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  • Putin proposed eastern Ukraine vote to Trump in Helsinki – report

    Russian president reportedly tells diplomats Trump is considering referendum offer

    Vladimir Putin proposed holding a referendum in war-torn eastern Ukraine when he met Donald Trump in Helsinki this week, it has been reported.

    The Russian president spoke about the proposal at a behind-closed-doors meeting with ambassadors and diplomats at the foreign ministry in Moscow on Thursday, Bloomberg reported, citing two people who attended the meeting. Putin reportedly said he had agreed not to discuss the proposal publicly while Trump was considering it.

    Related:'Putin's poodle': newspapers declare Trump a traitor after Helsinki summit

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  • Extinction review – forbidding portrait of a self-proclaimed Soviet country

    Are the bullies actually the good guys in this video essay about the independent state of Transnistria, in eastern Moldova?

    Salomé Lamas’s video essay Extinction, shot in forbidding monochrome, is an opaque meditation on the self-proclaimed and officially unrecognised independent state of Transnistria, in eastern Moldova, bordering Ukraine.

    The title appears to allude to the extinction that Transnistria is fighting against and the film ends with a dedication: “To all the unrecognised and unnoticed territories that lie on the margins of legitimacy: lacking diplomatic recognition or UN membership, inhabiting a world of shifting borders, visionary leaders and forgotten peoples.” A quixotic if naive view of the eternal rightness and benevolence of secessionism: I can’t help visualising the Confederate flag.

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  • Ukraine is the first casualty of Trump’s carelessness. It won’t be the last | Natalia Antonova
    The president’s failure to tackle Vladimir Putin over the conflict reflects his chaotic and damaging presidency

    That the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki was a diplomatic disaster for the United States is indisputable, mealy-mouthed explanations as to how President Donald Trump “accidentally” threw his own intelligence community under the bus in favour of Russia notwithstanding. Yet the biggest immediate loser may be Ukraine – a country the western media has pretty much abandoned, even as it continues to have its soldiers die in a near-frozen, tragically pointless conflict with Russia and Russian-backed forces in the east of the country.

    “Our dead boys are nothing to Trump.” It’s a common refrain I’ve heard from people in Ukraine since Helsinki. Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, Ukraine still bleeds from the conflict in the Donbass – and the US, ostensibly, is supposed to be united with Ukrainians against the threat from Vladimir Putin.

    Related:Trump condemns Merkel and refuses to criticize Putin in Fox interview

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