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From President Donald J. Trump:

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In February 2014, Russian kingpin Vladimir Putin invaded and subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula, which had been under Ukrainian jurisdiction. The timing was no accident, coming as it did only a handful of months after then-President Barack Obama reneged upon his own chemical weapons “red line” for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, effectively leaving the resolution of the then-nascent chemical weapons crisis in Putin’s hands. Putin, like a shark smelling blood, sensed weakness and acted accordingly. To this day, Crimea remains under de facto Russian control.

It is not exactly a mystery what motivates Putin’s actions on the geopolitical chessboard. He is a former KGB operative who has publicly bewailed the dissolution of the Soviet Union as one of the greatest tragedies in modern world history. If Putin had his druthers, “Mother Russia” would once again become “Greater Russia—likely including all the ethnic Slavic portions of Central and Eastern Europe. And as the world saw in Crimea, Putin will act on those druthers when he is emboldened by a seeming lack of deterrence. This shark smells blood—lots of it.

It is thus no great surprise that, just as he did during the reign of the last feckless Democratic president, Putin has once again decided to take chunks of Ukraine and redraw the post-Cold War maps to better reflect his conception of Greater Russia. There was, in the seemingly endless lead-up to Russia’s decision to send tanks into the Donbas (as of this writing, now heading toward Kyiv), remarkably little appetite for firm deterrence from the U.S. or anyone else in NATO. President Joe Biden promised sanctions—an only arguably effective tool, at best, and which largely amounts to performative preening so that State Department lackeys and NGO staffers can sleep better at night. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, deeply unpopular on the home front, penned a condemnatory Wall Street Journal op-ed. Yawn.

Read the full article by Josh Hammer with Newsweek here

Author: Press Release

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