Vladimir Putin is a lair. He has been lying to the Russian people and the rest of world for a long time now, but he has taken lying to a whole new level with regards to his stances regarding Ukraine. Lying is probably one of those skills he must have gained as an undercover agent in East Germany.As they say, old habits die hard. We get it: Putin can't help himself, he can lie with a straight face!
But, he has now taken lying to another horizon. Yesterday, he gave a long interview to the German public television ARD where he discussed a wide range of issues, among others the topic of Crimea. Attempting to justify the Crimean invasion, he declared with a straight face that no international laws were violated when Russia invaded Crimea and compared it to Kosovo, saying the population declared independence via referendum. This got him Pinocchio awards from several European newspapers, including Build, which published a story titled: PUTINOCCHIO: Wie der
Kreml-Chef die Welt belügt accompanied by the very appropriate picture below:
So that tells you how successful Putin was with his lies. To help Putin come to his senses, here are the 10 reasons why Crimea is so very different from Kosovo:
1. Kosovo was just one of the conflicts in the process of Yugoslavia's destruction. The complete destruction of Yugoslavia took over 10 years of active conflicts and another 20-30 years before that of political infighting with well drawn out lines. The situation in Yugoslavia was a well recognized international conflict. No such thing existed in Crimea, where before Russian invasion there wasn't even a single major protest clamoring separation from Ukraine, let alone any recognized conflict. There was not a recognized international conflict in Crimea before Russian invasion or any attempts to resolve it. The whole thing started and ended in less than 4 weeks.
2. Kosovo was part of a federal state, which no longer exists. Ukraine was not a federal state and it still exists.
3. When NATO intervened in Kosovo, there was an ongoing armed conflict with over 5,000 dead, including numerous massacres of civilians, rape and torture. Add to that 100's of thousands of displaced people (internally and external) and 100's of raised villages, with plans to do more. This was already happening when NATO intervened to stop it. Furthermore, NATO countries negotiated with Milosevic for years to try to get Milosevic to change his ways. In Crimea, there was no active armed conflict, no one was being killed, no villages were being raised to the ground and there no plans of removing the majority population from Crimea. So Russia intervened to start a conflict, not to stop one. Furthermore, Russia did not try to negotiate any perceived injustices with the Ukrainian authorities.
4. NATO did not annex Kosovo within political boundaries of one of its countries, preferring instead to have Kosovo, Serbia and UN engage in almost 10 years of negotiations to figure out the status of Kosovo. Russia annexed Crimea without any negotiations with the UN, Ukraine or anyone else.
5. After years of negotiations, Independence of Kosovo was recommended as the way forward by the UN mandated negotiator Martti Ahtisaari. Crimea's annexation was not discussed by any legitimate international body. Russia annexed Crimea in direct contradiction of international law.
6. Independence of Kosovo was declared by the legitimate authorities of Kosovo. Election that produced those authorities were overseen and monitored by UN and OSCE. The Referendum in Crimea was not declared by any internationally recognized legal body. The referendum itself was not monitored by any independent monitors. As a result, the declaration of the referendum and the results cannot have any international legitimacy.
7. The independence of Kosovo was validated by the highest legal body in the world, The International Court of Justice. No legal international body has given any validation to the Crimean annexation, so it has no legitimacy in the eye of the world.
8. The independence of Kosovo has been recognized by the majority of UN members, including the vast majority of countries in Europe. The number of countries that have recognized the annexation of Crime is..........ZERO.
9. Despite all of the above, Russia has been claiming that Kosovo's independence was illegal and has not recognized it. Yet, Putin now says Crimea is the same as Kosovo. So, in Russian eyes, what they did in Crimea was illegal? In essence, Russians knew what they are doing in Crimea was illegal and they did it anyway? Isn't that called willful breaching of international law? But Putin said Russia did not break any international law? It's clear Putin does not have any coherence in his arguments and he is big hypocrite.
10. Putin is a liar. Period