Russian President-for-Life Vladimir Putin is now claiming neo-Nazis are a threat to Ukraine. Swastikas have been painted in synagogues, though Jewish leaders are ascribing this to Russian provocateurs.
Russian protesters in the eastern Ukraine cities of Donetsk and Kharkiv that have beaten Ukrainian supporters and taken over buildings are reported to have accents indicating they are from Russia rather than Ukrainian Russians.
“Witnesses and local officials say people who traveled from Russia have been among the most active at these protests,” according to James Marson of the Wall Street Journal.
Seventy-six years after British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain let Hitler take over the Sudetenland portion of Czechoslovakia, we are faced with another invasion of a neighboring country on the bogus claim of protecting fellow Russians. That’s what Hitler said about the Germans in Czechoslovakia. Both worked with inside agitators and then used troops to “protect” them by taking over part of the country.
Let’s not forget, once Hitler marched unopposed into Czechoslovakia, he just took over the whole country.
Putin controls all TV in Russia and has been pumping out anti-American propaganda and anti-Ukranian propaganda.
Besides an estimated 16,000 troops in the Crimean Peninsula, there are about 1,200 in a portion of Moldova on the east side of the Dniester River that broke away in 1992. And Putin has put 150,000 Russian troops on alert along Russia’s border with Ukraine. Though Wednesday it was reported they have returned to their bases.
At 253,000 square miles, Ukraine is the largest country in Europe. It is bordered by six countries — Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Belarus and Moldova, plus its Transdniester breakaway territory of Russian speakers. Its 44.6 million people are 77 percent Ukrainian. The predominantly Russian speaking area is east of the Dnieper River. Other ethnic groups include Tatars and Romanians. There are 18 different languages spoken in Ukraine. In 2011, Ukraine was the third largest exporter of grain. Both Russia and Kiev trace their roots back to Norsemen called Rus who came out of the Baltic and sailed down the Volga.
This is Ukraine’s second revolution in 10 years. What they need is financial help, which President Obama and Congress appear willing to offer, followed by the International Monetary Fund. What America needs to do is approve the Keystone pipeline and approve exporting liquified natural gas.
Ukraine needs more than financial support and reform, downsizing and privatizing much of its bureaucracy and reducing government subsidies. It needs military training and equipment upgrading. It needs help with improving its water treatment and wastewater treatment systems. It needs help exploiting its oil and natural gas reserves. Chevron is already reported at work in the country. There is not much that can be done about Chernobyl, but we could help with a reforestation effort. The Chinese have leased millions of acres of farmland.
Meantime Putin is claiming he has no troops occupying the Crimean Peninsula. That’s just another KGB Nazi-style lie. He keeps lying on the theory that people will eventually believe his lies.
President Obama needs to actively support Ukraine, beefing up its diplomatic presence and sending other Cabinet officers, all of whom should be countering Putin’s lies. America is playing catch-up and needs to take quick and multiple actions to counter Putin’s energy stranglehold on Europe and the Ukraine.