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Ukraine Between Two Narcissists

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If you think that Vladimir Putin would be dissuaded from his territorial ambitions by a few billionaires more or less being punished in Moscow, then you probably deserve to condemned to a Purgatory that resembles Obama’s White House.


Despite assurances that Russia was on the ropes via economic sanctions imposed by the West after the Bear stirred up ethnic conflict in Ukraine, there are no signs but that Russia under Putin is restless.

And hungry.

New fighting has erupted near Donetsk with Russian supported separatists firing shells resulting in the death of 11 people. Since so-called “peace-talks” are underway between Kiev and Moscow, that’s probably not a pacific sign.

Too, Putin is threating to put nuclear weapons into the Crimea while the Artic Command is strengthening northern operations as it moves up north as a part of a new “defense” strategy.

The strategy promises to challenge NATO superiority around the former Soviet client states and in the resource rich Arctic Circle, which by the way shares a border with the United States.

What could go wrong?


Imagine having a president of the United States who telegraphs his indifference about NATO security because he KNOWS better?

Oh, yeah: We don’t have to imagine.

"There are many regional conflicts which remain unresolved,” says the new Russian defense bible. “There is a tendency to force their resolution, including those which are in the regions bordering the Russian Federation. The existing architecture of the international security system does not provide an equal level of security to all states.”


Those aren’t just observational comments, but operational directives as well. When international security doesn’t offer an equal level of security, where do you think the bad guys go?

They go to where the good guys either aren’t or won’t go; to where the level of security is unequal like Ukraine, Arctic Circle or even Moscow itself.

Even as you read this Ukrainian MP, military helicopter pilot Nadiya Savchenko, Iraq War veteran, American ally, remains under indictment in Moscow’s Nos. 6 Detention Facility. Her alleged crime was killing a pair of Russian journalists who died reporting on the war that Russia started. Savchenko’s attorney says that she was captured by Russian separatists an hour before the two journalists died.

“While prosecutors claim she deliberately targeted the journalists,” the UK’s Telegraph, “who were reporting from a rebel check point when they were hit, her defence team say they can prove she was captured a full hour before [the journalists] were killed.”

In either event, people die during war and nobody is more complicit in the deaths than Vladimir Putin. If it was a Wonderful Life and Putin was never born, likely peace would reign in Ukraine today.

Look, if you are going to fight someone, it’s naïve to think they aren’t going to fight back. And it’s evil to prosecute them for self defense, which is really the point isn’t it?


What would you do if Cuba invaded Florida? Nadiya's crime was exercising her right to national self-defense.

People say that the Ukraine war is none of our affair; that it is an internal conflict between peoples that have a lot in common ethnically. It would be, they remind us, like the United States fighting Canada.

In reality it's more like a cop shooting Michael Brown.

But if Canada had an unthinking, pompous, and self-loving president who cares for neither women in uniform nor the billionaires who supported him, I wouldn’t want them to support Russia’s Putin either.

In a week that people have celebrated that they too are Charlie Hebdo, it would be truer to say everyone shares more in common with Nadiya Savchenko, a woman enslaved between two narcissists.

Just as many of us seem to be.


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