Putin Says Russia Will Respond To NATO Moves, Accuses Kiev Of Plunging Ukraine Into "Abyss"

Tyler Durden's picture

It didn't take long for Putin to respond to the latest news from the west that NATO was about to boost its military presence in proximity to Russia. Specifically he said that Putin does not see a reason to fear NATO which was to be expected. But the even more predictable punchline: Russia must respond when NATO moves closer to country’s border, President Vladimir Putin says during annual televised call-in show.

The Russian president made his views clear during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, ahead of the Geneva two-day meeting during which the Ukraine problam is (again) supposed to get a diplomatic solution (it won't). During the Q&A Putin also accused the Kiev government of committing "a serious crime" by sending in troops to quell unrest in Ukraine's east, as a clash overnight left three pro-Russian protesters dead and 13 wounded. And just to make sure there is a solid enough soundbite, the former KGB spy accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an "abyss".

"Instead of realizing that there is something wrong with the Ukrainian government and attempting dialogue, they made more threats of force ... This is another very grave crime by Kiev's current leaders," Putin said in a televised question-and-answer session with the Russian public that has become an annual event.


"I hope that they are able to realize what a pit, what an abyss the current authorities are in and dragging the country into," said Putin, who dismissed as "rubbish" accusations that Russian agents were acting in east Ukraine.

Among his other comments, Putin said that the East and South Ukraine were parts of the Russian empire until becoming part of Ukraine under the USSR, with a heavy hint that either the East and South would soon be part of Russia, or that the second coming of the USSR is in the cards, both of which should make the Ukraine government quite nervous.

Perhaps in an attempt to diffuse the tension, he noted he had been authorized by Russia's parliament in early March to use force in Ukraine if necessary, "but I really hope that I do not have to exercise this right, and that through political and diplomatic means we will be able to solve the most acute problems in Ukraine today." As the WSJ reports, Putin said Ukraine's military effort showed the new government in Kiev was making no effort to respond to the demands of those in the heavily ethnic-Russian region.

In short: absolutely no de-escalation from the Russian.

Some of the other things he said:

  • Russia will give Ukraine month to start paying for gas before demanding advance payment for supplies. However, Russia kep the gas price set at $485/kcm, knowing quite well Ukraine can't afford it.
    • Ukraine payments for gas stopped after new govt in Kiev took power, Putin says
    • Moving Ukraine to prepayments may lead to disruptions in transit to Europe, Putin says
  • Europe won’t be able to stop buying Russian gas, President Vladimir Putin says during annual televised call-in show.
  • “There is only one problem -- transit -- and the most dangerous element here is, of course, transit though Ukraine, where we’ve found it very difficult to agree on energy issues.”
  • Putin says hopes to reach agreement with Ukraine in accordance with gas contracts
  • Ukraine can be asked to start prepayments for gas “at any moment,” Gazprom Chairman Viktor Zubkov says separately today
  • Decision on Ukraine depends on answer from 18 leaders of European countries that buy Russian gas to letter from Putin: Zubkov
  • Govt in Kiev isn’t legitimate, don’t have national mandate
    • Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, other eastern, southern regions were part of Russian empire until becoming part of Ukraine under U.S.S.R
    • People have been trying to divide Russia, Ukraine for centuries; Yugoslavia was split up to make it easier to manipulate
    • Russia didn’t force Crimea accession
    • Ukraine political groups must reach compromise, outside forces can only support compromise, not up to Russia, U.S. to resolve Ukraine crisis
  • Moldovan breakaway region should be allowed to choose fate, blocakde of Transnistria must stop.
  • Russia must respond when NATO moves closer to country’s border
  • U.S. anti-missile system isn’t defensive, Putin says
  • Russia, U.S. should work together on missile threats: Putin

Source: Bloomberg

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jay28elle's picture

OK, when it comes down to it, who is going to blink first (or in Obama's case, blink again)?


GetZeeGold's picture



All in all....everything seems to be going pretty well.

SpanishGoop's picture

All according to plan you mean ?


ndotken's picture

Does Obama really think Putin is afraid of the great paper tiger? ... Is he that delusional?

Latina Lover's picture

From the perspective of the US government, you know it is SNAFU, when Brennen is sent on a weekend under an assumed name to 'consult' with the Kiev Kriminals.  Guys like Brennan have their calendar booked months in advance and don' break appointments except for serious crises.

svayambhu108's picture

Crude oil: 103.68 $

Ask SA to flood the market with oil, :))

ilion's picture

I'm sure Putin will not do anything serious now that Obama has drawn the read line for couple of times.

TeamDepends's picture

Reminds us of one of those "Animals Gone Wild" clips where the trainer/handler smacks the bear one too many times with the stick.

svayambhu108's picture



And here's the plan if things go wrong, it has very high chances of success taken from the best survival book by Ayn RandHow to kill a bear from arm range without a weapon :


dontgoforit's picture

I hope the handlers of the nex-gen weapons systems know what to do when the SHTF and that those weapons are not hacked-out at the last minute.  This could be a messy year indeed.  I would not want to be a Ukranian.

svayambhu108's picture

It's called "bearly survived"

Oh regional Indian's picture

As it has always been, energy politics.

Gas, petrol, DIE-sel....

Die-Sell indeed...


NoDebt's picture

"Mr. Ryan, this business will get out of hand.  It will get out of hand and we'll be lucky to live through it."

MeMongo's picture

Yeah It's an abyss alright, as in giant ass crack debacle that Mr Putin will undoubtedly insert his boot into!

fudge's picture

CIA Director Brennan in Kiev > not a reliable source,interesting twist though..http://www.iarex.ru/articles/47077.html

DavidC's picture

Unfortunately, yes.


Ghordius's picture

imho not that bad. "In short: absolutely no de-escalation from the Russian"

of course not, the peace conference starts today. no negotiatior wants to show up with pre-concessions

I'm mildly optimistic on that conference. the only wild card there is... our dear American Cousins

MrsMerkel's picture

Your comments are no fun, Ghordius.

Let us doom-n-gloomers live our fantasies.

Ghordius's picture

don't you have enough fantasies about great heroic liberation wars on your continent? we are a bit tired to play the main host for them

Dr. Krugman's Invasion From Mars comes to mind

MrsMerkel's picture

I actually meant "us" to mean the average ZH reader.

But now that you mention it...Krugman's scenario sure is mouthwatering.  Just think, all the stimulus! Who needs WW3 when you have aliens

loonyleft's picture

sorry to downvote, but aside from an arguably 'pretty face' Obama has nothing to do with this, and no one is blinking now.

Unfortunately no one blinked in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now the Ukraine. The west / deep government / MIC, call it what you like, has a plan and there have been delays, but they are pressing on. 

Obama is just along for the ride. 


Nice to see the red/blue sheep are alive and well. I am sure I will be proven wrong once (insert name here) gets in power.  Keep up the downvotes!

ebworthen's picture

If he's just along for the ride he is complicit and not leading; that is something to do with it; not to mention his rhetoric.

loonyleft's picture

That's assuming he can do anything. He can do very little. The US has been taken over by an undisclosed group. Some say neocons, some illuminati. Call it what you like but the POTUS has about as much clout (in this situation) as the Queen does in England. 

The biggest tell was when GW announced he was the 'decision maker'. Is it any more obvious that he was being told what to do? When he had a hissy fit, they convinced him. Obama is smarter, but still mostly helpless.

If anything, Obama rightly backed down on Syria when under immense pressure from inside sources, but they didn't stop, they just went back underground. 

That is about Obama's only power left, that as POTUS, and the idea of the POTUS actually being a leader, if he publicly comes out and says something TPTB have to work with that by still doing what they want but not publicly contradicting the words of the POTUS. If they do then they are more likely to be revealed and the presidency revealed as pretty much just a figurehead. 

And it doesn't matter who is POTUS, left, right, middle, whatever. If McCain were Pres, then the situation would be the same, only maybe a lot quicker, but the plan is not his, not Obama's and not any POTUS. 

Someone else is steering the ship and anybody who continually cries Obama is either a shill or ignorantly muddying the waters. 

813kml's picture

Good analysis.  Obama is the Commander in Chief, but doesn't have control of the shadow government and other neo-con apparatus.  Neo-cons have the money and reach to set enough fires to get Obama to respond in the way they want.  Indirect power by coercion.  That they have acted so quickly in Ukraine after Syria fizzled shows just how desperate they've become.

Cheney gave a speech in 1999 when he was still CEO of Halliburton that was very prescient.  In it, he detailed the main concern of the 21st century is energy and control of that energy.  Energy control props up the petrodollar and allows American Empire to feed its beast of a military in order to keep the energy secure.

Obama still has the power to diffuse the situation, but I wonder how much propaganda he is being fed by security advisors installed by neo-cons.  He doesn't have many options even if he knows the full story.  The dollar is on course to collapse very soon, only with contrition could this all end peacefully.

TheReplacement's picture

There is a lot of merit to what you say but I think Obama is more than a puppet.  There are a lot of people who do what the President says.  I believe it was his job to move the ball but was stopped with a loss in Syria.  That doesn't mean that the conspirators behind the scenes are not still pressing "forward" but the face of it was stopped and dropped.

loonyleft's picture

In this world of tech and information, movies and tv, it's hard not to think in absolutes, myself included. 

I am not saying Obama has ZERO power but that the criticisms continually pegging Obama as THE culprit and THE person and THE one, are disingenuous and false. 

Obama is not the problem, just as Bush was not the problem. 


HardAssets's picture

I disagree. They were/are both a big part of the problem. They know what they are doing to facilitate things, even though they likely weren't the masterminds.

Their job was/is deception of the American people.

Peter Pan's picture

Obama needs to paint a red circle around himself.

GetZeeGold's picture



He needs a shirtless photo op holding the skeet gun. Perhaps in mom jeans....haven't decided yet.



Tengri Temujin's picture

How bout a red circle around his asshole and a red line above his tight briefs

ncdirtdigger's picture

Barry doesn't have time to even start to look Putin in the eyes.

ChanceIs's picture

How did he do on his final hoops bracket? Anybody know? [/sarc_off]

MeMongo's picture

Actually that giant man/woman Chewbacca bulldagger that motombo is married to would probably give Putin more of a fight!

BandGap's picture

The problem Putin has is that he is as predictable as Western leaders. He does hold a lot of cards, but if serious war does break out he is woefully out-gunned. Note that the US/NATO has tested and honed a lot of military strategies and hardware in the past 20 years or so. And peole might not think so, but there is a generation of Europeans, including East Germans, that remember the old USSR quite well. They do not want to see the USSR get together again, much less be beholding to them for their energy requirements. Those old feelings are still there, this won't be a war where people have to work up a lather.

We have the brown clown as president, but the neo-cons runnig the show are much smarter. At least they think so, that's the problem too.

God save us.

JailBank's picture

That may be true, but does the US have the stomach for another war? How many more parents are going to want their kids joining up to run off and defend another nation. Those that are willing to go are fewer, and eventually, I am aghast to say it, some hipsters and rich kids might have to.... take up the fight.

Tengri Temujin's picture

Big deal on nato conventional ability, russians have said they will go tactical nukes and more due to disparity

FMR Bankster's picture

There's a huge problem with distance and logistics. And it's an issue both for Russia and NATO. All military organizations are much smaller than they were during the cold war. We spend a ton on wiz bang military technology but it's of limited value in a conflict of this sort. The truth is in the short run (6 months) we can't deploy significant power to Ukraine even if we wanted to. Russia is closer, so the problems are smaller, but it's military would have real trouble (not with Ukraine's military)if the citizens were uncooperative.

813kml's picture

The US public has never been involved in the decision-making process of declaring war, it really doesn't matter what they think as long as they don't try to storm the Pentagon.  And probably not even then.

Enough consent can be built with relentless propaganda (already happening) and possibly a false flag or two.  Hipsters won't need to take up the fight, if things get hot the fight will be over before they can look up from their iPhones.

BlindMonkey's picture

The biggest thing is the challenge to NATO's air superiority.  They may be on the losing side of that as Russsia's anti-air is considered to be the best in the world.  The entire premise of NATO's power is combined arms and I doubt they would be very aggressive if they don't have air power to back the ground forces up.

StychoKiller's picture

Here in the US, Fire and Police depts have difficulty communicating during a perceived emergency, what are they compared to NATOs communication problems?  NATO countries hardly even speak the same language!  The phrase "clusterfsck" springs to mind...


Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"We have the brown clown as president, but the neo-cons runnig the show are much smarter. At least they think so, that's the problem too."

If the neo cons were really smart they would not have laid all their plans out in the PNAC (project for a new American century) while Bush 2 was pres... Unless they were trying to set in stone their policy for incoming administrations... not likely this ploy would succeed imo.

Perhaps Ukraine is totally about dollar hegemony (attempting to keep the dollar as the major world reserve currency). I mean totally to the exclusion of all other reasons. Why else would Western Europe let themselves be dragged along so easily, risking so much?

Iows, why is Western Europe risking Sooo much... their energy from Russia, if not in support of the dollar?

Now Belgium is the largest purchaser of US treasuries. Who else is buying US paper in quantity? Belgium, a country with a $450Billion economy holding about $350Billion of US paper... seem strange to you?

Putin is still holding the 'excepting dollars, Russia will take any major currency or gold for Russian energy' card. Will he play that card?

Will China throw it's hat into this mess since they are in the SCO along with Russia?

We have seen what happened to Iraq, Lybia and Iran when they moved away from dollars for energy. 

I know, I have a lot more questions than answers... It seems to me that a very large piece of this puzzle is missing... as usual.

Any logical answers, even illogical speculation, will be appreciated.

StychoKiller's picture

Let's see which way KSA jumps, now that Bandar is "retired."

Thanatos's picture

You make a good case about the doctrine of Russia and NATO, but I'm pretty sure these doctrines won't hold up under the realities of an actual war.

I'm not convinced about the reality of Russia being out gunned.

If you are talking about the NATO vendors fantasy display booths at Eurosatory, then yes we appear to outgun and somewhat out tech the Russians.

If you are speaking about fieldable equipment and manpower coupled with a social fabric that is willing to suffer to defeat an enemy... Well it doesn't look so good for NATO.

It's a long logistics train from here to there and we have hollowed out our capability by erosion, attrition and reliance on contractors over the past 20+ years. The Russian MIC is on a serious upswing and has a distributed depth of capability and surge capacity that doesn't have an analog in the west.

NATO looks good on paper. But it may be nothing more than a paper birdcage floor liner when "shit gets real".

Let's agree that we don't want to find out.


sushi's picture

Plus US doctrine has been shaped by more then 10 years of conflict with sheepherders, battles that they lost.

All of the US / NATO interventions have been against foes who were unable to mount an adequate defence. 

All of the US / NATO interventions involved a logistics tail that was so huge it included air conditioned tents and ice cream machines in fOBs. That was not warfighting. That was squatting on the taxpayers dime.

US / NATO is playing at conflict. They wish to expand their borders, provide a larger buffer, extend commercial hegemony.

Russia on the other hand is facing an existential threat posed by a group of nations seeking to undermine and eviscerate it depsite all of the bland portestations of "friendship."

The fundamental issue here is that US / NATO is playing with fire and Russia is playing for keeps.

We end up having to live in the rubble left by the "draw a red line and send a nastygram" idiots in power.

BlindMonkey's picture

"OK, when it comes down to it, who is going to blink first..."


You are incorrectly assuming that Obama is watching in the first place.  He has people for that level of detail.  He has vacations to plan.

usikpa's picture

with a heavy hint that either the East and South would soon be part of Russia, or that the second coming of the USSR is in the cards, ---WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM? THE WHITE HOUSE?

SpanishGoop's picture

Could be from Brussels because then thay can indebt and enslave another poor country and rule an even bigger Europe.



Snidley Whipsnae's picture

usikpa... Also, how and when did Transnistria become 'blockaded'? If you look at the Wiki map link below transnistria is land locked except for 2 rivers. 

In addition at Wiki there is this comment...

"When crossing the border between Moldova and Transnistria, you will be checked only by Transnistrian officials. There are also peacekeeping Russian and Ukrainian soldiers who may stop and search vehicles"


Tengri Temujin's picture

I also thought the Dniester was an international waterway and they could sail down it to get to the Black sea so its strange that they are blockaded when they have the river access and should be able to get supplied by barges from Black Sea via Crimea now.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Tengri... My thoughts exactly... unless Putin meant that the rivers are blockaded? Maybe river patrols? Border crossing roads blocked?

Very confusing but the whole thing is, so far, reminding me of the old film "The Russians are coming, The Russians are coming"... with Alan Alda...

More civilians have probably been killed in traffic accidents or cleaning their new AKs than by intentional shooting... so far. Hope it remains a comedy.