The US State Department, via spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki, said that reports of CIA Director John Brennan telling regime changers in Kiev to "conduct tactical operations" - or an "anti-terrorist" offensive - in eastern Ukraine are "completely false".
This means Brennan did issue his marching orders. And by now the "anti-terrorist" campaign - with its nice little Dubya rhetorical touch - has degenerated into farce.
Now couple that with NATO secretary general, Danish retriever Anders Fogh Rasmussen, yapping about the strengthening of military footprint along NATO's eastern border:
"We will have more planes in the air, mores ships on the water and more readiness on the land."
Welcome to the Two Stooges doctrine of post-modern warfare.
Pay up or freeze to death
Ukraine is for all practical purposes broke. The Kremlin's consistent position for the past three months has been to encourage the European Union to find a solution to Ukraine's dire economic mess. Brussels did nothing. It was betting on regime change to the benefit of Germany's heavyweight puppet Vladimir Klitschko, aka Klitsch The Boxer.
Regime change did happen, but orchestrated by the Khaganate of Nulands - a neo-con cell of the State Department and its assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nulands. And now the presidential option is between - what else - two US puppets, choco-billionaire Petro Poroshenko and "Saint Yulia" Timoshenko, Ukraine's former prime minister, ex-convict and prospective president. The EU is left to pick up the (unpayable) bill. Enter the International Monetary Fund - via a nasty, upcoming "structural adjustment" that will send Ukrainians to a hellhole even grimmer than the one they are already familiar with.
Once again, for all the hysteria propagated by the US Ministry of Truth and its franchises across the Western corporate media, the Kremlin does not need to "invade" anything. If Gazprom does not get paid all it needs to do is to shut down the Ukrainian stretch of Pipelineistan. Kiev will then have no option but to use part of the gas supply destined for some EU countries so Ukrainians won't run out of fuel to keep themselves and the country's industries alive. And the EU - whose "energy policy" overall is already a joke - will find itself with yet another self-inflicted problem.
The EU will be mired in a perennial lose-lose situation if Brussels does not talk seriously with Moscow. There's only one explanation for the refusal: hardcore Washington pressure, mounted via the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Again, to counterpunch the current hysteria - the EU remains Gazprom's top client, with 61% of its overall exports. It's a complex relationship based on interdependence. The capitalization of Nord Stream, Blue Stream and the to-be-completed South Stream includes German, Dutch, French and Italian companies.
So yes, Gazprom does need the EU market. But up to a point, considering the mega-deal of Siberian gas delivery to China which most probably will be signed next month in Beijing
when Russian President Vladimir Putin visits President Xi Jinping.