With headlines like "Ukraine readies for an invasion by Russia" and "PM says Ukraine on the brink of disaster," media outlets in the U.S. and Western Europe have largely condemned Putin's military intervention in the Crimea. But Russians are hearing a very different story.
That's from Russia Today, the Kremlin's English-language news site, which went on to say that "contrary to expectations, security in Crimea has actually become more stable" since Russia invaded. For those of us who don't read Cyrillic, RT can give a taste of what Russians are seeing and hearing.
Here's a selection of other headlines from the site:
RT also has been running live footage of a pro-Russian rally in Simferopol, a city in southeastern Ukraine.
As Reuters outlines, the Russian press — which research organization Freedom House has simply labeled "not free" due to Putin's stranglehold on it — has been swamped with the Kremlin's messaging of the invasion.
On Russian television, weeks of footage of wounded policemen and burning tyres have given way to sober pictures of politicians and Ukrainians predicting Ukraine will split after opposition forces took control in Kiev and the president fled.
In a sign the Kremlin is shaken by losing a struggle for influence with the West in its neighbor, the language has been set against the us-or-them background of the Soviet victory against Adolf Hitler — a source of national pride. [Reuters]
Of course, Putin's critics have also been quick to invoke comparisons to World War II, with one calling the invasion his "Sudetenland," a reference to Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia. Nico Lauricella
You shouldn't read too much into body language at international summits of world leaders, but gestures also don't mean nothing. Take the playfully passive-aggressive handshakes between President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday in Brussels. The first one was nothing special — Macron shook hands with Trump, then first lady Melania Trump, and they all went inside the U.S. ambassador's residence. The second one, however, was a doozy.
— CNN International (@cnni) May 25, 2017
Here's how Washington Post White House bureau chief Philip Rucker, writing for the press pool, described that handshake: "They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other's hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening." Maybe Macron had heard about Trump's handshakes and came prepared. But Trump caught on, and in their next encounter, at NATO headquarters, he gave Macron the classic Trump treatment.
This is a pretty intense handshake between Macron and Trump pic.twitter.com/nseTdcpXkX
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) May 25, 2017
But if you watch Macron's entrance leading up to that handshake, you can see him veer from Trump at the last minute and embrace German Chancellor Angela Merkel first, putting Trump off for last. Perhaps Macron was being chivalrous by approaching the woman before the men, and he clearly knows his neighboring German leader more than the American president.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 25, 2017
Or, as author J.K. Rowling suggests:
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 25, 2017
Courtney Donlon was sleeping on her flight home to New Jersey on Monday when an announcement woke her up — over the loudspeaker, a crew member was asking if any medical professionals were on board.
Donlon, 22, started as a nurse in the respiratory care unit at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick in September, and she quickly volunteered to help. A 57-year-old woman was experiencing the classic symptoms of a heart attack, and working with just a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, small tank of oxygen, aspirin, and defibrillator, Donlon got to work. "I was trying to think a step ahead — if she loses consciousness or a pulse and I have to give CPR," she told MyCentralJersey.com. "I was thinking, how do I make what I do have here work."
As she assisted the woman, Donlon also made sure to calm her down, as stress causes heart and breathing rates to become elevated. Fearing it was a "dire situation," Donlon asked the pilot to make an emergency landing, and Donlon waited with the woman on the tarmac in Charleston, South Carolina, holding her hand, until paramedics arrived. Donlon, whose mother and sister are both nurses at her hospital, said she does not know the status of the woman, but hopes to hear from her when she can. "I can't lie, I was nervous at first being on a plane with limited supplies, but once I realized I was the most qualified person on the plane and someone had to be the confident one, then I could take to the role pretty easily," Donlon told MyCentralJersey.com. Catherine Garcia
Republican Greg Gianforte, the projected winner of Montana's special election to fill its vacant House seat, used part of his victory speech Thursday night to apologize to the reporter he has been charged with assaulting.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 26, 2017
"Last night, I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can't take back," Gianforte said in front of a crowd in Bozeman. "I'm not proud of what happened. I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that, I am sorry." At that point, someone in the audience yelled, "You are forgiven," which resulted in some cheers of agreement. Gianforte shushed the crowd and continued, "I should not have treated that reporter that way and for that, I'm sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs."
The Guardian's Jacobs and a Fox News crew in the room say Gianforte "body slammed" Jacobs at an event in Bozeman, resulting in his glasses being broken; he had to go to a local hospital to be checked out and have X-rays taken of his elbow. The Gianforte campaign released a statement that claimed Jacobs "aggressively" put a recorder in Gianforte's face, then "grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both the ground," but not long after, Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna posted her eyewitness account of the incident, which lined up with what Jacobs said and an audio recording that was released by The Guardian. You can watch Acuna explain what she saw below. Catherine Garcia
— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) May 25, 2017
President Trump has landed in Sicily for a G7 summit and the final leg of his eight-day trip abroad, and he's been giving a lot of speeches on this tour, Jimmy Kimmel noted on Thursday's Kimmel Live. Trump has been reading from prepared scripts, which is a good idea, he said. "I've noticed, though, it sounds like a fourth-grade book report. He speaks very slowly and simply, not too bigly, he just stays in the middle and uses vocabulary even a child could understand. And to highlight that, we asked some actual fourth graders to read parts of Trump's actual speeches from this trip, to show how they stack up with the big kid in the Oval Office."
The kids are adorable, of course, and it turns out they are pretty good at reading presidential speeches, too. Maybe one of them will grow up to be president. In the meantime, you can decide who read it better below. Peter Weber
Republican Greg Gianforte is projected to win the Montana House seat left vacant by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Gianforte has 167,871 votes, compared to Democrat Rob Quist with 143,410 votes and Libertarian Mark Wicks with 19,251 votes. On Wednesday night, Gianforte was charged with assault, following an altercation with The Guardian's Ben Jacobs, who accused Gianforte of "body slamming" him and breaking his glasses. Gianforte's campaign claimed Jacobs, who recorded audio of the incident, "grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground," but eyewitnesses backed Jacobs' account. Going into Thursday's election, 37 percent of Montana's registered voters had already voted absentee. Catherine Garcia
On two separate occasions, a senior mortuary employee at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware allegedly asked inspectors if they wanted to look at John Glenn's remains prior to his burial, a Defense Department official wrote in an internal memo obtained by Military Times.
Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, a decorated Marine, and a former U.S. senator, died on Dec. 8 at age 95, and his family asked the Air Force to care for his remains between his death and burial April 6 at Arlington National Cemetery, to ensure privacy and security, Military Times reports. In her memo, dated May 11, Deborah Skillman, the Defense Department's director of casualty and mortuary affairs, wrote that on Feb. 28 and March 2, mortuary branch chief William Zwicharowski "offered to allow the inspectors to view the deceased," which was "clearly inappropriate and personally shocking." She was so concerned she asked his deputy commander to address the matter with Zwicharowski, Skillman wrote in the memo. Officials told Military Times that Skillman and additional inspectors refused to view the remains.
In her memo, Skillman also wrote that Zwicharowski said he believed the inspection was due to him being a whistleblower six years ago; along with two other employees, he revealed that the mortuary had lost or improperly disposed of the body parts of some soldiers who died while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was nearly fired for going outside his chain of command to report this, but he ultimately received a Public Servant of the Year award. Military Times was unable to reach Zwicharowski for comment. Catherine Garcia
Montenegro leader shrugs off shove from Trump, calling it 'natural' that U.S. presidents 'be in the first row'
Some observers found it rude when President Trump casually pushed Montenegro's prime minister, Duško Marković, out of the way so he could get to the front row for a NATO photo-op on Thursday, but Marković calls the encounter "an inoffensive situation." Journalists are "differently commenting" on the scene, he added, but "I want to tell you that it is natural for the president of the United States to be in the first row."
— Govt. of Montenegro (@MeGovernment) May 26, 2017
So there you go, no hard feelings. Here's the moment Marković was referring to:
Slo-mo: Trump appears to push aside/shove another NATO leader to get to the front of the group. pic.twitter.com/K0OC6QnEL4
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) May 25, 2017
Marković is right about U.S. presidents being in the front row, naturally.
Though maybe that wasn't what people found bemusing about Trump's actions. Peter Weber