tip off

MH17: decency and respect needed for victims — but it may be too late

There are procedures in place to honour those who have died in and ensure a fair and proper investigation. But so far, the Russian-backed separatists have not shown much willingness to abide by them.

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Rundle: Cold Warriors rattling kalashnikovs can’t give MH17 meaning

MH17 was almost certainly not shot down by the Russian military in a deliberate act of war against any nation with a citizen on board. But tell that to the Right.

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MH17: why a commercial jet was flying over a war zone

The Russian separatists who shot down MH17 allegedly thought it was a military target — though it was easily distinguishable as a commercial plane.

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Follow Friday: @KevinRothrock, explaining the RuNet

If you want to know what’s happening in Russia, go straight to the source. Kevin Rothrock explains the “Wild West” of Russia’s internet.

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Look at the map, Ukraine’s separatism may have a life of its own

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost control of the battle for hearts and minds in Ukraine. The situation in the divided nation is now even more complicated.

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Putin a 21st-century tsar, with Russians happy to trade freedoms for security

Russia’s default state is not that of a democracy; its authoritarianism has deep roots. And Russians are more than happy to trade liberties for security, says political academic Thomas Ambrosio.

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An unwilling Ukraine being taught its role in a Slavic tragedy

The end game for Russia and President Vladimir Putin is not one that subsumes the Ukraine, but makes it more sympathetic to the Russian cause. It’s a deadly game of chess.

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Russia won’t invade Ukraine — as long as everyone does what Putin wants

Russia is still massing troops on Ukraine’s border. Most of the posturing is for effect — but if push comes to shove, Russia will be the one doing the shoving.

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The new tri-polar world: why Russia can do whatever it likes

The United States is effectively powerless in the empire-building of Russia. There’s three sherifs in the world right now, and America might not even be the most influential.

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Don’t overthink Russia, we’re all Transnistrians now

Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea because Kosovo. Because Mom jeans. Because shirt off. The neocon Right projects its own failed fantasies onto cautious Russian realpolitik.

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Follow Friday: @MarkAdomanis, injecting nuance and numbers into Russia debate

There’s plenty of myth and misinformation around Russia and the Ukraine. Writer Mark Adomanis wants to move beyond a debate which tends to be black and white.

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Crimea vote: Russia’s big win, but what now for Ukraine?

The people of Crimea have, overwhelmingly and expectedly, voted to throw their lot in with Russia. But there were a litany of problems in a referendum that was technically unconstitutional.

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In Russian-speaking Odessa, a call for calm as Putin advances

The Ukrainian town of Odessa has traditionally continued with business as usual even during times of war. But Ukrainian journalist (and chess grandmaster) Mikhail Golubev says Russian aggression has spurred the town into action.

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Cornered, the Russian bear likely to show its teeth in region

Russia’s increasing aggression in the Ukraine is a result of its deep-seated fear of outside aggression. Without a pliant Ukraine, Russia may take more drastic measures.

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Age of empires: Ukraine high-stakes chess game against Russian grandmaster

Russia and Ukraine are on the brink of war, but few in the West have any concept of Russia’s end game. The Russians saw this coming and are strategically placed for any eventuality.

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The battle for the Crimea: Ukraine v Russia in bloody tug-of-war

Ukraine is split, and the Russians are lurking. The history and political context of the Crimea is the source of much of the current conflict. Crikey explains the background.

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The president is gone, but Ukraine’s democracy hopes in tatters

Don’t think that Ukraine’s social unrest will usher in a golden era of social democracy. Unfortunately for the former Eastern bloc state, its future is likely to be more of the same.

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Follow Friday: @MarkGaleotti, explaining Russia and the Games

Mark Galeotti is an important voice on the Sochi Olympics, Vladimir Putin’s overarching ambition and all things Russian. Crikey’s Follow Friday series explains why you should add him to your feed.

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Frigid relations threaten to sink Antarctic conservation efforts

An international commission is set to decide on increased protections for the marine environment around Antarctica later this week. But freelance writer Karl Mathiesen says realpolitik could undermine the commission itself.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

The reality behind the rhetoric to get rid of the mining tax is now becoming apparent — state governments still get the money.

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Russia the real winner of Syrian negotiations

Russia has returned from being a struggling second-rate international power to again strutting the international stage as, more or less, the equal of the United States.

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Russia may yet offer US a Syrian lifeline

The United States may have been given an opportunity to avoid military intervention in Syria while saving face. But will Bashar Al-Assad really play ball?

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Pause for thought on Syrian chemical attacks — and reprisals

There’s still no clear evidence on which group was responsible for a chemical attack in Syria. This lack of information makes Western intervention risky, argues Crikey’s foreign affairs writer.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

Labor’s Kevin Rudd bounce seems to have reached its peak, though the Coalition is still favoured to win. Plus other political snippets noted along the way.

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Oh, those propagandising Russians …

Crikey readers are talking Russian propaganda, asylum seekers and whether Guy Rundle gets it wrong.

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