Just as we predicted last week, Crimea 2.0 is officially here.
- DONETSK PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC DECLARES ITSELF SOVEREIGN STATE: RIA
- UKRAINIAN SEPARATIST LEADER PUSHILIN SAYS ASKING MOSCOW TO CONSIDER THE ABSORPTION OF DONETSK REGION INTO THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
While Putin has not yet confirmed it will, begrudgingly, annex Donetsk as a reminder earlier today the Kremlin said it "respects" the independence vote and calls for a "civilized implementation." And what could be more civilized than annexing two regions of Ukraine in under two months without firing a single shot?
Here is the official announcement by Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin:
As a reminder from last week:
Look no further than the Crimea case study:
- Donetsk declares independence
- Kiev, the west and NATO condemn the results, sternly refuse to accept the outcome, and issue more sanctions against Russian politicians and oligarchs
- Newly "independent" Donetsk requests military support from friendly Russia to defend its population, and the Russian tanks roll across the border
And as other regions in east and south Ukraine follow in the Donetsk' footsteps, assuring Russia a land connection to Crimea and cutting off Kiev from the Donbas industrial zones and the Slavyansk shale gas, Putin wins again.
In the meantime, while we await Russia's latest bearhug embrace of a formerly Ukrainian territory, here is Gazprom's take:
- RUSSIAN PREMIER MEDVEDEV SAYS GAVE ORDER TO GAZPROM ON UKRAINE
- GAZPROM TO MOVE UKRAINE TO PREPAYMENTS FOR GAS TOMORROW
- GAZPROM TO HALT GAS SUPPLY TO UKRAINE JUNE 3 IF NO PAYMENT: CEO
It is amazing what one can achieve when one has all the commodity leverage.