Editor’s Note – After the now famous “six words” Obama uttered Thursday – “we don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with ISIS, (or ISIL as Obama prefers to call them) in Syria, it was just more proof that Obama is terribly feckless and weak, and Putin and others know it well. Therefore the Ukrainian issue is a forgone conclusion, at least according to Oleg Kalugin.
Putin even mentioned that no one should ever “mess with nuclear-armed Russia” as if Obama and others needed to be reminded of their still large arsenal. Despite NATO troops and equipment moving into Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland, Putin is not intimidated.
Vladimir Putin raised the spectre of nuclear war with the West on Friday as he defied international condemnation over his decision to send thousands of Russian troops and heavy armour into Ukraine.
Accused by Europe and Nato of launching a full-scale invasion of eastern Ukraine, the Russian leader boasted to a group of Russian youngsters that “It’s best not to mess with us.”
In language not seen since the height of the Cold War, he told his audience: “Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.” (Read the rest here.)
Kalugin just may be correct:
Ex-KGB General: Russia Has Already Won
By Joel Gehrke – National Review Online
Russia has already won “the real victory” in Ukraine, according to a former KGB general living in the United States.
“The Crimea is now Russian, that’s very important,” Oleg Kalugin, one of the top Soviet spies in the United States during the Cold War, told National Review Online. “Southeast of Ukraine, that’s part of the general battle between the Russians and Ukrainians, but it’s not as crucial as the real victory and pride of Russia — the Crimea, I mean.”
The Thursday-morning phone interview took place in the context of media reports that Russia had invaded Ukraine, but Kalugin reiterated that he does not believe Russian president Vladimir Putin wants annex another region of the country.
“I believe they’re just trying to do their best to keep as much as they can of pro-Russian population and communities in that area; but Russia does not plan, I am sure, to take the southeastern part of Ukraine just like they did with the Crimea,” Kalugin said.
“It will certainly do it’s best to provide secure access to the Crimea through that part of Ukraine, because otherwise the Crimea can only be accessed by the Black Sea, by water, and this is not the safest way,” he added.
Kalugin said he doubts Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko’s claims that “Russian troops were brought into Ukraine.”
“For political leaders, it’s important to maintain their stance and make people feel that things are still quite dangerous while he may know well that things are going to a peaceful solution,” Kalugin said. “Russia will not move any [troops] forward while western nations are alerted” due to the risk of expanded economic sanctions.
“It’s not in the interest of Putin,” Kalugin said. “His position as of today is fairly strong in the country, in his own country, so why put it at risk by moving further?”
Although Kalugin expects the Russians to keep a “low-profile” in Ukraine, he agreed that Putin has an interest in fomenting unrest in the country by providing weaponry and perhaps special forces assistance to the separatists.
“The tactical victory would be most likely the pro-Russian forces in that part of Ukraine will eventually triumph and Russia will be satisfied,” he said. “It will not necessarily be exactly to a Russian notion of how things should be, but at least it will not be pro-NATO, pro-Western.”