Russian threatens intervention in Ukraine

As the dust settles on the ground in a fractured Kiev, an arrest warrant for ‘mass murder’ has been issued for ousted Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych. However the world’s eyes aren’t focused on Yanukovych but on the President of neighbouring Russia Vladimir Putin amidst fears that Putin will act on threats to intervene in the situation in Ukraine.

 

These fears have prompted Britain and the US to offer further financial help to Ukraine to compliment the $15bn loan deal that has been agreed with Russia, however if this deal is to fall through it is vital the US and UK help out and deliver the $35bn that is needed to meet government needs this year.

 

The country has been plunged into grave financial turmoil in the wake of mass protest turned violent, which resulted in 88 deaths and hundreds more injured.

 

Fears that there may be a Russian intervention have come after the Russian foreign minister claimed that protesters had failed to abide by a peace deal signed on Friday. This prompted Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, to say today, “If people crossing Kyiv in black masks and Kalashnikov rifles are considered a government, it will be difficult for us to work with such a government.”

 

However it has been made pretty clear in the same statement that the money promised by Russia will be received by Ukraine as Medvedev as he said that any of these agreements that are legally binding ‘must be honoured’.

 

With this I believe that Ukraine will be able to begin mending the wounds these past few weeks have given, however the biggest factor on home turf will be the capture of the ousted president, not any intervention by other countries. If Russia and Ukraine are able to sort out the differences of opinion and get this money transferred then this should divert any feeling that there should be any military intervention in the country.

 

However because there has already been a ‘failure’ in the eyes of the Russians with the peace deal that has been agreed on Friday, it’s hard to assume that there won’t be any more intervention on by their neighbours and it may feel for the Ukraine to accept the money offered that there is something owed to Russia. This is where the EU as a whole needs to try and take some sort of regulatory role to make sure there isn’t any foul play on either side of the agreement, and this may be helped by the pledge from George Osborne to give money to Ukraine, and any other offers from the US or any other European countries so that they might have a say too.

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I Predict a (Pussy) Riot

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Tension in Russia is nothing new. If you happen to be a straight cisgender male, you’re generally okay. If you are literally anybody else, you essentially reside in an informal jail cell. Protestors of the human rights deficiencies in the country are treated with extreme measures, and nothing exposed this as viscerally as the treatment of the Pussy Rioters. A feminist punk rock protest group from Russia, they first made worldwide headlines in 2012, when they staged a performance in Moscow’s ‘Cathedral of Christ of the Savior’ of their song ‘Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away” in reaction to the Orthodox Church leader’s support of Vladimir Putin during his election campaign. they were arrested and charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”. they were imprisoned for two years and only released in December 2013. “We didn’t ask for any pardon” Alyokhina stated at the time of her release, “I don’t need mercy from Putin.”

Today, it has been revealed that two members of the Pussy Riot movement, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, have been arrested in the Russian resort of Sochi,  near where the Winter Olympics are being held, after Alyokhina posted a photograph of what appears to be them imprisoned in the back of a police van in Sochi.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova told the BBC that she and Maria Alyokhina were being held at a police station after being detained on suspicion of “theft”. They have not yet been officially charged. Ms Tolokonnikova said that they had arrived in Sochi on Sunday to perform a new song, ‘Putin Will Teach You To Love Your Motherland’, about “political repression in Russia”. She tweeted that the authorities used “force” during the detentions near a ferry terminal about 30km (20 miles) north of the seaside Olympic venues.

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This comes after more controversy in Russia concerning the removal of a transgender rights activist from the Winter Olympics arena on Tuesday, which was defended by the International Olympic Committee as being “peaceful.” Former Italian MP Vladimir Luxuria – dressed in rainbow colours – was taken away by four unidentified men in a car with Olympic markings as she tried to enter an arena Monday night for a women’s hockey game. The first openly transgender parliamentarian in Europe was guilty of watching the Olympics in Sochi while holding a banner reading “Gay is OK”. This is another event showcasing the rising tensions in Sochi due to Russia’s oppressive human rights laws. While being gay has been legal for twenty years, a new law that was passed recently puts LGBT rights and issues are alien to Russian culture, and members of LGBT communities should be regarded as second-class citizens and should not be regarded as equal to the rest of Russian citizens.

Chile learns from Russian mistakes

Chile learns from Russian mistakes ten years previously, and with it, gains worldwide respect and praise.

On the 12th of August 2000, the Russian Oscar II class submarine sank in the Barents Sea. It was caused by a leak of hydrogen peroxide which resulted in a succession of Torpedo explosions on board. The US and Britain offered use of its Deep Submergence Rescue vehicles. To the dismay of many, Russia refused their help, determined to show it was still a military power. The delayed rescue attempt four days later, resulted in the deaths of all 118 sailors on board. The Incident has been aptly christened “The Kursk Submarine Disaster.”

Ten years later, on the 5th of August 2010, 33 chilean miners were discovered trapped 700m below ground. Learning from the mistakes of Russia, the Chilean Prime Minister Sebastian Pinera immediately appealed to its foreign counterparts for help. He stated, “If there is any technology or equipment that can help, we will use it.” Two months later, all33 miners have been rescued. In a matter of months Chile’s image as a corrupt nation has been shattered and relabeled as a city of hope. It also reveals a lesson to be learned in future situations: Never be afraid to ask for help.