State debunks Putin part dvah

(AP Photo/John Minchillo) (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

There was no ode to Russian literature this time, but the State Department, in equally strong language, once again has taken to debunking Russia’s reasons for intervention in Ukraine with a top 10 list of lies.

When it comes to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, the U.S. officials don’t mince words, calling them “provocateurs” who “promote hate speech and incite violence” to instigate the uprising in Ukraine over the weekend.

Sunday evening, after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on ABC’s “This Week” that Putin’s actions suggest he wants to take over Eastern Ukraine as he did Crimea, the State Department put out a release titled, “Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine.” The agency put out its first Russia fact check in early March leading up to the Crimea land grab.

Is the Ukrainian unrest a grass-roots effort by agitated citizens as Russia claims? The State Department says no. “It is clear that these incidents are not spontaneous events, but rather part of a well-orchestrated Russian campaign of incitement, separatism, and sabotage of the Ukrainian state,” the release says.

Echoing Power’s comments, the department says Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine are “strikingly similar” to the lead-up to the annexation of Crimea. The escalating destabilization in Ukraine is a coordinated effort.

The diplomats at Foggy Bottom are usually a pretty measured crew, but when it comes to chastening Putin there’s little holding back.

Colby Itkowitz is a national reporter for In The Loop.

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Colby Itkowitz · April 11, 2014

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