Aggression By Progression, Putin's Game of Chess With the West
Russia is famous for domes. What is in Putin's own "dome"?
By the second month of 2015, Putin had regular army units of his military fighting alongside the separatists trying to seize control of a major Ukrainian transportation hub.
While sanctions, and seemingly bottomless oil prices were severely straining Russia, discredited Putin was counting on military glory to refurbish his domestic image.
Today's news was planned yesterday....or well before.
Russian dictator Putin bit off and swallowed, even digested the Crimea, partly out of frustration that the money and the favors he had lavished on his Ukrainian puppet had collapsed in the face of Ukrainian unrest at the graft and ineptitude of his puppet.
When that morsel had been celebrated and his controlled press had stirred up Russian nationalism and elevated Putin to his desired role of national hero, the emboldened Putin rested for only a brief cup of tea from his samovar and plotted his next move: Eastern Ukraine.
With Russian "volunteers" similar to our U. S. General Chennault's "Flying Tigers" of World War II fame, Putin engineered an illegal break away vote in Eastern Ukraine among Ukraine's Russian speaking citizens and began arming the Russian "volunteers" and the separatists for Ukraine's counter move.
In pain from the brief "sunburn" of one of his provided antiaircraft weapons downing a commercial airliner with 298 innocent passengers and crew members aboard, he scrambled first to put out the unbelievable misinformation that the plane had simply crashed on its own, and then, assured that the Russian missile launcher was safely withdrawn back to Russia, continued pushing sophisticated weapons across the Ukrainian border to his "volunteers" and separatists.
When the Ukrainian people voted a defiant new president into office, pledged to retake even the Crimea, Putin encouraged the soon retreating "volunteers" and separatists with assurances that even more help was on the way.
By the middle of November 2014, after a humiliation at the G20 Summit, and his early departure from the Summit, Putin's military was observed beefing up its forces, both in numbers and sophistication on both sides of the Russian border of eastern Ukraine and Russia, despite a previously agreed to cease fire agreement.
Aggression by progression was continuing at a heightened pace.
Besides more and varied weapons, he had previously engineered "a humanitarian convoy" to "sustain the suffering populace" in the embattled Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Donetsk.. Making a deal which he soon defaulted on with the International Red Cross, Putin sent the convoy of trucks illegally across from Russia into Ukrainia and on to Luhansk with the so-called "humanitarian supplies" (the vast majority of which had not been checked either by the IRC or Ukrainian border administrators) on the excuse that the supplies would perish, if not sent immediately once Putin reached his self-appointed deadline.
That had left the next move with options for Putin. He could claim that Ukrainians fired on his Russian "goodwill trucks" in something tantamount to what he might claim to be an act of war, or he could simply cheer himself for resupplying his "volunteers" and separatists, causing a lull in the fighting while they regrouped with whatever new supplies he and the convoy had provided for that still hot battlefield, or he could use the same "humanitarian" claim as it appeared he was doing in November to try to justify sending in a Russian military "relief column" to seal the separation and absorption of his next "tasty tidbit", eastern Ukraine.
When the Ukraine celebrated Ukrainian Independence Day, Putin's "volunteers" and separatists waved their own independence flags and paraded Ukrainian government prisoners through a public square in Donetsk as proof of separatist valor and their "wish" to be free from control by the legitimate Ukrainian Government in Kiev.
At that time, back on the golf course in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, a vacationing American President Obama was faced with choosing which economic sanctions he could tickle the Russian Bear with that time. which his nervous European allies would find acceptable.
Later, Obama, NATO, and U. S. allies were still talking about even further sanctions in the face of Putin's violations of the cease fire agreement and his latest confrontations with Kiev and NATO, while the Baltic States and Poland still feared they might be Putin's next morsels.
By then, Putin could well have pulled off a military invasion of the Ukraine, and had his land grab dessert with a glass of vodka and a declaration of "Checkmate!"
Copyright 2014-2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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