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Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

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Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by Mazy on Mon Mar 03 2014, 23:23

Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

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March 3, 2014 6:03 pm
Memo to Putin: if you break it you own it
By Eugene Rumer

Pulling apart a country is a lot easier than putting it back together, writes Eugene Rumer
President Vladimir Putin’s request for a Russian-style war powers resolution to use Russian troops in Ukraine has put him on the brink of a direct military intervention.

It is also the one step that many in the west, as well as some in Russia, had hoped he was too pragmatic to take. One can still wish that the resolution is just another step on the escalation ladder, and that Mr Putin the pragmatist does not intend to launch a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. But that would be old thinking. We need to rethink our understanding of Mr Putin’s pragmatism now that he has taken ownership of the situation and positioned himself to plunge deeper into the crisis.

Even a few days ago, the idea of Russian troops marching into Ukraine seemed a nightmare scenario unlikely to happen. Surely, we thought, Mr Putin is too rational a politician and keenly aware of the risks – military, economic, reputational – to invade Ukraine; Putin would not want to get involved in the mess that Ukrainian politics has become because he and Viktor Yanukovich do not get along. He knows that even in the Russian-leaning Crimea there are more than 200,000 Crimean Tatars who are opposed to Crimean separatism and want to remain in Ukraine. Mr Putin would not want a cold warlike confrontation with the west when the Russian economy is slowing to a crawl, and when he has been warned sternly against interfering in Ukraine.

No doubt, Mr Putin is aware of all that. But he appears to follow a different logic. He has lost Ukraine before. During the “Orange revolution” of 2004, Moscow’s heavy-handed interference mobilised millions of Ukrainians to choose the path of reform and pursuit of integration with the west. In 2013, Ukraine saw the repeat of that scenario, when Moscow again turned the heat on Kiev not to sign the Association Agreement with the EU. Pressured by Moscow, Mr Yanukovich backed away from the deal, but in doing so triggered another revolution. Evidently, Mr Putin is not prepared to lose Ukraine again, especially after he has made it the cornerstone of his foreign policy to bring the former Soviet states back to Russia’s orbit and bet a $22bn aid package to hold on to Mr Yanukovich and Ukraine.

Mr Putin may not be able to keep Ukraine, but he can keep it from joining the west. He may not need to invade it if a combination of a special forces-type action like the one in Crimea and Russian-inspired domestic turmoil in Russian-leaning cities such as Kharkiv and Donetsk is enough to sink his hooks deeper into Ukraine. It is a dangerous game but Mr Putin seems to think that a broken Ukraine is better than an independent Ukraine.

What about the risks – military, economic, reputational? The stern warnings from Washington and other western capitals to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity contained no concrete indication of what the west might do. The west seems to cling to the fiction that Ukraine’s sovereignty has not been violated despite reports of Russian military aircraft ferrying troops to Crimea.

Putin has seen it all before. “To begin to repair its relations with the United States and Europe and other nations and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must respect the freedom of its neighbours,” said President George W Bush as Russian troops crushed the Georgian army in August 2008. “Russian aggression must not go unanswered, and . . . its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States,” warned Vice-president Dick Cheney. In July 2009, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met in Moscow to inaugurate the “reset.”

As to economic risks, Mr Putin is prepared to handle them with half a trillion dollars in foreign currency reserves, some $200bn in reserve funds, and the price of oil likely to spike as it often does at times of international tensions. After two decades of discussions with foreign governments about attracting more foreign investments to Russia, Mr Putin probably knows that governments have little say in private companies’ investment decisions. Trade embargoes, financial sanctions – the west could not agree on those during the cold war, and Mr Putin probably thinks these are even less likely now.

The greatest risk Mr Putin is facing is military. He probably is not worried about Nato’s response. But he has positioned himself to intervene in Ukraine, and having raised the stakes may have a hard time backing away. Militarily, the task of sinking Russian hooks into Ukraine or breaking it is simple. The task of putting it back together and putting down the crisis will be much harder if it continues to escalate and real fighting breaks out between Kiev’s forces and the separatists. Mr Putin may yet find out what many others found out before him – that breaking a country is a lot easier than putting it back together.
The writer served most recently as the National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council in Washington.
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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by Carla97 on Tue Mar 04 2014, 09:19

Title and to whom it is addressed is a bit questionable. Putin this and Putin that.

One thing I agree "Even a few days ago, the idea of Russian troops marching into Ukraine seemed a nightmare scenario unlikely to happen." But it did.

The West is caught out by Putin and his little "neighborhood vandalism". US and EU were playing a dangerous game by so obviously backing the "new government" for months on. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Clients include Clinton, Kerry, Klitschko etc. Specializing "strategic crisis management" and making a president.

And then there was Nuland´s leaked phone conversation.

The problem for the West now, is to answer the question "who are the guys we are dealing with in Kiev?" Can this lot hold together?  
Who is in the driving seat?


What does the constitution say? They changed it so here are both new and old. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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What difference do you find in § 111?

Neither the Constitution recognizes the president´s "absence", but only the President´s resignation, illness, impeachment (by court order), and death. Yanukovich's flight is clearly not one of these four, interpretation of constitution by current "leaders" seems to be wrong.

Also they said they have limited president´s power. How exactly? According the constitution it still holds almost total power compared to situations in western countries. Big difference there and no wonder only presidency is appealing option for many politicians there.

Good reading, I found this from my "library":  The Power of the Powerless Václav Havel
"...they must live within a lie. They need not accept the lie. It is enough for them to have accepted their life with it and in it. For by this very fact, individuals confirm the system, fulfill the system, make the system, are the system."

Unfortunately, when I read it last time it was about communist societies, now the same applies to the west. The European Court of Justice case 274/99 ruled it was illegal to criticize the EU. Blogs and social media have become western countries samizdat. Where can you read unbiased reporting on Ukraine?

Considering how extremely serious the situation is the United States Secretary of State saying “this is not Rocky IV” sounds...well everyone can decide themselves how it sounds. Maybe it is, and he is playing the role of...Paulie on his way to Ukraine at the same time Russia shot the first warning shots into the air

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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by chiki on Tue Mar 04 2014, 21:29

Thanks Mazy. As always, you keep us well informed. Btw, the link doesn't work for me, anyone else?

IMO, as a member of European Union (I mean one of the poor members) I can't comprehend why anyone could want to be a member, and as far I know, Ukraine has a long way off for that. But when the other choice is Putin everything makes sense. And russian troops in a sovereign state, only make things worse.
I've been hearing Putin in the UN rejecting the propose for a humanitarian corridor in Syria for years, while he's been arming the syrian army. But now, he decides by himself that the people of Ukraine is his responsability. At the end, only the ukrainians will be the victims here. I have the feeling that in every part of the world, when people rises up against injustices, is always fascism or terrorism.

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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by Mazy on Wed Mar 05 2014, 00:14

Hi Chiki the link worked for me so I will try it again and see if it works for you. I always like to have the link because they might come up with some related article.

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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by Carla97 on Wed Mar 05 2014, 14:12

Another leaked phone conversation this time between Estonian foreign affairs minister and EU´s foreign affairs chief Ashton.

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The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, it says. What is really chilling is (IMO) Ashton´s reaction.

And what else, Putin gave total comedy or satir hour yesterday and Kerry total amateur hour, on the world stage.

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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by chiki on Wed Mar 05 2014, 17:42

Thank you, Mazy, now it works. I think the problem was my laptop. Needs a cleaning or something.... or a new  one!  

Thanks for the link, Carla. I'm not a fan of RT news at all, but I'll try to watch the video later, I'm at work now.

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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by Carla97 on Wed Mar 05 2014, 18:06

You are welcome and I have never been a fan of RT news either. Obviously they had it first, since Russians got it. Just how many of those they have? It´s in youtube and well all over scandinavian, middle eastern media, but not in the rest of Europe or US. Estonian minister confirmed already the tape is authentic. Holy smoke.

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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by chiki on Thu Mar 06 2014, 17:03

Well, he confirmed the tape is authentic, but not that Maiden hired  the snipers. Journalists in both sides should be more rigorous. In this case, Putin's propaganda is working. I post the response of Euromaidan, but of course, is right the opposite. If I don't like RT news, I don't like this web for the same reason.

Snipers on Maidan: Russian media distorted diplomats’ conversations

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet denied misleading information broadcast by the Russian media.

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A recorded conversation between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton in which Minister Paet says that he was told that the snipers on Maidan were shooting at both sides has surfaced on the internet. Some Russian media have falsified it as evidence that the snipers were hired by the opposition.

Paet confirmed the authenticity of the recording, but he clarified at a press briefing on Wednesday that he was only recounting the version of the story which was told to him by activist Dr. Olga Bohomolets on February 25, BBC Russia reports.

In a telephone conversation with Ashton, Urmas Paet said that, according to Dr. Bohomolets, the police and demonstrators who were victims of sniper fire could have been, judging by the ‘signature,’ shot by the same snipers.

“She showed me some pictures, she said that the type of bullet was the snipers’ calling card, and that it is cause for concern that the new coalition does not want to investigate exactly what happened, making it look more and more like it was not Yanukovych [ex-president Viktor Yanukovych--Ed.] who was behind the snipers, but someone from the new coalition,” said Paet in the telephone conversation. He added that if the rumor is allowed to take on a life of its own, it could discredit the new coalition.

“I urge journalists to pay careful attention to this recording; I was only talking about the circulating versions of events in Ukraine,” the Estonian Foreign Minister told reporters in the briefing.

“I have not provided any interpretations. I have only expressed concern that if these rumors begin to take on lives of their own, it could hurt the situation in Ukraine,” said Paet.

The Estonian Foreign Minister explained that he simply recounted the rumors circulating on Maidan, and Bohomolets told reporters on Wednesday that, firstly, she did not tell Paet about bodies from both sides because she did not bodies of policemen.

Secondly, according to Bohomolets, she did not make any assumptions that the snipers were led by someone from the opposition.

“One can make such assumptions only if they are drawing on facts,” Bohomolets told the British newspaper Daily Telegraph.

The conversation between Paet and Ashton took place on February 26. The Estonian minister suggested that the recording was posted on the Internet now in order to discredit the new government of Ukraine.

Bohomolets told the Daily Telegraph that the new government asserts that the investigation is ongoing, but she does not know its particulars.

The recording of Ashton and Paet’s conversation was posted by YouTube user Expertise Centre of the Russian Federation on Wednesday. The clip was posted with title “Urmas Paet reveals shocking information that confirms the rumors that the snipers were hired by the leaders of Maidan.”

According to the captions, the conversation was overheard by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

The clip was immediately discovered by Russian state TV channel Russia Today, which reported it under the headline “Ashton reported that Yanukovych was not involved in the killing of people on Maidan.”

Alexei Pushkov, Head of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote on his Twitter that Mr. Paet “said that the opposition was behind the snipers who fired on protesters.”

Then a few more pro-government Russian media outlets reported as fact that Paet said that, based on available evidence, the snipers were hired by someone from the opposition leadership.

This version of the ‘third party’ rumors has circulated in Kyiv since the first clashes in which firearms were used. However, there is so far no conclusive evidence supporting it. Video of shootings on Instytutska Street shows Ministry of Internal Affairs troops firing on demonstrators with automatic weapons.

Source:

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Translated by Vitalii Usenko, edited by Robin Rohrback

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Last edited by chiki on Thu Mar 06 2014, 17:08; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by chiki on Thu Mar 06 2014, 17:06

And here the response of HRW

Dispatches: Leaked Call, But Where’s the Truth in Ukraine?
MARCH 6, 2014
Rachel Denber

The Russian-government-funded television network RT (formerly Russia Today) has reported a “leaked” phone call between EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet that is getting a lot of attention, but all it really does is underscore how little we actually know about what happened during the clashes and shootings in Kiev on February 19 and 20.

The call – confirmed as genuine, and an apparent EU security lapse – included a statement by Paet that one of the main doctors for the Maidan movement in Ukraine found that snipers who allegedly shot at “people in the street” during the February 19-20 bloodshed in Kiev had also shot at police. In the 60 seconds or so when this issue is discussed, Paet says that the doctor made her conclusion based on the bullet wounds in the dead and the overall “handwriting.”

Paet goes on to say that there’s a quickly growing “understanding” that “behind the snipers was not [the ousted President Viktor] Yanukovich but somebody from the new coalition,” and that the coalition doesn’t want to investigate. That, however, was not the doctor’s conclusion, but rather Paet’s guess. Paet later denied assigning blame for the snipers to the new coalition and warned journalists against taking his words out of context.

The doctor later said that she didn’t tell Paet that both police and protesters had the same type of wounds, as she had only seen wounded and killed protesters and had no access to wounded or killed policemen.

As the leaked conversation cycles its way through the media frenzy, one truth remains unchanged: there is an urgent need for a thorough, impartial investigation into the February 19-20 killings. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is well placed to deploy a team of human rights monitors experienced in investigating violence during civic unrest. That should happen as soon as possible.

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Re: Memo To Putin - If You Break It You Own It

Post by Mazy on Thu Mar 06 2014, 23:55

Thanks Chiki for your diligence in getting these stories, I really appreciate it very much. I know that your time is stretched thin. xxx

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