Today Ukraine has called for an emergency meeting of the national security council. The meeting is to address the pro-Russian separatists who have gained control over a number of government buildings in Slaviansk. Ukraine already facing the possibility of war with Russia is looking over the edge in anticipation. The meeting is to take place at 9p.m. with the Ukrainian council of security and defense.
New photos have emerged that show a build in force in the Russian military surrounding the Ukraine borders. NATO confirmed these images were up to date even though the Russian military leaders claim the photos are outdated. It is clear from these satellite pictures that the buildup in military force began sometime in early March.
NATO has not made a decisive decision considering military action. They, up to this point, have not discussed using force. Rasmussen has stated that all steps necessary will be taken in defense of Ukraine. The organization is looking for support in its allies to deal with the instability Putin has created in the area.
The United States has sent a destroyer into the area, the USS Donald Cook to demonstrate the support and commitment to our allies in the area. The United States being war weary seems to be doing only a dog and pony show for the moment. Putting the men and women of the United States in harm’s way will take some doing. The United States estimates the Russians have nearly 40, 000 troops at the border.
Will Obama make any moves to prevent an invasion on Ukraine? Chances are he will not. Earlier in the year when Russia invaded Crimea the US in response put some very basic and light sanctions on Russia and some of its citizens. The Russian government in response to the sanctions threatened to cut off gas supplies to neighboring countries, a move that Putin is well aware would cause havoc in those countries that rely on the Russian gas lines. The sanctions put in place by the United States targeted Aleksei Chaliy, the de facto mayor of Sevastopol who was in favor of uniting Crimea and Russia. The point is that Obama and the United States up to this point have not taken a great deal of interest in the dispute that continues to escalate in Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine being on the edge of war is in a desperate position and Russia is taking advantage of the lack of support.
Putin has taken advantage of the world being tired and war weary. His timing is implicit. The assumption is that Putin has waited a long time to rebuild the old Soviet Union and has begun to carry out the plans to do so. In the face of opposition, Putin knows that not only the United States but the European countries are tired of war. His timing is eerily in step with Obama discussing the cuts in the US military. With the US not taking a stand on any real world issues due to the Obama administration’s foreign policy, Putin has found a crease in time that allows his actions. The world may not seem interested as of yet but with Putin pushing forward, the world, including the US, will be placed in a position where they must take interest.
As of recent, armed pro-Russian militants have seized official buildings in eastern Ukraine. So there is no negotiating going on at the moment and the idea that armed militants are pushing forward is a sign to come. There seems to be no real resistance as of yet, but the situation is escalating as times get more and more tense. The police station taken over by a group of Russian militants now flies the Russian flag. A clear sign to those paying attention that these militant groups are not going anywhere for the moment and are on the move to take more buildings in the area. These militants could very well be placed there by Putin and the Russia military to provide the appearance of a resistance in Ukraine. This gives Putin the ability to utilize an action that would secure the safety of Russian citizens. A smart move to keep NATO at bay, not being able to interfere if citizens of Russia are somehow being persecuted or build up a resistance because they are not in favor of the government they are being run by. No one is fooled by this move though; Putin has not pulled the wool over anyone’s eyes. There is just no way to prove his actions at the moment and even if there was, would it be publicized?
Although Russia continues to deny any plans to send in troops or forces to split Ukraine, the actions seem to be sending a different message. This is playing out on the world stage for everyone to see and that can put a damper on any hopes of negotiating with Putin. Putin will more than likely not back down, even in the face of any possible military threat to his actions. Putin has developed an ego on the world stage and seems to see himself as the leader for the area, but really he is the bully in the area. The movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe said it best, “Time for honoring yourself will soon be over.”
Ukraine is in a state of crisis. Without the support of its allies, it is unlikely that Ukraine can hold off Russia with much resistance. Ukraine is on the edge of being at war with Russia. The invasion has already begun with Crimea being taken over by Russia. It is only a matter of time now before Putin pulls the trigger and invades Ukraine unless the United States and other allies get involved in a meaningful way. One that would let Putin know, his time has come to an end.
Commentary by Jabar Morarend