Ukraine Live Day 271: Putin Isolated at G20 Meeting of World Leaders over Aggression Against Ukraine

November 15, 2014
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (R) stands near Russian President Vladimir Putin after officially welcoming him to the G20 leaders summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014. Photo by Reuters/David Gray

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For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.

Putin Leaves G20 Early, Citing Need for Sleep

Earlier, there was speculation that President Vladimir Putin may leave early from the G20 meeting of world leaders in Brisbane, Australia. He was facing a lot of heat from Western leaders in particular over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied there were any such plans, but in the end, Putin did leave before the end of the program, missing a working breakfast.

Translation: Putin explained the reason for his absence at a working breakfast of the G20 – RBC.

RBC explained that Putin said that with the big time difference and long flights — 9 hours to Vladivostok and then another 9 hours to Moscow, he said — he would need “at least 4 to 5 hours of sleep” before returning to work on Monday.

He didn’t explain why he couldn’t sleep on the plane.

Putin said he was leaving his minister of finance behind to attend other meetings and describe what Russia is doing to fight the Ebola disease.

Putin Isolated at G20 Meeting By World Leaders Over Aggression Against Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin came under pressure from Western leaders today November 15 at the meeting of the G20 in Brisbane, Australia, Reuters and other media reported.

The host, Australian Prime Minister John Abbott was cordial but clear about the West’s condemnation of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Some leaders were quite blunt:

British Prime Minister David Cameron accused Russia of
“bullying a smaller state in Europe” and warned Russia that it would
face further sanctions if it continues “destabilising Ukraine”.

on Saturday on the sidelines of the two-day summit in Brisbane, Cameron
told the UK’s Sky News: “I am very frank when I meet with him [Putin]
that the things that Russia has done in Ukraine are unacceptable.”

Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, is reported to have told Putin at the summit to “get out of Ukraine”.

According to Jason
MacDonald, Harper’s spokesman, the prime minister told the Russian
leader: “I guess I will shake your hand but I have only one thing to say
to you: You need to get out of Ukraine.

The Globe and Mail later reported that Putin replied “That’s not possible because we’re not there.”

Judging from Al-Jazeera’s report, President Barack Obama was somewhat less direct, and focused on climate change, which Prime Minister Abbott in fact had not put on the agenda:

Speaking on Friday at the summit, US President Barack Obama said:
“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine [is] a threat to the world.

Even so, the message was unmistakeably delivered and the West was consolidated in its isolation of Russia:

Translation: Ouch. In Australia, they expected apologies for the Boeing [MH17]. He replied with the fake from Channel 1, alas.

Here Gudkov, an opposition member of the Russian parliament, is referring to a story put out by Russia’s state Channel 1 claiming to illustrate with satellite photos Russia’s theory that a Ukrainian plane fired a missile to down MH17. It never convinced Western news agencies who mainly ignored it, and it was quickly debunked as numerous Russian bloggers found the materials were based on old photos.

Putin was rumored to decide to leave the G20 meeting early.

But Moscow denied this:

Putin, for his part, continued to make it sound as if Russia was the victim and not Ukraine. He complained about his treatment in Brisbane:

He tried to turn the tables on the West, as the Globe and Mail reported:

“Today there is fighting taking place in the east of Ukraine, the Ukrainian government has deployed troops there,” Putin told ARD, which said the interview was conducted on Thursday evening in Vladivostok.

“There have even been missiles fired, but is that mentioned? There’s not been a word on that.

“That means, that you [the Western media] want the Ukrainian government to destroy everything there, including all their political opponents and adversaries.

Brisbane is 15 hours ahead of New York so we’ll see what happens in a few hours.