Ukraine after Yanukovych; whither Crimea? Following a period of intense protests beginning in mid-February, Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovych was deposed last weekend. He's now out of sight while Ukrainians, and the rest of the world, take a look at how he spent his wealth (video). Attention is now turning to the Crimea, that big peninsula that extends from continental Ukraine into the Black Sea. Stratfor has a video (registration) on the Crimea, and a free video on Russia and Ukraine (dated from before Yanukovych was overthrown). As of this morning, Reuters is reporting that Putin has put Russian troops on alert:
President Vladimir Putin put Russian combat troops on high alert for war games near Ukraine on Wednesday, the Kremlin's most powerful gesture yet after days of sabre rattling since its ally Viktor Yanukovich was toppled as president in Kiev.
Thousands of ethnic Russians, who form the majority in Ukraine's Crimea region, demonstrated for independence for the peninsula that hosts part of Moscow's Black Sea Fleet. They scuffled with rival demonstrators, mainly from the Tatar minority, who support the new authorities in Kiev. ...
RIA Novosti describes this as a "snap check" and RT calls it a "surprise drill", but Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu insists that “The drills are not connected with events in Ukraine at all.” Finally, the specter of anti-Semitism haunts yet another revolution.
Nigeria: Boko Haram killings continue. Nigeria's ongoing battle with the jihadi terrorist group Boko Haram continues to claim innocent lives. The latest Boko Haram attack in Yobe state in northern Nigeria has killed 59 students as of this morning.
President Goodluck Jonathan called the attack "callous and senseless murder ... by deranged terrorists and fanatics who have clearly lost all human morality and descended to bestiality".
The Islamists, whose struggle for an Islamic state in northern Nigeria has killed thousands and made them the biggest threat to security in Africa's top oil producer, are increasingly preying on the civilian population.
Militants from Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sinful" in the northern Hausa language, have frequently attacked schools in the past. A similar attack in June in the nearby village of Mamudo left 22 students dead.
Venezuela: Protests continue. Reuters: 'At least 13 people have been killed, about 150 injured, and more than 500 arrested during protests and violence that have flared since the start of February.' Anti-Chavez protesters say they have been beaten, tortured, and threatened with guns to the head and other places since the beginning of the current wave of protests. Fausta's 2/24 Carnival links to Rory Carroll at Guardian / Observer:
Hugo Chávez used to call it la revolución bonita (the pretty revolution), but the world looked at Venezuela last week and saw only ugliness. Protesters gunned down in the streets, barricades in flames, chaos. One of the dead was a 22-year-old beauty queen shot in the head.
With the government censoring and cowing TV reports, many of the images came from smartphones, grainy and jerky snippets filled with smoke and shouts. One fact loomed through them all: Chavismo, a hybrid system of democracy and autocracy built on populism, petro-dollars and quasi-socialism, was reaping the consequences of misrule.
Demonstrations in Caracas, Valencia, Mérida and other cities turned lethal, with student-led rallies provoking a fierce backlash from National Guard units and paramilitaries. They roared on motorcycles into "enemy" neighbourhoods, guns blazing. Families piled mattresses against windows to shield against bullets. ...
Video here. Carlos Eire at Babalu writes:
Somewhere, in their Cuban-authored playbook, the Chavistas are surely counting on future visits to a remaining tiny number of Jews by Jewish congregations from around the world who come loaded with gifts.
The playbook probably reads something like this: "Be sure to make life so miserable for the Jews that they have to leave. But also make sure a tiny minority stays behind. In a few years, Jews from all over the world will come to visit them and provide your "Revolution" with a very significant revenue stream."
Also (video - Español, de CNN En Español) Entrevista con Gen. Ángel Vivas.
“Los cubanos están en todas las estructuras del Estado venezolano”, dijo.