Thursday, April 24, 2014

Poland: The largest & most important state on the NATO frontline

Continuing on from earlier today, US Paratroopers go to Poland/Polish Defence Minister goes to Washington,  it appears that yes, I have Poland on my mind.
 We are going long in this post. So settle in for a spell. 

I can't quite recall who left the link to a Votaire article regarding Poland training the thugs from Maidan
either karin or kamnan- whichever one of you it was, thanks!  It certainly got the brain fired up.
Let's look at that article briefly if you have not seen it already?
Ukraine: Poland trained putchists two months in advance
In his capacity as EU negotiator, Radosław Sikorski signed a crisis settlement agreement with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in the evening of February 21, 2014. The following morning, the men he had secretly trained in Poland were about to take power.
Radoslaw Sikorski- keep that name in your mind, cause we are going to have a flashback experience...

 According to this source, in September 2013, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski invited 86 members of the Right Sector (Sector Pravy), allegedly in the context of a university exchange program. In reality, the guests were not students, and many were over 40. Contrary to their official schedule, they did not go to the Warsaw University of Technology, but headed instead for the police training center in Legionowo, an hour’s drive from the capital. There, they received four weeks of intensive training in crowd management, person recognition, combat tactics, command skills, behavior in crisis situations, protection against gases used by police, erecting barricades, and especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles.
While I was looking around on Voltaire, I came across this piece Poland as the ‘Slavic Turkey’ of NATO Destabilization The Slavic Turkey! An interesting take on the role of Poland in destabilizing the areas surrounding itself.


Prime Minister Donald Tusk ( keep this man's name in your mind too, because he is part of our flashback!) stated on 20 February, 2014 that Poland is already treating the injured insurgents from Kiev, and has actually ordered the military and interior ministry to provide hospitals to help even more [1]. The deputy health minister has confirmed that Warsaw is in contact with the rebels in Kiev “in making plans to take in Ukrainian wounded”.This means that Poland has formally extended its covert and diplomatic reach nearly 300 miles into the interior of Ukraine, and that its intelligence services are obviously doing more in Ukraine than just ‘helping the wounded’ (terrorists)
 Quite reminiscent of Turkey. Aiding, abetting, arming, treating the NATO mercs and useful idiots that have been destroying Syria for years now.

Yet another similarity-
 Both Poland and Turkey are frontier NATO states, with Poland being described as “the largest and most important NATO frontline state in terms of military, political and economic power.” These two geostrategic states also have an overwhelming population when compared to their neighbors, as well as national inferiority complexes stemming from their lost imperial legacies (the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire). They share a significant land border with the states targeted for a ‘democratic transition’, as well as important cultural and political connections with those societies (as a result of the aforementioned imperial legacies)

Poland- the largest &  most important NATO frontline? Sure.
When the target is Russia. And the goal is destabilization/ balkanization.

Recall this post, from a couple years back?   Predicting the Future: The destabilization of Russia
If the Chechens couldn't get the job done, then why not try a different route?
Which isn't a stretch to imagine. If you have an intended goal, you're surely going to have more then one way to attain that goal.

So, Poland. Important! Don't take my word for it. How about what this guy said? In 2009




Poland. Important. OK?

From 2009 to just a year later. 2010. When the entire Polish government fell from the sky!
A coup by any other name.... is still a coup. If you don’t recall the incident resulting in  most of the Polish government met their untimely demise in a single plane, please, reread, recall and refresh

Deadheading the Polish government Deadheading the Polish government Part 2

Promptly after the Polish government was strangely wiped out, we saw news coverage of Radoslaw Sikorski. I covered a bit of Radoslaw’s busy-ness in this post

Poland- IMF loans and Radoslaw Sikorski does the US

Just look at where Mr Sikorski is today! Very prominent. Very influential. Very much in the fold of NATO and the US. The one benefit in having this blog for so long is that  it serves as a resource and a peek back in time.
 Clearly four years ago, I was seeing the plane crash as some type of coup.

“But, the plane crash looks like a coup, and that originated in Poland. But who in Poland, which faction?”

Sikorski went to Washington before the soil had settled on the deceased. And Donald Tusk, is very influential in Poland today. Let's look back at Donald Tusk before the Polish president was killed.


Donald Tusk was no friend to the Polish President Kaczyn'ski (the one who died in the plane)

“ From 2007 until Kaczyn'ski's death in the Smolensk air disaster in 2010, policy differences between the two offices were a constant source of division, with the president employing his limited veto powers numerous times over the government's legislation; Tusk's government lacked a 60 percent threshold to overturn such vetoes”

Cui Bono?


Looks to me as if some very long term planning has been ongoing......

During the Maidan thuggery. Poland was busily promoting pro-fascist propaganda in support of the thugs in Kiev to the Polish viewers

This video from  EuroMaidan PR



All Polish TV channels and radio stations supported Ukraine with this song Saturday night.

Propaganda... it’s so insidious

One last read from John Pilger

US Paratroopers go to Poland/Polish Defence Minister goes to Washington

Readers here may have noticed that paratroopers arrived in Poland
The first 150 of 600 being moved into the general area. What will the paratroopers be used for in this situation? Will they be dropping into Russian territory?

U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland on Wednesday as part of a wave of U.S. troops heading to shore up America's Eastern European allies in the face of Russian meddling in Ukraine. 
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said an initial contingent of about 600 troops will head to four countries across Eastern Europe for military exercises over the next month.
First, about 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy, are arriving in Poland.
Additional Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and are expected to arrive by Monday for similar land-based exercises in those countries
Poland's Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak came to Washington just last week 
Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak

In Washington, Siemoniak met with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other government officials, including Sen. Carl. Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Polish defense minister spoke with Defense News on April 16.

Q. Can you talk about your visit to Washington?
A. The main part of the agenda definitely is the meeting with Secretary Hagel in the Pentagon. There are some elements that are connected with history as well, because we are visiting the Arlington Cemetery tomorrow and we are also visiting the battlefield of Manassas. We are meeting Sen. Levin and Professor Zbigniew Brzezinski. [We’re also] meeting Marcin Gortat, who is a Polish basketball player in the NBA league. He is a person who is very much engaged in providing assistance to veterans and to children of veterans in Poland, and we really appreciate what he does.
So, in Poland we have attached great significance to these talks. And Polish public opinion is very much interested in what is happening here, especially because at the same time there are different, important things happening in NATO.

Q. How do feel about the state of the NATO alliance?
A. We are heading to the NATO summit in September in the UK. The question was about what kind of NATO we are going to have after [the International Security and Assistance Force in Afghanistan]. Paradoxically, because of the crisis [in Ukraine], we know what NATO needs after ISAF is completed.
This is an alliance that [needs to] perform its traditional role, focusing on the collective defense of its allies. But also the alliance must remember and must be true to its commitments in other parts of the world; the point is not for the alliance to withdraw from such operations as Afghanistan or operations in other places.
But it is also important for most of the member states to go back to the level of defense spending that would guarantee that capabilities would grow and not deteriorate. Poland has acted in the other direction, because for the last five years our defense spending in real terms has grown by 25 percent. But when you look at a table that would put the trends on the different member states of the alliance, we could see that in most cases, or in many cases in real terms, the defense spending dropped.
There are two reasons for that situation. First of all, it is about a financial crisis and the necessity to introduce radical cuts, and defense is a very convenient place where you cut first. And it was also because of the sense of, over Europe, that there no threats anymore. That we should focus rather on such operations as the one in Afghanistan or in Africa, and the traditional threats that were a problem for Europe for dozens of years do not exist anymore. But it turned out to be a false statement, and the history reminded Europe about itself.

Q. What would you like to see the US or NATO provide Poland? Would you like to see greater presence of US aircraft or troops?
A. I would like to focus on the long-term consequences resulting from this crisis. What we would like to see very much in Poland is the development of NATO and American infrastructure and an increasing military presence of both the US and NATO in our country.
This is about all of the elements that contribute to the development of our defense capabilities, starting with an air defense [and] Air Force. An excellent example of that is the F-16 aviation detachment that has been operational in Poland for the last year and a half. See the capability it opens up. It allows for a really rapid reception of American support, because the American troops in the aviation detachment have a permanent presence in the airfield of Lask, so there is no problem to receive any additional support immediately.
Special operations forces and the support of our special operations forces is a very strong point in our agenda. We are now talking about the deepening of the F-16 program, and we are in the process of acquiring the [Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff] missile to be mounted on F-16s.
Please note that we are not [pursuing] the idea of increasing the American military presence in Poland, nor of us decreasing our own effort and our own obligations. But if we do it together with the United States, it would generate great synergy for security in the whole region.

I see many people blaming Poland as if they are acting independently,but, it seems that Poland is working hand in glove with the US.

Q. How large of an American or NATO presence do you envision? Do you envision base size or a smaller rotational presence?
A. I wouldn’t like the discussion to focus now on the specific number of troops, because it is not only about Poland. It is about the alliance. What has been happening today in Brussels indicates that our military authorities of the alliance ... they make their assessment on the basis of the situation of all the member states and the situation of individual countries in the region. I do not want to create an impression of it being a race. I would not like it to be a race of the member states of the alliance from the eastern regions of NATO.
Poland is very much interested in increasing the allied American presence in Poland. What is important to us is to cover diverse areas with this presence. But Army presence or an Army base would be a very visible testimony to the American boots on the Polish ground. I count on these discussions, as well as discussions in the Pentagon that will bring us closer to the solution.
And it is generally about US presence in Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, the American presence kept being reduced. From the military perspective, it does matter how many American troops are in Europe. It is not that important in what particular place in Europe the American troops are deployed. However, it seems that the physical presence in Eastern Europe now is very much justified. We have significant grounds for putting American presence in the eastern regions of Poland.

Q. Can you talk about some of the new military equipment Poland is looking to buy?
A. We are now in the process of the tender for 70 multirole helicopters. Our calendar assumes that the contract would be signed in late 2014 or early 2015. We are in talks with three bidders. It is an incredibly complicated tender. Competitors are really very strong. Our expectation is that the production process of the helicopters would be largely based in Poland.
Two out of the three bidders who are involved in the talks, Sikorsky and AgustaWestland, they have invested in Poland by the acquisition of the manufacturing plant. The third bidder, which is Eurocopter, they declared that they will either build or buy a plant to produce the helicopter in Poland.
And our plan is that upon the completion of this process and the acquisition of those helicopters at the turn of 2017, 2018, we will start the process for the acquisition of combat attack helicopters.

Q. Poland has expressed interest in buying aerial refueling tankers. Are there plans still to do this?
A. Because we have considered a number of different options, I decided to send a letter of intent concerning our joining the European [Defence Agency] program. We simply came to a conclusion that this capability is too expensive for us and we don’t have a need to have our own capability at this time.
There are also other programs of this sort in Europe that allow for the increase in copter capabilities of individual member states without the necessity to buy all those capabilities individually, and this is how we are involved in the AWACS program or the [C-17 Strategic Airlift Capability]. If the air-to-air [tanker] program will develop as well as the previous ones ... I think that it will be as successful as the previous programs.

Q. What are some of your other modernization priorities?
A. The priority for us is the air defense, short-range missiles defense. We recently also awarded the contract for the trainer aircraft; it is eight modern Italian aircraft that we decided to buy. We are developing the program for the acquisition of UAVs.

Q. What are some of your military service acquisition goals?
A. In terms of the Navy, we had quite a long pause in the acquisitions, but now we have adopted a concept to develop the Navy by 2030. We initiated the development of mine destroyers as well as the modern patrol craft. Now we are in a dialogue with the bidders for [a] submarine.
As far as the Army is concerned now, last year we extended the program for the acquisition of the armored personnel carrier. It is produced in Poland and it is licensed by Finnish [company] Patria. We want to develop, increase its presence in our Army. Last year, we also got 119 [Leopard 2A5] tanks from Germany. We want to have two brigades that would operate the Leopard tanks.
It seems that our 10-year-long modernization program covers all the most important areas of the needs in terms of our capabilities. In the previous 10 years, a service of the armed forces that was mostly modernized was the Air Force. We purchased 48 F-16s, 16 CASA transportation aircraft and a helicopter program, so these are elements that are going up with the Air Force. ■

Poland and the US are clearly working quite closely behind the NATO shield

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

US not ready to admit it can’t run the show around globe — Sergei Lavrov

I have updated the post to include the video of the entire interview- with thanks to Saker for bringing it to my attention. It's well worth taking the 30 minutes needed to watch it entirely
Sergei Lavrov has way more class then John Kerry!
Video below


Sergei Lavrov in his own words- straight shootin'

The United States can’t admit that it is unable to manage processes around the world from Washington single-handedly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with RT television channel.

“As I said, the point is not Ukraine. Ukraine is only one case that shows the United States’ unwillingness to make concessions in the geopolitical struggle,” Lavrov said.

“The Americans are not ready to admit that they can’t single-handedly run the show in all corners of the planet from Washington, that they can’t impose their ready decisions on everyone,” he said.

“And they can’t realize — that is, I think they are already beginning to realize but still keep instinctively adhering to the position that they don’t need to take into account the opinions and interests of others,” the Russian foreign minister said.

“You know that in response to a demand to vacate the illegally occupied buildings in Kiev, [US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs] Victoria Nuland said that ‘everything that is still being held by protesters is being held with licenses and with the agreement of the government of Ukraine… or with regular leases from the owners of the building’,” he said.

“It’s just incredible! It’s hard to believe that they may use such arguments seriously,” Lavrov said.

Given the abundance of absurdities coming from the US administration it isn't hard to believe they would use such arguments, seriously.

Interview in full




Drunken 18 yr old female taken from PM Harper's residence

Keep in  mind that the legal drinking age is 19 in Ontario
Conservative values?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/incoming/article18123901.ece/ALTERNATES/w220/web-24-sussex-drive-prime-minister-canada-residence.jpg
PM residence


Notice the media sat on this story? 
Why? 

Medical authorities intervened at 24 Sussex Dr. over the weekend after a young party-goer suffered from severe intoxication.
The Ottawa Paramedic Service confirmed that an 18-year-old girl was brought to hospital after suffering from “possible alcohol intoxication” at an event at the Prime Minister’s official residence.
The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19, but the RCMP, which is responsible for security at 24 Sussex, said it will not intervene.
“We are aware of the Ottawa [Emergency Medical Services] attending the residence,” said RCMP spokeswoman Lucy Shorey. “This was a medical call and not a police matter.”
 It would be a police matter if this was at your house or my house

The Prime Minister’s Office refused to state whether Stephen or Laureen Harper were present during the party, and whether this was a celebration of Ben’s 18th birthday.

Sun
 An 18-year-old woman had to be carted away from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's official residence Saturday night for a suspected case of alcohol poisoning.
The RCMP, who are responsible for protecting the PM and his family, said paramedics from Ottawa's Emergency Services were called to 24 Sussex Dr. and took away in an ambulance what was believed to be an unconscious or semi-conscious woman.

The media wants us to believe it was PM Harper's son Benjamin party Was it?
Why should we assume that?
If it was, shouldn't PM Harper and Laureen the cat lover make sure underage drinkers get home safely?

Interview: Rick Rozoff/Stephen Lendman


artworks-000075358812-4waqyl-crop

Progressive Radio News Hour – Rick Rozoff – 04/18/14

Rozoff is an activist, anti-war supporter, Stop NATO web site editor. He documents and opposes global militarist trends throughout a […]

Monday, April 21, 2014

Killers & their inspiration in Syria. Elections called. US debates 'game changer' weapons

Syria- can't forget Syria. 
And now there are two updates!!!!
 
Hoping you did not miss the fact that  Syria has removed or destroyed 80% of it's chems
and all expectations are that Syria will have 100 percent removal in short order.
A bit of a round up-

The NATO media wants us to believe Syria is locked into a civil war... The situation in Syria has never been that simple. To define what has been going on in Syria as a civil war is newspeak. Double talk. In Syria there has been a destabilization. Backed, aided, supported, abetted, nurtured, created by NATO.
And  just recently studied by those that brought these fighters into play- This study was funded in part by Canadian taxpayer dollars- Probably trying to figure out if the taxpayer expenditure was getting good results in spreading extremist ideology, globally. Canadian-funded study explores how foreign fighters in Syria use social media And if not how to improve the situation.
More on the study in this article: Two Thirds of (foreign) Rebel Fighters In Syria Are European Citizens
Two thirds of the rebel fighters in Syria are citizens of European countries, says a report of the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.
According to the report, entitled "Greenbirds: Measuring importance and influence in Syrian Foreign Fighter Networks'", around 10% of the foreign fighters are from Eastern Europe, Bulgaria included.

The largest share of foreign fighters comes from the UK - 17.9% of fighters in Syria were from the UK, based on their database of 190 fighters identified from their social media accounts.

There is also a considerable number of citizens of France – 11.6%, Germany – 11.1%, Sweden – 10%, 8.9% from Belgium and 6.3% from the Netherlands. The report claims that there is a total of 5.3% citizens of Australia, Canada and the US.
The investigation said that they created a database of the social media profiles of 190 Western and European foreign fighters. More than two thirds of these fighters are affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusrah or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to the report.
 The database revealed that more than two-thirds of the fighters are affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusrah or the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) – two groups that are said to have connections to al Qaeda.
***Keep that Al Qaeda connection in mind when you read the final story in this post!

So, it really is a global army of mercs drawn from every corner of the world
And what is very interesting is that the inspiration for this global army of fighters comes from the West.
Which seems strange, on the surface, but  maybe not so much?
Here is the report/study I am quoting from- PDF format
Take the time to look through that report.. interesting
 
The two inspirational leaders?
Ahmad Musa Jibril
syria-jihadis-twitter.jpg

Ahmad Musa Jibril is a Palestinian-American cleric
born in Dearborn, Michigan, in the United States
in 1972. He spent a portion of his childhood in
Madinah, Saudi Arabia, where his father was
a student at the Islamic University.
Jibril then returned to the United States and completed high
school before also enrolling at the Islamic Universiy
in Madinah, reading for a degree in Shariah. He later
completed a JD and LLM at Michigan law school.
In 2004, Jibril and his father were convicted on a string of federal
offences, including ‘42 charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud,
money laundering, failure to file income tax returns and felon-in-
possession of firearms and ammunition.’

 Musa Cerantonio

Musa Cerantonio is a 29 year old Australian cleric of
Irish and Italian heritage. He converted to Islam from
Catholicism at the age of 17 and has spent time
studying Islam in the Middle East. He has hosted
numerous English-language shows on Iqraa TV
which is based in Egypt and broadcasts via satellite
around the world.
Two of his most important shows are ‘Our Legacy,’ which covers Islamic
history and civilisation, and ‘Ask the Sheikh,’ a live call-in show where viewers are able to ask him questions relating to Islamic jurisprudence.

Although he has an account on Twitter, Musa Cerantonio is not an
active user of the platform.

Hmmmmm a Saudi with a dirty past and and Italian/Irish convert? Strange.

Syrian election date set


A June 3rd/14 election date for Syria has been set- No word yet on if Assad will run.
But let’s put it this way, his popularity is so high in Syria who could run against him and win?
Syria announces presidential election for June 3
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (centre L) talks to soldiers during his visit to Maaloula town, northeast of Damascus April 20, 2014, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. Assad on Sunday visited Maaloula, an ancient Christian town recaptured from rebels last week, state media said, as he seeks to persuade minorities that the government is their best protection against hardline Islamists.


Last but not least- White House Debates ‘Game-Changer’ Weapon For Syria
“The introduction of manpads could be a game-changer in Syria, like it was in Afghanistan in the 1980s with Stinger missiles,” an Arab official tells TIME, adding that he believes the Obama Administration has begun discussing the idea more seriously. Other sources say the issue is being debated at the White House, but that strong doubts remain about the wisdom of providing missiles to the rebels.
The issue is newly relevant amid recent reports that Syrian fighters are now using U.S.-made anti-tank weapons against Assad’s forces. Experts say it’s unlikely those weapons could have wound up in Syria without U.S. approval.
 Al qaeda with manpads! Why not Obama, been there done that before!

Updates begin:

1st: State Department nonsense via Fox news- Obama administration: 'Indications' chemical weapons used, again, in Syria

I went through this latest chemical weapon use more then a week ago:

First on April 11-  4 alleged chemical attacks being investigated by US/UK/Israel in Syria

Then again on April 13 - US is looking into new Syria chemical weapons claim

I suspect the US is pushing this psyop because Syria is going to hold an election June 3rd/2014
See above (highlighted) Obviously Mr Assad is going to win, hands down, because the Syrian people are fully supportive of him and their military.

What I really want to point out is the statement from the  ill informed Jay Carney and I quote

Jay Carney - noted that under last year's deal, 65 percent of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles have been removed for destruction, and "that process continues."

Mr Carney- 80 percent have been removed( see top of this post) Get your facts straight, please.

The Armenian community in Syria support Bashar Assad and the Syrian army

In his opinion, Bashar Assad is the preferred candidate of the Armenian community in Syria.
“The Syrian government troops have recently achieved serious success. The chemical weapons destruction process is expected to finish by the end of the month.80% of chemical weapons have been destroyed as of today,” Hayk Kocharian said.
 Gosh, even Hayk knows 80 percent of the weapons are gone and it should be 100 percent by month's end
Quick someone tell Jay Carney ;)

Putin playing long game over Russian kin in Ukraine

Interesting title and an interesting analysis 

 Russia's decision last week to sign a peace accord on Ukraine does not mean that the Kremlin is backing down, rather that President Vladimir Putin is prepared to be patient in pursuit of his ultimate objective.
That aim, his own reflections and those of people close to his way of thinking seem to indicate, is one day to re-unite Russian speaking peoples, including those living within the borders of Ukraine, within one common home.
I am really not so sure that this is the Russian objective. It seems some western analysts believe or want us to believe that, but, why should we?

As a skilled tactician, Putin knows that to push too fast to achieve this ambition could be damaging for Russia - as demonstrated by the Western threat of tough sanctions and Europe's rush to wean itself off Russian gas supplies.
Signing the four-way agreement on Ukraine in Geneva last week, and thereby showing the West that it was willing to compromise, made tactical sense for Russia.
Putin the tactician. A common western claim.

With another four years before he needs to seek re-election, and the strong chance of winning another 6-year term after that, Putin can take his time, giving him an advantage over his Western rivals whose policies are driven by more short-term imperatives.
"Now the main thing is to keep the powder dry and be prepared for the eventuality that the crisis in Ukraine is going to last a long time," said Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, a journal which has the Russian foreign minister on its editorial board.
"Agreements will be broken and then made again. Russia, for once, is not on the defensive, it is advancing. That means it doesn't have to get flustered and can keep ploughing its furrow."
Putin's long game means he is unlikely to actively seek to involve Russian in an armed conflict over Ukraine any time soon.
Very important because the talking heads drone endlessly on about troops at the border. Imminent invasion etc. But, if Putin is in for the long haul why would have have to actively seek out armed conflict?
UNLESS, certain parties who are very interested in armed conflict keep pushing the issue- NATO

But equally, it means that European states will have to adapt to a long-term future when persistent sanctions complicate their trade relations and with the threat of disruption to their Russian gas supplies hanging over them constantly.
Why do European states have to adapt to that 'long term future'? They can simply not participate in the sanctions.

PUTIN'S TACTICS
The Kremlin's official objectives in Ukraine are limited: protecting Russia's own security, countering NATO expansion, and helping Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine if they come under threat of persecution. Russia denies any plans to invade.
Omitting the rehashing  of the Geneva Agreement.... and the shooting mentioned in yesterday's post
Shooting near Slavyansk Ukraine/ Sniper reports

Still, people close to the talks said they were notable because it was the first time, in multiple attempts, that Russian's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has sat down for discussions on Ukraine with a mandate to do a deal.
It appeared to me that Sergei Lavrov has attempted to 'do a deal' on a number of previous occasions-
By showing it was prepared to talk, the diplomat said, the Kremlin relieved the diplomatic pressure that was building, and bought some time before further sanctions were imposed.

"Talks and compromises are just part of his (Putin's) tactics," said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity and stressed he was expressing his private opinion. "He wants to have Ukraine."
Anonymous diplomats making inflammatory claims are very unhelpful. It seems to be a reinforcement of negative stereotypes- So far all I have seen in this situation is US refusal to negotiate or to get their coup/technocrats operating at some credible level. Admittedly that would be difficult. Maybe the US doesn't even care about the credibility of the technocrats in Kiev?

Russia's offer of compromise could widen differences inside the Western coalition assembled against the Kremlin, something that would only benefit the Kremlin.

There are already differences between the United States, which is hawkish on sanctions, and a more cautious Europe where many countries are determined to avoid a costly confrontation.
If European leadership was less pea brained they would send the US packing back across the Atlantic

A COMMON FUTURE

Behind the standard, official Kremlin line on its objectives in Ukraine, when Putin or his associates offer up occasional glimpses of what he is thinking, evidence emerges of a more expansive set of aims.

On Thursday, during a question and answer session that was televised live, Putin at one point reflected on how during tsarist rule, large parts of eastern and southern Ukraine belonged to Russia and were known as Novorossiya - literally, New Russia.

"All these were territories which were handed over to Ukraine in the 1920s by the Soviet government. Why they did that, God knows," he said.
Those remarks were a brief interlude in a programme which lasted just short of four hours and covered dozens of topics, but they were noted by Kremlin-watchers as highly significant.
I noticed the western media jumped on this Novorossiya recounting. And this brought me back to the story about Ukraine have no defined borders. As a nation state. Ukraine has no demarcated borders?

"Now the aim is Novorossiya," Andrei Illarionov, a former economic advisor to Putin who is now a critic, wrote on his blog, setting out what he believes is the Kremlin's thinking. "It is the historic mission of the Russian person."
Andrei may believe he knows what the Kremlin is thinking, but, does he?
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, when asked to elaborate on what Putin had meant by his comments on "Novorossiya" and Tsarist-era borders, declined to comment.

The thesis of a Russian nation divided by artificial national borders has been developed by people who are close to Putin's way of thinking. These include senior figures in the Russian Orthodox Church.

Putin displayed his closeness to the church on Saturday night when he appeared at an Easter service in Moscow's Church of Christ the Saviour, and received a personal blessing from Patriarch Kirill, leader of the church.

"Millions of Russian people live, and continue to live, in Ukraine, several million Ukrainians continue to live in Russia," said Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the church's external relations department and one of the patriarch's closest aides.
"We have a common language, a common culture, we have a common past and I believe deeply that we have a common future," he said in comments posted on the church's Internet site.

"The political state of affairs which replaces simple common sense, interferes in people's fates, destroys them, and like a knife cuts through human relationships, tearing the ties between peoples, is, after all, only temporary in nature."

I really like that last paragraph