After listening to Peter Lavelle (Russia Today) defend Putin and the Russians this morning in a heated exchange with Chris Cuomo on CNN, now more facts pour in that link Russians directly with the separatists and their military capacity. Separatists who are ethnic Russian terrorists have shot down two Ukraine fighter planes.
The battle space between Russia, ethnic Russian separatist controlled Ukraine and the rest of the sovereign state of Ukraine is as close as between Israel and Gaza. These are tight quarters.
The Ukraine government has maintained incredible restraint to prevent civilian casualties, but if the separatists persist as they surely intend, the civil war could erupt into devastating combat. It is easy to imagine how the Russians could become directly engaged. That could result in a broader regional conflict.
To prevent that from happening, the free world must exploit the Malaysian airliner disaster to bring about severe economic consequences to Russia immediately. The timidity of the European Union in that regard is astounding.
Timidity comes from the EU being too dependent on foreign oil. The EU needs a renewable energy solution to achieve as sustainable economy that is independent from the Middle East and Russia.
As it is, Russian has the free world over a barrel and as Senator John McCain correctly observes, the Russians are getting away with murder. They have invaded, conquered Crimea, and continue their proxy assault against the Ukraine. NATO needs to step up.
Putin has already threatened that Russia will react to the NATO build up. Remember the old saying, “We will bury you”? A NATO build-up would force Russian to spend more on defense as its economy is collapsing under sanctions (if the EU gets serious).
The only thing that gets a rogue nation’s attention is powerful and meaningful confrontation. Bring out the war hawks.
“'We will react to NATO build-up!' Key Putin quotes from defense policy address
Published time: July 22, 2014 22:55
Moscow will respond to NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, President Vladimir Putin said at the emergency Security Council meeting in Moscow. Here are his key quotes on Russia’s defense, Western sanctions, and violence in eastern Ukraine.”
"Some 14 Grad systems today have crossed the state border. We have documented this and passed the information on to Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council,” Lysenko said.
A U.S. senior intelligence official confirmed that pro-Russian separatists are getting air defense training at a Russian training facility in Rostov, near the Ukraine border, though the official cautioned that it is still not clear who had their finger on the trigger when MH-17 was downed. Significantly, since the shoot down, the senior intelligence official said the Russians have continued to aid the pro-Russian rebels by sending tanks and rocket launchers. The official said the Russians have been deliberately providing equipment to the rebels which is also used by the Ukrainians for plausible deniability.
Lysenko added that Ukrainian servicemen had taken control of several cities occupied by separatists in eastern Ukraine and seized vehicles, ammunition and small weapons. Lysenko said the arsenal has not only Russian markings, but also the relevant documentation.
"You can see the Russian tank T-64 BV, which is not in the records of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Servicemen seized it during the terrorists' assault on a Ukrainian military unit in Artemivsk,” he said. “Now you see an APC-80, which is also a Russian-made vehicle. These are the accompanying operational documents. There is an official seal of the Russian Federation and a note explaining that this APC was put in commission and it that was received to be used in combat operations."
Moscow, meanwhile, denied supplying military equipment to Russian fighters, who have clashed with Kiev following the Russia's annexation of Crimea in March.”