World View: Ukraine Mobilizes Troops to Oppose Russia at Gas Facility
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Ukraine mobilizes troops to oppose Russian troops attacking gas facility
- China abstains on anti-Russia Security Council resolution
- Russia faces biggest anti-Putin protest in two years
- China lambastes Malaysia for withholding MH370 flight information
Moscow sees the biggest anti-Putin demonstrations in years (AP)
Ukraine mobilizes troops to oppose Russian troops attacking gas facility
Ukrainian troops have been mobilized to oppose a Russian armed force
attacking a gas facility in Ukraine's mainland, north of Crimea. The
armed force consists of 80 Russian troops, backed by four helicopter
gunships and armored vehicles. This comes amidst reports that
the Russian military is moving surface to air missiles into
Ukraine supplies almost all of the fresh water, electricity, gas and
food that Crimea consumes, and so this may be only the first of
several Russian invasions of the Ukraine mainland to secure Ukrainian
facilities that supply these things.
A Russian official is justifying the invasion to guard against
"terrorists," which is the code word used by Russia's president
Vladimir Putin and by Syria's genocidal monster president Bashar
al-Assad whenever either of them wants to use military force to
exterminate an ethnic group. Telegraph (London) and AP
China abstains on anti-Russia Security Council resolution
As expected, Russia exercised its veto on Saturday on a resolution
that declares Sunday's Russian-sponsored secession referendum in
Crimea as having "no validity." The United States was among 13
members that affirmed the resolution. The interesting case was China,
which has stood by Russia in vetoing any resolution that even mildly
criticized Syria's Bashar al-Assad. In this case, China abstained.
As I wrote last week in "10-Mar-14 World View -- Ukraine - Russia crisis presents problems for China," because any secessionist resolution that
China approved might apply to secessionist provinces in China --
Tibet, Xinjiang, and Taiwan. So China was forced to abstain, leaving
Russia completed isolated on its invasion of Ukraine.
After the Russian veto, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha
Power, said that the veto would not change the aspirations and destiny
of the Ukrainian people:
Nor can it change Crimea’s status. Crimea is part of
Ukraine today; it will be part of Ukraine tomorrow; it will be
part of Ukraine next week; it will be part of Ukraine unless and
until its status is changed in accordance with Ukrainian and
Russia faces biggest anti-Putin protest in two years
Some 30,000 protesters demonstrated in Moscow on Saturday against
Russia's president Vladimir Putin, for the biggest anti-Putin protest
in two years. The Ukraine invasion is the trigger for the protests,
but they also protested against rising corruption, political
repression and censorship under Putin.
However, an even bigger pro-Putin demonstration is expected on Sunday.
Putin's increasingly nationalistic agenda is appealing to the public,
giving Putin an approval rating at 70%. In a recent poll, two-thirds
said they believed that not only Crimea but also mostly
Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine were "in essence" Russian lands.
Still, the large protest represents the second embarrassment, along
with China's Security Council abstention, for Putin on Saturday.
Putin had hoped that Russia would experience continuing good will from
last month's Olympics games in Sochi, but whatever good will was
gained has now been dissipated. Reuters
China lambastes Malaysia for withholding MH370 flight information
As one of China's neighbors in the South China Sea, where China is
using its military might to confiscate properties that have belonged
to other nations for centuries, China and Malaysia have already had a
minor but tense military confrontation. ( "29-Jan-14 World View -- China's military moves to seize Malaysia's James Shoal" from January.)
So it's not surprising that China is furious with Malaysia over the
investigation of the disappearance of flight MH370, which was
traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing carrying mostly Chinese
passengers. According to a Saturday editorial from Xinhua:
At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian
Prime Minister Najib Razak revealed a trove of new information
that virtually made the massive rummage in South China Sea for the
Boeing 777 aircraft and the 239 people on board a huge waste of
valuable time and resources. ...
It's somewhat laughable that China, with one of the most opaque
governments in the world, is demanding that the United States be "more
open and forthcoming." We wish that China would also be more open and
forthcoming, especially about its preparations for a preemptive
military attack on the United States. Xinhua
But it is undeniable that the disclosure of such vital information
is painfully belated -- more than seven excruciating days after
the 227 passengers and 12 crew members lost contact with their
beloved relatives and friends.
And due to the absence -- or at least lack -- of timely
authoritative information, massive efforts have been squandered,
and numerous rumors have been spawned, repeatedly racking the
nerves of the awaiting families.
Given today's technology, the delay smacks of either dereliction
of duty or reluctance to share information in a full and timely
manner. That would be intolerable.
As the leader of the international search and rescue mission,
Malaysia bears inescapable responsibility. Other parties that
possess valuable data and information, including plane maker
Boeing, engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and intelligence
superpower the United States, should also have done a better job.
With time ticking away and the fate of Flight MH370 still shrouded
in mystery, it is vital and imperative that the Malaysian side
work more thoroughly and efficiently and other major information
holders -- not least the Unites States -- be more open and
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