Oy Vey: Ukraine Update
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, aka America's fun-loving Uncle, is heading to Kiev, Ukraine to meet with leaders and assess the situation. You know it’s getting real when the U.S. sends the national treasure that is Joe Biden over to get the 4-1-1. So much has happened since our last update, even a “peace” agreement that ended up more like a “Let’s agree to disagree” situation. Ugh, if only Uncle Joe’s million-dollar grin could solve this mess.
How do you spell peace?
Last week, a deal was brokered by the European Union and the United States between Russia and Ukraine to scale back this mess, including demobilizing militias, vacating seized government buildings, and opening the two countries up to a more robust dialogue. However, so far that dialogue has gone more like, “What’s that? Sorry, I can’t hear you over these bullets.” Militias have not only maintained their stance, but increased it, refusing to vacate seized government buildings, which resulted in a deadly shootout, killing five. If there ever was a time to use, “Oy vey!,” now is the time.
Speaking of oy vey…
Leaflets were handed out to Jews leaving Passover services last week in the heavy Russian militant occupied city of Donetsk, Ukraine, instructing them to register with pro-Russian separatists, pay a fee, and declare their property holdings. Russian separatists in Ukraine denied responsibility, saying the leaflets were passed out to make them look bad. Regardless, Jewish leaders responded with concern, citing the fact they were produced at all as chilling and a stark reminder of the Holocaust. The Ukrainian prime minister said he’s going to find and punish “the bastards” that produced the fliers. What does this mean? There’s a lot more to this conflict than just land.
Will Russia invade?
That’s what Ukraine says it’s most fearful of. With a newly formed government and a bare bones, poorly equipped military, Ukraine knows that it’s vulnerable to any act of aggression from Russia. With pro-Russian militant groups refusing to back down in smaller Ukrainian cities, even after the “peace” agreement, it’s not looking like Russia doesn’t have it’s eyes on the bigger picture of Ukraine. Their thinking is, press Ukraine forces to respond with force so that these pro-Russian groups can call on Russia for backup, something Russian President Vladimir Putin said he’d respond to.
So will the U.S. go to war with Russia Over Ukraine?
“I don’t think we can be sure of anything at this point,” President Obama said after the signing of the peace accord last week. What does that mean? Basically that he’s not ruling anything out, and this situation is surely not going according to plan (what was the plan? great question, nobody had one). That said, Obama has asserted, “We don’t need a war with Russia,” and has downplayed the possibility of military involvement from the U.S. So what’s the answer? Well, yours is as good as ours at this point.
Still got questions? Leave a question or comment below, or tweet at @HAlanScott and he’ll respond to them and cover more of the big news items of the week in a video posted every Tuesday here on SparkLife.