President Putin emphasized on Thursday that the upper chamber of Parliament had authorized him to use military force if necessary in eastern Ukraine, and he asserted Russia's historical claim to the territory in language not often used before.
NATO has no intention or ability to rescue Ukraine. Everything the NATO members have done to date may be interpreted as giving the Russian leadership a green light and a pass on Ukraine.
Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov announced the start of an "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Russian separatists. He told parliament it was being conducted "stage by stage, in a responsible... manner".
All the towns that the pro-Russia activists have seized lie astride main highways into eastern and southeastern Ukraine from Russia. The point of the government building seizures in separated towns is to stretch Ukraine's security resources. Both effects look deliberate and well-planned.
For Russia, a peaceful outcome means that Kiev agrees to a federalized Ukrainian state that recognizes Russian as a second national language. For the US, a peaceful outcome apparently means that Moscow agrees to refrain from interfering in Ukraine
Whenever Iran engages in talks about its nuclear program, the Supreme Leader seems compelled to remind the world that the nuclear program is not negotiable.
It probably will be difficult or impossible for Ukraine to to take back their Government building without violence. Violence and a request for aid by the activists might be "sufficient" grounds for Russia to respond with an armored intervention force.
The Donetsk activists requested Russian peacekeeping troops to protect them from the government in Kiev/Kyiv. They also declared the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv an independent republic.
If Russia intends to extend its sphere of influence in eastern Ukraine, recent Ukrainian regime and NATO moves might require Russia to accelerate its operations and meddling.
Even mostly symbolic increases in NATO military activity are enough to remind Russia's leaders that Russia and Russian forces are not strong enough to risk revitalizing NATO's military power. NATO finally has gotten Moscow's attention.
They are as severe and as authoritarian as any in North Korea. Cumulatively, they are an indicator that the monarchy is concerned seriously about internal stability.
South Korea says it has recovered an unidentified drone that crashed on one of its border islands the same day that North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire across their disputed maritime boundary.
The Russians have pledged to dedicate funds to improve Crimea power supplies, water lines and education. They also announced that Russia will make Crimea a special economic zone, with tax breaks and stream-lined bureaucratic rules in order to attract foreign investors and tourism.
South Korean and Allied exercises of contingency plans to capture Pyongyang always set the North's teeth on edge, even though the North' exercises involve taking all of South Korea by force. The hypocrisy is lost on the North.
The swings in North Korea's foreign policy bespeak immature moodiness, rather than carefully crafted policy.
German firms have been working behind the scenes all month to maintain Russian economic ties.
It is likely that all anti-government groups have agreed on the need to disrupt the elections in April and are cooperating as Taliban. Yesterday's bombing was an act of terror that targeted campaign workers and the election apparatus itself.
North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations said in a press conference on Monday, that North Korea will take additional "nuclear measures" if the United States continues its current approach toward Pyongyang.
NATO officials have issued warnings about the buildup of Russian forces along the eastern border of Ukraine. One general warned that Russian forces could drive across southern Ukraine to liberate Transnistria, which is northwest of Crimea.
On 19 March at the U.N. Human Rights Council a Russian diplomat said Russia is concerned about Estonia's treatment of its ethnic Russian minority. He said, "Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups."
New Time 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance: William's Edge Webinar for Thursday April 17th, 2014 | John Ransom
New Time 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance: William's Edge Webinar for Wednesday April 16th, 2014 | John Ransom