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Obama Warns Russia on Ukraine

by Keith Koffler on February 28, 2014, 6:01 pm

President Obama this afternoon made a hastily scheduled appearance in the White House briefing room to warn Russia about troop movements related to the situation in Ukraine, saying “there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

Obama did not describe what the costs might be. From his statement:

Over the last several days, the United States has been responding to events as they unfold in Ukraine. Throughout this crisis, we have been very clear about one fundamental principle: The Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future . . .

I also spoke several days ago with President Putin, and my administration has been in daily communication with Russian officials, and we’ve made clear that they can be part of an international community’s effort to support the stability and success of a united Ukraine going forward, which is not only in the interest of The people of Ukraine and the international community, but also in Russia’s interest.

However, we are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine. Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine, including cultural and economic ties, and a military facility in Crimea, but any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interest of Ukraine, Russia, or Europe.

It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violence of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws. And just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.

The events of the past several months remind us of how difficult democracy can be in a country with deep divisions. But the Ukrainian people have also reminded us that human beings have a universal right to determine their own future.

Right now, the situation remains very fluid. Vice President Biden just spoke with Prime Minister — the Prime Minister of Ukraine to assure him that in this difficult moment the United States supports his government’s efforts and stands for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic future of Ukraine. I also commend the Ukrainian government’s restraint and its commitment to uphold its international obligations.

Obama took no questions.


DeniseVB February 28, 2014 at 6:05 pm

No he din’t. Sigh, I give up.

Lee February 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm

He is now at the Natl Covention Ralley.
Instead of working behind his desk, and keeping up with the Ukraine issue, he is campaigning. at a Rally.

By the way, Thanks Keith for posting the speech.

Marcus February 28, 2014 at 7:21 pm

He’ll find out what’s happening in Ukraine when he reads it in the newspapers tomorrow. No doubt.

Julie Brueckheimer February 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm

They had to have a map in the background to show that Obama knows where Ukraine is.

bhdawg February 28, 2014 at 6:09 pm

He will do nothing but talk.

Owen_Kellogg February 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm

. . . and golf.

Porterhouse February 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm

There will be costs…but he didn’t say how much it would cost us.

Julie Brueckheimer February 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

I thought that comment was ambiguous. Of course, if the Russians go in there, it will cost them many rubles.

Sadie February 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm

If you like your Ukraine and Crimea you can keep them.

The US missile defense complex in Poland, was part of the Ballistic Missile Defense European Capability of the US. On September 17, 2009, Obama administration announced that plans for the project had been scrapped.

Obama, president – Not prescient!

Julie Brueckheimer February 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Spot on, Sadie!

blondie February 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm

What exactly are the costs going to be? What he said is like double dog daring Putin. He just added fuel to this fire.
BTW, anyone recall Sarah Palin predicting this?

Sadie February 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Obama mocked Romney.

“Cold war is over”

Marcus February 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm

I suspect Putin will not pull back from his planned actions a single iota because of what Obama says or doesn’t say. Obama is completely irrelevant to Putin, who knows that Obama doesn’t care a whit about what happens in Ukraine,.

Girly1 February 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm

FOX should play Palin’s soundbyte ever hour on the hour ti drive Barry insane.

Owen_Kellogg March 1, 2014 at 12:48 am

BTW, anyone recall Sarah Palin predicting this?

I also recall Baraq Obama passing a message off to Putin promising that he’d have “more flexibility” after the election.

At least Vladimir Putin recognizes an empty suit when he sees one. The same cannot be said for a majority of American voters.

Trouble February 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

I feel another “red line” coming on.

nellyq February 28, 2014 at 6:29 pm

and I’m sure that Mr. Putin is sooooo scared!! Especially since we are cutting our military forces back to pre-WWII levels–

A.J. February 28, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Yes, but our high tech weaponry will make up for the lack of personnel. I’m told the same folks who came up with the ObamaCare website will be designing those weapons!!

65andcounting February 28, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Putin is weeely weeely afwaid.

Lee February 28, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Fox just showed a clip of O at his rally. O stated:
It is after 5:00, Happy hour for the democate party. I have that authority, and I have Executive Order.
I typed it right after I heard. I hope it is word for word.
That is what he said with a smile tonight!!!! Right after he came out with his pathetic speech about Ukraine.
Oh………………Russia and Putin are so scared now. sarc

Marcus February 28, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Obama spewed words about Ukraine because his handlers realized that he had to say something. So someone wrote words, the text was vetted by some hack to ensure no one could take offense. It was given to Obama who read it a couple of times, and then went on television with his serious face and blah, blah blah. Obama doesn’t have a clue about what he read, nor does he care. We weren’t even there and we know how it happened. Hey! It’s happy hour, after all.

AZ Granny March 1, 2014 at 1:43 am

I missed that, thanks for sharing. He’s so full of himself, what an awful statement to make especially with all that’s going on.

Girly1 February 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm

What was THAT all about? He appeared to be half-asleep and groggy as he stumbled over the words prepared by his staff of incompetents. Good grief! As per usual, he turns on his heel and fumbles his way to the exit – unable to answer the simplest of questions, ie. “What is the plan and what are the consequences”?Follow-up questions are above his pay grade.

The guy is an embarrassment…period! He is unable to read on the level of a HS student. He sounds so uneducated.
Next time, Barry, let a State Dept. spokesperson read it for you!

ImNoDhimmi March 1, 2014 at 7:04 am

“It would be a clear violence of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws.”
Misprint, or did he actually say “violence” when he meant violation?
“Vice President Biden just spoke with Prime Minister — the Prime Minister of Ukraine…”
Did he forget the PM’s name, or was he unable to pronounce it? Or maybe the speech writer doesn’t know the man’s name. Talk about amateur hour.

Mandy Manners March 1, 2014 at 7:59 am

“Talk about amateur hour.”

Would that we had a hook to get them off the stage.

Girly1 March 1, 2014 at 9:07 am

He couldn’t even make the grade as a ‘news reader’ on MSNBC. He must have flunked reading comprehension 101.

Darkangel February 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Costs? Please. In poker terms, Putin has the chip lead and pocket aces, and Obama is trying to bluff him with a 7-2 offsuit.

Really…if Obama didn’t have the balls to take on Assad, there’s no way he’ll suddenly grow a pair against Putin.

And Putin knows it.

This Will Not End Well.

Marcus February 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Obama’s nonchalance response to the situation in Ukraine is a prelude to his reaction if Israel were to be similarly threatened (as it is continually by its enemies). His response would be smarmy words, platitudes about nothing relevant to the situation and off to another fund raiser.

Lee February 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm

I saw a current picture of lots of people in Syria today. They looked like they were on their last leg. Terrible picture.
They are wondering still about O’s red line,.

Marcus February 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm

I saw that photo, and it just takes your breath away. The world is filled with evil, people suffering beyond our poor ability to describe, political leaders playing a cruel game of chess with peoples’ lives.

Martha Trowbridge February 28, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Interesting – since some are reporting that the Ukrainian ‘uprising’ was by U.S. backed neo-Nazis:
Note the McCain + Nuland meetings with key players.

That is, the Ukraine uprising was a ‘contrived coup’ a la Morsi, in fact, as was the Truth behind the whole ‘Arab Spring’.

Keith: any chance your colleagues in the White House Press Corp will ever get to work?

Mandy Manners February 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Seen any good black choppers lately?

Martha Trowbridge February 28, 2014 at 10:12 pm

No, but I sure am seeing The “Obama” Conspirators reveal themselves lately.

fred February 28, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Obama commented on Ukraine? Oh hahahahahaha…bwahahahah…Consequences…BWAAAHHAAAAA…

Fudge February 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Oh shut your frakking insane, commie koranimal dick hole, you lying clump of smegma.

A.J. February 28, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Don’t hold back, it’s not healthy.

Julie Brueckheimer February 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm

I would really like to hear the thoughts of the Europeans, and I don’t mean poodle lapdogs Cameron and Hollande. I’d like to hear from Angela Merkel.

Sadie February 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Julie, you can start here. Click on country and choose a language.

Lee February 28, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Sadie, Thanks for that website.

Sadie February 28, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Lee, you’re welcome. It’s my goto and must have site!

Lee February 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm

For several years I try to have tried to search for Foreign news by just typing the Country, didn’t get very far.

Sadie March 1, 2014 at 3:02 am

Here’s another. Front pages of all the American newspapers. I am getting too old to hang on to all the secrets. LOL

grace and Julie – my pleasure to share.

gracepmc March 1, 2014 at 12:02 am

Sadie — Thanks — helpful.

Julie Brueckheimer March 1, 2014 at 12:08 am

Thanks, Sadie. Will do. I’ve been away for a couple of hours watching a movie.

srdem65 February 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Mexican federales storm into Los Angeles where 50% of the population is Mexican and speaks Spanish; who are they going to cheer on?
Same kind of scenerio in the Ukraine where half of the country leans toward Russia, not independence,
The devil you know, I guess.
The people of the Ukraine know how to take up arms. They protested and they just ousted the former regime. If they don’t take up arms against the Russians, then who are we to tell them what to do.

ImNoDhimmi March 1, 2014 at 7:10 am

Muslims support the Ukraine joining the EU, because they will then be able to easily swarm to all parts of Europe. I hope Putin and the Russians win this one. They are by far the lesser of two evils.

Mandy Manners March 1, 2014 at 7:37 am

“Muslims support the Ukraine joining the EU, because they will then be able to easily swarm to all parts of Europe.”

How would an independent Ukraine help the Muslims enter Europe more easily?

Lizzy February 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Wow bet Putin is shaking in fear…. More like convulsing in laughter.
I wonder if he does laugh? Well this would do it he’s old KGB and I really
doubt Obama would grasp that anyway. Someone would have to tell him
what KGB means really means. Yes I’m sure Vladimir won’t sleep a wink tonight.

rulierose February 28, 2014 at 11:54 pm

you must be wrong, Lizzy. the president is “deeply concerned,” and that’s just one step away from finding the situation “unacceptable.” I’m sure that Putin is as intimidated by Obama as Rouhani and Assad are! /sarc.

you know…to Obama, “KGB” probably doesn’t have the same evil ring to it as it does to most of us. remember, Obama was a red-diaper baby; he grew up thinking the Soviets were the good guys.

remind me how this guy became president of our country again?

Julie Brueckheimer March 1, 2014 at 12:10 am


Lizzy March 1, 2014 at 7:32 am

We aren’t about to draw another line in the sand are we?
Shock horror duck and cover!:-)

Mandy Manners March 1, 2014 at 8:47 am

Putin’s kicking sand into FCMABBHO’s face.

Dan February 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Ovomit tells Rootin Tootin Putin “If you like Ukraine you can keep it.”

gracepmc February 28, 2014 at 9:04 pm

There is the Budapest Memorandum signed by Clinton and John Major I think some time in the 90s. If i remember it says we will come to Ukraine’s aid if invaded by Russia.

Don’t know if it’s legal — Congress (or perhaps Holder since he is the judge of all things legal and not) or binding and don’t know if Ukraine has been “invaded” , but they seem to think so.

Out all day so don’t know current status beyond what Keith wrote — but I can assume that Obama is doing what he does post conflict — sleeping, speechifying, partying or fund raising. What I am sure he isn’t doing is being a President with our national welfare and security as his priority.

Girly1 February 28, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Allegedly, Obama spoke to Putin for over an hour earlier this week. Why have we not heard one single word about that conversation except for the fact that Obama called Putin, and he might be going to Russia this summer. Other than that, not a word about the invasion.
Reading between the lines, it is quite obvious Obama is taking orders from Putin to butt out. He is more than willing to oblige Putin. After all, the Russian Bear saved him from a near-death experience in Syria last year.
Obama doesn’t even feign interest or concern about our ‘geo-political’ enemy. He has more important fish to fry on the domestic front – i.e. My Bro’s Keeper.

srdem65 February 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

MrO probably had one of his endless ramblings ready to drone in Putin’s ear.
Putin probably replied…vat ever you vant, Barrdy…you de man.
So, MrO then went back to planning his next vacation.
Putin and his people fell on the floor laughing.

Girly1 February 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Too funny!

Lee February 28, 2014 at 10:32 pm


Julie Brueckheimer March 1, 2014 at 12:11 am

: – D

CAR February 28, 2014 at 11:39 pm

He can be flexible in his second term, of course.

apr_47 February 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Are we to believe his words? We’ve seen his response to Iran, Syria, etc. Lots of lots of talk and that’s it.

OldTimer March 1, 2014 at 8:23 am

In Texas it is called….All hat and no cattle.

veritaseequitas March 1, 2014 at 8:39 am

Barack Obama is a Post Turtle.

Perer Romo March 1, 2014 at 6:27 am

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Daniel Thomas March 1, 2014 at 8:31 am

I doubt this speech will have President Putin quaking in his boots with fear. All we British folk seem to read about is the downgrading of the American military and it being used on the front line of gender and sexuality based politics. Do the American Marines really need a new gender neutral hat?

America still has a mighty military machine but militant anti western nations no longer respect it and they are losing their fear of it.

I am sad to say that since this incumbent has been in the White House the world is a more dangerous place.

God Bless America

gracepmc March 1, 2014 at 10:33 am

Where idle threats of “red lines” blah blah blah and loss of deterrence — nicely summarized at the conclusion of VD Hansen article in IBD.

Although the U.S. alone seems to honor its promised deadlines for Afghanistan and Iraq withdrawals, the world’s aggressors sense the Obama bluster is predictably to be followed by more. Therefore, they have decided to risk aggrandizements while they can.

For Vladimir Putin, today it’s Ukraine, tomorrow the Baltics or Eastern Europe. For Iran’s theocrats, if chemical weapons are OK in Syria, why not nuclear WMD in Iran? For China, when Japan yields, why shouldn’t Taiwan, South Korea or the Philippines?

–Such a seemingly insignificant loss of deterrence is how wars often start — when an aggressive nation bets that loud words signal that consequences will never follow. So it is emboldened to up the ante to try something even riskier. America’s step-over line/deadline/red line outrage is long past monotonous and empty — and the result has been an ever scarier world.–

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily:
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on lFacebook

While you are there check out the Ramirez cartoon — perfect.

Lee March 1, 2014 at 11:02 am

Thanks for the clip.
The cartoon as well.

Geoff Caldwell March 1, 2014 at 10:36 am

And right after he gave that stern “warning” to Putin, he skipped over to the Dems party and said this:
“Well, it’s Friday. It’s after 5 o’clock. So, this is now officially happy hour with the Democratic party,” the president told his cohorts. “I can do that. It is an executive action. I have the authority.”
Read more:

Just like Benghazi, the world can burn but Obama and the party is all that matters.

And this morning Ukraine is in danger of a full scale Russian invasion.

I said it in the beginning, I’ll say it again, Obama is a greater danger to this nation than any foreign enemy.

At a time in history when America needed to provide strength and leadership like at no other time since the Cold War, Obama whines the Republicans won’t talk to him and he can’t get his climate change crap passed while Russia, Iran, Syria and every other despot the globe over does as he pleases.

Lee March 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

I saw his statement made last night on the news.
Just mins. after short pathetic comment about Ukraine.
Are all his advisors just as pathetic, or does he yell at each person, when they advise of of something intelligent to say?
As far as the people laughing at his joke last night at his party/ralley, shame on them as well.
On Associated Press, there is a picture of a protesters boots sitting by a bunch of flowers with flowers inside the boots.
Picture says it all.

Geoff Caldwell March 1, 2014 at 11:23 am

I saw it last night as well and was just sickened by the complete incompetence of him and the entire kindergarten class playing in the White House right now.

Star March 2, 2014 at 10:57 am

And now I read that Messina guy with the lipstick lips and writing on his hand is going to mastermind Hillary, I think it was. Master mind. What a joke.

Sadie March 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

If only FLOTUS would pressure the food industry to label both her husband and Putin as ‘poison’ ….

Geoff Caldwell March 1, 2014 at 11:24 am

Would take an awfully big label.

Lee March 1, 2014 at 11:38 am

I just read your article: Friday Follies.

gracepmc March 1, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Lavrov must be rolling on the floor at Lurch’s prissy tough talk.

I made a comment elsewhere about the nonsense spewing forth from Obama and Putin’s silence. Someone noted — Speak Softly and carry a big stick.
Vlad gets it. Barry probably still frantically looking behind every door hoping for a rough rider.

Lizzy March 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Yes Putin has that concept down Obama not so much. Besides
again someone would have to explain ‘big stick’ and ‘rough rider’
in political terms.

Marcus March 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm

As Cicero noted a very long time ago, the enemy within is far more dangerous than any external enemy.

Kathryn March 1, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Can the “costs” be paid for in broken red lines? I would not be so unwise as to threaten Mr. KGB himself. Better to find a basket to hide under again.

Marcus March 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm

And now it’s reported that Obama skipped today’s critical National Security Team meeting on the Ukraine/Russia situation today–after announcing that he would attend the meeting. He was briefed by Susan Rice after the meeting. Briefed by Rice? Rice of the “video tape caused Benghazi” lie-a-thon? Yep, dat Rice. As we’ve noted before, Obama cares not a whit about Ukraine or the tragedy surrounding it. Not a whit.

Susan March 1, 2014 at 6:27 pm

He probably had a very important basketball or golf game to attend during that briefing on the invasion of Ukraine by Communist Russia. God save the Ukrainian citizens fighting for liberty. Sadly, America’s leaders have abandoned them, just as they have abandoned US.

Marcus March 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Indeed. The struggle for liberty goes on before our very eyes.

gracepmc March 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm

America’s enemies are taking measure. Let’s hope we defend ourselves at home better than we help our friends abroad.

D.V. March 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Been watching Russian tv all day. So far there is a Russian flag on government buildings in Kharkov put there by the people . They are not supporters of Maidan . Situation more complex than the easy spin put out by Western commentators.

gracepmc March 1, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Obama always makes his intent known early on. And never looks back on the destruction of his ideology .

In the US he announced the total transformation.

In East and Central Europe his first act was to abandon missile defense.

His Cairo speech.

Now, he’s just watching the burn. Nothing left but those fireside chats.

gracepmc March 1, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Beside one of those “spiffy” fake fireplaces of course.

Can’t ruffle the feathers of the environmental left. Now that would have Obama shaking in his golf shoes.

gracepmc March 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm

A chronology of US response, including who is where — sort of if you can find them, “doing” what. Please note that Podesta was located — giving a private tour of the WH and there is a pic of Obama in spiffy casual wear supposedly talking today with Vlad.

If you read it, you can see how ineffectual we are in this mess.

Knuckledragingwino March 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm
Knuckledragingwino March 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Bomako = Obama, typo

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