Since the Russian created tensions in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine, the US and NATO have done little to rectify the Russian seizure of Ukrainian vessels and abduction of 24 Ukrainian sailors. The sailors have since been moved to Moscow where they are being treated as prisoners of war.
The Trump administration, in response to complaints that Donald Trump does nothing in response to Putin’s aggression, often points out how tough Trump is because of actions that the federal government has taken in response to Putin’s hostilities, as if they are one and the same. They are not the same. This is a case-in-point.
Donald Trump’s statements regarding Russian aggression have been, “I’m not happy,” and “They need to figure it out.” In other words, he doesn’t give a fuck and he’s not going to do anything. But will the US?
The US diplomatic corps, in the persons of U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker and Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, have voiced their opinions that Russia’s aggression is in violation of international law.
NATO head, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, also demanded an immediate release of the sailors and a concern as to what the Russians have in mind as they amass troops along the eastern border of Ukraine.
This is a time when luke-warm pronouncements from Sec. State Mike Pompeo is not going to cut it. Trump needs to speak out now and in no uncertain terms. We need leadership now that would cause Putin concern and forcibly shape his actions.
According to Ukrainian news outlet Radiolemberg, The Russians are preparing to invade Eastern Ukraine in order to acquire a land bridge from Western Russia to Crimea and complete their control of the Azov Sea. Radiolemberg even has a date for an invasion: December 14th or 15th.
In a strange interplay of propaganda and fake news, the Russian’s are declaring that Ukraine plans on blowing up their own industrial complex in Mariupol, Ukraine on Dec. 14th and blaming it on Russia and Russian backed separatists in order to start a direct military confrontation with Russian troops. Who would do something that crazy? Who would kill their own people in order to start a war with someone else?
All evidence points to Putin’s orchestration of the 1999 apartment bombing in Russia which killed over 300 russian civilians. These bombings were the catalyst for a fabricated second Chechen war from which Putin consolidated power and ascended to the presidency of Russia.
Alternately Radiolemberg offers the following day, Dec.15, as a likely date for Russian to invade Ukraine as this is the day of the convening of the unification council for the creation of anautocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church to separate itself from the Russian orthodoxy.
Do we think Russia will actually invade Ukraine in December? I doubt it, but that’s not the whole point of this exercise, is it. The continuing and ongoing effort of Russia is to undermine, confuse, confound, and divide…and it’s working. Russia will continue to arm rebels in eastern Ukraine and eventually they will have their land bridge around the Azov Sea through their separatists, then they will act as overlords of that sea. Once that is complete, if no one halts their incremental progress, they will continue to chip away at Ukraine until nothing is left.
The administration says, “No one is tougher on Russia than Trump. No one.” But if you search, you will not find a single instance in which Trump has directly spoken out against Russian aggression or Putin’s long term plans to recreate the Soviet Empire, despite whatever the US government may have done.
This is the time when we need a US President to stand up and say, “We see what you are doing Russia. This is not acceptable to us. Withdraw your forces from the Ukrainian border, cease your hostilities, and end your clear support and involvement in Ukrainian unrest.” Putin needs to know this is the truth, but he has absolutely no reason to believe that at this time.
Putin will keep pushing unless he has reason to believe it is not in his best interests to do so.