It was announced that after a phone call between President Vladimir Putin and the leader of the Ukrainian “President” Petro Poroschenko have agreed on a “permanent” ceasefire (those have failed before).
Who is responsible for the fighting, and who is forcing Poroschenko’s hand to stop the fighting?
Who is responsible for the conflict depends heavily on your point of view.
For the majority of Americans, it is the rise of a democratic government in the Ukraine, and the covert invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military.
However, in Russia, the people believe that it is NATO’s fault for starting anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine, and starting the riots in Maidan Square in Kiev, which (in the Russian media) installed a fascist coup.
As an ethnic Russian, this is an issue I am torn on.
I remember the history of previous covert CIA operations to overthrow hostile, or more of a government that doesn’t agree with the American agenda. Was this the case in Ukraine? It was (and is) not. In Ukraine there was not the usual rising star in the uprisings against the pro-Russian government, led by Viktor Yanukovych, as there always has been in CIA incursions.
I believe that the drastic collapse in the quality of life in Ukraine is evidence that this was an uprising of the people. Over the last 25 years the quality of life has dropped in the eastern European nation according to the United Nations Human Development Index. Putin had overstayed his welcome in the country, and they wanted a chance at a more pro-Western economy.
So, to answer my initial question as to who is responsible for the fighting in East Ukraine, Putin is to blame. He refused to recognize the new government and then had the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service) start a civil war in the East. I will spare you the many graphic images that I have seen of the conflict in the East, and the images are the reason I sympathize with the Russian cause (but only to a degree).
The majority of the Crimean people speak Russian and are ethnic Russians, which is why they’d prefer to join with Russia. I support the people’s right to choose which country they want to be a part of, which is why I recognize the Crimean referendum as legitimate – without condoning Putin’s influence on the Crimean election.
Now, onto the ceasefire. I am pleased that the fighting has stopped and all sides have met at the negotiating table. It is clear that Vladimir Putin played an absolutely MASSIVE part in this (imagine if Obama had the same resolve as Putin, scary huh?). Putin probably told Poroschenko something along these lines: “Listen here Petro, I have many nuclear weapon, and I have army good enough to know difference between nuclear key and vodka bottle opener…. I mean we know how to turn you into fine nuclear blown glass.” Okay, so maybe that wasn’t EXACTLY what he said, but hey, Putin can wrestle bears shirtless and beat them blindfolded.
In all seriousness, I do believe Putin told Poroschenko that NATO isn’t willing to go to war with Russia; after all, they are a massive nuclear power and have been developing a formidable air force (see my article on the F-35).
NATO isn’t willing to risk a nuclear exchange over Ukraine, and Poroschenko and Putin know that. That is why Ukraine will cave to Putin’s demands for autonomy and quite possibly future independence for Lugansk and Donetsk.
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