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Sunday, September 14, 2014

As The Sanctions' Noose Tightens, China Grabs Russian Energy Assets At Bargain Prices

When I wrote on August 28 that “Western sanctions are strangling the Russian economy,” I had second thoughts about using such strong language. Events of the last two weeks convince me, however, that I understated the case, especially with the introduction of new sanctions on Friday. The Russian economy faces a severe liquidity crisis, collapsing investment and a severe recession. Putin has jeopardized his “safe” European gas market and faces legal problems that he cannot avoid. His sanctions against the West have simply made his own people worse off.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Obama Takes On ISIS With Brave Words, Pinprick Strikes, And Phantom Allies

Obama’s war time strategies in Iraq and Syria and Ukraine have certain similarities. In both cases, it is others who are to do the heavy lifting. In Ukraine, the young Ukrainian forces must fight on their own with no real assistance from Europe and the United States, both of whom might have to sacrifice a tenth of one percent of their GDPs from their sanctions support. In Iraq and now Syria, at least there are a few Americans on the ground and there is American air power, but it is others who are to die – presumably in large numbers.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

If The Wales NATO Summit Is Business-As-Usual, Putin Will Threaten NATO Itself

Germany may one day have to run to the Kremlin to get permission for major policies. As Germany goes, so goes Europe. This dark prospect may seem laughable to many, but we would have laughed a year ago at the prospect of the invasion and annexation of Crimea. Just a month ago we would have scoffed at a Russian invasion of Ukraine, myself included. We live and learn, I hope.
A word of advice to Ukraine. Do not panic. This is a roller-coaster ride. You are going downhill right now, but there will be an uphill phase later. One thing is sure. Putin will accept nothing other than complete capitulation and he will not stop with that.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Putin Demands Federalization For Ukraine, But Declares It Off-Limits For Siberia

When it comes to Russian regions, “what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander.” If Putin had to share power with the regions, as most other countries do, he would lack the political and economic means to resurrect by force the Russian empire of which he dreams. If you do not believe me, I’ll show you below how Putin’s greatest nightmare—a federalized Siberia—would destroy his ambitions.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Ebenezer Vlad" and the Empty Aid Trucks

What was supposed to be a PR bonanza is ending up as another black eye for Vladimir Putin, the heralded chess master of world politics. 

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Eyeball To Eyeball: Russian 'Humanitarian' Convoy Approached Unguarded Border With Ukrainian Tanks Moving To Meet Them

Mr. Putin’s humanitarian convoy is the equivalent of an arsonist who asks to be let through police lines carrying a bucket of water to douse the fire he set.

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