WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: PM Medvedev pays official visit to de facto Russian region of Crimea, Simferopol adopts Moscow time, jumps ahead 2 hours; pro-Russia extremists demonstrate in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Lugansk, Odessa over weekend, demand referenda for regional status, release of Kremlin fifth columnist Gubarev, denounce “fascists” in Kiev; Party of Regions expels Yanukovych ahead of May presidential vote, deposed head of state lifts Kremlin script, urges decentralization of power; Ukraine Communists dodge proposed ban, nominate party boss Symonenko for candidate; ex-aide to Putin, DC think tank expert: Putin plans on invading not only SE Ukraine, Moldova and Baltics, but also Finland, “correct Bolsheviks’ mistake” of granting Finnish independence in 1917; neutral Finns nervous over ongoing air force exercise in Russia’s neighboring Karelian region, related nuclear war dill; British troops to join NATO exercise in CEE, Germany ducks Nazi past, offers 6 warplanes to Baltic policing mission

Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors. Parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership. The West’s leaders seem, from what they say, entirely to have forgotten that there are some leaders in the world who want to conquer other countries. But if Putin is not stopped, the issue will be brought sooner or later. Putin has said several times that the Bolsheviks and Communists made big mistakes. He could well say that the Bolsheviks in 1917 committed treason against Russian national interests by granting Finland’s independence.

— Andrei Illarionov, President Vladimir Putin’s chief economic adviser from 2000 to 2005; quoted by Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, March 2014

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