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Threat of wider war in Ukraine grows

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 14
The situation in Ukraine has become especially tense in the past few days. Russian support to the separatists in Lugansk and Donetsk is no longer sufficient. Russia will have to either stop assisting the separatist forces, or get drawn into a wider confrontation with Ukraine.

Prior to the August War against Georgia in 2008, Russian officials stated that they had “homework” that needed to be done. The statement turned into a war against Georgia. The international community closed its eyes during this war. Such an approach was more profitable for the West at that time, rather than open confrontation with Russia on behalf of a small country like Georgia.

Now we are witnessing Russia’s Ukrainian “homework”. However, Russia’s plans are not much different from those with regard to Georgia. They have the same strategy almost all the time: create tension on an ethnic basis, which leads to war and then play the role of peacekeeper, and slowly occupy the country. When Russia annexed Crimea, many thought that the occupants would easily do the same in the Eastern part of Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian government has managed to suppress the separatists. Russia’s clandestine backing of the separatists is clearly not enough now. Currently, the separatists are in a panic, as their survival depends on direct Russian intervention.

Through involvement of media outlets and some other means, the Russian population is prepared for such an intervention. For months, Russian TV channels have been engaged in broadcasting negative information about Ukraine’s activities against the ethnic Russian population in Donetsk and Lugansk. If Putin shies away from intervention, his rating in Russia will take a hit. Thus, Putin is trapped in the snare that he created for himself.

It was said that Russia planned the “humanitarian” intervention in August. However, unlike the Georgian situation in 2008, the international community’s reaction and sanctions against Russia have become stronger. Russia has been warned by the UN leadership, the United States and European counties to refrain from intervention – NATO even suspended its partnership with Russia. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has appealed to Russia to withdraw forces from the Ukrainian territories and get involved in a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

How sufficient the appeals and sanctions appear, we will see in the near future. Meanwhile, dozens of trucks are moving from Russia in the direction of Eastern Ukraine. Are they Trojan Horses?