Yesterday Putin sent in thousands of Russian troops and heavy military machinery to Crimea, Ukraine. Today he actually went to the Russian Parliament in the Kremlin and asked for permission to deploy the Russian troops in Ukraine. No, I did not write that wrong…
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Russian armed forces effectively seized control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula on Saturday, as President Vladimir V. Putin had the Russian Parliament grant him broad authority to use military force in Ukraine in response to deepening instability there.
Russian troops stripped of identifying insignia and military vehicles bearing the black license plates of Russia’s Black Sea force swarmed the major thoroughfares of Crimea and occupied major government buildings, closing the main airport and solidifying what had been a covert effort to control the largely pro-Russian region of Ukraine.
In the south, in Crimea, scores of heavily armed soldiers fanned out across the center of the regional capital, Simferopol. They wore green camouflage uniforms with no identifying insignia, but they spoke Russian and were clearly part of a Russian military mobilization. In Balaklava, a long column of military vehicles blocking the road to a border post bore Russian plates.
I’m sorry—- Um, isn’t it against the beloved Geneva Convention for the uniforms to be unmarked???
Last night Obama came out in front of the world and said this:
“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine … The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”
Facing yet another confrontation with Putin after butting heads with him over Syria, Obama said any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be “deeply destabilizing.”
Charles Krauthammer’s not impressed…
Neither is Bill Kristol…
One suspects that President Putin isn’t very worried about affirmations of future costs by the international community. He’s seen Bashar al-Assad survive similar affirmations. Putin, like Assad, understands actions, not affirmations.
So will Obama now move beyond affirmations to actions? Will Obama get Brussels, Berlin, Paris, and London to begin to isolate the Putin regime diplomatically, politically, and economically? Will Obama lead our allies to move the G-8 meeting from Russia, disinvite Putin, refuse visas to Putin’s cronies to travel abroad, and expose and tie up bank accounts he and his buddies have in the West? Will Obama expedite the admission of Georgia to NATO, and begin to move toward a security relationship with Ukraine? Will Obama canvass his administration to discover the many other things that could be done to begin to undermine Putin at home and abroad? Will Obama act so that the Russian people and Russian elites see that Putin’s actions have costs—real costs, not the affirmation of the possibility of costs?
Or will we be all talk, no action?
And neither was Putin and the Kremlin…
In Moscow, Mr. Putin convened the upper house of Parliament to forcefully denounce President Obama and grant Mr. Putin authorization to protect Russian citizens and soldiers stationed in Crimea as well as other parts of Ukraine.
Both actions — military and parliamentary — were a direct rebuff to Mr. Obama, who on Friday pointedly warned Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.
But so strong was Obama’s statement and so confident was he on his position on the situation that he skipped the National Security briefing at the White House today…
Obama did not attend the meeting, but WH official says he has been briefed by Susan Rice and his national security team.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) March 1, 2014
So they have a plan.
Susan Rice will go onto the Sunday morning shows tomorrow and blame that vile and disgusting movie “Rocky IV” for this Russia-Ukraine mess.
Gee, I hope Sly Stalone has a good lawyer…