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Russians Are Getting A Very Different Version Of The Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Story

Vladimir Putin Russian Flag

If you live in Russia, you’re getting a different version of the story of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Russians Really, Really Like Vladimir Putin, And That Makes Ending The Ukraine Crisis Harder

Putin Smirk

Vladimir Putin has become immensely popular in Russia again, and its not hard to figure out why.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 And The Future Of The Conflict In Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

Yesterday’s events are likely to be a game changer, but how the game plays out depends largely on how Europe reacts.

Italian Appeals Court Overturns Berlusconi Conviction On Underage Sex Charges

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has had his June 2013 conviction on underage sex charges overturned by an Italian appeals court: ROME — An appeals court in Milan on Friday overturned the conviction of the former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, for paying for sex with a minor, and revoked his seven-year prison sentence […]

Why Were Commercial Jets Flying Over Eastern Ukraine To Begin With?

Ukraine Airspace After MH17

Basically, the answer is that nobody really thought there was much of a risk that a plane could be shot down.

U.S. Intelligence Sources Confirm Malaysia Airlines Flight Hit By Surface-To-Air Missile

Malaysia Air Flight 17 Crash Scene

Someone took down a Boeing 777 over Ukraine today.

Malaysia Airlines 777 Crashes In Eastern Ukraine, May Have Been Shot Down

Malyasia Airlines 777

Another incident involving a Malaysia Airlines 777, but this one could be far more serious.

There Is No Such Thing as Europe

anglosphere

The English-speaking and Scandinavian countries are very different.

Sending Europe Mixed Messages

nato-ramussen-obama

My latest for The National Interest, “Europe’s Free Ride on the American-Defense Gravy Train,” has posted.

Tally me Banana?

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Cocaine valued at £25m found in banana delivery Cocaine with an estimated street value of £25m has been found hidden in a consignment of bananas from Colombia. Scotland Yard said 150kg of the drug was found packed into plastic bananas following an "intelligence-led" operation. Day-o, indeed.

Vladmir Putin Looks To Be Throwing The ‘Pro-Russian’ Ukrainian Separatists Under The Bus

Vladimir Putin Sunglasses

In the end, the separatists in eastern Ukraine have always been expendable as far as Vladimir Putin is concerned.

Implementation Of Europe’s ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ About As Absurd As You’d Expect

Google Privacy

Judging by the early results, the so-called “Right To Be Forgotten” recently created by Europe’s highest court is creating more problems than it will solve.

Yes, We Spy On Germany. Big Deal.

Obama Merkel

There’s a new round of allegations about American spying on Germany.

Institutional Design and Governance

constitution-preamble-quill-pen

A piece at Foreign Policy provides a chance to give some thought to institutions.

Barriers to US-Europe Trade Deal Remain

europe-usa-eu-flags

A US-EU free trade zone is a no-brainer. But the devil is in the details.

Ukrainians Score Big Victory Over Separatists

Russia Ukraine Flags

Ukrainian forces have recaptured the city of Slovyansk from pro-Russian separatists.

Heavy Fighting Returns To Eastern Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

The cease fire called by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is officially over: MOSCOW — Heavy fighting resumed in eastern Ukraine early Tuesday, including artillery shelling around the rebel-controlled city of Slovyansk, shortly after President Petro O. Poroshenko declared an end to a 10-day cease-fire and ordered government forces to renew their effort to squash the […]

Sarajevo and Europe, 100 Years Later

Gavrilo Princip

A century later, the shots fired in Sarajevo 100 years ago still echo.

Ukraine Signs Trade Deal With Europe

Ukraine EU Flags

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed the trade deal with Europe that his predecessor rejected, setting off a series of protests that led to him being deposed as well as a crisis in eastern Ukraine that continues to unfold: BRUSSELS — Seven months after Ukraine’s former president Viktor F. Yanukovych rejected a sweeping trade deal […]

The Queen Plays the Game of Thrones

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC: Queen and Prince Philip visit Game of Thrones film set. The trip is part of a three day visit to Northern Ireland. I find this photo quite amusing:

Solar Power in Germany

travel-suitcase

Via the Local:  Germany produces half of energy with solar Analysis from the Fraunhofer ISE research institute showed solar panels in Germany generated a record 24.24 GW of electricity between 1pm and 2pm on Friday, June 6th. And on Monday June 9th, which was a national holiday, solar power production peaked at 23.1 GW, which […]

Is The Next Crimea In Northern Kazakhstan?

Russian Kazakhstan Flags

While the world watches Ukraine, Central Asia could also be an area where Russia may seek to expand its territory.

U.S. Accuses Russia Of Arming Separatists

Russia Ukraine Flags

The Obama Administration is accusing the Russians of continuing the arm pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine despite previous claims by Moscow that they were not doing so: WASHINGTON — On a day that the Ukrainian government announced .a unilateral cease-fire in its battle with separatists in the country’s east, the Obama administration raised the stakes […]

Former CNN Reporter to Become Queen of Spain

queen-letizia-cnn

Seeing the tweet “Former CNN reporter to become Queen of Spain” from CNN, I was intrigued. Naturally, I wondered which CNN reporter. It turns out that Letizia, Princess of Asturias, who becomes queen tomorrow, is the former Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. Never heard of her? Me either. She didn’t actually report for CNN proper but rather something […]

Rumors Of A Ukrainian Cease Fire

Russia Ukraine Flags

The Presidents of Russia and Ukraine are apparently talking about a cease fire in Eastern Ukraine: MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, discussed a possible ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and the deaths of two Russian journalists there in a late night telephone conversation, the Kremlin said. The conversation “touched on […]

Meanwhile, In Ukraine

Russia Ukraine Flags

While the world’s attention is focused on Iraq, the situation in eastern Ukraine continues to slowly deteriorate, with the United States yesterday accusing the Russians of sending tanks to the separatists: DONETSK, Ukraine — The State Department said Friday that Russia had sent tanks and other heavy weapons to separatists in Ukraine, supporting accusations Thursday by the […]

The Day King Juan Carlos Saved Spanish Democracy

king-carlos-abdicates

James Joyner noted yesterday that Juan Carlos I, who has reigned as King of Spain since the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, would be abdicating the throne in favor of his son, whole will reign as Philip VII. In light of that story, Matthew Yglegias notes the crucial role that the Spanish King played […]

Far Right’s Rise In Europe Lays Largely In The Failures Of Mainstream Parties

European Parliament Building With Flags

Far right parties are succeeding in Europe because the mainstream parties aren’t offering an alternative.

Most Russian Troops Have Left Area Near Ukrainian Border

Russia Ukraine Flags

A potentially positive sign in the ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe: SINGAPORE — Russia has withdrawn most of its troops from the Ukrainian border, Pentagon officials said, but cautioned that some seven battalions, amounting to several thousand men, remain. Speaking to reporters aboard his flight to a regional security conference in Singapore, Defense Secretary Chuck […]

Ukrainian Rebels Down Helicopter, Killing 14 Soldiers

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Pro-Russian separatist rebels have downed a Ukrainian military helicopter as fighting in the east continues to flare in the wake of Sunday’s election: DONETSK, Ukraine — Rebels in eastern Ukraine shot down a military helicopter on Thursday morning, killing a Ukrainian general and 13 other soldiers, as the conflict in the country continued to heat […]

What Next For Ukraine?

Petro Poroshenko

They’ve got a new President, but there’s still much to do.

Is Europe Turning Right?

TurnRightAhead

Parties described as “far right” or “extreme right” have done very well in Europe’s most recent elections.

Ukrainian Billionaire Petro Poroshenko Wins Presidential Election

Petro Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko, a Ukrainian billionaire who has come to be known as the ‘Chocolate King’ due to the fact that he made most of his money selling candy, has apparently won the Ukrainian Presidential election by a wide enough margin to avoid a runoff: KIEV, Ukraine — With their country caught in a fierce tug-of-war […]

Putin Says He’ll Respect Results Of Ukraine Elections

Putin Smirk

On Sunday, Ukrainians will go to the polls in the first national elections since the popular uprising that led to the downfall of the Russian-leaning regime in Kiev, and Vladimir Putin says he’ll respect whatever results come from the election: ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Addressing an economic forum haunted by the prospect of more sanctions […]

Europe’s Far Right Finds A Friend In Putin

Vladimir Putin Sunglasses

The European far right has found a friend in an unlikely place.

Acquiring Crimea Vastly Increased Russia’s Potential Oil & Gas Reserves

Crimea Russian Propaganda

Not surprisingly, Russia’s acquisition of Crimea comes with quite a potential bonanza in natural resources.

Russian Separatists In Eastern Ukraine Declare Victory

Donetsk Protests

Within hours after a plebiscite that pretty much nobody outside of Russia viewed as legitimate, pro-Russian separatists had declared overwhelming victory for their side: DONETSK, Ukraine — Residents of two regions of eastern Ukraine turned out in significant numbers Sunday to vote in support of self-rule in a referendum that threatens to deepen divisions in […]

New Russian Law Requires Bloggers To Register With The Kremlin

Vladimir Putin Russian Flag

Vladimir Putin wants to put the Internet genie back in the bottle.

Citing Ukraine, Hagel Calls On NATO Allies To Contribute More To Defense

NATO

Speaking last week in Europe, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is calling on other members of NATO to meet the promises they made when it comes to defense funding: (Reuters) – Russia’s actions in Ukraine have shattered the myth of European security in the post-Cold War era and underscored the danger NATO allies have created by failing […]

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

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

It’s Not Over in Ukraine

travel-suitcase

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

New Argentine Peso Features the Falklands

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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?

Romania_MASSR_1920

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

T-Shirt Activism

travel-suitcase

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

1,000 Years Of European History In Under 4 Minutes

travel-suitcase

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

travel-suitcase

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

More Information on the Crimean Referendum Ballot

travel-suitcase

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

travel-suitcase

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

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