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Parsing Putin
Respect and Killing in Eastern Ukraine

Yesterday, pro-Russian forces shot down a helicopter near Sloviansk, killing 12 people, including a General. Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko describes the tragedy:

The helicopter arrived at Karachun, to unload and pick up a group of people who were finishing their tour and going on leave. They were shot down after take-off. I had talked to the pilot and also to Gen Kulchytskiy. The pilots were very nice guys – polite, correct, friendly.

This comes only days after hard proof that the ranks of separatist forces in eastern Ukraine are full of Russian fighters. That, in turn, came only a few days after Putin insisted that he would respect the outcome of the Ukrainian election, in which Petro Poroshenko, a pro-Western chocolate magnate, was elected in a landslide.

Apparently this is what “respect” means to Mr. Putin.

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