April 21: Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill to parliament this morning to make the territory of Crimea a legal gambling zone. Putin wants Crimea to become a tourist mecca with high-stakes poker games, world-class rock concerts, and crowd-pleasing wet babushka contests.
Separatists in eastern Ukraine are calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to send “peacekeepers” after an Easter truce was shattered by a deadly gun battle Sunday.
Pro-Russian militiamen in the city of Slavyansk say one of their checkpoints came under attack by a convoy of gunmen in the early hours of Sunday morning. The ensuing firefight left at least three pro-Russian fighters dead, and a swirling mystery about who the attackers were.
The violence broke a holiday truce declared by the Ukrainian government, which had vowed an Easter weekend pause in its sputtering effort to oust the separatists who control government offices and police stations in nearly a dozen cities around the Donetsk region. It was the second outbreak of violence in four days. On Wednesday, three pro-Russian protesters were shot and killed as they tried to storm a Ukrainian military base in the port city of Mariupol.

Globe in Ukraine: Deadly clash in Donetsk region shatters holiday truce, (Theglobeandmail)
Zvi David Avner
1 hour ago
Russia Declares War on U.S. Dollar!

As the West continues to unleash its anger against Russia’s recent military moves, Vladimir Putin has intensified his diplomatic efforts with a rising China. After a decade of talks, Mr. Putin is expected to announce a broad plan to export vast amounts of natural gas to China during an official state visit to China next month. If Mr. Putin can seal the deal it will be another major victory for the BRICS nations and will provide yet another nail into the coffin of the failing U.S. dollar.
Of course, both sides are facing intense pressure from the West to abandon the deal. China, however, seems intent on pushing closer to Russia. Russia, in particular, is under the threat of more Western sanctions for its recent role in Ukraine. So too, Western sanctions are targeting Russia’s state-run energy company, Gazprom. Gazprom’s response to these sanctions shows just how close we are to the end of the petrodollar system…

US financial showdown with Russia is more dangerous than it looks, for both sides

The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot.

The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century.

"It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies' financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness," says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who helped spearhead policy after 9/11.

“The new geo-economic game may be more efficient and subtle than past geopolitical competitions, but it is no less ruthless and destructive,” he writes in his book Treasury's War: the Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.

Bear this in mind as Washington tightens the noose on Vladimir Putin's Russia, slowly shutting off market access for Russian banks, companies and state bodies with $714bn of dollar debt (Sberbank data).

Read more here :
Wett Willy
20 hours ago
Tea Party at Vladimir Putin's house next Sunday
Vladimir Putin Gets Pranked on EASTER
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CBS News
3 hours ago
As the crisis in Ukraine has dragged on for weeks with no resolution in sight, the relationship between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to have hit a new low.
     "President Vladimir Putin says it was “strange” to learn of the US reaction on a Russian letter to the leaders of EU’s top gas-consuming nations, as it was in no way designed for Washington’s eyes.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki has accused Russia of reneging on an agreement that offered reduced gas prices to Kiev and using “energy as a tool of coercion against Ukraine.”
The price Ukraine is currently paying is “clearly not set by market forces and well above the average price paid by EU members,” she added.
“It’s a bit strange,” Putin said after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed him of the US comments during a Russian Security Council meeting. “It’s strange, at any rate, as it’s bad to read other people’s letters. It wasn’t addressed to them, but the consumers of gas in Europe.”
“Everybody is used to the fact that our American friends are eavesdropping, but turning to peeping is shabby altogether,” he said.
RIA Novosti / Igor ZaremboRIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo
But, joking apart, the pricing on gas for Kiev is regulated by the contracts Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz signed back in 2009, Putin said.
He added that he wrote his letter because “Russia can’t carry the Ukrainian burden alone,” urging the European leaders to hold a joint meeting as soon as possible “to find ways to help and support the Ukrainian economy.”
“Handing out cakes at the Maidan isn’t enough to prevent the Ukrainian economy from plunging into complete chaos,” he said.

The comment dates back to a PR stunt by US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, who tried to feed snacks to protesters and police as she visited Kiev during the standoff in December last year.
In his letter Thursday to European countries including France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland and Romania, Putin warned that Ukraine’s debt crisis had reached a “critical” level and could threaten gas transit to Europe.

Russia’s Gazprom will be forced to ask Ukraine for advance gas payments due to the accumulated $2.2 billion gas debt owed by Ukraine’s Naftogas, Putin said.
“We’ll be supplying exactly the volume of gas that Ukraine pays for a month in advance,” the letter said.
Following the coup in Kiev, Gazprom has revoked all discounts and now charges $485 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, a price Ukraine says it will not be able to pay because it threatens Ukraine's ability to continue normal gas transit operations to Europe."

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said nothing should hinder the normalization of relations between Russia and the West, after ties hit a low after the Moscow’s standoff with post-revolution Ukraine.

Putin: nothing should impede Russia-West ties
Vladimir Putin, you started this. You stop it. #Ukraine
Vladimir Putin’s LGBT Refuseniks
Top 10 Odd Facts about Vladimir Putin

 Here are ten facts about Vladimir Putin you may or may not have known. I found some of these facts to be strange, especially when they contradict his policies as President of the Russian Federation.
10.He grew up in a communal apartment:
Vladimir Putin grew up in a communal apartment, which he shared with 3 other families in St. Petersburg (then known as Leningrad). He often speaks about how he had to hunt down rats in the stairwell of the building. He came from a poor family; his mother was a factory worker and his father was drafted into the navy, where he served on a submarine fleet.
9. He has a black belt in Martial Arts

When he was 18, Putin earned a black belt in judo. He still practices the martial art, which he describes as a life lesson for him. In November of 2013, he earned a 9th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo by Choue Chung-won, the president of the World Taekwondo Federation. If you’re wondering how good he is, watch the video above.
8. Height:
Despite having a strong presence in the international community, the Russian leader does not stand physically tall. In fact, he is only 5′ 5″. He is not the first controversial leader to be short. Napoleon, the revolutionary leader of 18th and 19th century, was not that short either. However, their heights do not prevent them from being successful.

New blog, "Analyzing Vladimir Putin’s Style", please read and discuss:

Analyzing Vladimir Putin’s Style – Dr. Ichak Adizes
The Vladimir Putin Song - Queens of Pop
The actions of Vladimir #Putin in #Crimea is paving the way for an overhaul in how Europe will unite. It's coming sooner than you think!

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits the Koltsov State Academic Drama Theatre which is under reconstruction in Vorónezh

 Igor Chizhmakov, the director of the theatre, arranged a tour for the Prime Minister around the renovated theatre premises. He said that the building will be commissioned by April 20. Three performances have already been prepared to be staged.

 Vladimir Putin liked the architectural concepts of the renovated building, their simplicity and the colour patterns used to decorate it. Governor of the Voronezh Region Alexei Gordeyev, who is supervising the reconstruction project, and the director of the theatre assured the Prime Minister that the theatre is "stuffed" with the most perfect equipment, and that the acoustics, which were designed by Italian experts, are ideal.

 28 march 2012
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media after a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin on Thursday rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers. 
I read Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama | Edward Snowden

Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama
3 days ago
Watch Vladimir Putin and Edward Snowden video chat with each other:
Vladimir Putin
4 days ago
Add a message to your video
On February 4th, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma, (Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia: "In Russia live Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Shari'ya Law, then we advise them to go to those places where that's the state law. Russia does not need minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell 'discrimination'. We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of most minorities. When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the national interest first, observing that the minorities are not Russians.
The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a standing ovation for five minutes!
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has dismissed claims that Russian special forces are in eastern Ukraine as "nonsense."
Russia`s President Vladimir Putin has dismissed claims that Russian special forces are in eastern Ukraine as "nonsense." Speaking Thursday in a televised call-in show with the nation, Putin said that people in eastern Ukraine have risen against the authorit...

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has dismissed claims that Russian special forces are in eastern Ukraine as "nonsense." | World Wide Trending News
Russian President Vladimir #Putin took questions for four hours in another one of his famous live TV Q&As on Thursday, fielding and dodging inquiries, about Ukraine, Crimea, Alaska, Obama's willingness to let him drown, and Russia's participation in spying on its people. That last one was asked by surprise guest Edward #Snowden, naturally. 

Edward Snowden Makes Surprise Guest Appearance at Putin Q
Who's better at building cases for invasions: Vladimir Putin or the D.C. Spin Doctors? 

We talkin' CIA
I'm talkin' George Tenet, I seen him the the other day.
He asked me bout my Maybach, think he had the same
'cept mine tinted and his mighta been rented

Putin’s slam dunk - Arsenal For Democracy
If you want to understand Russian politics, see President Vladimir Putin's annual televised Q&A from yesterday, via +RT:

Also read +Washington Post's analysis:
April 18: During an interview program Thursday in Moscow, Vladimir Putin answered a recorded question from NSA leaker Edward Snowden about Russia’s spying practices. Putin said that the only Russian citizens who are under surveillance are those who Netflix Adam Sandler movies.
In a televised townhall forum, Vladimir #Putin put an arc of land including all of Eastern Ukraine and southern #Ukraine — all the way to #Odessa — on the chopping block, alluding to its role as a Russian imperial frontier zone from the 18th century onward.

In TV townhall, Putin widens Ukraine claims - Arsenal For Democracy
Ed Snowden asks Vladimir Putin the slow pitch softball question of the year. He threw it extra high and slow.

The first thing they teach Russian KGB agents in SPY 101 during training is to lie in all circumstances where a straight reply would hurt you.

This is what Putin did today. The Soviets and now Russia had no qualms or morals or ethics or even a moral compass to go by in all of their dealings. You can take what Putin said here and put it in the shredder.
In TV shows Russian President Vladimir Putin has appeared live on the 17th, Snowden former employee the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to participate in the video relay, I was asked about the current status of wiretapping activities of Russia. unknown whether or not the question was pre-recorded. Putin, description we need the permission of the court to eavesdropping ... and Mr. Snowden and ask "You can intercept the communications of citizens, Russia or are you and analyze" in English. Answered eavesdropping of indiscriminate form is not permitted (as it has been performed in the United States) on a large scale, and the "not recognized in any way in the future. And whistle-blowing the reality of information gathering activities by intelligence agencies of the United States and Britain, Mr. Snowden was prosecuted by the U.S. government.
Edward Snowden asks Vladimir Putin about surveillance in Russia on call-in TV show. (video)
Here's to slandering Vladimir Putin. I just got done making this. 

I call this Putin HAWT.
Pretty sure by asking Vladimir Putin on Russian surveillance in front of thousands of people gives him good cause to lie. Any intelligent leader would seize the opportunity.

And great play in comparing Russia to America, Putin. I'm not against you, but America have nothing to do with this situation.
"Vladimir Putin could not have picked a better day than Thursday, April 17, to hold his annual call-in show on Russian television."

"Across the Donetsk region, the increasing brazenness of the separatist attacks now seems geared to provoke that kind of violence."

To be honest, this sounds more like Putin is orchestrating the violence in Ukraine to coincide with what he wants to do rather than just being lucky.