By Ray McGovern, Feb. 25, 2022
As Russian forces began to surround Kyiv, Scott and I took a whack at discerning the implications, and what might lie ahead — in the immediate future and over the longer term.
We called to mind that the Feb. 22, 2014 U.S.-sponsored coup (appropriately dubbed “the most blatant coup in history”) was followed by atrocities against Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Odessa on May 2, 2014. Just ten days later, Donetsk and Lugansk broke away from the central government in Kiyv.
Such key events are far from forgotten in Russia, and undergird Moscow’s current determination to prevent such atrocities in the future. Putin, of course, has homed in on the murders in Odessa.
What has emboldened Putin, to the point of invading Ukraine, was also discussed, including what role Chinese President Xi Jinping may be playing simply by having Putin’s back. A good bit of time was devoted to China and its surprisingly strong support for Putin — against the backdrop of the China-Russia “Joint Statement” issued during Putin’s Feb. 4, 2022 visit to Beijing for the first day of the Olympics. China’s recent statements and behavior on the issue of Ukraine have put real meat on that key document and its implications.
The Feb. 4 “Joint Statement” stated that the two sides:
“reaffirm that the new inter-state relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two states has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.”
Yet, there remain unsettling indications coming from Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Antony Blinken, and Jake Sullivan that senior administration ‘dolts’ (copyright North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) in the Washington Swamp still don’t get it.