Vladimir Putin has not intervened in Eastern Ukraine. He could have. He could have stopped Western Ukraine from bombarding cities and villages in far-Eastern Ukraine. He chose not to. Did he choose wisely?
He will have a cost to pay for not intervening to save ethnic Russians, but he will have avoided a potentially (likely) much more destructive and fatal war.
In addition, he will be in a position to point to the fact that he did not roll into Ukraine and thereby demand, and rightly so, that all sanctions against Russia be immediately and completely lifted.
What possible excuse could Barack Obama offer up to keep them in place? Crimea still? Please!
There would be no excuse that wouldn't be blatantly anti-Russian for the sake of US (NATO) imperialism. What Putin properly termed "unfair trade practices." That's putting it mildly.
Russia also won't be placed in the troubling position of having to cut off gas supplies as more Western sanctions would be heaped on Russia were Russia to intervene militarily.
Lastly, with the sanctions lifted and with Russia having proved itself no aggressor but rather restrained in the extreme, Russia will regain a full voice in the world, including the West, and will be in a position to aid ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine who may want to emigrate to Russia. He'll be able to better insist that Ukraine not continue persecuting and oppressing (abusing) ethnic Russians.
I'm certainly not convinced that things will all turn out per the above, but they might.
Ukrainian forces have surrounded Donetsk, which had a population of one million prior to the mass exodus of residents. A Ukrainian military spokesman on Monday said Kyiv's forces were getting ready to take the city from the pro-Russian separatists. Ukraine's military has already cut Donetsk off from the other main city held by separatists, Luhansk, on the Russian border.
"The forces of the 'anti-terrorist operation' are preparing for the final stage of liberating Donetsk. Our forces have completely cut Donetsk off from Luhansk. We are working for liberating both towns but it's better to liberate Donetsk first - it is more important," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told the Reuters news agency.
What a farce calling it liberation. That's not even well-played false propaganda. It's just too stupid.
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