Monday, April 07, 2014

I'm Not Sure Rationality is the Way to Judge This

I'm correct in assuming that the pro-Russian "demonstrators" in Ukraine's east are too transparent a pretext for Russia to rely on for an invasion, right?

I still have to ask if Russia is still looking for round two or if this is psychological pressure to solidify the initial gain of grabbing Crimea:

Several hundred pro-Russian demonstrators who have seized government buildings in the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, urged President Vladimir V. Putin on Monday to send troops to the region as a peacekeeping force, and they demanded a referendum on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

I lean to the latter, but I just don't know.

It is disturbing that Russian troops in Crimea are still leaning forward--enough to have shot a Ukrainian major in Crimea who was packing his belongings to evacuate.

It's getting to the point that I do worry that a Chechen terrorist attack in Russia might be blamed on Ukrainians and start a chain of events that nobody really controls.

I think that Russia would risk a lot by testing their military in an operation aimed at securing eastern Ukraine that might not end as neatly as the Crimean subliminal invasion.

But when passions get hot, some damn fool thing in Donetsk--or Luhansk or Kharkov--could set off a string of incidents that end with Russians already inflamed by Putin's propaganda pushing Putin--even against his better judgment--to go to war against Ukraine.

We just don't know if our rational is their rational. Or if they can be rational by their own definitions.

UPDATE: The administration isn't being too shy about blaming Russia for the aggressive protesters:

Even as White House officials suggested Monday that Russia is behind an “escalation” of unrest in three cities in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry announced he would meet within the next 10 days with officials from Russia, Ukraine, and the European Union in an effort to calm the deteriorating security and political environment in Ukrainian regions bordering Russia.

What is Putin up to?