by Stephen Lendman
He's a master chess player. He's a world-class geopolitical leader.
He shames his Western counterparts. He makes them look amateurish by comparison.
He thanked St. Peterburg Economic Forum participants. He thanked everyone attending.
"We established good rapport with our partners in all areas of production, from all sectors of the economy," he said.
"(W)e are very pleased with how cooperation with our partners" went, he added.
I'm impressed with "this year's attendance," he said. Elements involved included "80% of the global information flow," he explained.
Their influence on "global and national news cannot be overstated." He requested they disseminate their message widely.
Spread it worldwide, he urged. Build good relations with Russia. Do it because it matters.
Putin addressed Sunday's Ukrainian election. "This is what I think," he said. Putschist power may be strengthened.
Ukraine's new president may either be transitional, hardline or despotic.
Kiev junta power and "principal (presidential) candidates are, after all, different people…(It) may not be in the interests of those (in charge) today (to have a legitimate) newly elected president."
"I wouldn't like to think that it's the start of a new cold war," he said. "No one needs it, and I don't think it's going to happen."
"It would have been more logical and more fundamental in my opinion to hold a referendum at first, to adopt the constitution and then to hold the elections basing on the new legislature."
"A new constitution may be adopted" post-election. "If this is how it turns out to be, then the new president could become intermediary."
"Or on the contrary, he would be accumulating maximum of authoritative powers. Both scenarios will be tied to the escalation of the domestic political fight" for control.
Either way, Russia urges "constructive dialogue." Excluding demands or ultimatums. Based on mutual respect. Without ulterior motives.
Russia operates in good faith, Putin stressed. It expects likewise treatment in return. Nothing less is acceptable. It wants trustworthy partners.
It respects sovereignty of all nations. It expects no less in return. It deplores war, violence and instability. It champions peaceful conflict resolutions.
Its actions speak louder than words. It reflects geopolitical honesty. It's polar opposite Western policies. It's struggling to prevail.
Saturday was a Kiev-ordered "Day of Silence." Sunday presidential and mayoral elections followed.
In seven regional areas - Kiev, Nikolaev, Odessa, Sumy, Kherson, Cherkassy and Chernovtsy.
Saturday campaigning was prohibited. Sunday voting continued from 8AM to 8PM. It didn't matter either way.
Twenty-one aspirants competed for president. If no one wins a majority, second round voting follows. Matching two leading candidates.
Most likely in early June. Initial results should be published by around June 4. If needed, round two will follow soon as possible. In days or weeks at most.
It doesn't matter. Final results are virtually preordained. They're predetermined. Petro Proroshenko is anointed to win.
Expect electoral rubber-stamping to follow. So-called polls show his support at from around 34 - 38 - to as much as 44%.
He's highest in Western Ukraine. Less in Eastern. Least in Southeastern.
Yulia Tymshenko ranks second. She's way behind. At 5.9 - 8.4% overall. She has no chance whatever. Nor do other candidates scoring less.
They're all putschist-approved. They're regime supporters. They're hardline fascists. Not a democrat among them.
None approved. None whatever among ballot choices. Ukrainians have none at all. Key is Russia's response.
It rejects Kiev putschists. It's hard imagining support for what's coming. Moscow wants free, fair, open, democratic elections.
Sham ones followed. Will Moscow recognize what it rejects? Don't bet on Putin supporting what demands denunciation.
His policy may differ from post-electoral rhetoric. For sure he won't accept what harms Russian interests. Especially hostile Western policies.
Post-electoral Ukrainian governance will determine Russian policy. Mostly whether attacking Eastern freedom fighters ceases.
Anything less is unacceptable. Elections during regime aggression have no legitimacy whatever. Nor do putschist-controlled ones.
Lugansk and Donetsk regions reject them. It's unclear how most Ukrainians feel. How many will vote?
How many know what's at stake? How many understand democratic choices don't exist?
How many realize they've been had? How many will go along or opt out? Will electoral manipulation obscure vote totals and turnout?
Will anything officially reported be legitimate? Will Big Lies substitute? Will independently disseminated information expose them?
On May 24, Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics united. A Novorossiya (New Russia) state was formed.
Donetsk (DPR) leader Denis Pushilin announced it, saying:
"We've signed a memorandum on the republics' union. We've named the united regions as the union of people's republic."
They include Donetsk, Lugansk, Odessa, Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Kharkov, and Kherson regions.
Details are being finalized. Commissions are preparing political, economic and social policies.
They'll be completed in due course. Donbass Governor Pavel Gubarev confirmed Novorossiya's formation.
"The document was signed by DPR premier Alexander Borodai and head of the Lugansk People's Republic Alexei Karyakin," he said.
A popular manifesto was adopted. It vows self-determination. It includes protection from neo-Nazi terrorism.
It stresses Popular Front resistance. It includes "everybody (able and) ready to resist self-appointed" Kiev putschists.
Against their illegitimacy. Against their aggressive war without mercy. Against their cold-blooded murder.
Against oligarch power. Against complicit Western interests. Against fascists wanting freedom destroyed.
Against their hardline rule. Against war on democracy. Against attempts to destroy fundamental human and civil rights. Against what freedom fighters support.
"We do not recognize the president and parliament of Ukraine," DPR and LPR leaders said.
"The Donetsk and Lugansk republics are independent states."
"We will recognize a government of a newly-elected president if (Kiev) recognize(s) the republics' independence."
It "should immediately withdraw troops from our republics…(It) should stop (all) military actions."
It should do so straightaway. It should recognize regional self-rule. Their sovereign self-determination, Gubarev stressed.
It shows no signs of doing so. War without mercy continues. Expect worse post-election.
Expect all-out war. Hot and propaganda ones. What follows remains to be seen.
Freedom-fighting struggles aren't resolved quickly. They continue. Perhaps longterm.
Perhaps after lots more bloodshed. It's unclear how things will end.
Whatever side is more committed may prevail. Battles are usually decided this way.
Eastern Ukrainians show no signs of quitting. Their resolve is their best hope. It's encouraging. It's inspiring. It's motivating others to get involved.
Perhaps growing thousands will do so. Perhaps an eventual majority. Perhaps including Western Ukrainians.
Perhaps huge numbers nationwide. Perhaps Obama's latest imperial trophy isn't secure. Perhaps it'll slip-slide away.
Perhaps he'll lose another war. He hasn't won one yet. Nor did Bush. Or Clinton. Or Bush I.
Or their post-WW II predecessors. Despite millions of corpses revealing their barbarity.
Displaying hubris and arrogance. Making more enemies than friends.
Prohibiting democracy at home and abroad. Heading America for full-blown tyranny and ruin.
Waging war on humanity. Perhaps destroying it altogether.
Fascist regimes operate this way. America is by far the worst in world history.
Others pale in comparison. It threatens humanity's survival. It hangs by a thread.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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