Sneaky, Sneaky Russia; We See You
Unfortunately, it appears Russia may well be taking steps to neuter Ukraine by weakening the central government and fracturing the nation into independent territories while a Russian invasion is a very real possibility. Whether or not Putin is directly behind the current seizure of Ukrainian government buildings by pro-Russian activists, the world can no longer trust a Putin-led Russia after Crimea and must assume Russia is behind efforts to destabilize Ukraine, as well as other neighbors when immediate Russian interests are at stake. Although any attempt to legitimize Russian action against Ukraine may be predicated on Ukrainian forces taking action against those occupying government buildings, i.e. Russia will take action to protect any Russian-speaking individual, and/or terrorist threats coming from Ukraine, Russia will attack if it chooses to do so without regard to what Ukraine does. While the International Community has some influence over the outcome, which is evident given Russia’s ongoing attempt to spin the situation, three things are sure to happen. First, the International Community must intensify its response to Russia’s rogue state behavior when any evidence surfaces tying Russia directly to action taken in Ukraine, especially if it chooses to use military force. Second, the Ukrainian government will have to use force against those breaking Ukrainian laws, eventually. Third, support of terrorism against Russia will be on the rise over the next few years and everything Putin does to bully his neighbors will make it worse.
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