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Invading Crimea Has Harmed Russia’s Economy

Crimea Russian Propaganda

The invasion of Crimea may have cost Russia a lot more than it expected: MOSCOW — Russia’s economy has been hit hard by the turmoil in neighboring Ukraine, Kremlin officials said Wednesday, as pro-Russia separatists battled to take over more territory in Ukraine’s east — and potentially add to Moscow’s economic burden. Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea […]

NATO Plans New Deployments In Response To Russia


NATO seems intent on sending a signal to Vladmir Putin that there are limits to his patience.

It’s Not Over in Ukraine


Via the BBC:  Nato alarm at east Ukraine violence. Lots of details, so just follow the link.

New Argentine Peso Features the Falklands


Via the BBC:  Argentina launches Falklands currency note to mark anniversary Argentina has launched a new 50-peso currency note featuring a map of the Falkland Islands to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the invasion of the British archipelago. First, given the debacle that was the invasion of the Falklands/Las Islas Malvinas by the Argentine military, […]

Where Is Transnistria?


The future may hold a lot of vehement arguing over insignificant bits of territory.

T-Shirt Activism


Via FP’s Passport:  Ukrainian Hipsters Say No to Sex with Russians.

1,000 Years Of European History In Under 4 Minutes


A reminder of just how much the borders of Europe have changed from the mid-12th Century to today:

Crimeans Endorse Secession, Union With Russia. What’s Next?

Crimea Russian Propaganda

As everyone anticipated, the Crimean referendum came out in favor of secession from Ukraine and union with Russia. What happens next is another question entirely.

Some History of Separatist Referenda


See Alicia P. Q. Wittmeyer at FP’s Passport blog.

More Information on the Crimean Referendum Ballot


Via the BBC:  Crimea referendum: What does the ballot paper say? A quick note:  it should be understood that the option to revert to the Crimean Constitution of 1992 is not a vote for returning to the pre-crisis relationship to Ukraine, but is returning to a period in which Crimea was more autonomous.  Indeed, as […]

A Journey Through Maps of Crimea


Via the BBC:  Ukraine maps chart Crimea’s troubled past. (Plus a video).

On the Crimean Referendum


More on the pending referendum and some thoughts on elections in authoritarian contexts.

Divisions in Crimea


Crimea is more divided than Russia would have the world believe. Plus: the Crimean government has no legitimacy at the moment.

Crimea to Join Russia?


Via the BBC:  Ukraine crisis: Crimea parliament asks to join Russia MPs in Crimea have asked Moscow to allow the southern Ukrainian region to become part of the Russian Federation. Parliament said if its request was granted, Crimean citizens could give their view in a referendum on 16 March. Because, of course, nothing screams legitimate […]

Ukraine, NATO, and the EU


The West owes Ukraine nothing.

More Ukrainian Maps


Supplementing the maps regarding the political, ethnic, and economic context of the current situation in Ukraine, Talking Points Memo has an interesting post up showing the evolution of the borders in what is presently called Ukraine going back the 15th Century and a time when Russia as we know it today barely existed. There’s not […]

Yanukovych Out in Ukraine?


Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has been forced out of Kyiv—and possibly out of power entirely.

Amusing Headline of the Day


Via the BBC:  Synthetic lingerie ban in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. From the video clip: “Why are you afraid of panties?” she shouts.

Unemployment in Greece


Via the BBC:  Greece jobless rate hits new record of 28% The jobless rate in Greece reached a record high of 28% in November, according to newly released government figures. The rate increased from 27.7% in the previous month. For those under the age of 25, unemployment hit 61.4%. Harsh austerity measures have led the […]

Foreign Journalists Harassing Russian Gays More Than Putin?


Some perspective from Sochi.

“Fuck The EU,” Says America’s Top Europe Diplomat


Victoria Nuland, Asistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, pithily expressed her frustrations about the European Union.

Vodka and Russian Male Life Expectancy


Via the the BBC, some pretty stunning numbers:  Vodka blamed for high death rates in Russia: The high number of early deaths in Russia is mainly due to people drinking too much alcohol, particularly vodka, research suggests. The study, in The Lancet, says 25% of Russian men die before they are 55, and most of […]

Ukraine’s Government Resigns


Via the BBC:  Ukraine’s PM Azarov and government resign Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych has accepted the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet amid continuing anti-government protests. Mykola Azarov had offered to step down as prime minister to create "social and political compromise" [...] In his resignation statement, Prime Minister Azarov said: "To create […]

Ukrainian Government Considers State of Emergency


Via the BBC:  Ukraine justice minister in state of emergency warning Ukraine’s justice minister has warned anti-government protesters occupying her ministry she will call for a state of emergency if they do not leave. Olena Lukash told local media she would ask the National Security and Defence Council to introduce the measures. The ministry became […]

Sort of Like the Undead of Politicians…


Via the BBC:  Italy reform deal puts Berlusconi back centre stage. Zombie Richard Nixon must be sooooo jealous.

Not Just a US Phenomenon


That is, politicians blaming homosexuality for natural disasters. Via the BBC:   UKIP suspends councillor who blamed flooding on gay marriage Councillor David Silvester from Henley-on-Thames defected from the Conservatives to the UK Independence Party [...] In the letter to the Henley Standard he wrote: "The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that […]

Some of his Best Friends…


Not The Onion, but the BBC:  Winter Olympics: Putin ‘friendly’ with gay people "I myself know some people who are gay," he said. "We’re on friendly terms. I’m not prejudiced in any way." Perhaps in the Russian the irony of this type of denial in this type of context is lost.

Merkel Injured Cross-Country Skiing


Via the NYT:  German Leader Injured in Skiing Accident Chancellor Angela Merkel has canceled most of her meetings for the next three weeks after doctors ordered her to rest in bed following a fall while cross-country skiing in Switzerland over the Christmas holiday, her spokesman said Monday. [...] She originally believed she had only been […]

World War II’s Latest Victim

WW2 Bomb

Nearly 70 years after it ended, World War II has claimed another life: We can actually blame Nazis for another death from World War II. A driver of a bulldozer was killed in the western German town of Euskirchen on Friday when a yet-to-be-identified World War II bomb exploded during construction work. Eight others were injured in […]

Far Right Anti-Immigrant Groups Grow In Eastern Europe


One of the responses we’ve seen in Western Europe over the past two decades is the rise of groups on the right vehemently opposed to immigration that has coincided with the increased numbers of immigrants, both refugees and otherwise, from the Middle East and other parts of the world. It’s manifested itself in the form […]

Anti-Government Protests Hit Ukraine

Ukraine Protests

Ukraine was gripped yesterday by massive anti-government protests inspired by tensions over the  nation’s ties to Europe and Russia and security crackdowns: KIEV, Ukraine — Enraged by a violent crackdown by security forces, Ukrainians took to the streets with new, revolutionary urgency on Sunday, with hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of President […]

Berlusconi Expelled From Italian Senate


Silvio Berlusconi has been expelled from the Italian Senate: ROME — Having spent months manufacturing procedural delays or conjuring political melodrama in hopes of saving himself, Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday could no longer stave off the inevitable: Italy’s Senate resoundingly stripped him of his parliamentary seat, a dramatic and humiliating expulsion, even as other potential troubles […]

Euro Zone Jobless Rate Remains At 12.5%, Solutions Seem Out Of Reach


The economy of the Euro Zone remains in quiet dire straits, unless you’re lucky enough to live in Germany.

The White House’s Non-Denial Denial Of Charges That Angela Merkel’s Phone Was Monitored


Reports began circulating today that the National Security Agency may have been monitoring the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel: The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel has called President Barack Obama after receiving information that U.S. intelligence may have targeted her mobile phone. Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel made clear in Wednesday’s call […]

German Exit Polls


The BBC is reporting that the CDU/CSU is polling at 42% and the SPD at 25%.  Long-term observers of German politics will be interested to know that the FDP may not make the 5% threshold needed to remain in parliament. The election appears to be shaping up as expected.  It would also seem that a […]

German Elections Tomorrow


Via the BBC:  Germany election: Rival parties in last push for votes Germany’s rival parties are in their final day of campaigning ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Polls suggest Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats will win the biggest share of the vote. But her current coalition partners, the Free Democrats, may not pass the 5% […]

And Now for Something Completely Different


A bit of levity to distract from all the Syria talk (via the BBC):  Vladimir Putin ‘underwear’ painting removed from Russian gallery Police in Russia have seized a painting depicting the country’s president Vladimir Putin in women’s underwear from an art gallery in St Petersburg. The portrait features President Putin combing the hair of Russian […]

How Times Have Changed: France, Not England, Joins US Coalition of Willing


Could anyone have imagined a decade ago a scenario when the United States would go to war with France by our side and England on the sidelines?

Brits v. the Yanks


An Example of How Institutions Matter.

Resistance to Syria Action in the British Parliament


Via the BBC:  Labour could still vote against government over Syria MPs had been due to vote on whether the UK should launch an attack against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. But David Cameron was forced to back down after Labour said it wanted to wait for UN inspectors to report first. [...] Mr Cameron was […]

Greece May Need More Aid


It’s been nearly a year since the economic crisis in Greece reared its ugly head, but there are signs now that the nation may need to turn to Europe (read, mostly Germany) for more aid in the near future: Greece may need a third bailout but would not accept new austerity measures, the Greek finance […]

Former Obama Adviser Goes To Work For British Conservatives

Jim Messina

The architect of President Obama’s re-election campaign is going to work for the Tories.

Poor Prince Charles


Via the BBC:  Philippe becomes new Belgian king as Albert II abdicates. Plus: King Albert’s abdication comes only three months after Queen Beatrix of the neighbouring Netherlands vacated the Dutch throne in favour of her son Willem-Alexander.

Same-Sex Marriage Legalized In England & Wales


With the final formality of Royal Assent granted today, same-sex marriage has been legalized in at least part of the United Kingdom: The Queen gave her approval to the Bill – one of the most radical pieces of social legislation of her reign – this afternoon. It opens the way for the first legally recognised […]

Russian Court Convicts Dead Man


A prominent Kremlin critic who has been dead for several years has been convicted of tax evasion: MOSCOW — The steel cage reserved for the defendants was empty Thursday, which was not surprising since one of them is dead and the other lives in London. The judge’s voice was nearly inaudible. And as he read […]

French Decry U.S. Surveillance Programs, Are Discovered To Have Their Own Surveillance Program

France Surveillance

The French were indignant about reports of the NSA’s surveillance programs. Now we know they have own of their own.

U.S. Faces More Blowback Over Revelations Of Spying On Allies

Half american - Half european flag waving in the wind - clipping path included

The blowback from yesterday’s revelations about U.S. surveillance on European allies continues.

Autobahn Sniper Shot 762 Vehicles


A German truck driver has the worst documented case of road rage in history.

Berlusconi Convicted On Underage Sex Charges


Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted on charges that he paid for sex with an underage girl while he was in office: ROME — A court in Milan on Monday found former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi guilty of paying for sex with a minor and abusing his office to cover it up, […]

Obama’s Comments On Education In Northern Ireland Create Outrage On The Right

Obama Northern Ireland

Your latest Outrage Of The Day.

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