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  Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov made a troubling admission today.

 "I would like to say frankly that at the moment the security structures are unable to swiftly take the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions back under control," he said during a meeting with regional governors.
   He admitted security personnel "tasked with the protection of citizens" were "helpless".
   "More than that, some of these units either aid or co-operate with terrorist groups," he said.

Mr Turchynov added: "Our task is to stop the spread of the terrorist threat first of all in the Kharkiv and Odessa regions."
 I don't like how he uses the word "terrorist", when the word "separatists" seems more appropriate.
  Ukraine's military forces have been put on full alert in case of a Russian invasion, but that seems like a secondary concern at the moment. If your security forces are "helpless" and even aiding the separatist forces, then that has to be your primary concern.
  Pro-Russian forces are currently holding 40 hostages, many of them Ukrainian security forces.

  In the meantime, the Donetsk region is moving to break away from Ukraine.

  The eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk will not vote in the May 25 presidential election in Ukraine if the majority of residents support independence in a referendum two weeks earlier, a protest leader said Wednesday.
   “We have no plans to take part in our neighbor’s election,” said Denis Pushilin, a leader of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk.
 It seems more than likely that Moscow is giving some level of support and direction to the separatists, although how much is hard to say.

 In a related note, the IMF has announced that Ukraine is currently in recession. This is happening at the same time that IMF-imposed austerity kicks in.
  Ukraine's debt for Russian natural gas is now $3.492 billion.

3:56 PM PT: The IMF approved a huge loan to Ukraine. A large chunk of that loan will go straight to Russia to pay for bills on natural gas.

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Comment Preferences

  •  that map is already history (7+ / 0-)

    Ukraine is being remade, the only unknown is what the final map will look like after the dust settles.
    There is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube. Once you start overthrowing govts. via mass demonstrations, look out.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:11:39 PM PDT

  •  You gotta love Putin (7+ / 0-)

    People there speak Russian, therefore the land is mine.

    I guess we should prepare to cede him Brighton Beach.

  •  As much as I think Putin is an ass.... (8+ / 0-)

    It doesn't seem like Ukrainian troops are too concerned. If Ukraine isn't putting up a fight, why should we?

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:16:02 PM PDT

    •  Too much is made of the New Cold War (9+ / 0-)

      Russia is messing with Ukraine, but its largely Ukrainians that are taking the actions.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:25:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And this is based on... (4+ / 0-)

      How have you gauged the opinion of the Ukraine troops? Based on their leaders' actions?  So a couple hundred Russian thugs and self-appointed mayors take over some buildings, therefore we should let Russia annex lands of a sovereign country?  Well he'll, let's just give Putin all of the USSR's former territory; I doubt anyone will fight for that either, and throw in the countries that used to be behind the iron curtain, we won't fight for those either.  Let's all bury our heads in the sand and hope Putin goes away.  He won't.

      •  Well, you're welcome to go over there (12+ / 0-)

        and fight the RedRussian terror.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:23:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't want to get militariliy involved, but (0+ / 0-)

          from what I read, the American Chomsky left is even against sanctions.  Moreover, they're against even criticizing Putin (because the US did such-and-such evil at some time in the past, so the US has no moral standing).  Which boils down to the Chomsky Left is advocating letting Putin take any country he wants that is not in NATO and doing zero about it.  (And some Chomskyitsts are even rooting Putin on as he engages in imperialism  that those same Chomskyists had claimed to despise; what a joke).

          That's the point of PittsburghPete's comment.  Putin could invade every former Soviet republic and every former Eastern Bloc nation, and the Chomsky left would say, "fine with us", and would criticize anyone that was even for sanctions.  And why should Putin stop there?  WHy not go ahead and take Mongolia?  After all, Mongolia's worth nothing to us, so again, "fine with us", the Chomskyists would say.  Then let Putin invade Ethiopia.  The Chosmsky left again would say, "fine with us", just as they did when Mussolini did it.

          I'll go even further:  I submit that if Putin invaded Lithuania, a NATO country, the Chomsky left would say, "fine with us, NATO was wrong to expand into Lithianis to begin with, for that was Western imperialism at work, and we all know that here is no greater evil than Western imperialism."

  •  well, hardly a surprise is it? (19+ / 0-)

    a right-wing protest movement takes over in western Ukraine and sets up an interim government which includes no representation whatsoever from Ukraine's eastern regions, and then proceeds to pass anti-Russian legislation...

    we of course, with all the diplomatic finesse of a gorilla in a crockery store, immediately recognize the interim government as legitimate (it's headed by Vicky's boy Yats after all) and proceed to pour more oil on the fire - Kerry starts shooting his mouth off in his inimitable amateurish manner...

    just what did anyone think was going to happen? flowers and candy?

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:26:52 PM PDT

  •  This diary is pretty much in accord with (14+ / 0-)

    my best understanding of the situation. There has always been an east west conflict in Ukraine since it became a country after the dissolution of the USSR. They have had a long series of corrupt politicians who have never been able to bring the country together and move it forward. The idea that this problem has just suddenly been created by Russian aggression alone just doesn't hold up.

    The main question is whether the outside powers of Russia on the one hand and the US/EU on the other will restrict themselves to meddling in the civil war or whether they will come closer to being active belligerents.  

    It is a great big mess.

  •  Hard to separate fact from propaganda (11+ / 0-)

    Remember the Chalabi crowd doing everything they could to get the US to meddle in Iraq, on their side of what was essentially a civil war? The US media gets played, as does the US State Dept. Regularly, in fact. So I do not take this as a description of what is or may be actually going on. I take it as yet another attempt to get the US & NATO to intervene with military force on the side of the anti-Russians. That would be a major disaster, IMO, and should be avoided.

    So far, the reports from both Russia and Ukraine have proven to be completely unreliable and unverifiable. (The BBC debunked one claim from Ukraine about its forces liberating a town hall in some town in the east -- a reporter actually went there and there was no sign of any Ukraine forces having been there at all.) About the best that can be said is that something is happening.

    Russia is the biggest holder of Ukraine's bonds, per the BBC. That gives it very little incentive to crash the Ukraine economy.

  •  well if so Russia got what it wanted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:54:30 PM PDT

  •  russia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mr crabby

    can't afford this game:

    Russia's economy was struggling even before the crisis in Ukraine, but things have now taken a turn for the worse, according to the International Monetary Fund. GDP fell in the first three months of 2014 and will fall again in the second quarter. According to the technical definition, that would amount to a recession....

    Analysts at Capital Economics say that a worsening of the crisis could lead to the Russian economy contracting by 5% in 2014.

    The IMF and the EBRD hope that the fragile state of the Russian economy will make Vladimir Putin wary about ratcheting up the tension.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:10:58 PM PDT

    • (0+ / 0-)
    •  Perhaps you missed the diary by Meteor Blades (6+ / 0-)

      Titled Economic growth as measured by gross domestic product plunged steeply in first quarter of 2014 posted this morning. It appears that the US can't afford this game either.

      The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Wednesday that the economy grew at a paltry, seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014. This tied with the worst economic performance since the economic "recovery" began in the summer of 2009. A consensus of analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had predicted a slowdown in growth to 1.1 percent. Real GDP per capita came in even lower at -0.64 percent, the lowest level since the first quarter of 2011.
      Russia isn't the only country experiencing sluggish growth. I recommend everyone read the diary.
      •  the u.s. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mr crabby

        isn't being hurt by russian sanctions. try again.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 05:12:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It will be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Involuntary Exile, corvo

          when Putin throws the oil cos out.

          •  right (0+ / 0-)

            with his economy already hurting he's going to cut off his nose to spite his face. makes sense.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 05:34:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Try reading the finance blogs. (5+ / 0-)

              Russia's economic slowdown isn't hurting the average Russian, just the investor class. So few of the later, so many of the former. Putin is doing just fine and hasn't even bothered to play his cards yet.

              Dream on.

              BTW, it's our oil companies screaming bloody murder about sanctions, not anyone in Russia. NPR did a tame, polite report on the subject this afternoon.

            •  The Chinese are right next door (4+ / 0-)

              and quite willing to buy all the oil he wants to sell them. You really need to go back to pundit school. You skipped too many classes.

              •  you really need (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                enemy of the people

                to go to school, period. china has tripled its purchases of russian oil, but that doesn't seem to have helped. and china is in no hurry to take sides in this argument.

                The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 05:49:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The very fact that they aren't taking sides (4+ / 0-)

                  indicates that unlike the countries of the west they don't want to alienate Russia. New pipelines and being planned and that will make it possible to increase the delivery of oil to China. Russia is also negotiating new trade deals with Iran.

                •  Putin is signing a huge gas deal with China (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo, truong son traveler

                  The end of May. They project an increase in natural gas usage of over 250% by 2020. Where the hell do you think it's going to come from?

                  Keep those blinders on. The interventionists are counting on you to keep pushing their memes.

                  •  they've already tripled purchases (0+ / 0-)

                    and russia's in recession. funny that.

                    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:33:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Tripled a small base to 58 billion CM in 2013 (0+ / 0-)

                      That could grow to as much as 300 billion cubic meters in 2020 if the pipelines are built to accommodate that volume. And now more than ever, there is incentive to build that capacity.

                      Do you know anything at all about economics? Russia is in one of its cyclical periods of slow growth. Your fantasy that it is becoming an economic basket case is just that - a fantasy. But keep on lapping up that anti-Russian propaganda if it makes you feel better. Meanwhile, those of us in the reality-based community will continue to suss out the unbiased facts as best we can from the global press 'cause we sure as hell aren't going to get them from the US media or from Brussels.

                      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                        the micex down 13%, the rouble down over 8, s & p downgrading credit to bbb, and minimum wage still at 27% below its own definition of a poverty line. things are flying. nothing to see here.

                        keep sussing. or should i say unskewing...

                        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                        by Laurence Lewis on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:19:05 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The Micex up 3 days in a row despite US efforts (0+ / 0-)

                          to disrupt Russian markets. Touting S&P, the same S&P fined by the US government for fabricating ratings out of whole cloth? Bwahahahaha! Fool! The global markets are laughing at that and ignoring it. Here are the numbers on the Ruble. They don't look alarming to me, whereas the Hryvnia has lost 38% of its value. Russian inflation remains within the target range, whereas Ukrainian inflation is double digit and climbing. Who is to US and EU really causing to suffer in all this mess? Obviously, the US/EU don't really give a shit about the Ukrainian people or they would knock it off.

                          Yes, the average Russian is poorer than the average American, but their conditions have improved every year for the last decade while the economic condition of average Americans has declined. Would I want to be a Russian? No. Am I happy with America? Absolutely not. I am ashamed to be an American right now.

                •  China has already taken sides. They support Russia (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo, Lepanto, truong son traveler

                  Here's what the President of China has to say.

                  Hagel's Visit to China and Sino-Russian Relations
                  Posted: 04/29/2014
                  With both Russia and the United States forced to adopt a more conciliatory tone towards Beijing, the real winner in the current U.S.-Russian standoff over Ukraine has been China. While China-U.S. ties have cooled, Beijing-Moscow relations have warmed. Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, visited Beijing this month and met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi Jinping, the latter stating that Sino-Russian relations "are at their best" and, "have an irreplaceable role in maintaining world peace and stability." The Chinese Foreign Ministry struck the same tenor by calling ties between the two nations a "major-country relationship that boasts the richest contents, the highest level and the greatest strategic significance."

                  In addition, at a time when Vladimir Putin has in essence been ostracized from Western diplomatic circles, the Russian president will visit China in May and attend the "Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia," an international forum which includes the United States only as an observer state. Over the years both China and Russia have actively promoted such regional organizations with the most prominent being the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which emphasizes military and economic cooperation among its member-states (The United States applied for observer status in 2006 but was rejected).

                  •  how curious (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tony Situ, Dr Swig Mcjigger

                    that taking sides doesn't include anything at all about ukraine.

                    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:33:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Just shows that China's abstention at the UN (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Lepanto, corvo, truong son traveler

                      Security Council vote about Crimea was a polite "fuck you" to the US. China will not support any sanctions against Russia. In fact business will increase in spite of it. The same with all the other BRICS.

                      Do you understand the import of China's People's Daily and the significance of their reports? Check here

                      Four lessons to be learned from the Ukraine crisis
                      March 19, 2014

                      A geostrategic conflict leads to the tragedy of big-power politics

                      Ukraine's economic over-reliance on Russia is the soft underbelly of its national security

                      Western countries' failure to grasp the lessons of history results in conflict

                      The double standards of western countries demonstrate their hypocrisy

                      •  curious (0+ / 0-)

                        that a polite fuck you to the u.s. and taking sides with russia didn't involve actually voting with russia.

                        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                        by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:18:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You don't understand Chinese diplomacy do you? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          truong son traveler

                          Maybe they're too inscrutable for you?

                          China has a big stake in Ukraine farmland. About 7.5 million acres which represents 9% of Ukraine’s arable land is to be farmed/irrigated by Chinese corporations.

                          Ukraine is also in default for $3bn worth of grain China bought but didn't receive. Ukraine was doing the same thing with the grain as it was doing with Russian gas - siphoning it off and selling to other customers.

                          •  whoosh (0+ / 0-)

                            it's not complicated. they're playing both sides. they seem to be fooling some into believing they're not.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 08:18:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Since when have they ever NOT played both sides? (0+ / 0-)

                            But there is one thing for certain - as the US fills coffins, China fills coffers.

                            Compare Jinping's friendly comments to Putin with the following to Obama. Take careful note of the highlighted statements. It's a dig to Obama to behave better.

                            Xi Jinping, March 24, 2014:
                            "I wish to emphasize that China is firmly committed to the set direction of building a new model of major country relations. We are committed to our position of no confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation with regard to the United States.  We’ll adopt a more positive attitude and more vigorous actions to strengthen cooperation with the United States, and also to effectively manage our differences and sensitivities and make sure the China-U.S. relationship will continue to move forward in a healthy and steady fashion."
                          •  whatever (0+ / 0-)

                            you're backtracking. he says what he feels he needs to say to play it down the middle. because that's how he's playing it. and china fills plenty of its own coffins.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:17:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Our oil companies... (4+ / 0-)

            are very unhappy with the Administration right now over the latest sanctions. They do not want to be left out of the Russian Arctic oil boom and have made no bones about it.

            •  What Russian Arctic oil boom? (0+ / 0-)

              Russia's oil is in the Urals and West Siberia (61 deg N). They are pumping like mad and don't give a fig for the environment. Russian oil industry needs US technology(the best in the world)
              as their fields are a total mess. US oil companies are being paid quite well and that  is the basis of their relationship with the gangsters.
              A total embargo of Russian oil would hurt them more than the US but would nick Exxon's bottom line.

              If Putin did restore the old USSR with Azerbaijan and Kazahkstan, his oil reserves would increase from 80 to
              120 billion barrels of oil.

              •  Russia has started up several huge Arctic projects (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Russia’s LNG future looking brighter as projects gain pace
                20 January 2014

                Years of unrealised ambition to become a major player in global LNG production appear to be coming to an end for Russia. The past twelve months – and especially recent weeks – have seen a number of developments which strongly indicate that Russia could be a major LNG producer by the end of the decade
                A blistering pace of development . . .

                Of the many interesting aspects of the Yamal LNG project, two stand out as particularly fascinating: the ambitious timetable to bring the project on stream by 2017, and the new ships that are being developed to transport LNG year-round through Arctic waters.

                There are precedents for large-scale LNG trains having been completed within three years, for example in Qatar, but never before has this been achieved in Arctic conditions. According to Novatek, work on commissioning the first of the three trains will begin in 2016 so that commercial operation can begin in 2017.

                The project will also require development of the Tambeyskoye gas condensate field, construction of transport infrastructure, including a sea-port and an international airport at Sabetta, and up to 16 ice-class LNG carriers.

                . . . and ice breaking tankers

                Novatek and Total considered two options for the LNG carriers: the use of LNG carriers with specially-reinforced hulls, to be assisted by separate ice-breakers; and a combined “ice-breaker plus LNG carrier”, which would save the cost of the ice-breaker escorts. They have chosen the second option and are working on a design of new ice-class LNG carriers that will be “drastically different from the carriers employed thus far”.
                Total claims these ships will be capable of crossing glacial waters at -40°C, through ice as much as two metres thick. Each carrier will have capacity of 170,000 cubic metres of LNG and will be three times as powerful as today’s equivalent ships. Construction will start in 2016.

                Despite having reached FID only weeks ago, the project partners have made very substantial progress. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been awarded to Technip and Chiyoda. Orders have been placed for long-lead items – such as cryogenic heat exchangers, gas turbines and liquefaction compressors. Eight production wells have been drilled. And there are over 3,000 workers on site.

                The project does not lack credibility. Novatek may be new to LNG, but Total is one of the world’s most experienced LNG project operators and Technip and Chiyoda are top-tier EPC contractors. Last and certainly not least, 70% of the expected LNG output has already been sold under long-term oil-linked price contracts, mostly to Asia but also to Europe.

                Meet The Oil Shale Eighty Times Bigger Than The Bakken

                Everyone has heard about the Bakken shale, the huge expanse of oil-bearing rock underneath North Dakota and Montana that billionaire Harold Hamm thinks could yield 24 billion barrels of oil in the decades to come. The Bakken is a huge boon, both to the economic health of the northern Plains states, but also to the petroleum balance of the United States. From just 60,000 barrels per day five years ago, the Bakken is now giving up 500,000 bpd, with 210,000 bpd of that coming on in just the past year. Given the availability of enough rigs to drill it and crews to frack it, there’s no reason why the Bakken couldn’t be producing more than 1 million bpd by the end of the decade, a level that could be maintained for halfway through the century.

                But as great as the Bakken is, I learned last week about another oil shale play that dwarfs it. It’s called The Bazhenov. It’s in Western Siberia, in Russia. And while the Bakken is big, the Bazhenov — according to a report last week by Sanford Bernstein’s lead international oil analyst Oswald Clint — “covers 2.3 million square kilometers or 570 million acres, which is the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined.” This is 80 times bigger than the Bakken.
                If Harold Hamm is convinced the Bakken will give up 24 billion barrels, a play 80 times bigger like the Bazhenov would imply 1,920 billion barrels. That’s a preposterous figure, enough oil to satisfy all of current global demand for 64 years, or to do 5 million bpd for more than 1,000 years. Rosneft, says Clint, has already estimated 18 billion barrels on its Bazhenov acreage. Either way, it looks like they’ll still be working the Bazhenov long after Vladimir Putin has finally retired and the Peak Oil crowd realizes there’s more oil out there than we’ve ever imagined.

                •  LNG is not oil and Bazhenov shale is hype. (0+ / 0-)

                  Not all shale formations produce oil or gas.
                  Western Siberia is not the Arctic.
                  Yamal/Kara Sea(Exxon) is the only Arctic Oil close to North Slope Alaska and it is NOT producing oil and probably never will.
                  You may remember that Shells Beaufort Sea Alaska
                  adventure soon floundered.

                  Of course Russia's Arctic oil
                  is safe from those Greenpeace terrorists thanks to Mr. P.


                  •  LNG is currently in high demand - especially China (0+ / 0-)
                    Bazhenov shale is hype
                    That's what they said about the Bakken and other shale oil deposits 15 years ago. BTW, fracking technology is no longer exclusive to US companies.
                    Shell-Gazprom JV starts fracking Russian shale oil formation

                    Salym Petroleum Development, the venture between Shell and Gazprom Neft, has started drilling the first of five horizontal wells over the next two years that will employ multi-fracturing technology, according to a statement today.

                    Russia is currently producing from the Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Arctic.
                    Gazprom confirms in has started production at Prirazlomnoye field on the Arctic shelf
                    December 26th 2013

                    The Prirazlomnoye oil field [scene of an earlier Greenpeace protest] is located in the Pechora Sea, 60 kilometers off the shore. The recoverable oil reserves amount to 71.96 million tons, projected oil production comes up to some 6 million tons a year (to be reached after 2020). The first oil shipment from Prirazlomnoye is expected in the first quarter of 2014, and it is planned to produce no less than 300 thousand tons of oil throughout the year.

                    Yamal/Kara Sea(Exxon) is the only Arctic Oil close to North Slope Alaska and it is NOT producing oil and probably never will.
                    Russia oil and gas: On the cutting edge

                    Although mainly a natural-gas domain, there is oil in the Yamal Peninsula as well. One field, Novoportovskoye, which Gazprom says has 1.6bn barrels of extractable oil, is due to begin production in 2015.

                    Of course Russia's Arctic oil
                    is safe from those Greenpeace terrorists thanks to Mr. P.
                    The Dutch police arrested them when they tried to interfere with oil tanker unloading. Do you not think US authorities would not arrest them if they climbed aboard an American based rig?
                    •  One floating platform in the Barent Sea which (0+ / 0-)

                      delivered the first oil on 4/2014 is not an oil boom.


                      The estimate is that the well will produce ultimately 6 million tons of oil per year 120,000 bpd. That seems like a lot of hype.

                      The future Kara field is about 200 miles north and west, it was used as a dump for radioactive waste under the USSR.

                      Like I said, What Russian arctic oil rush?

                      The Russia oil industry is incredibly dirty and inefficient and
                      will remain so without scrutiny thanks to Mr. P.

                      US has cancelled offshore Arctic drilling largely because of public opposition.

                      I guess you buy Putin's characterization of Greenpeace as a terrorist group.

                      •  There are others being developed (0+ / 0-)
                        More platforms coming up in Pechora Sea

                        Speaking with Nenets AO Governor Igor Fyodorov this week, representatives of Gazprom’s oil subsidiary confirmed that the construction of oil production installations for the Dolginskoye field in the Pechora Sea is in the pipeline.

                        The estimate is that the well will produce ultimately 6 million tons of oil per year 120,000 bpd. That seems like a lot of hype.
                        "A lot of hype" - where do you get your "facts"?
                        90 Billion Barrels of Oil and 1,670 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas Assessed in the Arctic

                        The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of technically recoverable natural gas liquids in 25 geologically defined areas thought to have potential for petroleum.

                        The U.S. Geological Survey assessment released today is the first publicly available petroleum resource estimate of the entire area north of the Arctic Circle.

                        These resources account for about 22 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in the world. The Arctic accounts for about 13 percent of the undiscovered oil, 30 percent of the undiscovered natural gas, and 20 percent of the undiscovered natural gas liquids in the world. About 84 percent of the estimated resources are expected to occur offshore.

                        The Russia oil industry is incredibly dirty and inefficient and will remain so without scrutiny thanks to Mr. P.
                        Did you read how the Prirazlomnoye field rig was designed? Russia still makes hundreds of billions from the oil it sells to the rest of the world and is now in possession of the latest drilling techniques. It's underwater pipeline expertise is the best in the world. There are global players in the oil/gas exploration/drilling and their services can be bought with anyone.
                        US has cancelled offshore Arctic drilling largely because of public opposition.
                        It was cancelled to to rig and equipment failures. Current low prices on gas and oil plus glut in the lower 48 makes it uneconomic at this time. If they really want to get at the oil, the feds won't stop them. Not even "all of the above" Obama. Just take a look at the permits he issued.
                        I guess you buy Putin's characterization of Greenpeace as a terrorist group.
                        Where did you get that from? He never said that and they have been given amnesty and released. I know of other governments who would use deadly force to counter the Greenpeace activists scaling the oil rig.

                        Greenpeace activists aren't pirates, says Vladimir Putin

        •  Don't need to. Facts speak for themselves. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Russia isn't being hurt by sanctions either. They were anticipating cyclical economic slow down last year already.  Meanwhile, our economic problems are structural, not cyclical, because we stupidly turned them into a structural problem rather than addressing unemployment. The US can't afford this game. Already our major energy companies are screaming bloody murder at the Administration over the sanctions against the CEO of Russia's biggest oil company. They are going to find a way to continue to do business with him one way or the other because $billions are at stake.

    •  And we can afford it? Maybe if we start taxing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, Lepanto

      our own oligarchs we could better afford our global pretensions. Until then, not so much.

      The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

      by Wolf10 on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:22:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The US pushes in a coup (13+ / 0-)

    ...without a broad base of support, organized primarily around a neo-Nazi party and an alliance of right-wing Ukrainainian nationalists who appear as the defenders of an anti-corruption and freedom movement but in fact are shooting at both them and the police.   Once in power, they threaten to cancel the Russian base at Sebastapol, which causes Russian and the pro-Russian population in Crimea to secede and join the Russian Federation, where it would have been anyway if Ukrainian Nikita Khrushchev had not tried to tied it to Ukraine to unify the Soviet Union by making Ukraine militarily essential.

    Having consolidated the Ukraine, Russian nationalists start taking buildings in Eastern Ukraine (or are they?) and the Ukraine central government asks for help in controlling the factions in Ukraine who are going to disrupt the elections intended to give the coup legitimacy (or maybe reorient it).

    It might be a partisan struggle among Svoboda, Right Sector, and Russian nationalist partisans, but it is in fact not yet a civil war.  And it does not yet require US action (thank you very much Victoria Nuland).

    Ambassador Matlock, Poppy Bush's Ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1989-1991 is of the opinion that the US should shut up with the rhetoric and start working with Russia to create the framework for a federation within the current borders of Ukraine outside of Crimea.  And that the US should state that the appropriate role for Ukraine in the European system is as a neutral buffer with Russia for now.

    The US has reneged on its agreement not to occupy the countries beyond a unified Germany and put the Russian people through hell with its notion of a capitalist shock treatment after the fall of the Soviet Union.  That experience causes Russians to look at what is happening in Ukraine as a provocation.

    This is another case where the neo-cons, this time with the complicity of Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration, set up the breaking of yet another country.  Having an honest election on May 25 might help except for the forces that the US and its CIA have backed in the coup.  If May 25 doesn't come off well, it is likely to be a civil war or a right-wing putsch.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:11:31 PM PDT

    •  wow (3+ / 0-)

      pretty much everything in your first sentence is wrong. carry on.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:17:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  wow (13+ / 0-)

      pretty much everything in your comment is spot on.

      Carry on!

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:28:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ukraine is doing what almost every other (0+ / 0-)

      east European country that was once dominated by Russia is doing. They are choosing to move away from Russia and towards the rest of Europe in the EU.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Ukraine would eventually do the same. You're giving way too much credit to a few neocons and disregarding the will of the majority of over 100 million east Europeans who are choosing Europe over Russia.  

      "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

      by Texas Lefty on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 06:59:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only... (0+ / 0-)

        the folks who have been put into power want more than Ukrainian self-determination.  The wanted control over Sebastapol.  That is as non-negotiable as Cuba asking the US to leave Guantanamo.

        It is clear from the situation that what is going on is more complicated than 100 million Europeans choosing Europe over Russia.  A significant minority of those folks were happy being ethnic Russians within Ukraine until the rabid nationalists got control of the security ministries.

        Also, the European bankers have changed what it means to be a poor country within Europe, and a lot of pro-European Ukrainians have noticed how Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland have been treated and would rather postpone integration with the EU until economic conditions are more favorable.

        A federative government could work out regional issues.  But the Ukrainian nationalists in the government prefer expulsion of ethnic Russians or language discrimination.

        Finally, Russia likely would not like the financial responsibility of supporting Ukraine's economy but will not risk the threat it poses to Sebastapol.  Or that US weapons on Ukrainian territory could possibly pose to Russia.

        Unfortunately Russia and Russians believe our neo-con rhetoric.  And they have the experience of the economic shock treatment not to trust the US.  When the Russian people wanted to move from Russia to the rest of Europe, the US allowed them to starve.

        And the US hasn't exactly been doing more than saddling Ukraine with more loans to help it out now.  And Western businesses are not even investing in the West.  Why would they invest in Ukraine?

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Fri May 02, 2014 at 10:46:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  rock/hard place (4+ / 0-)

    Before the break up of Ukraine--and that's what this is--the pro Russian premier had to choose between the EU and Russian natural gas.  The best solution would have been a little of both--but Putin wouldn't allow that.  I don't blame the former government, or the new government.  Putin had the military and the economic hammer lock and was going all in. As the world gets more interdependent, we need to recognize this disaster will be repeated.  The big one will be the search for potable water in Asia.  That's a result of climate change and melting glaciers--and I'm sure other locales will have similar problems.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:22:03 PM PDT

  •  I wouldn't call it a civil war (0+ / 0-)

    It's more of an act of aggression by one of the largest military powers in the world on a much weaker neighbor.  Russia has a history of oppression and aggression against its neighbors like no other European country since WWII and it continues to this day. And then they wonder why the rest of eastern Europe sees their future in the EU and NATO?

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:23:59 PM PDT

    •  How many wars and interventions has Russia (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SquirmyRooter, BigAlinWashSt

      been in involved in since WWII? How many got killed? Compare to how many interventions and wars the US has been involved in in the same period. How many people got maimed and killed?

      How many million tons of bombs has each country dropped on a foreign nation during this period?

      •  I didn't know the US was in Europe (0+ / 0-)

        How about reading a little slower next time. I'm comparing Russia to other European countries, not the US. Name me another country in Europe that has oppressed more people than Russia since WWII.  Name me another country in Europe that has invaded as many of their neighbors as Russia since WWII.

        "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

        by Texas Lefty on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:59:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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