Like! Ukraine’s interior minister on Facebook

Among the more absurd facets of this whole Ukraine mess is the fact that Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the man who very well may order Interior Ministry troops to engage with Russian paramilitaries in the Crimea, is using Facebook as a platform for releasing statement, sharing legal documents and disseminating various news tidbits.

While you’re at it, you can peruse his tastes in music: Elton John! John Lennon! Yuri Shchevchuk!

Oh, and he happens to like a 1961 romantic film starring Ingrid Bergman called “Goodbye Again,” too.

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I recognize the reality of mass communication in the age of social media. This is how it’s done, like it or not. But still, it’s a tad odd to be reading posted documents about the bribes paid by the Yanukovych government for the purposes of building a “running boar” statue at his Kiev Versailles palace, and having random people “like!” the posting.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled, Russian-induced geopolitical crisis…

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China: the colonial power. Russia: the exploited power

Tim Snyder, writing in today’s Foreign Policy, makes some interesting observations, though where the Crimea is concerned, many are already outdated.

His most provocative point may come in the labeling of the relationship that China has with Russia, which he terms “colonial”:

The Chinese economic relationship with eastern Siberia is a colonial one: China buys raw materials and sells finished goods. Beijing actually invests more in eastern Siberia than does Moscow.

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You want Ukraine?!? You can have it…

VVP is many things, of course: paraplane pilot, scuba diver, tiger hunter, race car driver, judo black belt. One thing he isn’t is dumb. In fact, he’s alot shrewder than people in the West give him credit for.

With Ukraine’s economy in freefall, Putin has plenty of policy options. If he’s as smart as he seems to be,  he’d do exactly what the West appears to want.

He’d say: “You want Ukraine? Here, take it. You can have it. Have fun. Knock yourself out.”

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How to Dismember Ukraine (a.k.a. Georgia 2008 Redux)

How to Dismember Ukraine (a.k.a. Georgia 2008 Redux)

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Watch the Crimea closely. The Kremlin is telegraphing its intentions if things continue to break away from Russia’s favor. What’s happening in Sevastopol and elsewhere echoes what happened in South Ossetia (and Abkhazia, to a lesser degree) in 2008. The result? Georgia is dismembered. Saakashvili may be crazy, but he does have some first-hand insight…