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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   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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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?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
48 weeks ago
48 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/
48 weeks ago
48 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.
48 weeks ago
48 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....
48 weeks ago
48 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?
48 weeks ago
48 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.
48 weeks ago
48 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
...teh corruption charges...

You're loosing it.
48 weeks ago
48 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"?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
*snicker*
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uhh...dat wuz da point.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
A point that fell rather flat, yam.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
So it seems.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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