Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Russia to Ukraine: Be My Valentine or I Kill You!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

I’ve written many commentaries over the years on the Ukrainians. Most notably, in “My Favorite Ex-Communists…,” October 2, 2007, I bemoaned the chronic political dysfunction that had Ukrainians emulating the Italians’ promiscuous penchant for changing governments; and in “Ukraine: a New (Post-War) Germany in the Making,” August 30, 2014, I decried the political and military machinations that had events playing out in Europe just as they did in the years before the outbreak of World War II.

With respect to the latter, here is an excerpt from “A Ukraine Divided Is the Only Way It Will Stand,” May 6, 2014.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has 40,000 to 60,000 troops revving up their tanks on Ukraine’s eastern boarder awaiting his order to invade … if civil unrest continues. He has operatives all over eastern Ukraine spreading pro-Russian propaganda and fomenting that unrest.

No wonder he’s winning – not just the hearts and minds of pro-Russian Ukrainians, but also the psychological war he has been waging against Ukraine’s pro-Western leaders ever since they ousted his puppet president, Viktor Yanukovych, three months ago…

It’s clearly foolhardy for pro-Western leaders in Kiev to continue ordering troops to wage plainly feckless battles to retake government buildings in eastern Ukraine, which thugs have seized and claimed as property of their separatist pro-Russian republic. Nothing dramatizes this fecklessness quite like having old, basket-swinging, pro-Russian babushkas continually repel their military advances…

It’s equally foolhardy for Obama and Western leaders to continue threatening Putin with economic sanctions … if he continues to do what he seems determined to continue doing. These, after all, are the leaders who stood by as Putin annexed Crimea (without firing a shot), and are standing by as he effectively annexes the rest of eastern Ukraine (with the proverbial one thousand little cuts).

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This is why I find a cartoon by Adam Zyglis in today’s edition of the Buffalo News, lampooning the latest efforts to broker peace in Ukraine, so perversely fitting.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 8.06.15 PM

Meanwhile:

As fighting erupted throughout eastern Ukraine on Friday before a cease-fire begins on Saturday night, the United States accused Russia of joining separatist rebels in an all-out attack on Ukrainian forces around the contested town of Debaltseve…

The intensity and scope of the violence raised concerns that the agreement signed this week, rife with ill-defined and ambiguous provisions, might prove as ineffective as the first cease-fire pact, signed in September.

(New York Times, February 13, 2015)

Duh.

In fact, all indications are that, in the few hours remaining before this latest ceasefire is scheduled to take effect, both sides seem determined to give new meaning to that infamous oxymoron, “The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.”

What’s more (and with all due respect to Daesh and Boko Haram), Putin seems determined to emulate Hitler’s march of folly (as I foreshadowed in “Putin as Hitler; Crimea as Sudetenland,” February 26, 2014) — even if it leads to World War III….

Related commentaries:
Unrequited valentine

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