In Ukraine, Tensions Remain High

I haven’t been blogging for the past two days because I have been laid low by The Worst Cold In The History Of Ever. Any hopes that in the time that it took me to recover, the Ukraine crisis could be resolved, seem to have gone out the window.

  • Ukraine remains worried that Russia may launch an invasion of eastern Ukraine. The Obama administration shares those concerns. So, that’s hardly comforting.
  • Demonstrations have begun, agitating for secession on the part of eastern Ukraine. I’d be very much surprised if these demonstrations were anything more than astroturf operations that the Russians have sought to encourage. Astroturf or not, however, they may serve Moscow’s purposes in the event that the Putin regime does decide to move into eastern Ukraine.
  • This doesn’t necessarily have to do with Ukraine, but it is worth noting that while a number of people have urged the United States government–and its allies–to remember that Ukraine is in the Russian sphere of influence when considering Russia’s recent activities, the Russians have not been shy about seeking to establish a presence in our sphere of influence. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this, given John Kerry’s unwise declaration that the Monroe Doctrine is no longer in effect, but we should be concerned; after all, the Chinese are also trying to establish a western hemisphere presence. Perhaps next time, we’ll think twice before blithely declaring that we don’t have valid strategic interests in an area of the world where our strategic interests are in fact quite pronounced.