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So while everyone was having a well-justified jaw drop Wednesday over Donald Trump's suggestion that it would be super cool if Russia would maybe hack Hillary Clinton's email (latest spin: He was only kidding! Don't you people have a sense of humor?), which was pretty outrageous, our media watchdogs sort of overlooked a probably more outrageous thing -- in terms of actual policy -- Trump said at the same presser: Hey, maybe we should recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea, which it stole fair and square from Ukraine. And drop the sanctions on Russia the U.S. and Europe imposed over that invasion, because there are deals to be done.

Just to review what you snoozed through in European History/The News real quick: Crimea used to be part of Russia for centuries; it's where they had that big ol' war what gave us both the Red Cross and "The Charge of the Light Brigade." In 1954, back in the days when Ukraine was a "Soviet Republic," Nikita Khrushchev gave the territory to Ukraine, since it was actually surrounded by Ukraine, and really, it was just a nice thing to do for a friendly part of the USSR. But then the Soviet Union fell apart, and a favorite vacation spot for Russians (also home to many ethnic Russians) was suddenly part of an independent Ukraine, which Moscow was displeased with. When Ukraine's government stopped being quite so pro-Russian in 2014, Russia sent in troops to "protect" the Russians in Crimea, and eventually the territory voted -- in an election recognized pretty much only by Russia -- to rejoin Russia. We'll turn the history summary over to the Atlantic, which we've been cribbing from anyhow:

The West reacted with anger and imposed a string of sanctions on Russia—sanctions that even Putin acknowledged adversely affected Russia’s economy, which was already hurt by falling oil prices. Last year, on the anniversary of Russia’s annexation, the U.S. State Department said: “We do not, nor will we, recognize Russia’s attempted annexation and call on President Putin to end his country’s occupation of Crimea.”

This is just one of the reasons Vladimir Putin doesn't like us that much. Ah, but Donald Trump, maybe he'd be a lot friendlier to ol' Vlad! German reporter Mareike Aden asked Trump whether he'd recognize that annexation and drop the sanctions. Here's what he said in Wednesday's presser from Bizarro World:

QUESTION: I would like to know if you became president, would you recognize (inaudible) Crimea as Russian territory? And also if the U.S. would lift sanctions that are (inaudible)?

TRUMP: We'll be looking at that. Yeah, we'll be looking.

As WaPo notes, "We'll be looking at that" is Trump's standard answer to anything he doesn't know shit about, and he may ultimately say something very different if anyone in his campaign can flag down the little runaway roller coaster car that is his train of thought and point out that he would be giving the OK to Russia invading its neighbors. But who knows? Maybe that's something Trump thinks would be fine, seeing as how Vladimir Putin is strong like bull and the NATO alliance is expendable if member nations don't pay up. The really important question, of course, is whether there are any good locations for golf courses in Ukraine. If Trump does attempt any diplomacy over Crimea, Wonkette calls dibs on the headline "Charge Of The Lightweight Brigade." Bunkers to the right of them, water traps to the left of them, into the Par-5 of Death rolled the six hundred.

While Trump casually pisses on existing foreign policy (Ukraine? Does he have any licensing deals for hotels in Ukraine? If not, fuck 'em), the Russian government of Crimea was overjoyed to learn Trump was thinking of them, even if they didn't quite realize that "We'll look into it" means "I am completely blowing you off and probably didn't even hear what you said. [music interlude, probably unlicensed Rolling Stones tunes]," with

Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Sheremet telling state news agency RIA Novosti that he hoped Trump’s attitude would not change should he be elected.

“We would like to hear the statement of a President Trump,” Sheremet said. “So far these statements are still campaign slogans, but we are hoping for good sense.”

When asked if they would nonetheless like to see Trump visit Crimea, Sheremet was welcoming.

“We have never rejected the old saying that it is better to see something once, than hear about it many times. The West talks about Crimea a lot. We would be happy to see absolutely any friends arrive here on holiday and see that we are living in peace, harmony and prosperity.”

So, hey, Donald, you've got an open invite to come visit Russian-occupied Crimea. Maybe you could show up and say something stupid about the Russians in Crimea "taking their country back."

NO! Stop packing! That was a joke, you idiot!

[CNN / Politico / The Atlantic / WaPo / Time]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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