Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March 7, 2014

Jarred by US 'top ten lies' list, Russia fires back

RUSSIA: Russia's ministry of foreign affairs was not amused by the unorthodox statement from the US State Department under the title "President Putin's Fiction: 10 False Claims About Ukraine," which purported to rebut a series of assertions by Vladimir Putin in the eye-catching format of a top-10 list. The foreign ministry's own statements have an ornate formal tone, garnished with thick irony and rhetorical flourishes, and this casual treatment of the Russian president's words in the State Department list, released Wednesday, must have been jarring. A ministry spokesman, Alexander K Lukashevich, provided an angry five-paragraph response on Thursday afternoon, calling the list "shocking, not as much for its primitive distortion of reality as its cynicism and overt 'double standards.'" "The State Department is trying to play on a shamelessly one-sided interpretation of events, as if there was not plentiful evidence of atrocities committ…

Cold War redux

Russia’s de facto annexation of the Crimea — which President Vladimir Putin says is a humanitarian intervention — has exposed ugly motives all round. On February 22, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, panicking over public protests calling for early elections and a return to the 2004 Constitution, abandoned his violent crackdown on the protesters and fled the capital, Kiev. The national parliament voted to remove him from office and impeach him; Speaker Oleksander Turchynov took over as interim president, and the assembly decided to hold elections on May 25. Mr. Turchynov has since then made political appointments by decree, and some of his choices have extreme right-wing and anti-Semitic backgrounds. On March 1, Russian troops moved into the eastern province of Crimea, without facing any resistance; the Russian military had, in any case, retained their Sevastopol naval base and various airfields under an arrangement made after the Soviet Union was abolished in 1991; there are now…

Caught between Russia and the EU

Ukraine threatens to become the Syria of Eastern Europe. And like Syria, civil war could ultimately decimate a vibrant and ethnically diverse society, and a rich civilisational legacy
The political crisis in Ukraine, that has now entered its fourth month, is rapidly reaching a point of no return. Territorial fissures in the country along political, linguistic and ethnic lines, the real possibility of civil war, and the emergence of the southern (autonomous) Ukrainian republic of Crimea as a potential, international military flashpoint, are among the different aspects of the current situation in the country, which is the second largest state in Europe.The focus has shifted from Kiev to the southern province of Crimea where the interim government that deposed former President Viktor Yanukovych has not been recognised. With its complex ethnic mix and historical past, the region has traditionally had strong ties with Russia.Russia has stepped up its military presence in Crimea — it alread…

SC issues notice to Centre on AP bifurcation

Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana on Friday came under judicial scrutiny with the Supreme Court agreeing to examine it and sought response from the Centre.A bench headed by Justice H.L. Dattu issued notice to the Centre on a batch of petitions filed by several people, including former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Reddy, challenging bifurcation of the State.The court favoured interference of a Constitution bench for hearing the issue and said the larger bench can consider whether stay can be granted on bifurcation of the State.The petitioners contended that the bifurcation of the State is illegal and unconstitutional. They questioned Centre’s decision to pass the Bill pertaining to bifurcation of the State in Parliament despite it being rejected by the State Assembly.There are around 18 petitions filed in the apex court challenging the bifurcation of the State.The apex court had on February 7 and 17 respectively refused to entertain petitions challenging the divi…