The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and brinkmanship.
Ukraine Falters in Drive to Curb Unrest in East: Perhaps the biggest mistake the Kiev government could make right now is to make threats they are unwilling or incapable of following through on. Nothing could damage their credibility and legitimacy more than doing so. It would seem they have done just that in regards to the protester seizure of government buildings in the eastern part of the country.
Fragile Europe Weakens U.S. Push for Russia Sanctions: Who would have thought the current US admin could demonstrate more resolve than the EU right now? Of course, Obama must follow through or he shows himself to the the paper tiger he has demonstrated before. The disconnect among the western powers over Ukraine and the response to Russian aggression just makes the situation more fraught with peril than a strong united stand would be.
Ukraine pushes tanks and troops into separatist east: So let me get this straight. The Ukraine is acting to regain control of Ukrainian territory from Russian inspired insurgents and Medvedev, the Russian PM, deigns to blame Ukraine for starting a potential civil war by acting to protect their sovereignty? If Russia had not instigated things in the Crimea last month this would not be happening. Russia is to blame here and if a civil war or wider war starts there is no question where the war guilt lies.
Apparent Ukrainian troop defections escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine: The Ukrainian slide into civil war that only Russia can stabilize continues. Putin’s plan is either working great or he is using events to his advantage much better than is the West.
Japanese ship seized in wartime claims row: Meanwhile, tensions between China and Japan continue to ratchet up. The world is just an interesting place right now. I would be curious to know exactly how big a percentage of China’s carrying trade moves in Japanese hulls and how much a suspension of such commerce would hurt China? One thing is certain. China is more economically vulnerable than any other potential hostile power right now.
Putin Warns of Consequences as Ukraine Steps Up Offensive: The richest part of this story is Putin’s hypocritical quote: “If it’s true that the current regime in Kiev sent the army against citizens inside its country, then it is a very serious crime against its own nation,…” Pot meet kettle who has been waging a war against it’s own citizens for damn near twenty years in Chechnya. So, If Ukrainians do what Putin does it is a crime huh? Expect the Russo-Ukrainian War to start before this update gets posted.
Ukraine official says he fears a Russian invasion & Exclusive: Putin Halts All Talks With White House: The slide toward war continues. The big question to me is if the West will stay out of it because they falsely don;t see there strategic interests threatened by Russian aggression and expansion. Interesting Times indeed.
Russian jets cross into Ukraine airspace: Yet one more step towards armed Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine. What impotent steps will the West take now?
Pro-Russia rebels hold German-led observers hostage: It will be interesting to see the steps Germany and the EU take in response to the kidnapping of these OSCE observers. I am guessing it will be demands for their release under threat of even more sanctions.
Ukraine crisis: Mayor of second city Gennady Kernes fights for his life after assassination attempt blamed on Kremlin: The assassination of public officials is a very worrying sign as that is the next logical step in the slide towards civil war and a very good indicator of how much the Kiev government is losing their grasp on events.
Ukraine crisis: Kremlin insists it cannot control pro-Russian separatists and calls for dialogue with West: If you believe Putin has not control or influence I have some ocean-front property for sale cheap.
Ukraine crisis: ‘This is not some kind of a short-lived uprising. It is a war’: It is not a war yet but if the Kiev government cannot regain control quickly or if they suffer a major setback it could rabidly devolve into a civil war.
Iran and Assad have won in Syria, say top Tehran foreign policy figures: While I hate to agree with anything coming out of Tehran, they are right. It is clear that absent majore western intervention that is patently not forthcoming it is now only a matter of months before Assad defeats the rebels. Then again, I don;t think the West ever had a dog in that fight to begin with. If anything, the West should have refused all support as soon as it became clear that Islamists were among the rebels.
Pro-Russian Separatists Declare Victory in East Ukraine Vote: Of course, it was to be expected that the separatists would claim overwhelming victory on the election they are holding at the barrel of a gun now isn’t it.