Troubling reflections on Russia as Ukraine crisis escalates

Since Liz Wahl infamously quit her Russia Today job on-air, a glaring spotlight has shone on the Kremlin-funded media outlet. Buzzfeed'Rosie Gray takes an unforgiving look at what it's like to work for them in her tellingly titled "How the Truth is Made at Russia Today." Daily Beast's Eli Lake summarized, "Germany, a failed state. Russia, a model of sobriety. Step inside the pravda @RT_Com newsroom in this from @RosieGray." David Meyer with GigaOM reflected, "Working at RT sounds pretty much like I thought it would."

Meanwhile, BBC Moscow correspondent Daniel Sandford  shared this worrisome press release from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which caused Buzzfeed's Mike Giglio to comment it "flips reality of last night's Donetsk violence, claiming pro-Russia side was attacked."

With the Globe and MailMark MacKinnon warns us that in Crimea, Ukraine, "Some serious-looking military hardware moving into Simferopol [the region's administrative center] right now." That escalation is happening even as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry begins an eleventh-hour talk with counterpart Sergey Lavrov in London. It may be the West's last chance to engage with the Kremlin in advance of a Crimean vote whether to secede from Ukraine, a referendum that sources have decried as "illegitimate." Here's a picture from that meeting, which speaks volumes. "Mad vs Sad," Guardian's Spencer Ackerman accurately captioned it. (To be fair, though, Kerry has always had a long face.)

(Image credit: Buzzfeed.)

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