Meanwhile in Venezuela...
Venezuela's chief prosecutor has accused Washington of seeking to stoke violence in her country, after US lawmakers called for funding for activist groups there.
"There's no doubt that this is to fund the violent actions taking place in Venezuela," Luisa Ortega Diaz told reporters in Geneva on Friday.
Diaz said the money would be used to buy C4, a kind of explosive. She had said earlier that authorities had seized a kilo of C4, 200 fire-bombs and 25 firearms during a wave of protests in Venezuela.Nicolas Maduro,
Meanwhile, Maduro said South Florida politicians are leading the US into an extremist foreign policy against his country.
US Senators Marco Rubio and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are leading a "Miami lobby" trying to influence President Barack Obama, Maduro said in a televised news conference on Friday.
Rubio and Ros-Lehtinen are co-sponsoring efforts in their respective chambers to impose sanctions on members of the Venezuelan government tied to human rights abuses.
About 93% of voters in Crimea have backed joining Russia and seceding from Ukraine, according to exit polls quoted by Russian news agencies.
Polls closed at 18:00 GMT and officials hailed a "record" turnout. Preliminary results are expected within hours.
Many opponents boycotted the vote, which has been rejected by the US and the EU as illegitimate.
The western press always mention vote "boycott" when the result does not go the western way... The point of a vote is to get a result and voting sure is never "perfect". George Bush got elected by major faults in the voting system in Florida. Tony Abbott got elected when the mediocre mass media led by the merde-och press waged a MASSIVE campaign against his opponent... A "boycott" is not even a "protest" or an "against" vote. "Opponents" should vote... "Opponents" who do not vote are not opponents. And whether the US or the EU consider the vote as "illegitimate" is irrelevant.
I consider the weekend vote in Tasmania as "illegitimate" because of the trickery of a mediocre mass media there as well. It is actually quite telling that there are still people voting against the Liberals (CONservatives) considering the constant war of media words waged against the Greens and Labor.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty making Crimea part of his nation, despite the threat of further punitive sanctions by the West.
Mr Putin has made a fiercely patriotic address to a joint session of parliament in the Kremlin, punctuated by standing ovations, cheering and tears.
Britain responded by announcing it would suspend all bilateral military cooperation with Russia, while the US warned of further sanctions against Moscow.
During his speech Mr Putin lambasted the West for what he called hypocrisy, saying Western nations had endorsed Kosovo's independence from Serbia but now denied Crimeans the same right.
"You cannot call the same thing black today and white tomorrow," he declared to applause, saying Western partners had "crossed the line" over Ukraine and behaved "irresponsibly".
He said Ukraine's new leaders, in power since the overthrow of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych last month, included "neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites".
Mr Putin said Crimea's disputed referendum vote on Sunday, held under Russian military occupation, was in full accordance with democratic procedures and international law.
He said the results show the overwhelming will of the people to be reunited with Russia after 60 years as part of the Ukrainian republic.
"People in the Crimea clearly and convincingly expressed their will. They want to be with Russia," he said.
To the Russian national anthem, Mr Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty on making Crimea part of Russia. The treaty will be ratified within the next few days.
Though most of the government in Europe are in favour of a boycott, most of the European community businesses are horrified at any light whiffy hint of sanctions... Russia is a "good" customer of European goods and Europe NEEDS the "energy" from Russia's gas and oil... Killing off this goose would be like say killing the goose...
And despite the hooplahas, most leaders in Europe would have to think that Putin is right — but they cannot be seen acquiescing to his "bully" tactics or give him ANY credit or credibility... as they support their own bullying tactics... They need a "face-saving" exercise as they perform a voodoo dance supporting the neo-nazis to show they care about "freedom" in Ukraine... It hurts.
http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/6133 (posted April 2008)
It's not only in Crimea where Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing with fire, but also in eastern Ukraine. The majority of the people in the economically powerful region speak Russian and reject the new government in Kiev.
The pensioner Oxana Kremenyuk limps as she passes by the House of Culture in a small village in eastern Ukraine. As a young woman, she used to dance here. Today the stucco is crumbling and the windows are broken. "The people in Kiev are driving our country into civil war," she says. "These good-for-nothings should be slaving away the way we do here." Kremenyuk receives a pension of about €90 ($125) a month. In order to ensure there is food on the table, she keeps 10 chickens and a pig.
read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/how-moscow-is-moving-to-destablize-eastern-ukraine-a-959224.html
For quite a while now, possibly since the days of President Reagan, or even earlier, the "west" has been trying to destabilise Ukraine (along with stuffing up the Soviet Union). Say that when Boris Yeltsin took over the Russian Government, he was a bit of a loose drunken cannon but this did not stop the "west" to carry on helping dissent ferment in Ukraine or in Russia... Anything would do: the price of bread or the cost of Vodka would have been used in the press for simpletons... Payola to some people would have helped propel themselves on the political stage...
It is easier to create shit than to understand or create things rationally... and spies and agent provocateurs can do wonderful things on the level of stirring crap... But the reality is that in East Ukraine, the population is still very much "Russian". By this we cannot underestimate the pride of being Russian (or American for that matter) in circumstances in which one's root are primordial over anything else, especially when the choice is narrowed to the arch-enemy versus lending a hand for the motherland.
It's like supporting a football team. Whether they play crap or not, it's still your football team and at the moment the striker is scoring goals. Why would not you cheer...?
It's all about the psychology of how we belong and relate... Despite some hiccups (that the west is painting as major flaws — tell me which world leader does not have flaws? — don't answer Tony Abbott. He is not a world leader and he lies) Putin is steering Russia as best as such a country can be. Sure he will stop "oligarches" from earning an honest crust when we know all they want to do is plunder the country — but then the "west" is up in arms about multinationals shifting moneys to avoid paying taxes... Under Putin's firm hand a few of multinational CEOs would end up in jail where they belong — and soon the tax bill would be paid. But we would not want that, would we?... We prefer less regulation and more opportunity to flaunt the system so that our rich dude can get their cut rather than be "socialists", which would mean that the loot belongs to most of us rather than a few elitist rich mugs...
See how the game plays out...
British business lobby the CBI has petitioned the Electoral Commission to cancel its registration as an official supporter of the no campaign in the Scottish independence referendum.
The sudden switch in policy came after more than a dozen organisations, including major universities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee, government agencies in Scotland and the broadcasters STV and BBC, resigned from the CBI to protect their neutrality in the independence debate.
The CBI had registered as a supporter of the no campaign, allowing it to spend up to £150,000 before September's referendum, on legal advice because it planned to make clear that it opposed independence at its official events and functions
Nach dem Triumph des Front National bei der Europawahl zeigt sich Parteichefin Le Pen selbstbewusst. Im Gespräch mit dem SPIEGEL warnt sie Kanzlerin Merkel vor dem Hass der Nachbarländer - und zeigt Bewunderung für Kreml-Chef Putin.
read more: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/frankreich-le-pen-warnt-merkel-vor-explosion-der-eu-a-972726.html
By SPIEGEL Staff
With the help of news services like RT and Ruptly, the Kremlin is seeking to reshape the way the world thinks about Russia. And it has been highly successful: Vladimir Putin has won the propaganda war over Ukraine and the West is divided.
Ivan Rodionov sits in his office at Berlin's Postdamer Platz and seems to relish his role as the bad guy. He rails in almost accent-free German, with a quiet, but sharp voice, on the German media, which, he claims, have been walking in "lockstep" when it comes to their coverage of the Ukraine crisis. During recent appearances on two major German talk shows, Rodionov disputed allegations that Russian soldiers had infiltrated Crimea prior to the controversial referendum and its annexation by Russia. He says it's the "radical right-wing views" of the Kiev government, and not Russia, that poses the threat. "Western politicians," he says, "are either helping directly or are at least looking on."
Rodionov defends President Vladimir Putin so vehemently that one could be forgiven for confusing him with a Kremlin spokesperson. But Rodionov views himself as a journalist. The 49-year-old is the head of the video news agency Ruptly, founded one year ago and financed by the Russian government. The eighth floor of the office building has a grand view of Germany's house of parliament, the Reichstag. It's a posh location and the Kremlin doesn't seem to mind spending quite a bit of money to disseminate its view of the world from here. Around 110 people from Spain, Britain, Russia and Poland work day and night in the three-floor office space on videos that are then syndicated to the international media.
At first glance, it's not obvious that Ruptly is actually Kremlin TV. In addition to Putin speeches, there are also numerous other video clips available in its archive, ranging from Pussy Riot to arrests of members of the Russian opposition. When it comes to eastern Ukraine, however, the agency offers almost exclusively videos that are favorable towards pro-Russian supporters of the "People's Republic of Donetsk," which was founded by separatists. You'll also find right-wing radicals like Britain's Nick Griffin or German far-right extremist Olaf Rose, an ideologist with the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD), stirring up hatred towards the European Union and its Ukraine policies.
read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/russia-uses-state-television-to-sway-opinion-at-home-and-abroad-a-971971-druck.html
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