October 21, 2014

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Pro-Russian troops take Crimea terminal in Ukraine

 

A pro-Russian soldier stands by a billboard with a map of Crimea and bearing the words "Autonomous Republic of Crimea" in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

A pro-Russian soldier stands by a billboard with a map of Crimea and bearing the words “Autonomous Republic of Crimea” in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

KIEV, Ukraine — Britain’s foreign secretary said the U.K. is not discussing military options in its attempts to reverse the Russian incursion into Ukraine but insisted that Moscow must face “significant costs” over its moves in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula that its troops now control.

Ukraine’s prime minister called on the West for political and economic support and said Crimea remained part of his country — but conceded there were “for today, no military options on the table.”

Pro-Russian soldiers seemed to further cement their control over the strategic region — that also houses the Russian Black Sea Fleet — by seizing a ferry terminal in the Ukrainian city of Kerch about 20 kilometers (12 miles) by boat to Russia, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the peninsula. It comes as the U.S. and European governments are trying to figure out ways to halt and reverse the Russian incursion.

The soldiers at the terminal refused to identify themselves on Monday, but they spoke Russian and the vehicles transporting them had Russian license plates.

Russia has taken effective control of the Crimean peninsula without firing a shot. Now, the fears in the Ukrainian capital and beyond are that that Russia might seek to expand its control by seizing other parts of eastern Ukraine. Senior Obama administration officials said the U.S. now believes that Russia has complete operational control of Crimea, a pro-Russian area of the country, and has more than 6,000 troops in the region.

So far, Ukraine’s new government and the West have appeared powerless to counter Russia’s tactics.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk insisted that Crimea remains Ukrainian territory despite the presence of Russian military.

“Any attempt of Russia to grab Crimea will have no success at all. Give us some time,” he said at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary Wiliam Hague, who is visiting Kiev.

“For today, no military options (are) on the table,” he said, adding that what they urgently need is an economic and political support.

“Real support. Tangible support. And we do believe that our Western partners will provide this support,” he said.

Hague said “the world cannot just allow this to happen.” But he ruled out any military action.

“The U.K is not discussing military options. Our concentration is on diplomatic and economic pressure.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday justified the use of Russian troops in Ukraine as a necessary protection for his country’s citizens living there.

“This is a question of defending our citizens and compatriots, ensuring human rights, especially the right to life,” Lavrov said in Geneva.

Tension between Ukraine and Moscow rose sharply after Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was pushed out by a protest movement among people who wanted closer ties with the European Union. Yanukovych fled to Russia after more than 80 demonstrators were killed near Kiev’s central square. He says he is still president. Since then, troops that Ukraine says are Russian soldiers have moved into Crimea, patrolling airports, smashing equipment at an airbase and besieging Ukrainian military installations.

Outrage over Russia’s military moves has mounted in world capitals, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling on President Vladimir Putin to pull back from “an incredible act of aggression.” Kerry is to travel to Ukraine on Tuesday.

Hague said it was urgent to get Russia and Ukraine “in direct communication with each other.”

Hague said on the BBC that Moscow would face “significant costs” for taking control of Crimea.

“If Russia continues on this course we have to be clear this is not an acceptable way to conduct international relations,” Hague said. “There are things that we can do about it and must do about it.”

Putin has defied calls from the West to pull back his troops, insisting that Russia has a right to protect its interests and those of Russian-speakers in Crimea and elsewhere in Ukraine. His confidence is matched by the knowledge that Ukraine’s 46 million people have divided loyalties. While much of western Ukraine wants closer ties with the 28-nation European Union, its eastern and southern regions like Crimea look to Russia for support.

Faced with the Russian threat, Ukraine’s new government has moved to consolidate its authority, naming new regional governors in the pro-Russia east, enlisting the support of the country’s wealthy businessmen and dismissing the head of the country’s navy after he declared allegiance to the pro-Russian government in Crimea.

NATO held an emergency meeting in Brussels and the U.S., France and Britain debated the possibility of boycotting the next Group of Eight economic summit, to be held in June in Sochi, the host of Russia’s successful Winter Olympics. On Sunday evening, the White House issued a joint statement on behalf of the Group of Seven saying they are suspending participation in the planning for the upcoming summit because Russia’s advances in the Ukraine violate the “principles and values” on which the G-7 and G-8 operate.

Russia has long wanted to reclaim the lush Crimean Peninsula, part of its territory until 1954. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet pays Ukraine millions annually to be stationed at the Crimean port of Sevastopol and nearly 60 percent of Crimea’s residents identify themselves as Russian.


  • HankKwah

    Funny, but didn’t Romney say that Russia would be the USA’s #1 geopolitical foe during the campaign? And everyone laughed at him. “Oh, the Cold War is over.” Guess what? Russia’s in Ukraine now, and obama won’t do a thing.

    • wow

      Romney wasn’t predicting the current state of affairs; rather, he was demonstrating (yet again) just how out of touch he was and is. turn of Fox and learn something.

      • bpbatista

        Even the Liberal Democrats at the New Republic think that Romney was right:

        Romney’s remarks, in their full context, which came during a conversation with Wolf Blitzer:

        ROMNEY: Russia… is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe. They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors.

        BLITZER:
        But you think Russia is a bigger foe right now than, let’s say, Iran or
        China or North Korea? Is that – is that what you’re suggesting,
        Governor?

        ROMNEY: Well, I’m saying in terms of a geopolitical
        opponent, the nation that lines up with the world’s worst actors. Of
        course, the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran. A
        nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough.

        But when these –
        these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the
        United Nations looking for ways to stop them, when – when Assad, for
        instance, is murdering his own people, we go – we go to the United
        Nations, and who is it that always stands up for the world’s worst
        actors? It is always Russia, typically with China alongside.

        And -
        and so in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security
        Council, that has the heft of the Security Council and is, of course, a -
        a massive nuclear power, Russia is the – the geopolitical foe.

        This all seems…exactly right.

      • HankKwah

        Romney knew, and obama didn’t, that things were not going to be all cake-and-ice-cream with Russia. You and obama thought otherwise. Guess neither of you knew what you were talking about.

        “turn of…”? Maybe YOU should turn ON Fox and learn something, because it’s obvious YOU are the one out of touch.

        • wow

          Yeah, obviously.

        • wow

          “You and obama thought otherwise.” Nope. But again, nice try. I get it – your mind is made up, and nobody will convince you otherwise. Enjoy.

          • HankKwah

            Bi-polar much? First you say Romney was out of touch, and then you come off like you knew this was going to happen.

            Sorry, I just looked. You’re one of those new trolls. Carry on.

        • Zen Grouch

          Wow!

          Russia sends 5,000 troops into an unstable country to guard it’s interests, and all over the world you can hear the sounds of the Right Wing Nuts simultaneously, explosively and in typical spectacular fashion, evacuating their lower intestines in their pants!

          **The prophesies are coming true people! Prepare to escalate to CODE BROWN! I repeat CODE BROWN!**

          • HankKwah

            Sounds like you’ve already been to code brown. Need some wet wipes?

          • Zen Grouch

            Umm… yeah…

            That was a real knee slapper.

          • Simon Jester

            16,000 and counting. Try again.

          • Zen Grouch

            The Ukraine claims 16,000 troops, so the truth is most likely somewhere between 5,000 and 16,000.

            Carry on…

            **CODE BROWN! OH THE HUMANITY!**

          • Simon Jester

            Do you really think the Russian are using any half measures here? Too much invested to just let half the country go.

          • Zen Grouch

            Sorry Bubba, but as things are, I really don’t care.

            What exactly is your main concern?

            What are your worst case scenarios if the US does or doesn’t get involved?

            This is your chance to shine now, don’t blow it.

    • Zen Grouch

      Romney said a lot of stuff during the campaign…

      …the campaign he spent his kid’s inheritance losing, AGAIN!

      **BRING IT ON!**

      • HankKwah

        LOL

    • alreadyfedup1

      Yes he did and so did Sarah Palin in 2008. Now Obummer can only wag his finger and say don’t cross that line.

      • HankKwah

        Not that obama does anything to people that cross his lines drawn in the sand. :)

    • stop ur whining part deux

      Would you rather he invade a country under false pretenses? We did that in Iraq and looked like monsters in the worlds view. Or perhaps we can handle it like Bush handled Georgia. You remember that right? Same situation and we did nothing. What a short memory everyone has. If you hate Obama, fine, but His predecessor faced the same situation and did nothing.

      AS for Russia…third world country with a first world military…They are going to burn themselves out. They are no threat in the world arena and everyone, including Putin knows it. Economic sanctions alone could bring russia to it’s knees.

      • wow

        Careful – HankKwah doesn’t like them darned facts.

        • HankKwah

          Says the guy that thinks MSM is nothing but truth.

      • HankKwah

        You’ll have to thank your dem leaders for Iraq, without their votes, Bush could never have done it. And if it was so obvious that he was lying, why didn’t they see it before they voted?

        LMAO All you butt-hurt libs come out of the woodwork when your ‘chosen one’ looks bad. You’re still using the old edition of the lib talking points, aren’t you?

        • Zen Grouch

          **And if it was so obvious that he was lying, why didn’t they see it before they voted?**

          Bush hadn’t yet finished the job of trashing the office of the POTUS, to where he would automatically be second guessed.

          You might not remember it, but once upon a time, when things got tough, the people of this country stood behind the President.

          Bush used “NINE-LEVEN!” as a reason to write blank checks others (Obama) would have to deal with in the future.

          **more of ‘Things that aren’t here anymore’**

          • HankKwah

            LOL

            **Bush hadn’t yet finished the job of trashing the office of the POTUS**

            Sooooooo, you elected obama to dig a hole all the way to China, and trash the office even more? . A hole so deep that now each citizen’s share of this debt is $54,908.67.

            Is the hole so that it’s easier to get the money from China? So you libs could have something to be proud of? So, now you have the national debt AND obamacare to be proud of. Nice move!

          • HankKwah

            LOL

            **Bush hadn’t yet finished the job of trashing the office of the POTUS**

            Sooooooo, you elected obama to dig a hole all the way to China, and trash the office even more? . A hole so deep that now each citizen’s share of this debt is $54,908.67.

            Is the hole so that it’s easier to get the money from China? So you libs could have something to be proud of? So, now you have the national debt AND obamacare to be proud of. Nice move!

          • stop ur whining part deux

            I notice you did not have an intelligent retort. Might as well trash Obama since factually you were obliterated. Typical, that is the Tea Party Mantra, and you wonder why middle america votes blue. They are viewed as the lesser of two evils.

          • HankKwah

            Wow, didn’t realize I was “factually obliterated”. When did that happen? Who was responsible? I know for a fact there’s no way it was you or any other lib on this site. So, it must not have happened.

            Keep dreamin’, though. Maybe the Easter Bunny will put it in an egg in your basket. Obviously, Santa skipped your house last year.

            Here’s a tissue for that tear in your eye.

          • Zen Grouch

            **Sooooooo, you elected obama to dig a hole all the way to China, and trash the office even more?**

            PRECISELY!

            **To try and explain anything else to this joker would be a total waste of time.**

          • HankKwah

            That’s why I stopped talking to you last time. You were nothing but a waste of time.

            Still are.

        • stop ur whining part deux

          I actually vote a very fair and even ticket. I just do not have much of a stomach for B.S. LMAFO, you jumped the shark…Now it is the democrats fault for the IRAQ WAR. Good one. The reason everyone voted for it, bc our President used the worst terrorist attack in our history as a back story. You do not remember? It was Hussein that supplied and helped al queda. Then when that turned out to be 100% a lie it was the WMD’s that they had…and again, 100% a lie. It is awful nice that you have such a short memory. Oh, and BTW, you are the guy that give republicans a bad name.

          • HankKwah

            Bu11$#&&.

            Don’t put words in my mouth. The dems share as much responsibility for Iraq as anyone else. And your dem leaders fell for his “lie” BECAUSE he used 9/11 as a “backstory”? Really? Because what? They didn’t want to seem “unpatriotic”? If that’s the best you can do, this conversation is over. That’s pathetic.

            LMAO “I” give Republicans a bad name? LOL That’s rich. There’s nothing good that can be said about the dems, so I guess I’ll be ok with your “insult”. LMAO

            Here’s another tissue. You should take the advice in your nom de plume.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Is it insanity to swear your soul to one party? The answer is yes.

            It is both ignorant and arrogant to believe that one party is always right and one is always wrong. Just another sheep marching endlessly along the same path. That is frankly the dumbest thing i have ever heard.

            Me, i actually do research about candidates, watch them and when the opportunity presents itself I go see them live. I then after i have done my due diligence cast a vote for who i think will do the best job. In short, I actually engage in the voting process instead of just checking a red box because republicans are the best…

            Guess what, they are not always the best and as they continue to merge with the tea party they are going to lose. With all their huffing and puffing the tea party only does one thing well…turn off voters, has happened before, will happen again. Keep marching…..

          • HankKwah

            Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just because you’re another sheep, someone out there might still like you.

            I don’t.

            And the BS about doing research and then lumping the TEA Party in with the Republicans just shows what a liar you are. You’re a dem through and through, and as long as the D for “DUH” is there, you’ll hit the button every time.

            Go find popper, she’s sitting on all the koolaid.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            and you think i am a sheep. Wow.

          • HankKwah

            Everyone does. It’s pretty obvious.

            Translating for you, that’s Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  • bpbatista

    Sarah Palin and then Mitt Romney warned us that Russia is dangerous and that Ukraine could be attacked. But the brilliant Democrats and media (but I repeat myself) laughed. Now Putin is laughing at us.

    • wow

      Dude, Sarah Palin doesn’t know what or where Crimea is. But nice try. We’re all laughing at YOU.

      • bpbatista

        Palin certainly knows where the Ukraine is and the threat that Russia poses. But you, Obama and his clown car full of advisors don’t have a clue about Putin or about how the world really operates. Here is what Obama’s intelligence agencies were telling him last week:

        American intelligence has concluded that Russia won’t openly invade Ukraine, despite a massive military exercise on the border and the armed takeover of local airports. U.S. intelligence estimates conclude that Russia has no intention of invading Ukraine. This, despite the launch of a massive, new Russian military exercise near Ukraine’s border and moves from armed men to seize two key airports in the country’s Crimea region.

        A senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast that the timing of the military exercise, coming only days after the Ukrainian parliament voted to oust the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was suspicious. But nonetheless, U.S. intelligence agencies have collected no information suggesting the training exercises were preparation for an invasion.

        “The mere fact of the timing when you consider what is going on in Ukraine and you see the sudden nature of the exercise would cause concern,” this official said. “From an intelligence perspective we don’t have any reason to think it’s more than military exercises.”

        Maybe if Obama wasn’t so busy spying on his political opponents here at home he might have known what the real enemy was doing in Moscow. Or maybe he can just push the “reset” button again.

        • wow

          Could she see the penninsula from her house in Alaska?

          • bpbatista

            You betcha!

          • wow

            Nice.

          • Zen Grouch

            What she can’t see in her crystal ball can be scouted out by her flying monkeys…

            **I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world, what a world!**

        • Zen Grouch

          Paranoia: **Maybe if Obama wasn’t so busy spying on his political opponents here at
          home he might have known what the real enemy was doing in Moscow.**

          • HankKwah

            Maybe instead of tapping the German Chancellor??

          • Zen Grouch

            I suppose right about now, you’re all for privacy and feel we should disband the FBI & CIA?

            …sadly enough I wouldn’t be surprised if you were.

          • HankKwah

            Do you make this stuff up yourself, troll-boi, or do the voices in your head provide your inane material?

            Nice way to dodge the topic. I’ll let you carry on with your trolling, too. Enjoy your eve.

          • Zen Grouch

            **I’ll let you carry on with your trolling, too.**

            Thass mighty White of you Mazza!

            Mighty White INDEED!!

            **Ol’ Mazza gwan let me CARRY ON!**

          • HankKwah

            LMAO

    • Bob Owens

      As recently as last month the righties were fawning all over Putin. Russia is not a threat.

    • HankKwah

      Notice how the losing Presidential candidate warned that Russia shouldn’t be taken lightly, the prediction comes true, especially after obama was heard over a microphone that was accidentally on talking to Dmitri Medvedev, saying that he would have “more flexibility” to negotiate on the delicate issue of missile defense after the November election, and all these libs get butt-hurt by it?

  • Joe Blaner

    Hey, WOW, I’ll bet you voted for Obama, too.

    • wow

      Nope. But nice try. I’ll bet you voted for . . . oh, nevermind.

    • wow

      You must long for the days when a Repub was in the White House and the nation ran a surplus. Oh, wait.

      • Joe Blaner

        WOW, your doing a great job, wish I could help you.

      • bpbatista

        A Republican wasn’t in the WH the last time we ran a surplus . . . but they did control BOTH houses of Congress.

        • wow

          So later this year we should be in great hands, right?

          • bpbatista

            Is Bill Clinton going to become President again too?

          • wow

            Heh – I almost wish. The Clinton-era is probably the last time there was any real difference between the Rs and the Ds. These days, if you think either party is any different than the other on the fundamental issues, they have you right where they want you. In my opinion.

            And I don’t mean “you” – bpbatista – I mean in general. Look, I have no problem with anyone taking issue with Obama; I just think the idea of Sarah Palin offering anything but laughs to those of us with 3-digit IQs is, well, laughable.

  • Phil Blank

    Google Image search “Adolph Putin”

    Anyway:

    The EU can’t sanction Russia!

    Why?

    Because the EU receives their natural gas from the Russian pipelines!

    If the EU were to impose sanctions on Russia, Putin would shut-off the EU’s natural gas.

    In the spring, summer and fall it might not be that bad, but when winter hits, the people and farm animals in their heated barns in the EU will freeze!

  • Zen Grouch

    After Bush had us invade Iraq for no good reason at all, I don’t believe we’re in a position to tell Russia jack-squat about how to deal with it’s neighbor Crimea, who until 1954 was part of Russia (not the USSR, but Russia) when Khrushchev gave it to the Ukraine.

    The president of the Ukraine is asking Russia for help, and the residents of Crimea make no bones about being on the side of Russia and their president.

    Crimea also contains valuable military sea ports owned and maintained by Russia.

    I hope Obama and Kerry sit back, listen and do nothing, but let Russia sort things out.

    We aren’t the police of the world, and getting involved in a conflict that Russia rightfully has reason to be involved in, will be a huge and expensive mess.

    …on the positive side, it’ll be fun to watch the Republican’ts taunt Obama for being a sissy because he doesn’t start another unnecessary war when we have our own problems to deal with right here.

    • bpbatista

      Well certain parts of Poland (such as Gdansk) were part of Germany until 1945 when Stalin gave them to Poland. And a lot of ethnic Germans still live there. And Gdansk is a valuable sea port. So its no big deal if Germany decides to “sort things out” by invading Poland.

      • Zen Grouch

        What’s your point?

        Sounds like you’re suggesting we risk going to war with Russia to preempt invasions of Poland and Taiwan…

        …but that can’t be right.

        • Simon Jester

          We ( unfortunately) have a treaty with Taiwan. Oh, and Poland is a member of Nato. Fancy that.

          That being said, I don’t agree with preemptive war, or the treaties at all. We have nothing to gain, and I don’t buy into the “spreading democracy” bull.

          And don’t be obtuse when it comes to history. Only morons do that.

          • Zen Grouch

            I could take you to school on the relations between Taiwan and China.

            Look up the holiday (228) you probably missed last Friday.

            Anyway, what exactly is your point. I mean, you were clear when it came to communicating what your point was not.

          • Simon Jester

            You know what? I’m done.

            Shove that condescension up your @ss.

          • Zen Grouch

            Sorry dude…

            The way you were talkin’ I thought “condescension” was your second language.

            I guess it’s like Spanish and Italian, condescension and hypocrisy is. Close but different in that things can take on different meanings in the translation.

            Here’s one for the road…
            **And don’t be obtuse when it comes to history. Only morons do that. **

          • Zen Grouch

            Know how it is when you post something then think, “What I should a said was…”

            Part Deux:

            **You know what? I’m done.

            Shove that condescension up your @ss.**

            Sure thing!

            I’ll keep it nice and warm for you up there, until you come back!

          • Siva and Shake

            Do not be discouraged by Zen Grouch. He is upset about recently discovering he was involved in a European study (unknowingly) about human interaction (honestly, this is not made up). To synopsise, he failed at the part about being human and was roundly taken to task for his illogical and latent homosexual remarks by the other readers when the study was revealed.
            He particularly enjoys being denoted as a Chia-head.

          • golfingirl

            He’s Back……Laughing

          • Zen Grouch

            You were fishing so hard, I didn’t want to leave you hangin’.

          • golfingirl

            For what is is worth, I found your little “experiment” amusing.

            I have a feeling this may be phase two? This time the design is to see if certain people are naive and gullible enough to fall for it a second time.

            Have a good day.

          • Zen Grouch

            So, when someone is busted for pretending to be what they aren’t, it suddenly becomes an artistic bit of an experiment?

            Clever…

            …and by clever I mean *owned!*

          • Zen Grouch

            FormerLorainJoke:

            I almost feel sorry for you, carrying on this charade to the point of having conversations with your other personas, like you’re so slick nobody knows what you’re doing…

            **When the voices tell you to dress up like a bo-dike in cleats, they aren’t your friend.**

          • golfingirl

            I have no idea what you are talking about. Was this meant for me?

          • Zen Grouch

            **To synopsise, he failed at the part about being human and was roundly taken to task for his illogical and latent homosexual remarks by the other readers when the study was revealed.**

            “Other readers!” THAT’s rich!

            …and very, very sad at the same time.

          • Zen Grouch

            Well Golfingal, FormerLorainDouche, et al…

            …as long as you’re on topic.

          • ekwaykway

            The Fuerher sighned a non-aggression pact with Russia. Before the ink dried he invaded their country. ( joke)

  • Simon Jester

    US politics don’t play into this . Would we tolerate the Russians in our backyard? Say Mexico becomes (more) unstable. How would we feel if the Ruskies decided to pick a side and run with it?

    We’re not the bloody world police, and if Ukraine want’s to throw down with the Russian Bear, I wish them the best of luck.

  • golfingirl

    Please don’t bother Mr. Obama with this inconvenience. The timing is terrible.

    March Madness is about to get under way, and the Masters is coming in early April.

    I believe he may also want to take his children back to Hawaii for Spring Break next month.

    He doesn’t have time to deal with this right now. He does have other priorities.

    • michelle

      Well aren’t you clever. Why in the world do we need to get involved in this? We are not the world police.

      • golfingirl

        We do need to get involved, but not through military actions.

        We can damage their economy and make the Ruble worth less that it already is.

        Freeze their accounts in the United States. I am sure great Britain and France would go along. This would have a huge impact on them, though it is a slow process. This is what we have done with Iran, but we started too late.

        We do not need to be the “world police,” but we are the world’s banker.

        • Simon Jester

          Wrong.

          We have no dog in this fight, nothing to gain from throwing in with the Ukrainians, and everything to lose.

          Iraq was a waste of time*. Politicians are going to garnentee that Afghanistan wasn’t worth invading either, even with finally killing Bin Laden*. Explain to me why we should mess with the Russians in what is very much a domestic issue for them.

          It sucks for those that don’t want to live under the NeoSoviets, but that’s not our problem. And that’s even before asking the question ” Can we afford this new adventure?” ( No, we’re broke. Yay “free” healthcare!! )

          * I call this a waste of time, after losing many brothers in said conflicts. No more wasted lives, for a bunch of people that don’t care or straight up hate us.

          • golfingirl

            I said no military action. I think we may agree here. The response should be economic sanctions.