February 24, 2015

Ukraine crisis: Is anyone safe from Putin's grasp?

Marissa SemkiwArchive

This weekend marked the first anniversary of the ousting of former Ukrainian president and Putin’s talking doll, Viktor Yanukovych.

In the year since he fled, Russian President Vladimir Putin has annexed Crimea, and funneled Russian Special Forces and advanced weaponry into East Ukraine.

It is these same Russia-supported proxy fighters who shot down a civilian airliner with nearly 300 people onboard. It is these same terrorists who have taken the lives of some 5,500 Ukrainians.  

We are long passed the point of pathetic euphemistic language like ‘conflict’, or ‘civil strife’, or ‘separatist uprisings’.  Let’s stop beating around the bush. This is a war of aggression. It’s that simple. Vladimir Putin has invaded a sovereign state. His lies to the contrary should be called out as such.

Tragically, in response to this shredding of peace, all we have seen from President Obama and other Western leaders has been a handful of visa bans and asset freezes on a few top Russians. Yes, the ruble (Russia’s currency) got hammered this year, but that was largely due to falling oil prices. Moreover, and this is the key point, Russia’s recession hasn’t exactly thwarted Putin’s ambitions to advance deeper.  As I write, Ukrainian forces are withdrawing from the geographically strategic town of Debaltseve. Putin now controls the arterial highways in south-eastern Ukraine.

What’s most absurd about all of this is that the withdrawal comes hot on the heels of the so-called Minsk II ceasefire agreement. Given that the first Minsk agreement signed in September 2014 failed almost immediately, it is curious why anyone thought this latest diplomacy would succeed. And of course, there are other reasons we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Merkel and our perpetually two-faced ally, France, continue to suckle on the Russian gas teat. Why has the European Union continued to reject broad-based economic sanctions on Russia? Because they are afraid of harming their own economies and are prepared to sell out Ukraine. Like the mafia state it is, Russia has bought Western Europe.

This is a tragedy. Ukraine’s future should be up to the Ukrainian people. They certainly believe this – which is why, against all odds and with such little foreign support, they’re resisting the Russian bear. And we better remember something else: those brave Ukrainians are fighting not only for their own freedom, but for the ideals of Europe.

To be sure, I recognize and respect the reservations put forth by top NATO commander Philip Breedlove with respect to arming Ukraine’s military. General Breedlove and others fear that doing so would trigger a more strident reaction from Putin. But I’m also deeply concerned about the message we’re sending by our absence. If we let Putin get away with what he’s doing now, if we treat political sovereignty as something that exists only in rhetoric, then no one is safe. Who is next? The tiny Baltic states?  Poland?  After all, Russia’s foreign ministry has maintained that Moscow will do everything it takes to “defend the rights and interests of Russians living in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.” The language is eerily reminiscent of Putin’s rhetoric prior to the Crimean invasion.

I’m not suggesting NATO intervene militarily in Ukraine, but the people of that nation deserve our help to defend themselves with arms. By ignoring them, we’re undercutting the promises we once made to aid Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum.  That memorandum, signed in 1994, agreed that Ukraine’s decision to surrender its nuclear weapons meant it deserved Western security support.

We need to wake up.

Eastern Europeans recognize the threat. Those who lived behind the Iron Curtain don’t want to go back in time. But far too many Western Europeans think they can live comfortably and that geographic space alone will protect them.  

They’re wrong.

While the Berlin Wall might have fallen and the Soviet Union rightfully lies in the ash heap of history, it’s now abundantly clear that Emperor Vladimir is unwilling to respect Eastern Europe’s freedom. We can’t sit idle in the face of this repugnancy.

Let’s arm Ukraine and put an end to the notion that Putin can trample human freedom and find it funny (see here).

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commented 2017-10-25 01:20:40 -0400
The people responsible for that down there later had more to do with Obama than anything that the Russians were doing… The Russians were protecting the interests of the people from Crimea as they wanted to separate from Ukraine back to Russia… It was legal and voted in the international court of law I recognized it why don’t you and quit being part of the fake news.
commented 2016-08-28 03:00:33 -0400
Vladimir Putin accepted in an international court the votes of the Crimean people to return to Russia…
The Americans did not like this so they overthrew the existing president who was lawfully elected in favor of Civil War and the installation of their own puppet. uS in the UN does not want Russia to have access to a warm water port.
commented 2015-05-01 17:51:02 -0400
Wow, finally someone has the guts to speak the truth that are government, politicians and a tragically large sleeping, blind and apathetic (pathetic) population don’t want to hear. Our moral fiber is done close to zero. The West has no backbone. Liberal idiocy, secular humanism and moral decadence have stripped us of our resolve to keep our freedoms and come to the aid of nations being raped by the evil criminals running so much of Eastern Europe.
We went to war to defend freedom and the freedom of others across the ocean, and it was the right thing to do.
Today we sit twiddling our thumbs and whining but little more.
If the West and the rest of Europe had any guts and brains it would have recognized the threat to the whole world and got off its lazy cowardly butt to stop the aggression asap.
The European and Western nations should be hanging their heads in shame for this utter cowardice in the face of little dictators, who are nothing but international bullies, that we allow to do whatever they please to our own neighbors with barely a slap on the wrist for nation rape and other atrocities.
commented 2015-02-25 19:09:12 -0500
Joan,"my wi-fi had been hacked by “Russians”
Sure it was Joan.
commented 2015-02-25 17:45:14 -0500
I think the article is far too one-sided. The US and EU are all good and have been nothing but noble in their machinations and Russia is all bad. It’s not that black and white. Since when is violently overthrowing a legitimate government a lawful and legitimate action. And there is lots of evidence that the Eu and US helped orchestrate the overthrow. Are these not threatening gestures to Russia? It seems pretty clear to me that the Eastern Ukraine doesn’t want direction from the regime in Kiev questioning it’s legitimacy. Listening to some of the comments from Kiev’s prime minister Yatsenyuk he sounds almost as bad as the clown in North Korea. He actually expects to get the Crimea back. Arming Ukraine is going to prolong the war resulting in the deaths of thousands more and the further destruction of the country’s infrastructure. The solution is Kiev has to suck it up that autonomy for Eastern Ukraine is a consequence of the illegal overthrow of a legitimate government. If Russia wanted all of Ukraine they would have absorbed the East as part of Russia by now as the so called rebels initially lobbied for, and taken over the rest. People are being paranoid. We have a government here that believes in the Monroe doctrine that is challenging Russia’s right to manage the conflicts and outside interference on its borders.
Pretending that Putin and Russia is all bad and the US and EU and the people pulling the strings in these countries are nothing but noble is not going to lead to peace.
commented 2015-02-25 11:54:19 -0500
Nothing will change until there is an adult in the White House. I just hope it will not be too late by then. If it looks like the Republicans will lose the next election, Putin will just continue his current opeations. If the Dems look to lose I would expect he will ramp things up a lot.

Germany has gone from a world power over the last two hundred years to being more like a Swiss state. It is a shame.

Canada seems to stand almost alone as being the one country that continually does the right thing on these issues rather than just looking out for its interests.
commented 2015-02-25 00:11:08 -0500
Good article Marissa. Could have included the fact Putin is the only world leader capable of stopping ISIS. Enemy of my enemy et al…
commented 2015-02-25 00:00:16 -0500
People need to read more about this Putin guy, he was street thug in St Petersburg, joined the KGB, stationed in Berlin, went into politics after the Berlin Wall came down and has stolen billions from Russians ever since. He may be the riches person in the world some say 200 Billion.


History is repeating itself.
commented 2015-02-24 23:35:52 -0500
Carmen, Ukraine desperately needs military leaders who can plan strategically to inflict pain. This is an area Canada can assist with. The Ukraine troops need real training, Their forces have been filled with FSB agents and many may still exist. I do not believe Ukraine can put forth a proper Military campaign without real leadership. They need proper equipment but leadership is the true enemy of Ukraine military. The prior President ensured their military was broken and of little use. (Kind of what the Liberals in Canada are good at). Canada needs to send in the JTF2, with many planners.

Putin is moving onto Poland and other countries now, Russian TV5 had a program recently where they could take Berlin in a few days. Canada is mocked by the news channel shown with a pitch fork. Putin is the same threat as Hitler was only today we have no Churchill willing to tell Putin he lies and he cannot move any further. So, will one arise? If not then Europe will be very different in a few short months.

We need to learn Russian, I am taking lessons now, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0al3qai_c4 at 53.33 they show how Russia can take Berlin in a day. http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1423708887

It is time to wake up to this threat to the whole world. Putin wants to be worshiped as Tsar, his hero is Stalin which should need no further words.

Obama is a joke as President and I agree he is a Muslim hiding in the USA. He has been very dangerous to the US and the world at large.
commented 2015-02-24 20:43:34 -0500
Putin is not finished with taking Ukraine, he will take more, Germany, France are very happy to give as much as Putin wants. The USA is appalling in their lack of action. But nothing more can be expected from a president who does not share values common with people in the West. He is ashamed of any part of his American heritage and I believe not a USA citizen at all. Obama has proved that any treaty or agreement signed with the USA means nothing, it is just a piece of paper. Canada needs to realize the USA cannot be counted on in the case of aggression by Russia in the North, which will come sometime.

Putin is just following the playbook developed by Germany years ago by Hitler. Putin is now moving into Poland and Lithuania, Estonian and others will not be far behind. Germany will do nothing and France wants to ensure Russia gets advance military equipment that can be used to invade more of Europe.
The FSB kidnapped on Estonian soil a Security Officer http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/estonian-kidnap-is-russia-s-latest-provocation/506874.html

Putin like Hitler will only stop when confronted by armed force. So one must wonder how much of Ukraine is the West willing to give to Russia? How much of Poland and other countries? I suppose Germany may complain if Putin decides to take back East Germany because Russian speaking people live there? I would suggest when this happens Canada tell Germany to fix their own problem, you made it.

It is more important to Europe and the USA to ensure they can all continue to sell their products to Russia than be concerned with the thousands of deaths, the million of homeless people in Ukraine.

Yes, let us send fighter planes to fight ISIS, no Arab country will ever appreciate our efforts, the cost is being wasted on a people that what to go back to the 6-th century way of life.

I suggest we, Canada and the West could do much different than to continue to tell Putin we will not interfere in your efforts to build your Tsar Empire. We need to be sending lots of equipment and troops to help Ukraine to stop Putin’s glory.
commented 2015-02-24 19:37:20 -0500
Cory, I get where you’re coming from on the aspect of being in rebellion against the leftist drivel coming out of the mainstream media (the ‘media party’ as Ezra rightly calls it), but I definitely want this venture to succeed (as I know you do also), and I don’t think this name, which still doesn’t sit well with me as a Christian (and therefore hinders me in sharing the site with other Christians) will help the site grow as much as would a name that would convey conservative values, as opposed to just stating that it’s all about rebelling against something. Over to you.
commented 2015-02-24 19:18:47 -0500
“‘Rebel’ doesn’t resonate with me as a Christian….”
I’m a Christian and that word doesn’t bother me. They are in fact rebelling against the mainstream media, so it seems like an appropriate name to me. Also, I think that it indicates that this site is for independent thinking, classical liberalism and liberty.
commented 2015-02-24 16:25:55 -0500
I should have ended my last comment with “slaves in the service of Putin’s new Imperial Russia.” Putin clearly can’t help himself. He is an incurable Russian nationalist and imperialist. The world is in a new cold war for the foreseeable future, with Ukraine and probably the Baltic states in the crosshairs of Russia. But this time, Russia is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and other military might, and Canadians had better keep that in mind before going up against Putin. Our north is vulnerable to Russian aggression, should they decide to exercise it, and we cannot rely on the USA to back up Canada, especially not with Obama as President. He wouldn’t lift a finger to save Canada from Russian aggression on us, any more than he will for Ukraine, so our government better keep that in mind.

BTW, really glad to see Marissa on board at TheRebel, which I hope will do two things to help it rapidly grow into a viable successor to Sun News Network: first, change the name to something more palatable to Christians and also more representative of conservative Canadian values, for example FreeCanada or TheRight, something like that. ‘Rebel’ doesn’t resonate with me as a Christian and doesn’t convey conservative values. Perhaps the name could be changed when you get live TV going at some point. I realize that might be a while yet, and in the meantime, just know that there are thousands of us fans out here cheering you on. Second, launch live TV on the site (like TheBlazeTV on TheBlaze website) asap, even if only for one or two hours a day at first, to keep and build the audience and start bringing in some revenues. We need our Canadian conservative TV!
commented 2015-02-24 16:21:04 -0500
Give it up Leena, clearly you are a propoganda arm of the Putin government.
commented 2015-02-24 16:19:41 -0500
We have a Putinista aboard, eh Leena?
commented 2015-02-24 16:19:26 -0500
Leena, thanks for your post. Please don’t leave the site. I’m hoping therebel.media will encourage good debate between opposing viewpoints. I don’t really know what to think so I really appreciate hearing a variety of views, including yours.

The one thing I’ve heard as a reason why the west is hesitant to arm Ukraine is because of alleged high levels of corruption in its government.

Of course, if Putin does invade Lithuania – and last year when Russian planes were flying over and Lithuanians were so afraid of possible invasion, it looked like it might – we’d be obligated to send troops and arms because of NATO commitments. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

In the meantime, as a westerner, I support democracy. But I also despise corruption. I think organized-crime corruption of governments poses a greater threat to national security in the west than terrorism. Sadly, of course, the two go hand in hand.
commented 2015-02-24 16:05:04 -0500
Carmen, I should let you know that earlier today, I hit your link to foxnews, included in your first post to this thread, as it was in your post to the other thread. As soon as I did, my device seized up and a message appeared that said there may have been a major security breach. It provided a toll free number to mac support. I couldn’t use my device so I contacted the number where the agent pretended to work for Apple. He said it was a hacking scam similar to the celebrity password breach that also froze devices. He remotely accessed my devices and told me My wi-fi had been hacked by “Russians”. He said if I wanted to salvage any of my hardware, I had to purchase security services from what he called “an Apple-certified technician”. He said the hackers had accessed my online banking and online shopping accounts and may have stolen $1,000 to $2,000 but not to notify my bank as I was responsible for any losses because my security was inadequate. I told him I’d check with my friend who works in government hacking services and if he recommended I buy, I’d call him back. He said no, this is your last chance, if you don’t buy now, you’ll lose everything. I said, “you can’t just put a gun to my head and demand I either buy your product or you’ll destroy my assets; that’s extortion”. He said, “shut up”. I said, “What?” He said, “shut up, shut up, shut up”. I hung up and notified police.

Just so you know, Carmen, that link you’re giving everyone here at therebel.media may be infected with an extortion scam.
commented 2015-02-24 15:17:42 -0500
Who gives a previously unknown individual who coups a legitimately elected government and sits himself as interim leader 3 BILLION DOLLARS, unless of course they KNOW who this person is and PUT HIM THERE THEMSELVES?

Am I living in the twilight zone here??
commented 2015-02-24 15:14:33 -0500
Carmen, did you read about the law in Kiev that passed giving Generals the right to shoot draft dodgers in the back for refusing to fight their fellow citizens?
commented 2015-02-24 15:12:10 -0500
Marissa is so right on this. Naked Russian aggression against the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Western Europe should get moving on developing their own shale gas resource and break free of Russia’s ability to shut down their economies before they wake up one day and realize they are slaves in the service of Putin’s Russia.
commented 2015-02-24 15:11:48 -0500


Really? Being a newsource that doesn’t tow the mainstream coattails, I would have figured you understood that the Ukraine Crisis is the U.S.‘s pet project, NOT Russia’s?

I don’t know…if Russia started meddling in mexico, you think the U.S. would stand back and do nothing? Putin is the only one showing an ounce of restraint…So what if he’s arming the “rebels”, who are fighting for their freedom? The U.S. is arming the UNELECTED ILLEGAL UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT, and actually STARTED the whole thing!! Damn right Russia should help. Crimea CALLED OUT for Putin to HELP THEM, because if they hadn’t, the Kiev government would have probably gone in and slaughtered them all. What you saw as “Russian controlled referendum” was actually a “Russian protected referendum”. It’s all in how it’s SPUN to the West through their DISINFO MEDIA!!

Have you not noticed that the Kiev Draft is not working? The people are turning against the Kiev government, and refusing to enlist to murder their fellow citizens. There are MORE PEOPLE supporting the Rebel fighters than ever before and the numbers keep growing. THAT is why they are winning the war! Why is the U.S. involved? They live half a world away and this has NOTHING to do with them!!…Russia on the other hand is DIRECTLY involved, seeing the U.S. is building bases surrounding Ukraine and pushing towards the Russian border. Yes, Putin has a vested interest in what happens with Ukraine, since it’s HIS Countries Gas and Oil companies who are being DIRECTLY CHALLENGED and AFFECTED. They have a stake in the output and they have a right to protect their own interests, and their people’s interest. The U.S. and Canada re NOT the center of the world!!

The Rebel..you’re losing my support if you keep reporting DISINFORMATION!!..I was hoping I’d be hearing TRUTH here!!

Oh, and FYI..it was ALREADY EXPOSED that the shot to the airplane came from KIEVNOT the REBEL FIGHTERS!!
commented 2015-02-24 15:07:22 -0500
Both Canada and the USA could supply all of Europe with all it’s energy requirements. This would put Russia in a more receptive position to negotiate with NATO.
commented 2015-02-24 15:07:22 -0500
Both Canada and the USA could supply all of Europe with all it’s energy requirements. This would put Russia in a more receptive position to negotiate with NATO.
commented 2015-02-24 14:28:24 -0500
Yes time for action. No, no one is suggesting war. What we are suggesting is making Putin hurt. Arm Ukraine to the teeth and see what happens when dead Russian soldiers start coming home.
commented 2015-02-24 14:13:49 -0500
There is a time for diplomacy and a time for action. Diplomacy is dead. -Kiss of the Dragon (2001)
commented 2015-02-24 14:01:42 -0500
Stop me when you can spot the difference between Putin And Hitler:
Become the elected leader of a once great nation whose people yearn for their country to return to its former glory.
Invade a neighbouring country.
Imprison any protesting dissenters, even little girls.
Host an overly grandiose Olympic Games.
Crack down on homosexuals.
Invade another country.
Agree to peace plans.
Sport a nifty moustache.
commented 2015-02-24 13:30:05 -0500
Very clear writing, but I hope you’ll do videos too.