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Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:03 PM

Regarding all the claims that the West is to blame for the current situation in Ukraine:

(Note: I posted this in response to another thread, but given that there are several threads currently on DU all claiming the same premise--that Russia is not to blame for the current crisis in Ukraine, I figure it's best just to post a thread of my own)

So Maidan happens. We all see it on television. It's massively huge, clearly far more than just a few western agent provocateurs out there. And we know they have a legitimate gripe about Yanukovych's corruption. And we also know that many of them are not to pleased about Yanukovych cuddling up to a man who's gone on record as claiming that Ukraine doesn't exist as a country. So there's real--not imaginary--anger there.

Laws are enacted against protests. Protests don't stop. Protesters get beaten. Protests don't stop. Protesters get shot. Protests don't stop.

Finally, Yanukovych realizes he's not a very popular man, but he's still a very wealthy man, and he can still live a very comfortable life somewhere else (such as Russia). So he sends moving trucks to his house, gathers up all the antique vases and oil paintings he can possibly fit, and choppers out of Ukraine in his fleet of helicopters and into Russia.

Yankovych out, interim government in, elections scheduled for May. Boom. Regime change.

At this point, Putin's still been pretty much a side player throughout it all. Nothing more than a few phone calls with Yanukovych, probably just offering him the sanctuary in Russia that he ultimately accepted.

Putin's got a choice to make. He could recognize that Ukraine is its own country, that Ukraine is not part of Russia, that he cannot control what happens in Ukraine, and no matter how much he wants Ukraine to be part of a Russian trade partnership, the Ukrainians just don't want that to happen.

He could:

A: Dust off his hands and walk away at this point. In that case, Ukrainian elections are held in May. The entire country gets to vote. There's probably some residual grumbling between east and west, but the country likely slowly begins to heal and try and get back to normal. Maybe it joins the EU. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe Crimea holds a real legitimate vote as had been scheduled and decides it wants to be independent. Maybe it wants to remain part of Ukraine. And that's pretty much it.

OR.....

B: Putin can realize how weak the Ukrainian government is just having gone through a revolution, how weak the Ukrainian military is after decades of waste and corruption, and then size up Ukraine and all the parts of it he's long seen as being "historically Russian." Starting with Crimea. Which already has Russian troops stationed at the naval bases there, meaning it's an easy in against token opposition.

Guess what choice Putin makes?

Yup. Choice B. He sends his men into Crimea sans insignia, hastily schedules a sham plebiscite asking Crimeans to be annexed into Russia, announces a laughably unbelievable yes result, and takes in Crimea. And then announces retroactively that he's invaded Crimea.

But wait, there's more.

He then sends in FSB guys like Girkin and Borodai into Luhansk and Donetsk, where they meet up with local nutcases like Gubarev and Pushilin. Government buildings in various towns are seized by armed force, checkpoints are erected around the cities, there's all sorts of kidnapping and murdering and mayhem. "Volunteers" come across the Russian border. Weaponry--lots and lots and lots of it--comes across the Russian border. An even more laughably sham plebecite with an even more laughably unbelievable yes result is undertaken. Meanwhile, these separatists prevent any citizens under their control from voting in the May presidential elections.

The Ukrainian government waits about a month to see if these separatists will simply walk away. Of course, they don't. The government launches an operation to uproot them. It's not the prettiest or most well-thought out of operations. Still, by July the Ukrainians have gained the upper hand. Then MH17 is shot out of the sky, all logical signs point to the separatists as the culprits, and whatever remaining public support for the separatists that had remains all but vanishes. So it looks like Ukraine may finally be on the way to stability and some semblance of normality might be around the corner.

But wait, there's more.

In about a two week time period, the situation in Eastern Ukraine does a near 180. Towns and areas retaken by the Ukrainian government fall back into separatist hands. All of this so coincidentally happens when there's a huge spike in reports of border crossings by the Russian military. And you now have reports of the Ukrainian army facing off against Crimea-ish insignia-less troops, extremely well armed and extremely well-trained, far more than what they had seen before. All the while, Putin's talking about how Ukrainians and Russians are the same people, about statehood for "Novorossiya", about how he could take Kyiv in two weeks if he wanted, really inflammatory stuff.

All of this--I mean, all of this--is Putin's handiwork. All of this rests on Putin's shoulders. Whatever talk there was about Nuland's cookies or her phone calls is so far removed from the current situation, and so incredibly insignificant to the situation that we are faced with today. To argue anything else would be to insult the intelligence of thinking people everywhere.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Regarding all the claims that the West is to blame for the current situation in Ukraine: (Original post)
Tommy_Carcetti Sep 2014 OP
Scootaloo Sep 2014 #1
OilemFirchen Sep 2014 #12
Scootaloo Sep 2014 #14
SidDithers Sep 2014 #2
The Magistrate Sep 2014 #3
geek tragedy Sep 2014 #4
The Magistrate Sep 2014 #6
geek tragedy Sep 2014 #8
The Magistrate Sep 2014 #9
geek tragedy Sep 2014 #10
The Magistrate Sep 2014 #11
geek tragedy Sep 2014 #15
Rassah Sep 2014 #5
Tommy_Carcetti Sep 2014 #7
Blue_Tires Sep 2014 #13

Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:08 PM

1. "All the claims"? Would this be from the four posters who make the "Putin Contingent"?

 

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 04:11 PM

12. I'll give you credit:

You don't embarrass easily.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 07:14 PM

14. Only when I have something to be embarrassed by

 

Calling it out when DU'ers like the OP are engaged in Fox news-style outrage amplification is not something I embarrass over.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:13 PM

2. DU rec...nt

Sid

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:14 PM

3. The Thing Falls Of Its Own Weight, Sir

All Putin's actions are based on his calculation that the West will not fight. And yet we are treated daily to claims NATO is seeking war, deliberately provoking Russia, that people are 'beating the war drums', and a variety of other driveling boiler-plate. Putin's calculation is correct, however: not only is the West not seeking war in Ukraine, it is not going to respond with war to the war Russia provoked and initiated with Ukraine.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:21 PM

4. Hence today's rather unsubtle speech by Obama

 

as to what would cause a war.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:34 PM

6. I Would Not Bet The Farm, Sir, On Anybody Going To War To Defend Estonia

The whole system was based on the proposition no one would ever actually take the first step, actually cross a border and act like it was the nineteenth century and this sort of thing were normal in Europe. Once someone actually does it, and the sky does not fall on him and flatten him, the whole thing goes away like sweet dream. It does not matter that Ukraine was not part of NATO; the idea of 'collective security' is now as collapsed as it ever was in the thirties. No one has a compelling national interest in the independence of the Baltic states, or for that matter of Poland or Bulgaria or Romania or any of the other former Warsaw Pact powers. The only limiting factor is how far the aggressor state wants to go.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:49 PM

8. Before could be argued. But the president himself

 

crossed a red line with such a statement and committed himself and the nation to such a defense. Absent such words indeed there would creep into Moscow's imagination the possibility of rolling tanks into Tallinn.

Follow up in the form of action--arms and boots--will of course help cement the matter.

Ukraine never had friends. The US's main currency is its willingness to stick up for its friends.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #8)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:51 PM

9. People Say Lots Of Things, Sir

"Watch the eyes, not the mouth."

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 04:00 PM

10. Watching the feet best of all.

 

NATO troops--including Americans--will be in the Baltics in larger numbers. More importantly, borders will be secured and these states will have the confidence and assistance needed to squash any slow-motion shenanigans that Ukraine could not resist.

Putin knew no wider war would result from Ukraine. He risks not only a war, but a defeat on the battlefield, by choosing other targets.

Remember, too , that NATO countries are already lost. Ukraine was in the most dangerous circumstance--heading out the door.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 04:10 PM

11. He May Decide Not To Do It, Sir

But I strongly doubt war with the United States would result if he did.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 07:56 PM

15. A battle but not a war. nt

 

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:33 PM

5. You forgot one part...

This part here is not entirely true:

Yankovych out, interim government in, elections scheduled for May. Boom. Regime change.

At this point, Putin's still been pretty much a side player throughout it all. Nothing more than a few phone calls with Yanukovych, probably just offering him the sanctuary in Russia that he ultimately accepted.


Putin wasn't just a minor side player at this point. This is the point in which MASSIVE amounts of propaganda started coming out of Russia, claiming that nazi fascists were in charge of Maidan protests and constituted a very large part of it (when it was maybe 20 guys tops), that they were pretty much guaranteed to be elected in power in the new government (even going so far as to plant a virus in Ukrainian election systems that would make the the fascist party win with 37.13%+ of the vote, which Ukrainian intelligence discovered and eliminated without telling anyone they found it, and then Russian media accidentally ran reports on election results that showed the fascist party winning with that exact percent of the vote, when it actually got only 0.7% ), and even after the election showed that the country rejected far right fascists and elected a moderate, liberal, pro-Europe government, continued to publish news claiming that the new Ukrainian government is fascist, wants to ban the russian language, and wants to kill all russians.

The result of all of this, as intended, was to make a lot of people in the eastern parts of Ukraine freak out and claim they want independence from the crazy nazi Kiev. So Russia was instigating this fight from the very beginning, even before they sent any troops in.

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Response to Rassah (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:37 PM

7. True. Russian media was pumping out a lot of propoganda while Maidan was in progress. nt

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Sep 4, 2014, 04:12 PM

13. Thanks for this...

I can only argue in so many ongoing threads at one time...

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