Russians and Ukrainians talk together, for once ...

Putin refuses to talk to Kyiv, claiming the absurd, that Yanukovich is still the legitimate president. However last night there was an exemplary TV talk show on the Russian Dosht channel, at which groups of about half a dozen Russians in Moscow and Ukrainians in Kyiv share a debate together 'live'. The participants were serious, well-informed and mutually respectful. That's the good news. The bad news is that the official Russian TV channels will not do this, and serve up instead a daily parade of Russians to debate among themselves, with a strong line in polemical nationalist speakers (e.g Zhirinovsky, Dugin, Prokhanov). And the Dosht channel is expected to be closed down. Further ominous warning. A Ukrainian general last night said their intelligence was that Russian troops and military hardware was at the ready by the frontier, that on Sunday there will be big pro-Russian demonstrations organised in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Odessa at the same time as the Crimean referendum, and that Russian sponsored 'agents provocateurs' will be sent in there to trigger violence, which will serve as the pretext for Russian military invasion.