Ukraine: latest news, opinion and analysis


News Reports

(1) Muchael R. Gordon and Steven Ehrlanger, “U.S. Effort to Broker Russia-Ukraine Diplomacy Fails,” New York Times, March 5, 2014.

(2) Somini Senguptamarch, “Senior U.N. Envoy Threatened at Gunpoint in Crimea, New York Times, March 5, 2014.

(3) (Avec AFP), “Le cauchemar de l’envoyé spécial de l’ONU en Crimée, Le Soir, 5 mars 2014.

Menacé par des hommes armés, harcelé par la foule, Robert Serry a dû rentrer précipitamment à Kiev.

(4) Peter Baker, “No Easy Way Out of Ukraine Crisis,” New York Times, March 4, 2014.

This story, by the White House correspondent of the New York Times, who Obama frequently uses to explain what he is thinking–or even to channel his stream of consciousness, reflects the fact that Obama still doesn’t understand that the conduct of foreign policy is not just an analytical game, where you “explain” to the news media and other countries your analysis of a situation and your thought processes in considering various courses of action.

The public and the world need an executive, not an analyst. They, other nations and history will judge Obama not on the basis of his analyses and speeches, but rather on his actions, and the results they produce.

Opinion and Commentary

(1) Henry A. Kissinger, “how the Ukraine crisis ends,” Washington Post, March 5, 2014 (2:58 p.m.).

(2) Stefan Kornelius (Kommentar), “Russische Besetzung der Krim; Putin muss beeindruckt werdenr,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, “>5. März 2014 (13:14 Uhr).

Eine Woche Intensivkurs Putinismus haben gelehrt: Rationalität steht nicht hinter den Entscheidungen des russischen Präsidenten. Die EU muss klarmachen, dass sie die von Putin geschaffenen Fakten nicht akzeptiert. Nur die Entschlossenheit zu weitreichenden Sanktionen wird ihn zu Gesprächen bewegen.

(3) Lord Weidenfeld, “Außenpolitisch ist Barack Obama eine Niete, Die Welt, 4. März 2014.

In einem sind sich Freunde wie Feinde des US-Präsidenten einig: In der Außenpolitik agiert Barack Obama fast schon schockierend undurchsichtig. Als Führer der freien Welt taugt er nicht.

(4) Eric T. Hansen, “Europa muss Machtpolitik lernen (Kolumne Wir Amis), Die Zeit, 4. März 2014 (22:35 Uhr).

In Europa bilden wir uns ein, die Welt funktioniere auf der Basis von Vernunft, Rücksicht und Kompromissen. Der russische Präsident Putin zeigt uns, dass es nicht so ist.

The Trenchant Observer
(Der Scharfsinniger Beobachter)
(L’Obervateur Incisif)
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About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.