Tuesday, July 22, 2014

If Putin 'Mans Up,' His Regime Will Crumble

By Paul Gregory (Hoover Institution and University of Houston)
California Senator Dianne Feinstein has demanded that Vladimir Putin “man up” and admit that pro-Russian separatists downed MH17, mistaking it for a Ukrainian transport plane. That this is true is obvious to all except Putin’s propaganda machine that is frantically churning out absurd conspiracy theories, while Putin lies low and limits himself to vague claims of Ukrainian guilt.
Feinstein may not understand that Putin’s “manning up” could spell the end of his regime and he can’t admit the truth. Instead, Putin will ramp up his appeals for peace (with the very thugs who shot down MH17, it is now clear), pledge full cooperation with international investigations, and then stonewall like crazy. Meanwhile, he will not let Ukraine go. As a Russian analyst notes Putin has “never admitted a single error” and “never made a single step backward” in his 15 year rule.  His KGB training requires him to double down, fight his way out, turn up the pressure, never admit, never retreat. He will continue his support of his proxies in east Ukraine and hope that the West’s attention span will be short.

Monday, July 21, 2014


By Yuriy Gorodnichenko (UC Berkeley)

I flew to Ukraine on July 16, 2014. It was a typical flight and travelers thought they could abstract from the war in the East of Ukraine. The next day changed everything. Pro-Russian separatists shot down MH17, a passenger airplane with 298 people aboard, 80 of which where children. This is an unspeakable crime that has shocked everybody in Ukraine and around the globe. Citizens of the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, the USA and many other countries had no connection to the conflict in Ukraine but they became victims of the indiscriminate violence of the separatists. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Smoking Guns: Russian Separatists Shot Down Malaysian Flight MH17; Putin Must Be Held Responsible

By Paul Gregory (Hoover Institution and University of Houston)

Around 4:20 pm, a Malaysian 777 carrying 295 passengers and crew disappeared over east Ukrainian air space a few miles from the Russian border. It disappeared in virtually the same location as the Ukrainian military transport AN-26 shot down by a missile a few days before.

The social website of the self-appointed military commander, Colonel Igor Strelkov, of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, first celebrated the downing of the plane with the following 5:07 pm announcement on the Strelkov web site (see image):