The readership here also might recall Putin’s words being backed up by one of his henchmen about having to invade and be as far as Poland 30 minutes before NATO or anyone else can even respond, and that they were capable of doing so.
What we saw previously in Ukraine was a series of Russian failures which do not resemble the kind of failures we saw in 1989-91. No, no, we must not think in terms of Russian retreat or collapse. That is not the kind of failure we see in Ukraine. What we see is a failure by Russia to conquer those parts of Ukraine the standing operational plan called for; that is, Odessa and a large chunk of eastern Ukraine (in addition to Crimea). We must keep in mind that Russia’s policy today is not based on deceiving the West that Russia is a friendly country. Today’s Russian policy, which is a war policy, more resembles Stalin’s policy of 1939-40, when the Red Army annexed Eastern Poland, the Baltic States, and invaded Finland. In this policy there is no pretense of friendship with the West. Here the hostility is open, frankly acknowledged, and accompanied by actual troop movements. Or as Putin allegedly boasted to Ukraine’s president, “If I wanted, Russian troops could not only be in Kiev in two days, but in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw or Bucharest, too.” Continue reading