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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ukraine fighting erupts; Obama hails UConn basketball coaches for championships -- By Andrew Malcolm, Investors.com

Pete Souza / White House, which digitally retouched Clinton's papers.
Pete Souza / White House, which digitally retouched Clinton's papers.

Tensions continued to mount over Ukraine Tuesday as that nation's military engaged rebel insurgents in the east and Russian leaders refused to recognize the Kiev leadership as legitimate, blaming it for the growing instability.

An estimated 50,000 Russian troops remain massed on Ukraine's borders as uniformed intimidation. In the adjacent Black Sea, a Russian military jet buzzed American naval ships, the high seas equivalent of a drive-by middle finger.

In Estonia, Sen. John McCain criticized President Obama for passive leadership, called sanctions on Russia "a joke" and labeled "inexcusable" the administration's failure to send defensive arms to Ukraine's struggling democracy.

At the White House, meanwhile, President Obama phoned both of the new national basketball championship coaches at the University of Connecticut.

He "commended" Kevin Ollie and Geno Auriemma on their national victories. He noted how much he "enjoyed watching" their respective teams dominate play in the recent NCAA tournament, especially the women's team, which completed a 40-0 season.

And Obama told the coaches that he "looks forward to congratulating their teams at the White House in coming months."

Obama also made time this week to accept a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose aggressive assertion of military and political influence has shaken Europe. According to the White House version, Obama again expressed "grave concern" about Russian attempts to undermine Ukraine by supporting armed insurgents.

Obama also "reiterated the importance" of Russia withdrawing its troops from Ukraine's border and "noted Russia’s growing political and economic isolation." He "made clear" the costs to Russia "will increase if those actions persist."

Finally, Obama told the former KGB colonel he "continues to believe that a diplomatic solution is still possible" but it can't succeed "in an environment of Russian military intimidation." As if Putin must be interested in that too.

In other words, Putin's armed takeover of Crimea is a fait accompli. The economic sanctions imposed on three dozen or so Russians remain. And because those sanctions have had no visible effects whatsoever, Obama threatened some more.

Putin, of course, long ago took the measure of Obama, who dithered so long over helping Syrian rebels against the Bashir al-Assad regime that Obama said must go.
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