Thursday, October 2, 2008

Russia: Ukraine Did Something Bad - Who Could Have Predicted This?

Ukraine sent weapons and technicians to Georgia!

It must be so. Vladimir Putin said so.

That's Reuters' take on a recent development in Russia's relationships with its former imperial territories.

Reuters: undisclosed inside information? Or Unquestioning Trust?

BBC, the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and, are a bit more cautious. As BBC put it:

"...Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has expressed outrage at reports that Ukraine supplied arms and technicians to Georgia before the recent war.

"After talks near Moscow with his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko, he said that if such reports were confirmed, they constituted a 'crime'.... "

Reuters, covering the same events, accepts Russia's claim as fact. And, (maybe) showing how magnanimous Russia is, Reuters pointed out that: "...Apart from the row over Ukraine's weapons supplies to Georgia and the support of Ukraine's West-leaning leadership for Tbilisi, Russia is also angry over its moves to join the NATO military alliance....

I saw no indication in the article (which focused on compassionate Russia's assistance of erring Ukraine) to indicate that Reuters had any facts, aside from Putin's word, that Ukraine sent weapons and technicians to Georgia.

It's one thing for a news service to keep sources of information confidential. It's another to appear to hear an accusation, and assume guilt with no supporting evidence.

Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Rebuilding the Little Lost Empire

Let's look at that last phrase of Reuters' again, "...Russia is also angry over its moves to join the NATO military alliance...."

As I've written before ("If You Liked Georgia, You'll Love Ukraine " (September 8, 2008)), it's fairly easy to assume that Russia is trying to get it's lost empire back, one piece at a time.

It's 'way too early to say, "see? I said this would happen." Besides, I hope that Russia's conquering of part of Georgia, threatening the rest of that country, and now saying that Ukraine did something criminal, is part of some sort of innocent plan. Maybe Putin wants to demonstrate Russian power and influence by leaning on countries the size of Mexican states.

But, there are parallels between what I wrote last month, and what's going on this week: "'s not at all unreasonable to think that Ukraine will do something bad, and that Russia will be 'forced' to invade Ukraine. To restore order, of course...." ("If You Liked Georgia, You'll Love Ukraine " (September 8, 2008))

I sincerely hope I'm wrong about this.

News and view:


Anonymous said...

well Russia is getting heat back to its own body

Brian H. Gill said...

English Bulldogs For Sale,

Interesting phrase, and seems to be quite accurate.

It's been fifteen, sixteen, years since the Soviet Union folded, and Russia's had its hands full adjusting to the new realities.

I doubt this will be a replay of the Cold War, but Russia is certainly determined to be an active player. For good or ill.

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