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Is Putin Winning? The Ukraine Crisis Remains Unresolved.

11/09/2014 1 comment

Some people interpret the cease fire in Ukraine as a victory for Russia and Vladimir Putin. The reasoning is that the cease fire leaves Ukraine with disputed borders, which rules out Ukraine’s membership in NATO. But will the cease fire hold? No, I don’t think so. I think we learned enough from the previous cease fire. And there are already reports of violations of the cease fire. Guns might be silent in eastern Ukraine right now, but President Vladimir Putin as an anachronistic leader still fighting the Cold War and seeking to expand Russia’s territory.

The big questions is, what is going to happen next? Well, we all hope for that day to come sooner, when all the separatists are gone from Ukraine and Ukraine can start recovering from this crisis that is tearing apart the whole country. Instead, Russia has started working on other things on the side. Kidnapped Estonian agent and ‘green men’ in Moldova… Is President Putin moving on to his next targets? President Barack Obama visited Estonia last week and reaffirmed the United States’ and NATO’s commitment to the security of Estonia. Just two days later, Russian agents crossed the border and using smoke grenades and radio jamming devices, kidnapped an officer of the country’s Internal Security Service. Eston Kohver, kidnapped Estonian officer, appeared later that day in Moscow, here he was charged with spying and carrying an illegal handgun. Russia claims that Kohver was arrested on Russian soil, but Estonian officials claim that not only is this untrue, but that Kohver appears to have walked into a trap set by Russia’s security service, the FSB.

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said: “The masks have fallen. We see how Russia continues to isolate itself from democratic nations.” Addressing the taking of the security officer, he said, “Russian security service FSB kidnapped an Estonian citizen from Estonian soil and took him to a prison in Moscow and even bans the Estonian consul from meeting the Estonian citizen.”

Meanwhile, E.U. and the U.S. are trying to come up with the further sanction to counter Putin’s intimidation. They believe that Russia will eventually surrender under the economic pain, which should be obvious, yet Putin is not showing any marks of weaknesses on his side. The problem is that the West is not willing to put major sanctions on Russia out of concern for the adverse consequences on their own economies. While I completely understand that we can’t collapse our own economies, we need to sacrifice a little to stop Russia’s aggression. And we all know, if we let Putin win this one, he will NOT stop. Never.

Few weeks ago, the United Nations human rights office in Geneva implicated the pro-Russian separatists in repugnant crimes of war:

Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine are guilty of a wide array of human rights abuses, including murder, abductions and torture, and are receiving a “steady supply” of sophisticated weapons and ammunition, according to a U.N. report obtained by Reuters.

“Armed groups continue to commit killings, abductions, physical and psychological torture, ill treatment, executions, murder and other serious human rights abuses,” the report said, adding that violations were “disproportionately targeting civilians.”

Putin has free hands to act with impunity inside the Ukraine. It is a war in Europe. The 23-year-old post-Cold War order has crumbled, and we need to put an end on it.

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