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by
Rick Moran

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February 23, 2014 - 7:13 am
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Great Britain warned the Russian government not to intervene in Ukraine, although such a turn of events doesn’t seem likely as long as the pro-Moscow east grudgingly accepts the new situation in Kiev. But as Anshel Pfeffer writing in Haaretz points out, Putin has a few aces up his sleeve that he can play to influence events in Ukraine.

Putin will use all his levers – the Russian army and navy stationed on Ukrainian soil; his control of the country’s economy and its energy supplies; the Russian television channels that are popular also in Ukraine; and historical memories. The 2008 precedent of Georgia, where Putin took advantage of the Abkhazian region’s independence demands to launch a war and humiliate the recalcitrant Georgians by advancing without opposition to within 40 kilometers of Tbilisi, has not been forgotten.

[...]

The Kremlin has suffered a setback with the (at least temporary) loss of Kiev, but Putin cannot allow himself to give up on Ukraine. If his allies lose there, the downtrodden opposition within Russia will receive a massive boost and once again take to the streets challenging his rule.

Putin would suffer tremendous consequences abroad if he loosed the Russian army on Ukraine. His recent successes in Syria, Iran, and the Olympics would be washed away and Russia would lose some of the prestige that Putin has so carefully amassed over the past few years. Dare he risk it? The Russian Black Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol, and yesterday, thousands of pro-Moscow protestors poured into the streets to demonstrate against the events in Kiev. What with the other levers Putin has at his disposal — including the energy card he has shown no reluctance to use in the past — it seems likely that Putin won’t have to invade to get what he wants.

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Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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Well the Obama/Biden regime along with its neo con allies in the Republican party have a new excuse to go to war with Russia. Is that not what McCain and Clinton have wanted all along. Here we go WWIII and the Americans leading the killing machines.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
What on earth makes you think that Obama wants to go to war with Russia? His reset policy is essentially a total capitulation to Putin. Obama has no stomach for confrontations with the enemies of America, just his enemies WITHIN America.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
What's next for Ukraine? She's all ours, old good USA should take care of her now. I do not think US taxpayers have a choice, US government promised help to Ukraine and MUST deliver. It's about €10 billion a year for 10-20 years. We promised MUST cash in like it or not. Besides it's a short change for us anyway, who's counted?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tymoshenko is worn out for the Ukrainian new generation, though she remains as a unifying voice for representing a temporal alternative to a void of representation.

The Young Ukrainians are in use to communicate though the net medias, and aren't likely to be sheepherded like they were before
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
And this. First blog post is about large numbers of Ukrainians giving up and emigrating. Scroll down for a great (2012) blog post about the Ukrainian economy.
http://ukraineeconomy.blogspot.com/
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
"today in Kerch in Crimea, a town located on the western side of a narrow strait dividing Crimea from Russia. The video shows a opposition-organised memorial for the dead, amongst those locals, which is attacked violently by government supporters. The crowd begin shouting “You’re fascists!” before pushing them from the square, roughing them up and trashing their equipment. One opposition supporter is chased down the street as men shout “banderist” at him, before savagely beating and kicking him. Towards the end, the crowd cheers as cars drive past carrying the Russian flag."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqwAgJPZlCk

This drama is just starting.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The accusation of "Banderist" is interesting. It refers to Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist leader who was assassinated by the KGB in 1959. He had opposed both the Germans and the Soviets during WW II to aid in the establishment of an independent Ukraine. He is a highly controversial figure to this day, even in Ukraine, as the Wikipedia article about him makes clear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepan_Bandera

I think you're right, Viator, this isn't over. The protesters can declare victory and Obama can try to take the credit but I'm afraid that may all be premature....
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I understand they're going to build a Disney park in the Sochi Olympic grounds! If Odessa were not in play, if Putin did not foresee a separation, why host the winter Olympics in your most southern city? At least now i have a fanciful answer to the why Sochi question?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't a more likely outcome that Yanukovich and his party contest the May elections and again win a seat in the government- especially if the opposition is split between Klitschko and Tymoshenko end up fighting each other for control?

I just see no really good outcomes here- the country is just too divided to settle down into a stable government minus really strong-arm, repressive police power.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Even though it seems to be heavily into "mergers and acquisitions" mode, I'm still having a hard time seeing the European Union as anything close to a "white knight" especially in view of its brow-beating of the Swiss for their referendum vote to limit immigration which apparently flies in the face of its "free movement of people" ideology. It may be a large part of their culture that the Ukrainians are kissing off when they accept the EU's embrace. The EU may be less despotic, but it still will want its way and political shenanigans are not beyond its pale.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
...teh corruption charges...

You're loosing it.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks - fixed it before you posted your comment.

And if you're going to criticize someone for misspelling, don't you think you should learn how to spell "losing"?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
In my opinion, the divide between American conservatives who see the EU as a proto-world government and the true 'prison house of the nations' of Europe (Greece, Spain, Italy all blocked from leaving euro zone) and those who view it merely as a useful fig leaf for Anglo-American hegemony in Eastern Europe is not bridge-able. Remember the neoconservatives hate Sen. Rand Paul far more than they do Obama, and Rand isn't even close to being as hardcore non-interventionist as his Dad!
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
*snicker*
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uhh...dat wuz da point.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
A point that fell rather flat, yam.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
So it seems.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
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