Data Missing From Malaysia Airlines Pilot and Other News You Need to Know

Welcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening around the world. Today, we’re looking at five important stories.

  • Pro-Russian forces quietly took over the Ukrainian naval base on Wednesday. While no shots were fired, men swept in and raised the Russian flag over the building, the Washington Post reports.

  • Malaysia’s defense minister said some information had been recently deleted from the home flight simulator of one of the pilots aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, The Wall Street Journal reports. Investigators say they are trying to retrieve the files; the information it contained is still unclear, but the defense minister emphasized the pilot is innocent until proven guilty.

  • The Federal Reserve is set to issue plans on Wednesday for its monthly bond buybacks, along with forecasts for interest rates and inflation, The Wall Street Journal reports.

  • Google announced Android Wear, a new software platform specifically for wearable devices that will push voice prompts, Google Now and health monitoring features to smartwatches.

  • Sony unveiled its Project Morpheus virtual reality headset on Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Check out the video above for more on these stories.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/03/19/malaysia-pilot-simulator-brief/

Does Russia Really Want Crimea — And Does Crimea Want Russia?

“Separatism is just a show.”

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Stringer / Reuters

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Fights broke out in the Crimean capital on Wednesday between demonstrators for and against Ukraine’s new provisional government in Kiev. The Kremlin ordered unannounced war games in western Russia. By the looks of it, a Russian military intervention on behalf of ethnic Russians living in Ukraine seemed more likely than ever. On the ground in Simferopol, however, the situation is rather different. The explosive atmosphere of the past days has been defused, not exacerbated. And the chance that Crimea, a former Russian possession, will split off and appeal for President Vladimir Putin’s protection is smaller today than it has been in days past.

The phantom of Crimean separatism has spooked Ukraine since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Crimean and Russian politicians alike have found populist gain in the notion of the Black Sea peninsula finally coming home to Mother Russia. But it seems nobody is ready to push as far as secession, since the status quo is much more beneficial to both the local pro-Russia lobby and Kremlin geostrategists. From afar, the scuffles outside the Crimean parliament looked like a brewing storm between Russian nationalists on the one side and Ukraine loyalists — including Crimea’s ethnic Tatar minority — on the other. In fact, the leaders of the two sides are in constant contact with each other and have a common enemy: the outsiders whom ousted President Viktor Yanukovych installed from his eastern Ukrainian stronghold in the city of Donetsk. “Separatism is just a show,” said Lenur Yunusov, editor of the Simferopol news site 15minut.org. “The fight for political posts and getting rid of the guys from Donetsk are much more important.” Refat Chubarov, the head of the Crimean Tatar community, and Sergei Aksyonov, leader of the Russian Unity Party, appeared together outside the regional parliament on Wednesday and called for calm. Both were marginalized by the old regime. Both support Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Crimea’s independence is the last thing pro-Russia politicians want, Yunusov said: “For them it’s better to be in Ukraine and get money from Moscow. They don’t want to split off.” By bringing out thousands of men, many with the physiques of wrestlers, the well-organized Tatar community convinced the parliament to cancel a special session that could have discussed a referendum on Crimean independence. Now representatives of Crimea’s three biggest ethnic groups — Russians, Ukrainians, and Tatars — will sit down and negotiate the formation of a new regional government, said Liliya Muslimova, Chubarov’s spokeswoman. Fisticuffs and bloody noses appeared unavoidable as pro-Kiev protestors pushed through a spindly police line to a considerably smaller pro-Moscow rally. Protesters chanting “Russia! Russia!” were surprisingly incoherent about what they really wanted. The most frequent answer to the question of whether Crimea should break off and become a part of Russia was that Ukraine should join the Moscow-led Customs Union and not the European Union. The Customs Union, consisting of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, is the Kremlin’s latest plan to stand up to the West and create a regional powerhouse of its own. There was little nationalistic fervor among the pro-Russia protestors. The Tatars, who are Muslim, were not targeted because of their ethnicity or religion — but because of their unequivocal support for the new authorities in Kiev, whom the Kremlin has branded fascists. By conducting military exercises close to Ukraine’s border, Putin is giving the finger to the interim government and its western allies, without facing any consequences. The Kremlin understands perfectly well that keeping a naval base in Crimea is much more useful than annexing the entire peninsula, since it is Ukraine’s most vulnerable part. Crimea, which dangles into the Black Sea, is often called “the balls of Ukraine,” because whenever Russia needs to, it can give a tight squeeze. In the long run, squeezing is more effective than castration. Officially, the Kremlin considers the provisional government in Kiev illegitimate. Yet Yanukovych’s whereabouts remain unknown, though rumors persist he may be in Crimea. It’s plausible that he is hiding at the Russian Navy base in Sevastopol — a sort of diplomatic no-man’s-land like the Moscow airport transit lounge that was National Security Agency defector Edward Snowden’s temporary refuge last summer. As long as Yanukovych isn’t found, the Kremlin can continue to pretend he’s still Ukraine’s president.

Russia’s cautiousness in making any rash moves over Crimea was evident Tuesday, when Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky visited Simferopol. A member of nationalist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s party, Slutsky pussyfooted around the question of what Russia would actually do for Crimea’s ethnic Russians. “In the case of any provocations against the inhabitants in the east and southeast of Ukraine, and the Republic of Crimea, we also have corresponding, appropriate measures,” he declared stiffly, while members of the local Russian community begged him for financial aid and complained that Moscow TV channels were ignoring them. As demonstrators from both sides gradually dispersed from the Crimean parliament this afternoon, an older Russian woman started wailing that a man had been killed. Like everything else here, there was a kernel of truth. A man had in fact died — of a heart attack.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/luciankim/does-russia-really-want-crimea-and-does-crimea-want-russia

Amid Fears Of War, Instagram Users #PrayforUkraine

As tensions rise in Ukraine, Instagram users opposed to Russian military intervention are responding under the hashtag #prayforukraine.

1. Several images show young girls wearing Ukrainian national dress and the colors of the country’s blue-and-yellow flag.

instagram.com instagram.com

3. “My country will not fall on its knees,” this person wrote. “My heart is bleeding.”

instagram.com instagram.com

5. “I’m in shock,” this person wrote. “From what and from whom is Russia saving the people in Crimea? #wtf”

instagram.com

6. Other images commemorate the victims of clashes between protesters and police last week.

instagram.com

7. One person posted this photo of a box of tissues, describing an “emotional evening with non-stop thoughts about Ukraine in my head.”

instagram.com

8. Other photos lashed out directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin. This one compares him to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

instagram.com

9. “Please God, stop this global evil in the face of Putin!!!” this person wrote. “Nobody, NOBODY wants war, but only his devil’s soul.”

instagram.com instagram.com instagram.com

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/susiearmitage/amid-fears-of-war-instagram-users-prayforukraine

Footballer Credited With Saving Opponent’s Life On Pitch After Horrific Collision

Jaba Kankava rushed to save Oleg Gusev after he was knocked unconscious.

1. In the 22nd minute of a Ukrainian Premier League match, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk goalkeeper Denis Boyko came to claim a high ball and collided with Dynamo Kiev captain Oleg Gusev.

Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=6vmfGztDei4. youtube.com

The Dynamo captain was immediately knocked unconscious after being accidentally struck by Boyko’s knee.

Having witnessed the collision, Kankava rushed to his opponent’s aid and managed to clear Gusev’s airway by reportedly pulling his tongue back out of his throat after the midfielder swallowed it.

2. Gusev regained consciousness soon after Kankava’s intervention and after being stretchered away was later taken to hospital.

Gusev regained consciousness soon after Kankava's intervention and after being stretchered away was later taken to hospital.

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Via youtube.com

A statement on the Dynamo Kiev website on Monday said the player suffered “serious injuries” and is currently being examined by doctors who will later decide on how to treat him.

A banner has also be created for fans to sign to send the club’s captain their best wishes and support.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/richardhjames/footballer-credited-with-saving-opponents-life-on-pitch-afte

Top Ukrainian Diplomat Calls Putin A “Dickhead”

Russian officials are furious at Ukrainian foreign minister Andrii Deshchytsia. “He’s bad at controlling himself,” one wrote. “He might get wasted and barf without warning all over the U.N. General Assembly.”

Hundreds of Ukrainians rioted outside the Russian embassy in Kiev on Saturday night after pro-Russian separatists in the country’s troubled east shot down an army transport plane, killing all 49 on board.

Hundreds of Ukrainians rioted outside the Russian embassy in Kiev on Saturday night after pro-Russian separatists in the country's troubled east shot down an army transport plane, killing all 49 on board.

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SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP / Getty Images

The protesters demanded that Russia admit to aiding the separatists, charges Moscow denies, and take steps to end the conflict in the east.

Євромайдан @Dbnmjr

Посольство РФ около 20-00.

Russia was outraged.

Facebook Post.

Facebook: MIDRussia

Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, attempted to calm protesters down. “We must fulfill our international obligations, including defending the right of Russia to have an embassy in Ukraine,” he said.

Ukraine's acting foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, attempted to calm protesters down. "We must fulfill our international obligations, including defending the right of Russia to have an embassy in Ukraine," he said.

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YURIY KIRNICHNY/AFP / Getty Images

Those in the furious crowd weren’t having it. “Did I say that I am against you protesting? I am for you protesting,” Deshchytsia continued. “I’m ready to stand here with you and say, ‘Russia, get out of Ukraine! Yes, ‘Putin khuilo,’ he added.

Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=kac73Ks_Yqo.

Deshchytsia was referring to a popular song that calls Putin a khuilo, which literally means “fucking hideous effigy” or “giant cock” but is best translated as “dickhead” or “fucker.” Protesters then sang “Putin khuilo!” as Deshchytsia looked on, slightly bemused. youtube.com

The song has swept the country since pro-unity soccer fans debuted it before a match in the city of Kharkiv in March.

Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=tX96urnpkuk.

There’s even a campaign to get foreign fans to sing it during Russia’s matches at the World Cup in Brazil. (Ukraine didn’t qualify.) youtube.com

By Sunday, things had calmed down in Kiev.

Anna G @LadyGuri

Прямо сейчас у посольства Украины в Москве начинают собираться люди с требованием #НетФашизму

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told his French counterpart Laurent Fabius that he was “over the inaction of the Kiev authorities who allowed the rioting outside the Russian embassy,” according to a ministry statement.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told his French counterpart Laurent Fabius that he was "over the inaction of the Kiev authorities who allowed the rioting outside the Russian embassy," according to a ministry statement.

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Police were slow to intervene to stop the violence, though Ukraine’s foreign ministry later claimed that several instigators had been arrested. Most of the job protecting the embassy was done by “self-defense units” left over from protests that overthrew disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych, a Russia ally, in February. SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP / Getty Images

Lavrov filed an official note of protest against the “bacchanalia” to Kiev on Sunday. Konstantin Dolgov, one of his deputies, said the incident “just goes to show the political culture, or rather, lack thereof, of the people in power in Kiev.”

Lavrov filed an official note of protest against the "bacchanalia" to Kiev on Sunday. Konstantin Dolgov, one of his deputies, said the incident "just goes to show the political culture, or rather, lack thereof, of the people in power in Kiev."

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Lavrov famously once asked David Milliband, then UK foreign minister, “Who the fuck are you to lecture me?!” during a discussion of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Yves Herman / Reuters / Reuters

Russia’s ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, told state TV that the attack on the embassy had been “carefully planned.”

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“Poroshenko needs to change his foreign minister,” Russian parliamentary foreign affairs chief Alexey Pushkov wrote on Twitter. “He’s bad at controlling himself. He might get wasted without warning and barf all over the U.N. General Assembly.”

Алексей Пушков @Alexey_Pushkov

Порошенко надо бы сменить своего министра иностр.дел. Он себя плохо контролирует.А то нажрется,неровен час, и всю Генассамблею ООН заблюет

Western governments also condemned the riot and called on Ukraine to uphold its international obligations to protect the embassy.

Western governments also condemned the riot and called on Ukraine to uphold its international obligations to protect the embassy.

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SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP / Getty Images

But the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine — who agreed when his boss, assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, said “Fuck the EU” in a leaked phone conversation in February — praised Deshchtysia for helping end the riot.

Geoffrey Pyatt @GeoffPyatt

@zikifa @j_parus Agree. Great credit to @ADeshchytsia for seeking to defuse a dangerous situation. A skilled diplomat and credit to #Ukraine

“Oof, they shouldn’t be legalizing weed,” Russia Today head Margarita Simonyan wrote of Pyatt’s comment.

Маргарита Симоньян @M_Simonyan

Американский посол про известную сентенцию Дешицы написал, что Дешица проявил себя как искусный дипломат. Ох, зря они травку легализуют.

“My statement was a way to show my discontent peacefully,” Deshchtysia told Russian radio, before backtracking and claiming he hadn’t made a “statement.”

"My statement was a way to show my discontent peacefully," Deshchtysia told Russian radio, before backtracking and claiming he hadn't made a "statement."

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“The main thing was that we managed to stop the violence and provocations outside the Russian embassy,” Deshchytsia wrote on Sunday. “But if Russian aggression continues, it’s going to be harder to do.”

Andrii Deshchytsia @ADeshchytsia

Головне, що вчора вдалося зупинити насильство і провокації біля посольства РФ. Але,якщо російська агресія триватиме,це буде робити все важче

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/top-ukrainian-diplomat-calls-putin-a-dickhead

Now Ukraine has responded to Russia’s trade war threat/folk festival ad with a South Park GIF

We’d suggest that in the future wars will be fought not on the battlefield but on social media, but it looks like it’s already happening. It was weird enough watching officials from Norway and Denmark squabble online over which country was the true homeland of trolls, but now Russia and Ukraine are getting into it.

As Twitchy reported, Russia’s official Twitter account responded to a new batch of sanctions signed into law by President Trump by issuing a sort of threat, accompanied by what looks like an ad for a Renaissance fair. We’re going to go ahead and assume these aren’t the same people who “hacked” the 2016 election with their mad computer skills.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2017/08/02/now-ukraine-has-responded-to-russias-trade-war-threatfolk-festival-ad-with-a-south-park-gif/

Time’s prediction about Russia and Ukraine was one big ‘oopsie’

http://twitter.com/#!/ItIsGood2BeMe/status/440833581015777281

Awkward Time headline is awkward.

http://twitter.com/#!/shustry/status/438496924866707456

“No, Russia Will Not Intervene in Ukraine.” Better luck next time, dude.

http://twitter.com/#!/LilMissRightie/status/440831178648870912

Read more from Jim Geraghty at NRO’s Campaign Spot, including Tom Clancy’s “psychic” prediction about Russia’s move on Ukraine.

[Update]

Heh:

http://twitter.com/#!/MJOTUS/status/440863709607370754

Related:

‘I could see this one from Alaska’: Hey journos, ‘stupid’ Sarah Palin was right about Ukraine all along

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/03/04/times-headline-prediction-about-russia-and-ukraine-was-one-big-oopsie/

Crimea’s Eurovision Votes Will Still Count As Ukrainian

In case you were wondering, the Crimean public’s phone votes will still be counted under Ukraine’s total. Which might actually be good news for Russia’s Eurovision hopes.

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Mariya Yaremchuk, Ukraine’s 2014 Eurovision entant. Sergey Illin / Via eurovision.tv

Crimean Eurovision fans will still be counted as Ukranian in the official phone vote, despite the territory’s declaration of independence from the country.

The question of whether the result of the March referendum on joining Russia would be recognised by Eurovision authorities may not be the most pressing one in the disputed territory – but for the time being at least, the region’s infrastructure means the music contest (which goes to great lengths to keep politics out of the show) won’t recognise its change of allegiance.

As first reported last month by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, the question of whether Crimean votes count as Ukrainian or Russian is “a merely technical matter”, Eurovision spokesman Jarmo Siim confirmed to BuzzFeed last week. “If the people in Crimea remain on a Ukrainian mobile network, as they are now, their votes will count for Ukraine,” he said.

But, he added, “if Ukrainian mobile operators decide to block traffic from Crimea, or if Russian operators make their services available in Crimea, their votes will count for Russia.”

But for the time being “it appears that they are still on the Ukrainian network” – although Siim added that the organisers were “keeping an eye on it”.

The fact that Crimea’s Eurovision fanbase has yet to switch nationalities could well benefit Russia in the contest – as phone voters can’t award points to their own country.

Ukraine, with a large population that identifies with Russia, has regularly given Russia high scores over the past decade (an average of more than nine points out of a maximum 12). Had Russia managed to annexe a large population of those sympathetic Eurovision voters, it could have hurt their chances.

Not that they might necessarily care; one local Russian lawmaker, who inspired the country’s “gay propaganda” law, recently called for a boycott of Eurovision – which is watched by an estimated 125million viewers across Europe – describing it as “pan-European gay pride parade.”

Ukraine and Russia will be competing against each other in the first semi-final in Copenhagen tonight, Tuesday May 6. Both are thought likely to progress to the final on Saturday May 10.

For reference, here’s Ukraine’s Eurovision entry.

Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=sdAf2EjhRiE.

youtube.com

And here are the Tolmachevy Sisters for Russia.

Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=MPI7AnD_QS8.

youtube.com

LINK

The Man Who Created Russia’s “Gay Propaganda” Law Thinks Eurovision Is Gay Propaganda

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/tomphillips/crimeas-eurovision-votes-will-still-count-as-ukrainian

You Can Buy A Ukrainian Bomber On eBay Right Now

Shipping costs included.

1. A TU-95MS strategic bomber is currently listed on eBay with a starting price of $3million.

A TU-95MS strategic bomber is currently listed on eBay with a starting price of $3million.

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simon_xii / Via cgi.ebay.ca

2. According to the listing, the Soviet-era aircraft was built in 1987 and has flown just 454 of the 5,000 hours is apparently capable of.

According to the listing, the Soviet-era aircraft was built in 1987 and has flown just 454 of the 5,000 hours is apparently capable of.

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simon_xii / Via cgi.ebay.ca

3. It is said to be in very decent condition and should be ready to fly after a ‘technical service’.

It is said to be in very decent condition and should be ready to fly after a ‘technical service’.

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simon_xii / Via cgi.ebay.ca

4. According to The Aviationist, the bomber has symbols from both the Soviet and Ukrainian air force.

According to The Aviationist , the bomber has symbols from both the Soviet and Ukrainian air force.

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simon_xii / Via cgi.ebay.ca

The aircraft can be collected from the ports of Nikolaev and Odessa.

5. The seller is apparently a company based in Switzerland which specialises in the ‘distribution of goods and raw materials from Ukraine’.

The seller is apparently a company based in Switzerland which specialises in the ‘distribution of goods and raw materials from Ukraine’.

View this image ›

simon_xii / Via cgi.ebay.ca

There have so far been three bids on the bomber, but time is running out if you want a slice of the action.

The bidding ends on March 12.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/richardhjames/you-can-buy-a-ukrainian-bomber-on-ebay-right-now

Cease-fire reached in Ukraine; President Obama still reading about it

http://twitter.com/#!/MajorCBS/status/507099364628905984

Yes, but why wouldn’t the president know what the cease-fire means? Was he not consulted? Um, maybe not:

http://twitter.com/#!/ZekeJMiller/status/507098803892420608

President Obama is just like you and me. Instead of getting his news from world leaders, he reads about on the “wires.”

http://twitter.com/#!/jpaceDC/status/507098790323830784

Go wires, indeed. Details via the “New York Times“:

President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine reached an agreement with Russia on Wednesday for a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, the presidential office said in a brief announcement on its website.

The Ukrainian announcement said the agreement had come during a telephone call with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “The conversation resulted in an agreement on a lasting cease-fire in Donbass,” or eastern Ukraine, said the announcement, which consisted of three sentences. The two presidents agreed on the steps needed to establish peace, it said. No other details were given.

But Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s press secretary, said Mr. Putin had not negotiated a cease-fire with Mr. Poroshenko because Russia was not a party to the conflict in Ukraine’s southeast.

“Putin and Poroshenko did indeed discuss steps which could facilitate a cease-fire between the militias and the Ukrainian military,” Mr. Peskov was quoted as saying by the news agency RIA Novosti. “Russia cannot physically agree on a cease-fire, as it is not a side in the conflict.”

Maybe President Obama isn’t alone. It looks like nobody told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko what the cease-fire means, too:

http://twitter.com/#!/MaximEristavi/status/507098682903527424

Verdict? Putin wins. Again:

http://twitter.com/#!/MaximEristavi/status/507092662458286081

Related:

Know-nothings: Holder echoes Obama; We totally find out stuff when we read it in newspaper

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/09/03/cease-fire-reached-in-ukraine-president-obama-still-reading-about-it/