Monday, April 21, 2014

Russia loses credibility in the Ukraine

Maj. Rudolph Anderson died taking aerial photos of missile silos in Cuba.

It is a well-accepted axiom, even by terrorists, that to gain the most from any violent action there must be a claim of credit or responsibility.
President Vladimir Putin believes he can have it both ways: first denying any role in the seizure of Crimea and then boasting of it.
Mixed messages are always confusing, though apologists for Moscow, including here on Allvoices, aren’t bothered by the contradictions.
Some people will believe the denials. Some others won’t believe anything Putin says. The inescapable conclusion is that nothing the former KGB staffer says can be taken as the final word.
It has reached the point where Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is forced to assert that his country is “a big and independent power that knows what it wants,” the BBC reported.
When Russia, as the Soviet Union, was a super power it didn't hesitate to send troops into Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
Moscow is risking becoming a paper tiger. Now if it doesn't invade the Ukraine it will look weak.
Putin has made clear that includes incorporating the Ukraine what was called in the Czarist era “New Russia.”
This weekend he blamed the Kiev government for the failure of a deal reached in Geneva to end all violence in the Ukraine. He said Kiev had failed to disarm right-wing elements attacking pro-Russian separatists.
Yet these same separatists told many journalists that they would not surrender their weapons, and clearly hadn’t. Washington was quick to point this out.
Russia also agreed to allow monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperate in Europe, or OSCE, to enter areas controlled by pro-Russian militias but on Monday the organization said it was able to enter the area.
The Russian strategy, called “maskirovka” or disguised warfare worked well in Chechnya, the New York Times reported.
Yet this strategy has its limits. The Soviet Union couldn’t hide the missiles it had placed in Cuba in October 1962. The late Adlai Stevenson, US ambassador to the United Nations, showed aerial photos of the missile sites. The numerous photos had cost the life of US Air Force Maj. Rudolph Anderson.
On Sunday, US President Obama’s administration endorsed photos of Russian military forces in eastern Ukraine, outside Crimea. The Times said some of the Russian soldiers shown in the photos had been photographed previously elsewhere.
On every front Putin was the loser. Environmentalists were horrified that Russia trumpeted on Friday the first shipment of oil from an Arctic Ocean offshore drilling rig. With the Soviet history of environmental disasters, including Chernobyl, major oil spills in the Arctic were a distinct possibility.
Just as the West is coming out of its recession Russia is about to plunge into one, the Economic Times reported. Its economy is already facing structural problems.
“Data released over the last week showed that Russian is beginning to suffer the effects of the worst East-West political crisis since the Cold War,” the Economic Times reported.

Putin, it has been widely reported, will listen to no one who disagrees with his plane to restore the Soviet Union. A top adviser to the Russian president had to flee the country a year ago, the New Yorker reported Monday.

Sergei Guriev had lived a privilege life until he crossed Putin. He was subject to ominous warnings, interrogations and search warrants. He lives in Paris now.

“Better Paris than Krasnokamensk,” the site of a notorious Russian prison,” he said.

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