US, Russia Exchange Harsh Rhetoric over Ukraine
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia was responsible for the "distraction, deception and destabilization" of events in eastern Ukraine.
Kerry hailed the record of Kiev's interim authorities, asserting they had been abiding by April 17's Geneva accord to wind down tensions in Ukraine.
The US top diplomat accused Moscow of not doing enough to urge pro-Russian rebels occupying buildings in the country to disarm and withdraw.
He was quoted by the BBC as saying that "not a single Russian official has publicly gone on television in Ukraine and called on the separatists to support the Geneva agreement, to support the stand-down, to give up their weapons and get out of the Ukrainian buildings."
Russia, on the other hand, called on Washington to put pressure on Kiev and force it to stop what it calls an "anti-terrorist" operation in regions near the Russian border.
The latest mutual accusations by US and Russia come after Ukraine's army killed pro-Russian separatists in a raid on a rebel-controlled checkpoint leading into the town of Slaviansk.
After Thursday's attack, which left five rebels dead, Putin declared there would be "consequences" of Kiev's actions in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
He said the authorities were committing "a serious crime" against their own people if they had ordered the use of army against the population.
On Wednesday the Russian Foreign Minsiter Sergei Lavrov warned that Moscow could act in Ukraine as it did in Georgia in 2008, when a brief war was fought with Tbilisi.
Russia's envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, added that his country would have "international-legal grounds" to deploy "peacekeepers to Ukraine", as it did in South Ossetia six years ago.
Churkin was quoted by RBC Daily as warning that the Federal Council could also authorize the use of army forces in the crisis-torn regions of Ukraine.
"This possibility is in our hands. But, of course, it would not be desired".
The Kremlin also called fresh military drills along the border with Ukraine to make the balance of forces "more even", as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was referring to Ukrainian army presence in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In Kiev, Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia replied that Ukrainian forces were ready to fight Russia.
The verbal standoff between Ukraine and the West, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, is entering a new intensive phase, as the White House published a petition calling for Russia's designation as a "state sponsor of terrorism".
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It is a shame to our country; all countries should look at themselves with clear eyes. A free press is essential. One should always be able to speak one's mind. But you run into troubles when people cross the line and obviously harm and murder people. Equally dangerous are those who do it stealthily. But we should all push that back as far as possible from all our societies. Perfection should be the ideal, aim relatively high or as high as you can. And that should be the real debate.
optimistic, thank you for the book recommendation. it sounds like interesting reading. have you read The Gulag Archipelago, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn?
Some comments by readers:
"It is a 2,000 page indictment for crimes against humanity. Chief among the accused is of course Stalin who, if justice exists, is currently serving 60 million consecutive life sentences in Hell. But as Solzhenitsyn abundantly documents, the Gulag death-camps were part of Lenin's vision from the very beginning. (In January 1918, he stated his ambition of "purging the land of all kinds of harmful insects", in which group he included "workers malingering at their work".) But it is not only the architects of Bolshevism who stand accused. It is also all the collaborators with oppression, from the camp guards who summarily executed prisoners too exhausted to stand to the people who informed on their neighbors. Complicit even are the passive victims of the Terror who, as Solzhenitsyn says, "didn't love freedom enough" to fight for it from the beginning."
"The Gulag Archipelago is Solzhenitsyn’s attempt to compile a literary-historical record of the vast system of prisons and labor camps that came into being shortly after the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917 and that underwent an enormous expansion during the rule of Stalin from 1924 to 1953. Various sections of the three volumes describe the arrest, interrogation, conviction, transportation, and imprisonment of the Gulag’s victims by Soviet authorities over four decades. The work mingles historical exposition and Solzhenitsyn’s own autobiographical accounts with the voluminous personal testimony of other inmates that he collected and committed to memory during his imprisonment.Upon publication of the first volume of The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn was immediately attacked in the Soviet press. Despite the intense interest in his fate that was shown in the West, he was arrested and charged with treason on February 12, 1974, and was exiled from the Soviet Union the following day."
Yes George the US is the place to be if you are rich, the extremes of wealth and poverty is extreme.
Washington where the political power is is also very poor.
A few weeks ago my daughter was watching a TV programme on Washington and she was horrified by the poverty there.
Yes the US aka the Immigrant Land is a place of extreme controversy.
I have to honestly admit that there are a lot of good and good intentions in the US but I also have to say that there is lots of bad stuff going on. US is the country of the SHARP contrasts where surprisingly good and evil found a way to coexist.
But hey the US is an endless matter of discussions like no other place on Earth and far beyond the scope of this forum.
Let me try to summarize it with few words: It’s a great country for those who find the way to make it, the talented, the well educated, the lucky and the bless ones.
For the rest it’s just a living!
These refugees are true patriots. Those whose policies made them refugees are the true traitors. What goes around comes around. Bad karma for Russia; but, eventually, it will be good again.
BTW, I agree with George that it's time for Putin/Medhead to back down. Perhaps it's time for a true chess player (Gary Kasparov) to take the helm.