Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Today’s best European front pages

On this 4 February we came very close to have a truly European newspaper, as most of European dailies have chosen the same picture to illustrate Russia's tightening grip on Crimea, in the Ukraine, officially to protect the Russian-speaking population. Russian president Vladimir Putin's yesterday's chopper trip to Kirillovsky's military facilities near Saint-Petersburg seem to be martial enough to match with bellicose headlines.

In some countries, like Spain or Sweden, almost all the main newspapers have made the same, at this point, embarrassing, choice.

'Putin imposes himself in Crimea' - ABC, Madrid.

'Putin takes steps toward war' - El Mundo, Madrid.

'The US and the EU try to stop Putin's escalation in the Ukraine' - El País, Madrid.

'Putin attacking' - ABC, Madrid.

'Putin refuses to back down' - Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm.

'Putin defies the world' - Svenska Dagbladet, Stockholm.

'Russians play risk' - De Morgen, Brussels.

'Ukraine crisis' - Berlingske, Copenhagen.

'Russian roulette on Crimea' - Dnes, Prague.

'Russia takes Crimea' - Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw.

'War fears decimate Russia stocks' - Financial Times, London.

'Europe and the USA warn Putin' - Corriere della Sera, Milan.

'Demonstration of power in Crimea' - To Ethnos, Athens.

'Fleeing from Russia' - Handelsblatt, Düsseldorf.

'"Crimea, Russia, Sebastopol"' - Izvestiya, Moscow.

'War of nerves' - Público, Lisbon.

'A Czar has to protect what is his' - NRC Next, Amsterdam.

'Ukraine. Putin's war' - Libération, Paris.

'Europe wants to bring back Putin to reason' - Le Soir, Brussels.


  1. It was more than obvious that Putin would react to what he perceives as an attempt from EU/US to penetrate Ukraine and place advanced NATO bases on Russia's doorstep

  2. I am a Russophile; I don't know why but I just like Russians and Vladimir Putin seems to aspire to be one of the great Russians of all time. I like to think of him as something like Alexander I.

    So with that in mind I ask anyone who might be reading what they think of the idea that Vladdy might be thinking of doing much more than simply thwarting a clumsy attempt by a gaggle of US/EU/NATO "humanitarian" and neo-con appratachiks to extend NATO to Kharkiv (Kharkov) and Sevastopol. What if he has much, much more in mind?

    It seems to me that the US is a spent force in the EU and the US will certainly be contracting militarily, economically and politically over the next decade or more. If so, there will be a power vacuum in Europe, particularly in Central Europe where conditions in the former Soviet satellites remain poor.

    It also seems that NATO has become hollow and can offer no credible non-nuclear threat to the Russian Federation between the Oder and Vistula Rivers and between the Baltic and Black Seas. But that kind of thinking is anachronistic. We all know that future wars will be economic, not military.

    Here in the US, fools like the breathtakingly stupid John Kerry and completely apathetic Barak Obama bluster about economic reprisals. But the City of London will have none of that and neither will Brussels nor the bankers in Frankfurt and on Wall Street.

    Today I hear that the RF may abandon the dollar as a reserve currency, which suggests it will replace the dollar with the Euro.

    It also seems that the EU is collectively depended upon the RF for about 50% of its natural gas. Having abandoned coal and nuclear energy does this not make the energy needs of the EU's economy, and particularly the needs of the German economy, absolutely dependent upon the continued good will of the RF over the next five or ten years?

    If US economic and military influence in the EU is going to decline, is not the idea of aligning German industry with Russian resources and military power something the Bundesrepublik should already have in the back of its collective mind?

    My question is: Could Germany and Russia combine to form a Eurasian center of global power? Could this be Vladdy's objective? More importantly, are conditions in the EU presently such that he could accomplish this in the next five or ten years?