But yesterday's speech by Russian President Putin to his own parliament ("Duma"), just prior to signing papers that officially welcomed Crimea from Ukraine into Russia, was ... um ... interesting.
*gives meaningful stare*
I tweeted as it went, and then copied to Facebook, with my own comments. If you didn't see it in either place, here's my summary. Posted in the interest of Monday's post.
Note: My source for this was primarily the Kyiv Post, with a few others that I have been following for some time, and believe to be credible. If you see differences in quotes from other sources, keep in mind that the speech was in Russian, and the English is a translation. Different translators might use slightly different words.
Here we go....
Happening now, Putin's speech re Crimea joining Russia: "We couldn't even imagine Russian and Ukraine would become independent. Unfortunately, the Soviet Union collapsed" // Um... Note the use of the word "unfortunately".
"There is still no executive power in Ukraine. There's nobody to talk to." Government made up of "usurpers" controlled by radicals // note: not true
Putin re Maidan: "Who instigated this (revolution)? It's neo-Nazi, nationalist forces in Ukraine. Descendents of Bandera, who was associate of Hitler" // note: ??!!!
Putin: "We could not leave Crimeans alone in their time of need. It would have been treachery plain and simple." // Note: what time of need?
Putin tells Duma that majority of ethnic Tatars voted in favour of #Crimea joining Russia. // Note: Tatars say they boycotted the vote. (Duma is Parliament, btw)
Putin: we didn't use armed forces in #Ukraine. Russia didn't have its troops in #Crimea. We had our Black Sea Fleet based there. // Note: and troops without insignia, who spoke Russian, and said they were from Russia.
Putin: "If Crimean self-defense hadn't taken the situation under control on time, there could've been victims. Thank god it didn't happen." // note: He kept a straight face while saying that.
Putin: "We were cheated and deceived by the West... Now we are threatened with sanctions."
Putin to Ukrainians: "We always respected territorial integrity of Ukraine, unlike others, who split Ukraine. They're to blame for divisions." // note: this is the exact opposite of the truth
Putin (telling Merkel): "We supported reunification of Germany. And we hope that Germany supports us" // note: this was reference to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall
Putin: "Crimea was and will be Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar." *applause* // oh ... applause was part of reporting; I did not applaud.
Putin: "I'll put it straight. We're not just neighbors, we're one nation. Kyiv is mother of all Russian cities. Ancient Rus is our roots." // note: said this right after saying they only wanted Crimea, not the rest of Ukraine. Note: Kyiv is not in Crimea.
Putin: "Ukraine should be interested in preserving the rights of Russians in Ukraine." // note: Russians in Russia could also use help
Putin: This was a straightforward referendum. It took place in open way, and Crimeans expressed their free will, they want to be with Russia // note: Under unidentified military presence. In 10 days. 0.o
Putin: "95% of Russians think that we should protect our interests or interests of Russian people in Ukraine" // doubtful. But either way, where does that statement go?
Putin: "Now it's up to Russia to take political decision. It can only be based on ppl. It's always up to ppl. Addressing everyone..." // *withholding sarcastic remarks*
Putin: "Please accept two new subjects into Russia: Repub. of Crimea, city of Sevas." Standing ovation, chants of "RO-SI-YA!"
And that's that.
Oh - and all the Ukrainian arms, bases, etc., in Crimea now belong to Crimea / Russia.
That was yesterday morning.
Worth noting that immediately following this, a Ukrainian base in Crimea was stormed by "non-Russian" troops with weapons. A Ukrainian there was killed. Others were injured. So for the record: Russia fired the first shot.
If you are interested in reading the interim Ukrainian Prime Minister's appeal to the people in eastern and southern Ukraine (that's where Russia is encroaching, and is also where the most Russian-speaking people live), it is here. I found it to be quite something.
And on another note, I found this article yesterday, referring to the powerful Ukrainian strategy thus far of non-violence. I haven't crossed paths with this source before, but the article was beautiful.
Thanks for caring.