Putin’s reasons for Ukraine incursion ‘not fooling anybody,’ Obama says


WASHINGTON — The Globe and Mail


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More tough talk but no new action on Tuesday as President Barack Obama accused his Russian counterpart of not “fooling anybody” by claiming the Kremlin’s troops were protecting ethnic Russians from Ukrainian fascists.

In Kiev, as a show of solidarity with the new pro-western Ukrainian government, U.S. State Secretary John Kerry blasted Russia for using “aggression and intimidation as a first resort,” and offered a $1-billion (U.S.) aid package to help Ukraine.

But with Russia firmly in control of Crimea, the strategic Black Sea peninsula grafted to Ukraine by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev 60 years ago, President Vladimir Putin claimed full justification for swift, decisive intervention in territory Russia has regarded as within its sphere of influence for centuries.

Mr. Putin dismissed Western threats to slap sanctions on Russia, warning they would backfire. More>>>


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