Sunday, February 22, 2015

US, Britain talk sanctions on Russia, but no clear plan yet - U.S. News & World Report

U.S. and Britain consider new sanctions against Russia - PBS NewsHour

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PBS NewsHour

U.S. and Britain consider new sanctions against Russia
PBS NewsHour
Britain's Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) deliver a statement at a press conference in London on Feb. 21. The U.S. and Great Britain discussed imposing new sanctions on Russia as Ukraine's military and ...

US, Britain talk sanctions on Russia, but no clear plan yet - U.S. News & World Report

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U.S. News & World Report

US, Britain talk sanctions on Russia, but no clear plan yet
U.S. News & World Report
LONDON (AP) — The United States and Britain on Saturday discussed new sanctions againstRussia as Ukraine's week-old cease-fire showed further signs of unraveling, yet emerged with no clear plan for further targeting an economy that means far more to ... 
US weighs more sanctions against Russia over violations in UkraineWashington Post

Kerry Raises Prospect of More Sanctions Against Russia Over UkraineNew York Times
John Kerry threatens Russia with serious sanctions over UkraineThe Guardian 
Wall Street Journal
 -Reuters

all 282 news articles »

News Analysis: A Deal That Preserves Greece’s Place in Eurozone, and Fiscal Restraints 

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An agreement to extend Greece’s bailout for four months also committed the nation to fiscal targets and other conditions that its new leadership had vowed to scrap.






Порошенко сообщает об освобождении 139 украинских воинов - РБК Украина

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РБК Украина

Порошенко сообщает об освобождении 139 украинских воинов
РБК Украина
Президент Украины Петр Порошенко сообщает об освобождении уже 139 украинских воинов. Об этом говорится в сообщении пресс-службы Президента в Facebook. "Освободили 139 украинских воинов", - говорится в сообщении. В то же время сообщается о скором освобождении еще ...
Обмен пленными на Луганщине: 139 украинских бойцов на свободеГлавред
Из плена освобождены 139 украинских военныхИнтерфакс - Украина
Порошенко анонсировал освобождение 140 украинских военныхСвежие новости сегодня. Последние новости интернет издания "Fresh-News"
Сводка Украинских и Мировых Новостей -ФОКУС -Центр журналистских расследований
Все похожие статьи: 93 »

Despite faltering economy, Russia will continue defense upgrade - PBS NewsHour

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PBS NewsHour

Despite faltering economy, Russia will continue defense upgrade
PBS NewsHour
A T-34 Soviet-made tank and Russian servicemen take part in a rehearsal for a military parade at the Red Square in Moscow on Nov. 1, 2014. Moscow says it will move ahead with a planned decade-long upgrade of the Russian military, despite facing an ...
Russian tensions could escalate into all-out war, says Nato generalTelegraph.co.uk
Russian
 
news report: Putin approved Ukraine invasion before Kiev government ...McClatchy Washington Bureau

Russian expansionism may pose existential threat, says Nato generalThe Guardian 
Rutland Herald-Press TV-Economic Times
all 866 news articles »

John Kerry threatens Russia with serious sanctions over Ukraine - The Guardian

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The Guardian

John Kerry threatens Russia with serious sanctions over Ukraine
The Guardian
The US has warned it could level “serious sanctions” on Russia within days over breaches of Ukraine's truce, which is in tatters despite pro-Moscow rebels and government forces exchanging scores of prisoners. A separatist official said 139 Ukrainian ...
Pro-Russia rebel build-up near port city alarms Ukraine militaryReuters
Ukraine: Kerry threatens further sanctions over 'craven' Russian actionsCNN
Ukraine: Rebels open fire, Russia sending tanks despite cease-fireNew York Post
Wall Street Journal -Yahoo News -Today's Zaman
all 7,608 news articles »
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Page 8

Time to wake up to the real threat of Putin 

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Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox says West must face reality of Russian aggression






Ukraine crisis: John Kerry claims Russia is 'brazenly' violating ceasefire

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The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, accused Russia yesterday of brazenly and cynically violating a European-brokered truce in eastern Ukraine, and warned that the US was preparing further sanctions against the Putin regime.

US weighs more sanctions against Russia over violations in Ukraine - Washington Post

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U.S. News & World Report

US weighs more sanctions against Russia over violations in Ukraine
Washington Post
The Obama administration is weighing a new round of sanctions against Russia in response to its continued “land-grabbing” in eastern Ukraine despite a cease-fire agreement, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Saturday. Speaking to reporters in London ...
US, Britain talk sanctions on Russia, but no clear plan yetU.S. News & World Report
Kerry Raises Prospect of More Sanctions Against Russia Over UkraineNew York Times
John Kerry threatens Russia with serious sanctions over UkraineThe Guardian
Wall Street Journal-Reuters
all 273 news articles »

JAMES FORSYTH: If Mariupol falls, we could end up at war with Russia... - Daily Mail

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Spectator.co.uk (blog)

JAMES FORSYTH: If Mariupol falls, we could end up at war with Russia...
Daily Mail
For the next few weeks, Mariupol in Ukraine is the most important city in Europe. If pro-Russianseparatists take it, senior British government figures tell me, the United States will start to arm the Ukrainian government directly. This will lead to a ...
We are one town away from a proxy war between Russia and the USSpectator.co.uk (blog)

all 2 news articles »

Около двух тысяч заключенных устроили бунт в американской тюрьме - Коммерсантъ

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Вести.Ru

Около двух тысяч заключенных устроили бунт в американской тюрьме
Коммерсантъ
В тюрьме американского штата Техаса около 2 тыс. заключенных устроили бунт и захватили часть тюремных помещений, сообщает «Интерфакс» 22 ферваля. Причиной бунта стало недовольство заключенных условиями содержания, в частности, уровнем медицинского обслуживания.
Бунт в тюрьме американского города Рэймондвилл /штат Техас/.Радиостанция ЭХО МОСКВЫ
В тюрьме в Техасе произошел бунтИнтерфакс
В техасской тюрьме две тысячи заключенных устроили беспорядкиLenta.ru
Аргументы и факты -Взгляд -Вести.Ru
Все похожие статьи: 24 »

Ukraine PM says cease fire non-existent, Putin on a larger mission - Fox News

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Ukraine PM says cease fire non-existent, Putin on a larger mission
Fox News
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Saturday that his country is not on the verge of collapse and that Russian-backed separatists continue to attack Ukrainian soldiers despite a recent cease fire agreement. “We are very far from a collapse ...

and more »
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Page 9

Turkish Military Enters Syria to Evacuate Soldiers Guarding Tomb, Reports Say 

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The Turkish Army launched a military operation into Syria late Saturday to evacuate the Tomb of Suleyman Shah, which has been besieged by Islamic State militants.






Kerry To Meet Iranian Officials For Nuclear Talks

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due to start two days of talks with senior Iranian officials on Tehran's disputed nuclear program on February 22. 

Prisoner Swap In Ukraine 

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The Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels have exchanged prisoners in the east of the country.

Leviathan on the Prowl in Putins Russia - National Review Online

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Boston Globe (subscription)

Leviathan on the Prowl in Putins Russia
National Review Online
The first shot we see in Alexander Zvyagintsev's Leviathan is of surf crashing against desolate cliffs in northern Russia. Were it not for the rich hues of blue, it could almost be mistaken for the opening of Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Indeed ...
'Leviathan' indicts contemporary RussiaBoston Globe (subscription)

all 44 news articles »

Киев сообщил об обстрелах позиций украинских военных из «Градов» - РБК

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РБК

Киев сообщил об обстрелах позиций украинских военных из «Градов»
РБК
В Донбассе в ночь на воскресенье, 22 февраля, ополченцы 12 раз обстреливали позиции украинских военных, сообщил пресс-центр операции силовиков. «В ночь с 21 на 22 февраля противник 12 раз обстрелял позиции сил АТО. 4 раза террористы использовали «Грады», 5 раз ...
Широкино подверглось штурму, Пески обстреляли из "Градов"Комсомольская Правда в Украине
Киев сообщил о 12 обстрелах украинских войск в ДонбассеИнтерфакс
Украинские силовики обвинили ополченцев в 12 обстрелах за ночьГазета.Ru
Коммерсантъ -ЛІГА.net -Подробности
Все похожие статьи: 348 »

Украина: год назад Януковича отстранили от власти - BBC Russian

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Украина: год назад Януковича отстранили от власти
BBC Russian
В воскресенье исполняется ровно год с тех пор, как Верховная Рада Украины 328-ю голосами поддержала постановление об отстранении Виктора Януковича от должности президента страны и назначила внеочередные выборы президента на 25 мая. Причиной решения стал отказ ...

и другие »
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Page 10

Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels swap dozens of prisoners

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Exchange of captured fighters offers some hope that the Minsk peace deal will be implemented despite continued fighting around Mariupol
Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged dozens of prisoners, a Kiev security official confirmed on Sunday in a step towards implementing an internationally brokered peace deal.
Reuters reporters in the village of Zholobok, 20 km (12 miles) west of the rebel stronghold of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, saw more than 130 Ukrainian servicemen being released late on Saturday evening in exchange for 52 rebel fighters.
Continue reading...

Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels swap dozens of prisoners - The Guardian

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The Guardian

Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels swap dozens of prisoners
The Guardian
... released late on Saturday evening in exchange for 52 rebel fighters. The exchange is one of the first moves to implement the peace deal reached on 12 February in the Belarussian capital Minsk after the French, German, Russian and Ukrainian leaders met.
US warns of Russia sanctions over Ukraine, despite prisoner swapChannel News Asia
Russia Bashing Big Lies PersistCenter for Research on Globalization 
Ukraine PM says cease fire non-existent, Putin on a larger missionFox News

all 500 news articles »

Hungary taking aim at NGOs and, critics say, democracy

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BUDAPEST — Veronika Mora was getting ready for work when her home phone rang. “I’m at your office,” she recalls a policewoman telling her. “Where are you?” Mora, the head of a nonprofit agency that distributed millions of euros in grants to government watchdogs including Transparency International, arrived 30 minutes later to find two dozen officers waiting for her on a crisp Budapest morning last fall. For hours, they combed through file cabinets and downloaded data on organizations that had been deeply critical of the Hungarian government.Read full article >>






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Leaflet distributed in Dublin claims gay people "contract cancers earlier in life"

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A leaflet distributed at an event in Dublin claims being gay gives you cancer and likens voting for same-sex marriage to voting for sharia law.

Семенченко опроверг свою отставку с поста командира батальона «Донбасс» - РБК

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РИА Новости

Семенченко опроверг свою отставку с поста командира батальона «Донбасс»
РБК
Командир украинского батальона «Донбасс» Семен Семенченко не просил освободить его от должности командира подразделения. Опубликованную ранее информацию в батальоне назвали фейком. Командир украинского батальона «Донбасс» Семен Семенченко. Фото: Global Look ...
Командир "Донбасса" Семенченко опроверг информацию об отставкеРИА Новости
Семенченко увольняется с должности командира батальона «Донбасс»BFM.Ru
Командир батальона «Донбасс» Семенченко подал в отставкуКомсомольская правда
NEWSru.com -Взгляд -Lenta.ru
Все похожие статьи: 74 »

Hundreds of Norwegian Muslims form human shield to protect Jewish Synagogue in Oslo

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Hundreds of Norwegian Muslims have formed a human shield around a Synagogue in the country’s capital as a symbol of solidarity with the city’s Jewish community.
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Page 11

Russian bombers threatening Britain could hit passenger aircraft 

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Lord Stirrup, the former head of the armed forces, warns that Russian bombers testing Britain's air defences could hit a passenger plane






Anti-Maidan Actions Shouldn’t Make Putin Feel Secure, Vishnevsky Says 

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Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, February 22 – The Kremlin-organized Anti-Maidan demonstration in Moscow should not make Vladimir Putin feel secure because it was in reality an updated version of the Day of the Black Hundreds, Boris Vishnevsky says, groups organized by the tsarist regime to show support for the autocracy but that later did nothing to defend it.

 

            Just as a century ago, demonstrators paid for by the regime or pushed to take part by their employers or officials went into the street to “denounce the revolution, praise autocracy, demand the preservation of the existing order and destroy ‘the enemies of the tsar and Fatherland,’” the Yabloko St. Petersburg city deputy says (echo.msk.ru/blog/boris_vis/1497858-echo/).

 

            In its current incarnation, “the heirs” of the Black Hundreds denounce the Maidan, praise Putin and demand the destruction of ‘the Fifth Column,’” led by notorious Stalinists, supporters of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, and demonstrating by their slogans – including “’Putin is Better than Hitler’” – their level of sophistication.

 

            Also like their tsarist-era predecessors, the Anti-Maidan organizers are spectacularly unfortunate in identifying themselves in this way, as becomes obvious, Vishnevsky says, if one compares the Maidan and the Anti-Maidan and if one considers how the Black Hundreds groups behaved when push came to shove -- and how the Anti-Maidan people are likely to.

 

            In Kyiv, people came into the Maidan “to drive out a corrupt regime.” In Moscow, they “came to the ‘Anti-Maidan’ in order to express their loyalty and support to the powers that be.” They did not demand the regime meet its obligations to the people but only and instead that “the power not change.”

 

            That may sound good to Putin and his backers, Vishnevsky continues, but he ought not to be too encouraged by this.  That is because “when his power begins to shake, not one of those who came to the ‘Anti-Maidan will come out in his defense” – just as a century ago, “not one of the Black Hundreds types came out to defend the tsarist power.”

 

            But if Putin does not care to look that far back in time, he might consider a more recent example, the St. Petersburg deputy says.  None of those who had shouted “’Glory to the CPSU!’” or denounced “’the crimes of American imperialism’” came out to defend the communist regime when it began to fall apart.

 

            Indeed, he suggests, like their predecessors, those in the Anti-Maidan who “equate Putin with Russia” and swear that they will ‘not give him up’” will betray him among the first. If Putin doesn’t believe that” – and he probably doesn’t – “then let him ask Yanukovich,” an even more recent victim of the delusion of those in power about how much support they have.

 

            But there are more reasons for Putin to be worried. The extremist slogans on offer in the Anti-Maidan action, including anti-Semitic tropes that also link it with the Black Hundreds of the end of the Russian Imperial period, the lack of support from those whose names were invoked, and the small size of Anti-Maidan actions outside of Moscow should be of even greater concern.

 

            As Forum-MSK.org points out today, the workers of the Urals Wagon Factory (Uralvagonzavod) who Putin sees as symbolic of his support among Russia’s silent majority and who were referred to be speakers at yesterday’s event in Moscow are anything but enthusiastic about him and his policies (forum-msk.org/material/region/10711520.html).

 

            Lacking new orders, that plant is cutting back production plans and laying off workers, a situation that is replicated at many industrial sites around the Russian Federation and that hardly is an advertisement for the successes of the Putin regime or a reason for workers to give it more than lip service support.

 

            Outside of the Moscow ring road, there were a number of Anti-Maidan actions. But because the PR needs of the regime were largely satisfied by the 35,000-person crowd in Moscow that could be shown on television and because the regional governments now lack the resources to do more, they were very small, in some cases no more than a handful and in others only a few dozen or a few hundred (rus-obr.ru/days/33655rlyatas.livejournal.com/83107.html and66.ru/news/society/169375/).

 

            The Kremlin may not care a lot about the size – few in the Moscow media and even fewer Western reporters will cover anything outside of the capitals – but it probably should be worried that those taking part were in many cases the very Russian nationalist extremists it has been prosecuting and that their slogans were even more extreme than those in Moscow.

 

            Moreover, the Kremlin’s PR specialists may be nervous about what happened when regional media picked up on that: In many cases, they were not afraid to say that “the meeting in support of Putin … failed.”  That is exactly what a Karelian news agency did(vesti.karelia.ru/news/miting_v_podderzhku_putina_v_petrozavodske_provalilsya /).

 

            In Petrozavodsk, the republic capital, the agency said, a meeting had been scheduled as part of “an all-Russian action ‘in support of national leader Vladimir Putin’” with slogans like “’It is drive to drive out ‘the fifth column.’”  But in the event, Vesti.Karelia.ru noted, “only 15 people” came out in behalf of those ideas.

           

            It may be that the men in the Kremlin won’t take notice of this; but there is no question that the people of Karelia will.
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Russian Occupation Authorities Move to Close Crimean News Agency 

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Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, February 22 – Ever more often, life in Vladimir Putin’s world imitates not art but Soviet anecdotes. The latest move of his agents in occupied Crimea – to deny registration to and thus set the stage for shutting down Crimea’s QHA news agency -- brings yet another of those anecdotes to mind.

 

            The story has it that Adolf Hitler returned from the dead and happened to be in Moscow during a Soviet May Day parade.  As he watched the evidence of Soviet military power go by, the Nazi dictator’s smile became wider and wider.  A Soviet citizen approached him and said, “I bet you are thinking that if you had had such weapons, you wouldn’t have lost the war.”

 

            “No,” replied Hitler. “I was thinking that if I had had a newspaper like your ‘Pravda” no one would ever have found out that I did.”

 

             Halya Coynash reports that Roskomnadzor has now turned down QHA’s application for a license for the second time, a week after occupation head Sergey Aksyonov said that Crimea does not “need hostile media” that “stir up hysteria and give some citizens hope htat Crimea will return to Ukraine” (khpg.org/index.php?id=1424467740).

 

            QHA’s leaders are anything but surprised by the rejection. On the one hand, the occupation authorities excluded its former general director Ismet Yuksel from Crimea already last August. And on the other, Aksyonov on February 12 denounced independent media in Crimea at a meeting with members of the Bulgarian right-wing extremist Ataka Party.

 

“We want all Crimean radio stations and Crimean TV channels to work systematically, normally,”Aksyonov said, ‘”but we’re against the way that some TV channels cover events inaccurately, distort objective information, and sometimes openly lie on some points … What do we need hostile media for - who stir up the population and untruthfully cover the situation?”

 

In reporting this, Coynash refers to one of the protests against the Russian annexation that QHA had reported. “’Supporters of Putin,’” the protesters said, “With him, you won’t speak Russian; you’ll be SILENT in Russian!’” – a sentence that is likely to become an anecdote on its own, with the additional virtue that it is true.

 

            It is likely the latest moves against independent media in Crimea were timed to occur when Ukrainian officials called for denying accreditation to more than 100 Russian journalists. Given the confusion between objectivity and balance in many outlets, that will allow some of them to give the Russians a pass (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=54E8578B208D9).
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Ukraine peace march rocked by deadly explosion reported in Kharkiv

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At least two people have been killed in an explosion during a peace march in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, according to local TV reports.

Против войны на Украине и "Антимайдана"

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21 февраля в Москве прошел пикет движения "Солидарность". Активисты около полутора часов стояли с плакатами...
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Time: 06:20More in News & Politics

Ukraine, Rebels to Begin Withdrawing Weapons

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Military officials said both sides in Ukraine’s conflict have agreed to pull back their heavy weapons from the frontlines in eastern Ukraine; a positive sign for the implementation of a peace plan that has been violated repeatedly. The officials said the pro-Russian rebels signed an agreement to complete the withdrawal over the next two weeks. Media reports said the rebels may begin withdrawing their weapons on Sunday. The rebels have confirmed through news agencies that they signed the deal. Elsewhere, an explosion in eastern Ukraine during a demonstration marking the one-year anniversary of the overthrow of Ukraine’s former president killed at least one person and injured more than 10 other marchers, local officials and media said Sunday. The explosion occurred in the Ukraine-controlled city of Kharkiv, located more than 200 kilometres (120 miles) from the frontline, a Ukrainian Interior Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters. The spokeswoman said the cause of the explosion had not yet been established. Similar marches were taking place in Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine on Sunday, but not in the rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, . Prisoner exchange This comes after Ukraine and the rebels carried out a prisoner exchange on Saturday - the first major sign of progress for an otherwise shaky cease-fire signed a week ago.   The trade was 139 Ukrainian troops for 52 rebels and took place in the area of the village of Zholobok. Rebels said the prisoners included some troops captured in the strategic railroad town of Debaltseve, which was overtaken by separatists a few days ago in the worst breach of the U.N.-backed cease-fire. Also Saturday, the United States and Britain discussed imposing more sanctions on Russia for apparent violations of the truce. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met his British counterpart, Philip Hammond, in London, saying afterward that President Barack Obama will decide "in the next few days" on potential new sanctions. Kerry said he is confident the U.S. and its allies will respond with "serious" measures and said arming Ukrainian forces is another possibility Washington is considering. Some material for this article came from Reuters and AFP.

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Page 12

Rural Areas in North Caucasus and South Russia Emptying Out Rapidly 

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Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, February 22 – As elsewhere in the Russian Federation, people are leaving rural areas in the North Caucasus and adjoining areas, leaving villages deserted or half-deserted, undercutting prospects for agricultural growth, and changing the security situation in many places. Indeed, in many of these places, the only things that remain are cemeteries.

 

            In an article on Kavpolit.com today, Nikolay Kucherov reports that there are now 171 dead villages in the North Caucasus Federal district and 80 more in which there are ten or fewer residents and that in the neighboring South Russian Federal District, the corresponding figures are 140 and 270 (kavpolit.com/articles/poslednie_iz_mogikan-14311/).

 

            The journalist says he decided to visit “one of the last of the Mohicans,” his term for those who remain in the half-forgotten and almost-completely-deserted villages in the southern section of Krasnodar kray, even though he had been warned that there were no roads, even though they continue to be shown on most maps.

 

            Together with a group of archivist enthusiasts, Kucherov went by paved road, then dirt road and finally a barely marked track to the Udovno-Porkovsky village, which no longer has electricity or water because people earlier stole and sold the metal, and which does not have Internet access either.

 

            What it does have, he discovered, are a large number of ruined buildings where almost no one lives anymore but where those who do remain committed to the agricultural life they have practiced and continue to practice despite all the difficulties, including cattle rustlers and other thieves, and provides milk and other products to urban areas.

 

            Thirty years ago, there were 500 people there, a collective farm, two schools, and an entire community. Now, there is a handful, and many of them clearly fear that in the future there will be “nothing except a cemetery,” Kucherov says.

 

            The Russian village, only three kilometers from the border with Karachayevo-Cherkessia, has always had good relations with its neighbors there, helping them out when needed and being helped out in return.  But those with that kind of experience of cooperation are disappearing along with the village.

 

            One remaining resident acknowledged that “now a different generation has come” and does not remember such things.

 

            Veterinarians still come to the village, residents say. But when asked what is the most difficult thing in their lives, one of them responded “roads” – or more precisely the lack of the integuments which would link them to the cities and to the rest of the world and which could save their way of life.

 
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Why Giuliani and Other Obama Critics Play the ‘American’ Card

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When Rudolph Giuliani said that he does “not believe that the president loves America,” he became the latest in a long line of public figures to question the loyalty or allegiance of the country’s first nonwhite president. While these criticisms are ostensibly directed at Barack Obama’s worldview, as Mr. Giuliani later said, they appear to reflect — or exploit — the tendency to associate being American with being white.
Mr. Obama’s loyalty to the United States has been questioned in this way since he reached the national stage. Just as people wrongly doubted that the president was born here, many prominent figures in national politics have smeared him as disloyal, often by suggesting that he is on the side of Islamic extremists (which plays on the related myth that he is Muslim rather than Christian).
In 2006, the commentator Debbie Schlussel pointed to his middle name, Hussein, noted that Mr. Obama’s father was a Muslim and asked, “Where will his loyalties be?” As the 2008 presidential campaign heated up, the Illinois senator was described, for instance, as a possible “Manchurian candidate” (Ann Coulter) or “sleeper agent” who might not be “pro-American” (Dick Morris).
Suggestions of disloyalty continued after Mr. Obama entered the White House. As conservative pundits continued making hyperbolic accusations, top Republican officials began to chime in more aggressively with similar rhetoric. The president was accused, among other things, of “undermining this country’s national defense on purpose” (Representative John Fleming of Louisiana) and “sympathizing with attackers” of the American embassy in Egypt (the Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus). Others raised loaded questions about Mr. Obama’s allegiances, saying, “I just don’t know whose side he’s on” (Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma), or “I can’t tell,” when asked if Mr. Obama “actually switched sides in the war on terror” (former Secretary of DefenseDonald Rumsfeld).
Whatever his intentions, Mr. Giuliani’s statement reflects the ease with which people dissociate Mr. Obama and other African-Americans with American identity, especially those who don’t like him. A 2005 study examined this pattern using the Implicit Association Test, which measures the associations between concepts using differences in response timing during a categorization task. People tend to respond faster when categorizing paired stimuli that are congruent with their implicit associations (for instance, “thin people” or “good” versus “fat people” or “bad”) than those that are incongruent (the opposite pairings). In the study in question, the authors found response timing patterns that suggested that African-Americans as a group are “less associated with the national category ‘American’ than are white Americans” relative to the category “foreign” — a pattern that holds for other nonwhite groups such as Asian-Americans and Latinos.
These tendencies seem to translate into perceptions of Mr. Obama as being less American among his opponents. A study conducted during the 2008 election reported that supporters of both Mr. Obama and John McCain tended to implicitly associate their preferred candidate more closely with America, but these tendencies were especially pronounced among Republicans, who were “far more likely to dissociate Obama from the nation … than Democrats did with McCain.” The pattern of associating Mr. Obama with America less than political counterparts like Mr. McCain and Hillary Clinton was found in another study to be stronger when Mr. Obama’s race was highlighted.
Given how closely bound up questions of American identity are with race, the debate that Mr. Giuliani revived, which is now drawing in Republican presidential contenders and pundits, threatens to make the 2016 campaign another racially fraught episode in the Obama presidency.
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Yes, Obama is different - Chicago Tribune

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Last week, Rudy Giuliani spoke to an audience of businesspeople, conservative elites and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He made news about President Barack Obama.
"The former New York mayor," reported Politico, "directly challenged Obama's patriotism, discussing what he called weak foreign policy decisions and questionable public remarks when confronting terrorists."
To Politico's credit, this is a generous summary of Giuliani's remarks, which in reality glowed with aggrievement and disdain. "I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."
There's no need to litigate this charge; outside of campy political thrillers, no one devotes his or her adult life to national politics — or the presidency, for that matter — without an outsized patriotism and belief in the basic worth of the United States. But if we're feeling generous, we can say that in the course of his rant, Giuliani touched on a real difference between Obama's brand of national exceptionalism and the kind we tend to see from America's presidents.
Take his remarks after the initial temper tantrum. "With all our flaws, we're the most exceptional country in the world. I'm looking for a presidential candidate who can express that, do that and carry it out," said the former New York mayor and onetime presidential candidate. "What country has left so many young men and women dead abroad to save other countries without taking land? This is not the colonial empire that somehow he has in his hand. I've never felt that from him."
He continued: "I felt that from (George) W. (Bush). I felt that from (Bill) Clinton. I felt that from every American president, including ones I disagreed with, including (Jimmy) Carter. I don't feel that from President Obama."
Crude as he is, Giuliani isn't wrong to sense a difference between Obama and his predecessors. Previous presidents have been profuse with their praise of America's perceived exceptionalism. And they've done so without question or reservation.
"More than any other people on Earth," declared John F. Kennedy in a 1961 address at the University of Washington, "we bear burdens and accept risks unprecedented in their size and their duration, not for ourselves alone but for all who wish to be free."
"Across the world," said Ronald Reagan in his 1982 remarks at Kansas State University, "Americans are bringing light where there was darkness, heat where there was once only cold and medicines where there was sickness and disease, food where there was hunger, wealth where humanity was living in squalor and peace where there was only death and bloodshed." Then, soaring with more outsized rhetoric: "Yes, we face awesome problems. But we can be proud of the red, white and blue, and believe in her mission. In a world racked by hatred, economic crisis and political tension, America remains mankind's best hope."
Bill Clinton echoed his predecessors in a 1996 speech defending NATO's intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina. "The fact is America remains the indispensable nation. There are times when America, and only America, can make a difference between war and peace, between freedom and repression, between hope and fear."
Likewise, throughout his administration, George W. Bush emphasized America's exceptionalism and expressed it in terms of its war against terrorism and tyranny. "Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom," he said in his second inaugural address. "In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty."
Obama's view is a little different. Compared with the visions of his predecessors, his is less triumphant and informed by a kind of civic humility. "I believe in American exceptionalism," he told Roger Cohen of The New York Times while still just a candidate, but not one based on "our military prowess or our economic dominance." Instead, he said, "our exceptionalism must be based on our Constitution, our principles, our values and our ideals. We are at our best when we are speaking in a voice that captures the aspirations of people across the globe."
As president he echoed this during a now-famous (perhaps infamous) 2009 news conference in Strasbourg, France, where he elaborated on his sense of exceptionalism. "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Every nation has a sense of its unique place in the world. Even still, Obama said, there are things especially exceptional to the United States. "I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality that, though imperfect, are exceptional."
To be clear, Giuliani wasn't somehow right, and to say he even made a point is to overstate the case. But it is true that Obama stands outside the norm. No, he's not Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright, but he's not Reagan either.
The obvious question is, why? Why is Obama more circumspect than his presidential peers? Why does his praise come with a note of reservation?
The best answer, I think, lies in identity. By choice as much as birth, Obama is a black American. And black Americans, more than most, have a complicated relationship with our country. It's our home as much as it's been our oppressor: a place of freedom and opportunity as much as a source of violence and degradation. We're an old American tribe, with deep roots in the land and a strong hand in the labor of the nation. But we're often seen as other — a suspect class that just doesn't fit.
As a president from black America, Obama carries this with him, and it comes through in his sometimes less-than-effusive vision of national greatness. He loves this country, but he also tempers his view with a nod toward the uglier parts of our history.
This isn't the exceptionalism of the Republican Party or much of the national mainstream, and it can alienate Americans not used to a more critical eye — it's why Mitt Romney chose "Believe in America" for his 2012 election slogan. But it is as authentically American as any other. And while Obama is far from a perfect president, I'm at least glad he's here to give it a greater voice.
Slate
Jamelle Bouie is a Slate staff writer covering politics, policy and race.
Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune
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Rudy Giuliani gets death threats for claims Obama doesn't love America as Scott Walker weighs in to BACK former mayor

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  • Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has received death threats in the wake of his controversial statements about President Barack Obama 
  • Giuliani: 'I'm right about this. I have no doubt about it. I do not withdraw my words'
  • Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker said he doesn't know whether the president loves the country and urged reporters to ask the president what he thinks
Published: 15:12 EST, 21 February 2015 Updated: 17:50 EST, 21 February 2015
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Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani says he is standing by his comments about President Barack Obama but has received death threats in the wake of the controversial statements.
Facing criticism over his statements that the president doesn't love Obama, Giuliani says he is not withdrawing his words, even amid death threats he and his secretary received following the remarks,CNN reports. 
The former mayor did not say whether he contacted police about the threatening calls. 
Standing By: Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (photographed) says he is standing by his comments about President Barack Obama but has received death threats in the wake of the controversial statements
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Standing By: Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (photographed) says he is standing by his comments about President Barack Obama but has received death threats in the wake of the controversial statements
Giuliani told CNN that though he has received death threats, a majority of the voice mails left at his office were in support of his remarks made Wednesday at a private dinner for Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
'I'm right about this. I have no doubt about it. I do not withdraw my words,' Giuliani told NBC Friday. 
'I do not detect, in this man, the same rhetoric and the same language, the same love of America that I detected in other American presidents including democrats.' 
White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, spoke Friday saying that he feels sorry for the man who was once known as 'America's mayor.'
'I can tell you that it’s sad to see when somebody who has attained a certain stature and even admiration tarnishes that legacy so thoroughly,' Earnest said. 
Hashtags: The White House started the hashtag #ObamaLovesAmerica on Twitter, the hashtag was tweeted more than 50,000 times in 24 hours
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Hashtags: The White House started the hashtag #ObamaLovesAmerica on Twitter, the hashtag was tweeted more than 50,000 times in 24 hours
The White House started the hashtag #ObamaLovesAmerica on Twitter, the hashtag was tweeted more than 50,000 times in 24 hours, NBC reports, with comments both for and against Giuliani's remarks. 
Critics have called for the author and former politician to apologize, but Giuliani told NBC that though he never meant to question the president's patriotism, he absolutely will not apologize for saying what he believes.
No Apologies: Critics have called for the former politician to apologize, but Giuliani said that he absolutely will not apologize for saying what he believes
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No Apologies: Critics have called for the former politician to apologize, but Giuliani said that he absolutely will not apologize for saying what he believes
Doesn't Know: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (photographed) said Saturday that he doesn't know whether Obama loves his country
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Doesn't Know: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (photographed) said Saturday that he doesn't know whether Obama loves his country
Meanwhile, Walker, a leading Republican contender for the White House in 2016, said Saturday that he doesn't know whether Obama loves his country.
'You should ask the president what he thinks about America,' the Wisconsin governor told The Associated Press while in Washington for a weekend meeting of governors. 
'I've never asked him so I don't know.' 
Democrats have assailed Giuliani for questioning the Democratic president's love of country, and they urged the potential field of Republican presidential candidates to rebuke Giuliani for his comments.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, another possible 2016 candidate, said he didn't think 'it helps to question the president's patriotism or motives.'
Unqualified: When asked about Obama's patriotism Walker said, 'I'm unqualified to make that statement one way or another because I've never had that conversation with the president'
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Unqualified: When asked about Obama's patriotism Walker said, 'I'm unqualified to make that statement one way or another because I've never had that conversation with the president'
Pence said in an interview that Giuliani is 'a great American' who is 'understandably frustrated with a president who lectures us on the Crusades, but seems incapable of calling radical Islamic violence by name.'
Walker was in the room for Giuliani's initial comments, but he had declined to weigh in until Saturday.
'Rudy Giuliani is perfectly capable of defending his comments,' Walker said. 
'I know I love America. I know there are plenty of good Americans, Democrats and Republicans and undecideds who share that same belief.'
Asked about Obama's patriotism, however, Walker said, 'I'm unqualified to make that statement one way or another because I've never had that conversation with the president.'

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Obama Says He Even Loves America’s Idiots

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In his weekly radio address, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his love of country, telling the nation, “I love America—even its idiots.”
Expanding on this theme, the President said, “America is made up of all kinds of people: young and old, weak and strong, smart and dumb. And when the really dumb ones get up and act like total clowns, I still love them, because they are part of America. In fact, a really big part.”
In a call for unity, the President concluded, “Let’s all work together for the United States of America. And if that means putting aside our differences—including our sometimes vast differences in intelligence—so be it.”

Free Rubles And A College Dean: Strategies For Rallying 'Anti-Maidan' Protesters

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Thousands of people gathered in Moscow to protest the one-year anniversary of the Euromaidan revolution, which they call a "coup." But some may have had other reasons for being there.

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