Thursday, December 11, 2014

Things Exploding in Kharkov

I always assumed that Kharkov in Ukraine's east was part of Putin's targets. But the fighting has been further south as pro-Ukrainian forces have secured the city and surrounding region from the astro-turf secessionists that gave Russia Crimea and parts of the Donbas region further south. But now things are blowing up in the city.

Ah, Putin is getting busy again, perhaps worried that continued Russian violations of the ceasefire in the Donbas are getting harder for the West to ignore:

The city of Kharkiv in Ukraine's industrial east has stayed out of rebel hands but a mysterious spate of bombings has triggered fears that Russia is trying to destabilise this key defence hub.

Barely a week goes by without another bombing reported against Ukrainian military targets in the city of 1.4 million that once served as Ukraine's capital.

Mostly, they seem to be message attacks since they have inflicted few casualties.

Again, this is why Russia can't have nice things.

UPDATE: Our Congress is trying to push the administration to provide Ukraine with more means to resist Russia:

Ukraine on Friday welcomed a US bill that would allow Washington to provide lethal military assistance to the embattled country, but Russia expressed outrage at the "openly confrontational" legislation.

The legislation provides for more sanctions and $350 million for anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons as well as radar, communications gear, and drones.

The Russians, as the article says, are upset:

Russia's foreign ministry said the new US legislation put a "powerful bomb" under US-Russia bilateral ties.

I don't understand how this legislation could harm US-Russian ties. I mean, the Russians have denied that they are involved in any way at all in eastern Ukraine.

So why should Russia be angry with us?

UPDATE: And I don't rule out the possibility that the Russians will see this as equivalent to an act of war--not that we haven't endured more without escalating to armed conflict when they have been pains in the butt for us in the past with far more support to our enemies who have killed our troops.