A stellar team from a leading German newspaper, Die Welt, have now assembled a powerful narrative of Russian aggression in the eastern Ukraine or Donbas region including the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk.
While other newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal hide behind “he said, she said” formulas, always noting that Russia denies allegations by NATO and the West of military intervention in the Donbas, Die Zeit and its reporters have for a long time simply reported the facts.
As Vladimir Putin now makes a bold military and strategic move to establish Russian military bases in Syria while shoring up the Bashar al-Assad regime, it is useful to bear in mind who Putin is and the nature of his challenge to the existing international political and legal order, and balance of military forces.
Putin is an adversary, not a friend or partner, and anyone who imagines they will benefit from collaborating with him—so long as Russia occupies conquered territory in the Crimea and continues its invasion of the eastern Ukraine, will be sorely disappointed. Above all, the West needs to rip its blinders off, and see Putin and Russia for the determined adversaries which they have become.
For the facts regarding the Russian invasions of the Ukraine, see
Jörg Eigendorf und Julia Smirnova, “Die Beweise für Russlands Eingreifen in der Ukraine Satellitenbilder, Fotos und Filme sprechen dafür, dass Russland die Separatisten unterstützt hat. Wir haben die wichtigsten Beweise und Indizien für russisches Eingreifen zusammengestellt und geprüft, Die Welt, 15.September, 2015.
We should have no illusions about who Putin is or what his and Russia’s intentions are.
He is not our friend and not a trustworthy partner. Nor will he ever be.
The above account of the Russian invasion of the Donbas, revealing unbridled Russian nationalism and policies of military aggression, drives this point home.
We need to wake up.
As Lech Walensa put it, “How can we win, when (Putin) is boxing and we are playing chess?”
The Trenchant Observer