DIPLOMACY. We can’t see below the surface but there are continuing diplomatic efforts around the Ukraine crisis. We keep hearing of conversations involving Moscow, Paris, Berlin, the OSCE and (rather interestingly) Vienna. Kiev is involved of course but, it appears, at a lower level; almost as a child whose fate is being decided by adults. What does seem to be true is that these discussions, of which we see only the surface ripples, involve Moscow but not Washington. This may reflect the fact that, as the Polish Foreign Minister – hitherto such a loyal follower – is beginning to find out (“The Polish-American alliance is not worth anything”), Washington has nothing positive to offer. (Incidentally, these phone intercepts are fascinating; the authenticity is never denied, the only reactions are whining that it has been done). There is an agreement. This is all to the good, but there is still much to do and one may question whether the new rulers in Kiev control the situation on the ground. One should remember the 21 February agreement, which reminds us of another intercepted telephone call. But, thinking of yet another intercept, maybe “Yats” wouldn’t have been been PM under that agreement and it had to be changed.

TERGIVERSATION. Watch this reaction by a US State Department official to the UNHCR finding that over 100,000 Ukrainians have fled to Russia. But admitting they had would disprove Washington’s line.

SPONTANEITY. A Polish newspaper reports that Polish police trained 86 members of Pravy Sektor, the Ukrainian neo-nazi organisation, “in combat tactics, protection against gas, leadership and use of weapons to be used by snipers” in autumn of 2013. Before the protests began. (The paper is left-wing and excitable and one would want more corroboration but, these days, what is there in the NYT and other mainstream outlets that you can believe? Photos of Russian Spetsnaz, Russian hackers?)

ATROCITIES. The US and its allies continue to cover up the atrocities their new friends in Ukraine are committing. And, how exactly does the regime in Kiev expect to win the hearts and minds of eastern Ukrainians by doing this?

PROPAGANDA. In its eagerness to get another “Putin is a monster” meme laid down, the Guardian didn’t do its research. Condemning a new ordinance in Russia that prohibits swearing, it failed to spend the 30 seconds on Google that would have told it that the same laws exist in the UK. But the WMSM is not interested in reporting reality but rather in building an anti-Russia consensus. More “brown water.

ECONOMY. The statistics agency has announced that unemployment in Russia is at its lowest point since the end of USSR. Using ILO methodology, 3.7 million, or 4.9% of the economically active population are so classified. And Russia expects to export over 20 million tonnes of grain this year.

BREAKING THE US DOLLAR. “The ultimate goal would be to break the Washington’s money printing machine that is feeding its military-industrial complex and giving the US ample possibilities to spread chaos across the globe, fueling the civil wars in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.” Latest development.

MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY. Russia’s isolation is not as lonely as some would want you to think. Austria signed on to the South Stream pipeline. Iran (soon a new US ally?) wants more reactors. India is interested in a big gas deal. US businesses are not happy with more sanctions. BP and RosNeft just signed an agreement. Baghdad is happy to see the Russian Su-25s . Maybe change in the Beltway too.

CHEMICAL WEAPONS. The OPCW confirms the withdrawal of the last consignment of CW stockpiles from Syria. Meanwhile ISIS has seized the CW stockpiles in Iraq. (If you’re confused, Dear Reader and ask what Iraqi CW stockpiles?! Well, the WMSM hasn’t been entirely truthful with you.)

CRIMEA. In 1979 the novel Island of Crimea was published. The fantasy was Crimea actually was an island and that it had remained in the possession of the Whites after the Civil War. It thus represented a sort of alternative, non-communist Russia. It will now stand as an alternate Ukraine.

EU AGREEMENTS. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine signed the EU association agreement. We are expected to believe Moscow was unable to prevent little Moldova or Georgia from signing but able to prevent big Ukraine from doing so. They will likely be sorry they did: the EU cannot pour the billions, that Poland and other “early adopters” received, into their decrepit economies. The rewards will be deferred but the costs immediate.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Ottawa, Canada (