Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that he will give $19bn in financial aid, for job creation and infrastructure, to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine earlier this year. He was speaking during a visit to the region in front of members of Russian parliament who called out from their vacation in Moscow and asked to assemble in Crimean city of Yalta.
MH17 has left Dutch society in a state of mid-summer anaesthesia. Exactly 25 years after the end of the Cold War, and 20 years after the Srebrenica genocide that left more than 8,000 dead in a UN ‘safe area’ under Dutch command, the shooting down of KLM double tagged Malaysian Airlines MH17 is another defining moment for the Netherlands’ external relations.
The Ukrainian flag is once again proudly flying above the former separatist bastion of Sloviansk. One by one, the towns and villages of Donbas are being recaptured. But even as Ukraine gains the edge in its military conflict with Russia, the information battle continues to be one of David against Goliath. Whether it’s through the state media giant Russia Today, soft power campaigns or diplomatic backchannels, the Kremlin has implemented what some commentators have dubbed “the biggest information special operation” to date.
Putting his personal seal on the annexation of Crimea, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia arrived in the naval port of Sevastopol on Friday, where he used the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany to assert that Moscow had the right to take over the Black Sea peninsula.
The solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. It is time for US President Barack Obama to demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations. The result will change the strategic calculus not only in Damascus, but also in Moscow, not to mention Beijing and Tokyo.
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine and uncertainty associated with the actions and 'propaganda' of Vladimir Putin and pro-Russian separatists have forced the diplomatic hands of the United States, Ukraine, Russia, and the European Union.
While the Klitschko brothers are known as champions of heavyweight boxing, the older brother Vitali is transforming himself into a politician that represents the new Ukraine. Formerly called “Doctor Ironfist,” Vitali is extending his heavyweight champion brand far beyond HBO sports audiences -- he has emerged as the international spokesperson for the pro-Western, pro-reform Ukraine.
Latvia is joining Lithuania in banning Russian state television broadcasts because it found that several programs about the Ukraine crisis were tendentious and not in the Baltic nation’s security interests.