Tanks roll over Eastern European borders as an exiled tyrant hides behind the cloak of Putin, Tzar of New Russia. This isn’t a Tom Clancy novel or the storyline for a Call of Duty game. It’s the reality in Ukraine and Russia.
Putin is a very bad man, but we all know that at this stage. The Winter Olympics were still held in Russia as he pushed and prodded Ukraine, undermining their right to self-determination and sovereignty.
Why did the USA feel the need to boycott the 1980 Olympics, but not this one? Communism?
So long as there is a “free market”, the only repercussions of encouraging and promoting violence against homosexuals, ignoring the independence of neighbouring nations and the gradual genocide of various native peoples is finger waving in the UN and the threat of kicking Russia out of the super awesome G8 club.
I’m sure this keeps the Tzar up at night. There is no line for him to cross. Putin crossed it long ago. This is not a flash in the pan conflict, this is the future of the former Soviet States – should he remain in power.
Will it stop there? No, it won’t.
As I write this, Russia’s upper house of Parliament has approved Putin’s request to deploy Russian troops in Ukraine, like he needed it.
As far as Russia is concerned, their crushing of an uprising in a foreign power is perfectly legal and just.
Russia “gifted” Crimea to the Ukraine in 1954. At the time, Ukraine was just another state in the Soviet Union. It was essentially Hampshire giving the Isle of Wight to Dorset.
Crimea is now an autonomous region in the Ukraine, but things have changed, and now it is useful again. It always was really.
The people of Crimea, however, do identify as Russian, and speak the language, so maybe this is best for them? Is this for the unification of lost Russians, a nation once again? No, this is expansion.
This is an aggressive empire pushing out its boundaries. We all know that. What do we do about it? Nothing. Deal with it.
Putin has power. Putin will stay in power until Russia doesn’t want him there. Do we boycott Russian products by not buying Ladas anymore?
Russia has a petro-chemical industry that Europe needs. It has aluminium and can always sell its wares to China and North Korea. Sanctions will not stop Putin, and nasty letters from the UN are meaningless. Confronting him with our militaries would turn Europe into a graveyard.
We are powerless here. This is all on the Russians.
And so long as European solidarity is threatened by jingoistic populism, the more power Putin and the New Russian empire will grab and keep.