The provocation the US felt from Cuba in 1962 is what Russia sees from Ukraine now

Putin and Ukraine & Russian flags b&wSo Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU Commission, wants to set up a European army in the face of the threat posed by Moscow. Quite apart from the fact that this would partly duplicate NATO and the suspicion that it is motivated more by the desire to centralise key powers at EU level since in terms of foreign policy (in Juncker’s words) “we don’t seem to be taken entirely seriously”, it completely misreads ‘the Russian threat’. Over the last 20 years there has been a steady Western encroachment eastwards which was bound eventually to cause Russian resistance and retaliation. It has also happened in blind disregard of Western pledges to do no such thing. Continue reading

Syriza has interesting allies: Vladimir Putin and Mark Carney

1024px-Vladimir_Putin_official_portraitBy their friends shall ye know them? This old adage has got some folks feeling a bit uncomfortable as the new Syriza government apparently cosies up to Mother Russia. This is by no means a new thing. Last year Alexis Tsipras provided Putin’s interventions in Ukraine with some political cover. Interesting friends of Syriza are by no means confined to the Kremlin, however. Someone else saying warm words is Peter Spence, economics correspondent for The Telegraph. And today out comes an establishment someone else to give Syriza’s message succour: Mark Carney of the Bank of England has attacked Eurozone austerity. Whatever next, eulogies in The Sun and Mail? It’s only a matter of time before Rupert Murdoch calls for the top 100 monopolies to be nationalised. Continue reading

Russia’s de-dollarization plan and its implications for the world

Putin and Ukraine & Russian flags b&wBy Juan Torres. Translated from the Spanish original at El Publico by Tom Gill

Although the Western media is barely addressing it, Russia has been discussing in the last few weeks the adoption of a series of economic measures that would involve a significant change in direction and a powerful response to the sanctions and threats linked to its role in the conflict in the Ukraine and Crimea.

The plan is based on a series of proposals made more than a month ago by Sergei Glazyev- academic and adviser to President Putin – whose main objective is for the Russian economy to abandon everything that has to do with the dollar’s area of ​influence. Continue reading

It’s no time to take heed of the tin-pot generals

generalIn Parliament this week, there were a number of tin-pot generals using the opportunity of the Ukrainian crisis to insist that Britain should rapidly and exponentially increase military expenditure.

But as with all international crises, it’s important to recognise the history lurking behind the drama.

Ukraine’s national borders have ebbed and flowed with the tides of history, from being the original heartland of Russian civilisation, expanding under Moscow’s rule during the tsarist era and becoming part of the Soviet Union after 1917. Continue reading

The tip-toe invasion of the Ukraine

Putin as devilRussia’s recent actions are an example of self-harm no different from a young woman who scratches her own flesh till it bleeds, for no better excuse than it makes her feel good. This from a young person with a difficult background, who has great opportunities before her, if she chose to take that route, but her anger is greater than her rational, and her need for pain, greater than her need fit in with the mainstream.

Like the idea loved by cartoonists, a devil and an angel sit on each shoulder of this woman, and whisper conflicting advice. If Barack Obama were the cartoonist, then he would draw Medvedev as the angel and Putin as the devil. Continue reading