Putin mocks the West and threatens to turn off gas supplies

Putin mocks the West and threatens to turn off gas supplies
Vladimir Putin has mocked diplomatic efforts to end the Ukraine crisis as Russia threatened to disrupt European gas supplies by cutting off sales to Kiev over its unpaid debts. The Russian president said through his official spokesman that, despite deep disagreements with the West, he did not want a confrontation over Ukraine to spiral into a “new cold war”.

Ukraine crisis: What’s the point of US military activity near Russia?
If stepped-up US military activity with NATO partners such as Poland and Lithuania seems like a paltry response to Russia’s military occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea province, there’s a reason for that. The modest US show of force – a handful of jet fighters in Eastern European skies and a single warship to the Black Sea – is intended more to calm the nerves of former Soviet republics and satellites nervous about Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, regional experts say, than it is designed to send Russia into retreat with its tail between its legs. 

Crimea Base Incident Exposes Danger of Escalation in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin is showing no signs of heeding western calls to ease the standoff in Crimea, where there were reports that armed attackers forced their way into a Ukrainian military base before withdrawing.

Talk of war dominates discussion in Kyiv’s Maidan
War was the last thing Ukrainian protesters had in mind 13 weeks ago when they launched the spiralling demonstrations that ultimately topped their government. But war — and the diminishing ways to avoid it — now dominates discussion on the Maidan, the central square in Kyiv that symbolizes Ukraine’s hoped-for fresh start.

For Putin, the Ukraine is About More Than Just Territory
It was a little over 48 hours since enraged protesters based at Kiev’s Maidan opposition camp had driven Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from power, but the shockwaves were already being felt on the glitzy streets of central Moscow. 

Russian UN ambassador comes out swinging on leaked call
During that Feb. 26 call, Churkin says that the Estonian minister told Ashton the snipers who shot protesters and police in Kiev’s Maidan Square were hired by the Ukrainian opposition. Under the headline: “Behind Ukraine snipers was not Yanukovych, but new coalition,” Voice of Russia reported what it said was the transcript of the conversation, which had clearly been intercepted by hackers or a foreign intelligence service bent on embarrassing the West and its NATO allies.

Russia has miscalculated over Crimea incursion, says Hague
Russia has made a “big miscalculation” in entering Crimea, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned. He told the BBC that Western countries could impose “far-reaching” economic sanctions if no diplomatic solution was reached between Russia and Ukraine. Mr Hague also said European countries could reduce energy supplies from Russia and import more gas from the US. 

EU slaps initial sanctions on Russia
The European Union suspended talks with Russia on a wide-ranging economic pact and a visa agreement Thursday in response to its military incursion into Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, threatening tougher sanctions unless Moscow swiftly defuses the crisis.

Ukraine ramifications: What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?

the U.S. and Russia almost certainly won’t come to blows over Ukraine. But what if they did?  
The Russian Perspective: “There Will Be War In Ukraine”
With Ukrainians living in the Crimea region voting to join Russia, the West calling for sanctions (well some of the West), boots still on the ground, and markets apparently of the belief that all is well in the world once again, we thought the Russian perspective on the next steps was useful… 

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