. 'He would rather there be instability, which makes Ukraine less attractive to Europe and makes it easier to extract concessions from the government.' ”

Ukraine Forces Appear to Oust Rebels From Airport in East
The New York Times



**********
“It seems contradictory: on the one hand Moscow is moderating its rhetoric on Ukraine and calling for talks with newly-elected President Petro Poroshenko, on the other we have reports that a large contingent of heavily-armed Chechens, the ‘Vostok Battalion’, is now in eastern Ukraine, something that could not have happened without Russian acquiescence–and which probably was arranged by them. However, I think that they actually fit together to suggest that the Kremlin is looking to position itself for potential talks with the new presidency in Kyiv, something that requires reversing not just the rhetorical trend towards hyperbole but also the slide towards warlordism on the ground. After all, for Moscow meaningfully to make a deal, it must be able to offer more than just a willingness not to destabilise the east any more, it must be able to deliver at least a partial peace on the ground.

“Having decided to fight this non-linear conflict largely through local allies, adventurers, deserters and opportunists–albeit encouraged, armed and protected by Moscow–the Russians appear to be coming to realise that this is war on the cheap but also war off the reservation, something they cannot readily control....

“...Now, with the need to deploy forces into Eastern Ukraine which are deniable but at the same time more disciplined and effective than the militias, Moscow seems to have turned to the ‘Vostochniki’ [Vostok Battalion]. After all, this is just the kind of bandit-war at which they excel.

........

“This is the irony at work. Moscow’s strategy of chaos has worked too well, eating away not just at the cohesion of the rump Ukrainian state but also the emergent East Ukrainians, too. There appears to be increasing evidence of disputes between militias, and between the relatively professional defectors from the Ukrainian security forces, the opportunist thugs, and the ‘war tourists’ from Russia. Thus, Moscow’s hopes to be able to cut a deal with Kyiv—regardless of whether Poroshenko can and will offer the Kremlin what it wants—depends now on bringing order to chaos. The Russians wished for chaos; now they know why so many folk tales warn of being careful what one wishes for...”

Is Putin Trying To Regain
Control In Eastern Ukraine?
In Moscow's Shadows



**********
“...Moscow has denied that its regular soldiers are part of the conflict, and there is no evidence that they are. But motley assortments of fighters from other war zones that are intimately associated with Russia would be unlikely to surface against the powerful will of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, experts said.

“The disclosure of Russian nationals among the fighters here muddies an already murky picture of the complex connections and allegiances that are beginning to form. While their presence does not draw a straight line to the Kremlin, it raises the possibility of a more subtle Russian game that could keep Ukraine unbalanced for years.

........

“Many here say the fighters speak to the shadowy nature of a conflict that sometimes seems manufactured. 'It’s irritating but not very surprising', said Stanislav Kucherenko, 32, a massage therapist who lives near the airport and woke to the sound of shelling Tuesday. 'It shows that this war is not clean. It is artificially created. If this is an uprising by the Donetsk People’s Republic, what are foreigners doing here?' ”

Russians Revealed
Among Ukraine Fighters
The New York Times



**********
“Ukraine's rebel movement was plunged into crisis on [May 29th], when pro-Russian fighters backed by armoured personnel carriers seized the movement's headquarters in Donetsk and destroyed the barricades protecting it.

“The surprise move by a group called the Vostok Battalion, a heavily armed rebel unit that has been involved in fighting against the Ukrainian army, sparked speculation about an internal coup within the fractious rebel movement.

“There was also speculation that the move could have been an attempt by the leadership to purge undesirable elements with the Donetsk Peoples' Republic.

“Key rebel leaders, who were not in the building when the fighters arrived, insisted they were still in control and that they had even ordered the operation.

“ 'This is a police action directed against looters', a rebel source close to Alexander Borodai, the prime minister of the self-declared republic, said on Thursday afternoon. 'There is no coup. Everything is under control.' ”

Ukraine's Rebels in Crisis
after Donetsk 'Coup'
The Telegraph



**********
“The [separatist] revolution [in eastern Ukraine] was interrupted by a coup on [May 29th], with one faction in this self-declared republic ousting another from the regional administration building that had become the symbol of the uprising here.

“Methodically and in full view of the news media, soldiers from a well-equipped militia group, the Vostok Battalion, evicted the ragtag band of locals who had occupied the building since taking it over in March, using backhoes and dump trucks to clear away barricades, tires and debris.

“The soldiers claimed that they had come to purge the dark, dank halls of the building, which smelled of alcohol, cigarettes and unwashed bodies, from rebels who had been accused of looting a grocery store near the city’s airport during fighting on Monday.

“Yet the bold assault seemed intended more to strengthen the position of Alexander Borodai, a Russian citizen who was also involved in Russia’s seizure of Crimea. He denies any connection to the Russian government, though many experts say his activities would be unlikely to continue if the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, did not approve.

“Increasingly, a cadre of commanders with Russian citizenship like Mr. Borodai and a shadowy military commander named Igor Strelkov seem to be seizing control of the often rudderless rebellion as clashes with the Ukrainian Army intensify.”

Pro-Russia Troops Take
Symbol of Ukraine Uprising
The New York Times



**********
“Rumors that battle-hardened Chechen fighters from Russia's notorious Vostok Battalion are active in eastern Ukraine have been swirling for weeks.

“They unexpectedly materialized on May 29 when dozens of heavily armed men identifying themselves as members of the Vostok Battalion stormed the separatists' headquarters in central Donetsk, evicting the motley band of pro-Russian rebels that had occupied the building since March.

“The brazen raid, conducted in broad daylight, has plunged the region into new uncertainty. The emergence of such a widely recognizable Russian military structure in eastern Ukraine has also raised questions about Moscow's role in the conflict.

“So what is the Vostok Battalion and what is it doing in eastern Ukraine?

“The Vostok ('East') Battalion was formed by Chechen warlord Sulim Yamadayev in 1999, at the onset of the second Chechen war.

“Together with his four brothers, Yamadayev defected from the Chechen separatist insurgency in protest at its growing Islamization and rounded up a group of loyal fighters.

........

“[The newly formed Vostok Battalion] answered directly to the Russian Defense Ministry's main intelligence directorate, the GRU, and was tasked with rooting out Arab jihadists fighting alongside local insurgents.

“In 2008, the unit was dispatched to help pro-Russian separatists from South Ossetia in the Russian-Georgian war.

“It was officially disbanded shortly after the war in what experts believe was a political move to end the scorching rivalry between 'Vostochniki', as the battalion was colloquially known, and members of the 'Kadyrovtsy', the feared militia controlled by Moscow-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

........

“The unit, however, was not truly dissolved.

“'It was never really broken up, it was re-profiled and incorporated into a Defense Ministry unit based in Chechnya', says Ivan Sukhov, a Russian journalist and North Caucasus expert.

........

“Their raid on the separatists' headquarters...is widely seen as an attempt by a group of Moscow-connected separatists to rid the insurgency of ragtag elements and assert control over eastern Ukraine.

“This group is led by Igor Girkin, who goes by the pseudonym 'Strelkov' and commands the separatists' military operations in Slovyansk, and Aleksandr Borodai, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic'.

“Girkin—who the Kyiv government says is a Russian military intelligence officer—has himself taken a tough stand against indiscipline within rebel ranks, recently ordering the execution of two looters.

........

“ 'I think this represents an attempt to put in a force that is more disciplined but above all that looks to Moscow for orders', [Mark Galeotti, a New York University professor and expert on Russian security affairs, ] adds.

“... while the Vostok fighters seem cut out for the job, with their experience in underground guerrilla operations, their appearance considerably raises the stakes in Ukraine.

“ 'The presence of these people in southeastern Ukraine', says Ivan Sukhov, 'is a scandal.' ”

Vostok Battalion, A Powerful
New Player In Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL



**********
“Pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian forces in eastern regions say they’re facing a shortage of fighters, but they seem to have found a source hundreds of miles to the east, in Russia’s conflict-torn North Caucasus.

“Chechens, renowned for bloody tenacity and fearlessness during two wars in the southern Russian region over the past two decades, have joined in the battle against Ukrainian armed forces around the Donetsk region.

“While the presence of battle-hardened Chechens may bolster the fight on the battlefield, it’s an open question whether they will actually help or hinder the separatist cause.

“ 'It kind of undermines the whole theme that this is a local battle', said Michael Bohm, a Moscow-based journalist and an author of a book on Russian psychology. 'For the average grandmother, grandfather, for the average person, who is not particularly in favor of Kyiv but doesn’t want to join Russia, they are not going to look very favorably upon this.'

“For older Ukrainians, the arrival of fighters from Chechnya—a region long associated with terrorism—is distasteful at best.”

Chechens Fighting in Ukraine
Could Erode Support
for Separatists
Voice of America



**********
“Luhansk is Ukraine’s easternmost province, fitting snugly along Russia’s border like a clenched fist. But to enter through its southern flank is in fact to leave Ukraine for a perilous world where men in masks decide the fate of anyone who happens to pass by their pile of tires and slab of concrete. It is a lawless expanse where dying coal mines and joblessness feed an insurgency that has taken on a life of its own, with spies, conspiracies and hostages.

“It is important for another reason. Its more than 100 miles of squiggly border with Russia have proven remarkably porous in recent weeks, with reports of fighters and supplies crossing into Ukraine with relative ease. The southern portion of the region has a history of contraband. The destitution and joblessness here have driven a lively smuggling business going back years.

“This presents one of the most fundamental problems for Ukraine as it grapples with unrest in its east made worse by fighters from Russia. Protecting a border is one of the most basic elements of a functioning state. Without that protection, Luhansk, or at least parts of it, could devolve into a lawless buffer zone between Russia and Ukraine.”

At Ukraine’s Perilous Border, Law
Is Dispensed by Men in Masks
The New York Times



**********
“People in Luhansk have largely tried to keep their heads down and go about their business during the two months that armed separatists have occupied this city's administration building and declared independence from Kyiv.

“But the fact the city this week has witnessed some of the worst fighting in the Ukrainian crisis to date is creating a sense of panic, as residents feel trapped in a situation where neither the government nor the separatists can ensure their safety.

........

“...[O]rdinary residents [of Luhansk] are still reeling from the explosion that damaged the city's main administration building in the city center on June 2. The explosion at the building, which the separatists use as their headquarters, occurred during the middle of the day in a heavily frequented office and residential district as fighting between separatists and government forces raged on the southern outskirts of the city.

“The separatists accuse the air force of targeting the building, while the government says the explosion was caused by the separatists themselves when they tried to fire a surface-to-air missile from the building at a warplane.

........

“As the public's fear of being caught in a crossfire now rises, it adds to the feeling of living in a no-man's-land that has characterized Luhansk ever since separatists took over the regional administration building on April 29.

“Since then, the separatists have held sway in the town, as elected authorities, including the mayor and police chief, have left and civic bodies have been intimidated into silence.

........

“The police, who maintain routine patrols, do not intervene when masked and armed separatists abduct their targets and take them to their headquarters, even in broad daylight.

“The eclipse of the police, who are heavily outgunned by the separatists, has created a surge in crime in the city. The Luhansk department of the Interior Ministry recently told the press that the situation was now out of its control.

“Police sources say the most frequent forms of crime are car theft and hold-ups of cash couriers delivering business receipts to banks. The armed criminals wear masks and camouflage fatigues just like the separatists.”

Luhansk Dispatch:
Nowhere To Hide
RFE/RL






CLAIMS OF ANTI-RUSSIAN BIAS


Petition to Russian President
Vladimir Putin: 'We Ethnic
Russians and Russian Speakers
Don’t Need Protection'
Kyiv Post


Andrey Kurkov: Why I Stayed
as the Crisis in Ukraine Flared
The Guardian



CLAIMS OF FASCISM
AND ANTI-SEMITISM


Ukraine's Far-Right:
Popular or Propaganda?

Al Jazeera

Ukrainian Smears
and Stereotypes
The Washington Post


Crying “Fascist” on Ukraine
The American Interest


'Experts' on Ukraine
World Affairs Journal


Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books


Putin's Fabricated Claim Of
A Fascist Threat In Ukraine

Forbes


Ukraine's Phantom
Neo-Nazi Menace

The Atlantic

Are Jews in Ukraine
Under Threat?
Tablet Magazine


Who’s Really Behind
Ukraine’s Synagogue Attacks?
The Daily Beast


Jews in East Ukraine Are Being Threatened, But By Whom?
The Daily Beast


Anti-Semitic Fliers in
Eastern Ukraine Denounced
CNN


Demands That Jews Register in Eastern Ukraine Are Denounced,
and Denied
The New York Times


Jewish Community Becomes Unwilling Participant In Ukrainian Political Battle
RFE/RL


Ukraine's Chief Rabbi Refutes Putin's Anti-Semitic Charges
World Affairs Journal


Ukraine Chief Rabbi Accuses Russians of Staging Anti-Semitic ‘Provocations’
JTA


Ukrainian Jewish Committee:
Russian Claims of Anti-Semitism
in Crimea are Lies, Propaganda
The Jerusalem Post


Ukrainian Jews Slam Putin in
Full-Page Ad in The New York Times
The Jerusalem Times


The Head of the Jewish
Community of Ukraine
Speaks Out Against Putin

Tablet

Among Ukraine’s Jews, the Bigger Worry Is Putin, Not Pogroms
The New York Times


Trading Barbs with Putin
World Affairs Journal

Putin Warned of Fascism in Ukraine, But a Look Across Europe Suggests He’s to Blame
Tablet Magazine


East Ukraine Crisis
and the 'Fascist' Matrix
Al Jazeera


Putin and the ‘Good Hitler’
World Affairs Journal


The Kremlin, Crimea,
And 'The Good Hitler'
RFE/RL


Jewish Leaders in Crimea Back Ukrainian Government, Call for
Russian Withdrawal
Haaretz


Ukrainian Jews Join Nationalists
in Protest of President Viktor Yanukovych
The Jewish Daily Forward


Ukraine’s EuroMaidan
isn’t Just for the Right
The Yale Journal


Kyiv's EuroMaidan is a
Liberationist and not
Extremist Mass Action
of Civic Disobedience
Change.org


After Yanukovych, Maidan’s Next
Fight Will Be To Preserve a
Ukraine Safe for Minorities
Tablet Magazine


Why Are Jews So Afraid
of Stepan Bandera?
Tablet Magazine


Hero Or Villain? Historical Ukrainian Figure Symbolizes Today's Feud
NPR


CONTRARY & CONTRASTING VIEWS


It's Not Russia that
is Destabilising Ukraine
The Guardian


It's Not Russia that's Pushed
Ukraine to the Brink of War

The Guardian

Crimea is like Scotland,
says Russian Ambassador
The Telegraph


'Dear to Our Hearts': The
Crimean Crisis from the
Kremlin's Perspective

Spiegel

Ukraine: The Only Way to Peace
The New York Review of Books

Ukraine’s Crisis
Counterpunch

A De Facto Partition in Ukraine?
The Nation

Ukraine’s IMF Deal
Counterpunch

Marx's Last Stand:
Eastern Ukraine

Al Jazeera

Ukraine: New Leaders,
Same Oligarchs
Counterpunch

To Understand the Ukranian
Protests, Look to Russia
The New Republic

What are Russia's Real
Motivations in Ukraine? We
Need to Understand Them

The Guardian

How Putin’s Domestic Audience Explains Russia’s Behavior
The Washington Post


Viewing the Ukraine Crisis
From Russia’s Perspective
Counterpunch

Ukraine: The Russian
Perspective
[VIDEO]
CNN

How Russia Sees
Europe [GRAPHIC]
Spiegel

Behind the Russian Rage
Patrick J. Buchanan


Distorting Russia
The Nation


Western Media Coverage of the Ukraine Crisis Is as Distorted as Soviet Propaganda
The Nation

Demonizing Putin Endangers America’s Security
The Nation


You say Fascist, I say Nazi
Al Jazeera

Hillary, Hitler & Cold War II
Patrick J. Buchanan


Is Putin the Irrational One?
Patrick J. Buchanan


Russian Senator: West
Always Thinks the Worst of Us
Amanpour/CNN


Ukraine, Putin, and the West
n+1

Ukraine: Lies, Propaganda
and the West's Agenda

Al Jazeera

Why We Should
Give Putin a Chance

The Wall Street Journal

Getting Ukraine Wrong
The New York Times


The EU's Approach to Ukraine
has been Catastrophic

The Telegraph

A Tortured Policy Toward Russia
The New York Times

Why NATO is Such a
Thorn in Russia's Side

CNN

Russia's NATO Fears [VIDEO]
CNN


The U.S. has Treated Russia
Like a Loser Since the End
of the Cold War
The Washington Post


Cold War Again:
Who’s Responsible?
The Nation


Cold War Against Russia
—Without Debate

The Nation


France's Le Pen, in Moscow, blames EU for new 'Cold War'
Reuters


Obama to Putin: Do as
I Say Not as I Do
Counterpunch

The Chance Putin Has Given
Obama for Diplomacy [VIDEO]
The Nation


After Chaotic Autonomy Votes, Negotiations Could Be Sole Path
to Prevent Ukraine’s Disintegration

Democracy Now

The American Who
Dared Make Putin’s Case
Newsweek


Kremlin Finds a
Defender in Congress

The New York Times

Is Putin One of Us?
Patrick J. Buchanan


Whose Side Is God on Now?
Patrick J. Buchanan


Who Was in Kiev’s
Independence Square?
Counterpunch

Who are the
Protesters in Ukraine?

The Washington Post

Fascists, Fascists, Everywhere
Slate

Is There a Single Ukraine?
The Economist

Pivot Away From Ukraine
US News and World Report


The Putin Regime

**********
“In 2014, Lenins were felled in Ukraine and were allowed to collapse. No one tried to preserve them. This 'Leninfall' took place during the brutal confrontation on Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), when Viktor Yanukovych’s power also collapsed, demonstrating that a genuine anti-Soviet revolution had finally occurred in Ukraine. No real revolution has happened in Russia. Lenin, Stalin, and their bloody associates still repose on Red Square, and hundreds of statues still stand, not only on Russia’s squares and plazas, but in the minds of its citizens.

“The fury of our politicians’ and bureaucrats’ response to the mass destruction of Soviet idols in Ukraine is revealing. You might think, why pity symbols of the past? But Russian bureaucrats understand that their beloved Homo sovieticus crumbled along with Lenin. 'They are destroying monuments to Lenin because he personifies Russia!' one politician exclaimed. Yes: Soviet Russia and the USSR, the ruthless empire, built by Stalin, that enslaved whole peoples, created a devastating famine in Ukraine, and carried out purges and mass repressions. The recent Ukrainian revolution was indeed directed against the heirs of that empire—Putin and Yanukovych. It is telling that pro-Russian demonstrations in Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine invariably took place next to statues of Lenin.

........

“...The Soviet Union may have collapsed geographically and economically, but ideologically it survives [in Russia] in the hearts of millions of Homo sovieticus. The Soviet mentality turned out to be tenacious; it adapted to the wild capitalism of the 1990s and began to mutate in the post-Soviet state. That tenacity is what preserved a pyramidal system of power that goes back as far as Ivan the Terrible and was strengthened by Stalin.”

Let the Past Collapse on Time!
The New York Review of Books



**********
“...The oft cited line is that we should be more inclusive of Russia rather than keep it at arm's length. That's what happened in 1996 when, in the midst of a war in Chechnya that had been launched by Moscow, Russia applied for membership in the Council of Europe, the continent's human rights watchdog. The appeasers prevailed with the argument that it was a way of preventing Moscow from entering into further acts of military force. The second Chechen war began three years later.”
A Sober Look: It's Time To
Stop Romanticizing Russia
Spiegel



**********
“...[F]or more than 20 years of Russian independence, a single narrative about Russia in the West has...prevailed. Openly or subconsciously, since 1991, Western leaders have acted on the assumption that Russia is a flawed Western country. Perhaps during the Soviet years it had become different, even deformed. But sooner or later, the land of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, the home of classical ballet, would join what Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, so movingly called 'our common European home.'

“In the 1990s, many people thought Russian progress toward that home simply required new policies: With the right economic reforms, Russians would sooner or later become like us. Others thought that if Russia joined the Council of Europe, and if we turned the G-7 into the G-8, then sooner or later Russia would absorb Western values. Such privileges were never even extended to China, which is a far greater economic and political power. This is because we’ve never believed that China would be 'Western.' But deep down we believed that Russia would someday join our club.

........

“...In many European capitals, the Crimean events have been a real jolt. For the first time, many are beginning to understand that the narrative is wrong: Russia is not a flawed Western power. Russia is an anti-Western power with a different, darker vision of global politics...”
A Need to Contain Russia
The Washington Post



**********
“In the estimation of his admirers, Putin deserves credit for restoring Russia's pride and prosperity after the chaos of the Yeltsin era. The alternative version of history is that he was fortunate to benefit from the delayed effect of reforms carried out by his predecessor and the resources boom that began just as he was taking office.

“Having been gifted a promising legacy he promptly squandered it by imposing a corrupt and wasteful form of authoritarian governance. Unless he can find new sources of growth and dynamism at time when he is closing down Russian society and cutting it off from the outside world, it is likely to be this second version of history that sticks.”
Crisis Reveals Serious
Cracks in Putin's Empire
CNN



**********
“Mr. Putin is a modern-day Peter the Great, we're told. He has visions—of a Eurasian Union to counter the European Union, of Russia leading an orthodox counterrevolution to Western libertinism. These tidbits of Russian propaganda, of extraordinarily recent vintage, explain nothing.

“The visions that propel Mr. Putin are of himself hanging by his heels from a lamppost or spending the next 20 years in a dock answering for everything from the disappearance of $90 million in food money in St. Petersburg when he was deputy mayor to the 2006 murder of critic Alexander Litvinenko in London.”
Forgiving Putin—Again
The Wall Street Journal



**********
“Putin is in fact in charge of a mafia, and has used his power to turn Russia into a criminal state. He plays the patriotic drum, knowing that his population buys it, but at the same time he is purely after his personal economic interests. When he raises the price of gas or oil, he actually fills his own pockets. When he threatens the West with restrictions on deliveries, he uses his own private business for political means. The West deals with the leader of a criminal gang while thinking it is negotiating with a politician, and thus it is from the onset disadvantaged."
Putinism as the Last
Phase of Sovietism
EuroMaidanPR



**********
“...Western authorities must investigate ill-gotten gains from Russia within their jurisdictions. The Anti-Corruption Foundation, which I established in 2011, has revealed dozens of major cases of graft. In 90 percent of those cases, Russian money was laundered in the West. Sadly, American, European Union and British law enforcement agencies have stymied our efforts to investigate such criminal plunder...

“There is a common delusion among the international community that although Mr. Putin is corrupt, his leadership is necessary because his regime subdues the dark, nationalist forces that otherwise would seize power in Russia. The West should admit that it, too, has underestimated Mr. Putin’s malign intent. It is time to end the dangerous delusion that enables him [Alexey Navalny].”

How to Punish Putin
The New York Times



**********
“...[Vladislav] Surkov is the real genius of the Putin era. Understand him and you understand not only contemporary Russia but a new type of power politics, a breed of authoritarianism far subtler than the 20th-century strains.

“...[Surkov's] influence over Russian politics is unsurpassed. He is the man behind the concept of ‘sovereign democracy’, in which democratic institutions are maintained without any democratic freedoms, the man who has turned television into a kitsch Putin-worshipping propaganda machine and launched pro-Kremlin youth groups happy to compare themselves to the Hitler Youth, to beat up foreigners and opposition journalists, and burn ‘unpatriotic’ books on Red Square....”

“...The novelist Eduard Limonov describes Surkov himself as having ‘turned Russia into a wonderful postmodernist theatre, where he experiments with old and new political models’. There’s something in this. In contemporary Russia, unlike the old USSR or present-day North Korea, the stage is constantly changing: the country is a dictatorship in the morning, a democracy at lunch, an oligarchy by suppertime, while, backstage, oil companies are expropriated, journalists killed, billions siphoned away. Surkov is at the centre of the show, sponsoring nationalist skinheads one moment, backing human rights groups the next. It’s a strategy of power based on keeping any opposition there may be constantly confused, a ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable because it’s indefinable.”

........

“This is the world Surkov has created, a world of masks and poses, colourful but empty, with little at its core but power for power’s sake and the accumulation of vast wealth...”
Putin’s Rasputin
The London Review of Books



**********
“It was during Putin’s first run as president in 2000 that the question of whether Russia was a 'managed democracy' or a 'competitive authoritarianism' first arose. For those who thought it was a flawed democracy, the modifier hinted at authoritarian imperfections. For those who considered it a flawed authoritarian state, the modifier hinted at residual democracy. Either way, Russia was supposed to be a 'hybrid' political system combining elements of both democracy and authoritarianism. For a while, the emphasis on hybridity made some sense—especially after Medvedev, the ostensible liberal, replaced Putin as president in 2008. Medvedev’s liberalism rapidly proved to be illusory, however, while his connivance with Putin to transform the March 2012 presidential elections into a sham put an end to notions that Putin’s Russia was anything other than an authoritarian state.

“Except that that designation isn’t quite accurate either. Authoritarian states are typically ruled by faceless bureaucrats or dour generals. Putin, in contrast, has charisma and he is popular. This factor makes Russia sufficiently different from run-of-the-mill authoritarian states to qualify it as 'fascistoid'—an ugly word indicating that its hybridity quickly shifted from some combination of democracy and authoritarianism in Putin’s early years in power to some combination of authoritarianism and fascism today.

“Like authoritarian systems, fascist systems lack meaningful parliaments, judiciaries, parties, and elections; are highly centralized; give pride of place to soldiers and policemen; have a domineering party; restrict freedom of the press, speech, and assembly; and repress the opposition. (Consider in this light the similarities between Pinochet’s Chile and Mussolini’s Italy.) But unlike authoritarian systems, fascist systems always have supreme leaders enjoying cult-like status, exuding vigor, youthfulness, and manliness. And unlike authoritarians, fascist leaders are charismatic individuals who promote a hyper-nationalist vision that promises the population, and especially the young, a grand and glorious future—usually echoing past national glories—in exchange for their subservience. (Consider the differences between Pinochet and Il Duce.) Unsurprisingly, full-blown fascist systems, being the instruments of charismatic one-man rule, tend to be more violent than average authoritarian states.

“ 'Fascistoid' captures nicely the hybridity of the wretched system Putin has created, in which authoritarian institutions serve as a platform for a charismatic leader who is committed to Russian greatness, hyper-nationalism, and neo-imperial revival and who serves as the primary source of regime legitimacy and stability. The term also suggests why the regime is intrinsically weak...”
Fascistoid Russia: Whither
Putin’s Brittle Realm?
World Affairs Journal



**********
“Right-wing populists stand to gain seats in the approaching European Parliament elections—which is good news for Moscow. Russia and the European right have been courting each other recently as mainstream Brussels has kept Moscow at arm's length.

“During the Cold War, left-wing parties were often viewed with no small amount of suspicion in the West. Fear was rampant, if perhaps overwrought, that they could act as a political beachhead for the Soviet Union and the communist East Bloc in their presumed quest for global domination.

“Times have changed. While relations between Moscow and the West are once again tense due to the ongoing tug-o'-war over Ukraine and the Crimea, it is Europe's right-wing parties that are showing an affinity for Russia. And with European Parliament elections quickly approaching in late May, right-wing populists—with parties in several countries well positioned to make gains in the coming vote—are being increasingly open about their desire to act as an advocate for Moscow in Brussels.

“ 'I think we can be a good partner for Russia in the European Parliament', says Filip Dewinter, a senior member of the right-wing Flemish party Vlaams Belang in Belgium. 'And Russia sees us as a potential partner.'

“Russian voices have been no less supportive. 'We hope that the results of the coming elections will give these people more power', says Sergey Markov, a conservative political scientist with close ties to the Kremlin. 'We need to move forward to further develop this cooperation' with the European right.

'A Partner for Russia': Europe's
Far Right Flirts with Moscow
Spiegel



**********
“In Europe, noteworthy is the support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea by Jobbik, the National Front, Golden Dawn, and Ataka, all extreme right wing parties. Meanwhile, in Italy, the far-right National Social Front party distributed posters throughout Rome declaring 'I’m with Putin' and the party’s leader, Adriano Tilgher, praised the Russian president for his 'courageous positions against the powerful gay lobby.' ”
'Progressive' Silence
on Putin's Aggression
Kyiv Post



**********
“The Kremlin’s main allies in the EU are extreme right parties. Putin believes that the European extreme right are on the rise, and when they eventually take power, their countries will leave—and ultimately destroy—the EU to pave a way for the 'Euro-Soviet Empire'.

“Putin is already a cult person for many European far right activists. The Italian National Front applauded Putin for his anti-gay laws and the disruption of the US/European plans to crack down on Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Andreas Mölzer of the Freedom Party of Austria hailed Putin as a hero who 'had managed to steer the post-communist, crisis-ridden Russia into calmer waters', Nick Griffin of the British National Party praised Putin’s Russia for 'a robust, transparent and properly democratic system', Norwegian extreme right terrorist Anders Breivik wrote of him as 'a fair and resolute leader worthy of respect'...”
Is Putin a New Hitler
(in the Making)?
Anton Shekhovtsov's Blog



**********
“It is deeply strange for an openly right-wing authoritarian regime, such as that of Vladimir Putin, to treat the presence of right-wing politicians in a neighboring democracy as the reason for a military invasion. Putin's own social policy is, if anything, to the right of the Ukrainians whom he criticizes. The Russian attempt to control Ukraine is based upon Eurasian ideology, which explicitly rejects liberal democracy. The founder of the Eurasian movement is an actual fascist, Alexander Dugin, who calls for a revolution of values from Portugal to Siberia.”
Far-Right Forces are Influencing Russia's Actions in Crimea
The New Republic



**********
“In May 2013, [the leader of Hungary's Right-Wing party] Jobbik...Gábor Vona visited Moscow to meet with Dugin at the Moscow State University. At the meeting, Vona called the European Union 'a treacherous organisation that took away our markets, our factories, and filled the shelves of our shops with Western garbage'. Russia, at the same time, managed to 'preserve its traditions' and, unlike the EU or the US, 'did not worship money and mass culture'. According to Vona, 'the role of Russia today is to offset the Americanisation of Europe'...”
Is Putin a New Hitler
(in the Making)?
Anton Shekhovtsov's Blog



**********
“...The Eurasian Union is the enemy of the European Union, not just in strategy but in ideology. The European Union is based on a historical lesson: that the wars of the twentieth century were based on false and dangerous ideas, National Socialism and Stalinism, which must be rejected and indeed overcome in a system guaranteeing free markets, free movement of people, and the welfare state. Eurasianism, by contrast, is presented by its advocates as the opposite of liberal democracy.

“The Eurasian ideology draws an entirely different lesson from the twentieth century. Founded around 2001 by the Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, it proposes the realization of National Bolshevism. Rather than rejecting totalitarian ideologies, Eurasianism calls upon politicians of the twenty-first century to draw what is useful from both fascism and Stalinism...Eurasianism is not only the ideological source of the Eurasian Union, it is also the creed of a number of people in the Putin administration, and the moving force of a rather active far-right Russian youth movement. For years Dugin has openly supported the division and colonization of Ukraine.”
Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine
The New York Review of Books



**********
“...[Dugin's] three basic political ideas—the need to colonize Ukraine, the decadence of the European Union, and the desirability of an alternative Eurasian project from Lisbon to Vladivostok—are now all officially enunciated, in less wild forms than his to be sure, as Russian foreign policy. President Putin presents Russia today as an encircled homeland, not of the revolution as the communists used to say, but of the counter-revolution. He portrays Russia is a special civilization which must be defended at all costs, even though it generates power in Europe and the world through its rather generic collection of reactionary mantras and its accidental possession of hydrocarbons.”
Ukrainian Extremists Will Only Triumph if Russia Invades
The New Republic



**********
“[There is in Russia today] a newly vigorous hunt for internal enemies—a campaign against those who do not share in Russia’s officially sanctioned mood of expansionary euphoria. In an address to Parliament on March 18th, Putin raised the spectre of 'a fifth column'—a 'disparate bunch of national traitors'—sowing discord inside Russia...

“Putin’s speech took place two days after the Crimean referendum, but it was as much a declaration of the new rules and motifs of Putinism, rich with grievance and triumph, as it was a statement about the disputed peninsula...

“The annexation of Crimea—not the act itself as much as its reverberating effect on Russian politics and society—has consolidated the new operating model for Putin’s rule, which had already been taking shape. Ever since Putin returned to the Presidency, in 2012, he has searched for an ideological, even spiritual, underpinning for his grip on power. Disturbed by a protest movement that briefly seemed formidable and a slowing economy, Putin turned to a mishmash of nationalism, conservative values, Russian Orthodoxy, and a fear of the corrupting influence of the degenerate West. If his first decade in power had been justified by a growing economy and improved living standards, then his third term would be justified by the grandeur of historical destiny.

“Crimea marks a capstone to this shift in orientation: a new and harder era, in which isolation and conflict with the West are virtues in and of themselves. Gone is the postmodern carnival defined by people like Vladislav Surkov, a showman and manipulator who helped Putin construct the political culture of the aughts.

“Putin is turning the country away from a time when citizens were expected to be passive and inert, and toward an era when they must be jumpy, mobilized, and ready to defend the state at any cost. The need for enemies is obvious: to rally the patriotic masses for the struggle that lies ahead...”
Putin’s New War on “Traitors”
The New Yorker



**********
“Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, the former Soviet Union is again daily front- page news. The rapid sequence of events has led to an atmosphere that is very reminiscent of the heydays of the Cold War. In Russia itself it has led to a hunt for 'national traitors' and 'foreign agents' and observers both inside the country and abroad fear for a return to full-scale Soviet repression. For the outside world this may come as a surprise, human rights activists have been ringing the alarm bells already for quite a few years. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin took power, the human rights situation deteriorated and more and more liberties were curtailed. One of the warning signs was the return of the use of psychiatry for political purposes to 'prevent' social or political activism or to ostracize an activist from society.

........

“Only few people in the West fully realize to what level a national hysteria has been created in Russia proper. Rock musician Makarevich, who dared to take a stance against the occupation of the Crimea, is now a 'people’s traitor' and might loose all his awards and prizes as a result. A professor at Moscow University was fired for criticizing the occupation, and the colleague who defended him was dismissed as well. Elena Tkach, a deputy in the Moscow city council, has called upon the authorities to take away Russian citizenship from all 'people’s traitors' with the words: 'People who hate Russia are not entitled to be its citizen. Everybody knows that it is time to punish those who have issued anti-Russian statements in the press and internet… [...] Insulting Russia and its people should be completely wiped out…' ”

........

“This is a situation that is worrying and dangerous at the same time. It is also a situation in which the human rights [community] in Russia needs our utmost support...”
Statement for Sub-Committee
on Human Rights of the
European Parliament on
the Situation in Russia
The New Republic



**********
“Last December, Putin dissolved the RIA Novosti news agency and created a new one called Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today). He placed in charge one Dmitry Kiselyov, an odious and unembarrassed reactionary whose contribution to the debate over anti-gay propaganda legislation was to say that the internal organs of homosexuals who die in car accidents should be burned rather than risk their being transplanted into the bodies of the living.”
Putin Moves Against the Press
The New Yorker



**********
“Within the span of a couple months, the Kremlin, by hook and by crook, has cleared all the media underbrush. There’s suddenly not much left of the independent media, even of what little of it there was left after Putin’s first two terms at the wheel.”
While the West Watches Crimea, Putin Cleans House in Moscow
The New Republic



**********
“[T]here are hardly any objective, professional media outlets left in a nation that possesses half of the world’s nukes.

........

“Crimea is a part of a bigger story: Russia is drastically changing course. Once a rather soft autocracy, it’s becoming a highly repressive and increasingly totalitarian state with an information firewall as efficient as the Iron Curtain. In a matter of months it will be a different country and only a tiny, extremely non-transparent group of people knows what the design is.”

........

“We know that these people control an arsenal of nukes sufficient to erase the human race. For the sake of our own sanity, we assume that they are completely sane (if sinister) and know exactly what they want to achieve and where to stop. But do we have any proof?”
Putin Is Cracking Down on Media Exactly When We're Desperate
for Answers
The New Republic



**********
“There is a growing belief among many in the West that Europe and the United States provoked President Putin into annexing Crimea. Moscow's reaction to NATO expansion and to the EU's efforts to bring Ukraine into its orbit was, it is said, inevitable.

“In this view, Western leaders backed Putin into a corner and, with the situation worsening in eastern Ukraine, it is time we gave him an exit plan.

........

“As tends to be the case with bad neighbors, Russia's belligerence [actually] stems from problems at home. Despite recent high global oil prices, Putin presides over an economy in reverse.

“...Putin has tightened his control over the media and political opposition. But rather than accompanying political tightening with economic reform, his government has side-stepped market-opening commitments made as part of Russia's WTO accession. And rather than tackling ever-deepening corruption, he has continued to hand his close allies the choicest parts of the Russian economy through Kremlin-led corporate mergers and lucrative concessions.”
The West Must Not Blame
Itself for Putin's Revanchism
CNN



**********
“...[T]he Ukraine crisis is proof that the Kremlin has begun to experiment with the Putin Doctrine, which was in development long before now. Russia’s actions with respect to Ukraine are part of the Kremlin’s preventive doctrine, which seeks to ensure the survival of autocratic rule by restoring militarism and a fortress mentality in Russia. This is the essence of the doctrine formulated in the Kremlin over the past two years (although some of its components have been in development since 2007). One of the key premises of the doctrine stems from the fact that Russia is entering a period of economic recession. This recession has advanced beyond the point at which it could be either dismissed or ignored, and it was running the risk of generating a crisis that the regime would be unable to prevent. The Kremlin team understands this; it hopes to restore militarism before Russians start taking to the streets. The Kremlin recognizes both the gravity of the situation in Russia and its inability to control this situation under the framework of soft authoritarianism.

........

“Russia adopted revanchism...because the man in the Kremlin came to conclusion that the Russian system could not be preserved any other way. Putin understood that the Russian system of personalized power could no longer be reproduced by means of imitating the West and integrating members of the Russian elite personally with the West. For now and the foreseeable future, the West must not be imitated but rejected and contained.”
The Putin Doctrine: Myth, Provocation, Blackmail,
or the Real Deal?
The American Interest



**********
“...Putin’s rule is...unstable. His regime is also hyper-centralized, inefficient, and corrupt. It—and Putin with it—can survive and enjoy neo-imperialist legitimacy only because it’s been the beneficiary of loads of free money derived from higher energy prices. Thanks to a vast increase in state wealth, Putin was able to buy popular legitimacy and still have enough to accommodate regime inefficiency and corruption. That’s about to change. Energy revenues are declining and will almost certainly continue to decline, as the West develops energy alternatives (shale gas, liquefied natural gas, and energy from other suppliers). With declining revenues, Putin will soon be exposed as a corrupt dictator unable to deliver neo-imperialism to the masses and embezzlement to the elites. Add to that the growing costs of his Crimean misadventure, and, sooner rather than later, Putin could become Russia’s Yanukovych.”
Is Putin Next?
World Affairs JOurnal



**********
“...Russia is systemically corrupt, dependent on the high price of oil to keep its populace acquiescent and to bankroll adventures like Crimea, and bleeding hard currency as its businessmen large and small continue to stash away their wealth in foreign offshore accounts. Its citizenry’s support is as strong as the government's ability to pay its bills and to keep the media firmly muzzled...”
Eastern Ukraine: A New Pawn in Putin's Dangerous Game
Al Jazeera



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“[Putin's] campaign of intimidation aimed at Ukraine is about protecting his position at the head of the Russian klepto-banquet. Popular overthrow of a crony oligarchy so close to home, his corrupt ally Viktor Yanukovych, was not acceptable. Ukraine, with its control of strategic pipelines, moving toward energy independence and even energy competition with Russia (it recently signed shale deals with Shell and Chevron) was not acceptable.”
Forgiving Putin—Again
The Wall Street Journal



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“Vladimir Putin is basking in the glory of territorial conquest, enjoying his highest domestic approval ratings since returning as president two years ago.

“But he should take time to consider whether the foundations of Russian power are as stable as he would like us to believe.

“As an act of geopolitical assertiveness, the seizure of Crimea was meant to convey a message of strength. But the negative reaction of financial markets and Western sanctions against Russia have highlighted existing economic vulnerabilities in a way that raises serious doubts about Russia's ability to sustain its new position.”
Crisis Reveals Serious
Cracks in Putin's Empire
CNN



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“...For all his bluster, Putin is not as strong as he looks. Russia's own pro-democracy protestors are down but not out (tens of thousands marched in Moscow on March 16, waving banners reading 'Putin is afraid of the Maidan.') Even the elite, as his foreign policy grows more reckless and his propaganda more fantastical, must surely be pausing for thought...Though the Crimea fait accompli has boosted Putin's approval ratings for now, they are likely to dip once the initial excitement has worn off, and more so if and when a fall in the oil price forces cuts in government spending.”
A Borderland on the Edge
Standpoint



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“Even before the saber-rattling began last fall, Russia’s economy was not so hot. Despite its vast natural resources and the stimulus of the Sochi Olympics, Putin and his cronies have basically failed to create a modern, thriving economy. Russia may have been lumped in with Brazil, India and China in the famous 'BRIC' block of emerging powers, but it has showed little of those countries’ dynamism. In 2013, Russia’s economy grew at a meager 1.3 percent rate, down sharply from 3.4 percent in 2012. This year is likely to be no better. In its world Outlook issued this week, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its projection for Russian economic growth in 2014, blaming 'the lack of more comprehensive structural reforms [that] has led to the erosion in businesses’ and consumers’ confidence.'

“But the Crimea situation is making matters much worse. The World Bank now projects that given a 'limited and short-lived impact of the Crimea crisis', growth could fall to 1.1 percent in 2014. Should things get messier, however, the World Bank warns that Russia’s economy could shrink by 1.8 percent in 2014. Russian officials, the designated cheerleaders for Putin, are even more pessimistic. According to Reuters, Andrei Klepach, the deputy economy minister, now says Russia’s economy could grow at a rate as low as .5 percent in 2014—perilously close to flatlining...”
Flex Muscle Spending Has Left Putin’s Russia in an Economic Freeze Frame
The Daily Beast



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“The prevailing view in the West Wing...is that while Mr. Putin seems for now to be enjoying the glow of success, he will eventually discover how much economic harm he has brought on his country. Mr. Obama’s aides noted the fall of the Russian stock market and the ruble, capital flight from the country and the increasing reluctance of foreign investors to expand dealings in Russia.

“...If the Russian economy suffers over the long term, senior American officials said, then Mr. Putin’s implicit compact with the Russian public promising growth for political control could be sundered.

........

“...[T]he relationship [between Russia and the West in any event] cannot return to normal...even if the Ukraine situation is settled soon, specialists said. 'There’s really been a sea change not only here but in much of Europe about Russia', said Robert Nurick, a Russia expert at the Atlantic Council. 'A lot of the old assumptions about what we were doing and where we were going and what was possible are gone, and will stay that way as long as Putin’s there.' ”

In Cold War Echo, Obama
Strategy Writes Off Putin
The New York Times



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“Russia will not reform under Putin's watch, as some in the West once hoped. He blames the West for Russia's ills and wallows in victimhood. But he avoids reforming the economic system he created, and perceives steps towards embedding the rule of law, accountable government and more open markets around Russia's neighborhood as threats to his and Russia's power.

“If the choice now is between trying to bring President Putin gradually in from the cold, or containing his worst instincts towards Russia's European neighbors, the latter is the only rational answer.”

The West Must Not Blame
Itself for Putin's Revanchism
CNN



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“Without sending a gunship or pressing a reset button, we could change our relationship overnight with the Russian government — and with ordinary Russians — simply by changing our attitude toward Russian money. It shouldn’t require a Russian invasion of Crimea to persuade Western governments to band together and deny visas to someone whose wealth comes from corrupt practices. It shouldn’t require a threatened Russian attack on eastern Ukraine for us to shut down the loopholes and tax havens we’ve created in the British Virgin Islands or the Swiss Alps. After all, this is money that corrupts our societies, too. The Western financial elite that has become dependent on foreign oligarchs’ cash is the same elite that donates to political parties and owns television stations and newspapers at home. The ex-politicians who sit on the boards of shady companies still have friends in power.

“But now there has been an attack. The Russian president has broken a series of international treaties, some of which were designed to protect Russia’s rights to its naval base in Crimea. In his public statements and actions, that same president has openly revealed his disdain for the West. His state-owned television channels are publishing stories that are verifiably untrue. This is our wake-up call: Western institutions have enabled the existence of a corrupt Russian regime that is destabilizing Europe. It’s time to make them stop.”

Russia’s Western Enablers
The Washington Post



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“The West looked the other way when Mr. Putin seized the Yukos oil giant on trumped-up tax charges, though Western minority shareholders were among the victims. It looked the other way when he double-crossed Western oil companies on a serial basis. It looked the other way from murders of journalists and Russian legislators and other inconvenient persons (possibly even Mr. Putin's own mentor, a late mayor of St. Petersburg).”
Forgiving Putin—Again
The Wall Street Journal



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“Western leaders are a risk-averse, short-term-minded lot, but if their decisions are dictated by a conviction of Mr. Putin's iron grip on Russia, they make a mistake. Many sanguine voices, in fact, already note how the U.S. shale revolution has weakened Mr. Putin's hand. If Western leaders were so inclined, they might surprise themselves at how vulnerable Mr. Putin's petro-dependency makes him. Unleash Europe's antitrust case against Gazprom. A report is due in the coming weeks, with the potential to levy billion-dollar fines and trigger customer lawsuits against the gas giant on which so much of Putin patronage is founded. Embargo Gazprom LNG tankers (it recently bought its fifth) from Western ports.

“Withdraw Europe's support for pipelines Mr. Putin wants to build. These, by way of the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, aim to reduce Ukraine's leverage as transit path for gas exports that generate much of his regime's income. Mr. Putin might like to shut off the gas but he can't. He needs the money.

“Get moving on the pending U.S. trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade partnerships, which grant member countries automatic approval of U.S. liquefied gas exports. The mere prospect of U.S. exports has already eroded Russia's pricing power.

“Let Exxon and other Western oil firms queuing up to explore Siberia and Russia's Arctic know their efforts are not currently appreciated. A single caustic hearing on Capitol Hill should do it.”
Forgiving Putin—Again
The Wall Street Journal



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“...The weakness of Putin's policy is that it cannot account for the actions of free human beings who choose to organize themselves in response to unpredictable historical events. Its strength is its tactical dexterity and ideological shamelessness.”
Ukrainian Extremists Will Only Triumph if Russia Invades
The New Republic



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“Ukraine has taught Russia a lesson in loving freedom and refusing to tolerate a base, thieving regime. Ukraine found the strength to break away from the post-Soviet iceberg and sail toward Europe. Maidan—Independence Square—showed the world what a people can accomplish when it so desires. But when I watched the reports from Kiev, I could not imagine anything similar in today’s Moscow. It is difficult to imagine Muscovites fighting the OMON special forces day and night on Red Square and facing snipers’ bullets with wooden shields. For that to happen, something must change not only in the surrounding environment, but in people’s heads. Will it?”
Let the Past Collapse on Time!
The New York Review of Books




The Assault on Ukraine II

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“Separatists? Fascists? Disguised Russian special forces? Theories have multiplied to explain who exactly the armed men who have wrested control of parts of Donetsk, Luhansk (Lugansk in Russian), and other areas of eastern Ukraine from the Ukrainian state, cutting its residents off also from participation in the recent presidential elections. Very likely, martial law will follow in the region upon completion of the transfer of presidential powers to Ukraine’s newly elected leader, Petro Poroshenko. The separatist forces have clearly exposed the limits of Kiev’s capacity to govern, and in so doing they have acted in accordance with Russian state interests and swelled the waves of anti-state violence presently engulfing eastern and southern Ukraine.

“But these facts alone do not mean that those armed men are simply Russian agents, or even Russian-trained militias. Instead, alongside Russia, the forces of the 'Donetsk People’s Republic' and the 'Lugansk People’s Republic' serve first and foremost what we call a mafia state.

“The idea itself is not new. It gained currency particularly in reference to Russia in the wake of WikiLeaks, which disclosed the details of a January 2010 briefing by Spanish prosecutor José Grinda González—one of Europe’s top experts on organized crime—analyzing Russia as a 'virtual mafia state.' One year later, British journalist Luke Harding published Mafia State, a memoir detailing the intimidation and Cold War spy-game-like scare tactics that he faced at the hands of Russian secret services while he was The Guardian’s bureau chief in Moscow, an assignment that ended when Russia denied him re-entry in 2011. In recent months, commentators have increasingly—and rightly—pointed out the need to think about Ukraine not just as a state, but also as the sum of its regions. Here the 'mafia state' idea can help us to understand the events of recent months, especially the perverse phenomenon of the separatist militia-driven 'people’s republics' of the Donbas. Even allowing for the distinctiveness of Soviet legal culture, 'rule of law' as such was a myth in the Donbas even before the Soviet collapse. Combine might-trumps-right with the long-standing culture of anomie and graft classically described by Aleksandr Zinoviev as Homo Sovieticus, and you can see that the mafias and 'people’s republics' of Donetsk and Luhansk have been decades in the making.

“Writing for The New Republic more than a decade ago, Princeton historian Stephen Kotkin provocatively dubbed much of the post-Soviet space 'Trashcanistan'—'a dreadful checkerboard of parasitic states and statelets, government-led extortion rackets and gangs in power, mass refugee camps, and shadow economies'. Instead of Communist Party nomenklatura calling the shots, a parallel power structure developed in the 1980s and 1990s in the form of a client system of black-market privateers and underworld bosses operating on a dramatic scale.

“Welcome to the Donbas. The violence, political parasitism, and mafia life undergirding the region’s present chaos have been present since even before the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991. This is how the Donbas and its neighboring Dnieper region have produced many of Ukraine’s wealthiest magnates and top national politicians, with the former group feeding the latter courtesy of post-Soviet Ukraine’s wealthiest citizen, Rinat Akhmetov; its former presidents Viktor Yanukovych and Leonid Kuchma; and even its Orange Revolution prime minister and—until recently—Yanukovych’s political prisoner, Yulia Tymoshenko.

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“In the first decade of Ukrainian independence, the Donbas had the highest level of criminal activity in all of Ukraine. Between 1990 and 1993, total crime in the Donetsk region increased by 50 percent. In 1991 alone, the Donetsk police department fingered 2,186 criminal groups, which at that time had committed over 4,000 alleged crimes, including 33 murders, 212 robberies, 173 cases of extortion, and so on. Since 1991, the number of organized criminal groups identified by law enforcement agencies has increased steadily.”

Eastern Ukraine Has Been a Mafia State for Years. Can Kiev Break the Cycle of Violence?
The New Republic



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“Vladimir Putin's annexation of Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula has turned the international order on its ear. And as longtime Kremlin-watcher and security expert Mark Galeotti wrote this week, it also promises to upend the delicate balance in the post-Soviet underworld—with possibly violent results.

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“And it's not like Crimea was exactly gangster-free even before the Russian annexation. A combination of official neglect from Kyiv, hostility between local law enforcement and the central Ukrainian government, and the Black Sea Fleet's role in various smuggling operations combined to make the peninsula a magnet for post-Soviet organized crime.

“ 'Crimea's political and economic structures were infamously interconnected with its underworld. Simferopol's Salem and Bashmaki crime gangs of the 1990s ran protection rackets, smuggled drugs, and assassinated each other', Galeotti wrote.

“Indeed, Crimea's Moscow-installed de facto Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov is widely reported to be a mid-level gangster—known as 'the Goblin'—with the Salem gang.

“And now, major projects like the $5.5 billion Kerch Strait bridge project connecting Crimea to Russia's Krasnodar Krai and plans to build a new casino and resort complex promise to present the most lucrative opportunity for the criminal underworld since, well, since the Sochi Olympics.

“And the Russian authorities seem determined to make sure 'their' anointed gangsters—like Moscow's powerful Solntsevo group—get the largest piece of the action.”

Gangsters And Fascists And Separatists—Oh My!
RFE/RL



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“Alexander Borodai, a Russian citizen from Moscow, emerged last week as the new leader of the separatist rebellion in Donetsk region...

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“Mr Borodai makes no secret of being a Muscovite. How he suddenly emerged at the helm of a pro-Russian rebellion in Ukraine is unclear. Improbable though it may sound, he has passed from being a consultant to a Russian investment fund to 'prime minister' of a 'People’s Republic'.

“But the known facts of his biography make this transformation less mysterious. Mr Borodai was one of a circle of ardent Russian nationalists who worked for the far-right 'Zavtra' newspaper in the 1990s. He took part in the rebellion in Moldova which carved out the enclave of Transdniestria for the country’s Russian minority.

“Earlier this year, he was in Crimea as an adviser to Sergei Aksyonov, the separatist prime minister who oversaw the territory’s annexation by Russia. So Mr Borodai has long experience of carving out secure enclaves for Russians who found themselves becalmed in former Soviet republics after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“By his account, he came to Ukraine at the invitation of Igor Strelkov, another Russian citizen now believed to be commanding rebel forces in the town of Slavyansk, 70 miles north of Donetsk...”

Ukraine's Forces will be Driven from Donetsk Vows New 'Prime Minister'
The Telegraph



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“As leaders of the secessionist uprising in Ukraine’s Donetsk province go public this month, they turn out to be from Moscow, not Donetsk. Alexander Borodai, named last week as the 'prime minister' of the Donetsk People’s Republic, is not only Muscovite, he’s been famous for years at the extreme-right fringe of Russian politics. He has argued publicly that Russia must dismantle Ukraine and absorb its people to boost Russia’s stagnant population en route to restoring a Russian Orthodox empire over as much as a sixth of the world.

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“...Borodai confirmed that he worked in Crimea alongside Igor Girkin, the Russian army colonel who has been leading the secessionists’ armed militias. Girkin also turned out recently to live in Moscow.

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“The connection that fuels Borodai, and Girkin, may be with a Russian nationalist billionaire named Konstantin Malofeev, according to reports this week by Vedomosti, news website Slon and other Russian media. Borodai has worked for a Malofeev investment firm called Marshall Capital, Vedomosti reported May 19. Girkin is known to be an enthusiast of re-enacting historic military battles in Tsarist period costumes—an activity that he shares with Malofeev, according to Oleg Kashin, the author of the Slon article.

“Is Malofeev the conduit providing the money to run the Donetsk secessionist campaign? That is the allegation of Russian anti-corruption campaigner and lawyer Alexei Navalny.”

A Ukraine Secessionist from Moscow Builds Greater Russia, One Province at a Time
Atlantic Council



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“Not long ago, Aleksandr Borodai was a little-known political consultant with nationalist leanings.

“Back in 1993, he was among those defending hard-liners barricaded inside the Russian White House in their showdown with President Boris Yeltsin. He wrote regularly for the ultranationalist newspaper 'Zavtra' and in 2011 co-founded the 'patriotic' online television channel Den-TV.

“Despite being a Muscovite and a Russian citizen, Borodai last month was named the de facto prime minister of the self-styled 'Donetsk People's Republic', a separatist region in eastern Ukraine. The move transformed him from an obscure nationalist on the fringe of Russian political life to a key figure at ground zero of the biggest standoff between Moscow and the West in decades.

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“[As Yevgeny] Kiselyov [—a Kyiv-based political commentator and television anchor who is originally from Russia—put it, ]...the ideas of once-marginal figures like Borodai and Aleksandr Prokhanov, the editor and founder of 'Zavtra', now make up 'the backbone of Russian foreign policy.' ”

Russia's Nationalist Fringe Takes Center Stage In Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL



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“Aleksandr Borodai, a Russian citizen who is the 'prime minister' of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, was an editor and remains a contributor to the far-right—and often anti-Semitic—newspaper 'Zavtra', founded by ultranationalist Aleksandr Prokhanov in the 1990s. The newspaper's website now serves as a recruiting platform for mercenaries fighting in eastern Ukraine.

“Prokhanov, a fringe figure in the 1990s, has enjoyed a resurgence with the Ukrainian crisis, with his articles appearing regularly in the mass-circulation pro-Kremlin daily 'Izvestia'.

Gangsters And Fascists And Separatists—Oh My!
RFE/RL



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“...[I]n eastern Ukraine it's springtime for Russian ultranationalists and neo-Nazis.

“Pavel Gubarev, the self-styled 'people's governor' of Donetsk, was a member of the ultranationalist group Russian National Unity, whose symbol bears a disturbing resemblance to a swastika.

“The far-right paramilitary organization was founded in 1990 by nationalist leader Aleksandr Barkashov, and its members have been implicated in violent crimes against ethnic minorities and in the 2009 killings of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova.”

Gangsters And Fascists And Separatists—Oh My!
RFE/RL



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“Russian National Unity is infamous for its attacks on ethnic minorities in Russia and two of its purported former members have been jailed in connection with the 2009 killings of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova. The group was founded by Aleksandr Barkashov, a Russian nationalist who gained notoriety for leading paramilitary units during the October 1993 Constitutional Crisis in Russia.

“Back on May 7, just days before the Donetsk and Luhansk regions held unrecognized independence referendums, Ukraine's security service, the SBU, released what it says was an intercepted phone conversation in which a man they identified as Barkashov explains to separatist leaders how to falsify the results.

“Moreover, Aleksandr Dugin, who in the 1990s preached a Russian nationalism 'borderless and red', spoke in a Skype conversation posted on YouTube with [Pavel] Guberev's wife, Yekaterina, in late March. The two spoke at length about the situation in the east, a week before gunmen seized government buildings.

“Several of the Russian nationalists participating in the unrest in Ukraine have links to [Aleksandr] Prokhanov's newspaper, 'Zavtra'.

“Both Borodai and Igor Girkin, the self-proclaimed 'defense minister' of the Donetsk People's Republic who goes by the moniker 'Strelkov', have been regular contributors.

“Among those contributors are Sergei Aksyonov, the Moscow-installed prime minister in Russian-occupied Crimea.

“Another is Aleksei Khudyakov, the former head of the Russian anti-immigration group Shield Of Moscow. Last year, masked youths from the group raided migrant living quarters in the Russian capital.”

Russia's Nationalist Fringe Takes Center Stage In Eastern Ukraine
RFE/RL



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“Russia may be threatening to cut off Ukraine's gas supply. But it is busy exporting its mafia and neo-Nazis to its southern neighbor.”
Gangsters And Fascists And Separatists—Oh My!
RFE/RL



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“On 11 June, the self-proclaimed mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, was placed under arrest for actions inconsistent with his duties, most notably unwarranted spending of money. The order to remove him was given by Igor Strelkov, the military commander of the separatist forces of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic; and highlighted his consolidation of authority over various rivals. The Ukrainian SBU (Security Service) insists that Strelkov takes his orders directly from Moscow. But how true is this? Who is Strelkov and what is his background and outlook?

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“His appearance and demeanor are very different from the Ukrainian separatist leaders that have emerged since the spring. He is the antithesis of a gangster or revolver-touting thug. He looks like a military officer of an earlier generation, with short hair and clipped mustache, complementing his ‘little green man’ military fatigues; he is quiet-spoken, calm, and—his extreme political views notwithstanding—highly intelligent. His writing is lucid and the arguments clear. Above all, what may make him unusually dangerous is a clear belief in his mission, which currently is to consolidate his authority in Donetsk and Luhansk, but in the longer term, to remove the Kyiv government from power.

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“...[I]t is difficult to dismiss all the evidence provided by the SBU and other sources, of Strelkov taking orders from superiors. It seems unlikely that he is operating with complete independence; and it would be far-fetched to anticipate that an officer with such long military service in world trouble spots would dispense entirely with military hierarchy. Rather, he may be part of the Greater Russian vision that permeates some sections of the Russian establishment, from political scientist Aleksandr Dugin to Vasily Yakemenko, and harkens back to earlier luminaries such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Strelkov appears to live in a different era, but his playing of romantic roles has become confused with political reality. Eventually, this quiet and eccentric fanatic may represent little more than a pawn in a much broader power game, but for the Ukrainian Government he represents a difficult opponent who is unlikely to surrender, with or without support from the Russian military and its Commander-in-Chief.”

Igor Strelkov—Moscow Agent
or Military Romantic?
Open Democracy



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“When pro-Russian protesters first occupied the Donetsk regional administration building in April, different rebel groups and units staked out each of the 11 floors. Since then, these motley bands have been eclipsed by three powerful, armed factions: the Russian Orthodox Army, the Vostok Battalion, and Oplot. Each is built around an influential commander who spends his time not only waging the ongoing guerrilla war against Kiev's forces, but also dispensing harsh justice and detaining civilians, sometimes for prisoner exchanges. Each group has several hundred men, including Russian volunteers, and heavy armaments. (During a recent visit to Vostok's base, I saw four fighting vehicles, two anti-aircraft guns, numerous rocket-propelled grenades, and surface-to-air missiles.)

“Are these commanders the backbone of an emerging independent East Ukraine, or are they burgeoning warlords staking out their turf for whatever comes next?

“So far, Kiev's 'anti-terrorist operation' to take back eastern Ukraine has united the rebel leaders in the defense of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk 'People's Republics', even though each has his own vision of the region's political future....

........

“But President Petro Poroshenko's efforts toward de-escalation, including the promise of a cease-fire if rebels agree to lay down their arms, could soon test these commanders' willingness to submit themselves to a greater authority. Their real allegiances—whether to the Russian government, a certain local oligarch, the people's republics, or simply themselves—remain unclear.

........

“These days, eastern Ukraine's countryside is largely a lawless territory dotted with checkpoints run by pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces, while the cities have retained a sense of order. But all three Donetsk militia commanders told me that criminality is on the rise.

........

“Although Poroshenko has pledged amnesty for rebels who agree to lay down their arms, he specifically excluded those who have committed grievous crimes. Given that Borodai and Pushilin were slapped last week with charges of terrorism and attempting to overthrow the government, militia leaders can more likely expect prosecution than amnesty if Kiev retakes the east. Their actions have also divided the local populace, a majority of which opposes the rebels' tactics. If the stalemate continues or if eastern Ukraine successfully separates from the rest of the country, will these men eventually relinquish their power and risk their personal safety? Or will they begin fighting among themselves?”

Fight Club, Donetsk
Foreign Policy



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“Ukraine’s president in waiting says he needs just hours to stem the unrest that’s terrorizing the nation’s easternmost regions. The separatists who’ve been giving government troops the runaround for weeks have other ideas.

“ 'They’d need heavy weapons to dislodge us and they can’t use them without civilian casualties', said Vadim Ilavaysky, a shaven-headed rebel commander with a graying beard dressed in camouflage fatigues. 'This land will never welcome occupiers', he said in his office in the seized Kramatorsk administration building, where sandbags obscure the windows.

“The rebels’ shifting tactics may make [Poroshenko's] task more difficult in practice. Some of them established city strongholds such as Slovyansk, where the proximity of civilians hinders the advance of government forces. Others move from town to town. If they’re not killed or captured in firefights, they flee before popping up elsewhere, sometimes within hours.

“ 'These tactics split government forces and make maneuvers trickier—the separatists are exploiting our weaknesses', said Mykola Sungurovskyi, head of military programs at the Razumkov Center in Kiev. 'Poroshenko is too optimistic. Even under favorable conditions, the operation would take a month.' ”

Ukraine Rebels Outfox Army
to Dent Poroshenko Troop Goal
Bloomberg



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“A day after his election as Ukrainian president on May 25, Petro Poroshenko vowed to finally provide the country's woefully neglected military with some much-needed care, declaring, 'Ukrainian soldiers will no longer be naked, barefoot, and hungry!'

“But between tensions in the east, a looming refugee crisis, restless oligarchs, and radical government reform, Poroshenko has made a lot of promises that may be difficult to deliver on. As Kyiv continues to conduct what it calls antiterrorist operations against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the country's soldiers are increasingly looking to charities and local volunteers to donate essentials like food, binoculars, and body armor.

“At the start of Ukraine's counteroffensive in April, only one in 100 soldiers was equipped with a bulletproof vest. Kevlar helmets and thermal-vision sniper scopes were also in short supply. In Warsaw on June 4, Poroshenko received a pledge from U.S. President Barack Obama to provide $5 million worth of body armor, night-vision goggles, and communication equipment. For now, however, many soldiers remain woefully undersupplied.

“The shortage is the legacy of a period of prolonged neglect. The Center for Army, Conversion, and Disarmament Research, a Kyiv-based think tank, says Ukraine would need to spend $20 billion a year to maintain a 200,000-strong, combat-ready military. In reality, spending in the past two decades never exceeded $1.3 billion a year.”

Ukrainian Military Waits
For Government To Act On
Promises Of Support
RFE/RL



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“Call it the Euromaidan approach to fielding an army.

“Not long ago, volunteers in Kyiv cooked food at home and delivered it and other supplies daily to the activists manning the barricades in the battle that toppled former President Viktor Yanukovych.

“Now, volunteer groups across Ukraine are raising funds and buying equipment for soldiers fighting in the east of the country and, in some cases, delivering the supplies directly to the soldiers themselves.

“Tatiana Rychkova is one of the organizers of a volunteer group in Dnipropetrovsk in central Ukraine.

“She raises money to purchase bulletproof vests, binoculars, and pain-killing drugs. Then she loads it all into her car and heads for the restive Donbas region.

“Rychovka says she began after her husband, who is in the army, was wounded and hospitalized. She says she was shocked by the lack of basic supplies and decided to try to improve the soldiers' situation.

“Other activists have begun similar initiatives.

“Serhiy Karnoza belongs to a group called the 'Society of Dmitry Doncova', also in Dnipropetrovsk.

“ 'We deliver directly into the hands of our soldiers and officers because we have no confidence in the command', he says.

“To cut costs, he says, his group has not registered as a charity and does not pay taxes. But it is cooperating with other activist groups in the city to set up a central website to make their efforts transparent to the public and track how much money is raised and spent.”

Army In Need: Volunteers Try
To Get Basic Supplies To
Ukraine's Forces
RFE/RL



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“...[T]housands of people have fled eastern Ukraine in recent weeks.

“Amid the chaos, however, the scope of the refugee crisis remains unclear.

“UNHCR, the United Nations' refugee agency, estimates that there are currently more than 17,500 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Ukraine.

“About 11,000 of these are former Crimea residents who fled the peninsula after its annexation by Russia in March. The rest are eastern Ukrainians forced out of their homes by the separatist conflict.

........

“The flow of refugees appears to have intensified since the government launched what it calls an 'antiterrorist operation' to root out separatists from eastern Ukraine in mid-April.

“Their real number is probably much higher than UNHCR's estimates, which don't include people who turned to nongovernmental groups for help or are waiting out the conflict with relatives.

........

“The information war between Moscow and Kyiv has raised yet more uncertainty about the number and whereabouts of Ukrainian refugees in Russia.

“State-run television channels in Russia have been broadcasting reports of refugee camps populated by Ukrainian families, and Russia now says it is facing a humanitarian crisis on its border—a claim vehemently rejected by Ukrainian authorities.”

Ukraine's Refugee Crisis
RFE/RL



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“The escalating military conflict in Ukraine’s east is forcing thousands from their homes, but the government appears to have no official support program in place to confront a potential humanitarian crisis. The need for a coordinated initiative is growing in urgency as ever larger numbers head to the west in search of shelter.

“Now a new movement is bringing pressure to bear on government.

“Recently created volunteer organizations EuroMaidan SOS, Vostok SOS and Donetsk SOS have pooled their resources in an effort to provide aid for those fleeing to western and central Ukraine. They have teamed up with the Foundation for the Development of Ukraine, a charity owned by Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov.

“The self-organised initiative also has celebrity backing in the form of Ruslana Lyzhychko, a Eurovision song contest winner who was active during the recent anti-government protests in the capital. Lyzhychko, who now serves as the public face of the campaign, told the Kyiv Post that red tape is preventing the emergence of an official aid programme.

“ 'We’ve had to rely on our own funds and resources. There’s a wall of bureaucracy hindering government assistance. We can’t bypass it—it’s bureaucracy and that’s it. The state is an inert and heavy apparatus. It needs to be pushed for results to be achieved', she said, adding that the group is currently helping 300 people find accommodation, 72 of them children.

........

“Signs are beginning to emerge that the government is finally recognising the scale of the problem.

“President Petro Poroshenko announced on June 10 the creation of 'evacuation corridors' to help refugees from the country’s east, without clarifying how these will operate in practice. The following day Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for a database to be drawn up to assist their resettlement.”

Volunteer Movement Puts
Pressure on Government to Confront Refugee Crisis
Kyiv Post



**********
“Moscow today delivers almost half of the gas it sells to Europe through pipelines through Ukraine. It has been counting on South Stream, begun in 2012 and due to be completed by 2015, to allow it to bypass Ukraine completely. The Bulgarian decision [to halt construction] means it will now have to postpone those plans indefinitely.

“The impact on the current Ukraine crisis is significant. Kyiv enjoys some bargaining power with Moscow today largely because Russia needs Ukraine's cooperation to deliver so much of its gas to the European market.

“ 'If South Stream is complete, it will make Ukraine much weaker with regard to Russia', Sergei Pikin, director of Energy Development Fund, a Moscow-based energy consultancy and engineering firm, told 'The Moscow Times' on June 9. 'Neither the United States nor the European Union want this to happen.'

“If Ukraine were to cease being a transit route, Kyiv's relations with Moscow would become simply those of a local gas consumer with little leverage, be it in bargaining over gas prices or discouraging Russia from further interfering in its domestic affairs.”

Is South Stream The Latest
Victim Of the Ukraine Crisis?
RFE/RL



**********
“Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has declared a day of mourning for those killed in the deadliest attack on national troops since the pro-Russian uprising began in the country's south and east.

“Officials said 49 people—40 troops and nine crew members—perished when a Ukrainian army transport aircraft was struck by a surface-to-air missile in the early morning hours of June 14 as it approached Luhansk airport, where heavily armed separatists control much of the area.

........

“The downing of the army aircraft came just hours after Washington said it could confirm Kyiv’s claims that Russia has been sending heavy military equipment to pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine—including tanks and rocket launchers.

“ 'We assess that separatists in eastern Ukraine have acquired heavy weapons and military equipment from Russia, including Russian tanks and multiple rocket launchers', U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

“She said a convoy of three T-64 tanks, several MB-21, or 'Grad' multiple rocket launchers, and other military vehicles had crossed from Russia into eastern Ukraine 'near the Ukrainian town of Snizhne' during the last three days—moving through several towns, including Snizhne, Torez, and Makiyivka.

“Harf said: 'Russia will claim these tanks were taken from Ukrainian forces, but no Ukrainian tank units have been operating in that area. We are confident that these tanks came from Russia.'

“She also said Washington has 'information that Russia has accumulated multiple rocket launchers at this same deployment site in southwest Russia, and these rocket launchers also recently departed.' ”

Ukraine Mourns 49 Troops Killed When Rebels Down Army Plane
RFE/RL



**********
“The State Department reported last week that three aging, Russian T-64 tanks had been sent to Ukraine, and Ukrainian officials recently told Western officials that 10 more Russian tanks have been provided to Ukrainian separatists. Adding to Western concerns, the senior Obama administration official said, artillery has been moved to a deployment site inside southwest Russia and may soon be shipped across the border.

“American officials said Russia was providing older weapons that its forces have phased out but that are known to remain in the Ukrainian military’s inventory.

“ 'The desire here is to mask the Russian hand' by allowing Ukrainian separatists to claim the weapons were captured on the battlefield, the administration official said...

“Mr. Putin appears to be calculating that he can continue to provide military support to the separatists without triggering tough economic reprisals as long as the Kremlin denies that it is involved and avoids obvious provocations, like sending conventional Russian military units into eastern Ukraine, American officials said.”

As Ukraine Announces Cease-
Fire, White House Points
Finger at Russia
The New York Times



**********
“Russia’s military and intelligence sector has been actively involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine for months, as the United States, European Union and indeed Ukrainian authorities have maintained. Yet the evidence that conclusively links the Russian government to direct interference on the other side of the border has been more difficult to amass because Vladimir Putin has opted—at least for now—to conduct a 'special war' in his neighbor’s territory, one bearing all the hallmarks of maskirovka. Maskirovka is the principle of camouflage or denial and deception established in Soviet military doctrine. The chief features of maskirovka are the maintenance of plausible deniability, concealment of forces, disinformation, and decoy or dummy structures to confuse opponents’ ability to predict and respond to actions.

“The key element in the current Ukraine crisis has been the ability of the Kremlin to maintain plausible deniability in the face of overt aggression, interference and invasion. Without this presentation, the diplomatic and economic links upon which Russia depends for leverage would be vulnerable. This leverage is most important with regards to European states who would be greatly hesitant to sacrifice their business interests and gas supplies.

........

“Instead of merely masking the identity of troops on the ground, the Kremlin has devolved its operational activities [in southern and eastern Ukraine] so as to present them as the actions of independent groups, whose interests merely happen to coincide with those of the Russian government. These apparently independent actors work on both a political and an operational level.”

Provocations, Proxies and Plausible Deniability
The Interpreter



**********
“[Non-traditional, lower-intensity forms of conflict can be seen in terms of] what some Eastern intelligence services term 'special war', an amalgam of espionage, subversion, even forms of terrorism to attain political ends without actually going to war in any conventional sense. Special war is the default setting for countries that are unable or unwilling to fight major wars...

........

“Unfortunately there is one country that excels at special war, and that’s Russia. Moscow’s proficiency in these dark arts goes back to the late Tsarist period, when the regime’s solution to a rising terrorism problem was to penetrate terrorist groups while creating some of their own: a politically tricky strategy that worked nearly perfectly, as long as one is willing to close one’s eyes at key moments. Proficiency in espionage, subversion, and terrorism was perfected under the Soviets, yet the skills of Russian intelligence in this domain have, if anything, increased under the rule of President Putin who, by virtue of being a onetime KGB counterintelligence officer, fully comprehends the power of special war.

........

“Special war works when competently handled. It’s very cheap compared to any conventional military operations, and if executed properly it offers states a degree of plausible deniability while achieving state interests without fighting...”

We're Entering The
Age Of 'Special War'
Business Insider



**********
“A 'non-linear' war, explains Natan Dubovitsky, a writer, is how states are likely to fight each other in future—if they do not already. Individual regions or cities will form temporary coalitions, only to split apart in mid-fighting and find new allies. Each force has its own aims, and these too can be fluid. The war has many components, of which battle is only one element. 'Most understood the war to be part of a process', writes Mr Dubovitsky, and 'not necessarily its most important part'.

“Mr Dubovitsky’s idea was featured in a short story published in March, as Russian forces were seizing control of Crimea. Its most telling detail is the author’s real identity: Vladislav Surkov, a long-standing ideological adviser to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. Mr Surkov’s tale is a fanciful exercise, but it is also as good a blueprint as any for the Kremlin’s efforts to direct the war in eastern Ukraine.

........

“...Mr Putin appears, at least for now, to have ruled out a full-frontal invasion. On June 24th he theatrically instructed the ever-loyal upper house of parliament to cancel the authorisation for military force in Ukraine that he had ordered up in early March. The move was largely an empty fob to Mr Poroshenko and another way to ward off more Western sanctions. Yet even if a tanks-and-soldiers invasion seems unlikely, a Russian invasion of another sort began long ago: one that resembles the slippery, post-modern war described by Mr Surkov.

“The nature of the incursion speaks volumes for the reach of the Russian state under Mr Putin. Today’s Russia thinks of itself as a mobilisation state, ready to deploy a full array of instruments in a crisis. In Ukraine this means a policy that combines covert arms transfers, volunteer fighters called up by patriotic organisations, oligarchs and others, propaganda produced by state-run media, punitive arm-twisting over gas prices and a worsening of political repression at home....

“The advantage of such an approach is 'plausible deniability', explains Dmitry Gorenburg of CNA Corporation, a policy and security think-tank. Above all, it helps Russia to avoid a new round of American and European sanctions, which would aim not just at individuals but at entire industries. Existing sanctions and the fears of more to come have already had a 'chilling effect' on investment, according to the IMF, which now says that Russian GDP growth will be zero this year. The murkiness and obfuscation of Mr Putin’s non-linear war in Ukraine also complicate Western diplomacy, dividing opinion and making it harder to find consensus.

“What Mr Putin would really like is a conflict of just the right size: big enough to force Mr Poroshenko into concessions but not so large it drags Russia in directly or forces it to subsidise Ukraine’s eastern regions. As Mr Gorenburg explains, Mr Putin will facilitate the transfer of Russian arms, fighters and money so as to ensure that 'the insurgency isn’t defeated, but while doing the minimum possible'.

“Mr Putin’s apparent interest in an on-again, off-again cycle of ceasefires and negotiations suggests that he would like to lock the conflict in place, legitimising the so-called people’s republics in Donetsk and Luhansk and raising the profile of these rebel commanders ready to take orders from Moscow. Such a war—oscillating between open fighting and political talks, but without ever being completely resolved—would resemble other frozen conflicts around the former Soviet Union. In Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transdniestria, unsettled but largely bloodless conflicts serve to constrain the Georgian and Moldovan governments as well as providing a built-in lever for Russian meddling.”

War By Any Other Name
The Economist



**********
“Contrary to press claims that Putin has wound down his direct and indirect interference in east Ukraine—claims which were mostly based on his seeming acceptance of Petro Poroshenko’s election as Ukraine’s president, and his brief one-on-one conversations with Poroshenko and President Obama during the D-Day anniversary in France last week—the opposite is the case. As the West has been busy rediscovering a country called Iraq, the Kremlin has been not-so-quietly increasing its support for militants seeking to carve out satrapies in Donetsk and Lugansk. In fact, it has also cut off Ukraine’s gas supply and is now moving troops back to the Ukrainian border, a fortnight or so after belatedly withdrawing them.

“...[ Russia’s actions vis-a-vis east Ukraine could in fact be termed a] 'remote controlled war'...Typically, this has been a war defined by the military doctrine of maskirovka, which traffics in concealment, plausible deniability, and carefully leaked or disseminated disinformation (dezinformatsiya) designed to both confuse the enemy and deter him from predicting or responding to one’s next move...

........

“It’s no coincidence that Russian forces are moving back to the border just as Ukraine appears to be making progress in the war. Kiev retook Mariupol on June 13; it’s poised to retake Lugansk at any moment. So naturally, three days later, Russia’s state-oil gas company Gazprom, after weeks of intense negotiations with Kiev, cut off the gas supply into Ukraine completely, citing its in-arrears status on payments for prior shipments. Then a gas pipeline in the Poltava region of Ukraine was suddenly blown up by unknown assailants.”

Putin Is Just Getting
Started in Ukraine
The Daily Beast



**********
“The war continues.

“A ceasefire proclaimed by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has not been honored by the separatists, despite the hopes of policymakers in Moscow and Kiev. Although representatives of the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk agreed to a ceasefire, separatists on June 23 shot down a Ukrainian army helicopter near Sloviansk. Ukrainian military checkpoints and border crossings were also fіred on.

........

“The separatists lack a leader who can guarantee that any agreement will actually be implemented. Separatist forces consist of several groups. In the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are groups of mercenaries from Russia, which the self-proclaimed republics can’t control. One of these groups is now in the city of Gorlovka. Its leader’s name is Botsman (Boatswain). He controls the situation in the city and answers to no boss in Ukraine. On his orders, Gorlovka’s official mayor Eugene Klep was arrested and imprisoned in the basement of the police building.

“Every day mercenaries and volunteers from Russia continue to infiltrate the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Mercenaries are going to Ukraine to earn money, and their bosses don’t pay them to observe a truce.

........

“...One of the military groups of Donetsk separatists is called the Russian Orthodox Army. They are religious fundamentalists, who believe that they protect Orthodox Christianity from the encroachment of the European devil. They care little about politics.

“Almost all the experts and journalists of Ukraine are united in their assessment. It is too early to talk about a truce. The war will continue until the region is free of armed separatists and mercenaries. Otherwise the territory occupied by the separatists may turn into a European Somalia. The major cities of the Donetsk region already are reporting water shortages. Dozens of retail stores and banks don’t work, while small and midsize businesses have almost stopped operating. Reports of missing and dead people from the occupied territory come in every day. Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko said at his press conference on June 24 that the crime situation in the city has deteriorated. Despite the pause in antiseparatist operations, 27 people disappeared in Donetsk last week. Forty-seven cars were stolen, 42 of them commandeered by armed men on the road. They said they were taking the cars for the revolution.”

In Ukraine, Signs of
a Truce Unraveling
Business Week



**********
“Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have fled their homes amid rising violence, insecurity and crime in areas of eastern Ukraine that are under the control of pro-Russia armed groups, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

“A total of 356 people are known to have been killed since mid-April, Gianni Magazzeni, a senior United Nations human rights official, told reporters in Geneva as he presented the latest in a series of monthly reports by the United Nations’ team of 34 monitors in Ukraine.

........

“The dead included 257 civilians and 86 Ukrainian military personnel, including the 49 who were killed last week when separatists shot down a military transport plane with a shoulder-launched missile as it approached Luhansk airport, Mr. Magazzeni said. The report did not offer additional details about the remaining 13 deaths.

“ 'We are talking of a reign of fear, if not of terror' in the territory around Donetsk and Luhansk controlled by armed separatists and now in a state of lawlessness, Mr. Magazzeni said, citing cases of people shot at checkpoints for no reason and members of armed groups who were summarily shot because they no longer wanted to fight.

“ 'The escalation in criminal activity resulting in human rights abuses is no longer limited to targeting journalists, elected representatives, local politicians, civil servants and civil society activists', the report stated. 'Abductions, detentions, acts of ill treatment and torture and killings by armed groups are now affecting the broader population of the two eastern regions.' ”

“The United Nations refugee agency has reported that more than 34,000 Ukrainians have been displaced. Most were from Crimea, where people who speak Ukrainian or do not want to change their nationality to Russian face discrimination and intimidation, Mr. Magazzeni said.”

U.N. Report Details
Casualties in Eastern Ukraine
The New York Times



**********
“Almost three months have passed since Russia annexed Crimea and began stirring up rebellion in eastern Ukraine. For most of that period the hope of Western leaders has been that tensions there will gradually dissipate and that the crisis will just go away. That hope now looks deluded.

“The argument was that Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, had got most of what he wanted in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, not least a big boost in popularity at home. Partly thanks to two rounds of sanctions against individuals close to him, he had blinked: hence his decision to pull troops back from the border and more or less to accept Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s legitimate president after his election on May 25th. Thus there is no need for further sanctions that could wreak damage on Europe’s shaky economies as well as on Russia.

“The past two weeks have exposed this as wishful thinking. Violence has increased in eastern Ukraine as the government in Kiev has sought to regain control and the rebels have fought back. The government’s unilateral ceasefire announced this week looks unlikely to work...Evidence of deeper Russian involvement is ever clearer: not just rising numbers of Chechen and other Russian mercenaries but also the supply of weapons, including missiles that may have been used to shoot down a Ukrainian military aircraft, and even tanks that have rumbled over the border. Meanwhile hopes that Mr Poroshenko might strike a deal on gas supplies from Russia have been thwarted because, for the third time in eight years, the Russian gas giant, Gazprom, has turned off the taps...”

Unblinking Putin
The Economist



**********
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially agreed to leave Ukraine alone. That doesn't mean, though, that he will leave it alone unofficially.

“Putin today asked the Russian parliament to cancel his mandate to send troops into Ukraine, which he had requested on March 1. That request led to the annexation of Crimea, and chilled relations between Russia and the West. It also had economic consequences, sending the ruble and Russian stocks tumbling and restricting Russia's access to global finance. Moscow's isolation created a $20 billion void in the global bond market, which was filled by issuers from other nations.

........

“That doesn't mean Ukraine can breath a sigh of relief. 'Putin has no intention to cease destabilizing the situation in our country', Ukrainian columnist Vitaly Portnikov wrote on Newsru.ua. 'Putin just wants Obama to believe in his intentions. He is still convinced that only two tools work in global politics: deceit and bargaining.'

“Given his rubber-stamp parliament, Putin can gain permission to send troops back to Ukraine at any time. Besides, if Putin's goal is to keep Poroshenko off balance, an invasion isn't necessary. Russia has already succeeded in drawing out the conflict, arming rebels and making it possible for Russian citizens to fight on the separatists' side. So much for 'deceit'.

“As for 'bargaining', it has now started in Donetsk, with Ukrainians from both camps searching for compromise...

........

“In effect, Putin is now ready to enter the quiet phase of his Ukraine operation. The West will acquiesce to his game—but only after claiming that sanctions have been a success.”

Putin Readies Stealth
Mode in Ukraine
Bloomberg View



**********
“[In early June], President Vladimir Putin met Ukraine's new leader and promised to draw the sting from the country's crisis. Then a military transport aircraft fell out of the sky—apparently the victim of a Russian-supplied missile—and a handful of the Kremlin's tanks embarked on a mysterious journey inside their neighbour.

“Once again, Mr Putin is playing mind games with his opponents. The latest events show that his unrelenting war against Ukraine's new postrevolutionary government is as much psychological as military. In this campaign, Mr Putin ensures that every signal is mixed, every line blurred, every apparently simple statement transformed into a puzzle.

........

“By spinning this all-embracing web of doubt, Mr Putin is trying to retain control over this crisis. He wants to be the only leader able to think two or three stages ahead, while his opponents are still trying to work out the meaning of his last move. Nonetheless, for all his adeptness at keeping his adversaries permanently off-balance, Mr Putin is still running risks.

“The first is that the insurgency which he helped to ignite in Donetsk and Luhansk is now running out of his control. In the last month, the rebels have split into rival bands, with mysterious new forces appearing. Alexander Borodai, the Russian citizen who emerged this month as 'prime minister' of the 'Donetsk People's Republic', freely admits that some 'bandits' are 'misusing the name' of the rebellion to run looting and extortion rackets.

“The second risk is that Ukraine's military offensive might start to succeed. So far, this operation has been conducted with clumsiness and heavy-handedness, but Ukraine's army is vastly stronger than the rebels. If Mr Poroshenko's generals can improve their performance, perhaps with the benefit of Western advice, they might just be able to threaten the insurgents with military defeat. If so, Mr Putin would confront a psychological dilemma of his own: give the rebels more military support and risk tougher Western sanctions; or sit back and watch them be vanquished?”

Putin is Playing Mind
Games with the West
The Telegraph



**********
“When the mutiny in the east began in mid-April following Russia's annexation of Crimea, some Kremlin strategists might have thought that they could keep the tensions on a slow burner to wring concessions from the Kiev government. But as the battles intensified and the death toll climbed into the hundreds, the anger it has generated is making it increasingly difficult to de-escalate the crisis.

“Hawkish members of Putin's inner circle have become increasingly demanding, and there are increasing signs of discord at the top of the Russian leadership. Even if Putin did try to soften his stance, it is far from clear that his lieutenants would carry out his orders.

“Putin's economic adviser, Sergei Glazyev, has made a series of bellicose statements, including his recent proposal to send Russian military jets to protect the rebels in eastern Ukraine from government air raids. The Kremlin disavowed his words, saying Glazyev was expressing his private opinion.

“Other Russian hawks could be working quietly behind the scenes, orchestrating covert assistance to the rebels...

........

“Rebel leaders have pleaded with the Kremlin for military assistance, and some prominent Russian nationalists have publicly taunted Putin for cowardice. Such criticism could resonate with the broader Russian public, which has been heavily influenced by Russian state television's characterization of the Kiev government as a 'fascist junta' that is killing Russian-speakers.

“While the Kremlin has recently moved to tone down the rhetoric in the news media, many Russians—full of patriotic fervor after the annexation of Crimea in March—expect Putin to take resolute action.

“In a sense, Putin has become a hostage of his own game of raising the stakes and fiery rhetoric, and it could be hard for him to soften his posture toward Ukraine without eroding his power.”

Putin Under Pressure as
Fighting Rages in Ukraine
AP



**********
“The choice of outcome in the Russia-Ukraine standoff is largely Vladimir Putin’s. Ukraine and the West are not powerless, but they can at most anticipate, prepare for, and deter what might be Putin’s next move. This does not mean that they are victims of superior statecraft, however. His admirers may regard Putin as a master strategist, whose petulance and unpredictability give him the upper hand in relations with the West and Ukraine. In fact, the opposite is true. Putin has maneuvered himself, and Russia, into a position of Zugzwang—a chess term denoting a condition in which any possible move will worsen the player’s position.

........

“Far from indicating a master strategist at work, Putin’s twisted logic and contradictory rhetoric have created a web of preposterous claims that, together with his imperialist policies, have forced him and Russia into a dead end with no easy way out...”

Putin’s Zugzwang: The
Russia-Ukraine Standoff
World Affairs Journal



**********
“As if the similarities between Yugoslavia and Ukraine weren’t strong enough already, Igor Girkin (now calling himself Igor Strelkov), the head of the self-declared Donetsk Republic, recently drew another sinister parallel. If Putin 'betrays Novorossia'—the Russian imperial term for the Black Sea region—he might end up like Milošević, a defeated figure, internationally shunned.

“Putin’s tactics in Ukraine strikingly resemble Milošević’s treatment of the so-called Greater Serbia region (the region with self-proclaimed pro-Serbian republics, partially located in modern-day Croatia) during the breakup of Yugoslavia. First, both Serbia and Russia fueled intense nationalism among Serbs and Russians against Croats and Ukrainians through mass media propaganda. Then they empowered the uprising of ethnic minorities within Croatia and Ukraine, and next, they engaged the military under a declared 'need to protect minorities'. Finally, they established self-proclaimed, semi-independent republics in both Croatia and Ukraine...

“..In the Kremlin’s view, Milošević’s tactics against Croatia were correct, and it was the NATO engagement that prevented him from success. The moral of the story is that the Kremlin will likely keep copying the Yugoslav scenario, but will apply subtler tactics to avoid provoking the NATO involvement. Further events will show us how far the resemblance will go.”

Putin Is Behaving in Ukraine
Like Milošević Did in Serbia
The New Republic



**********
“The foreign affairs ministers of Russia, Germany, France, and Ukraine conferred on July 2 in Berlin, in a format designed to subject the Ukrainian side to pressure from the other three parties. The Ukrainian side has made far-reaching concessions in this meeting. Those terms are due to be formalized in a Russia-Ukraine-OSCE meeting (without Western participation) on July 5. The ceasefire stipulated in Berlin would, if implemented, stop the Ukrainian forces’ rapid advances against pro-Russia forces in Ukraine’s east. These concessions would haunt Ukraine for a long time to come, if implemented as stipulated in Berlin...

“German and French policies prioritize bilateral relations with Russia at the expense of Ukraine in the ongoing crisis. The United States, which does not do so, and differs with Berlin and Paris in this regard, was not invited to the Berlin meeting. Neither was the European Commission; whereas France, a negligible player in this crisis, was invited to the Berlin meeting for symbolic support to a basically German overture toward Russia.

“This marks an unprecedented advance of Germany’s ambition to handle security issues in Europe’s East on a bilateral Russo-German basis (as foreshadowed in the 2010 Meseberg Memorandum), excluding the United States and bypassing the European Union. In the current crisis, German policy is guided by the principle of defusing tensions with Russia over Ukraine and returning to business as usual with Russia after a decent interval.

........

“...Germany...seeks to establish a bilateral ceasefire and follow-up negotiations between the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russia secessionists, in a framework that includes Russia while excluding the West. These elements form the basis of a Russo-German consensus regarding Ukraine.”

Ukraine Makes Far-Reaching Concessions to Russia at
Berlin Meeting
The Jamestown Foundation



**********
“Ukrainian troops have regained control of the key eastern city of Slavyansk from pro-Russian rebels in what could mark a turning point in the country's three-month battle to maintain its independence. The city, which houses one of Ukraine's largest weapons storage facilities, fell to the insurgents on 6 April and had become a stronghold for pro-Russian separatists.

“Petro Poroshenko, who was elected president in late May after vowing to quickly resolve Ukraine's worst crisis since independence in 1991, ordered his forces to raise the national flag over the city.

“ 'Local residents are handing over [to government forces] the weapons abandoned by the rebels', he said. 'This is the disarmament I was talking about when I unveiled my peace plan for resolving the situation in the east.' ”

Ukraine Army Regains
Control of Slavyansk
The Guardian



**********
“The hoisting of the Ukrainian flag over Sloviansk and Kramatorsk was not just a key moment in Kiev's continuing battle against its pro-Russian insurgency, it was also somewhat unexpected.

........

“The question that no-one can answer right now...is whether this in fact constitutes a turning point in the conflict.

“The rebels still seem to have large numbers in their ranks, and significant stores of weapons and military hardware. They continue to control a decent amount of territory in the east, though this apparently has been circumscribed somewhat in recent days.

“They say they are motivated and will fight to the last man.

“Nevertheless, there are indications that the fall of Sloviansk may indeed have been a watershed moment.

“Even if this was a 'tactical retreat', as some rebel leaders described it, the key word here seems to be 'retreat'. The insurgents are for the first time on the back foot, and government forces ascendant.

“What is more, the reasons given for the withdrawal are significant. The rebels said they were simply outmanned and outgunned by the government forces.”

Sloviansk: Turning
Point for Ukraine?
BBC



**********
“When pro-Russian rebels first fanned out across eastern Ukraine in April, seizing public buildings, ousting local officials and blockading streets and highways, the government’s security forces—a ragtag lot of poorly equipped and understaffed military and police units—were largely paralyzed by dysfunction and defection. They seemed to remain so for months.

“In the past week, however, after President Petro O. Poroshenko called off a cease-fire and ordered his troops to end the rebellion by force, an entirely different Ukrainian military appeared to arrive at the front. Soldiers retook an important checkpoint at the Russian border, routed insurgents from the long-occupied city of Slovyansk, and, on Sunday, began to tighten a noose around the regional capital of Donetsk ahead of a potentially decisive showdown.

“The insurgency is far from over, and Ukraine’s leaders say they still fear a war with Russia that they would certainly lose. Still, the recent success, however tentative, reflects what officials and analysts described as a remarkable, urgent transformation of the military and security apparatus in recent months.

“ 'The military themselves learned to fight', said Mykola Sungurovskyi, the director of military programs at the Razumkov Center, a policy research organization here in the capital of Ukraine.

“By most standards, the Ukrainian armed forces remain in a pitiful state. But they have benefited from the enlistment of thousands of volunteers into new militias, financial donations by ordinary citizens—including a Kiev Internet-technology entrepreneur who raised $35,000 and built a surveillance drone—and an aggressive push to repair and upgrade armored personnel carriers and other equipment.”

Ukraine Military Finds Its Footing Against Pro-Russian Rebels
The New York Times



**********
“...[W]ith Slavyansk back under Kiev's control, numerous casualties among the separatists and no sign that Russia has any appetite to become more officially involved in the conflict, it appears that the tide may have turned.

“Poroshenko faces a decision on whether to attempt a final and decisive victory over the separatist movement by taking on the fighters in Donetsk and Luhansk, major urban conurbations where civilian casualties would appear to be likely.

“Already, there is a huge amount of anger in the east over some of the methods used during the 'anti-terrorist operation' to rid the east of fighters, much of which has relied on hastily assembled volunteer battalions.

“Tanya Lokshina, of Human Rights Watch, called on the Ukrainian authorities to mount a 'thorough and impartial investigation' into apparent air strikes on villages near Luhansk that killed a number of civilians including a five-year-old boy, according to witnesses.”

Ukrainian President Hails Breakthrough as Slavyansk
Seized from Separatists
The Guardian



**********
“It has been three months since pro-Russian protesters seized the Donetsk regional administration building, sparking the most serious separatist conflict in the former Soviet Union since it fell apart in 1991. At least 423 people have died, according to a June estimate by the UN.

“The upshot for Donetsk, once a city of a million people, is as much psychological as physical. Tens of thousands have fled and hundreds of businesses have closed. A surreal atmosphere pervades the city centre, where ATMs have run out of cash, shops shut early, and it is not uncommon to see men with machine guns posted outside a sushi restaurant or behind the wheel of a city ambulance...

........

“...Rebels driven from the separatist town of Slavyansk this weekend are now reportedly regrouping in Donetsk. A precarious city just became even more precarious.”

Donetsk Becomes a Ghost Town
as Fearful Residents Flee Conflict
The Guardian



**********
“...The Ukrainian government is moving quickly in the formerly occupied cities to provide services such as medical care for the sick and elderly. It is resuming payments of pensions and wages that were interrupted by the insurgent takeovers. Television reports from independent Ukrainian channels make clear that as emergency supplies of food arrive, the population—earlier portrayed as pro-separatist by Russian and other media—is not hostile to Ukraine. A poll taken last week by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology showed that in the Donbas, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko now enjoys more trust than either Russia's President Vladimir Putin or the insurgents.

“Russian media have also changed their tone markedly since the Ukrainian counteroffensive began to make major progress in mid-June. There has been a sharp decline in the use of terms like 'fascist junta' to describe Ukraine's government. Some Russian media outlets have even reported on the humanitarian relief efforts by Ukraine's forces.

........

“Russian public opinion appears to have shifted accordingly. A survey released this week by VTsIOM, a Kremlin-friendly polling group, showed that 66% of Russians now oppose military intervention in Ukraine, while in March a poll by the Levada Center found that 65% of Russians said Russia has the right to militarily intervene in both Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.

........

“...[T]he reality is that no matter the outcome, President Putin's Ukraine strategy is a shambles. By taking Crimea and fomenting a violent insurgency that has left as many as 2,000 dead, he has turned a country that had a large pro-Russian minority against him, caused a surge of Ukrainian patriotism, and contributed to the emergence of a solid pro-EU majority in Ukraine.”

Putin's Ukraine Assault: In a Shambles but Far From Over
The Wall Street Journal



**********
“Under the threat of more serious Western sanctions it appears that President Vladimir Putin has rejected the idea of direct military intervention disguised as a peacekeeping operation.

“Most likely the secret support for the rebels, through supplies of volunteers and arms, will continue.

“That support does not go far enough for those fighters who want to attach south-eastern Ukraine to Russia—a part of Ukraine already described by Kremlin propagandists as 'Novorossiya' (New Russia).

“The Kremlin will try to keep Mr Strelkov in Ukraine with his followers, armed with Kalashnikovs. Otherwise they would stir up trouble for Russia, armed and angry.

“So for now Moscow's goal will be to maintain controllable chaos in Ukraine. That policy will also serve to show the Russian people that any attempt at a Ukraine-style 'colour revolution', any attempt to get rid of the authoritarian state, will result in chaos and civil war.”

Ukraine Army Still Far from
Victory over Rebels in East
BBC



**********
“[Putin's] pledges of support for the separatists now seem like false promises to the rebel leaders—and to their many supporters in Russia—and they have begun openly accusing Putin of cowardice and betrayal. The patriotic spell that he cast on his electorate with the annexation of Crimea in March now seems to have lifted, and his sky-high approval ratings are now likely to come down to earth.

“The change in tone is already evident on Russia’s propaganda channels, which still depict the rebel fighters as heroes and martyrs—but not a part of any Russian war. 'No one is talking about sending in troops anymore. That conversation is over', says Mikhail Leontiev, one of the leading spin doctors on state-controlled TV...

“...[I]nstead of offering much material assistance, Putin’s allies seem to have launched a slander campaign against Girkin and his men, even accusing them of 'crying like women' about a lack of firepower before abandoning the rebel stronghold of Slavyansk this weekend...

........

“...Russian nationalists have begun to turn on [Putin] as well, posting diatribes and even music videos that seek to goad Putin into war, juxtaposing his pledges to 'defend the Russian world' with images of bombed-out villages and Russian corpses in Ukraine. 'We gave them hope', Alexander Dugin, one of the leading nationalist ideologues in Russia, said during a television appearance last week. 'When we said we’re a united Russian civilization, this didn’t just come from a few patriotic forces. It came from the President!' ”

Ukraine Rebels Call Putin a
Coward After Russian Inaction
TIME



**********
“Suddenly, Ukraine’s army is winning. Over the weekend Kiev’s troops recaptured several cities in the eastern Donetsk region, sending pro-Russian rebels fleeing to strongholds further east. Now President Petro Poroshenko is planning a 'complete blockade' of the region’s two other main cities, Donetsk and Luhansk, according to a Ukrainian television report that quoted the deputy head of the country’s National Defense and Security Council.

“That’s a striking turnabout from just a few weeks ago, when Ukraine’s forces seemed ragtag and reluctant to fight. But it doesn’t mean a military victory is likely, or desirable.

“The cities retaken over the past few days were relatively small (the largest, Kramatorsk, has a population of 165,000) and lightly defended. Donetsk, the region’s biggest city with some 1 million inhabitants, is still in the hands of rebels. Rooting them out would be a long and brutal process. 'They would have to do it street by street', says Mark Galeotti, a professor of global affairs at New York University. 'The cost in body bags would be high.'

“True, Ukraine’s forces are now better trained and equipped than before, thanks in part to $23 million in recent U.S. aid. But they’re still no match for Russia’s military—and Russia won’t let Ukraine retake Donetsk without a serious fight, Ian Bremmer, head of the political risk research firm Eurasia Group, told Bloomberg Television today. Although the flow of aid to the rebels from across Russia’s border appears to have slowed, it could resume at any time, turning the battle for the city into a bloodbath....

“While Russia is unlikely to invade Ukraine, it could step up its involvement to weaken the Ukrainian military’s effectiveness against the rebels, Galeotti says. One possibility, he says, might be a no-fly zone enforced by the Russian air force.

“Ukrainian forces have used heavy artillery to dislodge rebels from some other locales, but that tactic would 'produce many more civilian casualties' in densely-populated Donetsk, Edward Walker, head of the Soviet & Post-Soviet Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley, writes on his blog. 'Kiev is going to face a very difficult decision.' ”

Why Ukraine Can't Win an All-Out Military Victory—and Shouldn't Try
Business Week



**********
“Ukraine's president and his top military advisers agreed on a plan for their army's siege of the pro-Russia rebels' biggest remaining stronghold in Donetsk, saying they would seek to avoid street battles in the city of a million people.

........

“Mr. Poroshenko said the operation headquarters would be moved closer to Donetsk, but pledged there would be no street fighting. Military advisers said that the army would surround Donetsk and use targeted artillery strikes to hit rebel positions.”

Ukraine Lays Plan to Besiege Rebels in Eastern City
The Wall Street Journal



**********
“Although the military has made substantial gains in recent days, analysts warned that battles in the big cities could represent an entirely different and awful chapter, involving dangerous urban warfare and potentially high numbers of civilian casualties. Rebel forces have appeared to make a strategic calculation to abandon other positions and fall back into the urban centers, said Oleksiy Melnyk, a security analyst at the Razumkov Center, a policy research institute in Kiev.

“ 'It’s in their advantage to get into the big cities, because the options of the government forces will be even more limited', Mr. Melnyk said...”

Ukraine Rebels Are
Retreating for Last Stand
The New York Times



**********
“Ukrainian politicians say a fundamental turning point has been reached in the conflict. But the experience of similar conflicts elsewhere—with a regular army confronting paramilitary units—provides no basis for such claims.

“Nobody has succeeded in defeating paramilitaries who are embedded in a city, virtually turning its residents into a human shield—the Americans did not win such a conflict in Mogadishu, Somalia, nor did the Russians win in the Chechen capital Grozny.

“In such a situation a regular army cannot use its superiority in heavy weapons over rebels—weapons such as armoured vehicles, aircraft and artillery.

“The army may manage—after huge efforts—to capture one town, destroying it with heavy artillery, only to find that the rebels have simply moved to another town. That town in turn has to be taken by storm, and then the same thing happens in a third town.

........

“So far there is no clear answer to the question: which side will be first to incur the local residents' hostility? The rebels, whose appearance will be a signal of impending clashes? Or the regular troops, whose use of heavy weapons will cause civilian casualties and destroy homes? Either way, there is no early end in sight.”

Ukraine Army Still Far from
Victory over Rebels in East
BBC



**********
“...[T]he conflict has entered its most perilous phase. Donetsk is a city of 1m people; the desperate rebels, whose favourite tactics include kidnapping and human shields, would have few qualms about sacrificing some of them. And the cost of an urban battle would be measured not only in lost lives but also in future state-building. Much of eastern Ukraine’s infrastructure has been destroyed, and some of its population displaced. A bloodbath in Donetsk would make reintegrating the region into a coherent nation even harder.

“Making that task impossible is precisely what Mr Putin intends. His urge to prevent Ukraine escaping Russia’s influence is long-standing; recent setbacks, such as Mr Poroshenko’s trade deal with the European Union, will have strengthened his resolve. Using the country’s east as a brake on westward moves in Kiev remains his best option. True, some Russian troops have pulled back from Ukraine’s eastern border; Russia’s parliament has revoked its authorisation for their deployment. But Mr Putin can wreak havoc without them, even if Donetsk falls, through sabotage and guerrilla strikes.”

The Siege
The Economist



**********
“President Vladimir Putin's public silence as pro-Russia militants have ceded key towns in recent days to government troops in Ukraine has raised questions about the depth of his support for the rebels.

“At the same time, the Kremlin is still allowing weapons and fighters to cross the border into Ukraine, rebels and officials in Kiev and the West say, and keeping up diplomatic pressure on Kiev to stop its offensive.

“By sending mixed signals, Mr. Putin is trying—again—to blunt any push in the West for stronger economic sanctions against Russia.

“ 'Putin will fly just under the radar, that's what he's been doing', says Dmitry Trenin of the Moscow Carnegie Center.

“The Kremlin also wants to shift the conflict from the battlefield, where Kiev appears to be gaining momentum and the costs of Russian intervention would be prohibitive, 'to the political field and the economic field, where Russia has lots of levers to put pressure on Ukraine', said Mr. Trenin.

........

“So far, the Kremlin has repeatedly dodged the threat of tougher measures with steps that appeared to reduce tensions but didn't actually take the heat off.

“Most recently, European leaders set a June 30 deadline for Moscow to push the separatists to give up key border crossings or face more sanctions, backing up the threat with personal calls to Mr. Putin.

“The Kremlin responded with its own offer of joint border patrols. That plan never took off, but the gesture was enough to deflect the drive for new sanctions.

........

“The focus on the conflict in the east also has another benefit for Moscow—taking the spotlight off its annexation of Crimea in March. The Kremlin has drawn up expensive plans to link the strategic peninsula to the Russian mainland, and still brooks no questioning of its new status.

........

“For months, [the Kremlin] has stoked nationalistic emotions at home with heavy propaganda on state television. Mr. Putin has frequent[ly] pledged to protect the interests of compatriots even outside Russia's borders.

“Although 'a prolonged military conflict isn't in Russia's interests', the Kremlin has to find a way to shift the conflict to the political track 'without appearing to betray' the separatists, says Mr. Trenin of the Moscow Carnegie Center.

........

“Publicly, the Kremlin continues to advocate diplomacy, but without acceding to Kiev's demands that the separatists disarm first.

“ 'What Putin wants is to preserve some kind of appearance of a negotiated process', says Dimitri Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest think tank in Washington and a Russia specialist.

“A revival of talks would raise the pressure on Kiev to suspend its military operation again, giving the rebels a new lease on life while legitimizing their leaders as a political force...”

Putin's Moves on Ukraine
Keep West Guessing
The Wall Street Journal



**********
“This is a war that no one wants to name as such. The West doesn’t want to call it war, since it would then have to take concrete measures against the aggressor, a nuclear state. Who would dare to do that? Ukraine isn’t ready to press the world to call the conflict a war out of fear of contradicting the West. And it’s quite clear why Russia wouldn’t want to acknowledge that it’s fighting a war: Moscow retains room for maneuver as long as the war goes undeclared, retaining the ability to switch out its aggressor’s hat for the peacemaker’s hat at will.

........

“Western leaders are only too willing to be convinced that Kiev’s problems are merely an internal affair and nothing more, and they have pressured Kiev to accept the same assessment. While the West has demanded that Moscow end its support for the separatists, it refuses to name Russia as a party in this conflict and therefore does not consider it an 'aggressor'. The West’s leaders believe (or pretend to believe) that if they talk to the Kremlin and engage Russia, they will change the Kremlin’s behavior. And Putin, a master at pretending to be accommodating while in fact forcing others to play his game, has offered his Western counterparts all the evidence they need to satisfy themselves that they’re right: See, he isn’t invading Ukraine after all! Nor is he supporting the separatists. Western decisiveness has prevented a new Russian incursion, Western observers gleefully say. In fact, Putin never intended to annex Ukraine’s southeast; he doesn’t need the added headache! It’s sufficient for Kremlin purposes to turn the southeast into a new Transnistria. If he can remove the threat of new sanctions and other troubles by 'conceding' something he never wanted in the first place, why not let the Western leaders think it was their decisive leadership that made him change course.

........

“Peace talks would be productive if a compromise between the warring factions were possible. But if Moscow isn’t about to stop destabilizing Ukraine, and if the separatists are intent on occupying part of the Donbass region, then what can they accomplish? Any Ukrainian leader who agreed to a compromise under these terms would immediately lose his legitimacy and popular support. The only talks that are possible aren’t truce talks, but talks for a separatist surrender. Anything else would just prolong the confrontation and continue the disintegration of an already fragile Ukrainian state.”

Blurred Lines Between
War and Peace
The American Interest



**********
“At present, the Ukrainian government forces, instead of directly assaulting rebel-held Donetsk and Luhansk, are trying to fully secure the border with Russia, while also disrupting the lines of communication between Donetsk and Luhansk...

“If the Ukrainian government forces prevail and deny the Donbas rebels their vital lines of supplies—by cutting off Luhansk from Russia and Donetsk from Luhansk—there would most likely be no need to go into the bloody mess of directly storming the big cities...The Donbas rebellion may indeed be close to a military collapse, creating a problem for the Kremlin, which may not be ready to accept such an outcome. Valentina Matviyenko, the chair of Russia's upper house of parliament—the Federation Council...has accused the government in Kyiv of deliberately refusing to negotiate a peaceful solution with the Donbas rebels and promised that Moscow 'will continue to force the Ukrainian authorities to negotiate'...Moscow has been pressing for an immediate ceasefire in Donbas that could prevent a military collapse of the separatist rebellion and has reportedly enlisted the support of Germany and France to put pressure on Kyiv to comply, but the Ukrainian forces seem to be reluctant to stop hostilities before the border with Russia is secured.”

Total Rebel Defeat Not Seen as an Acceptable Option in the Kremlin
The Jamestown Foundation



**********
“Western leaders find themselves in a difficult situation. On the one hand, they want to return to the past format for dealing with Russia and are already looking for ways to bring Russia back into the G8. On the other hand, they are trying to find mechanisms that will force Putin to stop his bullying. The peace talks that Moscow insists on would give the West and the Kremlin a chance to return to business as usual and forget the recent past. One can’t help feeling that Europe is eager to make a deal endorsing the new status quo. Thus, Poroshenko has to agree to legitimizing the separatists and granting a special status to the territories they control (and other concessions too). If Kiev balks at this proposal, Europe may drag its feet on providing financial aid to Ukraine. What would the Kremlin have to do? It would merely have to pull its troops away from the border and promise not to repeat the Crimea scenario, which Putin had no plans to do anyway...”

“It’s possible that Kiev may be forced to support the idea of granting Donbass 'special status'. There are still powerful figures in the region, including the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, who would like to secure autonomy and continue their dialogue with the Kremlin. The Ukrainian authorities may decide to get rid of the chaos-plagued part of Donbass that would resist transformation. But this scenario would not strengthen Ukrainian statehood. The separatist-controlled territory would become a black hole—a breeding grounds for violence that would spread to the neighboring countries, including Russia.”

Blurred Lines Between
War and Peace
The American Interest










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