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Chairman Of Joint Chiefs: US Ready For “Military Response” In Ukraine | Zero Hedge

Chairman Of Joint Chiefs: US Ready For “Military Response” In Ukraine | Zero Hedge.

With diplomacy having failed miserably to resolve the Russian annexation of Crimea, and soon East Ukraine (and with John Kerry in charge of it, was there ever any doubt), the US is moving to the heavy artillery. First, moments ago, the US DOE announced in a shocking announcement that it would proceed with the first draw down and sale of crude from the US strategic petroleum reserve, the first since June 2011, in what it said was a “test sale to check the operational capabilities of system infrastructure”, but is really just a shot across the bow at Putin for whom high commodity prices are orders of magnitude more important than how the Russian stock market performs. And now, as Bloomberg just reported, the US has escalated even further, citing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who “has claimed that in the case of an escalation of unrest in Crimea, the U.S. Army is ready to back up Ukraine and its allies in Europe with military actions.

So much for those peaceful hour long phone calls between Obama and Putin.

From Bloomberg:

According to the Web site of the Atlantic Council, Dempsey said that “he’s been talking to his military counterparts in Russia, but he’s also sending a clear message to Ukraine and members of NATO that the U.S. military will respond militarily if necessary.”

“We’re trying to tell [Russia] not to escalate this thing further into Eastern Ukraine, and allow the conditions to be set for some kind of resolution in Crimea. We do have treaty obligations with our NATO allies. And I have assured them that if that treaty obligation is triggered [in Europe], we would respond,” Dempsey said.

According to the General, the incursion of Russian troops into the Crimea creates risks for all the countries of Europe and NATO allies. “If Russia is allowed to do this, which is to say move into a sovereign country under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine, it exposes Eastern Europe to some significant risk, because there are ethnic enclaves all over Eastern Europe and the Balkans,” Dempsey said.

And with that, the USDJPY ramp takes the pair to overnight highs, and futures are set to go green. BTFWWIIID!

More seriously, the real question is how Putin will react to this quantum escalation in verbal hostilities: wild guess here, but somehow we doubt he will pick up and leave.

Chairman Of Joint Chiefs: US Ready For "Military Response" In Ukraine | Zero Hedge

Chairman Of Joint Chiefs: US Ready For “Military Response” In Ukraine | Zero Hedge.

With diplomacy having failed miserably to resolve the Russian annexation of Crimea, and soon East Ukraine (and with John Kerry in charge of it, was there ever any doubt), the US is moving to the heavy artillery. First, moments ago, the US DOE announced in a shocking announcement that it would proceed with the first draw down and sale of crude from the US strategic petroleum reserve, the first since June 2011, in what it said was a “test sale to check the operational capabilities of system infrastructure”, but is really just a shot across the bow at Putin for whom high commodity prices are orders of magnitude more important than how the Russian stock market performs. And now, as Bloomberg just reported, the US has escalated even further, citing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who “has claimed that in the case of an escalation of unrest in Crimea, the U.S. Army is ready to back up Ukraine and its allies in Europe with military actions.

So much for those peaceful hour long phone calls between Obama and Putin.

From Bloomberg:

According to the Web site of the Atlantic Council, Dempsey said that “he’s been talking to his military counterparts in Russia, but he’s also sending a clear message to Ukraine and members of NATO that the U.S. military will respond militarily if necessary.”

“We’re trying to tell [Russia] not to escalate this thing further into Eastern Ukraine, and allow the conditions to be set for some kind of resolution in Crimea. We do have treaty obligations with our NATO allies. And I have assured them that if that treaty obligation is triggered [in Europe], we would respond,” Dempsey said.

According to the General, the incursion of Russian troops into the Crimea creates risks for all the countries of Europe and NATO allies. “If Russia is allowed to do this, which is to say move into a sovereign country under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine, it exposes Eastern Europe to some significant risk, because there are ethnic enclaves all over Eastern Europe and the Balkans,” Dempsey said.

And with that, the USDJPY ramp takes the pair to overnight highs, and futures are set to go green. BTFWWIIID!

More seriously, the real question is how Putin will react to this quantum escalation in verbal hostilities: wild guess here, but somehow we doubt he will pick up and leave.

Russian Neighbor Belarus Asks To Host Another 15 Russian Fighter Jets In Response To NATO Escalation | Zero Hedge

Russian Neighbor Belarus Asks To Host Another 15 Russian Fighter Jets In Response To NATO Escalation | Zero Hedge.

With NATO actively building up its airforce support in Poland and the Baltic states in recent days in a flashback to cold war military escalation and deterrence, and evenlaunching AWACS planes over Poland and Romania to monitor the Ukraine crisis and “enhance the alliance’s situational awareness,” the inevitable has finally happened, and other Russian neighbor states, ones not alligned with the military treaty, have escalated in turn only this time the are showing their allegiance not to the west but to Russia.

Moments ago RIA reported that Minsk will “adequately react to the strengthening of NATO forces near the borders of Belarus, and will offer to host up to an additional 15 Russian aircraft, according to the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday at a meeting of the Security Council of Belarus.

“Belarus is adequately reacting to the strengthen the forces of NATO near the borders of Belarus” – the president said. He added that “Belarus will offer to host up to an additional 15 Russian Federation aircraft in connection with the activity of NATO.”

Which, it goes without saying, plays precisely into Putin’s intentions all along: force all of Russia’s neighbors to reveal their allegiance, and since virtually all would have to pick Moscow (see what happened in Ukraine), set the stage for the grand reincarnation of the Soviet Union.

In the meantime, while the G-7 and everyone with a microphone, continues to warn Russia not to annex Crimea, which now seems a done deal, Ukraine’s PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whose cash-strapped nation needs as much as $15 billion in loans, will meet President Barack Obama later today. And as if to aid Putin’s plans even further, First Deputy Premier Vitaliy Yarema told the government in Kiev that Russian forces continue to be deployed along Ukraine’s eastern border and are “constantly increasing their presence,”

Logically, the western response will be to beef up NATO forces even more, which in turn will force nations like Belarus to self-annex themselves to Russia by demanding even more Russian troops in their nations, allowing Putin to serially, and peacefully, to takeover the former USSR nations one by one until the empire rebuilding effort is complete.

Russian Neighbor Belarus Asks To Host Another 15 Russian Fighter Jets In Response To NATO Escalation | Zero Hedge

Russian Neighbor Belarus Asks To Host Another 15 Russian Fighter Jets In Response To NATO Escalation | Zero Hedge.

With NATO actively building up its airforce support in Poland and the Baltic states in recent days in a flashback to cold war military escalation and deterrence, and evenlaunching AWACS planes over Poland and Romania to monitor the Ukraine crisis and “enhance the alliance’s situational awareness,” the inevitable has finally happened, and other Russian neighbor states, ones not alligned with the military treaty, have escalated in turn only this time the are showing their allegiance not to the west but to Russia.

Moments ago RIA reported that Minsk will “adequately react to the strengthening of NATO forces near the borders of Belarus, and will offer to host up to an additional 15 Russian aircraft, according to the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday at a meeting of the Security Council of Belarus.

“Belarus is adequately reacting to the strengthen the forces of NATO near the borders of Belarus” – the president said. He added that “Belarus will offer to host up to an additional 15 Russian Federation aircraft in connection with the activity of NATO.”

Which, it goes without saying, plays precisely into Putin’s intentions all along: force all of Russia’s neighbors to reveal their allegiance, and since virtually all would have to pick Moscow (see what happened in Ukraine), set the stage for the grand reincarnation of the Soviet Union.

In the meantime, while the G-7 and everyone with a microphone, continues to warn Russia not to annex Crimea, which now seems a done deal, Ukraine’s PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whose cash-strapped nation needs as much as $15 billion in loans, will meet President Barack Obama later today. And as if to aid Putin’s plans even further, First Deputy Premier Vitaliy Yarema told the government in Kiev that Russian forces continue to be deployed along Ukraine’s eastern border and are “constantly increasing their presence,”

Logically, the western response will be to beef up NATO forces even more, which in turn will force nations like Belarus to self-annex themselves to Russia by demanding even more Russian troops in their nations, allowing Putin to serially, and peacefully, to takeover the former USSR nations one by one until the empire rebuilding effort is complete.

Another East-Ukraine City Falls To Pro-Russian Protesters As Ukraine Denies Sending Troops To Crimea | Zero Hedge

Another East-Ukraine City Falls To Pro-Russian Protesters As Ukraine Denies Sending Troops To Crimea | Zero Hedge.

Despite clear evidence otherwise, presented here extensively yesterday, this morning Ukraine has denied that is has “plans to send armed forces to Crimea” and instead Ukrainian troops are performing “training exercises” in base, Interfax news agency quoted Acting Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh as saying on Sunday. Responding to media speculation about Ukrainian military movements after Russian forces took control of Crimea, Tenyukh said the only troop movements that might be seen would be from one base to another to take part in the training exercises. “No movements, no departures for Crimea by the armed forces are foreseen. They are doing their routine work which the armed have always had,” he said. Right, and Russia just happened to launch an ICBM as a “drill” in the middle of the greatest Cold War re-escalation in 30 years.

Adding somewhat to the confusion was the statement by Pavlo Shysholin, head of country’s border guard service tells reporters in Kiev, who said that so far Ukrainian border guards denied entry to 3,500 people and that Ukraine border troops remain in Crimea, would leave only if “forced” but more importanly:

  • UKRAINE BORDER TROOPS BOOST FORCES ON EAST BORDER: SHYSHOLIN

So there is an escalation in the mobilization, only not toward Crimea, which the Russians already control entirely, but the critical East, which as everyone knows, is the next target for Putin annexation once the Crimean referendum passes in one week.

Confirming just this were just released photos from another major city in east Ukraine, this time Lugansk, where pro-Russian protesters just stormed and took over the city administration building. Their demand: to be part of the March 16 referendum to become part of Russia.

 

A clip of the latest peaceful pro-Russian takeover via LifeNews:

 

Lugansk’s location in context:

 

And so one by one, the cities in east Ukraine are slipping away to Russia, even as Obama continues his Key Largo vacation and makes the occasional phone call.

Another East-Ukraine City Falls To Pro-Russian Protesters As Ukraine Denies Sending Troops To Crimea | Zero Hedge

Another East-Ukraine City Falls To Pro-Russian Protesters As Ukraine Denies Sending Troops To Crimea | Zero Hedge.

Despite clear evidence otherwise, presented here extensively yesterday, this morning Ukraine has denied that is has “plans to send armed forces to Crimea” and instead Ukrainian troops are performing “training exercises” in base, Interfax news agency quoted Acting Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh as saying on Sunday. Responding to media speculation about Ukrainian military movements after Russian forces took control of Crimea, Tenyukh said the only troop movements that might be seen would be from one base to another to take part in the training exercises. “No movements, no departures for Crimea by the armed forces are foreseen. They are doing their routine work which the armed have always had,” he said. Right, and Russia just happened to launch an ICBM as a “drill” in the middle of the greatest Cold War re-escalation in 30 years.

Adding somewhat to the confusion was the statement by Pavlo Shysholin, head of country’s border guard service tells reporters in Kiev, who said that so far Ukrainian border guards denied entry to 3,500 people and that Ukraine border troops remain in Crimea, would leave only if “forced” but more importanly:

  • UKRAINE BORDER TROOPS BOOST FORCES ON EAST BORDER: SHYSHOLIN

So there is an escalation in the mobilization, only not toward Crimea, which the Russians already control entirely, but the critical East, which as everyone knows, is the next target for Putin annexation once the Crimean referendum passes in one week.

Confirming just this were just released photos from another major city in east Ukraine, this time Lugansk, where pro-Russian protesters just stormed and took over the city administration building. Their demand: to be part of the March 16 referendum to become part of Russia.

 

A clip of the latest peaceful pro-Russian takeover via LifeNews:

 

Lugansk’s location in context:

 

And so one by one, the cities in east Ukraine are slipping away to Russia, even as Obama continues his Key Largo vacation and makes the occasional phone call.

Have I reached my personal limit?

Just a quick post this morning with some thoughts on the latest geopolitical mess in Europe over the Ukraine. The following is my online comment to a HuffPost article:

*****
It’s interesting how many people have taken the role of the judge, jury, and executioner so soon into this latest geopolitical crisis. It is impossible for any of us to truly understand all the complexities involved. It is also impossible, except in hindsight usually, to develop a reasonable and balanced perspective on events. We have our own leaders involved in creating and selling a narrative that supports their actions. We know they have lied to us about many things in the past, so why would anyone trust them now? The West is so blatantly hypocritical it is embarassing. How quickly we forget the recent invasions of Libya or Iraq. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am tired of the elite (all sides) using the planet’s depleting resources and ‘wealth’ (that is always confiscated from the masses in one way or another) to fight their wars. Not to mention the fact that it is always the children of the general public (very rarely, if ever, the elite’s children) that are sent off to fight these wars. A pox on all their houses!
*****

Warning Shots Fired At OSCE Mission In Crimea; Russia Threatens Treaty Force Majeure Over "Unfriendly NATO Threats" | Zero Hedge

Warning Shots Fired At OSCE Mission In Crimea; Russia Threatens Treaty Force Majeure Over “Unfriendly NATO Threats” | Zero Hedge.

Perhaps it is time to finally admit that anyone who thought Putin’s Tuesday press conference, which the market so jubilantly assumed was a case of “blinking” and de-escalating tensions with the west, was wrong. If there is still any confusion, following yesterday’s news that Gazprom officially threatened Ukraine with cutting off its gas supplies, as well as the storming of a Ukraine base by Russian troops – luckily with no shots fired so far – then today’s developments should any remaining doubts. Moments ago AP reported that as the latest, third in a row, group of OSCE inspectors tried to enter Ukraine, they were not only barred from doing so, but warnings shots were fired to emphasize the point by pro-Russian forces.

From AP:

An Associated Press reporter says pro-Russian forces refused to let a foreign military mission enter Crimea on Saturday.

After the officers had stopped, the armed men fired warning bursts of automatic weapons fire into the air to make other unidentified vehicles halt. No injuries were reported.

The multinational group of military officers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was attempting to enter the embattled peninsula from the north. The armed men told them they had no authorization to enter Crimea.

The OSCE mission will likely return to the Ukrainian city of Kherson where it had spent the night, the AP reporter said.

Russia and Ukraine are locked in a tense standoff over Crimea.

Bloomberg adds:

OSCE tried to enter Crimea for third day, warning shots were fired as it attempted to do so today, Tatyana Baeva, OSCE spokeswoman, said by phone from Vienna.

Nobody injured in incident, OSCE mission is now back in Kherson, southern Ukraine.

OSCE 29 member states that provided people for Crimea mission may meet today or tomorrow in Vienna to discuss further action: Baeva

Then there was this overnight escalation as reported by Ukraine’s TV5 station (of questionably credibility), via Bloomberg:

Pro-Russian armed men today captured building in Simferopol, capital city of Crimea, TV5 private news channel reports, citing Vladislav Selezniov, spokesman for Ukraine’s defense minister in Crimea.

Russian soldiers seized Ukraine’s state border guard division in Shcholkino near Kerch Strait, Ukraine’s border service says in statement on its website

Russian soldiers stormed Shcholkino unit last night, seized weapons storage, beat Ukrainian border guards, took away their mobile phones and forced them and their families to leave

Currently, 11 border guard units are being blocked: Ukraine border service says in separate statement

Ukraine denied entrance to 513 “extremists” from Russia during last 24 hrs, state border guard service says in another separate statement on its website

Remember, all it takes is for one stray bullet to hit a human target, on either side of the conflict, for the market to grasp just how wrong its assessment of de-escalation has been.

Elsewhere, while inspectors were trying to make their way into Ukraine – unsuccessfully – Russia announced it was considering a further freeze of U.S. military inspections under arms control treaties in retaliation to Washington’s decision to halt military cooperation with Russia, news reports said Saturday.

Interfax blasted earlier:

  • UNJUSTIFIED U.S., NATO THREATS SEEN AS UNFRIENDLY GESTURE, ALLOW TO DECLARE FORCE-MAJEURE – RUSSIAN DEFENSE SOURCE
  • RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY CONSIDERING SUSPENSION OF RECEIVING INSPECTION GROUPS UNDER START TREATY, VIENNA DOCUMENT 2011 – SOURCE

AP has more:

Russian news agencies carried a statement by an unidentified Defense Ministry official saying that Moscow sees the U.S. move as a reason to suspend U.S. inspections in Russia in line with the 2010 New START treaty on cutting U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and the 2011 Vienna agreement that envisages mutual inspections of Russian and NATO military facilities as part of confidence-building measures.

A Defense Ministry spokesman wouldn’t comment on the reports, which are a usual way in Russia to carry unofficial government signals.

The U.S. and the European Union have introduced sanctions over Russia in response to its move to send troops that have taken control of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

So if the START treaty is suspended how long until its anti-proliferation clauses are scrapped completely once more, and the Cold War arms race returns once again.

Also, while escalations such as these threaten to transform the new Cold War into a hot one, the clock is ticking, and in favor of Russia, because the longer Ukraine remains without western aid, the quicker its foreign reserves will run out, and the faster the country will become a vassal state of Gazpromia. Add the ticking countdown to the March 16 Crimean referendum, which the west and Ukraine have both declared illegitimate yet have no power to stop, and suddenly one can see how Putin once again outsmarted everything the west had to throw at it. WSJ explains:

Gazprom’s demand raises the prospect that some of the aid Western powers have guaranteed could end up flowing into Moscow’s coffers to pay Ukraine’s gas bill. Virtually all of the country’s natural-gas imports come from Russia. Late last year it was granted a discount that Moscow has threatened to rescind since the fall of Mr. Yanukovych.

“This now becomes an EU/U.S. problem: Who is going to lend Ukraine the money to pay the gas bill? If so, what will be the conditions?” said Jonathan Stern, an analyst at the Oxford Energy Institute.

A spokesman for Gazprom said that the threatened cutoff wouldn’t affect supplies to Europe, which gets about a third of its gas from Russia, much of it via pipelines that run through Ukraine.

 

 

In 2009, after the Russian energy giant switched off the supply to Ukraine, Ukrainian authorities began using the supply transiting their territory that Gazprom said was destined for customers in Europe. Gazprom then cut off the flow altogether, causing shortages and price increases for end customers.

 

“The EU, U.S. and IMF have just about three weeks to resolve this,” Mr. Stern said.

At which point it’s game, set match Putin once more.

Finally, what certainly helped Russia is that, as expected, China took the side of Putin, not of the “free world”, in what is now a very distinct and clear axis of power the New Normal dipolar world.

Warning Shots Fired At OSCE Mission In Crimea; Russia Threatens Treaty Force Majeure Over “Unfriendly NATO Threats” | Zero Hedge

Warning Shots Fired At OSCE Mission In Crimea; Russia Threatens Treaty Force Majeure Over “Unfriendly NATO Threats” | Zero Hedge.

Perhaps it is time to finally admit that anyone who thought Putin’s Tuesday press conference, which the market so jubilantly assumed was a case of “blinking” and de-escalating tensions with the west, was wrong. If there is still any confusion, following yesterday’s news that Gazprom officially threatened Ukraine with cutting off its gas supplies, as well as the storming of a Ukraine base by Russian troops – luckily with no shots fired so far – then today’s developments should any remaining doubts. Moments ago AP reported that as the latest, third in a row, group of OSCE inspectors tried to enter Ukraine, they were not only barred from doing so, but warnings shots were fired to emphasize the point by pro-Russian forces.

From AP:

An Associated Press reporter says pro-Russian forces refused to let a foreign military mission enter Crimea on Saturday.

After the officers had stopped, the armed men fired warning bursts of automatic weapons fire into the air to make other unidentified vehicles halt. No injuries were reported.

The multinational group of military officers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was attempting to enter the embattled peninsula from the north. The armed men told them they had no authorization to enter Crimea.

The OSCE mission will likely return to the Ukrainian city of Kherson where it had spent the night, the AP reporter said.

Russia and Ukraine are locked in a tense standoff over Crimea.

Bloomberg adds:

OSCE tried to enter Crimea for third day, warning shots were fired as it attempted to do so today, Tatyana Baeva, OSCE spokeswoman, said by phone from Vienna.

Nobody injured in incident, OSCE mission is now back in Kherson, southern Ukraine.

OSCE 29 member states that provided people for Crimea mission may meet today or tomorrow in Vienna to discuss further action: Baeva

Then there was this overnight escalation as reported by Ukraine’s TV5 station (of questionably credibility), via Bloomberg:

Pro-Russian armed men today captured building in Simferopol, capital city of Crimea, TV5 private news channel reports, citing Vladislav Selezniov, spokesman for Ukraine’s defense minister in Crimea.

Russian soldiers seized Ukraine’s state border guard division in Shcholkino near Kerch Strait, Ukraine’s border service says in statement on its website

Russian soldiers stormed Shcholkino unit last night, seized weapons storage, beat Ukrainian border guards, took away their mobile phones and forced them and their families to leave

Currently, 11 border guard units are being blocked: Ukraine border service says in separate statement

Ukraine denied entrance to 513 “extremists” from Russia during last 24 hrs, state border guard service says in another separate statement on its website

Remember, all it takes is for one stray bullet to hit a human target, on either side of the conflict, for the market to grasp just how wrong its assessment of de-escalation has been.

Elsewhere, while inspectors were trying to make their way into Ukraine – unsuccessfully – Russia announced it was considering a further freeze of U.S. military inspections under arms control treaties in retaliation to Washington’s decision to halt military cooperation with Russia, news reports said Saturday.

Interfax blasted earlier:

  • UNJUSTIFIED U.S., NATO THREATS SEEN AS UNFRIENDLY GESTURE, ALLOW TO DECLARE FORCE-MAJEURE – RUSSIAN DEFENSE SOURCE
  • RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY CONSIDERING SUSPENSION OF RECEIVING INSPECTION GROUPS UNDER START TREATY, VIENNA DOCUMENT 2011 – SOURCE

AP has more:

Russian news agencies carried a statement by an unidentified Defense Ministry official saying that Moscow sees the U.S. move as a reason to suspend U.S. inspections in Russia in line with the 2010 New START treaty on cutting U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and the 2011 Vienna agreement that envisages mutual inspections of Russian and NATO military facilities as part of confidence-building measures.

A Defense Ministry spokesman wouldn’t comment on the reports, which are a usual way in Russia to carry unofficial government signals.

The U.S. and the European Union have introduced sanctions over Russia in response to its move to send troops that have taken control of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

So if the START treaty is suspended how long until its anti-proliferation clauses are scrapped completely once more, and the Cold War arms race returns once again.

Also, \while escalations such as these threaten to transform the new Cold War into a hot one, the clock is ticking, and in favor of Russia, because the longer Ukraine remains without western aid, the quicker its foreign reserves will run out, and the faster the country will become a vassal state of Gazpromia. Add the ticking countdown to the March 16 Crimean referendum, which the west and Ukraine have both declared illegitimate yet have no power to stop, and suddenly one can see how Putin once again outsmarted everything the west had to throw at it. WSJ explains:

Gazprom’s demand raises the prospect that some of the aid Western powers have guaranteed could end up flowing into Moscow’s coffers to pay Ukraine’s gas bill. Virtually all of the country’s natural-gas imports come from Russia. Late last year it was granted a discount that Moscow has threatened to rescind since the fall of Mr. Yanukovych.

“This now becomes an EU/U.S. problem: Who is going to lend Ukraine the money to pay the gas bill? If so, what will be the conditions?” said Jonathan Stern, an analyst at the Oxford Energy Institute.

A spokesman for Gazprom said that the threatened cutoff wouldn’t affect supplies to Europe, which gets about a third of its gas from Russia, much of it via pipelines that run through Ukraine.

 

 

In 2009, after the Russian energy giant switched off the supply to Ukraine, Ukrainian authorities began using the supply transiting their territory that Gazprom said was destined for customers in Europe. Gazprom then cut off the flow altogether, causing shortages and price increases for end customers.

 

“The EU, U.S. and IMF have just about three weeks to resolve this,” Mr. Stern said.

At which point it’s game, set match Putin once more.

Finally, what certainly helped Russia is that, as expected, China took the side of Putin, not of the “free world”, in what is now a very distinct and clear axis of power the New Normal dipolar world.

Russian Fleet Gives Ukrainian Crimea Forces Ultimatum To Surrender Or “Face Storm”, Ukraine Defense Minister Quoted | Zero Hedge

Russian Fleet Gives Ukrainian Crimea Forces Ultimatum To Surrender Or “Face Storm”, Ukraine Defense Minister Quoted | Zero Hedge.

Just out from Reuters:

  • INTERFAX UKRAINIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY AS SAYING  RUSSIAN FLEET HAS GIVEN UKRAINIAN FORCES IN CRIMEA UNTIL 0300  GMT TOSURRENDER OR FACE STORM

It appears Putin is still unaware of the “costs” he is facing.

Meanwhile:

#Crimea The Russian deadline of 4 o’clock for Ukrainian troops to vacate Belbek base has passed. No sign of Russian military eviction force

— Elizabeth Palmer (@elizapalmer) March 3, 2014

Interpreter notes that Ukraine’s first president, Leonid Kravchuk, who served between 1991 and 1994, wrote in the Russian publication Snob.ru today that this crisis could spark World War III:

“I call on the Russian authorities to stop. Between our peoples should not be war. Does Russia not understand that this is the beginning of World War III?” he warned.

 

He vowed to defend the land of his forefathers despite his age.

 

“My great-grandfather and grandfather fought in World War I, along with Russia. I am 80 years old, but I’ll take a gun and I will defend their land. Every citizen will defend their territory as their home.

 

“We knelt and Russia sat us down. Czechoslovakia, Poland, Afghanistan, Hungary. Now Ukraine is on the line?” he continued.

If the Russian troops try to take these bases, and the soldiers inside resist, is it possible that Kravchuk’s warning could come true?

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