Friday, April 25, 2014

About to Strike

When ethnic Russians are killed in the Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will unleash the full might of Russia's armed forces on those who have spilled Russian blood. Are the Russians in the right? In the realpolitik world, moral judgement is much less important than military force. Militarily, the Ukraine is a featherweight amateur in a brawl with a heavyweight champion. Do you see neighboring Poland (or any other country) offering to send in troops to help defend the Ukrainians? Certainly not, because no other country wants to antagonize Putin when they know he has the winning hand. If the Ukraine cracks down on the Russian separatists, it will trigger a bloodbath and spell the end of the Ukraine as an independent country. If the Ukraine does not act to restore sovereignty, it will forfeit the east of the country which will voluntarily rejoin Russia or be a nominally independent country that will actually be no more than a Russian satellite state doing Moscow's bidding while pretending autonomy from both Kiev and Russia. This situation is the most complex dilemma faced by Europe since the end of World War II, even more than Bosnia and the breakup of the former Yugoslavia because during the time of the Soviet Union, the Communists authorities salted the Ukraine with hundreds of thousands of ethnic Russians and though their papers may say they and their descendants are Ukrainian, they are Russian through and through and are loyal not to Kiev but to Putin.

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