Some Twits make you think and tell you not to believe news reports. They try to make you think they know a lot more things beyond the news reports, making their sources dim. These Twits are called DimTwits or Dimwits for short.
Three Ukrainian paratroops are feared to have been abducted into Crimea after disappearing Saturday evening near the border with the Russia-held Black Sea peninsula, the Ukrainian General Staff said on its Facebook page Sunday.
The three soldiers were relieved from their post on the Crimea-Ukraine border on Saturday evening. The men changed into civilian clothing and told their relief they planned to take a swim near a dam on the border, the General Staff said.
On the night of their disappearance, two unspecified Russian-made UAZ and Ural vehicles approached the border from the Crimean side and “probably illegally detained our servicemen,” the General Staff statement said.
The fate of Crimea, was decided by the 15 percent of Crimeans, who voted in favor of unification with Russia (under the watchful eye of Kalashnikov-toting soldiers).
Although the report appears to be absent from the English-Language Council website linked by Forbes, it is still available at the Council’s Russian-language website here. The report states that it is based on interviews with numerous Crimean officials, experts, civil society leaders, and ordinary citizens. Gregory has somewhat misinterpreted the figures there, which nonetheless are far different from those previously claimed by the Russian government. Here is my translation of the relevant passage of the report:
In the opinion of virtually all the experts and citizens interviewed:
– The vast majority of the citizens of Sevastopol voted in favor of unification with Russia in the referendum (50-80%); in Crimea, various data show that 50-60% voted for unification with Russia, with a turnout of 30-50%.
50 to 60% of a 30-50% turnout suggests that only about 15 to 30% of eligible voters actually voted for annexation. Moreover, the low turnout rate, combined with evidence of intimidation and violence by pro-Russia forces, strongly suggests that many opponents of annexation chose not to vote out of fear. This does not definitively prove that annexation lacked majority support. It is possible that a fair vote might still have led to a narrow majority in favor of annexation. Still, the Council report provides further evidence that the official results cannot be trusted and that the real distribution of opinion in Crimea is at least much more evenly divided than Russia claims.
For reasons I outlined here, Russia’s annexation of Crimea would be illegitimate even if it did enjoy the support of a majority of the population. But the possible absence of such support further undermines the already weak moral and legal case for Russia’s actions.
The Council report also discusses a number of troubling developments in Crimea since the Russian occupation began. For example, it states that the new authorities in Crimea have decided to “liquidate” the pro-Ukrainian Kiev Patriarchate Orthodox church in the region, details the persecution of Crimean Tatar groups opposed to Russia rule, and notes that Crimean journalists fear the “numerous restrictions” on freedom of speech and press imposed by Russian law.
Kiev will demand $1 trillion from Moscow as compensation for the loss of Crimea and its alleged activities in Donbass, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk. Ukraine has also offered Russia until October 29 to accept a debt-restructuring deal over its $3 billion debt or go to the courts.
Russia is one step closer to a direct link to Crimea. Workers are building temporary bridges that will carry construction machinery and deliver materials to the Kerch bridge site. Eventually there will be three bridges, one is already working.
"He is just waiting for us to give him an opening. Remember how Saakashvili swallowed his bait and lost! We have no right to repeat his mistake. So I'm calling on you to think seven times before we take a single step. I have to tell you, if we had one chance in 100 to win, I would be the first to support an active response."