Tag Archives: Ukraine

Crimes in Crimea: The Ukrainian Crisis Broadens

21 Mar

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Weeks ago, before the initial storming of Crimea by shrouded Russian soldiers not wearing Russian insignia (required by International Law of soldiers from sovereign nations), I wrote on this blog about my fear that the megalomaniac, Vladimir Putin may encroach the Ukrainian borders.  Days later, he did.

In a subsequent post I mentioned my fear that the apparent reprieve Ukraine had gotten from Putin’s aggression (after a belated and tepid response by the U.S. and global community) would be short-lived, possibly resulting in a partial or full Russian invasion.  The reason I expressed this concern is because I have a deep-seated conviction that Vladimir Putin has profound angst over the embarrassment of the USSR’s demise at the end of the 20th Century.  He absolutely loathes that Russia was embarrassed on the world stage and that the empire fell apart economically and politically due to a failed Marxist Communism.  There are some who believe that Putin would like to see that empire restored under his rule.

Crimea has historically been bounced from captor to captor over the centuries due to its strategic importance.  And after Crimea was given by Russia to Ukraine as a gift decades ago, Communist leaders were dumbfounded that it was no longer a part of Russia.  Putin, a former KGB agent under the USSR, was one of those who was frustrated by the inexplicable loss of the Crimea, and he could not resist annexing it once he got the chance.  The civil unrest in Kyiv due to the former Ukrainian President, Viktor F. Yanukovych, being deposed led him to call on Putin for help.  Putin, offered Yanukovych political asylum and a potential return to power (as a Russian puppet government like those of old), and the hook was set.   Days later, Russian troops rolled into Crimea.

Before long, the U.S. administration hobbled together a weak response in a paint-by-numbers foreign policy.  As expected, Putin saw through it, having long before calculated America as an isolationist nation without the moral will nor the conviction to call his bluff.  He knew that the U.S. would bluster about “being on the wrong side of history” and effectively do nothing.  Check mate.

Now, weeks later, after a clumsy attempt at limited sanctions of a handful of Russian billionaires, Putin returns the favor by creating sanctions of his own against the US.  Within two weeks, with nary a bullet fired, the entire Crimean region falls to Putin’s forces and the world’s cartographers get to work redefining geopolitical maps of Europe with a much-enlarged Russia.  Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to flounder and waffle, uncertain of its next move– with Russia not knowing, nor caring what that move might be. The U.S. has already told Vladimiar all that he needs to know– that the U.S. would remain pacifist in the situation and not provide support to a militarily-outmatched Ukraine in genuine danger of once again becoming a Russian imperialist state– the very thing the Ukrainian revolution escaped when the USSR fell.

In the last few hours we have learned that Russia has now lined up troops across Ukrainian borders in a number of areas.  They have also boarded some Ukrainian naval vessels after severe military threats against those ships’ crews.  What happens now is up for grabs, but one thing we know is that there is no compelling reason for Putin to stop his advance, since he now sees that no one will do anything, regardless of what unprovoked action he takes.  At this point, he can literally ‘make up’ an excuse to invade even more of the Ukraine.  At stake? 46 million currently free citizens of Ukraine, most of whom who want to be free.

Though the US has no appetite for military involvement, and though perhaps it should not be entertained– when you have the world’s greatest fighting force, that’s one thing you don’t take off the table– even if you aren’t planning to use it.  The very presence of a strong military can evoke fear into an enemy and make them shrink from emboldened actions.  But now, with our preemptive passivity, they know the most they’ll get from the U.S. is an earful and that’s simply not enough to stop a man whose delusions of grandeur are leading him to become a power-hungry glutton with an insatiable appetite for land and glory.

Take My Poll on the Current Ukrainian Crisis (February 28, 2014)

28 Feb

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February 28, 2014 at 9:07am

Here’s My Take on What’s Going on in Ukraine.

Though time will tell, my earlier fear that Yanukovych’s ego might cause him to do the unthinkable– challenge what I think would be an already-ready Putin to intervene ‘militarily’ in Ukraine could come to pass.  If it happened, it would be the bloodiest of wars, to be sure– but we’re now even seeing that Crimea– that constantly war-torn area that has been tossed about over the centuries like a playing chip, is potentially already a front of a possible coming Russian intervention.

Russia is denying it, but others are reporting (since yesterday) that Russian troops (not Ukrainian) can be seen maintaining the airports by armed military personnel.  I think this will develop or defuse rather quickly– but if it develops, then some quick decisions would need to be made by NATO on behalf of Europe, by the UN (which Russia, unlike Obama, could care less), and by the U.S., not to mention the E.U.  The E.U. is a weak state as far as military goes, and my guess is that it doesn’t want to challenge Russia militarily for many reasons– but this “could be” an occasion it might… but I think (what I expect would be) French opposition will win the discussion in favor of pacifism, making them all talk, no action.

That sort of leaves the U.S. to step up (or Britain), but I’m unsure Britain has any compelling interest and the U.S. administration’s resolve on anything other than its obsession with domestic politics on tangential issues of concern to the far left makes me think we’ll grandstand, then do nothing while Ukrainian blood runs down Kyiv streets.  I could be wrong– I hope I’m wrong, but I feel that the U.S. President has no real resolve to deal with the issue of freedom in other nation-states.

This summer I am slated to go teach Ukrainian Pastors and Ministers in Kyiv, and the last thing many Ukrainians want to do is to move further toward their former USSR-like existence.  If full-on revolution were to occur, God forbid, my opportunity to teach and mobilize the church there may be in jeopardy.  The church in Ukraine needs support and our prayers.  What is going on there goes far beyond the political– it’s also intimately spiritual in nature, and because it involves the freedom of Ukrainian countrymen, it could end up having a direct impact on the U.S. and American citizens in our volunteer military. It’s a frightening situation that is becoming even more tenuous.