15
Mar
14

De Tocqueville’s prophecy

From de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America:

There are now two great nations in the world which, starting from different points, seem to be advancing toward the same goal: the Russians and the Anglo-Americans. Both have grown in obscurity, and while the world’s attention was occupied elsewhere, they have suddenly taken their place among the leading nations, making the world take note of their birth and of their greatness almost at the same instant. All other peoples seem to have nearly reached their natural limits and to need nothing but to preserve them; but these two are growing…. The American fights against natural obstacles; the Russian is at grips with men. The former combats the wilderness and barbarism; the latter, civilization with all its arms. America’s conquests are made with the plowshare, Russia’s with the sword. To attain their aims, the former relies on personal interest and gives free scope to the unguided strength and common sense of individuals. The latter in a sense concentrates the whole power of society in one man. One has freedom as the principal means of action; the other has servitude. Their point of departure is different and their paths diverse; nevertheless, each seems called by some secret desire of Providence one day to hold in its hands the destinies of half the world.

While the particular paths both the US and Russia forged from the mid-19th century until now don’t neatly fit de Tocqueville’s parameters—the US has not necessarily been shy in using military force—it’s as good a starting point for discussion as any.

Any cursory examination of the histories of both nations easily leads to the conclusion that both the US and Russia have had a sense of mission. That of the US is to spread democracy and self-determination across the globe. (Again, I’m speaking of self-conception, not reality on the ground.) Russia’s mission has been to see itself as defender of the Slavic peoples, and of Slavic Christianity; essentially, as the inheritor of Rome and Constantinople. It is a mission wrapped in mysticism and destiny. Even its 70 year sojourn under Communism was imbued with this mission, this time to make the world one large soviet. But at heart, Russia has seen itself as a natural great power, perhaps the greatest.

The idea that a thousand years of Russian culture would be eradicated by the fall of the Soviet empire was, at best, a fool’s dream. And I admit, I participated in it. I looked at summits between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin with relief and pride: two great enemies becoming partners, ushering the world into a new age free of great power conflicts.

And, truthfully, Russia was no longer a great power. Yes, it still had nuclear weapons; but the entire society was caving in on itself, of no threat to the West, dependent, in fact, on Western largesse. Bit by bit it became entrenched in the global economy, enmeshed in webs of finance and trade which are difficult to break.

But Russia’s rush to capitalism was based on theft. A few became the proverbial “Russian tycoon”, while the majority wallowed in penury. That was the first clue that things wouldn’t turn out quite the way as we optimists hoped. And politically there was always a strong undercurrent of revanchism, of a pining for a lost empire, with Vladimir Zhirinovsky being the prime proponent of this. Yeltsin, who may have genuinely believed in democracy, was nevertheless wrapped up in the corruption of the selling off of state assets. The elections in which he participated were far from the standards of the West. Authoritarian communism was being replaced with an authoritarian quasi-democracy, with a large dose of rule by oligarchs. The wheels were starting to come off the great Russian experiment quite quickly. (The fact that the West insisted on “shock therapy” for the Russian economy didn’t help matters much.)

The fulcrum, the pivot between the flawed experiment and the Russia we have today was Yeltsin annointing Vladimir Putin as his successor.

As an aide to the first democratically elected mayor of St. Petersburg, Putin had an air of the reformer about him. It was thought that he would continue to enhance Russia’s slow lurch to democracy and free markets. He easily succeeded to the Russian presidency after Yeltsin resigned.

However, he was not even a flawed democrat as was Boris Yeltsin. In 2005 he gave a speech wherein he said:

Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.

He did give lip service to “democracy” and “free markets”. But all the while he was consolidating independent media under state control. He was recreating state corporations, taking from the holdings of oligarchs who did not tow the Kremlin line. In a sham of democracy, he annointed his prime minster as the next president, only to push him aside once his term was done to reassume power.  (Of course, his record towards Russian minorities is also reprehensible.)

Putin has embraced wholly Russia’s sense of destiny, and sees himself as its embodiment. And it’s not something he’s forcing on his citizens; enough of them believe in this mission to keep him more or less securely in power.

The invasion of Georgia was the opening gambit to the recreation of a Russian superstate. The seizure of Crimea is the first real test.

The problem, however, is that as flawed as Russia’s integration into the world economy has been, it is integrated with it. The Russian stock market has lost 20% of its value in two weeks. The US and EU are preparing ever harsher sanctions the longer Putin holds onto Crimea. The oligarchs who support Putin’s regime may soon find their access to their fortunes clinched shut. At that point those who form a separate power block outside of the Kremlin are going to have to face a choice: a Great Russia, or the comforts and privileges they’ve acquired over the past 20 years.

The fact that Russia is isolated in the UN Security Council, with even China abstaining on a resolution calling on Russia to respect Ukraine’s integrity, is no minor matter. Russia no longer has a bloc on which it can rely to give it cover. It is, finally, isolated.

Putin has a choice: become, finally, a full member of the world community; or plunge it into an anarchy not seen since the 1930s. In this sense, Russia holds the destiny not of half the world, but of the world entire.


108 Responses to “De Tocqueville’s prophecy”


  1. 3 Nerdy Wonka
    March 15, 2014 at 3:03 pm

  2. 7 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    a reminder;

  3. 8 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

  4. 9 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    one state at a time – grassroots action will get us where we need to go;

  5. 10 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    • 11 anniebella
      March 15, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      That is why the Republicans and the media were complaining so much about POTUS being on Between Two Ferns, because it was a success.

    • 13 Nena20409
      March 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      I caught the last few minutes of his show today. He addressed this Live on his show.

      He said: O’Reilly and Him were Not the target. POTUS went were people like his daughter go and on that alone, it was mighty successful. He said that it was his daughter that told him about the POTUS appearance on the web-series show.

      • 14 MightyPamela
        March 15, 2014 at 7:09 pm

        And perhaps because they were hoping to hide the options from their grown children, because America is not a free country where young adults get to make up their own minds?? Maybe.

  6. 15 forus50
    March 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks LL, hope you are feeling better! I am going to go back and read your post now. Or maybe it would be best to save it until AFTER the weekend. :)

  7. March 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Little surprise, very dangerous situation getting worse by the minute ….

    • 19 globalcitizenlinda
      March 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      putin pushing for a face-to-face military confrontation to escalate the crisis and shed blood – simply disgusting !

    • 20 jackiegrumbacher
      March 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Bob, this seems close to insane on Russia’s part. It is like a World War II nightmare scenario. What are they going to do to the international press? Shoot them? How will this help their cause? It seems to me Russia is doing everything possible to provoke a response that will then justify whatever extremist war measures they feel like carrying out. Russia was smarter than this in the cold war because they knew not to provoke “too far.” They are not the only nuclear power and don’t have the kind of might to take on the whole world. I sure hope some of the powerful money people in Russia start exerting pressure soon. Unless Russia wants to become the new North Korea, it had better rejoin the community of the sane.

      • March 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

        I think we have to go with what Merkel allegedly told PBO: Putin is living in his own world. He’s a new Nevsky beating back a Teutonic West intent on converting Russia away from its gleaming history.

      • March 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm

        All that you state is accurate, Jackie. LL mentions Chancellor Merkel’s assessment of Putin. His behavior the past 15 or so days confirms her diagnosis, unfortunately.

        I do hope that you – and everyone reading TOD – listen to the recording of this morning’s UN Security Council. Putin spent 50+ Billion dollars on his Sochi Olympics ostensibly to assert Russia’s participation in the community of nations. Less than a month later, he has led Russia to a level of unprecedented, even in Cold War terms, isolation. The incursion of 300 Russian troops into the Kherson, Ukraine earlier today is a provocation that, unless reversed, represents an unambiguous act of war. I doubt if Ukraine and its many allies will tolerate it. If Putin wants massive death and destruction to be his legacy he is well on the way to having his wish fulfilled.

        #TrustBarack

    • March 15, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    • March 15, 2014 at 7:22 pm

  8. 25 hopefruit2
    March 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    So Dana Milbank and Washington Post apparently got so mad at PBO’s success with his “Between Two Ferns” skit, and how effective it was in getting younger people to go healthcare.gov, that they spent the whole week coming up with their “brand-new” good ol’ narrative.

    “THE YOUTH ARE ABANDONING OBAMA!!!!!!!!”

  9. 26 jacquelineoboomer
    March 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    • 27 Lovepolitics2008
      March 15, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      I’m awfully worried that Putin is contemplating the invasion of the whole Ukraine, or at least half of it. He knows the Ukrainian army won’t be able to push back against thousands and thousands of russian troops, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, he knows that the USA and Europe won’t go to war to defend Ukraine. Economic sanctions yes. But a full scale war ? Absolutely not. 1) Ukraine is not strategically essential to the West and 2) war means people dying by thousands, infrastructure destruction, etc. Tragedy on a very high scale that has to be avoided unless it is ab-so-lu-te-ly necessary.

      Ukrainians will suffer a lot I’m afraid. Ukraine will be the sacrificial lamb to the maintaining of the peace in Europe.

      And then what Putin will do? Will he get drunk with power ? If history is a guide, dictators who enjoy a few victories ALWAYS get drunk with power.

      There are reports that Putin doesn’t give a damn if he is “isolated” in the international community. There’s NO way to reason with a guy like this.

      Mark my words: all the people who have been singing Putin’s praises for months will change their tune very quickly. Putin is not a world leader. He’s a ruthless dictator who has NOTHING positive to contribute to the world. If he is a leader, he is a very negative one. True leaders work to make the world a BETTER place. True leaders don’t rule by fear; they lead by example. And they promote POSITIVE values.

      To Liberal Librairian: your essay is right on target, as usual. I wish it weren’t.

      • 28 jacquelineoboomer
        March 15, 2014 at 5:04 pm

        I wish LL’s essay – and your words – weren’t on target, as well. But I’m afraid they are.

        Wonder if anyone just outside his inner circle (although why would they be that close, if they would) would try to “take out” Putin? Hate to bring that up, of course, but sometimes there’s someone standing by for the “final act” of the dictator.

  10. March 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm

  11. 32 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I hope that putin and those around him are smart enough to use tomorrow’s vote in Crimea as a pretext to step back from their grand plans – use it as an off-ramp from this crisis;

    listening to reports from Ukraine, Russia and other former-Soviet block states, what I see happening is the number of people who claim to be of Russian-descent but are really against putin’s actions in Ukraine;

    I think it would be a huge mistake for putin to believe the polls which show that huge majorities of Russians approve of his aggressive actions;

    if putin is not careful, his aggression towards Ukraine may speed up his own political fall (could be his Waterloo) when people inside his own country contemplate how his actions are harming the very nation he wants to rule forever;

  12. March 15, 2014 at 3:50 pm

  13. 34 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    GA residents, is this true?

  14. 35 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    WI, any talk of this locally?

  15. 36 desertflower
    March 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm
  16. 40 hopefruit2
    March 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    “Between two Ferns” with President Obama is now at 16M views. 16 million views in FIVE days….no wonder the media is having a fit…it just enrages them at a time when they desperately need this President to be “unpopular.”

    • 41 anniebella
      March 15, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      16 MILLION……. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 42 Sandy1110
      March 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      At the time I’m writing this, FoD has bumped it up to 17 million. Justin Bieber’s has 18 million, and it was released 6 months ago!

      • 43 hopefruit2
        March 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm

        Remarkable! No wonder WaPo just had to push that self-serving article about “Millennials abandoning Obama.” They are SCARED by this…

  17. March 15, 2014 at 4:10 pm

  18. March 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

  19. March 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Borys Gudziak: GREEK CATHOLIC PRIEST ABDUCTED in CRIMEAN by Pro-RUSSIAN FORCES

    “The abduction occurred on Saturday March 15, between 10:00-11:00 AM, in Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine. Pro-Russian armed forces abducted Fr. Mykola Kvych, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest, directly from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish of the Dormition of the Mother of God, located on Silska Street 5 (near kilometer 5 of the Balaklava highway).

    Fr. Kvych was seized by two men in uniform and four men in civilian clothing. The young chaplain for the Ukrainian Navy was taken to an undisclosed location where he is being held captive. A parishioner who called Fr. Kvych’s cellular phone heard abusive language on the line directed at the priest before the call was cut short. Sources confirm that Fr. Kvych is alive.

    Earlier this week at the direction of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarchy Fr. Kvych and other Greek Catholic priests in Crimea evacuated their wives and children to mainland Ukraine. The priests themselves returned to their parishes to be with their faithful in a time of crisis and moral and physical danger.

    clip

    The Yanukovych government threatened to delegalize the Greek Catholic Church at Christmas time due to the pastoral attention that priest gave to protesting faithful. From 1946 to 1989 the UGCC was the biggest illegal Church in the world and the most substantial body of social opposition to Soviet rule in Ukraine. Since it did not collaborate with Soviet authorities it has enjoyed particular moral authority in Ukrainian society in the post-Soviet period and during the current social and political crisis.”

    Urge you to read all of it – important history: http://maidantranslations.com/2014/03/15/borys-gudziak-greek-catholic-priest-abducted-in-crimean-by-pro-russian-forces/

    • 47 jacquelineoboomer
      March 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      First they come for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests …

    • 48 globalcitizenlinda
      March 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      this is stuff scares me !

      any one who has lived through civil strife knows that the local population will typically turn to the religious leaders and their compounds for protection against an outside aggressor;

      often the worst of the thugs at least refrain from attacking the religious leaders and their compounds;

  20. March 15, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Even without translation, I think you will all realize how touching this is ….

  21. 51 carolyn
    March 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Excellent commentary, LL. Good to re-read deTocqueville too. This is scary, yes. However, I know that our POTUS has read deTocqueville and other writers, and is not leading by his gut or flight suit! He is a wise man, and has wise counselors, and I believe has some wise colleagues on the world scene, as evidenced by the UN vote.

    I have said several times these past few weeks that Putin wants to be Tsar of all the Russias. His behavior makes me think that the other world he’s living in re: Merkel, is the world Tsar Peter the Great tried to make; that he sees himself as the reincarnation of Peter, who annexed so many countries, and built a Russian fleet and got his warm water port. After all, he was the man who took the swamp on the Baltic and built St. Petersburg.

    Some of my favorite readings the past 20 or 30 years have been Russian writers and history. One can never discount the mystical in Russia’s behavior, and LL very well discussed this, their desire to bring the world back to the true Slavic Christianity. Read any Russian novel and this instinct pulses underneath everything else. It is obvious in Tolstoy, it rings in Dostoevsky, and echoes loudly in Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago too.

    I know POTUS has read Russian works, and is not surprised by this Messianic streak in Putin.

    • 52 jacquelineoboomer
      March 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      If what you wrote were the beginning of a novel, it would have been a good read. Well said! Too bad it’s real life we’re talking about!

      • 53 carolyn
        March 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm

        I truly believe there is a Messianic streak in Putin. He sees himself in a giant historical context as the savior of Russia, which is the savior of the world. This is indeed real life, and we are the ones watching it and who will feel the effects.

        • 54 carolyn
          March 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

          Right now the Russian historical character Putin is most reminding me of is Rasputin. The charlatan extremist priest who controlled Tsarina Alexandra. Putin’s stunts, like riding barechested on horseback, and the motorcycle thing….are the kinds of stunts Rasputin pulled, coming forward 100 years. He seems to have a charisma for certain people, and can control them.

        • 55 jacquelineoboomer
          March 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm

          Frightening, to say the least!

  22. 56 Nena20409
    March 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Good Afternoon/Good Evening/Good Morning TODable Community.

    Great Award VC. That was awesome.

    This Tweet tells it all

  23. 61 Bill R.
    March 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Great essay, LL! It is a crossroads for Russia for sure. Putin is indeed living in his own self grandeur, and filled with hubris. It is notable that he has invited the neo-Stalinists back into his inner circle. You are correct that Russia is different today. It has been integrated in large part into the international economy. And it’s younger generations have been integrated into the international culture. He may try to take Russia back into a new Cold War with resultant isolation, but there will be a backlash from the Russian people when they realize what they are losing in the way of standard of living and personal freedoms. I don’t see China going along with this new expansion of the Russian empire, particularly when it involves peeling off strips of territory and igniting ethnic divisions. China will not like the disruption to the international economy that comes from a new Cold War.

    • March 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Very true, Bill.

      Moreover, the Chinese are absolutely freaking over Putin, Lavrov, Churkin, et al., chirping about ‘self-determination’ and the explicit implications for Taiwan, Tibet, etc.

  24. 63 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 5:36 pm

  25. 66 Nena20409
    March 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    http://acasignups.net/14/03/15/looks-surge-has-started-mi-oh-least

    While neither of the above give any hard (or even soft) numbers, it certainly sounds like The Surge has begun. As such, I’m moving my “March Surge Factor” addition to the projection table up from Monday to today. I’m starting with an assumption of a 20% gain in the 2nd half of the month over the 1st half, which would make March QHPs around 1.55 million for a grand total of 5.79 million.

    I’ll be adjusting the Surge Factor up or down daily as new data and info comes in, and the current daily average estimate will be bouncing around as well, so keep watching the numbers…

  26. 67 Nerdy Wonka
    March 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

  27. 68 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    taking this moment to chill a bit from the challenges in the news;

    this building looks unique and beautiful ;

    but I am afraid of heights so would never live on the high floors of such as structure;

  28. 69 Nena20409
    March 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    US Paralympics wins Gold in Ice Hockey. Congratulations.

  29. 71 Nena20409
    March 15, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    A “selfie” by Jackie with Sen Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy in 1954.

    I can’t get the twitpic from the Famous Historian to post here.

    Help :!:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/15/jacqueline-kennedy_n_4968385.html#comments

  30. 76 Nena20409
    March 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm
  31. 77 Nena20409
    March 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm
  32. 78 Nena20409
    March 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Love this. If you don’t believe in Science, Move Back To The Cave.

    KaBoom!

  33. 80 Allison
    March 15, 2014 at 6:18 pm

  34. 81 Nena20409
    March 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm
  35. 82 MightyPamela
    March 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Somewhat o/t, but a full moon alert: Sunday 16 March 2014, full moon in the sign of Virgo at 1:08pmEDST, 26.02. Also, Sunday is Purim, so another celebration is in store for many!

  36. March 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm

  37. 84 Bill R.
    March 15, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    One small argument with you, LL, the use of the word “mystical” in reference to Russia. “Mystical” is a spiritual word which refers to unitive non-conceptual experience with ultimate Mystery. I believe what you intend is “Mythical” in reference to Russia’s dream of its own destiny. Mythical refers to the narrative, the mega story, in this case, Russia’s myth of itself. Myth does not mean false, as too many use the word, but rather narrative formulation.

    • 85 MightyPamela
      March 15, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you, BillR, for this clarification.

      • 86 carolyn
        March 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm

        Myth is a word that is frequently misused as Bill pointed out, to mean false. That is a good clarification. However, I think the word mystical is also apropos with regard to Russia. When reading any Russian history or literature, there is a strong mysticism that can be seen in the people. They are concerned with the ultimate mystery, and the country itself saw itself as God’s kingdom, and the Tsar as God’s representative on earth. The Tsar was called “Little Father” and considered himself the father of his people……not like we consider G. Washington father of the country.

        We had a good friend from Chicago who was half Irish and half Russian. He was a wonderful storyteller. His spiritual side was his Russian half, and as modern and American as he was, he had a bit of the Russian mystic in him. He told us that he could be Presbyterian all year, except Easter. Easter he was Russian Orthodox. He described the Orthodox vigil and Easter service, and mystery was one of the words he used in describing it. When he finished the story, I wanted to attend such a service so much.

        Read any Russian novel, and the mystic runs through it. Almost always, at least one character will be a genuine mystic, and will have emotional power over the others. This trait runs deep. Putin is proud of reuniting the Russian Orthodox Church, the true church.
        And think of how important it was after the Cold War to find the bones of the martyred Romanov family and rebury them and consecrate them where people could come pray. Russia has a mythical and mystical sense of itself.

        • 87 Bill R.
          March 15, 2014 at 11:33 pm

          Indeed Russia does have a strong religious heritage and a tradition of spiritual practice, particularly with regard to the practice of the Jesus prayer or Hesychastic meditation. That said, mysticism by definition is unitive experience with the Ultimate, non exclusionary, by ethnicity or culture. And cannot be the property of any particular tradition or nation.

  38. 88 Allison
    March 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm

  39. 92 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    2 photos speak for themselves;

    ;

  40. March 15, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    #CCCP2.0 …. yes, you read correctly ….

  41. March 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    • 97 Layla
      March 15, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Ambassador Rice or Power..

    • 100 carolyn
      March 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Bob…thanks for using the word “Tsar” with Putin. I’ve been saying that for about two weeks. So glad you used it in a tweet to those who matter.

      Seeing CCCP 2.0 is truly frightening. I grew up during the worst of the Cold War…….that red with the CCCP was a warning to all of us. This should be a warning now. I remember Stalin, Beria, Krushchev…….

      I just happened to realize…….The last five letters of Rasputin, are Putin.

      • March 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm

        Thank you Carolyn. I’ve lived through the same horror show and am very empathetic with how that imagery impacts you. BTW, in numerous tweets I’m fond of referring to Putin as #TzarVlado as well as #TzarPutin :)

    • March 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      There’s megalomania, and then there’s reality

      ““…The war will start and end on the stock exchanges,” wrote “Nashi Hroshi” on March 10, commenting on the most likely development of the conflict of interests between Russia and the United States that erupted on the Crimean soil.

      And thanks to reports from the oil stock exchanges as of March 13, and unfolded in this context events, we have the audacity to assert: Russia has already lost.

      clip

      The matter is in the price of oil: profits from the trade account for almost half of the Russian budget. The Kremlin has pledged the price of oil $102 into their budget. Falling below this level means failure of the budget. And the situation with Russian economy is very bad. Capital is fleeing the country; foreign banks may demand the return of Russian debtors loans for $650 billion at any moment, while the Russian Federation’s gold and foreign currency reserves are account for $500 billion. Even Putin’s personal economist admitted that the situation is rotten. In general, the Kremlin can’t maneuver without oil.”

      Full article: http://euromaidanpr.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/the-us-demonstrates-putin-how-they-are-winning-the-war-for-ukraine-the-russians-will-wash-with-their-oil/

      As you know, a few of my tweets over the past 10 days have noted the simple reality – yes, fuel flows from Russia via Ukraine to ‘the west,’ but it’s not a one way situation. CASH flows to Russia in strict proportionality to the flow of fuel. Stop the fuel, GET POORer – Vlad.

      #TrustBarack …. he knows the markets, quite well ;)

      • March 15, 2014 at 7:57 pm

        More reality …

        “Famous Russian artists and publicists initiate Congress of Intelligentsia “Against War, Against Self-Isolation of Russia, Against Restoration of Totalitarianism”.

        About a hundred of well-known writers, actors, criticists and publicists came forward with such an appeal, the text of which was also published in “Novaya Gazeta” on Thursday.

        “Our country appears to be involved in an extremely dangerous gamble. Using the slogan “We must protect Russians in Crimea, as well as all Ukrainians from the new non-legitimate fascist government in Ukraine!” it has already performed actual annexation of Crimea. International laws have been brutally violated; European principles of safety and stability are destroyed. Russia is rapidly rolling down to a new cold war with the West, the consequences of which are barely predictable,” – states their appeal.

        Artists point that Russian state media “pours unhampered streams of lies and misinformation, as well carries out an shocking extensive propaganda campaign against everyone doubting the legitimacy of the government’s actions”. All disagreeing persons are dubbed as “fifth columns” and “fascists”, despite their numbers of those that disagree being quite large.”

        http://euromaidanpr.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/famous-russian-artists-speak-out-in-support-for-ukraine/

  42. 104 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 7:38 pm

  43. 105 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    GG had a Twitter back and forth earlier today with people who asked him for comment about putin’s actions against journalists & media;

  44. 108 globalcitizenlinda
    March 15, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    ;

    and an explainer of the uniform for today =>


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