A week ago, I told readers that I’d keep them updated on the peace talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Well, I’m here to report that the talks were an abject failure.
Even as Putin was consoling Western leaders in Minsk, Russian forces continued pouring across the border into Ukraine. At this point, it’s undeniably an invasion.
Heck, Vox even published an article on August 27 titled, “Let’s be clear about this: Russia is invading Ukraine right now.”
Yet Putin has executed this incursion so subtly that he hasn’t faced any serious backlash or sparked a wider conflict, despite violating UN regulations and essentially giving the Western World the middle finger.
It might be the most impressive invasion since the Greeks used a wooden horse to sneak into Troy.
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Today, any sense that the conflict is winding down has been completely dismissed. The reality is, Putin is on a warpath.
Vox author, Max Fisher, didn’t sugarcoat the situation at all: “Russian military forces are crossing the border into Ukraine in what is clearly a hostile invasion and act of war. That includes Russian artillery, Russian tanks, Russian-trained irregular forces, and even uniformed Russian soldiers.”
The Sydney Morning Herald corroborated that story. According to The Herald, the Ukrainian military spotted a convoy of as many as 100 tanks, armored vehicles, and rocket launchers moving towards a town just south of the pro-Russian stronghold in Donetsk.
Yet, incredibly, Russia continues to deny that it’s arming the pro-Russian rebels and insists that the convoy it sent into Ukraine is for “aid” purposes. And why not? So far, Putin’s stealthy invasion has worked perfectly.
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Moscow has continually denied helping the rebels while, in fact, gradually increasing Russia’s involvement in the conflict, and this tactic has proven to be a quandary for Western leaders.
As Bloomberg Businessweek wrote, “The pattern has become a familiar one: Putin annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea after saying he had no intention of doing so; a promise in Switzerland to help bring the separatists to heel preceded more intense fighting.”
This tactic of “muddying the waters” has helped stall the United States and Europe, and has prevented harsher penalties from being levied against Moscow.
On top of that, by ever-so-slowly crossing Obama’s supposed red lines, Putin has given America “red-line fatigue,” as Vox called it. You see, the United States has in fact lost interest in what’s happening in Ukraine, and that gives Putin a de facto pass to do what he likes.
Even the recent peace talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko were nothing more than a ruse. And now, Ukraine is warning the rest of Europe that Russia plans to cut off gas supplies as summer turns to fall, and cold weather settles in across the land.
Many analysts had already predicted such a circumstance, but this is the first time Ukrainian officials have said they know of Russian plans to close the pipelines. Countries that rely on Russia for natural gas are busy stocking their reserves – but most, including Ukraine, will fall well short of the supplies needed to make it through the winter months.
If Russia cuts off gas supplies, it could turn into a brutal, deadly winter for thousands – if not millions – of citizens in Eastern Europe.
The only question that remains, then, is: Will President Obama or European Union leaders, particularly Angela Merkel, finally take decisive action?
In Pursuit of the Truth,