Europe

Crimea votes to join Russia, accelerating Ukraine crisis

Crimea votes to join Russia, accelerating Ukraine crisis

(Reuters) – Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum on the decision in 10 days’ time in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula. The sudden acceleration of moves to bring Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority and has effectively been seized by Russian forces, formally… Read more →

US destroyer en route to Black Sea for 'routine' drills

US destroyer en route to Black Sea for ‘routine’ drills

Washington (AFP) – A US guided-missile destroyer is en route to the Black Sea but naval officials said Thursday it was a “routine” deployment that was planned before the crisis unfolded in Ukraine. The USS Truxtun departed the Greek port of Souda Bay Thursday to carry out joint training with Romanian and Bulgarian forces, the US Navy said in a… Read more →

London's lucrative Russia ties hang over sanctions debate

London’s lucrative Russia ties hang over sanctions debate

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Office for National Statistics says as many of the country’s residents were born in Mauritius and Cyprus as in Russia. The fact British newspapers haven’t coined Mauritian or Cypriot equivalents to “Londongrad” and “Moscow-on-the-Thames” to describe the capital underlines the special social and economic impact Russians have had on Britain in the past decade and a… Read more →

EU vs. Moscow: Russia Tries to Woo Back Moldova

EU vs. Moscow: Russia Tries to Woo Back Moldova

As Moldova prepares to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union, Russia is stepping up attempts to keep the country in its fold. It has found some willing helpers in the country. If Mihail Formuzal had his way, the revolution in Kiev never would have happened. Then, Moldova would choose Russia instead of Europe, and the planned Association Agreement with the EU would… Read more →

Raw: Shooting Incident at Airbase in Ukraine

 
Russian troops who had taken control of the Belbek air base in the Crimea region fired warning shots into the air on Tuesday as around 300 Ukrainian soldiers, who previously manned the airfield, demanded their jobs back.

Crimean authorities to cut power, water to Ukrainian troops

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian authorities in Crimea will cut off water and electricity to Ukrainian soldiers in bases surrounded by Russian forces on Monday night, a Russian former lawmaker loyal to President Vladimir Putin said.

Sergei Markov, who held meetings with pro-Russian authorities on the Ukrainian peninsula earlier on Monday, told reporters the soldiers would also be told they would not receive their next pay packet if they did not publicly renounce their loyalty to the new provisional government in Kiev, the capital.

“If they stay here and remain loyal to Kiev and the Ukrainian government, it will become more uncomfortable for them,” said Markov, who sits in a Kremlin-backed public policy chamber. “The pressure is going to increase tonight.”

 

This is a copy of the full article discovered on Yahoo News

Ukraine conflict tests Obama's credibility on the world stage

Ukraine conflict tests Obama’s credibility on the world stage

The crisis in Ukraine has brought out a fresh round of critics of President Obama’s foreign policy who see a pattern emerging: the president tries to assert his authority and direct events on the world stage with empty threats, which inevitably have no follow through. With each instance, U.S. power grows weaker as foreign powers view Mr. Obama as the president who… Read more →

Alarm in Ukraine as Putin puts Russian troops on alert

(Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin put Russian combat troops on high alert for war games near Ukraine on Wednesday, the Kremlin’s most powerful gesture yet after days of sabre rattling since its ally Viktor Yanukovich was toppled as president in Kiev.

Thousands of ethnic Russians, who form the majority in Ukraine’s Crimea region, demonstrated for independence for the peninsula that hosts part of Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet. They scuffled with rival demonstrators, mainly from the Tatar minority, who support the new authorities in Kiev.

With the political turmoil hammering Ukraine’s economy, the hryvnia currency tumbled 4 percent on Wednesday, with ripples spreading to Russia where the rouble fell to five-year lows and bank shares took a hit.

Ukraine’s central bank, which has been rapidly spending its hard currency to protect the hryvnia, said it had abandoned a managed exchange rate in favor of a flexible currency.

Moscow denounced what it described as the rise of “nationalist and neo-fascist sentiment” in Ukraine’s mainly Ukrainian-speaking western areas, where it said Russian speakers were being deprived of rights. It has repeatedly expressed concern for the safety of Russian citizens in Ukraine.

 

Reuters has the full article

 Right-Wing Makeover: The Spindoctor Behind the New Front National

Right-Wing Makeover: The Spindoctor Behind the New Front National

France’s right-wing populist party Front National stands to make significant advances in upcoming local elections and in the European vote in May. One reason for its current success is 32-year-old chief strategist Florian Philippot. It is a cold, icy day in winter and Florian Philippot is strolling through the streets of Forbach, the town where he would like to be… Read more →