A Prelude to Civil War?

Although the bodies have stopped piling up in Kyiv, the situation in Ukraine seems to keep deteriorating.  If anyone thought that the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych and the issue of a warrant for his arrest would conclude the spasm of strife, they have made a serious miscalculation.  Yanukovych has predictably fled to Russia, the nation to whom he tried his best to hand a leash fastened around Ukraine’s neck.  One has to wonder if Putin has set his loyal lapdog up with a dacha somewhere further down the Black Sea coast.

yanukovytchputin

“Vladimir, you want I should spit or swallow?”

While the legislature in Kyiv is trying to figure out how to cobble together a new unity government, ominous sounds are coming from the Russian dominated half of Ukraine as well as the Bear beyond their eastern borders.  Gunmen have seized regional administration buildings in Crimea, and the pro-Russian faction of the Crimean parliament have dissolved their government (Crimea is an ethnic Russian dominated autonomous region in Ukraine).  Russian troops and ships have been mobilized in an oddly timed “exercise” near Sevastopol.  Speculation is running rampant that Crimea and possibly other portions of eastern Ukraine will separate with help from the Russian military.  These are indeed grim implications that would surely generate tension between the US and Russia that would dwarf any of the diplomatic sparring over Boris’s involvement in propping up the Syrian regime.

To say the situation demands close attention is to understate things severely.  If an armed tug-of-war over the future of Ukraine is in the cards, it will be the most severe US-Russian diplomatic crisis since Gorbachev dissolved the USSR.  I certainly expect a game of brinkmanship from Vladimir Putin.  He has tested the Obama administration over Syria, but this is an issue literally much closer to home for Putin and he will most certainly be more bold and forceful in trying to force the US government, as well as the EU, to blink first.

~ by schlippo on February 27, 2014.

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