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Apr.29, 2014

Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Land

After the double whammy of recent scourges to have befallen newly seceded and freshly annexed Crimea, McDonalds closing up shop and banks withdrawing, now comes a third plague to inflict calamity and woe, not to mention inconvenience, water shortages.


Apr.22, 2014

Crimea Annexation: The Chips are Down

Now that the Crimean annexation has served its ulterior purpose of poaching the Ukrainian combat-ready dolphin-squadron and incorporating it into the Russian marine mammal unit, Putin is stuck with the nondescript patchwork of gloomy steppes and undistinguished mountains that is the Crimean peninsula, and even worse,        ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.09, 2014

Crimea Annexation: Credit Crunchy & Toasted

Alexander Kosolapov

They may have voted en mass (allegedly) for secession and accession to the Russian Federation, but still, one is obliged to have some sympathy for the momentous travails Crimeans are currently undergoing. Firstly, McDonalds suddenly pulls out of the region leaving behind an alimentary void almost impossible to fill          ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.06, 2014

Ukraine:  Partly-Annexed, Fully-Invoiced

Ask anyone in the know about these things (anyone at Russia Today TV chanel preferably) and you'd find out that the Russians are by-the-book businessmen quite reverent to contractual obligation and the rule of law (the Russian law that is). So picture the poor Gazprom execs amidst bearskin upholstered interiors, up to their ankles in paperwork   ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.04, 2014

Crimea Annexation: Big (S)Mack(down)

It is a fact that Crimea is dependent on mainland Ukraine for many necessities, like electricity and gas, and that Ukraine would be in a favorable position to exploit this as it would take time for Russia to fully cater the region's needs. Nobody though expected such a low blow,


Apr.03, 2014 | CULTURAL (NO)MORES

Crimea Annexation: It Just Got Serious

This Crimea thing just got serious. It's all quite innocuous and hardly worth mentioning if some unpronounceable Russian oligarch has some measly millions frozen and can't outfit his football team with new gear or some American company having difficulty in its Siberian partnership drilling operations, but this!?        ...CONTINUE READING >>

Mar.27, 2014

Crimea Annexation: The Crux of the Matter Revealed

Geostrategic calculations and historical grievances my ass... At last it now becomes evident why Russia took the trouble, risking world-wide outcry and derision, to annex a bankrupt, barren-soil godforsaken peninsula: To get its hands on Ukraine's omnipotent, hell-raising "Killer Dolphin Army".



Mar.21, 2014

Crimea Annexation: Eurosceptics point the (middle) finger


Eurosceptics are pointing the finger for the trouble in Crimea at the EU. This is as daft as blaming the domestic abuse hotline for the husband beating up the wife for getting in touch with it. Then again we didn't expect much more from the eurosceptic/anti-EU hodgepodge of parties such as the UKIP, France's National Front, Greece's Syriza and of course any communism-mantra party.


By the way, isn't it strange how the right-wing have so often co-opted the word "freedom" for their political identities (e.g. Austrian, Swiss & UK Freedom Parties and the Dutch Party of Freedom)? Of course their kind is one only reserved for the "insiders" and cleverly decoupled from the concept of social/humanitarian responsibility.


Russia in Crimea? It's Europe's fault, say Eurosceptics

Mar.20, 2014

Erdoğan & Crimea: The Dream that Was not Ment to Be

According to the 1783 Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, "if Crimea declares its independence, it must return to Turkish control". I guess if Erdogan was not now tied up in scandal frenzy and dealing with public discontent, he might have been all over this (he could also play the "minority protection" card regarding the Tatars to reinforce legitimacy, plus the army might be pleased with all the swashbuckling opportunities). I doubt that the fact that this claim would have been insane and ludicrous would stop him, and come to think about it, it could even work as a ploy for public distraction. In general though, the fate of both agreements points out how tentative and transient are in effect all International treaties.

So Much for the Budapest Memorandum

Mar.19, 2014

Crimea Annexation: The Importance of National Narrative

Photo: Crimean jubilations, March 18th.

Image by Vadim Ghirda/AP

I think this pretty much encapsulates the alternative reality that has been brewing during Putin's rule, where the past is purged & glorified in order for the new National Narrative to be erected upon it. And for such a nostalgia-fuelled "Narrative of Renaissance" to be sustained, moves like the Crimean annexation are required, not only for demonstrating the regime's determination and ability to fulfill it (thereby conjoining the narrative to the existence of the regime and therefore validating the righteousness of those in power), but also for reinforcing its plausibility and thereby compensate for the grim domestic realities.

Mar.20, 2014

Crimean Referendum Ballot: Sneak Preview

Which of the following choices should Crimea adopt:

A. Join the glorious Russian Federation

B. Return to its rightful owner

C. Un-give Khrushchev's gift to ungrateful Ukraine

D. Reinstate its pre-1954 glorious status

E. Rehabilitate the Soviet Union

F. Outsource state services and border control to Russia

G. Designate Vladimir Putin as Head of State in perpetuity

Mar.03, 2014

Crimeans: Get  free T-shirt with your Russian Citizenship

Local prime minister declares "the autonomous republic of Crimea" and why shouldn't he? The creation of autonomous republics (a.k.a. client states) is very much in vogue in the post-USSR era (see Abkhazia, South Ossetia, etc) as is the prolific issuing of Russian passports now delivered with a complimentary Putin keepsake t-shirt, very trendy for pro-Kremlin demonstrations (mandatory attendance). The Russian authorities, ever striving for excellence in customer experience, are planning faster passport deliveries with drones to replace the more cumbersome method of military invasions.

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