Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crimea SITREP March 18, 11:29 EST

Amazing events this morning in Moscow:
  • Putin has made what is arguably the most important and best speech of his career in front of the Russian Federal Assembly in which he made the case for a re-integration of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into Russia as subjects of the Russian Federation.  For the first time ever, his speech was met withs long standing ovations and shouts of "Russia! Russia!" by the audience.  I will try to get subtitled video footage of this amazing event.
  • Immediately after this speech, President Putin, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksenov, Sevastopol mayor Aleksey Chaly and top Crimean official Vladimir Konstantinov signed the treaty.
  • The treaty states that there shall be three official national languages in Crimea: Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.
  • The US and EU have adopted a number of sanctions against Russia which, frankly, are both goofy and vindicative as they clearly target indivuduals not for their role in the recent events, but for their views.  The Guardian wrote a halfway decent article about this which you might want to check here.
  • In response, Russian lawmakers have adopted a resolution asking President Obama and the EU to please sanction them all.
I just saw this on YouTube: misses the beginning, bad video, but the best available right now.  Listen for yourself: