Skip to main content

The following is a serious paraphrasing of what Vladimir Putin said during his press conference this morning, from The New Republic:

Slouching in a fancy chair in front of a dozen reporters, Putin squirmed and rambled. And rambled and rambled. He was a rainbow of emotion: Serious! angry! bemused! flustered! confused! So confused. Victor Yanukovich is still the acting president of Ukraine, but he can't talk to Ukraine because Ukraine has no president. Ukraine needs elections, but you can't have elections because there is already a president. And no elections will be valid given that there is terrorism in the streets of Ukraine. And how are you going to let just anyone run for president? What if some nationalist punk just pops out like a jack-in-the-box? An anti-Semite? Look at how peaceful the Crimea is, probably thanks to those guys with guns holding it down. Who are they, by the way? Speaking of instability, did you know that the mayor of Dniepropetrovsk is a thief? He cheated "our oligarch, [Chelsea owner Roman] Abramovich" of millions. Just pocketed them! Yanukovich has no political future, I've told him that. He didn't fulfill his obligations as leader of the country. I've told him that. Mr. Putin, what mistakes did Yanukovich make as president? You know, I can't answer that. Not because I don't know the answer, but because it just wouldn't be right of me to say. Did you know they burned someone alive in Kiev? Just like that? Is that what you call a manifestation of democracy? Mr. Putin, what about the snipers in Kiev who were firing on civilians? Who gave them orders to shoot? Those were provocateurs. Didn't you read the reports? They were open source reports. So I don't know what happened there. It's unclear. But did you see the bullets piercing the shields of the Berkut [special police]. That was obvious. As for who gave the order to shoot, I don't know. Yanukovich didn't give that order. He told me. I only know what Yanukovich told me. And I told him, don't do it. You'll bring chaos to your city. And he did it, and they toppled him. Look at that bacchanalia. The American political technologists they did their work well. And this isn't the first time they've done this in Ukraine, no. Sometimes, I get the feeling that these people...these people in America. They are sitting there, in their laboratory, and doing experiments, like on rats. You're not listening to me. I've already said, that yesterday, I met with three colleagues. Colleagues, you're not listening. It's not that Yanukovich said he's not going to sign the agreement with Europe. What he said was that, based on the content of the agreement, having examined it, he did not like it. We have problems. We have a lot of problems in Russia. But they're not as bad as in Ukraine. The Secretary of State. Well. The Secretary of State is not the ultimate authority, is he?

And so on, for about an hour. And much of that, by the way, is direct quotes.

...Today's Putin was nervous, angry, cornered, and paranoid, periodically illuminated by flashes of his own righteousness. Here was an authoritarian dancing uncomfortably in his new dictator shoes, squirming in his throne.

http://www.newrepublic.com/...

It looks like Germany's Angela Merkel made the correct diagnosis - after speaking with the Russian leader, she told President Obama on Sunday that she thought Putin was not in in touch with reality, and was "in another world".

Perhaps this whole nightmare won't be for naught if it brings Merkel and Obama closer together.

I would argue this Russian military misadventure is a glimpse of what a McCain presidency would have looked like. And perhaps what the George W. Bush presidency did look like to the rest of the world.

Update 1:

The Washington Post corroborates Putin's incoherence in an article titled:

A brief rundown of Vladimir Putin’s strange, rambling press conference
small excerpt:
To the dozen or so journalists in the room, and the many more watching remotely, it seemed to be a series of half-truths, circular reasoning, and bravado. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was right, Julia Ioffe of the New Republic has observed, Putin has "lost his mind."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Update 2:

Okay, the big crazy takeaway from the WaPo piece are these Putin quotes:

“Look at former Soviet republics,” he said. “You can go to a store and buy a uniform. Were these Russian soldiers? No, they’re very well-trained self-defense forces.”

...

“If I decide to use armed forces, it will be in line with international law.”

Unbelievable, but Putin is saying that he has NOT sent troops to Crimea! Those masked gunmen at the airport, according to him, are...Ukrainian Freedom Fighters??? Wow
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, MichaelPH, Sylv, Bollox Ref, KeithH, TXdem, Trix, fcvaguy, Mogolori, DMo, Timaeus, Doctor RJ, Pandora, greenbird, cotterperson, Mnemosyne, dsb, Pompatus, polecat, Norwegian Chef, Creosote, Heart of the Rockies, eyeswideopen, missLotus, 88kathy, whenwego, chimpy, roses, pedrito, fumie, high uintas, bex, dksbook, Brit, sviscusi, revsue, mwk, virginislandsguy, Eyesbright, Lawrence, Noodles, johanus, HeyMikey, Steven Payne, defluxion10, kalmoth, 2dot, Brian82, Matt Esler, JayBat, econlibVA, zerelda, Sembtex, glattonfolly, KellyB, WisVoter, KayCeSF, tomjones, NapaJulie, vacantlook, Josiah Bartlett, harlinchi, vcmvo2, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, Tinfoil Hat, Explorer8939, wallys son, one of 8, triciawyse, citizenx, MT Spaces, dewtx, ChemBob, LNK, Sun Tzu, Little Lulu, blue jersey mom, spunhard, leftynyc, peacestpete, Ekaterin, zozie, kathny, Nowhere Man, myboo, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, edwardssl, profundo, raptavio, Dvalkure, KenBee, dougymi, fou, SherriG, global citizen, 4Freedom, Rosaura, real world chick, novapsyche, JVolvo, ER Doc, middleagedhousewife, AllDemsOnBoard, llbear, onionjim, thenekkidtruth, CA Nana, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, NancyWH, AllanTBG, Thinking Fella, anna shane, Sapere aude, FlamingoGrrl, dpinzow, Dartagnan, offgrid, edsbrooklyn, Via Chicago, noofsh, Matt Z, terabytes, Dave in Northridge, jayden, crose, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, jhop7, gchaucer2, OIL GUY, I am a Patriot, journeyman, leonard145b, TomP, Empower Ink, jwinIL14, revm3up, misterwade, kimoconnor, GAS, amyzex, bythesea, skohayes, jamess, TomFromNJ, royce, pamelabrown, hwmnbn, TokenLiberal, Jeff Y, catly, brasilaaron, Gemina13, Horsefeathers, get the red out, dmhlt 66, GrannyOPhilly, Diogenes2008, enemy of the people, Bule Betawi, Turn Left, Rhysling, bluemoonfever, MufsMom, aufklaerer, ceebee7, bobatkinson, CanyonWren, fToRrEeEsSt, geebeebee, Keith Pickering, stevenwag, sfarkash, Tortmaster, rebel ga, collardgreens, Larsstephens, ruscle, BlueOak, Railfan, Amber6541, Just Bob, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, commonmass, smileycreek, confitesprit, indie17, serendipityisabitch, Crabby Abbey, mookins, Polly Syllabic, 2questions, womankind, JoanMar, manyamile, NYWheeler, melfunction, nickrud, Publius2008, Dems in 08, fiercefilms, slice, Onomastic, annieli, kerflooey, I love OCD, Dretutz, spooks51, pb3550, slowbutsure, vahana, cv lurking gf, La Gitane, HiKa, FarWestGirl, lexalou, marleycat, badscience, midnight lurker, VirginiaJeff, moldyfolky, MRA NY, wintergreen8694, shevas01, aoeu, myrmecia gulosa, diffrntdrummr, Mets102, Vatexia, blue aardvark, SteelerGrrl, stlsophos, joanbrooker, annecros, Auriandra, SuWho, AnnetteK, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, weatherdude, Sneelock, bluezen, OldDragon, anodnhajo, sow hat, leathersmith, Mindful Nature, IndieGuy, S F Hippie, radical simplicity, MartyM, doroma, OllieGarkey, terrybuck, avsp, Denver11, RottenRoddy, Glen The Plumber, RonK, doubledutch, nuclear winter solstice, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, simple serf, jbob, Linda1961, aresea, Alhambra, Aunt Pat, knitwithpurpose, howabout, Smoh, Hey338Too, Jim Domenico, Knockbally, duhban, Rumor, The Marti, Dodgerdog1, ExpatGirl, Elizaveta, Sonnet, gnothis, Gurnt, ConservativeBrainTrust, thanatokephaloides, rich1lenore, AJayne, numble

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site