Skip to comments.Putin's Creeping War of Aggression Will Continue Unless the West Responds
Posted on 04/30/2014 8:46:13 AM PDT by Kaslin
On April 28, around noon, according to one report, Mr. Gennady Kernes, mayor of the eastern Ukraine city of Kharkiv, went for a cross-training jog in a city park.
En route, an assassin shot the mayor in the back. According to his bodyguards, a sniper fired at Kernes from long range. Hitting the back of a running man at a distance -- the upper body mass, to use the lingo -- indicates a crack sniper fired the shot.
But even at close range, a running man can be a tough target. Bullet to the head, bullet to the heart -- the mayor likely dies, quickly. The bullet punctured the mayor's liver and one lung, so the initial attack did not kill him, not immediately.
As I write this column, Kernes fights for his life, his condition critical. A mangled lung, blood sloshing the gut and severe blood loss are not necessarily fatal injuries. However, without radical surgical intervention, which he is receiving, Kerne's conditions are clinical predicates to a slow, agonizing death.
Pray for Kerne's survival, for he is a victim of Russian president Vladimir Putin's creeping war of aggression in eastern Ukraine. Also pray for Ukraine's survival. Putin's creeping war against Ukraine is establishing military and political predicates for the tortured nation's slow, agonizing partition into a Kremlin-controlled Ukraine East and a rump, vulnerable Ukraine West. If NATO, the European Union and, yes, the United States continue to react to Putin's aggression with confused and disjointed diplomatic and military gestures, Putin's creeping war will also establish on the ground predicates for the rapid dismemberment and absorption of Ukraine into Greater Russia. And that is a predicate for a much larger war, one with the potential for several hundred thousand dead and wounded -- future victims.
Though at the moment no one knows who tried to murder him, for a creeping aggressor, attempting to kill the mayor of Kharkiv makes cruel sense. According to several sources, including the Daily Telegraph and Ukraine's interim government, Kernes is an in-the-flesh example of a conflicted man in a conflicted country. He is a supporter of Ukraine's ousted, pro-Putin and hideously corrupt former president, Viktor Yanukovych. The Independent describes him as a "64-year-old billionaire," and given the economy-killing cronyism of Ukraine, his wealth is not a political attribute. However, agitators have not had the success in Kharkiv they have enjoyed in other Ukraine cities. When protestors seized a government building, Kharkiv police removed them. Telegraph and New York Times described Kernes as a critic of both Kiev and Moscow and a man who intends to protect his city.
Kernes is what passes for a moderate, with opponents on both sides. This makes Kernes, unfortunately, a perfect target for Kremlin operatives. KGB agent Putin knows "plausible deniability" is the sine qua non of covert violence.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that the U.S. has electronic intercepts of Russian intelligence officers directing operatives in eastern Ukraine. The Daily Beast quoted Kerry as saying: "Intel is producing taped conversations of intelligence operatives taking their orders from Moscow. ... We know exactly who's giving those orders; we know where they are coming from."
The Obama Administration should release a few choice tapes and expose Putin's lies. It must do more to increase his political difficulties. I think there are indications that the Russian Army knows it is not ready to tangle with U.S. forces. Six weeks ago, I suggested deploying a U.S. Army heavy brigade to Poland. U.S. tanks in Poland would demonstrate, on the ground, a solid U.S. commitment to the defense of a NATO ally; it might also expose frictions between Putin and his generals. Poland wants a permanent U.S. military presence. Does President Obama think reassuring a NATO ally is aggressive?
Frankly, President Obama should reset his failed reset of Russian relations and backtrack on his abrupt and benighted September 2009 decision to suspend the deployment and long-range anti-ballistic missiles to Poland. Aggressive? It is a defensive system, designed to intercept Iranian missiles. In 2009, Putin touted Obama's gimme as a diplomatic success -- for him. So hand Vladimir an easy defeat.
There is no evidence of any real response by the mom-jeans wearing, girls bike riding Obama. Putin changed the world map while Obama filled out his NCAA bracket. . .
Obama created the conditions which Putin is taking advantage of.
Press the OVERCHARGE button! Quick!
Same guy effectively.
We don’t have a lot of room to talk about aggression after overthrowing Kadaffy, installing a terrorist government that ships our weapons all over the mideast while trying to overthrow the Syrian government so terrorists can take over there too.
Putin long ago sized up Obama and found him to be weak, indecisive, narcissistic, and generally accepting of diminishment of America’s position in the world. Putin is acting against Ukraine now because he see’s no real resistance from this manchild. Putin has a green light to do whatever he wants for the next three years.
Other adversaries are reaching the same conclusions and will be initiating their own aggressive actions soon.
Putin would’ve taken advantage of any “conditions,” given what he has done in the past.
Absolutely. The lessons of Obama's bungling inaction with respect to Syria, Iran, NoKorea, China, Failure to complete a trade deal with Japan, the primary purpose of his recent failed Asian trip, and now Ukraine, are being watched attentively by ambitious would-be malefactors all over the world.
Obama for once has it right in backing off with token sanctions. We'd all be better off, the world included, if Obama would throw a state dinner for the Russians.
Putin can do what he wants.
Obama is too busy speaking down to a white billionaire.
Obama and the West are weak. Putin will go as far as he can.
In light of Obama’s long string of spectaular foreign policy disasters, many of our allies are re-assessing their tenuousness relationship with the U.S. They no longer see us as being consistent nor dependable.
If Europe isnt concerned about policing Europe, why should we?
McCain can't even tie his own shoe lace or eat without dribbling.
McCain (and Obama) have very little to do with this.
Let Europe handle it this time. It’s their turn.