Russia has invaded Ukraine. Putin’s Russia has a highly militarized plan to detach the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, in effect amputating the country’s major industrial and port regions. Russia now is in a position to turn southeastern Ukraine into a frozen conflict-a region whose status it holds unresolved through its backing for secession.
Once Russia gets a grip of the Donetsk region it could annex the area following the same pseudo-legal steps it used to declare its authority over Crimea. Putin has launched the unthinkable in Europe, a war by proxy with Ukraine, discrediting the Ukrainian government, creating unrest, trying to set the stage for a separatist movement.
The Ukrainian government is interested in putting an end to the violence in eastern Ukraine. Sadly, the Russian government is the only party that can do so without the use of force. If Putin wants to end the violence, he is welcomed to do so-by taking his terrorists back home and not sending any new ones. On the other hand it is blatantly hypocritical of Russia to encourage and foster terror on the ground and at the same time blame Ukraine for it.
Putin is playing a game with Ukraine on the military front. Putin’s Russia has long mobilized big battalions in its international war campaign. He has continued his aggressive KGB style to re-establish a Moscow-centered empire over what the Western leaders themselves still refer to as the post-Soviet era. This aggressiveness from the military occupation of Crimea to the organization of insurgencies in eastern Ukraine, to the shooting down of the Malaysian jetliner, to the shelling of Ukrainian targets from the territory of the Russian Federation, stems on the fact that the world is tolerating this aggression. Why? If we tolerate this, the consequences may prove to be catastrophic.
Putin will not be dissuaded by economic sanctions, visa restrictions, condemnation by political leaders or threats of “consequences”, he has an agenda: to bring back the power and glory of Russia and to control and dominate as much as possible Ukraine and even former satellites of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin is simply playing games with the West, doesn’t respect any sovereign territory, overrides diplomacy, bulling his influence onto innocent people and now is waging a full scale invasion on Ukraine. What is Russia’s next plan behind the Iron Curtain?
Peter J. Manastyrsky
An active member of the Winnipeg’s Ukrainian community.
This column appeared in the Winnipeg Sun Comment section on Monday, September 1st, 2014.