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September 3, 1987
When I was 3, I heard the story of Henny Penny shouting, "The sky is falling--the sky is falling!" I am now 71, and since then I have heard nothing but, "The Russians are coming!--the Russians are coming!" I didn't believe it then--and I don't believe it now! K.N. HAWK Palm Desert
April 25, 2014
Re “Biden in Ukraine in show of support,” April 22 For a nation that espouses democracy, the U.S. is showing its dictatorial side in Ukraine. We have no more business being involved in Ukraine than I do in the marital affairs of the couple down the street. We decry Russia putting troops on its border with Ukraine, but we then put our troops in Poland and ships in the Black Sea on its border. At least the Russians are in their own domain; we are not. Phil Wilt Van Nuys As the Russians consolidate their hold on Crimea and begin their move into the rest of Ukraine, as the Iranians move toward a nuclear weapon capability that will change the balance of power in the Middle East, and as the Chinese expand their territorial claims into the waters of their neighbors, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John F. Kerry threaten “consequences” and try to engage each of them in negotiations that inevitably will lead nowhere.
December 24, 2013 | By David Wharton
A top Russian political and sports official said Tuesday that President Obama's decision not to attend the 2014 Sochi Olympics will have no real effect on the competition. "Obama can't come? Well, he hasn't been to a single Games during his time in the presidency," Alexander Zhukov was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news service . "It doesn't reflect on the quality of the Games in any way. " In addition to Obama, the presidents of France and Germany are also expected to skip the Olympics.
April 25, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine - At the epicenter of the pro-Russia rebellion in eastern Ukraine, masked men on Friday raced around in commandeered police cars, blowing through stop lights and flying over speed bumps. Although it was a warm spring day, the streets were nearly empty. Separatists described taking up sniper positions in an unfinished office building, only to find that two floors down their enemies had the same idea. The Ukrainian government declared Friday that it planned to surround and blockade this town, which is completely controlled by the separatists.
November 14, 2011 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
Over a bottle of vodka and a traditional Russian salad of pickles, sausage and potatoes tossed in mayonnaise, a group of friends raised their glasses and wished Igor Irtenyev and his family a happy journey to Israel. Irtenyev, his wife and daughter insist they will just be away for six months, but the sadness in their eyes on this recent night said otherwise. A successful Russian poet, Irtenyev says he can no longer breathe freely in his homeland, because "with each passing year, and even with each passing day, there is less and less oxygen around.
December 25, 2010 | By Matthew Brown
Cowboys, quarter horses and 1,434 purebred beef cattle ? just add grasslands, and you've got a transplanted Montana ranch. Those livestock basics ? and some training in animal care ? are what Montana cattle producers have shipped to southwestern Russia, where the landscape is similar to the grassy high plains of eastern Montana. It's part of a Russian-subsidized deal to make that country's cattle industry more self-sufficient. "It's like an instant ranch," said Kate Loose, a representative of one of the Montana ranchers involved in the deal.
March 5, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
YEVPATORIA, Ukraine - An anti-submarine boat may have been the first casualty of the Russian incursion into Crimea, but it was hardly an act of violence, much less war: The Russian navy sank one of its own, junked vessels to create an obstacle, a Ukrainian official said Wednesday. Ukraine Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Alexei Mazepa said Russian sailors pulled the anti-submarine vessel Ochakov out of a naval junkyard and sank it in the straits that connect the Black Sea with a body of water known as Donuzlav Lake.
April 12, 1987 | ROSE DOSTI, Times Staff Writer
You'd never know, looking at the Gastronom European Food delicatessen in a shopping mall on Santa Monica Boulevard, that the "European Food" is almost exclusively Russian in origin--and sentiment. The owner, Inna Katsnelson, is a recent emigre from the Soviet Union, and so are her employees. All women. All wearing red aprons.
March 19, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
MOSCOW -- Ukrainian forces at two naval facilities in Crimea reported Wednesday that they were attacked by gunmen linked to Russia in violation of an earlier agreement to give them until Friday to leave the breakaway region. “So-called pro-Russian self-defense forces of Crimea aided by Russian gunmen in unmarked uniforms stormed and gained control of our navy chief's headquarters in Sevastopol,” Alexei Mazepa, regional spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, said in a phone interview.
March 31, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday paid the highest-level Kremlin visit to Crimea since the territory was seized from Ukraine last month, and promised lavish investment and aid for the newly annexed region's 2 million residents. Medvedev led a Russian government delegation to Crimea's capital, Simferopol, and convened a Cabinet meeting at which the Russian officials proclaimed the region a special economic zone entitled to tax breaks and other incentives for investors.
April 24, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
The vast majority of Ukrainian voters oppose Russian military intervention in their country, even in the east and south where large Russian minorities live, a U.S.-funded poll by a Gallup affiliate showed Thursday. The April 3-12 survey of 1,200 randomly selected Ukrainians of voting age by Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization found a nationwide average of 85% against any Russian military intervention, the International Republican Institute said in a summary of the poll paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
April 23, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been corrected, as noted below
DONETSK, Ukraine - Ukraine government forces on Wednesday recaptured a southeastern town that had been held by separatist rebels, the Interior Ministry said. There were no casualties in the operation in the town of Svyatogorsk, according to an statement posted on the ministry's website. The ouster of the rebels was a welcome strategic gain by the Kiev government in the troubled Donetsk region, close to Ukraine's eastern border with Russia. “The recapture of Svyatogorsk is an indication that the anti-terrorist operation, which experienced certain problems last week, is now gaining momentum,” said Dmitry Tymchuk, head of Kiev-based Center for Military and Political Research.
April 23, 2014 | By Jaak Treiman, Juris Bunkis and Daiva Navarrette
After Russia's recent actions in Ukraine, it's no surprise that other countries bordering Russia are wondering where they stand on Vladimir Putin's shopping list. That they are on the list is a given. Article 61 of Russia's Constitution promises that "the Russian Federation shall guarantee its citizens defense and patronage beyond its boundaries. " In other words, Russia shall protect any Russian citizen who is mistreated while outside Russia. On its face, Article 61 may seem reasonable.
April 22, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
KIEV, Ukraine -- The United States will stand by Ukrainians against Russian aggression that threatens their nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Vice President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday during a visit to Kiev. “No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation, and we will never recognize Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea, and neither will the world,” Biden said after meeting with Ukraine's acting prime minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk. “No nation should threaten its neighbors by amassing troops along the border.
April 22, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
For anyone who blinked and missed Russian President Vladimir Putin's swift seizure and annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, there's now a giant silver coin celebrating the Kremlin leader for bringing the territory "back home. " The coins issued by the Art Grani foundry in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk feature Putin's bas relief image on one side and a map of the Crimean peninsula on the other. "Crimea's reunification with Russia was a historic event which we decided to embody in a souvenir collection of coins,” Vladimir Vasyukhin, director of the Ural Mountains foundry, told the Itar-Tass news agency.
April 22, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
Russia's space for free speech suffered two further blows Tuesday when a Moscow court convicted Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny of slander and a social network founder who provided a platform for dissent was fired and fled abroad. Pavel Durov, founder of the Russian Facebook equivalent VKontakte, said via the social media website that he had run afoul of Russian officials for his refusal to block posts  critical of the Kremlin or to pass on to Russian security services the personal data of Ukrainian VKontakte users under surveillance for their participation in the rebellion that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich in February.
April 20, 2014 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON - The fragile diplomatic accord to resolve the Ukraine crisis frayed Sunday as an armed clash erupted in eastern Ukraine and top Russian and Ukrainian officials, appearing on television talk shows, each demanded the other side lay down its weapons. Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, said a gunfight early Easter morning that left at least three people dead at a checkpoint outside the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk showed the need for all sides to disarm.
December 2, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - More than 200 years ago, the renowned Russian historian Nikolai Karamzin summed up the situation in his country in two words: "They steal. " They still do, and the news in Russia lately has been dominated by one high-profile corruption scandal after another. Allegations of wrongdoing have reached high into the defense and agriculture ministries and the Russian space program, among other institutions. Nearly nine in 10 Russians say corruption is the nation's biggest problem.
April 20, 2014 | Doyle McManus
It was tempting to look at last week's diplomatic agreement to pull Ukraine back from the brink of war and see the beginning of a grand compromise between Russia and the West. Tempting, but mistaken. Vladimir Putin is still winning most of what he wants in Ukraine, and he's winning it more cheaply and more elegantly than he would by launching a full-scale military invasion. Last week's agreement, which called on pro-Russia militias to end their occupation of government buildings, was probably only a speed bump on the way toward bringing all of Ukraine under Moscow's influence.
April 20, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - Separatists appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday to deploy Russian troops in eastern Ukraine after a shootout Easter night on the outskirts of Slovyansk left at least three people dead and four injured. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, fascists who are killing our brothers are trying to conquer our small provincial town,” Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, a separatist leader and self-proclaimed mayor of Slovyansk, said in his television appeal on Rossiya-24 news network.
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