‘Got nothing’: Obama warns Russia not to be on ‘wrong side of history’


In remarks delivered today during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama entered phase II of the effort to convince Vladimir Putin to pull Russian troops out of Ukraine: Lobbing clichés:


Putin is likely to be unmoved by that statement.


Obama: You are on the wrong side of history!

Putin: Okay?

Obama: Let me be clear.

Putin: Okay?— Matthew (@Matthops82) March 03, 2014

Where is this heading?


Put Kerry on it!

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/03/03/like-putin-cares-president-cliche-warns-russia-not-to-be-on-wrong-side-of-history/

Jeans diplomacy! WH releases baffling pic of Obama phone call


The Guardian’s Paul Lewis and India Knight of The Sunday Times were both baffled by the White House’s release of a photo of President Obama’s phone call with Vladimir Putin. Why release it? Because, he’s super serious you guys! See, he’s totally on the case, even if only his empty chair attended the national security meeting on Saturday.

But what did the White House neglect to mention?



Still, he’s super scary and strong, right?


Boom. Next up: Sternly worded letter.



Wall Street Journal columnist and AEI fellow Sadanand Dhume  attempted to explain why the photo was released.


Snort. So there’s that. What an accomplishment.

Others noticed something awfully disturbing about the photo.


Jeans diplomacy.

Aside from the jeans and the phone, what else does the president have?



Where is it?


And Asian News International editor Smita Prakash ties it all into “House of Cards” for the exit win:



‘Useless appendage’: First look at upcoming ‘official’ WH pics of Obama at national security meeting?

‘Extraordinary standoff’: Ukraine troops won’t surrender in Crimea [photos]

‘The text does not limit it to Crimea’: Putin reportedly asks parliament to use military in all of Ukraine; Update: Parliament approves

CBS political director/Slate correspondent covers for absentee president

President Empty Chair skips Saturday’s national security meeting?

Is this how we’ll know when President Empty Chair means business with Russia? [pic]

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/03/02/brandishes-phone-at-putin-wh-releases-baffling-pic-of-obama-phone-call-most-disturbing-part/

Russia donates puppy to Paris to replace K9 killed in terror raid

MeetDobrynya, an adorable German Sheppard puppy that Russia’s Interior Ministry has donated to France to replace Diesel, the K9 dog killed in an anti-terror raid in Paris on Wednesday.

A kinder, gentler Vladimir Putin on display?

Russia Today reports that Dobrynia “will be sent to France as a sign of solidarity with the French people and police in fight against terrorism.”

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2015/11/20/from-russia-with-puppy-love-russia-donates-adorable-puppy-to-paris-to-replace-k9-killed-in-terror-raid/

AP finds FBI has broken up FOUR ISIS attempts to get nuclear material

The JV team wants nuclear material to make a dirty bomb. And they’re trying to get it from the country led by the “bored kid in the back of the classroom” that’s eating President Obama’s lunch in Syria right now:

Specifically, the Russian sellers want an “Islamic buyer” who’ll bomb the Americans:

Nightmare inducing — and a Hollywood script:

Well, yeah. Call Dick Cheney … because he was right.

More from the AP:

Criminal organizations, some with ties to the Russian KGB’s successor agency, are driving a thriving black market in nuclear materials in the tiny and impoverished Eastern European country of Moldova, investigators say. The successful busts, however, were undercut by striking shortcomings: Kingpins got away, and those arrested evaded long prison sentences, sometimes quickly returning to nuclear smuggling, AP found.

Moldovan police and judicial authorities shared investigative case files with the AP in an effort to spotlight how dangerous the nuclear black market has become. They say the breakdown in cooperation between Russia and the West means that it has become much harder to know whether smugglers are finding ways to move parts of Russia’s vast store of radioactive materials an unknown quantity of which has leached into the black market.

Exit question: If there have been four instances we’ve broken up, how many have we missed?

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2015/10/07/not-a-good-article-to-wake-up-to-ap-finds-fbi-has-broken-up-four-isis-attempts-to-get-nuclear-material/

Ukrainian Women Are Boycotting Sex with Russians As Protest

Obviously someone over in Crimea read our chapter on #8 not having sex with bros because this is truly inspired.

There is a new campaign in Ukraine called “Don't Give It To A Russian” which you can see on the above t-shirts if you can read them, but if not you will have to just trust us that it says that. The campaign is meant in protest of Russian actions in Crimea such as kidnapping, taking away rights, limiting journalism, and other commonplace dictator shit. They believe that by saying nyet to sex that Putin will stop figuratively raping them, but something tells me that this will just cause more actual rape. Until someone finds a way to give blue balls to Putin himself I think we will just have to sit back and watch as he takes all over eastern Europe. Let's just hope Prague's okay because I know some people who want to go abroad there without like, getting annexed. 

Source: NY Post

Read more: http://www.betcheslovethis.com/article/ukrainian-women-are-boycotting-sex-with-russians-as-protest

‘Smart take’! MSNBC resident wit Touré: Putin should be GOP’s 2016 nominee [video]


And when it comes to idiocy, Touré is in a class by himself. Here’s what our favorite 9/11 truther was up to this afternoon:


It’s even better when you see it on video:

A national treasure, this guy.


Nah. On MSNBC, this is news.


Don’t ever change, Touré.




Twitchy coverage of Touré

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/04/11/smart-take-msnbc-resident-wit-toure-putin-should-be-gops-2016-nominee-video/

Leo DiCaprio Has His Eye On Playing Russian President Vladimir Putin

Not satisfied with what (surely) will be his first Oscar winning role in The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio has set his sights on playing the role of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Riding high on being nominated for Best actor, the star said in an interview with German magazine, Welt:

“Putin would be very, very, very interesting. I would like to play him,”

DiCaprio – who funds the World Wildlife Fund’s Big Cat Rescue – met Putin back in 2010 when he attended the International Forum on Tiger Conservation in St. Petersburg, and it appears the President has got a bit of a soft spot for big cats:

My fund has several projects aimed at financial support for protecting these wild cats [Siberia tigers]… Putin and me spoke only about these magnificent animals, not about politics.

Forget playing Putin, what about a remake of The Lion King with Leo as Simba and Putin as Scar…

It’s not just Putin the actor is interested in, as he also told the magazine:

I think there should be more films about Russian history because it has many stories worthy of Shakespeare. That is fascinating for an actor… Lenin also would be an interesting role. I would like also to star as Rasputin.”

Coming soon: Leonardo DiCaprio depicting a Russian man, from some point in history, near you.

Read more: http://www.hellou.co.uk/2016/01/leo-dicaprio-has-his-eye-on-playing-russian-president-vladimir-putin-77147/

Cold Weather And Frozen Hopes For Peace In Eastern Ukraine

Moscow must somehow avoid a humiliating climb-down, while anything less than total victory for Ukraine will look like capitulation. But it doesn’t look hopeful. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1408467126); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3421932”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1408467126); });

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Ukrainian citizens stand in a line to cross from Russia into Ukraine at the border in Donetsk. Alexander Demianchuk / Reuters

LYSYCHANSK, Ukraine — Tuesday’s announcement that Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko are to meet next week for the first time in two months comes at a crucial point in the Ukrainian crisis, with the country’s eastern provinces still mired in a cycle of destruction and no obvious end in sight.

At least 15 civilians trying to escape the war-ravaged city of Lugansk were killed in an inadvertent rocket attack on Monday, according to the Ukrainian military, adding to a death toll that has doubled to well over 2,000 in the last two weeks. Ukraine says the victims of the latest attack were in the “dozens,” but was unable to find all the bodies before fighting forced investigators to flee.

Yet though a diplomatic settlement seems more urgent than ever, realities on the ground mean the prospect of one is slim at best. Neither side appears to have any incentive to end the conflict on anything but its own terms. Moscow must somehow avoid a humiliating climb-down without going so far as a ground invasion, while anything less than total victory for Ukraine will look like capitulation. “I don’t think there’s any point to what we’re trying to do now,” said Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov after five hours of talks with Ukraine, France, and Germany on Sunday produced no progress.

Time, however, is running out. Combat operations will become much more difficult to sustain come fall, when the weather worsens, the school year begins, and locals who had hoped to escape the crisis on holiday run out of money. If the pro-Russia rebels hold out that long, the Ukrainian government in Kiev could be forced to approach them as a force with which not just to be reckoned, but also negotiated. This would strengthen Moscow’s hand in any future settlement.

Ukrainian security officials, in keeping with post-Soviet propagandistic tradition, are keen to deliver a major victory for the independence celebrations on Sunday. They seem closer than ever. Fighting is spilling into the center of the rebels’ two remaining strongholds, Donetsk and Lugansk, both of which are all but surrounded. The self-proclaimed “people’s republics” there, and the hundreds of thousands of people trapped in them, are largely cut off from electricity, water mains, and the outside world — specifically, Russia, to where the civilians attacked by rocket fire were fleeing, and which Ukraine claims provides the bulk of the rebels’ supplies.

Rebels have vowed to fight to the last man, but readily admit that they are doomed unless Moscow intervenes on their side. This again seems unlikely. Fears of invasion provoked by Moscow’s “humanitarian convoy” of 280 trucks, which Kiev suspected was a Trojan horse carrying a “peacekeeping” force, have subsided since the trucks were revealed not to be carrying much at all. Though Moscow awkwardly claimed the mostly empty containers were left under-loaded to stop the trucks breaking down, it now appears their real aim was to stall the conflict by forcing a cease-fire. That would have allowed the rebels to regroup, reinforcing the nascent pseudo-states — indeed, on Monday, the Donetsk People’s Republic published a criminal code legalizing the summary executions that have become its hallmark.

Murky changes in the separatist leadership appear to be counting on that. Several of the best-known commanders have mysteriously resigned or disappeared without explanation, even including Igor Strelkov, the former Russian intelligence operative whose likeness stares down from posters across the region. His allies claim he has gone on a one-month holiday in their hour of need and refuse to discuss the matter further; his former deputy recently suggested that Strelkov may never have existed and that we are all computer programs living inside the Matrix. (“The Donetsk People’s Republic will exist,” though, he clarified.)

Conventional wisdom has it that the sudden removal of several leaders at once is to replace Russians, with whom Kiev cannot be seen to negotiate, with local Ukrainian commanders, making a deal more tenable. But as Russians still take up senior positions — the DPR’s head of security and newly installed foreign minister both came from Moscow — and rebels claim to have received significant reinforcements from over the border, it looks more like a simple shuffling of the deck. Partly, this seems to be because Strelkov in particular had become too much of a loose cannon, if leaked phone conversations between rebels and their Russian handlers are to be believed.

Equally, however, there is a tacit understanding on both sides that any settlement would be untenable to both, and unplayable at home. With key parliamentary elections set for October, the war has turned Ukraine’s famously divided public firmly against the Kremlin. De-escalation for Moscow, meanwhile, would mean a personal defeat for Vladimir Putin, who all but endorsed the separatists in April when he claimed the provinces were a historical part of Novorossiya, or “New Russia.” Ukraine would then be free to pursue the course of heading towards the West and shaking off its role in Putin’s vision of a greater Eurasia. But it was, after all, this very division over Ukraine’s destiny that caused the crisis late last year.

Needless to say, the losers in all this are the largely poor and elderly civilians who remain trapped in the conflict zone. Ukraine’s security council said most of the victims in Monday’s rocket attack were found burned alive in buses, unable to get out in time. Rebels claimed the attack never happened. And so it goes on.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/cold-weather-and-frozen-hopes-for-peace-in-eastern-ukraine

What About Larry King?

After the on-air resignation of RT’s Liz Wahl, the question is what the broadcast legend whose shows appear on the Kremlin-funded network will do next.

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You might not know it, or maybe just forgot, but cable news legend Larry King appears on RT — the Kremlin-funded television network.

After Russian troops entered Ukraine last week, first journalists derided the network’s coverage of those events. Then a spate of very public dissent began at the network. It started with Breaking the Set host Abby Martin’s off-script rant against “Russia’s military occupation of Crimea” and culminated with anchor Liz Wahl’s on-air resignation.

So what does King think? RT America, the network’s U.S. version, carries two of King’s talk shows (a Thursday night talk show, Politicking with Larry King, and Larry King Now, which also airs on Hulu).

BuzzFeed requested comment from King via email regarding the following questions:

What are Mr. King’s thoughts on the situation in Ukraine?

Does he condone Vladimir Putin’s action’s in the Crimea?

What does Mr. King think about the on-air resignation of RT anchor Liz Wahl?

Will Mr. King’s recent interview with the Dalai Lama be aired on RT? If not, is there a reason?

Neither King, nor his representation, has responded.

King told the Daily Beast Thursday that he did not have a problem with his shows appearing on RT.

“I don’t work for RT,” he said. “It’s a deal made between the companies…They just license our shows.”

“If they took something out, I would never do it,” he told the Daily Beast. “It would be bad if they tried to edit out things. I wouldn’t put up with it…As long as they don’t, as long as they’re carrying stuff critical of them, I’ve got no problem with it.” Attempting to distance himself, he added: “You may not like what Russia’s doing now, but I’m really a party removed.”

Although King is not employed by RT, he has an equity stake in Ora.TV, the production company that licenses his shows to RT. King also appears in an ad campaign for RT.

RT has handled its hosts’ dissent differently. Addressing Martin’s rant, the network claimed that “RT journalists and hosts are free to express their own opinions.” The network announced they would send Martin to Crimea to see the situation for herself; Martin declined.

The response to Wahl was much different. “When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional,” RT said in a statement.

The 80-year-old King has been working in broadcast journalism since the 1950s. From 1985 to 2010, he hosted Larry King Live on CNN. Piers Morgan took his spot on the network.

Before leaving CNN, the host told the network that he was impressed with Putin’s charisma.

“I had an affinity with [Putin],” he said. “You try to get that with a lot of guests, but I really had it with him…he has qualities that have nothing to do with politics … they change a room.”

“There are certain people that come into your life and you like them,” he added.

CORRECTION (3/7/14): Larry King’s shows are licensed for a fee to RT by the company Ora.TV, in which King holds an equity stake. An earlier version of this post described King’s employment status at RT incorrectly.

3. Update (March 7, 11:58 a.m.): Statement from OraTV to BuzzFeed via email:

“RT is Ora.TV’s licensed cable television distributor for Politicking and Larry King Now. Ora.TV’s producers are solely responsible for the content of our shows, the content and quality of which we believe speaks for itself.”


Russia Today Anchor Resigns Live On Air


14 Insane Moments From RT’s Coverage Of The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/dorsey/what-about-russia-today-host-larry-king

Putin Spokesman Suggests Kremlin Might End Ketchum Contract

“Communication services are mostly useless now.” BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1409696539); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3435423”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1409696539); });

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Pool / Reuters

WASHINGTON — Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has suggested that the Kremlin may end its relationship with the U.S. public relations firm Ketchum, according to a report on Forbes’ Russian site.

“Communication services are mostly useless now,” Peskov told Forbes. “When you have unabashed propaganda coming from the U.S. and NATO countries, the usual laws of communication and information do not apply.”

When the Ketchum contract expires, Peskov said, the Kremlin will decide “whether we need to continue our cooperation or take a pause.”

Peskov is also quoted in the piece as saying that Russia tried to hire two other companies other than Ketchum.

Ketchum has represented Russia since 2006, but its relationship with the Kremlin has never been more fraught than now, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives its relationship with the West to crisis. Ketchum has cut back its number of employees on the Russia file from three dozen to 10, the New York Times reported, and has stopped representing Russian energy giant Gazprom because “Gazprom had decided to focus on Europe.”

The Ketchum deal with Russia has proved enormously valuable for the company, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from the account since 2006. There have been high-profile successes, such as Ketchum’s placement of an op-ed by Vladimir Putin in the New York Times last year. But, according to Forbes Russia, all has not been well: the site reports that Ketchum was not behind Putin being named Time’s person of the year in 2007, which Ketchum claimed it had arranged. Citing a former Ketchum employee, the piece also raises questions about Ketchum’s disclosure of funds it has received from the Kremlin and Gazprom.

“The Forbes piece seems pretty accurate,” said Angus Roxburgh, a former Ketchum consultant who wrote a book about his experiences working for Ketchum.

Kathy Jeavons, a Ketchum partner who is in charge of the account with Russia, declined to comment when reached by phone and hung up on BuzzFeed. Another spokesperson for Ketchum did not respond to requests for comment.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/putin-spokesman-suggests-kremlin-might-end-ketchum-contract