If this morning's bulletin is indeed true that Putin has ordered an immediate decamp of Russia's 40,000 troops from Ukraine's border, then Ukraine could mount a successful national election as planned on May 25. But Russia has said in the past that these troops were being withdrawn, yet they never moved an inch. Recent satellite images clearly show the amassed armored vehicles and tanks along the Ukraine border. And until NATO has confirmed Russian troop movements away from Ukraine, Putin's statement, stands as just a statement.
But if it is true that Putin has called his troops home to Moscow, then it could be sufficed that Putin has taken his desired share of Ukraine; that Western sanctions are beginning to bite Russia economically; that Chinese concern over Russian actions of attracting unwanted scrutiny upon the Sino-Russo marriage, at a time when China is deeply involved in its own disputes on the East and South China Seas, is proving too much for Xi Jinping; or that an oligarch has risen in eastern Ukraine who conducts business in a manner that Putin either respects or fears.
Turkey: As Turkey remembers the 301 coal miners who died last week in Soma, and as news emerges of the arrest of three officials of the mine in connection with the disaster; Turks are demanding government guarantees that the entire classes of workers across Turkey, will have improved working conditions.
The Balkans: Our prayers go out to the some 30 victims of a record flooding event stretching across the Balkans from Bosnia to Belgrade. Entire towns and villages have been destroyed as the Balkans fall victim to its worse floods ever. Some 3,000 landslides have been triggered by the floods and thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.