Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Ukraine Unspun

One Phone Call, Two Perspectives: A Conversation Between Putin And Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine.
U.S. President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine.
A few decades from now, the U.S. National Archives will  release tapes of the recent phone calls between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Until then, all we have to go by are the official statements from the White House and the Kremlin on the March 16 call between Putin and Obama. Taking a look at the two readouts side-by-side provides a small glimpse -- less into what the two presidents discussed, but more into the heated information war between Moscow and Washington.

The Lede:   

The White House leads with Obama condemning Moscow's actions in Crimea.

"President Obama emphasized that the Crimean 'referendum,' which violates the Ukrainian constitution and occurred under duress of Russian military intervention, would never be recognized by the United States and the international community."

The Kremlin readout starts by emphasizing Putin's displeasure with events in Kyiv.

"Mr Putin noted that the current authorities in Kyiv have so far failed to demonstrate the ability and desire to rein in the ultranationalist and radical groups that are destabilizing the situation in the country and terrorizing ordinary people, including the Russian-speaking population and Russia’s compatriots."

Both sides begin by highlighting the location that they view as the source of injustice. For Washington, this is Crimea, which in a whirlwind three weeks has essentially been taken over by Moscow -- in violation of international law, according to Western leaders.

For Russia, it is Kyiv and the east, where right-wing groups, with the "connivance" of the new government, are supposedly causing terror directed at the Russian-speaking minority (there is no evidence for this claim).   

On the referendum:

The White House says sanctions are coming as a result of the March 16 vote.

"He emphasized that Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that, in coordination with our European partners, we are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions."

The Kremlin says the referendum is a legal expression of "self-determination."

"Regarding the March 16 referendum in Crimea, Mr Putin said that the decision to hold the referendum was in line with international law and the UN Charter, and was also in line with the precedent set by Kosovo. The referendum was organized in such a way as to guarantee Crimea’s population the possibility to freely express their will and exercise their right to self-determination."

The West had been threatening to impose sanctions for weeks if Crimea followed through on its referendum in support of union with Russia. And less than 24 hours after 97 percent of participants in the disputed vote chose Moscow, the EU announced sanctions against 21 officials from Ukraine and Russia. The United States imposed sanctions against seven Russians and four Ukrainians, including a Russian deputy prime minister, two presidential aides, two pro-Russian Crimean separatist leaders, and ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

A 1994 deal, in which Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons in exchange for a guarantee that its territorial integrity would be respected, included Russia as a signatory. But Russia has been poking Washington repeatedly with its claim that the U.S. recognition of Kosovo independence in 2008 set a new precedent for self-determination. (We make the case here, that the two movements are, in fact, very different.)

International Monitors:

The White House wants monitors now.

"He asked that Russia support the immediate deployment of international monitors to help prevent acts of violence by any groups."

The Kremlin is willing to consider a monitoring mission -- with caveats.

"In this context, the two presidents discussed the possibility of sending an OSCE mission to monitor the situation in Ukraine. Mr Putin said that this mission, if it goes ahead, should cover all parts of Ukraine."

In early March, pro-Russian gunmen repeatedly blocked military observers from the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from entering Crimea (video). They had come at the invitation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who also has called for monitors in Ukraine's south and east, where several separatist protests have taken place. 

Putin's response to the idea is a subtle dig at the government in Kyiv, which he still argues is illegitimate. Although unrest has only been reported in the east and south since Ukraine's new government took power in late February, by suggesting that monitors should be everywhere, Putin is implying that the entire country essentially exists in a power vacuum.

Military:

The White House condemns Russia's military presence in Ukraine.

"President Obama reiterated that a diplomatic resolution cannot be achieved while Russian military forces continue their incursions into Ukrainian territory and that the large-scale Russian military exercises on Ukraine’s borders only exacerbate the tension."

Although thousands of Russian soldiers wearing uniforms without insignia are currently in Crimea and in at least one village in mainland Ukraine, the Kremlin has not acknowledged their presence and therefore makes no mention of them in its statement.

But as with previous statements, the Kremlin indirectly warns that Russia's hand could be "forced" into further military action to stop the "terrorizing" of the Russian-speaking population. (Again, there is no evidence that the Russian-speaking population is under threat.)

The Paralympics

The closing ceremony of the Paralympic games in Sochi took place on March 16 and the Kremlin says Obama took note.

"Mr Obama congratulated Mr. Putin on the success of the Paralympic Games and asked Mr Putin to pass on his greetings to the athletes."

The White House statement, however, makes no mention of the games, despite the opportunity to relish in the U.S. paralympic hockey team's gold-medal victory over Russia.

-- Glenn Kates
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
March 17, 2014 21:46
RUSIA IS LYING!
THE "NATIONAL SECURITY" IS A FORGERY!
IT IS ELEVEN CENTURIES OF RACE WAR OF VARANGAS.
THE RUSSIAN DOCTRINE:

1.
TREASON AGAINST THE VERY FRIENDS THAT CREATED THEM OR HELPED THEM:
Use any opportunity cleanse parts of non-Russian countries influx ethnic Russian "larva" of parasitic "Pomeshiks", accompanied by Russian serfs and hooligans.
It is what they did to Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine and than to the rest of Europe and Asia.
Even during WW2, when non-Russians saved the World and
Ukrainians moved their industries, best in USSR, to the East,
along with millions of Ukrainians to fight and to supply war machines and ammunition, Russia re-pay them with hate.
They refused return Ukrainians and instead repopulated their land and homes with Russian occupiers!

2.
Breed and multiply in other nations land and homes, continuing
terrorize local population, cleanse and create half-breed slaves
for dirty jobs, gang-raping locals.
It is what Russia did in former USSR republics till independence in 1990th, creating also armies of death dressed as terrorists and pseudo-Quislings, children of gang-raped
non-Russian women by Russian army and spies,
like in Ossetia and other places.
I wouldn't be surprised, if they managed to steal from me genetic material and grown from into enemies of mine,
surrounding me, along with their masters in USA, reading my thoughts, and helping them make me sick with NLW, Lemurs and "low level chemical and bacterial warfare".
They already murdered my mother in 2012.

3. Continue expand Russia in each generation into each such country, lying to the West that it is Russian land, socked "in Russian blood".
They control Western and World media and press to lie.
Being promised also empires, British, Germans and Austrians
helping them to move to USA and covering for them.
Look, for instance, public TV channel program "Democracy Now".
Nicolos Clayton saying USA and "NATO expand to Russian borders" - is it as "NATO for Peace", by helping not only Russia and letting Russia steal and got rich, but gave some money to CIS nations?
He say new Ukrainian government is "not legitimate", they "overturn" legitimate one and think "not to renew lease" Crimean "only large naval base" of Russia in Western Seas – are Russian occupiers in Eastern parts, breeding in Ukrainian homes, legitimate?
He offers "benefit all Ukraine" by giving "Russian influx control" over Ukraine with continued repopulation by Russia.
Another one, Dmitry Trenin from Carnegie Moscow Center,
say that West has double-standards, comparing Autonomy
in Kosovo (read my comment on Kosovo article here) with rights of Russia to repopulate Ukraine with Russians – even Hitler wouldn’t breed in Check Republic more than in Silezia.
Finally they lie that for national Security Russia can sometimes
play mean and illegal.
IT IS A LIE - RUSSIA REPOPULATE BY RUSSIA AND EXPAND, USING FORGED SECURITY EXCUSES.
_____________________________________________
Hate and expand even faster if any part of a dying nation,
trying be free from Russian plunder and repopulation.
We can see it in Georgia, they grab more and more, stealing land and property and even move fences further on...
Russia stole from Ukraine alone in USSR times trillions.
They continued to do so illegally installing Yanukovich.
FREE UKRAINE WOULDN’T DIE AND VANISH AT FEET OF RUSSIA.
IT IS WHY PARASITIC OCCUPIERS SURGE FAST INTO UKRAINE.
IT IS WHY THEY LIE THAT UKRAINE IS THREAT TO THEIR NATIONAL SECURITY.
_________________________________________________
SOLUTION IS SIMPLE – RETURN UKRAINIANS FROM THE EAST!
RETURN, AT LEAST ON PAPER, TRILLIONS RUSSIA STOLE FROM UKRAINE!
THAN EVEN ILLUSION OF THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY FROM FEW RECROUTED BY KGB AFTER WW2 “BANDERAS”, TO DRESS WW2 HATS, WOULD BECOME LAUGHABLE!


by: Anonymous
March 18, 2014 07:10
At least a less biased article than everywhere else.
If people put themselves in the shoes of people in a desperate poor country in a chaotic situation .This after giving democracy a chance for 23 years. I would go with a stable government with higher wages too

About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

Follow the hashtag #UkraineUnspun on Twitter and let us know what we should be covering -- or to weigh in on any of our stories. Or write us at webteam@rferl.org
 

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