by Shelt Garner
Russia’s president-for-life Putin has repeatedly over the years moved troops in and around eastern Ukraine as if he was at least thinking about doing some sort of major land grab. In that respect, Russia is a lot like the DPRK — there comes a point where you pretty much dismiss talk of this or that possible military move because it’s just that: talk.
Apparently, at the moment, the Russians have about 40,000 troops within striking distance of Ukraine. But I’m also under the impression that there are no indications that the support staff and equipment needed to do any type of attack has been mobilized.
So, again, it seems very possible that this is just smoke and mirrors on Putin’s park to keep everyone — especially Ukraine — off balance and nervous. At the moment, I’m just not prepared to be all that concerned about what’s going on. Not until something unexpected, something out of the ordinary actually happens between Russia and Ukraine am I prepared to believe this time will be any different that previous, similar situations.
And remember, Russia has a very small economy — about the size of Italy, I think. So it would make a lot of sense for any attack against Ukraine to simply be a series of tactical attacks meant to shore up Russia’s control of Crimea. Even though Russia could, in fact, take Kiev “in two weeks” as Putin boasts, if he was able to bring Ukraine to its knees, it would very much be a pyrrhic victory. After the shock of Russia taking much of eastern Ukraine wore off, the rump state of Ukraine would be flooded with support from the West and then we have a reply of what happened with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, only with a far larger population involved.
I therefore think that while what is happening between Russia and Ukraine is unnerving, for the time being we can simply consider it more of the same. But only time will tell.