Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Bear Awakens

When Putin's Russia is openly pining for the days when Moscow ruled an empire, events in Ukraine should make friends of freedom raise our defenses (via Jane's):

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has seen his position steadily undermined following the introduction of a new constitution in January 2006 as part of the package of agreements that saw him become president in December 2004. The main benefactor of the reforms has been his opponent Viktor Yanukovych who returned as prime minister and head of the anti-crisis majority parliamentary coalition government in August 2006.

The Ukraine was the greatest foreign asset of the Soviet Empire and Putin and other like-minded "former" Soviets are too keen for my tastes to get it back.

Secretary Rice should be in Kiev bolstering our friends and not chatting up terrorists in the Middle East.

UPDATE: In Berlin, Secretary Rice rejected Russian complaints about anti-missile systems in eastern NATO countries (see my post linked above). The Russians insist this is bad:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow sees the establishment of the missile defense sites as a signal that the United States wants to gain nuclear superiority over Russia. He dismissed U.S. claims that it was to counter Iranian threats.

"If they talk about potential threats coming from Iran or North Korea, missile defense elements should be located in a different place," Lavrov said in an interview published Wednesday in the daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. "We can't help noting that these facilities would be capable of intercepting missiles launched from Russia."

Lavrov said that having the ability to shoot down Russian missiles could allow the United States to consider the possibility of a nuclear strike on Russia without fear of retaliation.

I can't help notice that in regard to North Korea, we certainly are putting missiles in a different place.

I can't help but notice that the Russians think that we can place missiles designed to protect Europe in locations other than Europe. Clearly the Russians don't want us to protect Europe from nuclear missiles.

I Also can't help noticing that the Russians still ponder lobbing missiles into Europe.

And finally, let's ponder that in that hypothetical US nuclear attack on Russia, a Russian counter-strike would be launched over the North Pole and not go anywhere near the anti-missile system's firing radius. So again, the Russians are worried about losing the ability to nuke Europe.

Lovely fellows, those Russians are lately, eh? I couldn't help but notice that.