Ukraine Beginning to Spiral Out of Control?

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Events in Ukraine are starting to spin out of control:

Ukrainian security forces killed “up to five” pro-Russian activists Thursday in the restive eastern part of the country, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said, as Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned any use of the Ukrainian military against its own citizens.

….Putin spoke forcefully against the military action as the clashes were underway. “If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it, beyond any doubt, is a very serious crime,” Putin said at a media forum in St. Petersburg.

President Obama sounded glum about the prospects for peace in Ukraine and told reporters this morning that the US has “teed up” a new round of sanctions that could be implemented against Russia if they move troops across the border. This will have a limited impact since US trade with Russia is relatively small, but Reuters reports that EU leaders “have asked the EU executive arm, the European commission, to propose economic, trade and financial restrictions on Crimea for rapid implementation.” If they’re serious, that would hurt Putin considerably worse than anything we could do on our own.

Stay tuned.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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