#85 Ukraine – Who Is Intimidating Who?

Ukraine II

A few years ago, I wrote a blog on Ukraine; Ukraine – Who’s Zooming Who? In it, I reviewed the long history between Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia. In that article, I revisited the 2014 coup of the leading actors involved. The actors included are who is who of personnel in the Biden Administration. 

Today in 2021, Ukraine is a country looking for muscle to do its dirty work. NATO and the U.S. appear to be willing partners in a muscle-flexing contest with Russia. In a February White House statement, Biden reaffirms what he believes to be “a simple truth: Crimea is Ukraine.” 

The Biden statement is a lie, not a simple truth. The official result from the 2014 Autonomous Republic of Crimea was a 97 percent vote to integrate their region into the Russian Federation. The overwhelming outcome was the result of an 83 percent voter turnout.

Biden then proceeded to make a promise that resembles Article 5 of the NATO membership alliance. The article commits each member state to consider an armed attack against one member state, in Europe or North America, to be an armed attack against them all, to go to war on behalf of other member States.

Biden continued, “the United States does not and will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of the peninsula, and we will stand with Ukraine against Russia’s aggressive acts.” Wait, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, or is it?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been referring to a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP). Zelensky says that they are in the final stage of full membership. “We are committed to reforming our army and the defense sector, but reforms alone cannot stop Russia. NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbas. The MAP will be a real signal for Russia.” Could it be that this bellicose behavior a gang membership initiation?

Let the Flexing Begin

On March 15, 2021, U.S. Army Europe and Africa announced the iteration of its annual large-scale multinational war games in Europe, DEFENDER-Europe 21. The war games have begun and will continue through June. DefenderEurope 2021 

With its best cold war rhetoric, the Pentagon explained: “DEFENDER-Europe 21 is evidence of the ironclad U.S. commitment to NATO, is a prime example of our collective capabilities, and demonstrates that NATO allies and partners stand stronger together.” 

In other words: stand together for a war against an adversary. Russia is the only adversary that the Pentagon and NATO have identified on the European continent. By applying the transitive property of logic, this exercise is targeting Russia.

Ukrainian advisor Aleksey Arestovich described the purpose of DefenderEurope 2021 much clearer, stating; “a large-scale NATO exercise has begun” being conducted, “from the waters of the Baltic to the Black Sea, to put it bluntly, [for] armed confrontation with Russia.”

The commanding general of United States Army Europe and Africa, General Christopher Cavoli, confirmed this by emphasizing that DefenderEurope 2021 was building warfighting interoperability with “allies and partners in the strategically important Balkans and Black Sea region.” A quick look at a map shows that “strategically important” area to be in the Russian neighborhood and on the border.

Recently, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg “express[ed] serious concern about Russia’s military activities in and around Ukraine & ongoing ceasefire violations,” adding that “NATO firmly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity.”

Russian Intimidation 

The Pentagon warns of Russian troop movements, in Russia, on or near the Donbas border. I repeat, warns of Russian troop movement inside Russia. While DEFENDER-Europe 21 will include 31,000 troops from 27 nations, an increase of over 50% increase of troops, and a 50% increased member involvement. 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has informed reporters that “we have had contact with the U.S. administration on the situation in the Donbas, and we have exhaustively explained to their side what is happening.” 

Minister Ryabkov reflected grave concerns on the Russian side over what he deemed increasingly belligerent rhetoric from the U.S. and its NATO allies over Ukraine, warning that “Washington should be concerned about the consequences of this coordinated policy.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that any Moscow effort to intimidate Ukraine would be concerning to Washington. Price went on to indicate whether it occurred on Russian territory or within Ukraine. 

I asked again, Who Is Intimidating Who?

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