Monday, March 24, 2014

Russia Booted from G8. Um, G7.

Following Russia's propaganda-laden invasion of the Crimea, Western powers ejected Russia from the G8.  For the foreseeable future, the organization will presumably be called the G7.

This follows a series of tit-for-tat sanctions in which Russia banned various foreign officials' travel to the country after its own officials' visas and foreign accounts had been impounded.

For those just tuning in, Russia is a thugocracy led by the former KGB head Vladimir Putin, who claims not to remember meeting the owner of a diamond-encrusted Superbowl ring, and not to remember taking the ring from him in 2005.  (And whose Ph.D. thesis he directly plagiarized from KGB translations of earlier Western publications.)  When Russia's effort to reincorporate the Ukraine through a puppet government failed in the face of a popular uprising, Russia invaded the Crimea to obtain direct control of the port there.  Russia's story? The did it to protect Russians in the Crimea from dangerous Ukranians.  Putin has officially declared that the collapse of the totalitarian dictatorship once known as the Soviet Union "was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century" and he appears to be well on the way to re-creating it. On concerns that Russia could backslide on democracy and human rights, Putin said "our place in the modern world will be defined only by how successful and strong we are."

No comments: