Saturday, July 15, 2017

"The West" Begins in the Donbas

I was never worried that Trump would abandon Ukraine to Russia's tender mercies. But I wasn't under attack by Russia, so my confidence was easy I suppose. Ukraine is feeling better now, too.

Well good:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday Russia must make the first move to bring peace to eastern Ukraine, during a first official visit to Kiev that President Petro Poroshenko called a powerful signal of U.S. support.

Tillerson said Washington's primary goal was the restoration of Ukrainian territorial sovereignty, in comments that will cheer Kiev and show ties are warmer than many in Ukraine dared hope after U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

I never worried that America would walk away from Ukraine. Although Ukraine had reason to believe that placing their losing bet on Hillary Clinton could backfire:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

America's interest in keeping a hostile Russia as far east as possible trumps personal annoyance by the president's team. Ukraine may have fallen victim to Democratic efforts to wrongly paint Trump as a Putin stooge.

We will stand with Ukraine if it wishes to be part of the West. NATO membership is certainly Ukraine's goal right now.

This (from the first article) really got me:

Relations between Ukraine and Russia went into freefall after Moscow's annexation of Crimea and the subsequent outbreak of a pro-Russian insurgency in the eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 10,000 people.

My, whatever could have caused that freefall? It's a mystery to Reuters.

To be clear, Russia invaded Ukraine to take Crimea prior to annexing it. And Russia has invaded the Donbas region of Ukraine to prop up AstroTurf rebels with Russian special forces, mercenaries, and formed Russian army heavy battalions providing the heavy mobile firepower.

To be fair to Kiev, with confusion like this Ukrainians might have felt they needed to lock down a solid legal case against Russia's invasion.

Perhaps we can get on with strengthening Ukraine's capacity to bleed the Russians and expel them.

Now Democrats can't abandon Ukraine after stoking worries Trump would abandon Ukraine to collude with Russia.

Oh who am I kidding? Democrats managed the Iraq War pivot from supporters to shrill opponents rather easily with little apparent effect on their conscience.