(Russian) Mob Rules in Eastern Ukraine

It’s ugly:

His mistake was to run from the advancing mob, and that was enough for the men and women carrying clubs, knives and swords through Donetsk’s Lenin district.

They set upon him. Beaten and bloodied, the unidentified man was saved, in a manner, by militiamen who dragged him through the crowd under metal shields, bundled him into the back of a car and drove him off at speed to an unknown fate.

No one could say what he’d done; he was a “provocateur”, a term used by both sides of Ukraine’s increasingly bitter divide to describe the other, but in the rebel-held east it means only one thing – a supporter of the “Fascist” government in Kiev.

Of course Donetsk has a Lenin district.

You know who I’d want in the White House right now? Bearded Obama:

Desperate times call for desperate measures. In an effort to rally the world against Russia’s aggression, my State Department has taken the bold step of circulating a Twitter hashtag, #UnitedforUkraine. The campaign is widely mocked, including by Russia’s own foreign ministry, and has become a symbol of our ineffectiveness. Still, this is a substantial improvement for Secretary of State John Kerry, who has at least not gaffed us into any international agreements, as he did with Syria in September.

I have previously dismissed Russia as a “regional power” acting “not out of strength but out of weakness.” Russia is so weak that it invaded and annexed part of a neighboring country four weeks ago and has basically gotten away with it. Russia is so weak that even the US cannot deter it militarily because the risk of global destruction by Russia’s thousands of nuclear warheads would be too high.

That’s Max Fisher, writing the speech the President ought to give — and it’s the first thing I’ve read on Vox that wasn’t relentlessly de-educating.