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.

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Time’s prediction about Russia and Ukraine was one big ‘oopsie’!/ItIsGood2BeMe/status/440833581015777281

Awkward Time headline is awkward.!/shustry/status/438496924866707456

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




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

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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

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:

And here are the Tolmachevy Sisters for Russia.

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

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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

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

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

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

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’.

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simon_xii / Via

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.

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Cease-fire reached in Ukraine; President Obama still reading about it!/MajorCBS/status/507099364628905984

Yes, but why wouldn’t the president know what the cease-fire means? Was he not consulted? Um, maybe not:!/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.”!/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:!/MaximEristavi/status/507098682903527424

Verdict? Putin wins. Again:!/MaximEristavi/status/507092662458286081


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

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Freed Oligarch And Putin Foe Khodorkovsky Defies Kremlin In Kiev

“I want you to know that there is a totally different Russia,” Mikhail Khodorkovsky told protesters on Kiev’s Independence Square Sunday.

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Mikhail Khodorkovsky met members of the Ukrainian protest movement’s self-defense forces Saturday evening. Tatyana Makeyeva / Reuters

KIEV, Ukraine — Shuffling awkwardly in a parka as thousands of Ukrainians chanted “Russia, rise up!”, jailed former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky outlined a vision of a “totally different Russia” that supported Kiev’s protest movement and opposes Vladimir Putin’s incursion into Crimea.

“I’ve seen what the government did here. They did it in conjunction with the Russian government. More than a hundred dead, more than 3,000 to 5,000 wounded,” Khodorkovsky said Sunday, frequently pausing for chants of “Welcome!”, “Disgrace!”, and “Thank you!”

“That’s not my government,” a visibly overwhelmed Khodorkovsky, apparently making the first public speech of his political career, said. “There are people [in Russia] for whom friendship between the Russian and Ukrainian people is more important than their own freedom,” Khodorkovsky added. “I believe that Russia and Ukraine share a united, common future and I wish you luck.”

Once Russia’s richest man, the 50-year-old Khodorkovsky spent 10 years in prison on fraud charges widely seen as revenge for challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin before his unexpected pardon in December. Khodorkovsky hinted in interviews that Putin had agreed to release him on the condition that he stayed out of politics and said he would begin a new career as a human rights activist.

Refuting the Kremlin’s case for military intervention at the center of what Putin calls an “anti-constitutional coup and armed seizure of power” suggests Khodorkovsky may have had a change of heart.

Khodorkovsky joins some of Putin’s critics, including U.S. Sen. John McCain and former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in addressing protesters on the square.

“Russian propaganda lies, as always. There aren’t any fascist or Nazis here — or at least, there aren’t any more than on the streets of Moscow or St. Petersburg,” Khodorkovsky said. “There are normal people here,” he added, “wonderful people who defended their freedom.”

Reviled by many during Russia’s turbulent 1990s for his rapid-fire acquisition of Russia’s prime oil assets, Khodorkovsky transformed his image during his imprisonment and is now seen as a leading liberal intellectual. He visited Kiev’s Independence Square, the site of the protests, the previous evening with former Ukrainian interior minister Yuri Lutsenko, who also spent time in prison on charges widely seen as politically motivated.

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Watch This Russian Airline Make A Moving Appeal For Peace With Ukraine


1. S7, a Russian airline, put out this ad to show the massive billboards it has hung around Moscow and Kiev, linking the two cities together with a peace sign.

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The company knows its audience — many of the thousands of people who attended an anti-war rally in Moscow this month came from the urban middle class, who tend to be the country’s frequent fliers. A 2012 poll found that fewer than 7 percent of Russians traveled abroad at least once a year.

2. Muscovites have also been sharing pics of the billboards:

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Crisis in Ukraine: 5 Things You Missed Overnight


A Russian soldier marches as he and comrades block the Ukrainian infantry base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 4, 2014.
Image: Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

As Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin pulls back his troops, claiming no military action is necessary in Ukraine. Here are the big stories you may have missed overnight.

Putin: No need for military action in Ukraine — yet

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a very small press conference in which he stressed that he doesn’t intend to make Crimea a part of Russia. However, he said he maintains the right to use military action if necessary, and he will do so according to international law. Putin also denied that the troops on the ground in the Crimea region are in fact Russian, pointing to the fact that their uniforms are unmarked. This contradicts several reports from journalists stationed in the area.

Kerry arrives in Kiev

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Kiev this morning to speak with the Ukrainian government. Kerry, who phoned acting President Turchynov on Saturday, has been vocal about the United States’ support for Ukraine’s new government, commending its leaders for “showing the utmost restraint in the face of the clear and present danger to the integrity of their state, and the assaults on their sovereignty.” Kerry said unless Putin backs down in a big way, there will be “profound” effects on U.S.-Russian relations. Kerry is expected to pay his respects to protesters who died during the three-month-long clash.

White House gives $1 billion to Ukraine

The White House on Tuesday announced $1 billion in energy aid in economic package for Ukraine, the Associated Press reports. The subsidy comes amid fears of a Russian invasion in the country. The package also includes training for financial and election institution as well as anti-corruptions efforts. Meanwhile, the U.S. is considering swift economic sanctions against Russian leaders. Those could come as early as this week.

Putin pulls back troops

Earlier this morning, Putin ordered back to base thousands of Russian troops that have amassed along the Russia-Ukraine border over the past few days, Russian news agency Interfax reported, citing the Kremlin’s press secretary. Although the move seems like a positive sign of avoiding a war, skeptics claim that the statement doesn’t include the troops in Crimea, which is quickly becoming the epicenter of this conflict.

RT anchor denounces Russian action in Crimea

RT anchor Abby Martin spoke out against Russia’s military action in Ukraine during broadcast on Monday. “Just because I work here, for RT, doesn’t mean I don’t have editorial independence and I can’t stress enough how strongly I am against any military intervention in sovereign nations’ affairs. What Russia did is wrong,” she said at the end of RT’s Breaking the Set. Martin’s statement is a risky one for a network that has been accused of one-sided, pro-Russian coverage during the Ukrainian conflict.

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Stray Dog Helps Street Musician in Ukraine (Video)

A stray dog decided to join street musician in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, for a sing along, helping him to earn a hefty sum of money. The clarinetist, Sergey Ivanovich, said that the dog does not belong to him and that he simply came up and started ‘singing’. After some persuading from the spectators, Sergey took the dog home, even though he said he already has a dog.

This is not the first time this dog accompanied street musicians. Here he is with a girl playing a saxophone:

via Komsomolskaya Pravda

Pentagon “Exploring” Expanded Military Support To NATO Allies Near Ukraine

The White House and Pentagon are considering ramping up military support to NATO allies in Eastern Europe as fears continue that Russia will push its forces further into Ukraine.

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Stoyan Nenov / Reuters

Updated — 4:13 p.m., ET:

WASHINGTON — Pentagon leaders are considering ramping up military support to NATO allies in Eastern Europe as Russia threatens to push its forces further into Ukraine, a Pentagon spokesman said on Wednesday.

Defense Department leaders are “exploring” options for military support, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters. “We are not at the planning stage yet.” Warren’s comments come after NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday. The NATO chief is in Washington to meet with top administration officials to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden suggested that American ground troops could begin rotating into the Baltic region, to conduct a series of military exercises with those partner nations.

While on a diplomatic visit to Lithuania, Biden said upcoming U.S. military drills could focus on large-scale ground and naval operations. Washington has already sent several U.S. warplanes and 300 American troops into Poland to conduct joint military exercises in the country.

A U.S. guided-missile destroyer, the USS Truxtun, was also sent into the Black Sea earlier this month for planned military exercises in the region, according to the Pentagon.

During a speech at the Brookings Institute on Wednesday afternoon, Rasmussen indicated that NATO was also ready to move forward with military support in the region.

The NATO chief said he “envisions further steps” taken by NATO allies, including the United States, the United Kingdom and others, to boost military capabilities of alliance members in eastern Europe.

Like Washington, Rasmussen said he sees this ramp-up taking the form of increased joint exercises and combined security missions in the Baltics and elsewhere. The alliance chief also noted these efforts “will be a NATO [led] mission,” akin to previous coalition missions in Libya and elsewhere.

Aside from expanding U.S. military cooperation in Eastern Europe, the Pentagon and State Department are weighing a request from Kiev for weapons, ammunition, and other equipment, according to Warren.

Previous reports claimed the Pentagon had denied the emergency request, during Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk’s meeting with President Obama last week.

However, Warren noted that U.S. diplomats and military leaders are still working to “decide on the next steps” of whether to approve the entire request or limited portions of military aid to Ukraine.

He declined to comment on what specific weapons and equipment were included in the Ukrainian request, but said it was comprised of a “broad range of equipment you would expect in this kind of situation.”

For their part, Rasmussen said NATO leaders will weigh in on whether to provide their own military support to Ukraine at the alliance’s next ministerial meeting in April.

Without going into details as to what that NATO military support package could include, Rasmussen said he was “confident it will happen.”

NATO’s mission “of utmost importance” in eastern Europe now “is to provide a clear alternative” to Russian military aggression, Rasmussen said, warning Moscow’s move into Crimea is the first step of “a long-term Russian strategy” for Ukraine and the region.

That said, “we see [military] force as the last, not the first, resort,” he added.

The Pentagon and White House have shied away from military options to address Russian military aggression in Crimea and Ukraine.

Recently, the Obama administration levied sanctions against top Russian officials in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

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