Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since shortly after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. More than 14,000 people have died in the conflict, and efforts to negotiate a political settlement have stalled.
The Kremlin, which has not denied the troop movements, said on Sunday it was not moving towards war with Ukraine – but also that it would “not remain indifferent” to the fate of Russian speakers in the conflict-torn region.Agencies. “Ukrainian soldier reportedly killed in artillery fire from Russia-backed troops.” The Guardian, April 11, 2021.
Medieval leaders have ways of both boasting and lying their way into war.
While it should have been understand in the shadow of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that it would it would pick up the task of consolidating its “facts on the ground” — and it has certainly done that — it appears from this desktop that it has resolved to take the transformation of Crimea and Donbas further. It has, for example, installed an extraordinary new bridge into Crimea ne “Crimea Bridge” or “Kerch Strait Bridge” — all $3.7bn of it.
Vladimir Putin has opened a bridge between the Russian mainland and Crimea, tightening Russia’s hold over the contested peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
The 12-mile (19km), $3.7bn (£2.7bn) bridge is Moscow’s only direct road link to Crimea. Russia expects it will carry millions of cars and rail travellers and millions of tons of cargo each year. Previously, all car traffic passed over the Kerch strait by ferry or by passing through Ukraine.Roth, Andrew. “Putin opens 12-mile bridge between Crimea and Russian mainland.” The Guardian, Mary 15, 2018.
Russia has never kept its promises as regards ceasefires in relation to Ukraine.
It has, in fact, had a history of brutalizing Ukraine. The methods brought to bear — from “Little Green Men” to slanders involving the image of Nazi Ukraine as pervasive — should to all westerners (who might care to check Russian claims against factual data and timely testimony from multiple sources) be especially repulsive as such disinformation expresses contempt for those receiving it.
Do you respect people who lie to you?
Why should Ukrainians — or NATO — or Ukrainian Russian speakers respect Russia today for its massive “Active Measures” campaigns?
No wonder Vladimir has inspired the epithet that is “Putler”.
Russia says Ukraine is trying to provoke a conflict, while Kyiv has accused the Russian-backed separatists of increasing their attacks against government forces and Moscow of massing troops on its border.Mathews, Sean. “Ukraine turns to Turkey as Russia threatens full-scale war.” Al Jazeera, April 11, 2021.
Russia’s deflection of intent (“Accusation in a Mirror”) appears hackneyed today, but then one should not expect originality from a dictator whose desires would appear invested in a century (19th) far past its prime.
With the Open Source at my disposal, I could go on for a while longer, but what’s really on my mind is the “Moment of Decision”, i.e., that instant in time in which a choice must be made between freezing aggressive ambitions or going with them. As Russia last week left the West with a peaceful Easter Sunday, I expect that moment to arrive in two hours or seven, i.e., midnight in Kiev or earliest dawn. If those moments pass without incident out of the ordinary as regards Russian shelling and whatnot, Ukraine will remain tense but as is, which is not a happy prospect and rather mumbling at best. IF, on the other hand, Putin’s tanks power up, the world may be changed tomorrow, and Ukraine (and NATO) will have to face Russian barbarism and its implacable and unconscionable — well demonstrated in Syria — character and the reality-creating horror that seems always to accompany that character in its striving to create chaos wherever it goes and then be . . . taken seriously despite its moral bankruptcy and ugliness.