Putin’s declaration came in a televised address where he blamed extremists in Kiev for creating a crisis and dismissed US and EU threats over sanctions.
“We realized what was the major concern for the Ukrainians, the Russian-speaking people who reside on the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine, this is concern about lawlessness,” Mr. Putin said. “When they ask us for help – and we do have an official request from the president – we reserve the right to defend these people and we believe this is legitimate.”
It seems the grounds of Russia’s public justification for the use of force rest on Yanukovych being the legitimate president and asking for help as well as protecting ethnic Russians – which was also used in the Georgian conflict of 2008. The message is pretty clear, Russia is not going to accept losing all of Ukraine, full stop. This was predicted by almost everyone not within the mainstream media.
Meanwhile imperialists in America are crying about the loss of American power and blaming President Obama for not dictating events in a country not his own. The DC elite seems concerned that a president from North America is not micromanaging events in Eastern Europe. Though it is unclear what they want Obama to actually do short of sending in troops.
The Obama Administration is claiming they will pursue sanctions but that may be difficult given that China has endorsed Russia’s actions in Ukraine. It remains unknown if other countries around the world have America’s view, Europe already is divided with Germany signaling ambivalence over attacking Russia economically. Not surprising given German reliance on Russian energy imports.
In fact, the sanctions that were supposed to isolate Russia have arguably ended up isolating the United States.
The differences of opinion between Washington and Berlin suggest that the Obama administration will have a hard time persuading friendly governments to impose sanctions on Russia, a major trading partner. Russia also supplies much of Europe with natural gas, and many E.U. countries worry that Moscow would cut or curtail gas sales if they imposed punitive measures because of Russia’s occupation of Crimea.
Contrary to the bizarre claims being made by some, America has no interests in the Ukraine. America does not really have anything to gain by trying to assert leadership over a conflict that is irrelevant to America’s interests unless we have entered a time warp to the late 20th century.
Perhaps it is time for President Obama and friends to leave the Cold War dream world and return to reality to address issues that the American people actually care about such as jobs.