IMF in Ukraine - Mr Nice or Nasty?(BBC) - As the emerging Balkan states have found, the IMF is like a payday loan shark on a global scale. Ukraine will sign the form to get the money to meet this week's state paybill, and will only later regret signing away its ability to make decisions about its own economy. The IMF means global servitude.
Is Moscow orchestrating eastern Ukraine's little green men? (BBC) - Of course. Russian 'advisors' are probably ultra-careful to disappear when the news cameras turn up, but the orchestrated sequence of occupations in Donetsk and Luhansk, and now in Kharkhiv, indicate a strategic mind at work rather than spontaneous popular actions.
Has the idle West let Putin win?(Telegraph) - It's not the west's idleness that has led to the loss of Crimea, and possibly the eastern provinces, but the west's stupidity in believing they could drive their tanks onto Russia's lawn with impunity.
Why have a fight over east Ukraine? - The east has the industry and natural resources, including 2 trillion cubic metres of frackable gas. Look at Timoshenko's corruptly acquired portfolio, and those of her fellow Ukrainian oligarchs - it's their vast wealth, much of tied up in the east of the country, that they're keen to protect; they will lay down the lives of their Ukrainian subjects for the sake of their Swiss bank accounts.
Will the crisis lead to World War Three? - Hopefully not. However, the US, EU and Russia are on course to turn it into a vicious proxy war, with both sides pouring in arms, equipment and intelligence. Good for the global corporations, useful for each side to test out its newest technologies but of course ruinous for the folk that live there and who just want to get on with their lives.
Who can I believe about what's going on? - No-one. Both the west and Russia are effectively churning out propaganda that easily fools the majority of inexperienced journos. As Richard North has pointed out, the crisis is being reported by muppets who can't tell the difference between a battle tank and an APC, and for whom every AK74 is an AK47.
Seamus Milne gets close to an accurate summary of the situation in the Guardian today;
The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west's attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.
No Russian government could have acquiesced in such a threat from territory that was at the heart of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Putin's absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive, and the red line now drawn: the east of Ukraine, at least, is not going to be swallowed up by Nato or the EU.