Putin makes his move in Ukraine

Well, it didn’t take long for my previous post to be overtaken by events.

Russia has recognized the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk republics.  This almost certainly means that Russian forces will intervene to protect the separatists from Ukrainian forces.  It probably means that Russians will fight to drive Ukrainian forces back to the original borders of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Hopefully, the fighting will be confined to the Donbas region.

The U.S. government is in an embarrassing position, having whipped up war fever while being admittedly unwilling and unable to fight itself.

President Biden said that American troops would not fight in Ukraine because a direct American-Russian clash could escalate into World War Three.

This is true. The other reason is that American troops would be hopelessly outnumbered, and also unprepared to fight in unfamiliar country. This also applies to troops being rushed to Poland and Rumania.

Although this is embarrassing, I think Biden was right to not sacrifice the lives of American troops, just as a gesture.

This leaves the U.S. with only two ways to continue the fight: (1) Arm the Ukrainians and give them moral and economic support.  (2) Impose new economic sanctions on Russia.

The first means encouraging Ukrainians to fight and die in a war in which they are outmanned and outgunned.  The second means asking western Europeans to make serious economic sacrifices.  They might well ask: Why should we be the ones to expend blood and treasure?

§§§

Putin’s ultimatum was clear: Hands off Donbas, Ukraine barred from NATO, no offensive missiles in Poland and Rumania.  

This is something he had been saying for 10 years or more.  The U.S. and. European Union governments ignored him, because Russia was weak.

All that time he has been preparing his plans—while making his country militarily stronger, economically more self-sufficient and diplomatically backed up by China.

He gave ample warning.  We in the West can’t say we weren’t warned.  Now he is putting his plan into action.  I don’t think we’ve seen all of it.  I don’t think he can be deterred or dissuaded from carrying it all out.

LINKS

Putin orders Russian military to carry out ‘peacekeeping’ in the DNR and LNR by Meduza, an independent Russia-based news service.

Territorial claims: Putin has recognized the breakaway ‘republics’ in eastern Ukraine, but what does Moscow consider their borders? by Meduza. 

Putin’s War. And Ours by Rod Dreher for The American Conservative.  Reporting from Hungary,

Russia’s Security Council Recommends to Recognize the Donbas Republics by Bernhard for Moon of Alabama.

Russia recognition of the LDNR – a few initial thoughts by The Saker. 

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3 Responses to “Putin makes his move in Ukraine”

  1. wtfbuddy1 Says:

    the First 12-36 hours will see 15 BTG’s move into Donbas is my reading of his next move, the UN Security Council can’t do anything when the veto vote is held by Russia and China. Russia is allowed to build infrastucture and military bases according to the decree so this ground is lost. Cheers

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  2. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Putin also demanded NATO leave the Baltics. I don’t see that happening. It is hypocritical to worry about NATO installing missiles on his border without conceding that Russian missiles are already on NATO’s border. In fact, he just fired off a few of his “invincible” hypersonic weapons in Belarus.

    Whose missiles are on whose borders is no longer an issue. Nuclear submarines have rendered that point moot – as has the abandonment of the INF.

    NATO is not and never has been capable of any kind of a conventional offensive war against Russia. Putin knows this. He also knows that any kind of nuclear exchange is the end of him as well as most of the rest of the world. I think he is testing just how much he can tweak our nose before we get seriously ticked off. The west is responding with appropriate outrage that I suspect to be sound and fury, signifying nothing. I’m thinking that except for poor Ukraine (and maybe the Baltic republics) it is all a massive global kabuki dance.

    I think he also realizes what a monster of a quagmire trying to invade and occupy a country as big as Ukraine is, especially with the west funneling weapons into the area as fast as it can. The memories most Ukrainians have of Russia are of starvation and terror and brutality under the USSR (not to mention the Chernobyl disaster) not the warm fuzzy common history blather Putin is selling. Ukraine shows no sign of going down easy and is optimizing its ability to conduct asymmetric warfare. If Russian boys start coming back by the thousands in body bags, let’s see how long his popularity lasts.

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  3. mosckerr Says:

    How to understand Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine? To what does this unilateral action compare? Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974… A more ancient act of imperialism, the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland took place during the late 12th century.

    The latter example not now nearly as pertinent as the former. The issue at stake, centers not upon Russian interests to keep the Ukraine out of joining NATO, but rather the disgrace of UN hypocrisy and its silence to denounce and condemn this latest invasion by countries who dream, think France, that they should merit the status as a ‘Great Power’ in Europe.

    The UN repeats and perpetuates this continuous drip-cowardice; the UN condemns repeatedly ad infinitum the Jewish State of Israel. Yet when China pulls shtik with the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, likewise comparable to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, UN piety immediately loses its religion. Therefore, it seems to me that Nations should respond to UN hypocrisy by withdrawing membership from this House of Cards club.

    The Russia\China axis thrived during the Stalin\Mao era. China faces a similar fuel crisis as did Japan during WWII. Formosa and the Japanese Islands make control of the ocean quite formidable. Therefore China would very much like to conquer Taiwan. For China to fight and win a war that would most probably trigger multi-national involvement, it requires a secure ally which can supply it with oil and gas. Russia fits that need to a tee. Mao rejected Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin’s war crimes. That’s when Sino–Russian relations turns south.

    Russia, even after the fall of the USSR, remains the odd man out among Nato dominated Western European governments. The West, currently jabbering about sanctions blah blah. The Art of War centers upon crippling the supply lines of the enemy. A failure which defines the defeat of US imperialist invasions in both Vietnam and Afghanistan. Those supply lines represent the underbelly of the beast. Quite naturally all belligerent nations understand this critical weakness. A Sino-Russian alliance make tremendous good strategic sense for a new Cold War Russia.

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