Putin has been minimizing the Ukraine crisis as a difference of opinion, and has indirectly asked why the US is so upset. He's even come close to lecturing the US president on the issues about which he really should be concerned.
If the Crimeans vote for independence from Ukraine and for association with Russia, will the West extend as much credit to a Crimean referendum as it gave to mob violence in Kyiv? In short, based on the indicators, NightWatch judges that Crimea and the city of Sevastopol will be linked to Russia in some official fashion by the end of March.
This act of defiance is significant. It exposes a weakness in the Russian military-political calculation by complicating and prolonging consolidation of Russian control. The Russian military position is weaker than it appears.
Russian leaders have not abandoned the goal of recovering the Baltic states, despite the states' membership in NATO. NATO needs to see to the security of its most exposed and vulnerable members. Unless NATO shows it is serious about its commitment to defend its members and associates, Lithuania might be next.
The US President did not say that instability in Ukraine affected US interests. Some analysts interpreted that omission as an American "green light" to the Russians to do what they consider appropriate.
Crimea seems to be moving toward separation with Ukraine. This crisis affords President Putin and Russia the best opportunity since the collapse of the Soviet Union for recovering control of Crimea.
President Vladimir Putin ordered a drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces in western Russia on Wednesday. Officials said the purpose of the exercises is "to check the combat readiness of the armed forces in the western and central military districts as well as several branches of the armed forces."
Russia and Crimea appear to be preparing for Crimean secession from Ukraine and affiliation with Russia. If so, this would be the same punishment strategy that Russia used in Georgia. Russian annexation of Crimea in response to a local government request would be easier and easier to defend because of the presence of the Black Sea Fleet.
The Financial Times has published a series of insightful articles on the state of Ukraine's economy and its economic overlords. While on the surface the struggle is being described as a fight for freedom and rights, there is a significant incongruity in the overthrow of a government primarily over a suspended economic agreement.
The behavior of the armed forces, through inaction or direct action, determined the overthrow of every Arab Spring government, just as it did for Ukraine. Moving forward, Ukraine could become a model for government overthrows in other European countries under conditions of stress.
The threat indicators point to a significant escalation of street violence if the protestors persist. The Olympic fortnight looks to be the high water mark of the pro-western opposition.
Nevertheless, developments in Ukraine pose no threat to US strategic interests. NATO and the West have overreached. In 2008, Medvedev, as Russian President, articulated the new Russian doctrine of sphere of influence.
The Ukrainian demonstrators are de facto anti-democracy. Their leader encourages lawless behavior. He and his supporters want a government change that was not voted by the majority of Ukrainians. Thus, they seek to nullify the election that brought Yanukovych to power and which international observers declared to be free and fair.
For now, the US is on the sidelines in the Middle East. The US administration has alienated all its historic allies; lost influence in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria; and has made dubious promises to Jordan which now is in danger of becoming a front line state, like Lebanon.
Egyptian Field Marshal Sisi said: "Our visit offers a new start to the development of military and technological co-operation between Egypt and Russia. We hope to speed up this co-operation."
Egyptian Defense Minister Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi is making Russia the destination of his first trip abroad since overthrowing the Mursi regime last July. The Russians will be eager to recover a foothold in the country. US policy in Egypt, and throughout the Middle East, has resulted in significant gains for the Russians.
it is not clear whom the opposition delegation represents, if anyone, except the expatriate community and certain Western diplomats. The West and the professional Syrian expatriate talkers are negotiating with themselves because they can't force Asad out and he has no reasons to leave.
When Iran explains why it purchased a firing unit of BM-25 nuclear warhead-carrying missiles and launchers from North Korea in 2005, according to the George C. Marshal and Claremont Institutes, then its assurances about nuclear weapons development will have more credibility. For now that topic is still an Iranian "red line."
The North Korean investigators have divided those associated with Chang into four classes. This is a so-called operation to "liquidate the remaining effect of poison" and uproot the Chang Sung-taek line.
These talks might serve the government's political purposes, but they were not substantive. Nothing substantive happened because the Taliban sent no plenipotentiary representatives. They sent proxies who had no authority to make binding commitments.