The Ukraine crisis rumbles on with blame being thrown about left right and centre. Voicing opinions if you are a westerner can be viewed as disloyal to the west but we are allegedly free to do so in western countries and our leaders are always at pains to comment that is not true in Russia, China, North Korea and more.
If war breaks out that will change, but for now reporting events is important.
Perhaps one reason it is increasingly easy to disbelief the west is not just the track record of lying but events of the last few months. One prime example was an apparently bugged phone conversation which hit news sources online February 7. In the call a senior US diplomat disparaged the EU over the Ukraine crisis. It was quickly posted online.
As BBC News reported a voice resembling that of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland referred to the EU using a graphic swear word, in a conversation apparently with the US ambassador to Ukraine. As she apologised for her words it is fair to say it was true. The US said Ms Nuland had "apologised for these reported comments".
The irony is not wasted either. Accused of spying on numerous people, a US diplomat is bugged. A private conversation should be just that - and it hurts when you are bugged.
The words however "F**k the EU" show great contempt for Europe and its peoples.
Wednesday there are reports and footage online claiming that another bugged phone call shows that the Ukrainian snipers in Kiev were not who or what they seemed.
Adding salt into the wounds of Europe is the news that the EU is going to dig deep into its allegedly financially strapped coffers to bail out the Ukraine. Remember the Ukraine is not a member of the EU, not yet at least. But we have money to offer, yet weeks ago the EU told Scotland there would be no automatic entry into the EU if they voted for independence from the rest of the UK.
More hypocrisy? It has to be.
Meanwhile, the European Union is set to offer Ukraine a aid package that could be worth as much as $15 billion over the next two years. From the New York Times:
All of that means we better get used to dipping into our pockets. Yet in EU countries such as Greece, Spain, Ireland, the UK and Portugal it is a case of implement austerity measures and tighten your belts.
Too much in all of this has a nasty smell.
Ironically the Ukraine want to get into the EU as many people want to get out.
You may think that the EU cannot afford to fail the Ukraine but neither can it fail its own citizens. The EU and parts of Europe are crumbling and the future looked uncertain before the Ukraine crisis.
Those meddling in Ukaranian affairs for months could end up laughing all the way to the bank as the crisis inflates the value of gold. But only time will tell.
For citizens with paper investments the future is not so rosy. Plummetting share prices will affect pensions, savings and more. As usual the rich will get richer and the poor poorer.
Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis
An Interview with Mr. Gold
Matthew Price BBC News, Brussels