Tag: Putin

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Coup? Bad Plastic Surgery? What Has Happened to Vladimir Putin?

 

Wikipedia CommonsRussian President Vladimir Putin, in the tradition of all authoritarian leaders, is an ever-present figure in his country’s media.

I once saw a story on Russian TV in the early 2000s (from my cozy confines of Estonia) where Putin stopped by a Russian pickle stand shaded by a giant tree. The whole point of the story was how he loved the pickles. The pickle cart owner, an elderly woman, swore afterwards that the tree that shaded her stand was now holy ground.

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(Washington D.C.) – National Security Advisor, Susan Rice took to the microphones the other day to attempt to allay fears from members of the media about some of the more disturbing events around the world. The following is the text of her remarks: More

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From the front page of the Sept. 1, 1939, New York Times: Charging that Germany had been attacked, Chancellor Hitler at 5:11 o’clock this morning issued a proclamation to the army declaring that from now on force will be met with force and calling on the armed forces “to fulfill their duty to the end.” […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Putin’s Russia: A Cornered Bear

 

High energy prices have been a boon to Russia for years. Shrewdly, Vladimir Putin spent this mountain of cash solidifying his grip on power. He eliminated rivals, silenced critics, and propagated a cult of personality to create a millions-strong volunteer army of often violent devotees. In the minds of many Russians, l’etat c’est Vlad.

But with a massive oil glut from North America and OPEC, Russia’s economy is crashing. The ruble has been dropping for a week. To prop up the currency, the Russian central bank suddenly and surprisingly jacked up interest rates to no avail.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Putin Sends a Message… and Bombers

 

President Obama has spent most of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing trying to avoid Vladimir Putin. For his part, the Russian leader seemed amused at the cold shoulder, gamely trying to force photo ops with his American counterpart. The result was a collected, smirking Putin and an exhausted, peevish Obama. The body language of the photo above tells the story almost as well as Russia’s latest troop movements.

As Obama bumbled at APEC, Putin moved his army into Ukraine:

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Hmmmm. Let’s just say I have extremely mixed feelings about this picture: More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Letter Obama Should Write to Putin

 

Over at Forbes, I’ve just penned a version of the letter that Barack Obama would send Vladimir Putin if he was serious about stopping Russian expansionism and wanted to salvage the final two years of his presidency. A taste:

Despite your pledges to recognize the May 25 Ukraine presidential election, you continue to the present day to characterize the Kiev government as an illegitimate, extremist, and neo-Nazi regime intent on genocide of ethnic Russians. (This criticism from a country that allows a Miss Hitler contest). Ukraine has no history of Ukrainian-on-Russian ethnic violence, and credible public opinion polls show that the residents of the rebellious Donbas, even to the present day, do not wish to secede from Ukraine. On the basis of your illegitimacy claims, you make the bizarre argument that the sovereign Ukrainian government has no right to deploy its forces in its own country. Using the same logic, Ukraine could argue that Russia has no right to station troops in break-away Chechnya.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. If I Was Emperor…

 

585px-Map_of_ScandinaviaApparently, some Swedes are worried that Putin has his eye on Scandinavia for a future playground. I will let Annika fill y’all in later.
Though I am fairly sure that Putin is not done helping poor lost Russians in neighboring states to secure their due right to rejoin the empire, I find it difficult to imagine an invasion of Sweden before an invasion of Estonia or Latvia. I suspect that the order of conquest will follow the path of least resistance. But perhaps not.

In any case, can we agree that would-be conquerors everywhere probably perceive Obama’s remaining years in office as an ideal time for action?

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Too funny to not share, this is a great pro-fracking commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfNzW9YY8QE   More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. An Appeal to the West from a Ukrainian Patriot

 

With Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko scheduled to address Congress tomorrow, we must understand that he faces both the external problem that we follow closely and an internal problem about which we hear little. The external problem is Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which has led to over 3,000 deaths. The internal problem is Ukraine’s political crisis which Irina Gokieli addresses below.

The Maidan revolution was a popular uprising against Russian domination, against a corrupt political class, and against a society that lacked a rule of law. In her essay, Irina describes Ukraine’s hard road in fighting both an external and an internal conflict with a parliamentary election looming in the near future. As Mikhail Gorbachev before him in Russia, Poroshenko faces a parliament that reflects the corruption and abuse of the ruling elite that has held sway over Ukraine since independence. She issues an urgent appeal to the West to pressure Ukraine to deal with its internal problems, without which Ukraine has little hope of prevailing over Russian aggression.

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Sorry, Putin, there is another Napoleon in town. In a post on Ricochet last March, I noted that tyrants were always short guys and I advanced the idea that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was just the man to stop Putin: More

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During WWII, the Nazis counterfeited British currency in an unsuccessful attempt to undermine the British government. They were never able to get the phony currency into Britain. More recently North Korea has had an active counterfeiting program to replicate American hundred dollar bills. Many consider counterfeiting of currency conducted by one foreign government to deliberately […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Putin Punishes the West by Punishing the Russian People

 

BuXShb7IQAEhEguVladimir Putin, the self-proclaimed savior and protector of the Russian people, wherever they may be, has decided to punish the West by banning imports of food from Europe, Australia, and North America. Russian propaganda is busy convincing the Russian people that foregoing German yogurt, Italian strawberries, and even Big Macs is a small price to pay for Russian pride and the protection of ethnic Russians in east Ukraine, Moldova, and anywhere else they may be from rabid and homicidal Nazi thugs.

Putin may know his politics and may carry the Russian people along with his trade war, but his grasp of economics is deficient, to say the least.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The 80s Called

 

ronald-reagan-bear

A popular debate tactic for Team Chicago in the election of 2012 was to paint Mitt Romney as an Etch a Sketch candidate eager to return the world to a Cold War stalemate even as he warned of the serious consequences of an administration more interested in counting spilled toothpicks. Barack Obama addressing growing threats in Moscow, Iran, Afghanistan, the West Bank, and Central America took a back seat to hilarious one-liners referencing Gordon Gekko and Ivan Drago.

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What does it say about Western nations that we are more inclined to punish Putin for an isolated terrorist attack than for a war? More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Latest on the Downed Jetliner in Ukraine

 

malaysian airlines crash july 2014_1405612997366_6875150_ver1.0_320_240Over at Commentary, Max Boot puts together the pieces of the puzzle that have so far emerged. His conclusion? Pro-Russian separatists are probably responsible — and that the United States must speak out soon and forcefully.

An excerpt:

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President Obama memorably dismissed the idea of American Exceptionalism by claiming all nations are exceptional. His gesture was not convincing. America is not the only nation so inclined, but the list of nations claiming an exceptional destiny are few. A country needs to be geopolitically significant or culturally energetic to claim exceptional status. There is […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I don’t know about you, but when I turn on Fox News and get hours of missing aircraft (while a mystery, not worth 55 minutes of Megyn Kellys show), I am wondering what news ISN’T being reported. Well, just above Obamacare and just behind this weeks Los Angeles earthquake (we will rebuild), the scariest bit […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Worst Optics Ever?

 

Needing to calm a nervous world and to show a steely resolve to a militaristic Russian leader, President Obama made a tough statement on Ukraine. From an elementary school alphabet rug.

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