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Putin and Poroshenko Square Off Over Ukraine

Published: June 11, 2014 (Issue # 1815)


President Vladimir Putin has not shied away from expressing his preferences about the future of Ukraine, suggesting the country should refrain from federalization and joining Western political and military alliances in order to give more power to the Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine and normalize relations with Russia.

These hopes appear to have been quickly dispelled last week following inconclusive meetings with Western leaders in Normandy and a strongly worded inaugural address by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, in which he rejected the Kremlins informal conditions for stabilizing relations with Kiev.

Poroshenko said on Saturday that Ukraine will not compromise on Crimea, [the countrys] European choice and state structure, expressing resistance on issues of importance to Moscow.

Yesterday, in the course of our meeting in Normandy, I told President Putin, Crimea is Ukrainian soil. Period! Poroshenko added.

Putin also came away empty-handed from his exchanges with U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande on June 6, having received no reassurances that Russias informal demands would be considered.

Meanwhile on Monday, Ukrainian security forces and pro-Russian separatists exchanged fire in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, which has been at the heart of confrontations in the region. Russian media outlets reported that two civilians were killed on Monday morning by Ukrainian military strikes.

While Russian officials continue to vehemently deny involvement in the clashes in eastern Ukraine, Russian state-run television has unleashed a vilifying campaign against Poroshenko on its news and analytical programs.

Russias state-owned Channel One featured a physiognomist and psychologist on its Sunday broadcast who claimed Poroshenkos facial expressions suggested he becomes different when speaking with U.S. President Barack Obama and that he is selective, capricious and calculating. A news report published on the channels website on Sunday said that everyone knows Poroshenko is cynically lying.

The views expressed on Russias state-owned television networks have seemingly taken hold of the population.

A poll published by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center on Monday found that 43 percent of Russians think Poroshenko represents the interests of the U.S. and the European Union. The survey, based on the opinions of a representative sample of 1,600 adults across 42 Russian regions, showed that one in every five Russians believes the new Ukrainian leader represents the interests of fascists, nationalists and banderites. A mere 6 percent said Poroshenko represented the interests of western and central Ukraine.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the clubs website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBAs and Capital Legal Services event Arctic Expedition this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



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