It doesn’t look good for Ukraine.
All eyes are on eastern Ukraine as separatists demand to secede from the country and join Russia. But even as Russian President Vladimir Putin enjoys a tide of favorable opinion, he may have some trouble brewing closer to home.
On Sunday, 10,000 people took to the streets of Moscow to protest the state media’s coverage in eastern Ukraine. Waving the Ukrainian flag, protesters at the anti-Kremlin “March for Truth” demanded greater transparency and objectivity in Russian news, as well as protection for independent journalists who speak out against the state.
for over a thousand years, the indigenous nenets people have moved seasonally with their reindeer along ancient migration routes in the yamal peninsula. but this remote region of northwest siberia, a vast tundra wilderness that stretches deep into the arctic ocean, is now under heavy threat from global warming.
traditionally, the nenets cross the frozen ob river in november and set up camp in the southern forests around nadym, where their reindeer graze on moss and lichen pastures. in recent years, however, this annual winter pilgrimage has been delayed until late december when the river is thick enough to traverse.
“our reindeer were hungry. there wasn’t enough pasture,” jakov japtik, a nenets reindeer herder, said. “the snow is melting sooner, quicker and faster than before. in spring it’s difficult for the reindeer to pull the sledges. they get tired.” added sergie hudi, “the reindeer for us are everything — our home, our food, our warmth and our transportation.”
last year the nenets arrived at a regular summer camping spot only to discover that half of the lake had drained away after a landslide. while landslides do occur naturally, scientists say there is unmistakable evidence that yamal’s ancient permafrost is melting. winter temperatures, for example, have gone up ten degrees celsius in the last hundred years.
”it’s an indication of the global warming process,” says vladimir tchouprov for greenpeace russia. “the melting of russia’s permafrost could have catastrophic results for the world by releasing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane that was previously trapped in the frozen soil.” he adds that if temperatures continue to climb, much of russia’s northern region will be turned into impenetrable swamp.
the yamal peninsula also contains the biggest gas reserves on the planet, and gazprom, russia’s state energy giant, is building several ambitious infrastructure projects across the tundra which threaten the peninsula’s delicate arctic ecology and disrupt the nenets’ migration routes.
China calls for easing tensions over Crimea
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told the press on Monday that China wants to see an easing of tensions and a political solution to issues in Crimea.
The statement came a day after voters in the region voted overwhelmingly in favour of breaking away from Ukraine.
"China has always respected the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries. The issue of Crimea should be solved politically, under a framework of laws and regulations," Hong said.
"All parties involved should act with restraint and avoid taking measures that could trigger conflicts. The international community should take constructive steps to ease current tensions," he added.
Click on the info-graphic to know more about Crimea’s choice to break away from Ukraine.
Elections in Russian-style are only to support the government. Not to make a free choice or a change in government. This election does not sound free or even correct. It smells fishy.
"In the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia."
Putin claimed Crimea as a part of Russia today, “reversing what he described as a historical mistake made by the Soviet Union 60 years ago” in a searing speech to Russia’s entire political elite.
"His remarks, which lasted 47 minutes, were interrupted repeatedly by thunderous applause, standing ovations and at the end chants of ‘Russia, Russia.’ Some in the audience wiped tears from their eyes. …
Reaching deep into Russia and Soviet history, Mr. Putin said he did not seek to divide Ukraine any further, but vowed that he would protect Russia’s national security from what he described as Western, and particularly American, actions that had left Russia feeling cornered.
He cited a list of grievances that had humiliated Russia and left it vulnerable in a world with one dominant superpower – from the NATO war in Kosovo in 1999 when he was an aide to President Boris N. Yeltsin to the one in Libya that toppled Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011 on what he called the false pretense of a humanitarian intervention. Mr. Putin dipped into deep wells of emotion, starting with the baptism of Prince Vladimir, whose conversion to Orthodox Christianity transformed the kingdom then known as Rus, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which left many Russians of his generation feeling that they had been stripped of their nation overnight.
“Millions of Russians went to bed in one country and woke up abroad,” he said. “Overnight, they were minorities in the former Soviet republics, and the Russian people became one of the biggest – if not the biggest – divided nation in the world.”
Assailing the West, he said: “They cheated us again and again, made decisions behind our back, presenting us with completed facts. That’s the way it was with the expansion of NATO in the east, with the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They always told us the same thing: ‘Well, this doesn’t involve you.’ ” …
"If you press a spring too hard,” he said, “it will recoil.” …
“Some Western politicians already threaten us not only with sanctions, but also with the potential for domestic problems,” he said. “I would like to know what they are implying – the actions of a certain fifth column, of various national traitors? Or should we expect that they will worsen the social and economic situation, and therefore provoke people’s discontent?” …
The authorities [in Simferopol, the Crimean capital] declared it a day off from work as officials announced that 97 percent of voters in Sunday’s referendum supported rejoining Russia. Legislators moved to complete the break from Ukraine, adopting a resolution declaring that the laws of Ukraine no longer applied to Crimea and that state funds and property in Crimea had been transferred to their new entity.”
So this is the treaty that officially makes Crimea a part of Russia. Hmmm…I wonder how I should sign my name. Vladimir Putin? Tsar Putin I? The Boss Of All Russia? Fuck you, America? Ahahahaha, screw it. I am signing it with all of them.
Now the Crimea what will be next?