Putin's Ukrainian Folly
The Ukrainian folly is a rumor of war orchestrated by President Putin. His invasion of the Ukraine really does not need blunt military force from the 40,000 Russian soldiers along the border. All he needs is what IS happening, as it did in the Crimea and over time, more and more Ukrainians (who really still feel Russian, by the way) will become pro-Russia. The KGB special forces are already there inciting locals to be pro-Russia. They are masked as Ukrainians (really, can you tell the difference between a Ukrainian and Russian?) acting as disgruntled Ukrainians who want to be part of Mother Russia again!
The threat of full scale military invasion by Russia is in idle. Putin is just waiting to a "real" good excuse to send them in and seize at least the eastern (and most valuable) part of the Ukraine. He really already has one, but he wants to see if a better situation and more justifiable reason comes about. If he can get many Ukrainians to become pro-Russia, he will pull off another Crimea without many shots fired.
The Ukrainian government and army have already shown its incompetence. Two armed columns of their best troops in tanks and APCs were sent to secure key points, both were stopped by local pro-Russian Ukrainians or Russian agents simply by swarming around them. The column was not allowed to continued and after prolonged discussion and argument, none of the columns reached their objectives. One switched sides and flew the Russian flag, the other turned around and went home. Now, others have seized key buildings.
The Ukrainian anti-terrorist units must have Putin laughing his head off. What a folly! Actually, Putin is using a modern version of what happened in 1917, when Lenin and Trotsky sought to overthrow the Czar. It is called propaganda, now fueled by Twitter, Internet, TV, radio blaming the West and Nato as neo-Nazi parties. The sad thing is, many ignorant Ukrainians or Russians actually believe this nonsense! Besides the use of propaganda, Putin is using Russian agents to stir up the locals. This is a very old trick. It worked so well in Crimea. Hey, try it again. Of course, there is REAL discontent in the Ukraine and this simply adds fuel to Putin's fire. If the Ukraine simply returned to Russia's arms, things would be far better economically, so they think and are told. Maybe.
As a poker game, Putin has a winning hand. Geographically, the Ukraine is next door. It was part of Russia before 1994. Bitter grapes for Putin, no doubt. NATO seems unable to agree on much and sending token troops or other non-combat support to the Ukrainians simply adds to this folly. To Putin, it is like a "whatever". Putin knows Obama does not have the balls to really defend the Ukraine. It is too far and all the Obama rhetoric is blustering and Putin shrugs it off. America has no real interest in the Ukraine other than it is a "sovereign "country. What country wants to bail them out with at least $20 billion? Hmm, thought so.
Economically, both can volley shots at one another. Sanctions will eventually hurt Russia if Russia does not dodge them. But, Russia can really hurt Europe instantly by turning off the natural gas flowing to Germany, Poland and others. That is a very strong Putin deterrent for NATO to do nothing. Russia can sell their oil to China, Iran, India and many others. International banking sanctions will make it very difficult for many Russian industries, but even when they were imposed on Iran, Iran still found a way to conduct some international business.
It is hard to imagine an outcome other than Putin getting at least eastern Ukraine. A quick blitzkrieg from his forces could do this in days. Because so many of these Ukrainians want to be Russian again, it would be more of a show of force than invasion. But, is that all Putin wants? Hard to believe. Depending on how the international community reacts and how locals react, Putin may feel immunity and do the same thing to the rest of Ukraine at a later time.
Think Poland 1939. The players then were France and England. Hitler's seizure of Poland within a few days made France and England speechless, even though, in the week before Hitler invaded, both countries threatened and blustered Hitler about what would happen if Poland was invaded. Well, Hitler, shrugged it off, did his thing. After it happened, France and England did nothing. What did Hitler do? He planned for his next acquisition for May, 1940.
What was that? France!
Putin should just do it. Get it over with and be done with this rumor of war. This folly that the West only has symbolic interest in stopping on principle. Putin knows, the Ukraine is his for the taking. It is just a matter of time and how. Yet, forcing Jews to register their name and property in a city of Ukraine, Donetsk. This is to create more Hitler-like fear and perhaps a ploy by pro-Russian neo Nazis to justify Putin's claim about how many agitators are neo Nazis. This is just the excuse Putin needs.
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